Ship building guide with walk through
13,270Views, 74 today
Get Embed Code
Level 54 : Grandmaster Sailor
Posted 08/02/12 5:43:17 pm
This guide is intended to show you guys my ways of building ships. It focuses more on sailing ships, but it can be applied to any type of ship, by using the general methodology of what I am trying to show here. I understand that there may be better ways to build ships out there, but I find this one the most suitable for me. This guide will be updated constantly.
This guide/tutorial will be divided into TWO parts: a guide, explaining the terms, and the most common mistakes I see in ships built in Minecraft, as well as tips on how to improve; and a walk through of a 5th Rate Frigate, where I will apply the tips given on the first part, and show you visually how I build a ship. It can be found here: Walthrough of a 5th Rate Frigate.
With no more to say, let’s get on with the guide!
- Hull - Body of the ship.
- Keel - A central beam along which the hull of the ship is built. It also provides hydrodynamic stability.
- Deck - floor of a ship.
- Stern - Rear - most part of a ship.
- Bow - Forward part of a ship.
- Port - Left side of a ship.
- Starboard - Right side of a ship.
- Buoyancy - Tendency of a ship to float in water.
- Mast - Tall vertical beam that supports the sails.
- Spars - Horizontal beam from which the sails hang on.
- Main mast- Tallest mast of a ship.
- Fore mast - fore- most mast of a ship.
- Mizzen mast - Third mast of a ship.
- Rigging - System of ropes and chains used to control and support the masts.
- Sail- Any type of surface intended to move the vessel.
- Stay sails - triangular sail attached to several ends.
- Jib - stay sail ahead of the fore mast.
- Lateen sail - Triangular sail mounted at an angle on the mast.
- Spanker sail - gaff-headed sail, set from the aftermost lowest mast of a sailing ship.
Before building a ship, one should have a clear idea of what type of vessel it’s going to be built. Either a Galleon, Ship of the Line, Modern Cruise Liner or even a mere Jolly Boat, all has different characteristics, sizes and shapes that define what they are. Different types of ships have different hull shapes. Some of the most common ships built in Minecraft: a Galleon usually has high stern castles, but lower fore castles. A Ship of the Line has a less rounded hull compared to a Carrack or Galleon, and more of a flat top deck.
When choosing a particular type of ship to build, one should analyze how long and wide will the shape of the hull be. I try to build most of my ships to scale, so when I build in Minecraft, I take my Steve character, and use it as a reference to get the size right. I don’t have any particular way of doing this, but visually. Thought, it is possible to take a block as a meter square, and parting from that, build the ship according to their actual size in meters.
Alright so now that you know which type of ship to build, you’ve done your research and know the dimensions, let’s get into the building details.
- Flat bottoms – If you want to build a good ship, don’t simply make it look good above the water. Make the whole thing as it adds realism and craftsmanship.
- Flat sides and sterns – A very common thing that I notice in most of the ships in Minecraft are flat sides and sterns. Although some modern ships, such as cruise liners and cargo vessels do have somewhat of flat sides, sailing ships usually feature a more rounded hull. This increases realism and adds depth to your build, making it stand out from other Minecraft ships.
- Diagonal Bow – Another common thing in many ships, a diagonal bow. The bow of a ship is one of the parts that gives the ship not only it looks, but also its attitude (metaphorically speaking). Now then if you have a bow that look bad, don’t expect the ship to look good.
- Diagonal hulls – In some ships, I see some weird diagonal hulls. I understand that when this happens, it’s not the intention of the player to make it look like that; rather they are trying to get the rounded “U” of the ship. That’s when a good knowledge of curvatures comes handy.
- Buoyancy – What is this buoyancy? Buoyancy is the tendency of objects to float in a liquid. In this case, water. Why am I telling you all this? Simply because when building a ship in Minecraft, I think it’s important to have this buoyant force in mind. That way, you’ll be able to make a good and realistic looking ship, that looks practical, and also stands out from the rest. After all, you don’t want a ship that sticks out of the water like this. That looks bad and cheap.
- Hull Layout and Frame - The first thing I do when building a ship, is to make a 2 dimensional outline of the basic shape of the hull. That way I can tell how big it’s going to be, and what I need to change or modify from my initial design. Once that’s done, I proceed to make the 3 dimensional outline/frame, where I make the basic “bowl” shape of the hull by connecting them with frames. Framing is a good method of making a hull because it gives you a good perspective of what you are designing from the beginning, to the end. It also helps you shape the body in whichever way you want, making it easier later on, to fill in and add the details.
