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Greek Warship Bireme by moreplovac - FINISHED - Amati - Scale 1/35

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Thanks Robin. I am also very happy with oars; was just wondering for my future build which could potentially be the same one you are working on. I noticed your oar work and they make perfect sense for that ship.


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Completed assembly of all oars, next is to sand them and put a coat of danish oil or something...

Here they are, waiting for a next phase..



To  get away from making oars, i lay down few planks for a main deck. The planks were kept in water for few last days. Not on purpose dough; i just forgot about them which ended up being a good thing since they were twistable like chew gum...



That's it for now; fortunately day is not over yet so apart from putting a drywall primer on hallway walls, there is not much house work on the plate. 

Time permitting i will be back in ship shop shortly (hah, ship-shop)..











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A bit of a planking for the end of the day...


Most likely i will not trust these clothespin to hold my clothing but they are quite useful for holding the planks...





Main deck planking is coming along..



The blue mess on the top is part of my protective gloves that got glued with little help of gorilla gel glue. Cleaning up of it is next phase..








Thanks for following.








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I found myself in a mistake, not reading a plan correctly i planked two extra rows on both sides of main deck. After looking into completed planking i noticed that space where the oarsman will sit looks like a Tiger III tank' driver space, which was kind of weird, at least.

So back to the shipyard and using acetone, i removed two extra planks from both ends. It required a bit of cleaning up after but end result was satisfactory.

The size of the main deck is correct now and oarsman can enjoy the Mediterranean view and breeze of fresh sea wind..




I did not like the end results of the laser-cut frames. Contemplating what to do i decided to put a peace of veneer to cover that visible part of frames.



On above picture you see the difference between covered and uncovered frames. I think it would look more finished with veneer then without.

Before I also tried to sand the frames, but was not quite satisfied with results; i would still see the middle dark brown line which i think is part of a 4 mm plywood...


Researching this ship model i came across some pictures of the finished model and noticed that there are some extra planking applied on the edge of the main deck (black arrow). Unfortunately the ship kit does not come with those so i need to do some work in my shop to find correct wood parts. Fun..




Today i started the main deck sanding (unfortunately forgot to protect the ship interior so will need to do some cleanup afterwards); also sanded up 4 oars and could not resist not to see how this will all fit together. Not picking the right position for oars (holes are not made yet) i put few oars in the ship just for fun.. Well at the end, it might turn out to be interesting model..





During main deck planking process i put few planks in the middle of the deck and used this "fancy" template to mark down position for a 5 planks, where i will be installing edge planks. Plan was to put the edge planks first and than fill out the rest of the space. 


Interesting experience i must say..








Edited by moreplovac

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New patient; good song on the ipad, a bit stronger grip and voala.. Broken oar but with a small drop of superglue all is back to normal..




As we can all see, today was all about sanding the oars and adding a small strip of veneer to cover laser cut burns on the frames...




The one with a small label is the one that has a handle broken and will need special attention after all is done. Also it will require a special place inside of the ship so it is hidden from praying eyes that can see all imperfections.


2/3 of the oars completed; 10-15 more to go.






Veneer applied to most of the frames. Few more to be applied.


Kind of boring day (night) in shipyard but there are always jobs that have to be done.


That is all for today.


Happy building all...





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Very nice project. It is also nice to see very diff. projects being worked on. I will follow along as well. Your work is indeed also excellent.


PS: You have given me a great idea regarding oars for my next project (Oseberg)

Next time I go to my local coffee shop I will take a few extra of bits :)




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Hi Michael,

thanks for following along and for kind words..

Yes, i decided to make this build a bit more custom then what's on the plan. Partially because i am a bit rusty when it comes to model ship building skills and partially because i came across model pictures that are completely apart from ship plans. So, i decided to give my touch as well :-)

The oars were first thing i noticed on the ship plan that are sticking out in negative connotation which made me think how to improve them by using kit supplied parts for oar polls and something else for paddles. And yes, now every time i get a coffee i grab few extras, for my supply collection..






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Today i completed all oars, sanded them and got them ready for a danish oil `massage`... Mental note to myself: need to start paying attention where my phone' camera is focusing or to pull out my SLR..



