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Operation Deep Freeze
An approximately 1:400 scale model of the US Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star escorting the freighter M/V American Tern on a re-supply mission to McMurdo Research Station.
About this creation
After I built my USCGC Polar Star, I realized that the scene could have been even better. It should have included a freighter. I also decided to throw in a small island, with a flock of very interested penguins looking on at the passing ships.

Every year up until 2010, as part of Operation Deep Freeze, the freighter M/V American Tern was escorted by an icebreaker to McMurdo Research Station to re-provision the station for the entire year. The two ships would steam slowly through the icy Ross Sea at about 3 knots before finally reaching their destination. Because the port facilities at McMurdo are very crude, the job required a freighter with its own set of cranes (like the American Tern).

One neat bit of trivia: the tern is an ocean bird that migrates from the arctic to the antarctic and back every year, so the American Tern could not have been more appropriately named.
















Comments

  August 7, 2014
I don't need it any time soon, but if you want to help me/give me some ideas, you can do that whenever you have the time.
 I made it 
  August 7, 2014
Quoting Luke V Ok, what piece did you use for the life boats on the Coast Guard ship? I have been looking and looking and I can't find it... I need to make some life boats for my Arleigh Burke Destroyer and I figured you were good with small scale details. :) I also need to make a helicopter. Could you help me out with that?
The life boats are LDD part # 90395 -- the minifig rescue can. I'm a bit pressed for time right now, but I might be able to give you some ideas for the helicopter in a little while.
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  August 7, 2014
Ok, what piece did you use for the life boats on the Coast Guard ship? I have been looking and looking and I can't find it... I need to make some life boats for my Arleigh Burke Destroyer and I figured you were good with small scale details. :) I also need to make a helicopter. Could you help me out with that?
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  July 3, 2014
Quoting Mark McPeek Fantastic work! Love the detailing!
Thanks! I'm glad that the work I put in on the details was worth it.
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  July 3, 2014
Fantastic work! Love the detailing!
 I made it 
  June 30, 2014
Quoting Builder Allan Cool! Very nice details for their size, i like that mini-helicopter. Great little scene you made for the ships too :-)
Thanks! I really enjoy the challenge of trying to pack as much detail as possible into a mini/micro model. I had been thinking about building an icebreaker for a while, but didn't think it would make that great MOC, until a light went on in my head and I came up with the idea of building an entire scene.
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  June 30, 2014
Cool! Very nice details for their size, i like that mini-helicopter. Great little scene you made for the ships too :-)
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting clayton Marchetti Awesome scene! The cargo ship looks incredible in this micro scale. I like the broken edges of the ice and the pieces you can see just below the surface. Looks realistic. Fantastic work!
Thanks! I was lucky that at this scale, a stack of 2 1x2 plates is almost exactly the right size to represent a standard shipping container. I'm glad you caught on to that detail of the submerged pieces of ice -- that's exactly the effect I was trying to create.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Kurt's MOCs Great work! Your micro models are always spectacular but your ice floe is amazing. Well done.
Thanks! I like how the ice floe came out as well -- I feel like it really adds a lot to the ship models to show them at work in a tough environment.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Lego 4 Life The models are highly detailed, well done!
Thanks! I really do enjoy building at this scale -- it's a real challenge to represent your subject as well as possible. Sometimes knowing what to leave out is as important as doing a good job on the details that you choose to leave in.
 I like it 
  June 29, 2014
Awesome scene! The cargo ship looks incredible in this micro scale. I like the broken edges of the ice and the pieces you can see just below the surface. Looks realistic. Fantastic work!
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  June 29, 2014
Great work! Your micro models are always spectacular but your ice floe is amazing. Well done.
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  June 29, 2014
The models are highly detailed, well done!
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  June 29, 2014
Quoting Nick Barrett The freighter does complete the scene very nicely. I find it amazing that the tern travels so far; but then nature is full of incredibleness :-)
Thanks! I feel that the scene is complete now, too. It's true that there are a number of amazing migrations in nature. Do a little research on the monarch butterfly, and I think you'll find them equally impressive, even though they don't go as far. They migrate back to exactly the same place over a span of three generations. I can't imagine how that is accomplished.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Elk Guard Nice addition to the scene!
Thanks! I realized that I really should have included the freighter to begin with. I does improve the scene quite a bit.
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  June 29, 2014
Quoting Dennis B Very cool scene!
Thanks! It is "cool" in more ways than one. :-)
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  June 29, 2014
