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Louie da fly

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

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The siphon is complete. I've been concentrating on the pipes to deliver the oil from the reservoir to the pump and thence to the nozzle. Made from thin wire, I first made the "pipes" forward from the two cylinders. In the background, my first (failed) attempt to join the riser pipe to the nozzle assembly.

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Second (successful) attempt to attach the riser to the nozzle assembly. I made a jig from three miniature clothes pegs and added a dab of epoxy glue between the pipe "rectangle" and the riser.

20190210_185533.thumb.jpg.daeb3edd5439751e4214f9263cb737ad.jpgAnd here's the completed assembly

20190210_175836.thumb.jpg.4b99b1ef9e15f7fbd0d8675c00716d0f.jpg 

Then the pipes between the reservoir and the cylinders.

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Wasn't happy with the pump lever, so I decided to make another, with openings on the bottom for the connecting rods. Three attempts later I finally got it right.

 

Roughing out

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Lever in place, and riser/nozzle assembly attached to the pump. Note the "blobs" on the pipes between the reservoir and the pump, and between the pump and the riser. These are to represent one-way valves in the pipes, to stop the oil flowing backwards once it's pumped forward.

20190211_171032.thumb.jpg.d7c6fefe61e841d32b6f3e81f304bb40.jpg 20190211_171038.thumb.jpg.94bdbad4a304179bae87be1db022ae3d.jpg

And the handle to control the nozzle. As you can see, the whole assembly should be able to be handled by one man, as demonstrated in the Richard Windley video.

20190211_200051.thumb.jpg.66873a4ec3ae0f12ea30e12e9e6dfdc7.jpg 20190211_200314.thumb.jpg.613630c962d2bc00d3208867f237f0d4.jpg

And here is the completed assembly compared to the roughed-out model I did before starting.

20190211_200437.thumb.jpg.aa314d3bbc2748004c8cab29685ecff3.jpgPretty happy with this, though looking at the photos I see the nozzle is a little out of line at the front. I suppose I should fix it.

 

Steven

 

Edited by Louie da fly

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Oh, don't be fooled. That's my 1 metre long match. I got it from  IgorSky 😀.

 

Thanks everybody for all the likes. 

 

Unfortunately I've now found I have to do some adjustment. The nozzle was too long, so I've cut it back a bit, and it's also going to be higher than I thought so I'll have to adjust the forecastle so the parapet and the lion's head are higher . A bit of a nuisance, but I think it's inevitable with so many variables that can't be related to each other until it's time to put it all together.

 

Steven

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A few points to note: The videos make it very clear that this was a fairly short-range weapon and that it would only work if there was either no wind or a following wind - otherwise the flames would be blown back onto the ship itself.

 

I forgot to mention that I painted the pipes black to simulate pitch, as sealing the joints seems to have been a major issue and the Haldon people used the traditional medium to seal them. Windler seems to have overcome the problem by covering everything with some sort of extruded stuff - it's hard to see from the video what it is, and the issue is not mentioned in the voiceover.

 

Steven

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I've raised the level of the gap for the siphon in the forecastle parapet and added an extension to fix the lion's head to as well as acting as a shield against the heat of the flame.

20190212_190339.thumb.jpg.e157b51e6e478343a3bf2ebd3b7d2e2a.jpg 20190213_104359.thumb.jpg.13f2f81c0daff1f1d40c7c9913752ee1.jpg

I've also been having second thoughts about the siphon. My original plan was to have the oil reservoir at the break of the forecastle, below the deck, with pipes coming up through the deck to the pump. Then presumably the pipe/s would go under the deck and up to the siphon. I hadn't really thought about it past that, then I saw the videos and made an apparatus that followed their design.

 

But now I'm thinking of revisiting the original idea. It would make for a much less cluttered layout - the forecastle turns out to be rather short of space - and if I don't try to fit everything together as a single apparatus the pipes could be longer so the pump could be further back on the forecastle where it's wider to allow for more room for the rest of the marines using the forecastle in battle (if that's what they did when the siphon was in use!). 

 

Here's the current layout

20190214_130852.thumb.jpg.d193366ce928fe587c54db8a44f9e2f6.jpg

And here's what I have in mind:

20190214_092606.thumb.jpg.5c8e0e10781a9da7e4c1a138fe7cc49d.jpg

Additionally, it's occurred to me that the pump could have two handles if they were removable, as on a capstan. That would mean the pump could be a permanent fixture on the forecastle and hardly get in the way at all, and having two handles would allow for more efficient pumping.

