Jump to content
Louie da fly

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

Recommended Posts

I'm trying to get this as accurate as possible for both time and place. For example, though it certainly has its qualities, the model on the postage stamp that Messis so kindly sent an image of does have a couple of anachronisms -   

 

20190406_083959.jpg

 

- the CHI ROH (X and P superimposed) symbol on the after sail is too early for a middle Byzantine dromon and the cross with the repeated letter B is too late. However, these things are probably only important to picky people like me.😉

 

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Oh well. Now you can be sure. Dayglo Orange and Purple with the ciphers of the forever-blessed Dandolo and baby Paleologus somewhere. 

 

You know, I'm reminded of the Cilician-Armenian 'middle ground' for a pertinent device (Habit: Sasanian and Roman used Armenia as somewhere to measure how much blood can be spilled. Anyway, they, Rubinids, had ports only in the 12th Century, a bit late. Very latin, as per their allegiances. Your cross examples wouldn't look out of place maybe. Just a silly thought.

I think by now you've decided a very good direction to go despite fantasy interruptions).

 

Ռուբինեաններ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ouch. That's huge. Sorry.

Rubenid_Flag.svg.png

Edited by Nikiforos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow great work Steven - with this level of research and attention to detail your model will be worth serious academic consideration and display in a museum.  All these contributions from other researchers/modellers is very interesting reading.

 

cheers

 

Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Oh, there's still any amount of guesswork and speculation involved in this model. Questions to which there are no known answers and never likely to be. But without a time machine, there's nobody who can tell me my guesses are wrong . . .

11 hours ago, Nikiforos said:

Anyway, they, Rubinids, had ports only in the 12th Century, a bit late. Very latin, as per their allegiances.

Yes, the history of Armenia is fascinating, particularly Cilician Armenia. When I was doing mediaeval re-enactment - portraying a Varangian in Imperial service - I researched several of the neighbouring cultures which Byzantium encountered, including Armenia, for the benefit of my fellow Varangian re-enactors, and put up a web-page with what I'd found - http://www.angelfire.com/empire/egfroth/Armenians.html . It's only a rough overview and many of the pictures have vanished, but it gives some idea of what a vital and interesting culture they had.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, thank you for your fascinating link; we wonder is there anywhere on earth so used to near-annhilation, decade after decade, century after century. You tell people about Armenia and they reply "where?".  There is so much to write but nothing to forget.

 

Anyway, a moderator will surely come and righteously bop me with the sword of retribution if I derail your post again.

 

 

Thy dromon shalt carry the 'E' banner with 5 tails, red blue red blue red or similar at thy discretion, and lo! so it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I think it's me that's derailing my own thread. Must get back to the build log.

 

Here's current progress on the windlass.

 

20190430_201105.thumb.jpg.f6f4ad0281de4cf7bec3787bf91874f5.jpg 20190430_201116.thumb.jpg.99a36020da7cdfebdd977ad13982b1fb.jpg 20190430_201129.thumb.jpg.7aaee6cde260a81c482f079f6b444edd.jpg

 

I think the central section of the "barrel" needs a bit of work to make the shape more consistent. It seems to be bulging outward a bit in the middle.

 

Now I have to put in the square holes to take the bars and some way of fixing the windlass to the deck - probably pins of some sort - plus fake bolts holding the halves of the housing together. On the photos you can see the pilot holes for them. Speaking of which, some breaking news - I managed to buy 0.38mm drill bits in Ballarat! Amazing! Unfortunately I don't have a precise enough drill mechanism to use them . . . (Note to self - must add to wishlist . . . ).

 

I've also done up a spreadsheet for myself with a sequence of the next things to do/make, so I don't do stuff I then have to undo because it gets in the way of doing something else. In particular, things that can be done before I glue the lower bank of oars in place, and things that will have to wait till afterwards.

 

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BANYAN said:

Wow great work Steven - with this level of research and attention to detail your model will be worth serious academic consideration and display in a museum.

Sir, there can be no doubt.

There is a danger in the modern times that we may lose the greatest architectural testament to, and by, the later Roman Empire via transformation by decree. Every new work of art, and Steven's dromon will be such, meticulously researched and detailed, offsets in some way the erasing and/or forgetting of a 1123 year Empire of Saints and Devils alike that shielded Europe so that it could cherish its own ways and customs. 

 

Now I really can sense the moderator's sword of justice being swung.  Apologies.

 

Regards,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More progress on the windlass. I've cut the square holes for the bars, and drilled holes for the pins/bolts holding the windlass to the deck. These will be made from tiny brass pins I got years ago - can't remember where, and I've no idea where I'll be able to get replacements if I need them again).

 

20190501_212158.thumb.jpg.b15006c43829f1e408af2a5bc731b35d.jpg 20190501_212206.thumb.jpg.4034a032dc34e7fad28c0047e323f3ae.jpg 

As I can't get drill bits bigger than 0.38mm (too small) or smaller than 0.8mm (too big), I used one of the little pins as a drill bit. It's got a sharp pyramidal head which acts quite to drill holes.