I needed to convince myself that several hrs of work on oars was actually worth it. I think i ended up getting a very decent oar if compared to oar on the plan. Still not sure how oarsman can get the mighty bireme to the speed of 9 knots (at least that was the speed of Olympians trireme) which supposed to be enough to successfully ram the enemy's ships, if they have used oar type from the plan. I think if oars were made in the shape copied from this plan, the bireme would most likely will be able to achieve few dents and dings on enemies' ship..



Also worked on covering all exposed frame parts with veneer and made them flush with the frames. I think it turned out to be a decent work...


..and the view of all frames covered with veneer. There are also a guide lines for fake doors i am planing to work on next time. 



Thanks for following...




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Continuing with work on a main deck. Even dough plan does not say so, i wanted to add a bit of an "edge" planking just to finish up nicely the main deck. I was not able to locate any more appealing piece of wood in my shop so i used few extra planks from the ship pile. Started from the back...



... used miter cut tool, which turned out to be very useful and sharp tool (my thumb is a witness)..





The next picture shows twisting and fitting of a planks; since wood was a bit to long in the water, the clamps left a small dents in the planks so i ended up cutting that part and using two new planks. Must be more careful, no spare parts anymore..


The ship plan shows that main deck planking goes all the way, up to the top of the ship; i did not like it and finished up deck planking like this: it needs a bit sanding but i kind of like clean lines...


Then started to work on deck area where fake doors will be located. Not quite sure yet should i just fake it or spend extra time to cut the opening on the deck nicely, make 20+ doors, etc. We'll see. Plan says just to enhance the appearance of the doors with tiny strips of oak...


From the rat's point of view..


Between those three strips of wood i need to either make it or fake it..


Also, at this time i needed to make a hole for a main (and only) mast..

Measured it, marked it and went for bench drill press, ship modeler's nightmare..

I must say it does look very scary, all your spent hours under the mercy of mighty bench press. I do have a smaller, modeler's kind of press but it is still unopened, in original shipping box. I think i should spend some time and recycle that shipping material..




All good, no casualties.

Dry fitting...





End result acceptable..


and from the oarsman perspective...



Next is a decision time: "to cut or not to cut" the doors


Enjoy your weekend everyone..






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Worked a bit on the "fake" doors on the main deck. Very tinny strips of oak wood, i believe 1x1mm and very fragile.. 






Then i made a small "jig" to make a doors uniformed as much as possible:



Four doors completed, few more to go..



Testing fittings, it will work well..



More to come...



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Last few days i was not quite eager to do any work in the shipyard. Actually i was not able to do any work since i left for a concert in Tacoma.

Andre Rieu was performing in Tacoma Dome and it was awesome. If you have an opportunity to see his 3.5 hrs long show, by all means do so.

On my way back i picked up a new table lamp with magnifier glass. It is very good and i think it might make my modeler's life much brighter.


Today, i worked on the fake doors, giving them and nice, light coat of danish oil..



Few dust particles will be removed before installation.



Then i did the same for all oars..






After that work filled with a good sirtaki and bouzouki music (well, we are building a Greek Ship, right) i did some sanding on the main deck, getting it ready for a danish oil coat..





I cannot help my self not to take any picture from the modeler's view thru the lenses of my new lamp:



End of the shipyard shift....


This should be all for today...


Thanks for following..





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Today i worked on fake doors and install them all except two first one,  when looking from the bow...





Also i made myself a small tool to help with plank twisting...





I am not happy with twisting results and had two planks put back into the water for another twisting attempt.


Must do a bit of a research on this site for ideas how to do proper twisting (with iron, or some other techniques)..


Also, applied a tiny layer of Danish oil on the main deck. That part worked fine...


More to come..









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Completed a bit of a work yesterday. Noticed that i put two extra fake hatches where the main mast and other fittings needs to go so had to do some "open-deck surgery" and remove two of them. The bad part is those hatches were glued to the deck so a small drop of acetone was required to assist with removal. 


Two hatches removed and the damaged area sanded and cleaned.





Small work done at the begging of the hatches' row to secure the place where one of the sail rope will be ending. First two hatches were modified to accommodate the new dimensions and position. Small fake handle was also removed and re-positioned on hatches. Tiny wood strips were applied on the edges of the opening..




