The Pirates have taken over the Museum!
At the beginning of 2020 I started on my largest and longest LEGO project to date - a 72 gun galleon called the Bucanneer's Dread. Originally, it was supposed to be a one month build and I was planning on flying with it to Brickworld Chicago that year - then covid hit and plans changed and I ended up getting a lot more time to prepare before I went to Chicago again, which yes, did definitely end up coming in handy!
Fast forward three years, a couple of successful conventions, and tons of hours tying rigging later, and I was planning on tearing the ship down and sorting it back out into its component pieces as I do with all my builds when my sister and some friends of mine suggested selling the model. Geneva was donating a build of her own to Creations for Charity, and it instantly seemed like the perfect fit, a great way to find a home for the model and support an amazing cause at the same time! Less then a week later, the team from Creations for Charity and I were talking logistics with the Museu da Imaginacao in Sao Paulo, Brazil and about all the details of the sale and set-up!
In the end we settled for February, this year, for the delivery, and after packing the ship away in a custom wood-reinforced box in layers and layers of plastic wrap, paper, styrofoam, bubble wrap, and a retaining wall of LEGO bricks I built to keep the decks from getting smashed together, I flew with it down to Chile, South America in December of last year before making the final trip to Brazil a few months later. All in all it was quite the voyage that the old vessel embarked upon before reaching its final destination (well over 13,000 miles)!
I arrived there in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Saturday the 11th and checked into my hotel (my room was on the 18th floor and had a lovely view of the city) a few miles from the museum, and did a little bit of work (opening the baggage and suchlike) on Monday while the museum was closed to visitors. The case was still in its proper form but rattled considerably after all the flights so I was delighted to see that it survived the journey super well, and though I did have to disassemble it some more on arrival to have access to the lower decks and leave everything in place, very few pieces were broken or hard to find out where they were supposed to go!
To be sure, I already had re-assembled it several times by this time which certainly made it less difficult! I came back to the museum on Tuesday and Wednesday, and Thursday morning we finished getting the electric plug-in for the lights and the glass display protection up and everything ready at about 2 pm that day. Tuesday and Wednesday I'd say it was probably about 7-8 hours of work each - the fourteen year old son of one of the museum management workers (his name's Gustavo) came along to help getting the sails up the second day and it was a lot of fun seeing how much he enjoyed LEGO and being there helping out! :D. His dreams are to become a LEGO artist himself one day.
In the end we only had the sails topple over once, haha, when somebody touched it, :P but it wasn't a major mishap and we got everything back in order in about fifteen minutes, ;). Poor Gabrielle Cavalera who was in charge of all things LEGO at the museum and was helping out got to stand holding tangled masts for probably well over two hours the second day as I unraveled and rebuilt them though, haha - I'm very grateful for his assistance! Also very much enjoyed talking and hanging out with Paulo Takahashi the project coordinator (who spoke in fluent English too) and practicing my Portuguese with everyone else! :D.
A few other highlights of the trip were getting a swim on the hotel roof swimming pool in the rain/thunderstorm (it poured almost every evening I was there even though the days were gorgeous!), a "Portuguese" pizza with hard-boiled eggs on top (was better than you'd expect! :D hahaha), and getting to see the ship set up and displayed in its final place as an exhibit of the museum's!
A big thank you and call out to everybody at Creations for Charity and to the team at the Museu da Imaginacao for making this possible! I really had an amazing time and am so blessed to have been able to help support the work the C4C team does with children all over the world!