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Viking Longship by Binho - Dusek - Scale 1:72 - Model based on the 11th Century Skuldelev 2 wreck


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I like the blue-red-blue-yellow-blue, 7th from the top. I hadn't thought of the Bayeux Tapestry for a colour guide, but of course all the ships have alternating colours in the planking. Doubt has been cast on th "reality" of the colours in the BT (which has green and blue horses, among other things), but every now and then a discovery comes up that confirms its accuracy - such as the horizontal stripes on the mound (known as a motte) that the Norman fort at Hastings is built on -

 

Mottes, Baileys and the Bayeux Tapestry » RUPERT WILLOUGHBY

 

Turns out that when they excavated one, it was built with alternating layers of different materials . . .

 

By the way, IIRC they found yellow (orpiment) paint on the head of the steering oar of the Gokstad ship.

 

Dragon Headed Steering oar attachment from the Gokstad Viking Ship 9th Century CE. Gokstad, Norway

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I liike all the the variants with one white and one yellow.

 

Museum replica of Gokstad steering oar tiller based on Nicolaysen drawings has yellow, red, black and brown colour. And although there are no traces of paint found on it, there are some interpretation that triangular shapes lightly carved on top strake was painted, somethig like that (colours used are just modelers preference):

 

dEL4A4733.thumb.jpg.313e299397bf291e95540d8a273745de.jpg

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The red-yellow resonates with me because I was thinking to make my top two strakes red and yellow, and do the sail similar colors. But I also like your red-yellow-blue, 7th one down, I guess reminiscent of the Sea Stallion. In any case another great use of your 3D modeling.

 

The "Oseberg Buddha" has a bit of red-yellow theme.

 

oseberg_buddha.jpg.60a1650d64f2c9ea92577dd0777e0e94.jpg

 

I have a couple books on my bookshelf with red and yellow dust jackets that look nice. Non-Viking related but kind of classics in their genre.

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Are you planning to overlap the shields ( obscuring most of the colored strakes) or have them tangent to one another ( in which case the colored strakes will peak between them, as in the model in the pic above)?

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4 hours ago, Srodbro said:

Are you planning to overlap the shields ( obscuring most of the colored strakes) or have them tangent to one another ( in which case the colored strakes will peak between them, as in the model in the pic above)?

I should think that would be determined by the diameter of the shields and the distance apart of the oarports. The Gokstad shields were 80-90 cm diameter, http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/shield/shield.html but i don't know how far apart the oarports were.

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Hi, just found and followed this post as I was doing some research for Dusek's 1/35 scale Knarr kit. Binho, looks like your longship is coming along beautifully! I hope my Knarr comes out as well. I just finished staining all the frames and the keel. I used an English Chestnut stain which, honestly doesn't seem quite dark enough to me. I have a fair amount of experience on actual sailing ships and while most of them were not tarred, my experience is that tarred wood turns pretty dark very quickly in a marine environment.  My first impression of the kit is positive, but I wish Mr. Dusek hadn't used quite so much plywood. I looked at pictures of the Ottar, the reproduction of Skuldelev One and I plan on adding some details that aren't present on the model-primarily the windlass.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! It's been hot as hell here in California. Luckily I'm far away from all the fires. But it means I've spent my time off under the fan playing video games and watching TV as in the evening both my office and the garage turn in to a sauna and I don't want to do anything in them. I'm kind of hoping the heat and unusual humidity don't warp the model!

 

On 8/15/2020 at 5:32 PM, Louie da fly said:

I like the blue-red-blue-yellow-blue, 7th from the top. I hadn't thought of the Bayeux Tapestry for a colour guide, but of course all the ships have alternating colours in the planking. Doubt has been cast on th "reality" of the colours in the BT (which has green and blue horses, among other things), but every now and then a discovery comes up that confirms its accuracy - such as the horizontal stripes on the mound (known as a motte) that the Norman fort at Hastings is built on -

 

Yeah, that's what they used to pick the colors for the Skuldelev ship reconstructions! We don't have much else to work with unfortunately, but at least in terms of the colors used it doesn't seem too unrealistic.

 

Originally I didn't want to go with the same colors as the Sea Stallion (blue-red-yellow) or the Helge Ask (red-yellow) just to make mine more unique. I'll add them to the finalists though. I think I like the black-red, black-yellow, and black-red-yellow too. I'm going to just render those, and I'm also going to try varying the color of the stem/stern posts and see what that looks like.