Since i decided not to do anything with wales at this moment i started to work on design for a ram. This going to be interesting process since there is no quite good documentation about this mighty devices used to ram (smash) opponent's ship.. There are few pictures available on the internet and some other fellow builders were attacking this problem as well so i think, combining all efforts will result in a good end product. 

For now i started to build a ram from paper and tape..







That should be all for today; happy modeling for all.




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Today i can work 1 hr longer; 2 am will magically become 1am so woohoo, extra hour for modeling..


Did a work on steering oars, a pair of oars made from 3mm kit stock wood. Cut the to the length, cut the groove for a paddle. The paddle that comes with the kit are made of 1mm plywood. First needed to clean up laser cut remains on the wood and then i decided to give them a quick bath in mahogany-color stain. After not more than a minute, i wiped out remains of the stain and got a nice color. Forgot to take picture, it will be seen on the oar..






Then i started to work on a handle for these oars. I made them out of two peaces of plank, leftover from the oarsman' sits making exercise. Glued two parts together, roughly put some shape markings and start working on it. 



End result is like this..




Dry fitting on the ship reveals that it is not quite to scale so need to shape it a bit. Challenge is to get it into right scale (or as close as possible) without assistance from the plan..




Shaped it a bit to much so now need to get a new one..




Tomorrow will continue on this task and continue building the ram, from the paper for now.









Edited by moreplovac

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Nice job!

I liked the one you made...it does look good. Or it did.

About scale. Of course try to make things to match the scale, but it's not always possible.

What looks good...is good. :D


A note on the scale of the Amati bireme. I think the scale Amati says it is can't be right.

The model is 56 cm long, when that's scale 1/35....that's a 19,6 metres long (or short) bireme.

The kit is likely closer to scale 1/48....lenghtwise.

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Hi Robin,

the one i had was looking very acceptable and i liked it but for some reason did not fit quite into the ship. I will most likely make the same shape but a bit smaller, not to small since i will not be able to hold it :-). I am thinking of getting a human figure (or at least something that will present a human) in the scale of the ship so at least i can visually see the fitment.

You are right, the plan and scale mentioned in the box does not go along with actual ship dimensions. Something went sideways during kit building process in factory..

While doing a bit of a math, i was actually surprised that for a model 55cm long, and approximate 38m long in the real life would give the scale of 1/70. 



This would give me a scaled size of an ancient Greek basketball player (2m) of a 2.86cm.. It should be manageable..






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"Repetitio mater studiorum est" in my case makes perfect sense.


One handle completed and second handle marked for work.



Starting to shape it with a small rasp..






Done with a rasp, now it is time for more sophisticated tools. Here is picture showing different tools used to make the handle. I do have some power tools but my shipyard is still not ready yet, missing some shelving so my power tools are still in the boxes..



Testing the fitting on the ship. Looks ok even without ancient Greek basketball player :-)




Started to collect a bit of a dust left after rasping and sanding. It will be used to fill out some imperfections on the ship itself.



And with one coat of danish oil, it looks very decent. It will not be this shiny, it is just lights that is playing with our eyes and my phone' camera..






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Today i worked on ship part that will hold the steering oars, not quite sure what correct term for this part is... It is basically a place where i need to bend few planks, make... oh well, lets get to pictures..


Again, plan is not quite clear how to set this part up so it is on builder's discretion (and some help from some other building logs) how to make this part as appealing as possible. Here is my end result..



So how did i get here:

First, made decision to use a 2mm instead of 3mm dowels for a peace that hold two steering oars, tighten up with a rope. This has to go into ship so small hole was drilled on both sides. Hand drill for better depth control. 


First dry fit testing was OK. Then this dowel was measured, cut and sanded a bit on the bottom. 



Then one 2mm hole was hand drilled in plank that will be installed on dowel... It was kind of a tiny whole that has to be drilled in 3mm width plank. After few broken peaces, it was all done. A bit of a sanding was done to make a hole slightly bigger so the dowel will slide into without to much troubles. The last thing i need is a small hole, not adequate for a dowel... I know this might sound a bit weird..




Dry fitting, all looks OK.


Cut both dowels and install them on the ship.



Then i started to bend two planks. Give them an alcohol bath for several minutes and bend them to the shape. 



