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Louie da fly

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

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2 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

Not quite sure what that means - not even sure I want to know . . .

Model drawing at artschool ...?

 

 

2 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

I'm onto sanding the figures now - a little more than half way through.

Exfoliating ... you are a versatile man, Steven.

 

Do you sand by hand or use some rotary tool?

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On 6/14/2020 at 4:50 AM, Louie da fly said:

A real milestone - I've finally carved the last of my oarsmen!

You are a brave man !! great work

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And now all the oarsmen have been sanded smooth. What someone looking at the photo called a wooden orgy . . .:rolleyes:

 

20200620_114357.thumb.jpg.59b7cd2f22e0c2116112d22c07ad5040.jpg

 

My immediate next job is to make arms for them and then fit arms to each oarsman. This will be a somewhat involved process - not only because half are port and half starboard, but each has to have his arms in exactly the right place to hold the oar so the blade is in line with the others and with those of the lower bank.

 

And I've made ringbolts for the tackle for the shrouds, which are tied down with blocks, not deadeyes. The ringbolts were done with a very wonky set of long-nosed pliers and some garden wire,

 

20200617_085350.thumb.jpg.f366d23f10eefbe3e6384a0224bdc223.jpg

 

then a blob of CA to hide the join and look like a swivel for the ring.

20200617_095053.thumb.jpg.ced0995381d4520e3820277a2c24c420.jpg

To be trimmed to shape, painted black and inserted in the gunwale in due course. 

 

And I'm taking the time to take stock of where I go from here. I've started writing a "to-do" list sequencing everything yet to be done from now until the model is finished. There's still quite a lot to be done, but I do think I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

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A nice pile of bodies indeed Steven :)  The to do list is a good idea - it is so easy to miss something, especially the sequence of doing it before fitting the oarsmen.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Yes it would be a shame to have them put to work without the use of their arms! Or you pile them up with a sign: Up for grabs

 

I think Pat has the gist of it. With some work I do need to write things down, like sequence of actions ... I have ended up with some parts I didn't expect

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The ringbolts are complete and painted black:

 

image.png.7c18f6d694ac929870ed0bbf7d867c2d.png

 

And I've put them in position:

 

20200622_114157.thumb.jpg.4440747c1e882c937c6d9fb75eef4685.jpg

 

And here are the cleats under way. The only problem is that as far as I've been able to discover there are absolutely no cleats in the archaeological record for Byzantine vessels, so how lines were belayed is a bit of a mystery. It seems likely to me that the simple cleat I've made would be of a type that would suggest itself to anybody wanting to tie down a rope, and in the absence of any better evidence I'm going with these. And I'm committed now - they're glued on with CA.

 

image.png.24ebfe4d4abcb4400f4c1f5f59b2c362.png

 

20200622_104917.thumb.jpg.4d89f8b71e613ede92afff99848bf587.jpg

 

Holes for the pins that will locate the cleats into the sides of the ship. The  holes were made before shaping the cleats, to minimise the risk of splitting (some of them did anyway).

 

  image.png.4815a0be37d7a3cddc95feb6d7eca67b.png

 

And separated out into individual cleats:

 

 

 

 

Brass sequin pin inserted in the hole . . . and cut to length.

 

image.png.931b06bbcfa9bd57852d17fa476396db.png    image.png.6e72434a69fcd2e78d66c85282e8e21e.png

 

And cleats in place:

 

20200622_150924.thumb.jpg.f2ac9168b243c3fd6f5dbbf425feec32.jpg   20200622_115444.thumb.jpg.794f118b18aaa009013a3cb759ed593f.jpg

 

I put them on an angle because of the limited space - either vertical or horizontal there just wasn't enough room to get a rope around the "horns". Had I thought ahead better, I wouldn't have put that railing on before the ringbolts and cleats. It made my job almost impossible - in fact I had to bore the holes for the cleat pins by hand, with an awl.

 

And I've been making arms for the oarsmen. At the current state of things there are a total of 96 needed.