 

I haven't fully decided whether I'd make a new apparatus from scratch or re-use the pieces I've already made.

 

Steven

 

 

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Looking good Steven, and you have thought this through thoroughly .  I think the idea of removable handles is a good one as the crew would still need to have access around the forecastle for various tasks.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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In the process of making the siphon a permanent feature of the ship, rather than a self-contained unit. First I've put fake bronze cladding on the raised portion of the forecastle's fore parapet. I used the thin aluminium sheet from a can of cat food and will paint it to resemble bronze.

20190215_134420.thumb.jpg.7f3d841d05e2ca9692bbb47cef80695c.jpg

Note also three attempts to duplicate the "rectangle" of pipes I made for the first version of the siphon. Isn't always the way, I got it right really easily the first time but had no end of trouble trying to do it again. In the end I pulled the original siphon apparatus to bits and re-used the bits I'd made the first time.

20190215_134438.thumb.jpg.aca8fe9a3cd990263cdddc90059c4a9b.jpg

 Sticking the cladding on with epoxy. Not totally happy with it - it's still a bit rough and ready compared with how I wanted it. I guess to really get on top of it I just need to do lots more practice working with sheet metal at a small scale. And in the meantime be satisfied with what I've done at the current level of skill.

20190216_152920.thumb.jpg.99a4fb4701bf376585af679c1a65655e.jpg

Inserting the pillar to support the "pipe" riser, and cut holes in the deck for the pump assembly.

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The pump in place - compare it with the photos in my previous post. In these photos the sheet cladding isn't fully glued down yet.

20190216_160014.thumb.jpg.ffb675548bff8869751b8288af8865dd.jpg 20190216_200845.thumb.jpg.3334c200b29906e2a0a44bebe81c4e75.jpg

I think this works better. Considerably more deck room. Note in the final photo the pump handle up against the upright containing the pivot. There's one in the previous photo on the other side of the unit, but it doesn't show up well. The handles are glued in place but I think I'll have to make some sort of clamps or fittings for them.

 

Steven

 

Edited by Louie da fly

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Just painted the "bronze" plates on the spur and the forecastle so they're the right colour. And added the "bronze" lion's head to the forecastle. Not too bad, but I'm sure I'll do better next time if I have to do something similar again.

20190218_165755.thumb.jpg.0d97699eb17dba5c1dda7e91ea174e8b.jpg

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And installing the siphon on the forecastle is almost complete, with the nozzle passing through the lion's mouth.


 20190218_203203.thumb.jpg.0d3ce7f00ed2ec85a6ac351f4ca7f216.jpg  20190218_203139.thumb.jpg.1255493fe5b58c22bb462f2140c38d82.jpg

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I've run a "pipe" under the deck between the pump and the riser.

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To finish the rest off I have to wait till I've finished the forecastle's arched substructure and the dry-fit the forecastle onto the ship, with the oil reservoir on the main deck below it, so I can install the "pipe" through the forecastle decking to connect the pump to the reservoir.

 

Then it'll be ready to install (when I've done all the other things that need to be done to the ship before it goes in position).

 

Making progress.

 

Steven

 

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Very nice done Steven! Its lovely what are you doing there. 

Christos

 

Ps the only thing is  that... you must speed up a little, because it seems that Constantinople will fall before you deliver  the Byzantine Imperial Fleet ☺😃😄 

Edited by MESSIS

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Thanks everybody for the likes.

 

Christos, thanks for the comment. I wish I could speed it all up, but I have to fit it in with everything else I have to do, and it all takes time - more than I'd expected. The amount of time I've spent waiting for paint to dry, then glue to dry, you wouldn't believe!😁

 

Steven

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I've done the arcade substructure for the forecastle, incorporating lessons from my mistakes when I did the two side castles. The main things I'm doing different are leaving this bit till last as it's all rather delicate, and to fix the component parts with tenons or dowel joints, rather than rely on butt joints to keep everything in place.

 

Here are the capitals for the columns below the arches.