One plank installed.




And end results:



And both from the bird view:


Then i cut extras, sand and they were ready for a danish oil coat..



That should be all for today..









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Just catching up - nice progress.


PS: using cardboard cylinders to bend planks - so simple Brilliant -

I will remember that for my next project (The Oseberg -Viking ship)

Thanks for posting that photo.


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1 hour ago, md1400cs said:

Just catching up - nice progress.


PS: using cardboard cylinders to bend planks - so simple Brilliant -

I will remember that for my next project (The Oseberg -Viking ship)

Thanks for posting that photo.


Hi Michael

the cardboard cylinder is from plastic wrap (Glad brand or similar); it is stiff enough to withstand any bending attempts around it. 






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14 hours ago, Robin Lous said:

Looks all very pretty.


Steering oar is indeed the right name for this type of rudder. :)

Yeah, they look more oar-ish than rudder-ish to me.. :-)


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Today i was working on, what Amati plan is calling, a "bitt". It is a peace of rigging equipment where rigging ropes are tight to. Hopefully after few more builds i will get a grasp on correct ship part terminology :-)



First on a longer peace of 4x4mm, i made a to 2mm wholes; than transfer the measurements from the plan to the 4x4s and cut them with a saw to the correct dimension. From the bottom i made a small hole for a mortise part. Shaped a part that will connect both peaces thru the drilled hole and dry tested all fitting.





Drilled the holes on the deck and mounted peaces..





Than i started to work on two extra "fins" on the tail. These parts are just shown on the plan but no mention of them in instruction plan. Nothing in the kit suggesting what type of wood to use so i used scrap plank left from building of oarsman' seats and started to shape it into correct curve..




Have not get a chance to finish them up so will continue next time, hopefully tomorrow..





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Today i have completed two fins and glue them to the ship.. Interesting little details.







Then i decide to re-do a little part that will sit at the bottom of the mast, on the main deck. It is not on the plan but i think it might be a nice addition..


Trace out one nut, rasped it to the desired shape, made a 6mm hole with bench drill press, little bit of a sanding, dry fit and it was ready for glue. 

Part is installed and ready for a coat of danish oil.







Long weekend is coming...





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Today, the work was concentrated on making a captain' chair (or throne) and finishing up building a ram out of the paper, for now. 

For captain's chair i started by building a chair model out out packing material, to get it to the right shape and size.








Following the plan suggestion i made a chair out of a soft wood.. Did not have much available so i glued two peaces of balsa and carved the chair out of it. 

After some thoughts i decided to drop a balsa chair since i would need to glue some other parts on it and balsa is not quite know by longevity when it comes to keeping glued part to itself, at least not in my experience. So the decision is to made a seat out of poplar, which i have kicking around from some other house work i have done. With a help of a rasp in different shapes, this was done to the satisfactory level..

Here are seats made from balsa and poplar...






Straightening up the front edge of poplar seat and testing on the ship.. Looks acceptable.




Now i will start working on a ram. After some research i decided to try replicating the ram from Israel's national museum..




Challenge accepted :-), will see what outcome will be.







Ordered some copper sheets and wires from Amazon. This will be interesting part.


More to come..









Edited by moreplovac

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Was working on main mast (actually the only one) today and here are some highlights.

First, following Amati's plan i draw the template for a mast.



I started to work on mast; protected the end of the mast and here is my setup..





Looking at the template and actual mast provided by Amati. Something was not quite right..

The size of the mast from a plan looked to me a bit bigger than the pole that comes within the kit..



So, digging up on some left overs from another project was able to find out an pole that might be better in diameter than the one form the kit..

Started to work on it and end result was quite satisfactory..





Worked on the top peace of the mast which will hold rigging by gluing 4 small left overs together, spare parts from the exercise of making oarsman sits.

Sanding them to the shape and to correct size, drilled a 3mm hole in the center and two small holes, as indicated on the plan plan. The diameter of those two holes is 1mm. Looked like Thor's hammer but in small scale.. :-)





Then i noticed at the back two holes are not as accurate as in the front. They do not line up correctly as they should; i will go back to make another version of mast top. Not today, i stayed late tonight, it will be interesting tomorrow when clock rings...


More to come.
















Edited by moreplovac

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