 

20200621_135527.thumb.jpg.471291e88455300067d33d1b4c5fbfc7.jpg20200623_144016.thumb.jpg.b9a52a99b1fa8cb44e7cda90ad0fc8be.jpg

 

On reflection, I've realised that this makes me an arms manufacturer . . . :dancetl6:

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

The ringbolts are complete and painted black:

 

image.png.7c18f6d694ac929870ed0bbf7d867c2d.png

 

And I've put them in position:

 

20200622_114157.thumb.jpg.4440747c1e882c937c6d9fb75eef4685.jpg

 

And here are the cleats under way. The only problem is that as far as I've been able to discover there are absolutely no cleats in the archaeological record for Byzantine vessels, so how lines were belayed is a bit of a mystery. It seems likely to me that the simple cleat I've made would be of a type that would suggest itself to anybody wanting to tie down a rope, and in the absence of any better evidence I'm going with these. And I'm committed now - they're glued on with CA.

 

image.png.24ebfe4d4abcb4400f4c1f5f59b2c362.png

 

20200622_104917.thumb.jpg.4d89f8b71e613ede92afff99848bf587.jpg

 

Holes for the pins that will locate the cleats into the sides of the ship. The  holes were made before shaping the cleats, to minimise the risk of splitting (some of them did anyway).

 

  image.png.4815a0be37d7a3cddc95feb6d7eca67b.png

 

And separated out into individual cleats:

 

 

 

 

Brass sequin pin inserted in the hole . . . and cut to length.

 

image.png.931b06bbcfa9bd57852d17fa476396db.png    image.png.6e72434a69fcd2e78d66c85282e8e21e.png

 

And cleats in place:

 

20200622_150924.thumb.jpg.f2ac9168b243c3fd6f5dbbf425feec32.jpg   20200622_115444.thumb.jpg.794f118b18aaa009013a3cb759ed593f.jpg

 

I put them on an angle because of the limited space - either vertical or horizontal there just wasn't enough room to get a rope around the "horns". Had I thought ahead better, I wouldn't have put that railing on before the ringbolts and cleats. It made my job almost impossible - in fact I had to bore the holes for the cleat pins by hand, with an awl.

 

And I've been making arms for the oarsmen. At the current state of things there are a total of 96 needed.

 

20200621_135527.thumb.jpg.471291e88455300067d33d1b4c5fbfc7.jpg20200623_144016.thumb.jpg.b9a52a99b1fa8cb44e7cda90ad0fc8be.jpg

 

On reflection, I've realised that this makes me an arms manufacturer . . . :dancetl6:

 

 

 

Very impressive Steven, thoroughly enjoying the build logs.

If u make to many arms, u could always sell what's left.

Making u an arms dealer.🤪

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I've reached a bit of a breakthrough regarding the oarsmen:dancetl6:.

 

The major problem I've been up against is that neither the oarsmen nor the spacing of the benches and tholes are terribly consistent. The first because they were all hand-carved. The second because when I was first building the hull I didn't realise how important it would be later in the build to have all the frames at exactly the same spacing, and I've had to make adjustments around this initial error.

 

Because of this, each oarsman has had to be dealt with separately - I haven't been able mass-produce a "standard" oarsman - and the same applies to the placement of their arms. A tiny variation in placement can have a huge effect on the relationship between the oar handle and the oarsman's hands. I can only mass-produce arms up to a certain point - I have to leave quite a bit of each arm unfinished till I can adjust it to the individual oarsman.

 

This has been bugging me for quite a long time - how to get some stable reference point so I can put the hands in exactly the right places for each oarsman. Well, I've finally worked out a strategy.

 

First I glue the oar in place on the gunwale so the blade is level with those of the lower oars (i.e. at "water level") and the oar is at the same position in the "sweep" as the lower oars - (so if you look down from above, all the oars are at the same angle with respect to the hull). That's our first reference point.

 

Then put a spot of glue on the oarsman's "sit-upon", to temporarily fix him to his bench. That's our second reference point.

 

Drill a hole through the top of the arm, which is then temporarily glued to the shoulder and the hole continued into the body. A bamboo pin fixes them together, then the arm (after breaking the glue bond) is swivelled till the hand is in place on the handle of the oar.

 

20200625_132241.thumb.jpg.1ae6892f480e4f69ee6cce2775c8bc5b.jpg

 

Then bit by bit I carve the hand so it has a hollow to take the handle, and then shape it until it is as much like a human hand as I can make it. Then I can glue the arm onto the body permanently, and repeat the process for the other arm.

 

20200625_152744.thumb.jpg.3071a43bca0a868c63365d922e685089.jpg
 

After the first two figures (which was the experimental stage) I was able to improve the process. On the second figure I discovered the swivel hole in the arm was in the wrong place - the hand reached past the oar handle. I had to drill a second hole to get the swivel in the right place.