 

I haven't decided what to do with the shields yet. Both the Osberg and Skuldelev 5 had a 'shield rack' but the shields in the kit are too thick to fit in a 'shield rack that is to scale. I might still do a rack, but then just use it to hang the shields instead of having them slot in to it. The plans call for drilling holes in to the upper strake to pass the thread that holds the shields up, but I don't like that solution. I might need to get more wood for that, although I'm going to try and reuse my scraps first!

 

@Ark-itecht I'm eyeing up the Knarr 1/72 next! Good luck with that, I'll follow your build with interest :) Yeah, finding a good stain is hard. The tar seem to vary tremendously in color based on how recently it was applied, age of the ship, etc.

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7 hours ago, Binho said:

the shields in the kit are too thick to fit in a 'shield rack that is to scale.

To be expected. Viking shields were much thinner in reality than most people think. 8-10mm thick at the centre, reducing to 5-6mm at the edge. At 1:72 scale, that's somewhere about a tenth of a millimetre! Obviously impossible to have them that thin, but it is possible to make shields much thinner than the ones supplied in the kit. Wood's no good because if it's that thin it warps or splits. I used multiple layes of facial tissue glued together for mine and after a bit of experimentation it worked - but my shields were bowl-shaped - Viking shields are flat. You might just try card, or perhaps because card is also prone to warping) thin metal - brass or aluminium.

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I hadn't thought of remaking the shields in a thinner material, that's a great idea actually. I had thought about making the shield rack out of card so it's more to scale. Another solution I'd thought of was 3D printing. Since I have the model scanned now, I model a shield rack that fits perfectly on to the hull, and then shields that would fit in to it too. That would all remove the challenge of making things by hand though :)

 

I actually just recently found out about how thin viking shield were, actually! Someone who bought my Skuldelev 5 3D model messaged me and nicely pointed out my shields were incorrect. I think you especially would be interested in what this guy does Steven, if you don't know him already! He started out as a Viking re-enactor and he now studies medieval European martial arts and early medieval swords. His name is Roland Warzecha, but online he goes by Dimicator - he has a cool youtube channel and is also on facebook and patreon. One interesting theory he is working on publishing is that he has noticed that most early medieval actually have off-center and twisted pommels, and he reckons this was for ergonomic purposes.

 

EDIT: One thing I've been struggling with is how to represent the rivets on the planking. At this scale they would be tiny - about a 1/3 of a mm! Doing a couple of thousand of those would take absolute ages if I were to use copper wire or something, plus I don't think the overlap of the planks in the kit is consistent enough for that to work. The solution I settled on is simple - just a fine black felt tipped pen! I tried it out on the strakes that will be painted in case it didn't look good, and was pretty satisfied with the result. It's subtle but does add something. My new problem is how to represent the rivets on the painted strakes. For that, I think I'll use a toothpick or needle to apply a tiny dot of a lighter version of my final planking colors.

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Well, 3d printing's another great idea. I still don't think in these terms all that easily.

 

I haven't met Roland, but it's quite a few years since I was into re-enacting - the only place I'm likely to have met him would be at the Battle Of Hasting re-enactment in the UK in 2000 or 2006, and if he was there he would have been among 1100 re-enactors.

1 hour ago, Binho said:

he reckons this was for ergonomic purposes.

Possible. Certainly an interesting theory, but impossible to prove, particularly since most of these swords have been under the ground for hundreds of years, subject to all kinds of uneven pressures. But certainly a possibility, which I haven't heard of before.

 

I think you're on the right track with the rivets - it's like treenails;most of the time they'd be all but invisible and it's debatable whether they should even be shown on models. It will take a fine hand . . .

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2 hours ago, Louie da fly said:

Possible. Certainly an interesting theory, but impossible to prove, particularly since most of these swords have been under the ground for hundreds of years, subject to all kinds of uneven pressures. But certainly a possibility, which I haven't heard of before.

That was my first thought when he brought it up - the twisting is probably just an artifact of the post-depositional process. But reading more his argument seems pretty compelling. Most of the pommels on 10th-14th century swords that he has examined are apparently noticeably off center by roughly the same amount, with just the pommel end of the tangs twisted the same direction at roughly the same angle. On some swords the pommels even appear to have been designed asymmetrically in a fashion to make it appear like the pommel was actually visually centered in relation to the sword. I’ll be interested to see how well his full data set actually supports his theory, but it’s certainly an interesting idea!

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Last thing before I get off my phone, wanted to share this really interesting article discussing when sails were introduced in Scandinavia and problems with inductive reasoning in archaeology:

 

https://www.academia.edu/37568628/Setting_Sail_in_Scandinavia_An_analysis_of_the_evidence_and_arguments?email_work_card=reading-history

 

it also discusses this really cool bone carving with runic inscriptions dating to the 4th/5th century found in northern Germany, with what is almost certainly a two masted Roman trading vessel! 

