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.