 

20200625_152408.thumb.jpg.829ffb17407cf1152c44a51b22d9f47c.jpg
 

So from now on I'll be lining up the arm against the shoulder first, to check that everything fits properly before I drill the hole. 

 

Finally, when everything's lined up and glued together, I go back and trim everything to shape. I put wood filler in the gaps between arm and shoulder

 

image.png.22b6f2675a6969ad71d9fb75eb371adb.png  image.png.d475fe53488ad1f2ca7ddd94a60eb81f.png  image.png.ad5edd510175c67702ddd35f3ef0e014.png

 

 

 and smooth it off when it's set. That way I don't have to spend forever trying to get the interface between the arm and the shoulder perfect - I can just bodge it a bit. Once it's painted no-one but me will know the difference (oh, except you guys, of course).

 

20200624_195750.thumb.jpg.14944c75549d81efc6bc33170055904c.jpg

 

Oh, and on the subject of arms, this is included for those Australians of a certain age who still remember the Aunty Jack Show on tv :D.

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

Oh, and on the subject of arms, this is included for those Australians of a certain age who still remember the Aunty Jack Show on tv :D

    I just thought he was the subject of the Hemingway novel:  A Farewell to Arms  :rolleyes:

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Mark, that's a very valid point and quite a few of the rowers on Olympias used an underhand grip. I hadn't taken that into account, but at this late stage I think it would all be too complicated.

 

Chuck - nice. I hadn't thought of that one!

 

I do remember that an inkeeper asked Lord Nelson for permission to rename his pub The Nelson Arms and Nelson said "But I only have one."

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Thanks for sharing your thought process on this; surprising how many 'considerations' must be accounted for. 

 

AND, thanks for the memories - loved that show!

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Just a small update.

 

Here is how the oars are fixed to the "gunwale" (can it be a gunwale when guns haven't been invented yet?).

 

A hole drilled into the gunwale just aft of the thole (see red circle).

 

20200627_112336.thumb.jpg.d158fa7625e45835a017b79206ae8a4b.jpg

 

 

And a hole in the oar, with a brass pin inserted. Then the pin is put into the hole in the gunwale and the whole assembly glued in place - both at the gunwale and at the oarsman's hands. The handle didn't quite line up with the oarsman's hands, so I moved the oar's pivot point slightly further along the shaft - so the whole oar was slightly further outboard. 

 

20200627_112407.thumb.jpg.6e342abf84c91457245e0b535c48b365.jpg

 

I'm now regretting putting the pavesade (the railing that will hold the defensive shields) in place so early. It's made access rather difficult, particularly when drilling holes. It was a problem when I was trying to drill holes for the ringbolts, and now again trying to drill holes to pivot the oars - the home-made drill I made from a small brass pin  wasn't long enough, and I had to make a longer one from a dressmaker's pin with the end cut off.

 

 The first oarsman is finally complete, painted and glued in place, holding his oar (note the lemon yellow hose!). Not totally happy about the inboard hand on this one, but as I get more experience with doing these I'm sure I will improve.

 

20200626_183116.thumb.jpg.3716508bc0dc522ea29eafe4f82fd012.jpg 

 

I'm trying to work out the best way to portray the loop of leather or rope that holds the oar to the thole - as it would have been pretty thin I'll probably just use a bit of cotton glued around the oar.

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On 6/27/2020 at 8:58 AM, Louie da fly said:

as it would have been pretty thin I'll probably just use a bit of cotton glued around the oar.

Sewing thread in the required colour would do the trick. If it's to thin just twist one or more strands to the required thickness. I created a chain for 1;96 dolphin striker by making knots, one after another on a piece of sewing thread.

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Thanks for all the likes.

 

Jamie, thanks for the comment. I have to admit I found myself trapped into doing it to a certain degree - If I hadn't carved the other figures (Emperor and his court etc) I wouldn't have felt obliged to carve the oarsmen. A lot more work than I'd anticipated, but now I have the position of the arms under control it's becom enjoyable again instead of a trial.

 

Carl, yes that's what i was thinking. I have thread of different thicknesses, and if my "tan" sewing cotton is too thin I'll be dyeing one of the thicker ones to a worthwhile shade for the strap/loop..

