Last week, I completed the build of JMBricklayer Flying Dutchman 40101 and realized it’s more than a Lego-compatible model. As I held it in my hands, the weight and detail of the miniature vessel filled me with awe. It was as if the ship held within it the weight of centuries of myth or legend, and I can feel all swirling around the curse and fate of the vessel and its crew.
Is the Flying Dutchman a real ship? Yes, the captain is a Dutchman named Hendrick Vanderdecken. His crew faced a fierce storm when on the way to Amsterdam via the Cape of Good Hope. He vowed to reach the land, even if it meant sailing until the doom’s day, which incurred the curse of the Flying Dutchman. Thus, the Dutchman is doomed to sail forever without ever reaching his destination.
From the 19th and 20th centuries, many sailors claimed to have witnessed a ship in the center of the storm eye. There is a shipwreck with an ominous glow, tattered sails blowing in the wind, and a crew of the deceased on deck. It was believed that anyone who approached the ship would be dragged down into the depths, becoming part of the ghostly crew for all eternity.
Explanations as an Optical Illusion
The ghostly ship’s presence was soon explained as an optical illusion caused by a phenomenon called mirage. But what exactly is a mirage–certain weather conditions can create a perfect reflection of objects in the sky, producing an illusion that the ship and its crew are sailing through the air. Thus, we have reasons to believe the ghost ship appears only resulted from a natural cheat.
I looked up the references and found a relevant story that was told in Round-about Rambles in Lands of Fact and Fancy. When a crew sailed a cruise on the sea, and viewed there was a ship floating on the water below the image. The captain told a sailor to climb up the crow’s nest, and there was indeed a ship on the water that similarly looked like the one in the air. The most fun is that another ship was seen in the air soon, but this one was a steamship and appeared bottom-upwards, consistent with what mirages usually appeared. After scratching their heads and debating what the heck they were watching, the sailors finally came to the agreement that the ghost ship was nothing but a mirage.
Let’s see how the model 40101 is crafted with nice touches. The ship is primarily a dark brown color on the hull, decorated with orange-yellow and gray-green accents, which makes it a class apart from other ship models. The unique color scheme gets the entire ship appear much more magnificent and mysterious, greatly increasing its aesthetic appeal all the way. In addition, there are also some attachments on the sides and stern, such as seaweed, fire lamps and an octopus, adding a scent of authenticity to the appearance.
Tall and Sturdy Sails
The sails are made of polyester fiber and look tall and sturdy. The hollow design in the middle surely adds to the mysterious feel. In the real ship, you can see a combination of large square sails and triangular sails, this design is applied to increase the speed and stability. In history, the Dutchman often sails across the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Mediterranean, where strong winds, waves and storms happen as common things, so the sails must be sturdy enough to survive the terrible weather.
The bow of the Dutchman model is designed in an arched shape. With gray-green decorations on both sides resembling sharp teeth, the whole bow literally gives the impression of a beast’s mouth driving on the sea. In addition, the cutting-style bowsprit is sharp and erect, allowing it to better fit to harsh sea conditions and cross waves, and it also reduces water resistance and increases the speed of the ship.
Discover the Octopus at the Stern
Rather than like a traditional rudder, the stern has a flat tail design. This applied to most Dutman ships in 19 century, because it helped to improve the control of the ship, while reducing water resistance.
At the stern, try to look for a hidden surprise. You can see a large octopus hanging on the third floor. Does it evoke pictures of the infamous Captain Jones from the Caribbean pirate movies? He is portrayed as having a face that is half human and half octopus, with tentacles for a beard and the ability to control sea creatures. Another legend said that when the crew of the Flying Dutchman encountered any difficulties at sea, Davy Jones would send his oceanic servants to help them out.
The Best Flying Dutchman Model to Replicate the Legend
Are you still stunned by the myths and ready to own a piece of maritime legend? JMBricklayer Flying Dutchman 40101 consists of 3,653 building bricks and is no easy task. However, it’s not just a toy model, but also conveys a sense of design and legend. With its unique color scheme, sturdy sails, and sharp bowsprit, this ship set will surely give you a deeper appreciation of maritime history and its impact on society then. If you already have other types of block-building kits from JMBricklayer, it is another ancient ship you can add to your collection. Don’t miss the chance to own this amazing display set for your home or office.
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