- Smooth out straight and inorganic lines – When making the hull, try to eliminate any straight line or sharp corner that looks “bad”. To smooth out the hull and make it look more natural, follow the contour of the hull and make circular layers to give the rounded perception.
- Buoyancy - Testing for buoyancy is very important at this point. You can use any editing program such as World Edit or McEdit and place water around the ship, to a certain height, to determine if looks good or bad , or if needed to lower or raise.
- Details – Adding details to your creations will give it depth, a fine finish, and will make it stand out from other builds. Different types of woods and planks, wool colors, and even the use of fences and torches can make a big difference, and can increase the visual appeal of the ship. Experiment with colors and contrasts.
- Masts length - The most common problems I see with masts are the sizes and proportions of their length. Do not make masts too low in proportion to the hull size. It wouldn’t be able to hold enough sails to move the ship.
Also, do not make the fore or mizzen mast taller than the main mast. The fore and mizzen mast usually have smaller sails and “turning” sails (spanker, mizzen, jib). So it wouldn’t help making it larger than the main mast, which features bigger sails.
- Number of masts – When making a big and long ship, do not put 1 or 2 masts on it. It will look disproportionate and you’d be lucky if you can get enough sails to make it move. Longer ships requires more masts.
- Masts height – When I make regular sailing ships, I usually start by making the main mast about the same length as the hull itself. Although this is not exactly true for all ships, in common ships such as Galleons, Ships of the Line, Frigates, etc, this observation can be used to make a proportionate looking mast. The rest of the masts will go lower than the main mast, with the Mizzen mast being the lowest.
- Spars – Make sure you space out your spars in a proportionate way. Their space and size reduces as they get taller and taller on the mast.
- Bowsprit – Usually sailing ships include a bowsprit to rig the fore staysails and jibs, so it is a good idea to make a ship with a bowsprit.
- Crow’s Nest – adding a crow’s nest or two on the masts can make it look a lot better and realistic. You can add one on each mast. More realistic ships tend to have one above every spar. I’d recommend that if the ship is too small, don’t and a crow’s nest. The reason is that since you are dealing with Minecraft blocks, the sizes of these can be too big in comparison to the size of the ship.
- Rigging – Rigging is the whole mess of cables and chords you see on a ship. They are used to hold the masts and sails in place. You can make these with any type of block that you want. I use fences, glass, and sometimes iron fences to simulate rigging. Again, this increases realism.
- Flat sails – Flat sails on a ship makes it look dull. Sails are usually full of wind, and very rarely the case, no wind would be blowing at all. So why make flat looking sails? After all they look boring and pretty bad.
- Pointy sails – Sometimes when people try to “curve” the sails, they end up doing a triangular shape, instead of a curve. Just like it happens with the “Diagonal hulls”, this may not be intentional. But again, this doesn’t look natural, nor does it resemble the movement of such sails. This can be modified by having a basic understanding of curves in Minecraft.
- Equality – By this I mean same size sails. Do not make the same sized and shaped sails all over the mast. Usually sails decrease in size as they are placed higher in the masts.
- Full of wind – Most of the time you will want your ship to look as if it was actually sailing, therefore the sails have to look like they are being used. In other words, you want your sails to look like they are full of wind. Make them puff out as if the wind was hitting them. Since the sail is a flat surface, when the wind hits them, a bulge will be formed, depending on the wind direction.
- Angled sails – It is a rare thing to see the wind blowing directly from behind the ship. Most of the time, a ship has its sails angled. Even when the wind is blowing directly from behind, it is preferred to turn a few degrees catch the wind at an angle. Why this? If you have the wind coming directly from you, only one set of sails is doing the work, and it’s a lot slower than having the whole sail set catching the wind. So basically it is better and more realistic to have angled sails than straight ones
- Stay sails –Stay sails in a ship helps for stability and also to turn the ship. These are pieces of clothing attached by one or two ends. They are often triangular, and found at the bow and between square sails. Adding this to a ship can increase the visual appealing and realism.
- Driver sail – Some sailing ships with several masts include a driver sail. This could be a Mizzensail, Spinnaker sail, Lateen sail, or the most common, a Spanker sail. These types of sails are usually located on the Mizzen mast. These are also used for stability and turning the ship. Bigger ships are also known to carry more than one of these driver sails. When making a big ship, one of these can be included.
|Tags:||Minecraft, Ship, Tutorial, Boat, Sillouete, Pirates, Caribbean, Ocean, Sailing|
Join us to post comments.