3490610D-58D2-4635-B5DE-F01A0616C095.jpeg.d871c749754c252c6798a975c6d30bda.jpeg

 

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I like acrylic varnish for soaking papier-mâché (there’s wonderful, the spellchick has put all the correct accents in)

it’s readily available in the uk, as quick-drying indoor varnish, but in Aus. I have only found it in art shops, masquerading as “acrylic varnish” .  Who knew?

it can be thinned with water, or official thinners for acrylics, but that is not a great idea when we want the final part to be flat and wrinkle free.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's absolutely stunning, Binho.

 

For the shield bosses - hmmm, difficult. In real life they were about 15cm (6") diameter. So at 1:72 they should be about 2mm (converts to a little over 1/16"). They were of various different shapes, but hemispherical was common and would probably be the easiest to get hold of. Some kind of bead.perhaps? Or you could make a plaster mould (Australian spelling, don't worry about it) and cast them in car-bog (body-filler). Maybe the heads of small dome-headed bolts with the slot/Phillips head filled in? And just glue onto the centre of the shield board. Nobody will ever check the back of the shield to see if there's a hole there for the Viking's hand to fit through.

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Thanks Steven!

 

Cool, the kit came with a 2mm dowel for making shield bosses, so I'll just keep using that. I think I settled on an idea for the shields. I'm going to buy some brown paper, I'll design the shields on the computer, then print them out on to the paper. then I'll just cut them out, using a thin strip for the handle and using the 2mm dowel to make the shield boss. I'll then harden it with either CA glue or acrylic varnish, whatever works best. The bonus is that means I won't have to use the rest of the 1x1mm lath provided with the kit to make shield handles, and I can re-purpose it to make the shield rack. The lath used on the Skuldelev 5 shield rack was 50x50mm so the scale is fairly close, and can get it closer with some light sanding.

 

My immediate next step is very simple, I just need to glue in the deck veneer. I'd like to weather it a bit first though, so I threw some rusty nails (don't have any steel wool) in to some vinegar and am letting it sit for a bit to see what I get.

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Sounds like a good idea, especially printing the designs on the paper instead of painting them by hand. Not sure if I've already referred you to this site regarding designs on Viking shields: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/shield/shield.html - there's also this one -http://www.vikingage.org/wiki/index.php?title=Round_Shield_Designs#/media/File:Shields - it includes a lot of shield patterns which aren't Viking but they are from areas bordering Viking lands, and several of them appear in more than one region suggesting that patterns of this type were fairly widespread.

 

A bit of experimentation should show you the best way to harden/stiffen your shields. And as you're printing them in bulk it doesn't matter if you have to throw a few away.

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Thanks Steven! Those are good resources. I’m wondering if I should go the route of each shield being different, which is probably more “authentic”, or just do alternating red-black solid colors. I believe the shields on the Gokstad were alternating black-yellow?

 

Anyways, some more progress! Weathered the deck veneer then glued it down. It was very thin, and I think I used too much glue, so the veneer started curling in on itself. Had to use some clothespins to hold it down. Hopefully it will work ok! Will let it dry overnight and see how it’s looking tomorrow. Big step! Means I can finally start on the internal elements!

 

FE9C1A43-ED77-4B8D-ADE5-73700B805020.thumb.jpeg.6772c077e9e6f905042320546e5559d8.jpeg

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For stiffness you cannot do better than carbon fibre, and the version I am thinking of is carbon tissue.  It has no mass or thickness (yes, I have been told not to exaggerate a million times) and would bond between two sheets of paper to make a usefully stiff shield.

 

I use it a lot in my aircraft builds, and had a sq metre or so, but it didn’t get to Australia with me.  I get mine from Mike Woodhouse in the uk.  He posts everywhere and is an all round good egg and free flight guru.

https://www.freeflightsupplies.co.uk/files/carbontissue.pdf

And this is the relevant page of high tech materials:

https://www.freeflightsupplies.co.uk/index.php/products/hi-tech-materials/cloth-tow

For some reason I expect that Mike is not rushed off his feet by orders from MSW

 

In fact, if this is of any interest the best and cleanest laminating method would be to spread carpenters glue on one side of two bits of paper, allow to dry then heat-laminate the sandwich together with a suitable heating device ( use baking paper to protect the surface of the iron, or suffer the wrath of the Admiral). I have no idea what this would do to pre- printed shield patterns!

