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Robin Lous

Greek Bireme by Robin Lous - Dusek - Scale 1:72 - First wooden ship build - FINISHED

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To be honest...I think the Amati is anything but Greek. Maybe something else, but I think it's some sort of fantasy design.

The Dusek kit is obviously based on the images we have from Greek black pottery, maybe not perfect, but close enough.

 

Robin :)

 

Plus from what i have read in your log the Dusek kit is supplied with better woods :)

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Thanks gentlemen, you're all too kind!  :)

 

A Hoplite is an ancient greek soldier armed with a spear and protected by a helmet and large round shield (aspis). With or without additional body armor The battle formation was almost always the phalanx, a close formation, 8 to 16...and even 32 ranks deep.

 

For painting the skin I used Vallejo basic skintone 70.815. Applied a brown wash afterwards and softened / highlighted by drybrushing the skintone paint again. 

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Today we returned from our city trip to Paris and to get back on track I started making the shield I want to hang on the railing.

Just one shield...it wasn't common practise to have a full line of shields on the sides (like on Norse and Phoenician ships), so one shield for decorative purpose will do.

 

At first I planned to use one of the plastic shields I have now, but...well...they're not that great, so I decided to make one from brass...

15085562_358740267796444_8626798720211433427_n.jpg.305bac395445da24761441b6dd201563.jpg

Hammered the bowl and filed and sanded the rim.

I'll make the inside lining from fine red silk, the arm loop from brass and the rope and tassels from...thin rope.

 

I'll try to do the shield decoration with a 0,2mm waterproof marker pen, when I fail...a decal :rolleyes:

 

Will start with the mast and stay also this week.

 

So...more soon,

 

Robin :)

Edited by Robin Lous

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I don't have much time to work on my build at the moment and I hit some sort of "writer's block".

 

One of the problems I have to deal with is the ships eye...and I have to do it before I start with the mast and rigging.

Designing the eye took me countless tries the last few weeks, but I finally made one I'm happy with.

I cut out the design I made to see how it looks and where to position it.

And the template. I can use it on both sides.

Marked the lines with a fine waterproof marker pen.

 

I'll let it dry overnight before I start painting the eyes, so hopefully I can get this done tomorrow...and move on to the mast.

 

More soon,

 

Robin :)

bireme build109.jpg

bireme build108.jpg

bireme build107.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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Yeah...it was!

 

Had to remove the waterproof ink again, because it wasn't that waterproof after all. :(

 

Marked with a pencil instead. I painted the white first and the dark grey outline after that.

 

Finished!

bireme build110.jpg

bireme build111.jpg

bireme build112.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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Thanks guys!

 

Another small update...

 

About the spare oars.

It's unknown how many spare oars a penteconter carried, but a trieres with 170 oars had 30, so 50 plus 8 spares is an estimated guess.

To replace broken oars quickly, there's only one suitable spot to place them. Tied to the centre top deck railing.

So that's what I did....

 

Also made a bench on the rear deck (just a plank) and placed the pin rails...on the rear deck railing and centre deck railing. And the shield I mentioned before.

 

A nice photo of the Argo at full speed...with the spare oars.

 

More soon,

 

Robin :)

bireme build113.jpg

 

argo2.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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Err....well, making them wasn't too bad, but I was happy when I finished the job.

 

With the eyes painted on...mast, yard and rigging time. I doubt I'll ever enjoy doing the rigging, because I still have nightmares from rigging WWI biplane models.

 

Anyway....

 

For the mast, yard and rigging I use the Olkas trade ship photo's from Messis (thanks again!)

I have some prefab painted and stitched bireme sails from Daniel Dusek. They're wonderful! very fine thin sails and the stitching looks fantastic.

I'm not 100% sure painted sails were common, but I know Homer mentioned them, so ...ok.

Won't see much of it anyway, because I do a furled sail.

The yard will be a 3 part construction (seen on the Olkas trade ship and Argo).

I already curved a dowel to match the shape of the sail. The mast is not fixed to the (lower) deck yet. I'll do (part of) the rigging and the yard before I fix the mast to the ship.

I used the width of the sail and compared it to one of the sublime Olkas photo's from Messis to get the measurements for the yard right.

