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Gokstad viking ship by bigpetr - 1:48 - CARD - cca 900 AD


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19 hours ago, bigpetr said:

By carvings I ment theese grooves on the planking and basicly near every edge on the ship.

Oh, that makes sense. I thought you were planning to do a bit of your own extra decorative work.

 

Regarding figureheads, it was apparently a very bad thing to have dragon heads attached to the ship in your own home waters - it angered the local spirits/trolls. OK when you were attacking someone else - who cares what their trolls think?

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To be a bit controversial, my feeling had always been that the Gokstad and Oseberg ship were most likely not warships, and I have my suspicions that perhaps they were just purpose built burial ships. The flat decks and lack of thwarts are unlike any other scandinavian ships and boats found (even the smaller boats found with the Gokstad had thwarts). Earlier ships, like the Nydam ship and the Hjortspring boat, have thwarts. Later ships, like the Skuldelev, Hedeby, Ladby, and Roskilde ships have thwarts too. I don’t think there was much trace of wear on the Gokstad and Oseberg keels either? That seems to be pretty normal on shios found in non-burial contexts.

 

However, I do like the solution of the planks being removed and the rowers sitting on the frames. That makes a lot more sense for a usable ship. Never liked the idea of rowers sitting on chests. Perhaps the planks were just added to create a flat surface for the burial hut and other goods.


Can I asked what you did for the paint? It looks really good! I got some closeups of the tar on Skuldelev replicas if that would be helpful, but yours already looks really close.

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Hi Binho, closeups of tar from skuldelev replicas would be great. Thank you.

 

I paint paper with white acrylic colour so the next watercolour paint do not soak to the paper. Then I paint it with cheap watecolour paints. I start with brown  and then adding black, white, red, yellow and green with small brush directly on the model, where it mixes together and create this tar effect. Nice thing is that you can wipe almost all the paint out with water if you are not satisfied or to make corections endlesly until you are satisfied because water dilute the paint. Also it is easy to make wear effect just by wiping the colour out with water. Finaly I seal with the varnish so the colour do not wipe out while handling with the model.

 

I did not experiment with it too much yet, but yout can aply another layers of paint after sealing with varnish. That way underlaying colour does not melt by water of next layer. It could be useful for some effects. Also I want to try to use light brown acrylic instead of white acrylic to give it some base colour and see how it looks

 

Great thing about watercolour paint is that it creates very thin layer so it do not fill concave edges and little details like carvings and rivets.

 

Yes, the thwarts thing is wierd. Who can tel how it realy was, they could be just burial ships. But I believe Gokstad (Oseberg I did not studied so detailed, but probably too) was real seaworthy allpurpose ship. I like the rowers siting on the frames better, because it seems more ergonomical to me. Even then they would need some sort of chests for their belongings, didnt they? Fully occupied ship is said to have 64 oarsmens (2 shifts that changes at the rows) so it means 64 chests? Is there a place for so much chests and shields? I need to test it in my 3d model.

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I believe both were seaworthy ships that spent at least some time on the ocean. Both ships have graffiti carved on them by bored sailors. Gokstad has the foot and I think I read somewhere that a game board was carved on some of the deck planks. Oseberg has runes carved into an oar handle saying "Man knows little", and there are a couple crude drawings of the ship itself carved into the inside of the hull.

 

Also according to dendrochronological analysis the wood of the hull and the wood of the burial chamber came from trees felled several years apart in both ships.

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10 hours ago, KrisWood said:

I believe both were seaworthy ships that spent at least some time on the ocean. Both ships have graffiti carved on them by bored sailors. Gokstad has the foot and I think I read somewhere that a game board was carved on some of the deck planks. Oseberg has runes carved into an oar handle saying "Man knows little", and there are a couple crude drawings of the ship itself carved into the inside of the hull.

 

Also according to dendrochronological analysis the wood of the hull and the wood of the burial chamber came from trees felled several years apart in both ships.