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Well, I said it's not a model unless you've bled on it . . . But this time I didn't cut myself with a scalpel blade while carving. Oh, no - I got much more inventive with self-harm. This time I was drilling a hole through the newly carved arm and into the shoulder so I could insert a pivot to join the two together. Unfortunately I drilled a little too far and into the finger that was behind the shoulder . . . Here's the figure with the first arm and pivot in place

 

20200629_202840.thumb.jpg.1b3011b02f230ab1bd7cf3bd78f57b04.jpg

 

and here he is with the bloodstain, and the band-aided finger beside it.

 

20200630_183319.thumb.jpg.ba165eae1f7ab5910e2f2eb8bc35660a.jpg

 


And finally, with his new arms, all painted and in place.

 

20200702_134922.thumb.jpg.55220620720d9c6d93cbc394e0de9593.jpg

 

20200702_134918.thumb.jpg.413b86ce379443f115ae28c5c32e592d.jpg

 

The loose bits of cotton are for the oar-loops - photos further down the page. 

 

Here's the fourth oarsman with left arm partly carved and marked for reduction, then carved to that mark:

 

20200702_151220.thumb.jpg.cfd063e394d015f01ee1dbf14b7e0d7d.jpg   20200702_151857.thumb.jpg.a84d75b3b0c7a75dff09f618c216e561.jpg

 

Still more carving to be done to get it looking like an actual arm . . . but here he is with one arm carved to shape and glued in place - the other arm is temporarily positioned, ready for trimming to final shape.

 

20200703_152837.thumb.jpg.a62993b909256e669de394c0e13f46ec.jpg

 

First oar-loop part done.

 

20200703_152850.thumb.jpg.e5fa15255a84b54a619ba10abb87bbdd.jpg

 

 

Oar-loops around the first two oars (far left)

 

20200703_152917.thumb.jpg.9c7ea004a28cf7b826d7f695dfcaa3f7.jpg

 

 

And around the thole.

 

20200703_153155.thumb.jpg.186abf1dfd121223711a70040c5758a0.jpg 

 

image.png.0cb0063ddbf1b6f4b4c17cabc777022c.png

 

And first, second and third oar-loops completed and trimmed off:

 

20200703_190552.thumb.jpg.fec177ee115a2202af01f81d59dcf168.jpg    20200703_190600.thumb.jpg.be3a88d746c5ca03b19e97e6a6bd7bab.jpg

 

20200703_190607.thumb.jpg.a453ced8c265904854eb785a2c20951b.jpg

 

I now have both arms of the most recent (unpainted) oarsman carved to shape and glued in place. Next I have to take him back off his seat, add filler where the arms meet the body and carve to final shape.

 

Note in the first of the above three photos how much better this last oarsman's hands are than on the first guy I did (in blue), whose right hand not only has its fingers pointing the wrong way, but isn't even in contact with the oar handle.  I might fix that later down the track, or just leave it as evidence of my improvement.

 

I've also drilled the holes in all the upper oars, to take the little brass pins that will keep them in place on the gunwale, plus added cotton for the oarloops. You can only see a couple of the holes because most of the oars are turned the other way. However, after I did the first few oar-loops I decided to take the cotton back off again and glue it on each oar after it  is in place - it works better that way.

 

20200703_152910.thumb.jpg.09aa1f9f8142a5bc5ddd4f9415fa4476.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You are getting very good at these carvings, Steven, but please don't drill yourself again. Hopefully you'll heal quickly. The rowers' clothing and hair look so clean and un-sweaty! Are you planning to grunge them up a bit?

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8 hours ago, druxey said:

Are you planning to grunge them up a bit?

That's what he has been trying to it seems. It seems there is a fellow walking the deck with a cat 'o nine tails.

 

You should take more care Steven - look who's talking ... I cut my thumb on my Byrnes table saw last weekend 😮

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15 hours ago, druxey said:

The rowers' clothing and hair look so clean and un-sweaty! Are you planning to grunge them up a bit?

Not really - it is after all the Emperor's personal ship. And Byzantine oarsmen (and in fact all oarsmen until the Renaissance) - were free men not slaves (🎶For who are so free as the sons of the waves?🎶) - sorry; couldn't help myself.:P

 

Oh, and I have a cunning plan which will mean that 8 of the oarbenches won't be manned. But that will involve more work, not less . . . That's all I'm going to say for the moment - I want to keep it as a surprise. But don't forget - you heard it here first!

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