June 8, 2023

Imperial Outpost MOC (Pirates)

As a kid, I use to create custom Pirates builds all the time. Since returning to LEGO® bricks as an adult, I have yet to build one. Given that Pirates is one of my favorite themes, I suppose that is surprising. Incidentally, I have built several official Pirates themes sets in that time. Those include Pirates of Barracuda Bay, the Pirate Ship (as well as one of its alternate build), the Imperial Flagship, and Pirates Chess. Now, I’m taking a stab at a custom design, an Imperial Outpost MOC! This one pulls inspiration from the Imperial sets I had and dreamed of as a kid.

Imperial Outpost MOC

I tried to include a number of throwbacks to the original Pirates theme. Firstly, I built the tower in the traditional white and yellow of the Imperials’ buildings, with an appropriate flag. Additionally, I placed some exposed red bricks on the walls. Third, I wanted a traditional rope bridge. That was a challenge. The bridge is on an angle going between the main island and the rocky outcrop in the water. I needed to adjust the position of the outcrop numerous time to get the angle to work. For the fourth throwback, I placed a cannon on the outcrop.

I included several throwbacks to classic Pirates in this MOC.

Fifth, I wanted a number of classic Pirates creatures. While I own several of the classic crocodiles, I opted to include one of the new ones in this build. They look more real. Similarly, I place one of the new rats in its mouth. However, the monkey and the parrot are both class Pirates. While shuffling through my animals bin, I saw a seagull, so I added it for good measure. There is a crab on the beach too, just for fun.

The final throwback was the inclusion of Islanders. The Islanders sets were my favorite as a kid. Consequently, no Imperial Outpost MOC is complete without them. I decided to place them on the back of the build, sneaking their way in to kidnap the captain of the guards. The guards are all watching the front, since the back is a cliff. The Islanders are climbing up the foliage on the back corner, having sailed up in a canoe.

What Pirates MOC is complete without Islanders?

Islanders infiltrating the Imperial Outpost MOC.

I tried my hand at creating depth in the water on this build. Previously, I made a small river using a different technique in another MOC. However, that trial used 6×6 window panes to create deep enough water for fish. Sadly, I do not have enough 6×6 trans-blue windows to cover a 48×48 stud baseplate. However, I do have a large stock of 1×2 trans-dark blue tiles. Consequently, I decided to try a variant of the water technique seen in Ninjago City. I covered my grey baseplate with three different shades of blue and two different colors of green. The green is under the dock to simulate algae and seaweed in the water. Most of the blue is dark. I placed two light shades leading up to the shore. Sadly, under the trans-blue tiles, you can’t really tell there are two different shades of light blue. Lesson learned.

I attempted to add depth to the water, but it didn't turn out the way I wanted.

I built this MOC for a monthly challenge in my LUG. Consequently, I had a time crunch. That was good for me. I often have loads of ideas, but never build them. Work gets in the way, and I always say I’ll build custom stuff later. I also focus on little details when I start to build, and MOCs drag on forever. In this case, I built my Imperial Outpost MOC in a day and a half of solid building. I had a deadline to meet after all. As a result, the interior of the tower is fairly empty. I only included ladders going up from floor to floor. Each level is only partial too. I saved a little time that way, rather than making smaller openings for each ladder. With that said, the levels are all modular, so I can go back and add interior details later if I want.

I built this MOC for a LUG challenge, giving me a time crunch.

In terms of the Minifigures, all the imperial guards hail from the Pirates Chess set. They were easily accessible since I have the kit on display still. The pirate in the rowboat comes from Barracuda Bay. Again, I have the set on display. However, I had to dig out my childhood Islanders and find one of their canoes. But, they are all original ’90s minifigs. Despite my time limit on this, I am quite happy how it turned out. I like these build challenges that force me to take the time to build. Do you have any pirates MOCs to share? Feel free to comment below or reach out on social media.

Until next time,


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