 

I've used it to drill the holes for the fake bolts holding the frame together, plus the ones in the ends of the spindle for the pegs to keep it in place. The pegs will also be made from brass pins; I'd intended to use them for the fake bolts as well but it's all too fiddly and I've decided instead to use wood or bamboo painted to look like iron.

20190502_141538.thumb.jpg.298958c758157835a82aa23910bd5e25.jpg 20190502_141637.thumb.jpg.73bbe3830ab5168c4c6798e97a0ce832.jpg

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good Steven; the wood tone and the shaping makes it look very much appropriate for such a vessel in this era.

 

cheers

 

Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the likes and the supportive comments.

 

Here is the windlass; End pieces with fake bolts inserted. I made hem out of carved bits of wood:

20190503_155147.thumb.jpg.5731f3212615577299e92839c6518e11.jpg

20190503_155129.thumb.jpg.6e9e8c9711c5a37801ecdcbd41c776db.jpg

20190503_155135.thumb.jpg.49182f28cc4ca5a58474886aaa2cbca5.jpg

Then cut them off to just show the "bolt heads".

20190503_155412.thumb.jpg.65282a6fe51feb88084936c49380844c.jpg 20190503_155357.thumb.jpg.d4d3d3a4283c18452ae868835e228a91.jpg

The bolts to fix the windlass to the deck are made, painted and in place. Bars made and in place, and "bolt heads" painted black. 

20190503_203857.thumb.jpg.86f2ec70e30463ecd1669befb6c08cab.jpg 20190503_203901.thumb.jpg.308695af568078d84536c513ef487dfa.jpg 20190503_203909.thumb.jpg.b9d0ed0c6b06fe07c69e258eabce488f.jpg 20190503_203927.thumb.jpg.c4b8da21ff37650e651729f523025e52.jpg 20190503_203935.thumb.jpg.87e7163dcfefe5e0b53299a2067bd88a.jpg 

All ready to put in place on the deck of the ship. As the windlass won't be in use, I'll be putting the bars in "storage" when the ship is on display.

 

Steven
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's very annoying to have to re-learn lessons you thought you'd already learned. In this case - butt-joints aren't strong and will fail at the most inconvenient time!

 

I supported the forecastle on two uprights set into the corners of the forecastle substructure (underneath) and standing on the gunwale with butt-joints. I was working on the third support, a knee attached to the stempost,

 

20190504_135226.thumb.jpg.a72230da2c64b08b4bc2382173c11572.jpg

when I knocked the forecastle and it came off!  One upright stayed with the forecastle, the other stayed with the gunwale.

 

So I've had to re-jig it all and put pinned joints in place of the butt joints. And to head off future disasters I've made pin-joints between the knee and the stempost.

20190504_140531.thumb.jpg.2d2a25abc671ead4fccb90fd032d909c.jpg  20190504_181947.thumb.jpg.343601422367e8dbab6073792d3af044.jpg 20190504_182229.thumb.jpg.66d4ecec0c7c05f0a75c8f6139c1e14a.jpg 20190504_182239.thumb.jpg.2ea10ad7794249fc8af9ed4b512159cd.jpg

Serves me right for taking the "easy" way out.

 

Actually, it's just as well because the forrard part of the forecastle was too low - it was resting on the delivery pipe for the Greek Fire siphon instead of allowing a small space below it. 

20190504_182318.thumb.jpg.3d5f636c6f0e8af37ebfc29b93be92ec.jpg

So, all good, but I should have done it right the first time😠.

 

Steven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to interrupt (again) Steven, but on June 21st last year you posted a image of what looks to be a Genovese vessel with a mitred bishop aboard. From where did you find this? It is of great interest.

 

Keep up the exemplary work of your Roman dromon.

5b2b1da08fd97_C14Bohemond.jpg.c7ecdd6321a57639d62167ea3748550a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the likes and comments.

 

Nikiforos, the picture is a "13th-century manuscript illustration of a scene from the 11th-century First Crusade. Within the initial 'E' is a ship carrying the Italian-Norman nobleman Bohemund of Taranto (c.1058-1111), and Italian bishop Dagobert of Pisa (died 1105), as they sail for Apulia in Italy. Bohemond was one of the leaders of this first crusade by Christian Europe to gain territory in the Holy Land. Bohemund founded a Norman monarchy in Antioch. Daimbert, with Bohemund's support, became Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The text is Old French. Artwork from a 1250s French edition of 'Histoire d'Outremer' by medieval chronicler William of Tyre (c.1130-1186)."

 

I've installed the windlass - twice. The first time it was too far aft and didn't provide enough room for the first oarsman or two.

20190504_211112.thumb.jpg.be780f434e2ff8b3b488d62668cb6953.jpg 20190504_211116.thumb.jpg.4f4b900a50c0090172007ab37645fe0b.jpg

So I dissolved the glue with isopropanol and drilled some more holes in the deck for the pins, and moved it forward, closer to the pseudopation (forecastle).

20190505_175055.thumb.jpg.4337fb0111a14aee43bcf2127ed177dc.jpg 20190505_175118.thumb.jpg.8c33da2fdf707d000d1f6dc6543cb15d.jpg 20190505_175214.thumb.jpg.2fbb0445a15779ef3ea3e01ff717819f.jpg

It looks a little cramped for access to the pseudopation, but hey, it's a ship and sailors are good at getting into small spaces and around obstacles.

