Jump to content

Viking Longship Drakkar by James H - Amati - 1:50

Recommended Posts



Evening folks!


I recently reviewed Amati's 1:50 Viking Longship 'Drakkar' here on MSW: 



For a good number of years now, I've been writing articles for the plastic modelling press but I'm rapidly feeling the need to do what I seriously enjoy, and that's some wooden modelling. There are so many great kits out there that I can be stuck for choice, but as I now have this beautiful and historic ship in my stash, it seemed silly not to look at it and build it. 


At the moment, I'm sticking my flag in the plot and saying that this will start in the next weeks, and I hope to finish it in a sort of dark timbered appearance that will homogenise the ply keel and shaped planks, but still retain some natural feel to proceedings. I know this is too dark for an actual working ship, but you get the idea: 



Watch this space :) 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

As promised, here's the start of my build. The weather here is way too hot for me to do my usual airbrushing of plastic models, so it was just the opportunity I needed to crack open this lovely kit, from Amati.



First of all, I removed all of the parts from the thick ply sheet. These parts are the keel, bulkheads, dragon head mounting post....and a part not on the schedule. This is a replacement for the curved tail. The original keel has quite a simplified shape which is a little unsatisfying, and instead of reworking the keel, Amati has included a reworked section for the modeller to use, should they wish. As this is heaps better than the keel shape, I carefully marked out the new joint onto the keep and then sawed off the section. The new shape was now grafted into place with Titebond III adhesive.


Here are the bulkheads. These will of course need fairing slightly when fitted. Notice how the middle frame #6 has a stepped profile to aid locating the shaped planks. There's no real need to remove the char from any of these edges.


After test fitting the bulkheads to the keel, it became obvious that the joints were way too tight. To correct this problem, I ran a coarse sanding stick a few times through the slots on both the keel and the frames. As the stick is slightly spongy and will compress a little, it only took a few seconds to remove the required amount of material.


Before I can fit the bulkheads to the keel, I needed to draw the line on the keel to where the planks would terminate. Amati suggests tracing the shape from their lower half of their plan sheet, containing a keep profile. As this was only a parts list section, I cut the shape from the plan and transferred it to the keel where I then used a pencil to draw around the paper template. I found the stern keel to differ very slightly from the shape of the plan, but it didn't present any real issues.


Each bulkhead, except for #2 and #10 were now glued into position using Titebond III aliphatic adhesive, along with the dragon's head mounting post. The reason I left the two bulkheads unglued is because these will need most shaping as the planks sweep steeply upwards here. They will be rigid enough to be faired with the other bulkheads, but allowing me to remove to finely tune them.


At this stage, note the tops of the bulkheads aren't flush with the keel. This doesn't matter, as confirmed in Amati's instructions, as the deck more or less sits on top of the bulkheads and not the keel itself. 


One thing I noted was the curved notches in the two false deck sections. These needed to be squared off so they would sit to the frames properly.


I now sit the two decks in place, temporarily, whilst the bulkheads set. A quick check proves that assembly is nice and square.




More soon as I then fair the bulkheads in readiness for planking....


Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Chuck said:

Very nice!!!   I want to see this model completed and sitting next to an expertly weathered WWII Era Armored Tank. :)  Just for giggles...yu should place one of your other models next to it for comparison.





Maybe..... ;) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Chuck said:

Very nice!!!   I want to see this model completed and sitting next to an expertly weathered WWII Era Armored Tank. :)  Just for giggles...yu should place one of your other models next to it for comparison.



I would have said - a real  burial pyre   like they did in that Kirk Douglas film The Vikings, with those scale ships.;)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Before any planking can be contemplated, those bulkheads need to be faired in. This is probably one of my least favourite jobs, but at least with the Drakkar, it's not too big a task. To do this, I use a coarse sanding stick. This has some flexibility and curves nicely to the shape of the hull. I think this was about 2hrs work in total.



A plank of Lime from my Mary Rose kit was used to check the curves all around the hull and to highlight any areas that weren't sanded enough.


There are two sheets of planks for this model, one for port and one for starboard. There is a difference in the sheets as one plank for the starboard side has a riser for the rudder attachment. Using the plans, each plan was numbered and then an arrow added to indicate the bow.


The planks on this model are all pre-shaped and laser-cut from very, very thin ply. If the fairing isn't done correctly, then the planks will look wavy. This was my worst fear with this model. First of all, the two inboard planks have a slight bevel added to the inner edge so that they mate up properly to the keel.


Each of the inboard planks are now fitted using III and some very careful measurements to ensure the are the same on both sides. Some shaping of the ends had to be done so the planks matched the curve that had been drawn on the keel previously.



Adding one plank per side and alternating each side as I went, the first four per side were added. Now, I know many don't like CA (superglue), but it's ideal for spotting things into position before proceeding with wood glue. If measurements are out, then the CA joint can be cracked apart and re-positioned. With the first four in place, I painted the interior of the hull with wood glue to strengthen it. 



I hope to have all planking done for the next update and then to look at fitting the decks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...