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Louie da fly

10th-11th century Byzantine dromon by Louie da fly - 1:50

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Nice work Steven,

 

An idea from me
Use wooden clothespins for plastic models and plastic clothespins for wooden models.
if you use clothespins of the same material as your model, then they can sometimes gleu together.
learns my experience ;)

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I've been working on the xylokastra. The first photo shows them with the decking added.

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Here is the framing for the parapets/battlements to protect the marines in battle. First the framing members were cut to shape and all the identical ones glued together - the long ones are the horizontals, the short ones are the verticals. Then grooves cut into them where the mortises were to go for halving joints.

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Using isopropyl alcohol the glue was dissolved and the members separated.

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More framing members, including the ones for the sides and top of the parapets.

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The frames assembled

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and ready to put in place.

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Steven 

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I've now added the framing for the xylokastra parapets and started on the planking.

 

Laid the assemblies on the tabletop to glue the front parapet frames on.

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Here they are in place

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The glued the sides of the parapet frames on and held them in place with pegs.

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Here they are - frames complete

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Steven

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A problem from an earlier step got in the way - the tops of the columns were only butt-jointed to the rest of the assembly. Look at what happens when you use flexible PVA (white) glue.

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I had to use some kind of pin or peg to join the columns to the rest of the assembly. The smallest drill I could get was 1mm, so I needed a 1mm peg. Couldn't find any, so I made my own from bamboo toothpicks.

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Size checked against a 1mm hole.

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Peg inserted in a hole drilled in the top of the column and glued in place.

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 Hole drilled into the capital and the xylokastron framing above it.

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Peg inserted and glued into the hole in the capital.

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A bit labour intensive, but it seems to have worked. Pushing the outside of the envelope, though, with the (pretty basic) equipment I've got. Getting the holes centred and in line was very difficult.

 

Unfortunately I can only do this at the corners of the xylokastra, where there's enough "meat" above th columns to take a 1mm hole. With the other columns I'll just have to be very careful to make sure they're vertical before I glue their bases in place on the deck of the ship.

 

Steven

 

 

 

Edited by Louie da fly

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Thanks for all the likes, and thanks Druxey and Pat for the encouraging comments. Very much appreciated, particularly with what turned out to be a very frustrating stage of the build.

 

Well, I've finished the xylokastra at last.

 

Parapet planking nearly complete on the first one - with a crewman for comparison.

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Planking complete.

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I sanded it all smooth, but it looked a little bare, so I added some horizontals nominally to strengthen the structure but really to make it look better. 

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Another column came loose, so I "pinned" it.

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I ended up doing this to all the corner columns, and even then I had to repeat the procedure with at least one of them because the pin broke. Next time I do this (for the forecastle or pseudopation) I'll do the columns last, because a lot of repair had to be done to damage which occurred while I was working on the superstructure. And I'll carve an integral pin into the end of each column to hold everything together, rather than (a) butt-jointing the tops of the columns and/or (b) drilling holes in the tops of the columns to add the pins.

 

The same problem came up with the corner pieces of the substructure, and in future I'll pin these as well.  As you can see below the corner piece came away along with everything attached to it as I was working on the superstructure, and the whole thing had to be repaired.

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The first xylokastron complete.

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The second one under way.

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And a comparison with the finished one.

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Both xylokastra complete and inhabited, with a crewman, a Varangian guardsman and a flute-player (for giving the rowing pace to the oarsmen). These aren't the guys who will be there - they're to go elsewhere on the ship. In fact I might leave the xylokastra completely uninhabited, as the vessel's not in combat.

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It's been a long and difficult process, but I've learnt a lot while doing it, which will stand me in good stead later in this and future builds.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

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Steven,

although it is a wooden built you could use part of a sewing pin to pin or strengthen such pieces. if the wood is soft enough, you wouldn't even need to predrill

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They have come out very nicely Steven; your persistence has paid dividends.  Every sub/mini-project is a learning process; the next batch should be faultless masterpieces then ;) :) 

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Thanks everybody for all the likes.

 

Cog, unfortunately the wood is as tough as old boots, so I can't just shove a pin into it, much as I'd like to. And the smallest drill bit I can get is considerably larger diameter than a pin, so it would slop around in the hole.

 

Druxey, Pat and Patrick, thanks for the comments. And Christos, Ευχαριστώ πολύ φίλε μου.

 

Best wishes to all for the New Year,

 

Steven

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Started work on the pseudopation (forecastle), making use of the lessons I learnt making the xylokastra - such as making the deck and parapet before I make the supports.

 

Here's the cardboard mock-up (version 2) along with the lion's head which forms the outlet for the nozzle of the siphon for Greek Fire (which will be added after the structure is complete and in place).

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Deck structure,

 

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Decking added

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And in the meantime for a break, a bit of carving - the Emperor's second Viking bodyguard.

 

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More to do, but coming along nicely. I believe the faces are getting better as I gain more experience, but the magnifying headpiece has made a big difference as well.

 

Steven

 

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Hey Steven ...

Wuaooo you are a great artist! Thats amazing.... are going to make a lot of figures or just these (2 Viking guards and an Emperor)?

 

Fantastic work!

Christos

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Thanks for all the likes and encouraging comments.

 

I think I've come a long way since the first figure I did for the ship (which I now consider not good enough to be included).

 

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Christos, I've got quite a few figures made now - they're scattered through the build log. The helmsman is incomplete till I get the steering oars in position (I have to work out exactly where his arms go), and the seated Captain probably won't be included now because he has to give up his seat when the Emperor is aboard.

 

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There was a quantum leap in the quality when I got the magnifying headset, though. Though I'd carved wooden figures before, I'd never tried to carve anything that small with that amount of detail, and the headset made it so much easier to see detail. Compare the face of this guy with the Emperor and his courtiers and bodyguards, which I made after I got the headset.

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Steven 

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Quite the crew and dignitary ensemble you have there Steven; they look good and far superior to anything I could carve.  As you say, the more practice and times repeated certainly improve skills.

 

The pseudopation  is coming along very nicely also.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Steven awesome! The figures are just awesome. Be prepared am going to place you an order of my next kit's figures. What it will cost?  Dont care... any price shall be lower than what your work worth 😁.

 

About that magnifying head set.... dont tell me about it! I bought it last year and since then, every time I use it, I keep say to my self : "I was blind and I saw light" 😎🙄

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