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Greek Bireme by pasanax - Dusek - 1/72 scale with crew

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Greetings fellow shipbuilders!


To clear something up before i start my log - this is my first model and I am new to the business of working with wood. I picked up this kit because it looked to me like something rather simple to start with and because I simply love antic history, being a history student. So the dilema was should i start with the small bireme kit or the larger and more complex trireme kit that Dusek is offering. SInce it was my first model I decided to play it simple and went for the small 455mm long Greek Bireme from 6th century BC.


Other than that I decided that the model will be crewed with 48 rowers, 3-4 sailors and 5-6 hoplite infatry. This came into my mind later when I already started to build because I saw online a finished model of the same ship that is fully crewed. So I found out that the company Orion makes 1/72 scale antic sailor models and got myself 3 boxes nad a box of hoplite infantry hehe... 


And one thing that I really care, as all of the people that do this hobby, is that the model is finished historicaly accurate, that it can serve as a mini history lession of antic naval warfare. Now, it is not the same if you have to deal with well known ships and something that is as little known as antic ships. I've gone through two books that deal on antic naval warships and i still have some unsolved dilemmas. Almost all of the literature is focused on the more common known ships like the trireme, but almost nothing does it say about a bireme. The model i have is entirely based on greek pottery paintings! Which is rather interesting. I still have some unresolved problems that I will put up before i start crewing the boat.



I belive I should point out that i got the idea from user yancovitch  where I saw that it can be done! http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/gallery/image/9877-dsc-0449a/



So this is the box and the plans. Now one thing I noticed is that the picture on the box is of some older version of the model. The one pictured doesent have planking on the deck since it is only a straight flat plank, but the model itself comes with a wooden sheet with deck planking already inprinted on it. Some things i dislike on the ship is the plain white sail and the wide reddish/brown plank that looks like some sort of shield in the front of the ship. I plan not to put that silly ugly plank upfront and i will sew my own sail out of red and blue cloth to make it more interesting, specialy because greeks enjoyed colourful things, didnt they :) And I plan on painting a red strip on the side of it, aswell as the fence (I am sorry for the lack of propery usage of naval terms, and english is not my mother language so I cant think of anything else than fence).




The plans are really not that much. A scaled picture of the model and a few pages that pracicaly say nothing more than first do this, than do this, and voila a bireme.




So this is where i curently am with the planking. This is the first time I tried it, and it looks kinda flimsy but I belive that after the sanding process that it should look better. The lower deck where the bottom rowers sit is already painted since those areas might be harder to paint afterwads.










Planking the front of the ship was rather hard, since the plank has to bend from the center of the ship to the front by almost 90 degrees. The holes i left in the front are there because that part will be covered by the ram that i will construct since i really dont like that little plank that is sepose to represent a ram.








The back of the ship was much easier to plank that the front since on the front it has a rather strange bend.





Now what bothers me a lot are theese gaps between the planks that I made because of my lack of skills. I really hope I can somehow carefuly fill them with wood kit, and that after the sanding and painting they will not be so visible. Anyone has an idea if it can be fixed?






Oh yes and another thing that really got me mad haha. One of the plastic clippers that i used for hodling0 planks together until the blue dries slipped and crushed this piece here... Now it will take some carefull work to bring it in its place in such a way that it is not noticed after everything is finished.




And atlast, here are some online pictures of the models that are still on their way from e-bay! There are rowers aswell as sailors who pull ropes and similar. I also ordered a ,,captain'' and a flutist, oh and the hoplites are not in a battle position, they are more like in a chill figure, which suits me since the ship will be cruising and not in a battle formation.








Well, that is it for now. Soon I will be finished with the planking and than i hope the sanding will go well! After that i will throw myself into building that ram!


Thank you for reading

Edited by pasanax
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So the crew arrived through the mail today! Those are Roman sailors made by Orion and 2 sprues of hoplites from warlord games.


The oarsmen are just fenomenal and exactly the scale I needed. They are made from a strange rubbery kind plastic which I haven't seen on models yet. But what is good about that is that their arms can bend a bit, allowing for proper placement of oar in their hands,




this is what comes in one box. I will be using only the oarsmen and sailors that are not wearing any armor. All of the other models are Roman only, so they wont fit on a greek ship.








Now the hoplites are just fenomenal models. Outstanding detail and plastic for the price you pay for them. Now, unfortunatly I wont be using them, because they are out of scale. They are 28mm and oarsmen are 25mm. I tought the difference will not be that big, but I was wrong. So the hoplites will wait for some other project.




scale difference



All in all, i am very satisfied. Oh yes, and i fixed that broken part effectively :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Its been some time since i uploaded some photos last time :) I haven't been working on the model a lot, but i managed to get a few coats of paint on it. So I basecoated the black parts, and added the red strip on the sides. Well, my plan now is to drill the holes on the sides for the rows and than build the fence :) drilling the holes will be a chalange!

















Attempt at wheathering effects inside the hull


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  • 4 months later...
  • 10 months later...

Long time no update :) well, probably because I didint work on the boat for some time... but I am resuming now alright.


Unfortunately, I've lost the box with the remaining parts so I'll have to improvise from now on and remember the plans from my head.


So the fence is done on the boat, it fits the height of the models rather nice.





Also I've covered the red line with some planks to make it a bit more tidy.



Hoplites are getting ready to board the ship :)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Very nice build so far. Looks good! One way to avoid gaps between the planks is to bevel the edge a bit. So that the angle planks where they join are not 90 degrees but slightly less. That way you can get a nice tight fit.


But don´t worry about that too much, a little filler and sanding goes along way and when you look at the model from a foot away a slight "gap" will hardly be noticeably.


Keep up the good work!

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Ty for the tip Torbogdan! After I've completed the planking i've realised some things about planking, but I will apply that knowledge on some other project :) learning through mistakes, the only way I know...


Anyways, I think I am finished with the main part of the construction. Next step is to make rows! Paralel with that I will paint the rowers so I can position them and the rows correctly.


Applied 2 coats of matt lacquer to seal the paint and protect what i have so far from the elements. 









Also made a little chair for the [guy that controls the rudders].



that is sepose to represent this:





I've drawn the eyes (i have to correct this little black line in the eyeball that i messed up) and made the ram. The ram was ''sculptured'' from Greenstuff (its a really nice modeling asset --> https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71au1BqMamL._SX355_.jpg and here are some things that people do with it  -->http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JUyGGlqg55k/UTpnhPLPjQI/AAAAAAAAAPM/Um1pKu3Spck/s1600/23957_md-Dark+Angels+Deathwing+Greenstuff+Space+Marines+Terminator+Armor.jpg





Now I have a little problem, my front fence didnt meet that pole in the front of the ship, due to the fact that i've cut off the original front part and made a new one. Now i have a little gap between the two:

The new version (left) and the old version of the pole (right) that was properly designed to meet the fence.



But I am not worried by that fact because there will be a sort of a flag (sheet) covering the front part of the ship so the gap wont be visible, just like in the picture below:


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