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


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The Byzantines were remnants of the Roman Empire, which was split by Emperor Constantine the Great during the 4th century AD after an almost century long series of civil wars, barbaric intrusions and economic crisis. It outlived its western brother by almost a thousand years. Culturally the Eastern Roman Empire was closer to the ancient Greeks, as they were admired for their education, philsophy and literature. It is also named the Byzantine Empire, because the capital Constantinopel (and nowadays Istanbul) had its roots in the old doric-greek colony of Byzantion. 

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Yes, what Strelok said, except that the Empire was actually split in two, with a senior and junior Emperor (Augustus and Caesar) for each half, for purposes of easier administration, quite a while before Constantine. Constantine moved the capital from Rome to Byzantion, but in fact he reuinited the Empire - at least for a while.  It stretched from Italy, through the Balkans, to the eastern border of Asia Minor (modern Turkey), and incorporated Egypt and much of North Africa. Territorial losses over the centuries reduced the size of the Empire, but it was a very international phenomenon. 

 

Though the language of the Empire after maybe the 6th or 7th century was Greek, (and the term "Byzantine" to describe them was coined by Western scholars much later) they called themselves Romans right up to the end.

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Some more oarsmen, and a nice background picture. It's a reconstruction of the Byzantine harbour of Theodosius (where the Yenikapi ships were found). It would be good to make one of those background pictures big enough to look like it's a real background, but I'll have to wait till lockdown is over so I can get to a shop that does it.

 

 20200815_150844.thumb.jpg.761cb7ebb71ca1efc57d4ec3885c50e5.jpg

 

My wife tells me I have to stop making these figures, otherwise I'll go blind. I've decided I'll only do it till I need glasses.

 

20200815_151606.thumb.jpg.1d5d3d25a10c0b4e8691f2658908c054.jpg

 

Oh.

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Yes it looks great! Its a movie scene! Still Steven I have a comment over the oars. I think that the blade should have been wieder. I think its  narrow. I gues you have a reason for that which I would like to hear in connection with the oars which am now going to prepare for the pentaconter.

 

Christos

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Almost there!  I’ve got to honest, I’m a little bit excited to see what that looks like with all the shields in place, I think it’s going to look spectacular.  I like the history lessons that come along with your log as well, adds a little something special.

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Your crew are looking in good form, must have a good skipper?  Steven, not trying to be funny here but with your skills, have you considered building that background as a 'facade'  - a la movie prop?  More work I know and you may wish to move onto other things but you could hang it with more shields ;)

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Thanks everybody for all the likes and comments.

 

Christos, glad you like the background. There was a discussion earlier in the build regarding the oarblade width - I was also worried they were too narrow, but (i) they had to fit through the oarports which are copied from one of the Yenikapi galleys, (ii) they were based on Byzantine illustrations (though if I had to do it again I'd make the blades taper more slowly, so the blade would come higher up the shaft as shown here)

 

335218190_cynegetica-of-pseudo-oppianbigone.thumb.jpg.a71384a2cf4fa75b8591fe9e598a1674.jpg

 

and (iii) I was assured that this is a representative width for an oarblade propelling a decent sized vessel - I've  had a quick look for it in the (45 pages of) my build log but can't find it at the moment.

 

Banyan, that's a tempting thought, but I think I'd be happy just to blow the picture up bigger so it forms a background. There's another one that's even nicer (got it off Pinterest) which I'd like to use even more than the one above.

72269917_Boukoleonpalacewide.thumb.jpg.98bead3d69027f4134becbf607d699c2.jpg

 

But each of them contains a picture of a dromon that I don't believe is correct. I could probably photoshop it out, though, or just put the model in front so it can't be seen.

 

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Steven, thank you very much! Yes thats good thinking. The oars had to be able to pass through the oar holes. So I guess being a little narrow was ballanced by the greater nr of the oars. And also am thinking... it seems normal not to add extra pieces on the oars, it seems that the oars ware better to be made from one piece of wood.

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If you are proficient at PhotoShop, consider 'fading' the background image so that it doesn't distract while supporting the model. The image that you posted in  #1334 would work really well if you de-saturated the colors. Just a thought, Steven.

