LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle – Skull’s Eye Schooner edition

The new LEGO Ideas set, 21313 Ship in a Bottle, offers a great way to display ship builds. Long time LEGO Pirates fan Daniel Konstanski switches out the Leviathan for a classic design

LEGO Ideas 21313 Ship in a Bottle is an inspiring set, not least thanks to the many impressive build techniques it utilises. Taking the set as a jumping off point, the Brick Fanatics team discussed how much fun it would be to build alternative ships to sit inside the bottle. One classic LEGO theme seemed like the perfect place to find ideas for attractive vessels that would look right at home inside the bottle.

Life has been rough for fans of LEGO Pirates in the last few years. Last year, the LEGO Group released a glorious set in the form of Pirates of the Caribbean’s 71042 Silent Mary, but since then pickings have been as dry as a desert island. 21313 Ship in a Bottle presents an opportunity for us Pirates enthusiasts to get a touch of maritime satisfaction, especially as the proverbial ship can be swapped out for any number of miniature vessels. Any ship can be built to go inside of course, it does not have to be Pirates based – but I wanted a favourite set from my youth; 6286 Skull’s Eye Schooner. For this build, I set minaturising the classic ship in order to memorialise her in 21313’s bottle.

Mini SES-12

Anyone lucky enough to own the Skull’s Eye Schooner will be familiar with the set’s fabulous colour scheme. While later vessels such as 6250 Armada Flagship were a chaos of colours, 6286 balanced multiple hues perfectly to create a very pleasing aesthetic. Black, red and white dominate with a pop of red and green. Capturing the colour proportions at this scale proved challenging, requiring multiple re-builds and trying different techniques before arriving at a result that satisfied me. Due to the bottle’s size, this flagship had to have the number of sails reduced from two per mast to one. Many of the details from the original set were maintained, from the green cannon port covers to the yellow window in the back.

Placing the ship into the bottle was a tricky affair, as I did not want to spill all of the 1×1 rounds that sit along the bottom. To that end, I removed the top two curved sections, and  slipped the mini Skull’s Eye Schooner inside. Due to the way that I constructed the bottom of the ship, the dark tan modified tiles that secure the Leviathan to the bottle had to removed and 1×1 rounds placed in a single line instead. The Skull’s Eye can then sit inside the bottle with not even one tile’s height to spare.

For those interested in trying to replicate this build, the following are some breakdown shots of how it was constructed. The key is to figure out a way to slightly angle the front and rear hull plates around a vertical brick that makes up the bow and stern. For my miniature Skull’s Eye, I used bar components and modified bricks/brackets. This gave just the right angle in the space available. I constructed a mirrored base, with pegs on either end and then built the hull around this. The mast height must be limited in order for the model to fit inside the bottle, as its height is quite limiting.

21313 Ship in a Bottle is begging for more ships to be developed and placed within its clear container. The process of building this ship, with the restrictions that the bottle provides, was both challenging and rewarding. In the future I would also love to create a custom sticker so that the placard could be changed, perhaps with the old LEGO Pirates logo or the skull and crossbones from the late 1980s.

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

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

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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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