Quoting Dr. Monster Cool scene. I love the freighter. It's every bit as great as the ice breaker.
Thanks! The freighter was a littler easier to do, because it doesn't have as many details, and I've done similar ships before, but it still looks pretty good in the scene together with the icebreaker.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen The detailing on this Little cargo-ship is absolutely brilliant, Excellent diorama!
Thanks! I borrowed a few of the techniques on he cargo ship from a previous model I had done at an even larger scale, but they seemed have worked pretty well at this scale, too.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Yann (XY EZ) Superb job! I love all the detailing and realism! The breaking ice is fantastic! 5/5 8-)
Thanks! I always try to include as much detail as I can. Unfortunately, the freighter doesn't offer too many opportunities for detailed work, except for the bridge and the funnel. The containers just don't have much detail until you move to a much large scale.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Luke V Close ups are a nice addition! Very nicely built! The side details in the back of the cargo ship is a great use of parts. Great job again!
Thanks! I like how those wall parts worked out on the cargo ship. I maybe should have done something similar on the icebreaker. I also have one more picture of the freighter that is still being rendered that will show the front a little better. Hopefully, I'll have it up tonight.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Tom Simon Works for me. Sometimes you need a breather before that last push.
Yeah, I've run out of gas on quite a few MOCs and then come back to them to finish them off later. I have a few on the shelf right now that I really need to get going on, including another macro figure and another nautical scene.
 I made it 
  June 29, 2014
Quoting Stephan N wow, another great ship. fantastic Job
Thanks!
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  June 29, 2014
The freighter does complete the scene very nicely. I find it amazing that the tern travels so far; but then nature is full of incredibleness :-)
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  June 28, 2014
Nice addition to the scene!
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  June 28, 2014
Very cool scene!
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  June 28, 2014
Cool scene. I love the freighter. It's every bit as great as the ice breaker.
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  June 28, 2014
The detailing on this Little cargo-ship is absolutely brilliant, Excellent diorama!
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  June 28, 2014
Superb job! I love all the detailing and realism! The breaking ice is fantastic! 5/5 8-)
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  June 28, 2014
Close ups are a nice addition! Very nicely built! The side details in the back of the cargo ship is a great use of parts. Great job again!
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  June 27, 2014
Works for me. Sometimes you need a breather before that last push.
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  June 27, 2014
wow, another great ship. fantastic Job
 I made it 
  June 27, 2014
Quoting Joe Ramlet Very nice scene here, Matt! I'm glad to see the island thrown in. :P
Thanks! Yes, the island was something I thought about doing on the original build, but I got a little lazy at the end (that seems to happen quite a bit, unfortunately :-). When I thought of including the freighter, I figured I might as well put the island into the scene as well.
 I made it 
  June 27, 2014
Quoting Mariner 1000 Great job once again, Matt!
Thanks!
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  June 27, 2014
Quoting LEGO Master I always love a little diorama with your LEGO builds. You're telling a story. LOVE IT!
Thanks! I am starting to really like the diorama approach to building. I think it will be something that I do much more in the future.
 I made it 
  June 27, 2014
Quoting T.J. Brammer Awesome boats Matt. I have heard of McMurdo research station by their FD. They just got 2 new Pierce Arrow XT pumpers to replace their aging Pierce Lance pumpers, and also they got 2 new Ford E series 4x4 Van ambulaces to replace their aging Ford F series 4x4 ambulances and they got these 4 new units a couple of years ago. I do indeed like your boats, but the Coast Gaurd choppers are Awesome.
Thanks! I was surprised to find out that McMurdo is quite a bit more than just a small research outpost. It makes sense that they have emergency services there.
 I made it 
  June 27, 2014
Quoting Luke V This is great again! But I would like to see more close ups of the cargo ship.
Thanks! I am working on putting together some close-ups of the container ship. They should be up in a few hours.
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  June 27, 2014
Very nice scene here, Matt! I'm glad to see the island thrown in. :P
 I like it 
  June 27, 2014
Great job once again, Matt!
 I like it 
  June 27, 2014
I always love a little diorama with your LEGO builds. You're telling a story. LOVE IT!
 I like it 
  June 27, 2014
Awesome boats Matt. I have heard of McMurdo research station by their FD. They just got 2 new Pierce Arrow XT pumpers to replace their aging Pierce Lance pumpers, and also they got 2 new Ford E series 4x4 Van ambulaces to replace their aging Ford F series 4x4 ambulances and they got these 4 new units a couple of years ago. I do indeed like your boats, but the Coast Gaurd choppers are Awesome.
  June 27, 2014
This is great again! But I would like to see more close ups of the cargo ship.
 
By Matt Bace
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Added June 27, 2014
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