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Louie da fly

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    Ballarat, Australia
  • Interests
    History, particularly the Middle Ages

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  1. Where was your hotel? I can't imagine seeing kangaroos on the way from the airport unless it was "out mulga" as we say (well, as I say -but I'm a bit of a dinosaur - I once caught myself asking someone if what they'd told me was dinkum . . .) Steven
  2. Yep, roos are also "herding" animals, though a group of kangaroos is called a mob. Funny, if you just look at the head, you'd swear deer and kangaroos were related. We hit a wallaby a few months ago (like a kangaroo but a bit smaller). It hit the front passenger' side, made a mess of the bodywork. BIG bang. Poor thing didn't survive. I've also hit an emu (many years ago - must have been the 1980s). I was in a Toyota Corolla and a group of them came out of a bunch of scrub one side of the road and vanished into the scrub the other side. I thought "that's stuffed the car", but when I got out and looked I couldn't see any evidence of the collision at all. Of course birds are more lightly built than mammals, but an emu is way bigger than a turkey (it's a little smaller than an ostrich). Must have been just a glancing blow. Wherever you get countryside you get roos, including in suitable farmland (pasture, usually, with some trees for shade). And Australia is considerably more sparsely settled than the US. We live about an hour's drive from Mebourne and there's a lot of countryside in between. You see roos in some farmer's paddock occasionally but you're far more likely to see sheep or cattle. Kangaroos usually keep to the less settled areas and they usually sleep in the daytime and come out to feed at dusk. Steven
  3. No problem, Christos. I appreciate the recommendation. I may find it useful in a later build. Steven
  4. Thanks Christos. And thanks everybody for the likes. Perhaps if I need to paint another ship to represent pitch I'll try that. Certainly where one is able to discern the colour, ancient and mediaeval Mediterranean ships all seem to have been black with very few exceptions,which I believe indicates they were coated with pitch for waterproofing. Steven
  5. Painting the hull below the waterline black to represent pitch. Two coats of enamel - more a charcoal than a pure black, which I think would look wrong. It'll take two days for the paint dry properly, then I'll start on the yellow for the wales, "tail" and other trim. Steven
  6. Nice one, Jim. We see roos on a fairly regular basis (last time a couple of days ago - a fairly large mob in a paddock off to the side of the freeway on the way from Ballarat to Blackwood), but usually not that close up. Steven
  7. I'm nearly finished on the stern; in fact I've gone as far as I can until the bottom planking is done. Love these new clamps! (For Aussies, these are available at Officeworks very cheap, and have a very light grip so they don't warp anything. Oh, and they don't get stuck to the glue like my wooden miniature clothes pegs). Added the sternpost. I'm always a bit undecided how far to take things - do I make it the same as I would have when I was 17 and iggerant, or upgrade to my current state of iggerance? Usually I do a bit of each - for example, except for the sternpost the keel is in one piece, rather than made in bits like the originals. I've also cut out the arched hole for the tiller. Unfortunately you can see the balsa crosspiece of the frame behind it. So I added another crosspiece below it and cut a hole in the first one for the tiller. Still a bit of tidying to do. Here she is upside down. You can see the added balsa crossbeam and the original crossbeam with a central cut-out just behind and to the left of the number 3. And looking through the arch. The crossbeam of the aftermost frame has had the hole cut in it, but you can see through to the next frame's crossbeam behind it. Naturally that won't be visible unless you look very carefully with your eye up against the hole. Looking aft past the frames you can just see daylight through the cut-out in the crossbeam and the tiller arch. And added more planking and the bottom wale (which still needs to be trimmed to length). Next is to make the few cannons I'm putting on this model. I have yet to close up some more of the gunports I don't want open so I don't have to make too many cannons. Then I can close her up with bottom planking and upper deck. Steven
  8. Finally got some paint that is the colour I wanted to use for the dromon's hull - basically a red ochre, which would be the source of the tint in red paint at the time . I'm using enamel (Humbrol) because I've found that a tiny bit of PVA glue under acrylic paint seems to mess up the finish. This is the first coat. The trim will be yellow ochre, and the bottom will be black (the colour of pitch). Normally Byzantine ships are shown as black all over in contemporary pictures, but the Emperor's ship is shown as red with yellow trim. I haven't decided yet whether to paint the sternpost and "tail" yellow or red. Once the painting is all done, I can put the lower oars into place and then finish off the deck (I need it open for the time being so I can see where to glue the oars). And then I can put all the deck items in place that I've been holding off from, add the upper oarbenches and the side castles and the awning at the poop, insert the masts etc etc. Steven
  9. Of course! How could you think otherwise?😉 Not a bad idea, but I think it might be a little too stiff for the job - it could crumple rather than follow the shape I want. The Easter-egg foil seems to have just the right properties for the job - enough stiffness, but still flexible enough to get the shape right. Steven
  10. I like the perspex brackets 😉. Should keep everything nice and square. Looks like you've hit the ground running! Steven
  11. No, I hadn't thought of that, but they're fairly constrained by having to hold the oars so the blades will be at the same level as those of the lower bank. On the other hand, I'm thinking of making, say, 5 different figures for each side (10 in all) cast in resin from these two originals, and then give them different details of hair, beard, face etc and re-cast 5 of each so we end up with a bigger mix of people - not unlike the way the Entombed Warriors were made with mass-produced bodies and individual heads. I can paint the tunics and hair different colours (though dark hair will of course predominate) to add to the variety. Still thinking it through . . . Steven
  12. It's always worth following your builds, Dick. Such a wealth of research, and (very) convincing speculation on "how it must/may have been" when there's a gap in the available information. Steven
  13. Yes, Dick. I'm thinking of making them of thin foil (from Easter eggs) as I did with the big banner. They seem to have about the right modulus (I think that's the first time I've ever used that word outside the science classroom!) of stiffness and flexibility, but I'll find out when I try it. Steven
  14. Nope. Almost certainly radiata pine - a pretty inferior timber also known as Monterey pine, originated in America but has become the most common building timber in Oz. Where do you live, Peter? In Ballarat, where I am, a lot of people have fruit trees. The people either side of us both have pear trees, and I've been able to get smallish branches from them when they trim the trees. I also follow the Council tree loppers around and have got hold of plane, ash, elm, oak and walnut (the last one was from the neighbour's tree which died - score!) You might be able to get in touch with commercial tree loppers and see if you can get pear wood from them. Only problem is that you'd then have to wait for it to season - about 12 months for each 25mm thickness. How much do you need? And in what sizes? Steven
  15. Beautiful work as always, Dick. The straight central section looks a little strange at first sight, but that's removable, for loading cargo, isn't it. Steven

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