 

More soon,

 

Robin :)

 

Edit: I also adjusted the lenght of the mast to make it all work. +1cm (above the deck). Not much going on above the yard in the manual and a lot going on there on the Olkas, so I need that extra 1 cm.

bireme build115.jpg

bireme build114.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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Not sure which I am going to hate more. Making millions of oars or rigging ! I don't especially like rigging either but after all those oars !!!!!!!

 

You say you got some sails from Daniel Dusek ! Did you get them with the kit or did you have to contact the guy personally ?

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Today I made the yard.

The 10 brass eyelets (U shaped brass wire, so I had to drill 20 0,5mm holes for them) are there for the lines to raise and lower the sail.

The yard is made from a 2mm dowel.

 

This took me whole darn day :o (ok...with lots of breaks and time searching for escaping tiny eyelets on the floor).

 

Mast done, yard done...sail and rigging next!

 

More soon!

 

Robin :)

bireme build116.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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Good job done there ! If it is of any comfort, I have spent half a day making suspension brackets for my stagecoach which of course I am not allowed to show here (!!!!!) and after some quite colourful language I am quite pleased with the results as I am sure you are with yours.

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This took me whole darn day :o (ok...with lots of breaks and time searching for escaping tiny eyelets on the floor).

 

Yeah right ... your bottle's cap you mean ;)

 

That's why you shouldn't use a carpet, but something smooth and contrasting in colour!!! Makes searching a lot easier

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Mike...I won't mind you sneaking in a few photo's of your stagecoach build here ^_^

 

I had to solve one last rigging mystery.

Already figured out the Greek lowered and raised their sails with the lines (orange) that go from the bottom line of the sail...over the yard...to the rear deck of the ship.

But I wondered about only pulling the bottom line of the sail up...this will result in the rest of the sail ballooning in the wind...or a shapeless sack at best.

Making the whole system pointless.

 

A closer look at one of the Olkas photo's showed how ingenious the ancient Greek were...

 

Several rope loops stitched to the sail (green) keep the sail from ballooning. It works like a horizontal curtain or blinds (red).

The (pink) free hanging lines to secure the sail to the yard are only needed when the yard is lowered and stowed for battle.

 

This will keep me busy for a while...

 

I replaced the Dusek rope with Corel 0,5mm. The Dusek rope (on the piece of cardboard) is great, but I need more.

Also got some sewing thread from Amman Mettler for the thinner ropes I need. Same colour as the Corel rope, sail colour and a dark brown.

 

I can imagine my eyes go on strike when I work on the rigging for a while, so I might do the ladder and/or the steering oars somewhere in between. Also thinking about making the ram, but I'm not sure how to make it yet. Meanwhile...the burnished copper sheet is still weathering naturally outside.

 

I'm not sure this build tought me much about how to build a wooden ship, but it surely tought me a lot about ancient Greek ships.

 

Robin :)

bireme build117.jpg

bireme build118.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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Whatever you are doing and however you are learning to do it, the finished result speaks loud and clear that you are doing it right!

 

Learning about the ships, the people who built them and the people who crewed them, in my opinion, is just as fascinating as building the ships.

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Thanks gentlemen, you're all too kind.  :blush:

 

Sunday I took a day off from the shipyard. Was too tired after some crazy busy days...and had to watch the last Formula 1 Grand Prix  race of the season (with "our" hero Max Verstappen).

 

Yesterday I started with the rigging. Sail first....and I'm amazed about the amount of "stuff" that has to go on it.

Started with the "curtain loops" 8 rows of 5 loops needed, so that's 40. :o

 

7 rows...35...done. Very time consuming, because I didn't do just a loop through the sail.

3 stitches one side...loop...3 stitches other side. When I finished this, the rest will be fairly easy.

 

I first planned to use the sewing thread for the (10) lines that go from from the bottom of the sail...over the yard to the pin rail on the rear deck (is there a proper nautical word for them?), but I use the 0,5 mm Corel instead.

Perhaps the sewing thread is more true to scale, but it will be hardly vissible and I'm afraid it won't look good.

 

More soon!

 

Robin :)

bireme build120.jpg

Edited by Robin Lous

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