Posts Tagged ‘wool’


Sailing the sky high seas

If you watched the Lighthouse video tour from my last Minecraft build on the new multi-player freebuild survival server (HavenTerrace –, you might remember that I already had an idea of what my next build in Cloud Cuckoo Land 2 was going to be. If you didn’t watch it… WTF DUDE! I THOUGHT YOU WERE COOL?! I WATCHED ALL THAT WEIRD SHIT YOU’VE BEEN UPLOADING! JEEZ, SOME PEOPLE! Ahem, sorry… where was I?

Yeah, yeah, the build. As you can probably guess from the thumbnails below (click on them for larger images), the new construction is a Galleon! I’ve tried my hand at sea-going craft before with my much, much, much  smaller vessel, the Clipper ship (and does the Fish count?) but I’ve always wanted to give a larger, less fairground-ride-escapee looking ship a go.

Minecraft Galleon 1This isn’t the first time I’d made plans to build something like this. On the old dead server, I had actually started building a dock, much like the one you can see running alongside the ship in this screenshot. To be honest, I’m rather glad nothing came of that. I don’t build in the quite same way now as I did in the past and something of this scale would have had me climbing the walls without the necessary preparation.

Instead, it just felt like putting together the world’s biggest jigsaw made of planks and wool. Speaking of planks, tallying everything up I figured out that the whole thing needed over 13,000 planks in total. I thank Notch that the server has a shop setup as I’m sure I would have had to spend a couple of weeks deforesting half the server just for the wood alone. Let’s not mention the poor sheepies going cold without their sail-worthy wool.

Minecraft Galleon 2So I might have gone a little over the top on the detail here and there. I admit – if I never have to place another upside-down staircase again in my life, I’d be fine with that. If you didn’t notice before, you probably have now – the Galleon isn’t sat in the ocean like it’s typical water-based brethren. As with all Cloud Cuckoo Land 2 structures, this one is far, far above the land/sea, floating in the clouds. It certainly made building the hull a lot easier, now that I think about it, not worrying about drowning every couple of minutes and only being able to see a few feet in front of my face.

Minecraft Galleon 3The obligatory (I just like them, all right?!) balcony at the back of the ship leads to the Captain’s private quarters and just above that is his dining room where all the posh guests get to eat. Gold plates, plush carpet and fancy marble (uh… quartz) pillars, yeah, this is the life.

Don’t be too impressed by the meal of cake that is being served – for some reason all the crew eat cake on this ship but I guess the one placed before the Captain might have slightly fewer weevils in it than the rest of them (or more, I don’t know what he’s into).

Minecraft Galleon 4Speaking of cooking – the ship’s Cook has a lovely large galley in which to prepare that endless supply of infested baked goods. A huge oven takes centre stage, with a boiling cauldron over the rather poor choice of flowing lava as a heat source. If the ship ever burns to ashes, look no further.

Cupboards and two supply rooms make use of those new carpets added in the recent Minecraft update, stacked on top of each other to pass as shelves. The shelves are bare, however. I guess that’s why they’ve come to dock at CCL2 – to restock. Three tons of flour, two tons of sugar, fifty barrels of milk, twenty crates of eggs and a barrel of weevils (add to taste).

Minecraft Galleon 5Now the crew can either take their meals in the crew mess hall or on the bottom deck in their communal bunk areas. It’s a bit cramped down here and the stench could kill a weevil but it’s a little square of ship they get to call their own.

The plates aren’t quite as valuable as at the Captain’s table but he has provided them with bookcases in the hopes that they better themselves (between re-reading the ship’s only copy of 50 Shades of Grey or something, I guess). Pamphlets on how a life-jacket won’t help if you fall overboard or explaining why if all we eat is cake, what are all those blood stains in the galley about? That sort of thing.

Minecraft Galleon 6The old Clipper ship had one and my new base has one so here is the Galleon’s hold where they keep all their valuables. Unfortunately, it’s looking a little empty at the moment but I’m sure once they’re back out exploring the great unknown, this area will soon fill up with blocks of gold, diamond and maybe even the odd block of emeralds.

I guess they must have divvied up all the loot as the ship is completely devoid of people. No doubt the crew are all off either drinking away their share or burying it on some desert island somewhere with a ridiculously obvious ‘X’ marking the spot. Before long, their pockets will be empty again and they’ll all come crawling back.

Minecraft Galleon 7The last shot is of the front of the ship where there’s more storage and some more cramped crew quarters. Those little things you can see poking out from the side of the ship are the cannons. There’s forty in all and due to a little shipment order typo, they’re full of arrows rather than cannon balls. Still quite lethal but more in a pointy way than a crushy way.

