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6281-1: Pirates Perilous Pitfall
Published 3 weeks ago
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The build is 98%+ correct. I only had to substitute the elements of the wreckage mast plus a "castle turret corner." The custom sails are absent, and I had to replace a few minifig's accessories. All the rest is accurate.

=MISSING PARTS=
01. https://rebrickable.com/parts/6067/boat-mast-section-base-4-x-4-x-1-23/
02. https://rebrickable.com/parts/2537b/boat-mast-section-middle-13-23-h-with-bottom-connector-prong/
03. https://rebrickable.com/parts/30047/boat-mast-section-top-11-23-h-with-6-studs-at-top/
04. https://rebrickable.com/parts/6057/boat-mast-rigging-short-16-x-5/
05. https://rebrickable.com/parts/6072/castle-turret-top-7-x-7-corner/
{Sails}
06. https://rebrickable.com/parts/upn0244pr0004/flag-8-x-5-wave-with-red-border-and-skull-and-crossbones-print/
07. https://rebrickable.com/parts/upn0333/sail-tattered-with-red-stripes-skull-and-crossbones-print/
{Minifig accessories}
08. https://rebrickable.com/parts/87694/headwear-accessory-plume-feather-large-with-pin/
09. https://rebrickable.com/parts/87692/headwear-accessory-plume-feather-triple/
10. https://rebrickable.com/parts/upn0221/minifig-neckwear-armour-breastplate/

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This set no. 6281 "Pirates Perilous Pitfall" came out in 1997, and it was the largest Pirates model released that year (before the theme went on a lengthy hiatus). While the Perilous Pitfall had a smaller inventory and dimensions than other pirate islands, it stood out, at very least, with unusually complex and sophisticated traps and the minifigures cast (between Imperial Armada cameo and several customizations exclusive to this set).

The 'Pirates Perilous Pitfall' was certainly inspired by, if not directly based on the '96 set no. 6296 'Shipwreck Island.' The new model encapsulated very similar-looking wreckage but on a larger baseplate with several additional structures. (In 2009, when LEGO relaunched the Pirates theme, a set no. 6253 'Shipwreck Hideout' came out, essentially in-between both '90s predecessors.)

Spread over 32x48 combined baseplate, the Pitfall has a drawbridge (connecting the shipwreck to a tiny corner fort) and a scarcely-furnished wooden "commander post" on the left. A massive, three-storied hollow rock contains two deadly traps. First off, a gigantic stone disc falls from above once the conquistador steps on the rigged bridge. If soldiers manage to avoid this, the cave's floor is also a trap—pull the horizontal bar, and they all fall in the prison cell below.

Perhaps, the most notable aspect of the 'Pirates Perilous Pitfall' was the minifig's selection:

--- Pirates ---
☠ "CAPTAIN" GEORGE
Quite notably, the 'Pitfall' didn't include any of the recognizable captains. Instead, a regular crewmate George (who typically has both legs and wears a "standard" black bandana), appeared with a wooden peg leg and a decorated bicorne hat—the crucial captain's attributes. The logical suggestion is that George got promoted "behind the scenes" but eventually crashed the ship, now stuck on the desert island with a makeshift fort built around the wreckage.

☠ BLACKJACK HAWKINS
One of Captain Redbeard's trusted lieutenants had a much more expansive wardrobe than most pirates and would sport three (!) pairs of pants in grey, black, or green. He always wore the same black tricorne hat, except for the 'Perilous Pitfall' here with the BROWN one.

+++ Imperial Armada +++
Introduced in '96, Imperial Armada was the third incarnation of the theme's protagonists, with Imperial Soldiers (1989-'91) and Imperial Guards ('92-96) preceding. This faction only had two full-scale models but made several "guest appearances" in 1996-97.

Both minifigs in the 'Perilous Pitfall,' Captain Valiant and a regular "Conquistador," came with exclusive accessories:

♛ CAPTAIN VALIANT wears a pompous green shirt with a laced collar, a gold medallion, and a black morion helmet (with a plume). In this set, he had an exclusive armored chest plate in silver chrome.

♛ "SERGEANT," a.k.a. the Conquistador, was the Armada's ordinary rank. He came with an additional backpack.

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=SEE ALSO=

1788: Treasure Chest (1995)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/eDvVXGB82BR

6278: Enchanted Island ('94) >> Islanders
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/qxv41Z9ladJ

6251: Pirate Minifigures (1989)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/LyjWYNZpaJr

6204: Buccaneers ('97)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/KbjQrBGgvdG

6264: Forbidden Cove ('94) >> Islanders
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/Gejebe03vKX
by @bils21

1873: Pirates Treasure ('94)
Captain Ironhook's minifig pack
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/b82xN18lv1z
by @Sizter
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