 

I've also finally glued the spur in place on the bow. The model is getting complete enough to do this at last. I have yet to install the cardboard brackets which represent iron ones, connecting the spur to the wales either side of the bow. Probably in the next post.

 

And I need to find a good place to stow the windlass bars, and make a couple of little ladders for the crew to access the pseudopation either side of the windlass. Lots of little details still to do before I can do things like add the lower oars, masts etc.

 

And I've yet to summon up courage to make the 50 upper bank oarsmen. In fact, due to designing as I went along, there'll be only 44 of them because the poop deck ended up longer than in the original drawings, which didn't allow enough room for the "tent" and the steersmen. With the longer poop I've had to sacrifice the last three pairs of upper oars aft.

 

Not much I can do about it so I just have to live with it. If I ever did a dromon Mark II I'd allow for this and make the ship just that bit longer, but it's not worth doing just for that.

 

Steven  

Edited by Louie da fly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everybody for the likes. It does help getting them, particularly when things get difficult (such as when I discovered I couldn't have the full complement of upper oarsmen😠).

 

Druxey, yes I'd already thought of that, and I sheathed the spur in fake copper alloy sheeting. (Archaeologists used to call this stuff bronze, but they discovered its chemical composition was so variable that it could just as easily be called brass, so they changed the name). Mine is made of aluminium foil from the little containers the cat food came in, then painted with Humbrol "bronze" paint. Not sure if it's because it was an old tin (I bought it from a toy shop) or the fault of the paint itself, but it was very gluey and unsatisfying. However, it did the job. The front surface of the forecastle is also sheathed.

 

John Haldon's 2006 experiment with it made it very obvious that heat shielding was absolutely necessary, and you could see from the video that a spur would have got covered with the flaming stuff.

 

Steven 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I've attached the "iron" (really cardboard) brackets for the spur

20190505_203551.thumb.jpg.dc7562bed79c1b884d8b9022459e78fa.jpg 20190505_215953.thumb.jpg.695667c29945414715fc1649bcd05a90.jpg 20190506_132819.thumb.jpg.4b5538adf49b0958f976bb9e508e1b44.jpg 20190506_132830.thumb.jpg.e81a654a187d635c2f4afd76fbb4dd4e.jpg 

and painted them to look like iron. First, a coat of black

20190510_143624.thumb.jpg.cd7d71f48b9015084f4a51f04fe14ef9.jpg 20190510_143756.thumb.jpg.1c1df7e38faad163ec90fc4df527509a.jpg

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.

20190510_160113.thumb.jpg.20da5132915b932dfe7990634bf78e0f.jpg 20190510_160121.thumb.jpg.d293b82b6e4c4d34450532a297a84996.jpg

Here are the bars for the windlass all done. Still got to find somewhere to stow them when not in use.

20190510_150017.thumb.jpg.975c71e47432d5b66f9a33f69095fadc.jpg

I've also found a banner that looks pretty cool. Again, from the Skylitzes Chronicle (mid-late 12th century).

1507494627_Skylitzesf.31rdetailbanner.jpg.8099e7e53f97e728730192a3bb84e0fc.jpg

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

 

 

Edited by Louie da fly

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Louie da fly said:

(thinks: that would be a good name for a song . . .😉)

thinks: Isn't there one already?

 

Cardboard ... ? Well if you don't tell we won't either, Steven.

Actually I was thinking about rust too, untill you mentioned the "She being brand new ..." bit (there is a poem about that one, maybe you can adjust it to a ship ...) It turned out very good, lots of hamering included I expect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks really good Steven. 

 

WRT the iron braces, is the design based on something you have 'unearthed' in your research?  If not, and probably too late, would a triangular horizontal gusset (on each iron strap), have added extra strength for the longitudinal and lateral forces experienced when ramming?

 

cheers

 

Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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,1619100595_Skylitzesf.29vShipBannerDetail.thumb.jpg.63267569ba6ac1cb4b21f7e2405a19b2.jpg

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/10/2019 at 8:27 AM, Louie da fly said:

Here are the bars for the windlass all done. Still got to find somewhere to stow them when not in use.

beautiful work Steven

(I have the same problem on my Golden Hind :()

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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.

 

Not necessarily.  It could have been those were acting as mercenaries or agreed to go under his banner.  If it was emperor's banner, it could be a misuse of the term "saracens".  Part of why I think the "dark ages" were called that is lack of definitive history.   So much was amplified, slanted, tweeked, etc. in the name of "religion" which was really power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Patrick and Fabio. Good luck with finding a place to stow the bars.

 

4 hours ago, mtaylor said:

It could have been those were acting as mercenaries or agreed to go under his banner.  If it was emperor's banner, it could be a misuse of the term "saracens". 

 

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.

 

4 hours ago, mtaylor said:

Part of why I think the "dark ages" were called that is lack of definitive history.   So much was amplified, slanted, tweeked, etc. in the name of "religion" which was really power

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×
×
  • Create New...