A sailing steamship with working
Lego pneumatic side-paddle-wheel walking-beam steam engines.
About this creation
This vessel is a side-paddle-wheel sailing steamship.
The model is almost 4 1/2 feet long (1.36 meters)
and it uses 13 hull center sections.
RTS Zavala was
Nominated for Best Sea Craft
at Brickworld 2009!
What are they saying about the Zavala?
"Wonderful job Kurt! ... That you did the technic work for the engines and rudder even with the investment of time and brick for the model itself only further impresses." says John P. Henderson on Lugnet
"Man that is awesome, i don't think I have ever seen anything like it before. I like all the work you put into it by researching ect." says CPT. Jr on Eurobricks
"HOLY CRAP!!! Someone put this on the frontpage pronto! ... expect to see this on the frontpage as this is AWESOME!!! The shape from bricks is brilliant as are the lines. Best ship I've seen!" says Captain Zuloo on Eurobricks
"Oh I'm enjoying!! That's fantastic!! The detail is amazing!" says David Koudys
"Awesome work, Kurt." says Richie Dulin on Lugnet
"That MOC is an amazingly cool! So many details to see, I think the construction
is very interesting. From the stem to stern. From the way you rigged the lines
above the prow, to the very nice looking sails, to the way you expanded the
hull, to the way you managed that steering, seeing those paddle wheel mechanics!
Great work!" says Eric Sophie on Lugnet
"Amazing work, looks very accurate!" says Captain green hair on Eurobricks
"Kurt, this is one of the best ships I've seen in some time. This morning I looked for about 10 minutes at all the beautiful pictures in your BS gallery. It's got a perfect line!" says Bonaparte on Eurobricks
Although called a schooner, the Zavala is more properly "hermaphrodite brigantine". Some drawings of the Zavala show 3 masts, but the best research (the INA article), however, confirms that she had only two masts. My model of the Zavala has working Lego pneumatic side-paddle-wheel walking-beam steam engines (with adjustable valve gear timing); it also has a working ship's wheel with steering gear reduction to the rudder. Things I like about this model: the curved inverted sloped stern, the full length gun deck mounting 24 cannons, the ship's bell, the boats, the way the schooner's gaff sail booms attach to the masts, the steer down the length of the hull, the curve around the bow and along the sides, and the paddle wheel shells.
As you can see, the RTS Zavala has her guns run out and is firing up her boilers (two pneumatic air-tanks)
- no doubt she has spotted her prey.
INA drawing and Texas Navy painting
More information below these photos,
including links to the videos!
view from the bow
views of the engines
picture of a model of a side-paddle-wheel walking-beam steam engine
from your comments in the age of sail chats i get the impression you know a lot about sails,for a steam sail ship do you know what kind of sails it needs?
and maybe you could check out mine once its finished?
This is an awesome ship!
i am currently building a side wheel paddle steamer,and this is the only Lego model of one i could find,do you have any tips for me?
and also this ship is magnificent the detail and technical abilities are marvellous,and the sails are done nicely too.but what pieces did you use for your mast?
Quoting EB Perfectionist
A wonderful example how well the combination of technic and system can work out without much sacrifices on either side!
I am glad you like it.
Quoting EB Perfectionist Even though the use of prefabs seems at least odd on that scale, it does have a certain charm to it.
The RTS Zavala is approximately minifig scale, it’s 1.2 feet per stud.
The scale was set by the width of the hull center pieces with two rows of inverted slopes on each side. That set the beam width width, and on the original Zavala that beam width was 24 feet.
Working off of the drawing from the INA article: see image above.
I then could know the length and width of the model in studs, I could then figure out how many hull center sections. When you have an accurate drawing and you follow it, to scale, fairly closely (with a few calculated changes), I do think you get a better looking model.
The early fast packet steamships wanted to go as fast as possible, to achieve this they made their in-the-water hull very long and narrow. Why? because the speed of a hull through the water is proportional to a constant (called a Froude number) times the squareroot of the length of the hull at the "moving" (not resting) waterline divided-by the width of the hull (ie. drag).
The Zavala was built in 1836 as a "fast" (for her time) packet steamship named the Charleston she had a hull waterline width (beam) of 24 feet and a waterline length of ~190 feet, ie. very long and narrow. However from port outside paddle-wheel shell to outside starboard paddle-wheel shell (measured from the scaled drawing) was ~50 feet.
A wonderful example how well the combination of technic and system can work out without much sacrifices on either side! Even though the use of prefabs seems at least odd on that scale, it does have a certain charm to it.
Quoting Lego Warlord 8
this looks amazing. you obviously put a ton of effort into the making of this. great job, the whole thing looks absolutely sick.
I am glad you like it!
Quoting Lego Warlord 8 the paddle wheels could have been made a tad more realistic by making them separate from the ship. and not made out of standard lego bricks. maby use of hoses simulating spokes would have worked. and again, GREAT job. keep it up! ~LW 8~
More "realistic" is OK, but "not out of LEGO" is not. I don't need to simulate spokes, the paddle wheels have spokes! There are few old early photos of the paddle-wheels here:
Those wheels were too large in diameter, and I had shrink them, 8 studs as I recall. You do understand that the real ship Zavala had paddle-wheel shells, and that my models' paddle wheels turn when you run the engines?
Quoting Ape Fight
astonishing! You don't see many Technic ships, and the complexity of this one explains it! Awesome detail in every part, could be nothing other than a (very rare) 10/10
P.S In theory, if it floated, could it sail?
Thanks for the high praise!
"if it floated" (it wouldn't weighs to much, LEGOs are to dense, and it would leak!) and it would need to better sails, like plastic sails that RC sail-boats have.
So if it was a RC sailing ship model of this exact shape, yes then I think you could sail it.
This is astonishing! You don't see many Technic ships, and the complexity of this one explains it! Awesome detail in every part, could be nothing other than a (very rare) 10/10
P.S In theory, if it floated, could it sail?