20190219_124257.thumb.jpg.50d55de82e3c7da69d8d6866b6222e7f.jpg

 

and the parts of the column/corner assembly - and the assembly - er - assembled

20190219_172815.thumb.jpg.046899af5ac0bc22f69118075a5d9e3d.jpg

 

Adding the first column/corner assembly

20190220_112116.thumb.jpg.762f1314a94ee48d309bd07264336cf1.jpg 

and the arcades

 

20190220_123757.thumb.jpg.49a9decd43e2ce0f94741f25fc96be4b.jpg 20190220_185712.thumb.jpg.e29791eca6594e7e88e1f476e7a7b983.jpg 20190220_185752.thumb.jpg.07e3af497b04e643435d8b23ebc71560.jpg 20190220_202254.thumb.jpg.7d991101305b77857bdf32bace8938ef.jpg

I won't be able to have tenons on the intermediate columns - there's note enough thickness in the arches, and I can't determine the locations of the bottoms precisely enough to put the mortises in place. So I'll be forced to put these in with butt joints, but that should be ok - they're subsidiary pieces and not truly structural.

 

I've also made a start on the arches for the awning at the stern. Couldn't work out how to get a decent semicircle for each, until I thought - two of them make a circle, and a perfect/imperfect circle is much easier to spot than a perfect/imperfect semicircle. So I put six arches together in sets of two to form circles; much better.

20190220_191338.thumb.jpg.5e09e65888281fcb82f92ca897922e91.jpg

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

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5 hours ago, yancovitch said:

gads....this build is way beyond my ability  or patience 😲....super...........

Thanks Yancovitch - and yet, like you, I'm very aware of the faults in my own build that others don't seem to see . . .😉

 

Thanks Pat for the comments, and everybody for the likes.

 

More to come.

 

Steven

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Forecastle complete except for intermediate columns, which will be added once it's in place on the ship.

20190221_185514.thumb.jpg.2fb34fc8ac626bff17bbd56dbf742987.jpg

Arches for poop deck awning

20190221_104030.thumb.jpg.aa6417835e3d3b30ec75bff6db33ae29.jpg

Framework done for awning. Support columns still to be made.

20190221_184956.thumb.jpg.c8a3e3c2aa3f58fd9c81b644a3bce4bf.jpg

Steven

 

 

 

Edited by Louie da fly

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Having all but completed the forecastle, I've been having second thoughts about its height. Looking at the dromon with the forecastle at its present height placed temporarily at the bow, it looks like it will interfere badly with the lateen foresail in the current configuration.

20190224_162225.thumb.jpg.0e20f7db7dc969014884659d7e85dc70.jpg

 

As I see it, I have two options - to take out the foremast and make the dromon a single-master (you may remember I'd spent a of time and effort earlier in the build trying to decide whether to go with one or two masts) - or reduce the height of the forecastle.

 

Though going single-masted would require re-doing some of the deck planking and putting in a new mast step, that's not necessarily a reason not to do it. There's plenty of contemporary written evidence that can be read to support the idea that dromons were single masted. On the other hand, there's just as much evidence to the contrary.

 

Looking at a few near-contemporary illustrations of galleys (though none of them are dromons) it appears that the forecastles of galleys of this time (those that had them) were considerably lower than I've made mine.

20190224_185830.thumb.jpg.fd384563ee8a9c9174722a59a6d7e863.jpg

I started with the idea of that a dromon would have a higher forecastle than those of other cultures, because being equipped with a Greek Fire siphon it would need enough height below the forecastle deck for the oil reservoir.

 

However I've checked the available space and it looks like I could just as easily put the reservoir on the forecastle deck without messing anything up. This would reduce the forecastle height and both make it look more like contemporary ones, but more importantly, wouldn't interfere with the foresail. But it would mean I'd have to get rid of all those arches and columns I'd put so much work into (sigh).

 

The lower ends of the lateen yards will still have to be a certain distance above the deck because dromons had structures (presumably two or more upright stands set into the deck) to rest the masts on when not in use, and similar ones for the yards. And the masts and yards would have to be above head height to allow free movement beneath.

 

On contemplation I think this is the right answer - I just haven't summoned up the nerve to change it. I'm going to think about it overnight and if I still feel the same way tomorrow, it'll be "goodbye arches!"

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

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Steven, I would have expected the deck of the raised forecastle to be more horizontal, especially if some fluid would leak on the now raised deck, it would run aft, which doesn't sound to logical, and somewhat perilous.

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Oh, I've just "plonked" the forecastle on top of the deck for the moment. When properly in place it should follow the sheer of the deck at the bow, which is fairly shallow. However, I'll check it out in case it looks like causing problems.

 

Steven

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Steven,

 

I have been following "silently" not fair to your brilliant log. Your attention to every detail is really interesting also given the rarity of these types of projects. Super interesting to follow along.

 

Cheers,

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