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Louie da fly

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Everything posted by Louie da fly

  1. Couldn't agree more. I'm looking at doing a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, specialising in Byzantine studies. I realise that's not flavour of the month, but apart from the obligatory "history of the world to 1500 AD", most unis don't touch it at all. But there are plenty of units available in flavour of the month subjects that are hardly history at all. Back to the wreck itself, since they found what could well be the Tudor Rose "figurehead" back in 2014 I think there's a good chance a fair bit of the forecastle could be nearby, and perhaps recoverable. Steven
  2. This is looking so good, George. It's hard to believe you're getting such a quality of detail at such a small scale! Steven
  3. Could be, could be. Most of the above 14th century representations (where colour is visible) show black rudders - though the hulls are also black. Maybe they were coated with pitch as well? The Cantigas de Santa Maria (late 12th century) though the hulls are brown, have black rudders on some of the ships but not all. Two hundred years different, so perhaps not relevant. Steven
  4. Very interesting. Herodotus has been called both "The Father of History" and "The Father of Lies", depending on who's saying it. He never claimed that everything he said was true, but was honest enough when he reported something he was told, to say that he couldn't vouch for its truth. So we get reports of feathers from the sky in Southern Russia (snow?), and flying snakes. But his eyewitness stuff I think was probably pretty reliable. Steven
  5. I hope they find the forecastle! I've always had a problem with the forecastle in the commercial kit. It looks too much like one for a galleon. Looking at contemporary pics of similar ships, the forecastle is like a big slice of cake - triangular. Steven
  6. So if the Great Harry is 1:200, the meshes should be 100/200 = half a millimetre (about 1/50 inch). I'll have to start looking for something suitable. Steven
  7. A new panel in place, and because the mended wale in the previous post came out a bit crooked, I've added a small piece of wood to straighten out the wale. Trimmed the wale to shape. Added another panel: And the planking following the curve of the stern (thought I'd never get here!) The colour of the wood is a bit of an issue, as I'd expected. It's not that far off the original, but enough to be noticed. Some of the joins might be a bit too obvious, since I'm doing it as panels rather than individual planks. I'm hoping this will become much less obvious when I solve the problem of the colour. Also at least one of the joins will be partly hidden when a new length of wale is added to the broken one below the top row of gunports. Still plenty of fiddly stuff to do, but it's nice putting a bit of external shape on the hull. Steven
  8. Added a panel of planking. (The "planks" are carved into the surface of the panel - I've decided to do it the same way I did it back in the day - at least above the waterline). The panel sticks out somewhat from the original at the forward end, so I then carved it flush with the existing planking. Once that was done I replaced a piece of the wale that had broken off. A little rough and ready I'm afraid, because of the state of the existing bits. I'll have to do a bit of tidying up once the glue's dried. Steven
  9. Am I right in thinking the top of the curved guides is closed with a removable piece, so the rudder can be removed in port?
  10. Looks really good and very workable, Dick. I like the "aerofoil" rudder, and the poop superstructure is really impressive. Steven
  11. More fiddly stuff. Fixing up breaks in the upper works - mending a broken wale and a couple of arches Reinforcements from behind And adding false decks to support the cannons that will poke out of the arched gunports. Repairing a break in the mainyard Perhaps a little slow, but I'll get there in the end. Steven
  12. Byzantine dromon update. Masts, wooden castles, awning frame and "spur" dry-fitted. Forecastle with Greek fire siphon incomplete but in place. Steven
  13. I've made the replacement foremast - this one is nice and straight (and hopefully will stay that way!) The calcet was made as a separate piece, so I can swivel it round till it's pointing exactly fore and aft when the mast is in place. I've also made a double sheaved calcet for the after mast to replace the single sheaved one it used to have. And here are the two masts in place, with the spur, forecastle, side castles and awning structure dry fitted. Nice and straight now. Thanks Woodrat for pointing out the crooked mast. More work, but worth it in the long run. Steven
  14. "Car bog" is the filling compound they use to fill dents in car bodies. Usually comes in a can. It's an Australian term, like bonzer and dinkum or "I'm off, like a bucket of prawns in the sun"😁. Steven
  15. Patrick, that's exactly what I needed! Thanks so much! The netting is for the Great Harry, but I hadn't thought of checking out the Mary Rose, which was almost a sister ship (though smaller). Vossiewulf, I'm sure that's the way it was. And the 10cm (4") mesh would do that very nicely, I should think. Steven
  16. As Woodrat pointed out, unfortunately there's a bend in the foremast. It needs to be corrected and I really don't have much confidence that if I straighten it out by heat bending or whatever it will stay straight. In my view the problem lies in the inherent grain of the wood I made it from. So I've decided to re-make it, this time taking the grain into account. I got another piece of walnut and split it with the grain. Then planed it down roughly square in section, with the line of the mast following the grain of the wood. Then carved it roughly octagonal and using a medium file brought it to a circular section. Now I need to bring it down to the correct diameter - 6mm at the base and 4mm at the top. As I mentioned in a previous post, I've decided to replace the calcets as part of this procedure. Instead of a single sheave they will have two. The existing after mast is straight so it doesn't need replacing, but I'm going to cut off the existing single-sheave calcet and replace it with a double. One is already made and I'm pretty happy with it. Must be all that practice I've had in making them 😁. Steven
  17. I'll be following this build with interest, Christos. I think that we'd all like to have a second go at models we've made, if only to correct the mistakes we made the first time - and to improve the accuracy in line with what we've learnt since building the first one. This is a very attractive ship to be modelling, and I think it will be well worth while. It will be interesting to follow the new insights you've developed since your first build. Steven