 

I stand corrected - you are right! I looked up the dendrochronological studies you referred to and there were various decades between the ship timber felling dates and those for burial chamber. Learned something new! So yeah, am 100% onboard now that these were actually used ships. The 1882 excavation report for the Gokstad ship also mentions wear on the ship timbers. So ignore my previous post!

 

Just had a thought looking through the images from the Ship museum - what if the thwarts/rowing benches on the Gokstad and Oseberg were loose and removable? It seems to be pretty common even on modern traditional Scandinavian boats. It is how they reconstructed the Skuldelev 6 and the smaller Gokstad boats, and it seems to have been the case for the Kvalsund ship from around 700 CE. You can see an example of what I mean in the images below. Of course, a 5m span is on the large end for an unsupported plank/beam. Perhaps it could have had floating supports that weren't fixed to the deck crossbeams? Some Kvalsund ship reconstructions have that.

 

As promised, here are some close up references of tarred hulls from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. Your paint test looks really close! First two images are from the Roar Ege, a reconstruction of the Skuldelev 3 that had been retired before I went in 2017 after 30+ years of use. The darker, more heavily tarred planks are the originals - the lighter colored planks are repairs from a few years ago. It shows how the tarring builds up and makes the hulls darker. I'm not sure what they used for the black bottom below the waterline, or if that is a modern concession to extend the life of the reconstruction.

 

IMG_9201.thumb.JPG.d96e468e04ff6f48f4bd09c2bcd55ee2.JPGIMG_9210.thumb.JPG.ff3cad4a9c883dd9ebee9ea482d58b50.JPG

 

Next three are some reconstructions of small iron age boats from between 450-800 CE (first image shows the loose rowing benches). Not sure how old they were. Final image is the outer hull and rudder of the Ottar, a reconstruction of Skuldelev 1 that was about 17 years old when I was there.

 

IMG_9216.thumb.JPG.cca126586414f63f53fce3fd27d0cffc.JPGIMG_9220.thumb.JPG.0434f24ee07b11e8952970319f5cb1a5.JPGIMG_9224.thumb.JPG.1c0b49f36e62302aec0ebfcc6f0e2b6a.JPGIMG_9330.thumb.JPG.2018f4c90365bea4b063d52ccded53c0.JPG

 

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Wonderful photos! As far as I'm aware, both Gokstad and Oseberg ships are accepted as "pleasure craft", or perhaps "yachts", rather than warships. The Gokstad ship's shields were the real thing - holes around the rim indicate that at one time they'd had a rim reinforcement, probably of leather, probably sewn on. The shields were thinner at the rim than at the centre (making them easier to manoeuvre but strong where it mattered), and the bowl-shaped protective metal "boss" over the handgrip was for use, not for show - see http://members.ozemail.com.au/~chrisandpeter/shield/shield.html . So they were not just knocked up for decorative purposes, as they probably would have been if the ship was purpose-built for the burial.

 

It appears that the Gokstad ship at least was a working ship, though perhaps their trips were not long distance or of long duration.

 

That doesn't solve the issue of what happened to the seats, though.  I've always thought that trying to row while sitting on a chest on the deck would be very difficult. Surely the chest would rock back and forth as you pulled on the oar, making it hard to get a proper purchase. Back in my re-enactment days I made a replica of a Viking chest (the Mastermyr chest http://www.angelfire.com/wy/svenskildbiter/Viking/vikchest.html for those who are interested - those drawings are by me). I wouldn't like to sit on it and have to row.

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I’d heard the pleasure yacht hypothesis too. 
 

All I can imagine is 30+ chests sliding, tipping, and smashing around the deck of loose planks as the ship is heeled over under sail and crashing over waves in the North Sea! It doesn’t look like there is any way to fix them to the deck.

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I thought of some new search keywords on the museum photo portal and while I was looking through Oseberg drawings from the excavation I came across this detailed drawing of a sea chest and thought of the conversation we've been having here so I decided to share it:

12417404.thumb.jpeg.4012e18162fa0725f27d4aa00000d0c8.jpeg

 

Caption:

Norwegian: Osebergfunn fra mappe 'Oseberg, kister': Detalj snitt målestokk M:1/5 og M:1/2. Tusjtegning av ukjent tegner, rentegnet. Mål: B: 51,3 cm, H: 48,5 cm.

