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Louie da fly

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  • Gender
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  • Location
    Ballarat, Australia
  • Interests
    History, particularly the Middle Ages

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  1. That's very worthwhile information, Binho. I couldn't remember when this ship was dated to - I remembered there was a Roman vessel in there somewhere, but on looking this one up it turns out to be from the 13th or 14th century, so it's very good not only for Woodrat's model, but for those others of us also interested in ships of this period. An interesting thing in my view is the poop superstructure - the framework doesn't seem to have been squared off at all but appears to be just bits of tree trunk with the bark taken off. I don't think this is just an apparency caused by the accumulation of sediment, because the frames certainly look squared off. Steven
  2. Deciding on the deck features is a bit of a poser, which I'm currently puzzling over with my own build. No surviving deck = nothing to base the reconstruction on = mostly guesswork. I agree with Mark, though. A partially planked deck would simultaneously show the structure and the finished look of the deck. However, things which are on the centre line of the deck, such as the windlass, might require a different approach. It's looking very good, Dick. Adding the planking has yet again changed the look considerably. Are you going to completely plank one side? Steven
  3. Yes indeed. I've been there twice. So I've seen the Walls and the Golden Gate and been inside Agia Sophia and I know where the Yenikapi finds were discovered. I hope to go back one day. Lots still to discover that I missed out on before. Steven
  4. Thanks Mark (Taylor). Interesting point, Mark (Pearse). Unfortunately we'll never know. I think I'll stick with what I believe to be the simplest explanation - the miniaturist made a mistake. But I could be wrong . . . And yes, those faces are very expressive, aren't they? The Madrid Synopsis Historion was illustrated by as many as 7 miniaturists (the academics don't agree on this one) and in my view the one who did both of these pictures was the best of them. Steven
  5. That's the answer. Now all we need to do is find out what the question is. Steven
  6. Thanks Patrick and Fabio. Good luck with finding a place to stow the bars. That's not the way I see it. The miniaturist's job was to illustrate clearly what was going on as simply as possible. Introducing a banner with a cross above those known to be Muslims would just cause confusion. I just think he got it wrong. Not in the case of Byzantium. There were quite a decent number of secular histories written about this time, which though they gave lip service to the usual religious formulas, were pretty much simply records of what had happened. They suffer from the usual biases you get in "histories", but these tended to be political rather than religious - depends which faction you belonged to, or which political group. Steven
  7. I know she's not finished, but here are some photos of my 11th century Byzantine dromon. One pic of the people I've carved for her including the Emperor, his courtiers and Varangian (Viking) guardsmen, and one of the forecastle incorporating the Greek Fire apparatus. You have my permission to post and watermark these pictures. Best wishes, Steven
  8. The picture in my earlier post represents Thomas the Slav, who was making a bid to overthrow the Emperor and become Emperor himself, negotiating with saracens to get them to join him. Thomas would have had a flag to back up his claim to be Emperor. The banner with the cross on it is almost identical to that flying on the Emperor's own ship, and I think the illustrator who gave the saracens a flag with a cross on it must have been having a senior moment, and put it above the wrong set of horsemen. And then thought "Damn! Got it wrong! If I just pretend it didn't happen, probably nobody will ever notice . . . " Steven
  9. Thanks for the likes, everyone. Carl, it did cross my mind to make the ship weatherbeaten, like some of the amazing ships we see on this forum. But I'll have to keep that for future models. This one's supposed to be pretty. No, Pat. There's really nothing in any contemporary account or illustration. For heaven's sake, it's only an assumption that the word used in the sources for this thing really means what we think it does. The original Greek word translates as "fastener", or even "brooch". The triangular gussets sound like a good idea in hindsight, but I don't think I'll do anything about it. I think it would all be pretty strong in the real world - please note that each of the straps runs along a wale. The idea I have is that the straps are fastened at relatively short intervals to the wales (probably with nails or long rivets, but I haven't shown any fastenings because I don't think they'd be visible at this scale), and the forces of ramming would be transferred via the straps to the wales, which are among the strongest timbers in the ship. Steven
  10. Beautiful work, John. This build is a pleasure to follow. I'll have to find an excuse to come up and see the modelmaker's bench in operation in Sydney . . . Steven
  11. I've attached the "iron" (really cardboard) brackets for the spur and painted them to look like iron. First, a coat of black Then a thin layer of silver to make it look a little more metallic. I thought of doing some rust, but this is the Emperor's ship, and anyway the model represents it in brand spanking new condition. Here are the bars for the windlass all done. Still got to find somewhere to stow them when not in use. I've also found a banner that looks pretty cool. Again, from the Skylitzes Chronicle (mid-late 12th century). This one has a cross on it, known as a cross pommée or pommelée (like a pommel, the knob at the end of a sword hilt, that acts as a counterweight to the blade). This must be where the flag came from for the modern reconstruction painting that Nikiphoros posted earlier, but I notice they changed the pink to red - not manly enough, perhaps?). Still not sure if I'm going to use this one or the one on the ship in an earlier post, where everybody's hair is blowing in the wind . . (thinks: that would be a good name for a song . . .😉) [Edit] Can any native Greek speakers make out what the word is next to the group carrying the banner? It appears to be narakagoi, or perhaps oi rakynoi? (allowing for the 12th century handwriting), but I'm really not sure, particularly about the last few letters. I don't want to use a banner that turns out to be used by someone not Byzantine. [2nd edit] The word turns out to be "sarakenoi" = saracens, so obviously I can't use it. But so, why are muslims using a banner with a cross? All getting converted? Perhaps the artist just wasn't really thinking . . . Steven
  12. Beautiful work, Dick. I stand amazed at the thoroughness of your research and your ability to translate it into real-world modelling. Steven
  13. How did I miss this until now? Very impressive, Peter. And very fast work without sacrificing quality in the slightest. At the beginning of the build you commented on whether or not you had put the log in the right place. I assume that's because you're not building the model exactly the same as the kit, with no rudders etc. No problemo - that's what we call kit-bashing, and is usually better than how it comes in the kit because the builder has invested more care and attention - and research - into it than the kit manufacturers were prepared to. I don't usually follow modern builds - I'm more a mediaeval/renaissance guy - but this build is really beautiful. Steven

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