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Artist Spends 10 Months Recreating Iconic ‘Flying Dutchman’ Ship From ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’

Pirates of the Caribbean Ship

Model building is not a quick activity. The endeavor often works on a miniature scale; and in doing so, it requires a steady hand and meticulous eye for detail. Illustrating this is Miguel Angel Blanch of Modelismo Naval para Todos (Naval Modeling for Everyone). He built the Flying Dutchman ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie over the course of 10 months and 280 to 300 hours of work. The time spent, however, was well worth it. Blanch has faithfully recreated a much smaller version of the ship but doesn’t skimp on any of the details; it looks just like the Flying Dutchman from the film.

Because the ship is a fictitious one, Blanch had to base his plans on a real ship—the Vasa— and then adapt them to fit the characteristics of the Flying Dutchman. He gathered his materials, including plywood and electronic materials to add light and sound to the ship. The electronic components were placed into the initial structure of the ship, and Blanch then built around it, adding strips to the frame.

One of the most striking parts of the Flying Dutchman is the series of pocket faces that line the side of the ship. To sculpt those, Blanch tried a variety of materials (resin, fimo, and clay) but ended up going with papier mâché. Once those were attached, the artisan applied several layers of thin paint in order to achieve a ghostly blue-green color.

Painting was far from the last step of the shipbuilding process though. He also had to sculpt the transom, which is the vertical section on the rear of the boat. This was the most complicated part of the entire model, as it included a small sculpture of sea serpents in varying shapes and sizes devouring human beings. It, too, was painted and modeled onto the ship to match the rest of Blanch’s creation.

One of the final steps was making tattered sails, which helped bring the imaginary ship to life. Mounted on a base of white-capped waves, it’s an incredible feat of modeling that pays homage to the creativity of the Disney film.

Watch a mesmerizing time-lapse below, and check out Blanch’s detailed tutorial if you’re interested in building this ship for yourself.

Miguel Angel Blanch of Modelismo Naval para Todos (Naval Modeling for Everyone) built the Flying Dutchman ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Pirates of the Caribbean ShipPirates of the Caribbean Ship

It took him 10 months and 280 to 300 hours of work.

Pirates of the Caribbean ShipPirates of the Caribbean Ship

The time spent, however, was well worth it. Blanch has faithfully recreated a much smaller version of the ship that doesn’t skimp on any of the details.

Pirates of the Caribbean ShipPirates of the Caribbean ShipPirates of the Caribbean ShipPirates of the Caribbean Ship

It looks just like the Flying Dutchman from the film.

Pirates of the Caribbean ShipPirates of the Caribbean Ship

Blanch shared a comprehensive DIY on the Modelismo Naval para Todos website that details all the steps he took towards creating this model.

Flying Dutchman Model Ship

After building the structure, he wired it for lighting and sound.

Flying Dutchman Model Ship

He recreated the pocket faces that line the side of the ship.

Flying Dutchman Model ShipFlying Dutchman Model Ship

It took many layers of paint to give the Flying Dutchman the weathered, ghostly look.

Flying Dutchman Model ShipFlying Dutchman Model ShipFlying Dutchman Model ShipFlying Dutchman Model Ship

One of the final steps was sewing the tattered sails.

Flying Dutchman Model Ship

Watch a timelapse version of the building process in the video below:

Modelismo Naval para Todos: Website | Instagram | Facebook 

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Miguel Angel Blanch.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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