English: Oseberg finds from folder 'Oseberg, chests': Detail section scale M: 1/5 and M: 1/2. Pen drawing by unknown artist, interest drawn. Dimensions: W: 51.3 cm, H: 48.5 cm.

 

License: CC BY-SA 4.0

 

Since the Oseberg Ship and the Gokstad ship were only ~20 years apart and both found in the same region, I suspect Gokstad would have had similar chests. :)

 

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One side appears vertical , and the opposite side at a slight angle:  I wonder why.  Would the angled side add stability while rowing and the vertical side allowed more foot room?  Perhaps the angled side on the chest in front of a rower provided a better foot brace?

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That does seem strange, but I doubt the inequality would be intended to make rowing easier - in fact I doubt that the chest was intended specifically to go on board a ship. The chests on board the Oseberg ship all contained women's possessions, except for one that contained wild apples - http://www.vikingage.org/wiki/wiki/Chests,_Caskets_%26_Boxes

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The angles could be to keep the chest from tipping since the pressure point would be where the rower's butt sat on it.  Just a thought as I've seen chairs like that where the back legs are angled out to the rear.

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That's a thought, Mark, but I really don't think this chest was intended as a seat for rowing, given its contents. Also the sloped face is the front - i.e. the one you face when you open the chest. If anything, that would mean the guy behind the oarsman would be the one who'd be able to open it . . .

 

My belief is that this is such a highly decorated chest it probably did belong to Queen Asa, as KrisWood suggests. And as it was a burial, there would have been no reason for the oarsmen to leave them on board. It's thought one of the bodies was a maidservant sacrificed to accompany the Queen on her journey to the afterlife. But it would have been wasteful (and probably unpopular) to sacrifice the crew (and their chests) as well . . . :P

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 9/3/2020 at 1:19 PM, bigpetr said:

I assumed that helmsman on gokstad ship was standing while steering, but was it so? I did some test with 3d model to see how it looks. It makes good use of backrest. What do you think?    noname.png.4fd8ce4e6fa48b260d6ac12759af939a.png

 

Not very practical. 

You would need to move the helmsman further forward, more in line with the axis of the steering oar because he would be hard pushed to move the helm forward in his current position because he has his arms nearly fully extended. Then you run in to the opposite problem, if he sits to far forward he would have a problem pulling on the helm with his own body in the way plus the bench back limiting the travel of his ams when pulling on the helm.

 

Although it would be possible to move the helm sitting it would put all the strain on your back and shoulders, denying you the ease of using your body mass to lean slightly back or forward holding on to the helm.  Considering that the steering oar weighs as much as 3 grown men it is beautifully balanced but it still has mass that needs to be overcome that can be done near effortlessly while standing.


Standing you are in a neutral position with very little strain on any  part of your body and near effortless control of the helm and a good view forward and aft.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/15/2020 at 9:41 PM, bigpetr said:

Thank you for the reply stefan. Good points.

 

Was it possible on wiking ships to somehow fix the rudder in position without holding it? 

You are welcome,.

 

You could possibly lash the helm with rope, but why would you ?  Those ships had large crews and you regularily need to adjust the helm to keep course.

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I made a tool from a needles to simulate carved grooves on the ship. Works great. Here it is applied to the stem edges:

 

IMG_5206s.jpg.5040f5d4af730e65de0034b15f49d406.jpg

 

Then I could prepare the ribs and false deck (with 1:48 helmsman figure to be):

IMG_5207s.jpg.c7b33126db410d6cf67de41a9e82498e.jpg

 

Ribs attached and made square with the help of false deck:

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IMG_5223s.jpg.fa23a0e2930133772f998aa18cd6fb2a.jpg

 

Next I will make proper jig to help with the planking.

 

 

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