The Galleon is something I’ve wanted to build since making the smaller Clipper. It’s still not very authentic or accurate in terms of real ships but it looks more the part. Planning took ages and I had to make sure that it didn’t encroach on anyone else’s ground level build… and then a world-resizing and CCL2 relocation made all that irrelevant.

I plan to make a video tour of this build quite soon so if you’re interested in seeing a little bit more of this ship, keep an eye out for that.


Light expansion

In the last Minecraft video I posted, I gave you a guided tour of my new base on HavenTerrace ( and ended it with an unveiling of my new long-term project, Cloud Cuckoo Land 2. High above the surface, floating on woollen clouds, it’ll be a home to all kinds of new builds.

This post is to quickly showcase my first expansion on CCL2 – The Lighthouse!

There used to be a lighthouse on the previous Cloud Cuckoo Land but with the new server, I’ve refined the design a touch and I think it looks just a bit more authentic/natural than the old one.

I’d love to have the light flash on and off or even rotate but that kind of stuff is beyond poor old me. The usual methods either include a mass of redstone and pistons, or a lovely little quick & dirty method involving a perpetual motion minecart that unfortunately won’t work with my particular layout of lamps. It’s a shame but I’ll keep looking for a method that could possibly be applied.

As the video mentions, I’m already in the middle of planning the next stage of Cloud Cuckoo Land 2. I like to tinker and try out my builds first in creative single player mode before assembling them on the multi-player server. It allows me to fiddle with materials and quickly tweak layouts without having to wrangle all the bits and pieces together. The new build is going to be big so it’ll need a regular ol’ mountain of resources.

I’ll post an update when it’s complete. Hope you’ll check it out.


Cloud Cuckoo Land 2

Back on the old Minecraft server, one of the last things I was tinkering with was the original Cloud Cuckoo Land. It was an ongoing project where I just basically built whatever I fancied …in the sky! I even made a YouTube video for it, encouraging people to suggest structures I could add to it.

The whole thing was situated far from the beaten track on an island I dubbed Piggy Island (because I found a couple of pigs on it, which I then used to infest the whole place. Then I built a large wool pig who I proclaimed King of the island). In the video, after a set of towers leading up into the sky, the player found themselves on a platform containing a lighthouse, a little cottage and two unfinished structures. The first little pocket of land, was the area I was asking for suggestions for and eventually built an oversized goldfish bowl, complete with goldfish – made of gold blocks, naturally. There was going to be a little more to that build. I had planned to add a tree overhanging the bowl where the branches would hold a tree house and fishing platform. The other partial build glimpsed in the video was my Hotel Skoardy, which I did eventually complete (as seen in this video).

There would have been more but then ‘the troubles’ happened and now I live on HavenTerrace ( The video I’ve embedded here today is a tour of all the builds I’ve mentioned in my most recent posts as well as the grand reveal of my new, improved Cloud Cuckoo Land 2!

As before, I’ve no particular plan with CCL2, just a sense of some of the things I want to try my hand at. If you got some suggestions as to what I should add up there, feel free to leave them as comments on the CCL2 YouTube page. Of course, as CCL2 grows, I’ll report here on the new structures and hopefully continue adding videos of them to my YouTube channel. If you’re feeling charitable, you could always throw me a bone and subscribe to it. 😉

Oh, and before I forget, this video breaks a couple of personal milestones for me. Apart from being my first video over the normal 15 minute limit YouTube gives new contributors, it’s also my first video in ‘HD’. Sure, it’s only 1 minute over the limit and only 720p but baby steps in improving the overall quality, eh?

If only I could get rid of that idiot who talks over the top of all my videos, I’d be set!


Get a head!

So we’ve claimed a little corner of the world on the new multi-player Minecraft survival server and built our base. The next step was to create a large farming structure so that we’d be sorted for most of the various crops that Minecraft has to offer. So what is next? Well, a giant novelty head with a walkway extending from the back of the skull that goes nowhere and spans a purposefully created inlet. Duh! Obviously!

While I’ve already got a partly built tower heading towards the top of the hill behind the base, I wanted something coming from the other direction. I also wanted to connect the little pond at the side of the base back to the ocean. So, to make room, I decimated a huge chunk of jungle in front of the base and completely flattened the hill it was sat on. Hey, you gotta break a few eggs…

Click the thumbnails for larger images.

Minecraft HeadA regular old dreary tower wasn’t going to cut it so instead, I built a head from wool (1200+ pieces). Not all wool, mind. As you can see, there’s a bunch of glass panes and his teeth are made from the finest Quartz. Also, while he might not have the most hair in the world, what he does have is made from a lush selection of trees leaves. Well, it was the only material that really gives that ‘fuzzy’ look so he’s sporting a mad, green hairdo. The red wool is for the tongue and if you want to ascend this tower, you’re going to need to climb down the back of his throat.

