Firun_Brand combines sci-fi AND pirates!

Disney has changed how we think of Pirates, hasn’t it? If someone says the word “pirates” now, you’ll probably think of Captain Jack and that dude with the squid beard, rather than old-fashioned pirates with scurvy, parrots and missing body parts. These days, fictional pirates are just too good looking, not nearly sea-salty enough, and spend far too much time on land.

A more modern version of piratical life has been created by master builder Taisen Schettler, also known as Firun_Brand, as an audition for the Aria Creations Build Team. Although it’s still set on a Caribbean island - that is where a lot of the world’s pirating went on, after all - Taisen’s imagined pirate paradise is much more colourful and science-fiction inspired than Disney’s take.

In Taisen’s Pirate Bay, spacecraft in a variety of sizes shuttle around the island, and in the centre of the city is a large domed roof that presumably houses some kind of terribly rich pirate king. Everything is bright and vivid - none of that black-and-white skull-and-crossbones pirate nonsense. These are modern-day pirates, and they want colour!

But the colourful appearance of the pirate island is not all that it might seem at first glance. “The project was my attempt to create a vision of how pirates can look in the future,” says Taisen. “But not a glorious future, as we know it from bright and clean sci-fi, but a dirty future, in which the planet continues to be exploited and everything is dirty and brown.”

Look a little closer at the pirate ships and you’ll notice that they look like they’ve been built out of bits of old parts, like a rocket made from whatever you can find at the back of your local supermarket. The palace in the centre is beautiful, but it shows the “former wealth of the city,” not its current state.

The houses that take up most of the city are built together and on top of one another, jostling for space on this tiny speck of land. The jungle on either side is thick and tropical, making for great places to hide pirate loot. “The most challenging part of the project was to make it look alive,” says Taisen. “It took me quite some time, and a lot of different small details to achieve it.” Taisen took two weeks to finish the build, spending about four to eight hours a day adding details and character to what he calls the “sci-fi/slum look”.

“My favourite detail is the small spaceships in the front that are flying directly over the water,” he says. These tiny crafts are leaving trails of white water in their wakes, like the dust clouds left behind by landspeeders in Star Wars, making it look like they’re going really fast in their never-ending quest to steal other people’s treasures. Bigger crafts float above the city, with room enough on their large hulls to write their model numbers!

“The Pirate Bay project is my favourite one that I’ve built,” says Taisen. “The goal was to create my biggest project so far, by myself, and to get accepted into the Aria Creations Build Team.” Luckily, his application worked - he was welcomed into the team in early September! They’ve even been featured on this here website before… Congratulations, Firun_Brand!

Renders by LNeoXDesigns, Splekh, Ploetz and TurnipN0se. The original article didn't credit these render artists. We apologise for this mistake.

Written by
Kate Gray