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I began building the Mantua Roman Bireme kit a few weeks ago. I’ve read and studied so many of the building logs here at MSW and the information here was invaluable. This log is my thanks.. The wheel may have been labeled as “mans greatest invention” but my personal opinion is the wooden ship is not only the greatest invention but they are also the greatest work of art ever created. I feel very fortunate to have “discovered” the beauty and importance of the wooden ship through the modeling world. Ok, now on to the build. I am a beginner builder . There will be numerous mistakes and odd ways of getting things done but I am enjoying every minute of it. Here’s the kit. Everything seems to be here. I haven’t gone through the inventory list but so far I am impressed with the quality. The laser cut sheets look accurate and clean. I’ve built a temporary stand. The keel had a slight twist to it so I’ve added some metal “L”brackets to hold it true while the bulkheads were attached. The first bulkhead. Here is the decking attached. I had trouble fitting it due to the extreme bends at the bow and stern. The laser cuts were accurate but would not fit until it was all the down on the bulkheads. I ended up cutting the notches wider for an easier fit. Ready for the first planks! (not exactly…. forgot to add the bulkhead blocking). Bent planks ready for glue Here is my poor mans bending machine. An old soldering iron clamped to the bench and The bass wood plank soaking in an old peanut jar. Spare no expense! But hey, it's working. The stern planks twisted and glued. Here, I finally realized I needed bow and stern blocking. It would have been much easier to fit these blocks before those first planks. Oh well…not too late, I hope? My foredoom tool will make short work of carving these blocks. Here are the completed stern blocks. If only I would have remembered them before the planks and deck. I am new at this and it shows. After staining the interior that will be seen when finished, the planking begins! It’s a much more stressful task than I had expected. I’m moving too fast and being too forceful…I have already broken four pieces. Here I had to create something that would hold the planks at the stern. This is a very difficult area. I’m not sure what I will do when there is no room for the screws. I’m hoping the answer will come while I’m supposed to be sleeping. Take note of the deep dent on the plank. It looks like my finger nail dug into that soft basswood. My solution was to use a wet rag with the soldering iron. I laid the rag over the dent and steamed it with the soldiering iron. It worked! The dent is gone! What a relief, I have many more dents to take care of. Well, that’s it for now! Thanks for looking! D_Mc To be continued...