Minecraft HeadYeah, that’s a huge tongue but just look at the gob on him! In this shot you can make out the man-made inlet on the left of the picture. There used to be a slender strip of grass that separated the pond from the sea and it looked a bit pitiful really. I just had to re-unite these two bodies of water. Unfortunately, where I wanted to place the head wasn’t just smothered in your usual jungle underbrush, dotted with the occasional vast, towering tree – it all hid a large hill that needed levelling. Several worn out shovels and the odd pickaxe later and man had conquered the wilderness yet again. Suck it, wilderness!

Minecraft Head 3After you’ve located the doors at the base of the throat, you gain access to the interior and the incredibly long ladder leading to the top of the skull. Not exactly a lot of room inside for a fancy staircase so this build leans a little heavily on the functional. I did consider putting a few floors inside the head and making it liveable but I didn’t really see myself spending a lot of time in here, what with my main base a stone’s throw away.

I’ve toyed with the idea of transforming this into another of the schematics (like my Clipper Ship, Airship, ‘Pixel “Art” Sucks’, Hot-Air Balloon, Fish, Skull and Tap builds) I upload to, in which case I probably would make more of a meal of the interior, adding all the regular mod cons like crafting tables, furnaces, bed, etc. but that’s a project for some time in the future.

Minecraft HeadThat hatch you can see leads to a walkway that extends out from the back of the skull, just above the rapidly receding fuzzy green hairline. The style matches the parapets of the base (not that the huge, comical, disembodied head does, that is) and leads to the top of the hill above the main base.

Of course, I had to turn the walkway into a water feature. I don’t know why but I do quite like adding water. I’ve built on it, in it, under it and even created structures that specifically use it (such as my Tap and House with man-made waterfall). It’s almost certainly something that’ll be featuring in future builds from time to time too.

Minecraft HeadYou can just see the unfinished tower on the left of this shot, coming up to meet the same area as the walkway. I’ve already cleared the top of the hill (and most of the side you can see to the left) at the time of writing and constructed something in the gap it left. I wasn’t planning anything when I built this tower but once I’d finished, inspiration struck and I wedged something on the side of the hill.

Like I said earlier, the big head tower doesn’t really fit with the rest of the builds I’ve created so far but I’m happier when I’m making things a little more freeform. No idea what comes next but I think it’s going to be on top of this hill… or maybe above!


Don’t try to faucet!

Ever looked at your current Minecraft home and thought – “That mud hut just isn’t tap-shaped enough and dammit, there’s simply not enough water pouring from the frankly non-existent spout it clearly would look better having!”. Oh man, then I have the solution for you (and your weirdly specific issues)!

Minecraft New TapIf you’ve perused this site in the past, you might have stumbled across a couple of posts related to a giant tap structure I created in Minecraft. Well, that build was one of the casualties of the recent move but since I was rather fond of it, I recreated it in my single player creative world (the place I do all my testing). This meant I was able to export the Tap as a schematic and upload it to available for others to download. Do you see where I’m going with this? Huh? Eh?! Oh, just click on the thumbnail for a closer look!

Okay, so see this post describing a giant tap and this other post containing a quick video clip showing a wander around said giant tap? Well, now you can download a schematic of a very similar object and dump it in your Minecraft map. Neat huh? I say similar because I made a couple of slight adjustments to the model. As you can see in the screenshot above, in the new version, I replaced the white wool of the handle with the shiny new Quartz blocks material and (as you can’t see in the screenshot above – just use your imagination!) in the living area, I added one of those new anvils.

If you’re interested in grabbing this building, you can hop over to and download it from its webpage right here.


The Schematiclysm!

Okay. Just like I mentioned in the post for the video walk-through and the post with the larger screenshots, I’ve organised and uploaded schematics of my Hot-Air Balloon, Fish and Skull to threads.

The Hot-Air Balloon schematic thread can be found here.

The Fish schematic thread can be found here.

The Skull schematic thread can be found here.



Just sayin’

Minecraft Pixel Art SucksSorry, but no, copying a retro bitmap into Minecraft isn’t worthy of anyone’s praise. Sure, Reddit might fall for it every time and upvote you to hell and back but we both know that you put as much thought into it as you do picking your socks in the morning and both probably only took you five minutes. Pixel art shows all the imagination of a rock.

You might have gotten away with tracing when you were a toddler but maybe you should aim higher and do something just a little bit more impressive? Pixel art in Minecraft just plain sucks.

Update: In case you need to convey to your server’s guests exactly what you think of pixel art, the model in the image in available as a schematic, downloadable from this thread.


