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Louie da fly

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

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I love Weber's clarinet concerto...but we digress. Why tie yourself in knots carving the oarsmen in one piece when you will be casting them anyway? Thought of casting them in pieces so that, when you assemble them, they can all vary slightly in pose?

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what about fimo? ..............modeling clay...they have different types....bakes in oven....is what i used to make the sculptures on the royal william.....which although amaturish, came out ok........but traditional wood i understand....

 

Edited by yancovitch

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Here is the oarsman with his arms broken off and his legs started to be shaped.

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Legs done, and ready to glue the arms back on. (Sorry about the photo quality.)

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I glued the arms on, and checked the new guy against the one I'd already done. Then it became obvious that the new guy's hands were higher up than the old one's, not because I'd glued them on too high but because I'd carved them that way.  20190906_223023.thumb.jpg.8175172bc2da743bf3c4d455b3c95c36.jpg

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Time to get clever - I sawed off the arms at the shoulders

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and re-glued them to be as close as possible to a mirror image of the arms on the other oarsman.

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A lot of mucking around, but I think I've finally got it right - except that I now have to carve a new right hand - the arm fell on the floor when I sawed it off and the hand split off, never to be seen again . . . sigh.

 

Steven

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8 hours ago, yancovitch said:

haha...very nice....i guess using fimo would have been a sacrilege

Not really - I've tried it but it never seems to give the precision and detail I want, and wood stays where you put it, unlike modelling clay. I've used it (well, plasticiene, actually) to work up a rough idea of what I want to do, but I find wood is better for the final model. And anyway, I like carving ☺️

 

Modelling wax is easier to carve than wood but less forgiving if you make a mistake. You can't add a bit of filler to cover it up.

 

I've bought some sculpy but haven't got around to trying it.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

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Yes, Dick. I'm thinking of making them of thin foil (from Easter eggs) as I did with the big banner. They seem to have about the right modulus (I think that's the first time I've ever used that word outside the science classroom!) of stiffness and flexibility, but I'll find out when I try it.

 

Steven

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On 9/6/2019 at 9:48 PM, druxey said:

Thought of casting them in pieces so that, when you assemble them, they can all vary slightly in pose?

No, I hadn't thought of that, but they're fairly constrained by having to hold the oars so the blades will be at the same level as those of the lower bank. On the other hand, I'm thinking of making, say, 5 different figures for each side (10 in all) cast in resin from these two originals, and then give them different details of hair, beard, face etc and re-cast 5 of each so we end up with a bigger mix of people - not unlike the way the Entombed Warriors were made with mass-produced bodies and individual heads. I can paint the tunics and hair different colours (though dark hair will of course predominate) to add to the variety.

 

Still thinking it through . . . 

 

Steven 

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2 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

Still thinking it through . . . 

And me thinking you had it all worked out!

 

I like the way your figurines turned out, will you be using alternative colours like purple and blue for the hair?

 

For the sleeves of your oars, could a toffee wrapper be of any use? Foil backed with paper ...

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15 hours ago, cog said:

will you be using alternative colours like purple and blue for the hair?

Of course! How could you think otherwise?😉

15 hours ago, cog said:

For the sleeves of your oars, could a toffee wrapper be of any use? Foil backed with paper ...

Not a bad idea, but I think it might be a little too stiff for the job - it could crumple rather than follow the shape I want. The Easter-egg foil seems to have just the right properties for the job - enough stiffness, but still flexible enough to get the shape right.

 

Steven

Edited by Louie da fly

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Finally got some paint that is the colour I wanted to use for the dromon's hull - basically a red ochre, which would be the source of the tint in red paint at the time . I'm using enamel (Humbrol) because I've found that a tiny bit of PVA glue under acrylic paint seems to mess up the finish. This is the first coat.

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The trim will be yellow ochre, and the bottom will be black (the colour of pitch). Normally Byzantine ships are shown as black all over in contemporary pictures, but the Emperor's ship is shown as red with yellow trim. I haven't decided yet whether to paint the sternpost and "tail" yellow or red. 

 

Once the painting is all done, I can put the lower oars into place and then finish off the deck (I need it open for the time being so I can see where to glue the oars). And then I can put all the deck items in place that I've been holding off from, add the upper oarbenches and the side castles and the awning at the poop, insert the masts etc etc.

 

Steven

 

 

Edited by Louie da fly

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Painting the hull below the waterline black to represent pitch. Two coats of enamel - more a charcoal than a pure black, which I think would look wrong.

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It'll take two days for the paint dry properly, then I'll start on the yellow for the wales, "tail" and other trim.

 

Steven

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There is a paint which I have used on my ancient builds, the bireme and the olkas that looks like pitch. 

 

ModelExpo MS4830 HULL SPAR BLACK

Edited by MESSIS

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Thanks Christos. And thanks everybody for the likes. Perhaps if I need to paint another ship to represent pitch I'll try that. Certainly where one is able to discern the colour, ancient and mediaeval Mediterranean ships all seem to have been black with very few exceptions,which I believe indicates they were coated with pitch for waterproofing.

 

Steven

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Working on the decoration of the xylokastra (wooden castles). I've looked at various examples of Byzantine decoration - from the great church of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul (I took these photos when I was there in 2000)

20190924_160558.thumb.jpg.d3e508244e9b11d464a9c38f24e187a4.jpg 20190924_160602.thumb.jpg.44c37019edc7de26ac562975e78eb61f.jpg 20190924_160606.thumb.jpg.f487118253a3a488715b914d2dfda0d0.jpg 20190924_160616.thumb.jpg.c25424d67047c2921fc9f7e33aae2de4.jpg 20190924_160622.thumb.jpg.c6c219114c88af91971daee51f2c9d17.jpg All very beautiful, but I think just a little too difficult;

 

Instead I took a motif from a staurotheque (relic of the True Cross), plus a bit of the simpler border decoration from Hagia Sofia

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and here's the first xylokastron - because of the colours I started with, I've swopped the colours around a bit;

 

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The second one is under way - I have to wait for the paint to dry before I can continue with it.

 

I'm not terribly happy with the precision of the "T" shapes in the border - I'm thinking of getting another, finer paintbrush. Even though the one I have is pretty fine (it's a watercolour "00", with a nice fine point), I seem to keep getting blobs, or going over the line at the most inopportune times, which messes up the pattern. I think the brush is too long - it sort of "flops" just as I'm trying to finalise a shape, and perhaps a shorter brush with the same fine point would be better.  On the other hand, maybe it's just a matter of keeping my hand still. Masking at this level of detail just doesn't seem practical.

 

Steven

 

Edited by Louie da fly

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Get the best quality sable brush for this kind of work, Steven: a Winsor and Newton Series 7 size 00 or even 000 will do it. Another excellent brushmaker is Rosemary & Co. Even with the brush that you are using, the decoration looks really nice.

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