  18. That is really fascinating, Alberto. I'm familiar with both these pictures but hadn't previously noticed the configuration of the oars in either of them. Admittedly, I've only ever seen low-res copies of the Aretino one. If Prof Pryor's calculations are correct (and I'm certainly acting on the basis that they are), the oars are almost exactly as long as the midship breadth of the ship. But pulling them inboard and storing them crosswise would make it completely impossible to move around on the upper deck. Just not an option at all. Your discovery could be the answer to the dromon's oars, rather than having a separate inboard rack for them facing fore and aft between the oarsmen and the gunwale as I'd planned to do. Age of the Galley doesn't mention this problem, and neither does Age of the Dromon (which, given the thoroughness of the book, means the original sources don't either.) It's certainly a possible solution, and as the only near-contemporary evidence (only 300 years wrong😉!) I'd be more willing to follow that than try a different solution for which there's no evidence at all. While I was researching the dromon build I got heavily into the mechanics of rowing galleys (naturally enough) and found the characteristics of a scaloccio and alla sensile rowing absolutely fascinating. And in fact it appears that the invention of alla sensile oar arrangement was what spelled the end of the dromon's mastery of the Mediterranean. It meant a galley with the same number of oarsmen (and thus motive power) could be much lighter because there was no need for a second, upper deck. It would make for a considerably faster, and probably more manoeuvrable vessel, with which a two-banked dromon just couldn't compete, and they seem to have vanished from the scene within a century of the appearance of the new rowing method. I've been following the Black Sea discoveries with great interest. I'm avidly awaiting the archaeological reports, but it's likely to be some years before they'll be published. In the meantime, I have to be satisfied with the videos. One of them shows very clearly the through-beam on which the rudders are supported but unfortunately there's not enough detail - at least for me - to be sure how it all works . Thanks for this insight, Alberto. Very illuminating. Steven
  19. I just looked up the constituents of Elmer's wood glue (we don't have it by that name in Oz ) and you can find them at https://www.ehow.com/info_8205845_elmers-wood-glue.html . So it appears that it is either entirely or mostly PVA, depending on the variety. I'd say isopropyl alcohol should work on it, but you'd need to try it out on a sample piece first. Make sure you use enough to dissolve the glue - just a wipe with the alcohol won't be enough. But the good thing is the isopropanol evaporates fast. It also doesn't smell bad (rather sweet, really). Regarding which glue to use, each modeller seems to swear by his /her own favourite. Some use CA (superglue), others epoxy. I tend to use PVA mostly, but it's definitely a matter of personal choice. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. There have been several discussions on the forum about relative merits. Epoxy and CA give off nasty fumes, and CA sticks your fingers together, and apparently starts to crystallize after about 10 years and lose its integrity. That's from reports by other modellers, but others swear by it. The main disadvantages of PVA are that it takes a while to dry, it's vulnerable to water (ok under most circumstances as you're not going to leave your model out in the rain) and I've found in my case the joints can be flexible, which can be a problem if you've put together a complex assembly of fine parts which then go out of true the moment you breathe on them. I've had this happen several times, but I think the main problem there is not the glue, it's the fact that I've used butt joints instead of something that ties the piece together, so the glue is just there to keep it all together instead of doing the major work of joining. I doubt that this would be a problem in your Skuldelev model. They've thought it all out in advance - I've been designing as I go. So if you're doing well with Elmer's, all well and good. I'd agree with Vulcanbomber that you shouldn't use the planking to try to straighten the keel. Try isopropanol on the glue and either straighten or replace the keel. And good luck with it! Steven
  20. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask - maybe it should be in "rigging". However, wherever it belongs, does anyone know the size of mesh (and rope thickness) used in boarding nettings? This is intended for a 16th century ship, but data from any period would be helpful - I think the mesh size wouldn't be likely to change much over the centuries, as the problem to be solved didn't change much. Any information or advice gratefully received. Thanks, Steven
  21. Not to worry, Alberto. There are very few things that can't be mended with a bit of work, and even the best of us have sometimes forged ahead where angels fear to tread and had to go back and start again. Stick with it; you'll get there. Regarding the bent keel, there are various posts on the forum on how to fix such things (though of course unfortunately I can't remember where I saw them). If worst comes to worst, it might be necessary to make a new one. Is the keel made of ply? If so, it's not an inherent twisted grain problem as I faced when I started my dromon. If you used PVA (white) glue on the frames you can dissolve it by soaking in isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). Both that and methylated spirits (ethanol with 5% methanol otherwise known as wood alcohol) are commonly called rubbing alcohol, but isopropanol is the only one that works on PVA, as I discovered to my cost. One thing is that you've learned an important modeller's lesson. Don't glue unless you know you've got it right. You'll find a lot of modellers "dry fit" things together before they add glue. It can prevent a lot of heartache. And don't give up because something occasionally goes wrong. With patience and perseverance you'll get there, even if you have to retrace your steps once in awhile. Speaking for myself, and I'm sure for everybody else on the forum, there's no build that ever goes perfectly. And as your level of skill improves and your own standards for your work raise, you'll find ever new and more interesting mistakes to make! Having said all that, I'd like to add that you've chosen a beautiful ship to build. I'm sure it'll turn out to be something you'll be very happy to have done. Steven

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