Link to the Past

As warned about on my earlier post, here is a quick walk-through of my constructions on the old SMP Minecraft server I used to frequent. As well as the builds in the screenshots (Fish, Skull, Hot-Air Balloon), there’s the four beyond-the-Nether bases I built and also a quick look at the original Clipper Ship (schematic of the new/improved version can be downloaded from this forum post, btw).

I’m considering putting up schematics of the Fish, Skull and Hot-Air Balloon over the weekend. Check back then if you’re interested.

Update: Schematics of the Fish, Hot-Air Balloon and Skull are available to download. Check out this post for more details.


Bigger is BETTER!

A while back, the old multi-player Minecraft server I used to play on closed its doors and was taken off-line. Graciously, the owner packed up all the files and sent me a copy of the world map so that I could still access the builds on there I’d created.

After bunging my recent piccies on Imgur, I’d meant to revisit those old builds and create some larger, clearer screenshots. Well, here they are! Click on the thumbnails for the bigger versions.

Minecraft FishThe first new screenshot comes from the bug-eyed Fish I plopped down in the river running along my ‘island’ (first mentioned in this post).

On the left of this shot, you can just about make out the entrance to a cave where the secret switch (okay, it was right in the middle of the floor) activated a hidden piston-powered sliding door in the wall, leading to an underground tunnel that circled back under the river and led into the fish interior. It was either that or stick a door in his forehead or something. Tunnel up the butt seemed like the best choice at the time. Erm…

Minecraft Fish InteriorAs you can see from the shot on the right, the interior of the Fish is surprisingly spacious. I didn’t really need it for anything so everything I put in there was for during its construction. The bed to skip the nights (pesky zombies kept swimming up to say ‘Hi!’), chest for temporary storage plus the usual crafting table and furnaces.

Once it was built, I thought it looked very sparse so I stuck in a second floor to break the space up and added the chairs/carpets to make it look a little more homey.

Minecraft SkullThe second thing I constructed on the this server (apart from the bridge and dock) was a special build for Halloween. On the far side of the bridge, in the water facing the town, I placed a large Skull on a spike (original post here).

Along the back of the spike, from the waterline, there’s a ladder which runs up through the inside of the skull providing access, all the way up to the ‘roof’. Now that Minecraft has a greatly increased max-height build ceiling, it would probably be cool to extend the stem of the spike (make it a pike, as it were), and have the skull top it off, looking out across the landscape.

Minecraft Hot-Air BalloonThe third build in this post was my first attempt at making a sky situated build – the Hot-Air Balloon (original post here).

It needed an absolute f-ton of differently coloured wools to construct but was a lot of fun. The thing I like about this one is the over-sized anchor and ‘rope’ used as an excuse to provide access to the basket and balloon itself. It looks like it belongs and then you notice the ladders.

I’m thinking of creating a walk-through video of my builds on this server, showing each of these constructions (and maybe a couple of the far bases). If there’s any interest, I could probably also create some schematics of the Fish, Skull and Hot-Air Balloon and make them available for download. Drop me a note through my YouTube channel, twitter or email (the address is over on the right), if you’re interested in seeing that happen.

Update: Schematics of the Fish, Hot-Air Balloon and Skull are available to download. Check out this post for more details.



Right, that’s all the Hugh Laurie web-searches sorted (and bingo fans). But rather than a post about the cancelled medical drama (or two fat ladies, for that matter), this post is all about Minecraft, of course.

Usually, I try to make my builds a little more interesting than typical multi-player server builds. While everyone else is busy constructing houses, mansions, castles and (ugh!) ‘pixel-art’, I’ve tried my hand at large fish, ships and taps, balloons, airships and skulls. But just like wondering whether the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about – if building plain old houses was somehow fulfilling in ways I couldn’t see. So I gave it a bash.

This is the home away from home I eventually created. Its construction was a little more freeform than usual, and my only real plan was to build a structure over water, next to a cliff face so that I could add a waterfall alongside it.

Did it change my mind on houses? Am I now a house building fanatic? Uh… not so much. It’s easier building something that is essentially four walls, a floor and a ceiling but then you have to fill the interior and rather than the functional storage/crafting vibe my other builds share, I feel you’re expected to make the interior of a house look a bit, well, like a house interior. It’s not easy with Minecraft and so all your furniture tends to be built from steps and wool blocks. There’s a degree of ‘use your imagination’ in Minecraft right off the bat (see that huge stack of cubes? That’s a mountain!) but furniture asks the viewer to crank their imagination up to 11.

I will be building more traditional structures in the future (and I am currently) but I still prefer the rather loopy flights of fancy I’ve grown accustomed to.