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On 8/17/2020 at 3:23 AM, Louie da fly said:

too busy manufacturing arms!

Never thought to see that on a nautical site ... i.e. not the shooting kind. You really make good progress considering the size and how fragile they are

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Another three oarsmen complete and two more started.

 

When I began I put the first few oarsmen in place somewhere amidships and worked both forward and aft from there, so I was able to add four new oarsmen each time - two (one each side) towards the bow of those already in place, and two aft. But now I've filled all the forward benches right up to the bow, so the only empty benches are towards the stern. So I can only add two oars and oarsmen each time. But on the bright side, there are now only 6 left to do (sigh) including the two aftermost guys who don't have their arms yet.

 

20200819_140912.thumb.jpg.53c77a7833ff7af4d9dbfa5d7a79c428.jpg

 

In between times I've got back onto adding the ropes which hold the oars to the tholes - it's a tholeless task.

 

Here are the larboard ones with a dab of glue holding each rope to its thole.

 

 20200818_160227.thumb.jpg.c7e3bc8485301880377ddf6740ee1d16.jpg

 

I got a bright idea of how to pull the rope into its correct position across the oar, without having to sit like a twit holding each rope in turn while the glue dried. Whack a peg on the end, pull the rope taut and hang the peg from something convenient, so its weight keeps the rope taut and in position, and add another dab of glue to hold the rope to the oar at that point.

 

20200818_155421.thumb.jpg.4b1890a05047f2c377c490ac09206610.jpg

 

And then once that's done, loop the rope right around the oar and repeat the process.

 

20200819_143422.thumb.jpg.a035104902a7d95a50a5ba63ef6c31dc.jpg

 

Once all that's done I'll trim the hanging ends of the rope so it just looks like a loop around the thole and oar.

 

I can only do a few at a time because the pegs get in each other's way. But once one set is done and glued in place, I can move on and do another set.  

 

Six more to go. I'm looking forward to it all being finished!

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A very fine job on the crew Steven, the model is looking superb (even close up).

 

I have been refraining but just can't help myself - the crew may have been 'armless' but at least they weren't 'legless' - quite the sober lot!

 

cheers

 

Pat

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OOOPS!

 

I got a little impatient. I was trying to remove this oarsman from his (supposedly temporarily glued) position on his bench so I could do the final carving, smoothing and painting. I'd gooped isopropanol onto the bench about three times - surely enough to weaken the bond so I could gently lever it off.

 

Not so - I must have put too much glue on his seat, and not put enough isopropanol on to dissolve it, and not waited long enough. And the operative word above is "gently". Yes, I levered too hard, too soon. And crack - the bench broke away from its supports and in fact the wood of the bench broke as well. You can see a bit of it still stuck to the oarsman's seat . . .

 

20200820_085614.thumb.jpg.1effc34e8a5948a0dd3d8dfbe4c26759.jpg  

 

Not to worry. When I first made the benches I made a few too many. So it was the work of a few minutes to replace the bench with a new one, and all's well again.

 

   20200820_090752.thumb.jpg.2b7c533839d35ec12d25d094e055acea.jpg

 

 

I still feel like a twit, though . . .

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4 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

I still feel like a twit, though . . .

You'd better watch out, for the Australian tree bear loves twits

 

Anyway Louis 'Twitty' Fly, nothing that couldn't be fixed in a jiffy, can't spot it in that last photograph. The only problem may be the rower having a bulge ...

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Woo hoo! I'm on MSW's facebook page! 

 

 

Apparently because I've been silly enough to carve all those oarsmen. But it's a real privelege to be up there with all those amazing examples of the shipmodeller's art.

 

Speaking of oarsmen, I've completed another two and put them in place, and got a further two under way (the ones nearest the camera).

 

20200820_222250.thumb.jpg.fb43bf5d661e3bd1912e11e9f2845b2e.jpg    20200820_222307.thumb.jpg.925b91558c898f1bd32ac09509ee456b.jpg

 

Which means that once those are complete there'll only be one pair of oarsmen left to do! I won't know what to do with myself . . .:rolleyes:

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  • ccoyle changed the title to 10th-11th century Byzantine dromon by Louie da fly - 1:50 - FINISHED!

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