LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle – building a bigger boat

Some LEGO aficionados were disappointed that the ship inside 21313 Ship in a Bottle did not live up to the name Leviathan. Brick Fanatics takes up the challenge to build a vessel that more fully fills the available space  

The original ship which included in the LEGO Ideas project that led to 21313 Ship in a Bottle was noticeably larger than the one included with the official set. It also includes a variety of uniquely coloured parts that make re-creating it difficult at best. After building a mini Skull’s Eye Schooner to fit inside the bottle, the team at Brick Fanatics decided that the next challenge should be to make an alternative ship that could really fill the bottle’s space, and use readily available pieces.Galleon - Cover-1

Increasing the size of the ship allowed for some additional features to be added, that the officially released ship – the smaller Leviathan – could not incorporate. First and foremost, a micro figure serves as a figurehead that matches the gold accent colouration used throughout. Miniature doors allowing access to the foredeck, a detail that no official LEGO ship has ever included unfortunately, but were standard on many actual period vessels. Wider decks facilitated rigging that harkens back to the LEGO Pirates theme construction and, at least with the later ships, colour. Finally, the rear of the ship contains stained glass windows, a rear deck, and another shoutout to the classic LEGO theme with a flapping Redcoats flag.

Fitting the larger ship into the 21313 Ship in a Bottle casing required one modification – the order of the top middle set of pieces had to be rearranged due to where the tops of the masts fell in comparison with the Leviathan. Due to being three studs wide at the base and five on the deck, no alterations to the bottom of the bottle were required in order to centre the ship. Upon placement its larger size, more thoroughly filling the bottle, was extremely satisfying. Slightly wider masts and sails create a nice visual, especially from the front. In the same vein, the ship’s taller rear and stained glass windows nicely compliment the extended width.

Constructing the ship is not a complicated affair. Instead of complicated hull shaping, like that used in the official model and the mini Skull’s Eye Schooner, this ship uses a pattern of inverted slopes overlaid with plates. Cannons consist of the much more widely available round bricks mounted on modified bricks normally used for headlights and other simple bracketing. Yellow, brown and gold with black accents were the colours of choice, but could easily be substituted for a variety of hues. The only somewhat difficult to find pieces are the micro figure figurehead and Redcoats flag.

21313 Ship in a Bottle is a great opportunity for creativity, allowing fans to build more ships to place within its clear container. The process of building this ship with the parameters of trying to more fully fill the bottle was certainly an engaging challenge.

If you find yourself building your own custom ship for this set, we would love to see it – be sure to share on  FacebookTwitter or by e-mail.

The set used in this feature was provided by the LEGO Group.

LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle  is available now at You can help support Brick Fanatics’ work by using our affiliate links.





When I was 3 years old my dad bought home 6659 TV Camera Crew as a gift — he had no idea what he had just unleashed. Three decades and no dark age later, I am still going strong. My love of LEGO led me to a career in Civil Engineering and I am now raising three budding LEGO lovers with my lovely wife who is, bless her, a huge supporter of my brick addiction. When not writing for Brick Fanatics or fulfilling my duties as the U.S. Editor of Blocks Magazine I enjoy collecting, MOCing, exhibiting, as well as running, climbing and home improvement.

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