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the interesting possible solutions, liteflight! I just got in the acrylic gloss so I’m just going to try that first before I try anything fancier! Made some more progress today - all the thwarts are in! I feel like it’s added a lot to the model! I had thought of doing some stanchions under the thwarts, but felt that would be too fiddly. Also want to get this kit done soonish!
 

BDC4DEB6-95FE-48CE-9635-7C21D153BF70.thumb.jpeg.9ef9c422dd89b7217a3b76ad2735e111.jpeg

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449E7534-6851-45EB-8B5D-EA8CDB2BDC25.thumb.jpeg.821c97d6fcbae0acb5f099711e251cf1.jpeg

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That's looking very good, mate. Such a beautiful, elegant ship - I have no idea why anybody would want to do Gokstad after seeing this.

 

I don't think there's any real need for stanchions under the thwarts. They're sitting on a beam - that should be enough. The thwarts/benches on one of the  Yenikapi galleys from Istanbul were slotted into the hull (the wreck contained a wale with slots in it approx 900mm apart just at the right height for the benches - and they found quite a few of them, as well. They were just planks). 

 

On 9/19/2020 at 11:57 AM, Binho said:

I believe the shields on the Gokstad were alternating black-yellow?

 

Yes, but that may have been done as part of the burial, though the shield fittings were the genuine article - the bosses were good steel ones and there were holes around the rim which were probably where the thread/lacing was to hold the (probably leather) shield rim on. However, I have serious doubts about shields being on the sides of a ship except for display or battle (and possibly not for battle either - except as they rowed toward the enemy. Once contact was made I'd assume everybody would pick up his shield and fight with it in his hand).

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Looks great! Would you be willing to share a couple photos end-on? I'm curious how vertical the sides of your hull turned out so I have a comparable reference for how mine looks. Seeing how good yours looks encourages me to keep plugging away to get mine to this point.

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Thanks! It is a very elegant ship, I really like the proportions. I agree that the shields were probably for display only. When I was at the ship museum I was chatting with one of the people who sail the reconstructions. He said that on the Skuldelev 5 replica, the shields get in the way of rowing when they are mounted. 
 

Here is a pic from the front, Cathead. The sides aren’t very vertical at all! Below is the reconstructed hull lines of the actual wreck for comparison.

 

24642A3D-F7BE-42D7-949C-D08D35293872.thumb.jpeg.4fd21d2d5e053bb7ad602de575d640e8.jpeg

711F8DB6-A151-47C3-9BA2-DA3525DD1CDD.thumb.jpeg.410b402377f40a7f6c8dc5cd8b875f8b.jpeg

 

My strakes are pretty messy too - but then again, they were fairly messy on the ships of this period. Skuldelev 3 was even asymmetrical, it had more strakes on one side than the other. Skuldelev 1 had a crooked keel from a repair job.

 

Since the Scandinavian ship builders weren’t building to plans, I feel there was some amount of freestyling going on during construction. While I think in this case the planking issues are a problem with the kit, I just tell myself it’s a more rustic, realistic look :) 

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A small update - finished and stained all 60 oars, the mast, the yard, the mast fish, and all the rudder components.

 

Unfortunately when the plywood is sanded down and shaped, and then I apply the stain I’ve been using, all the layers come out in different colors. The effect is actually pretty cool, though not realistic at all. My only solution at this point would be paint, but I might just leave it.

 

42685820-E318-4BFE-9DCE-FFAB67394C4F.thumb.jpeg.620680e7b8e9bb87d88ef4cb02765290.jpeg

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Honestly, it's not obvious from the photo.

 

So the manufacturers supplied plywood for the oars? I'm a little surprised at that. I'd have thought it wouldn't be that hard to do it with solid bits of wood.Or were the oars lasercut from plywood sheets along with the frames etc?

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No, the oars are made from dowels. Have some pics of the process a few pages back. They look good actually! Here are Some closeups of the mast fish in better lighting, so the pattern is more obvious. On the Sea Stallion it’s painted red, but on this model I think it would stand out too much if it was painted.

 

DADD5A71-FB7A-4375-9AE0-1A6A0A54810B.thumb.jpeg.f012b5f0aae4ff5ca8d5c06cd2cfc794.jpeg
1337E40C-0C3D-420E-88C8-F3FFE7B8EC6A.thumb.jpeg.d53da7003d2c3e09e7f814452720a289.jpeg

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Looks very good. That's going to be a superb model.

 

So the layers on the mast fish are the grain of the timber? Or do I still have it wrong and the fish itself is made of plywood? I take it if you stain it again it won't change anything - that the different colours will still be obvious?

 

I had a look at the red painted fish on the Sea Stallion and because it's a fairly subdued red it actually looks pretty good.

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