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Viking Ship by mathewp - scale 1:50 Amati plans (first scratch build)

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   This is my first effort at this, so I wanted to pick something not too complicated as well as something i liked. Hopefully this will be a good way to learn some of the basics of scratch building, like cutting my own bulkheads . This Ship doesn't have a huge amount of parts, and by looking at the plans they are not too complicated.

    The hat goes off to the people who sailed these Ships. What looks to me to be a Ship designed for coastal waters, was used to travel offshore waters,  that must have been a very unpleasant experience. The design is particularly suited to shallow waters as it had a shallow draft. The Vikings could sail these Ships into water about waist deep, which made these Ships able to reach shore quickly and this must have added to the fearsome reputation they had. Being able to take their raiding party right up to shore, meant the people being raided had little time to organize defense or flee. Added flexibility in making shore also must have enabled landing near but out of sight of an intended raid site, followed by surprise raid. Either proposition is a scary one. 

   I found some pictures on line of replicas that have some interesting details not included in the plans. The deck planking is not in a straight parallel lines but seems to curve. The curved clinker planks are not one piece as in the kits. Phew, this will make building a little easier.  There's also some oar hole covers which are also not in the kits. I haven't decided which detail;s i'll add or leave out yet, but it will be nice to decide and make alterations as needed.

   The keel and bulkheads will be Tasmanian Oak, as I've had enough of plywood for a while, not that there's anything wrong with plywood. I chose Tas Oak because it's readily available at 4mm thick at the hardware shop. I also have plans for a Greek Bireme which I will also post as time allows. I apologise if some of the pics are a little small.

   Hope you are all enjoying your builds











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Hello Matt


I like your method of comparison and research before drawing concrete steps


Go on, I`ll follow

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 Not much of a warm welcome in this section. I'll persevere though, and I'll get this Ship built. A short progress report for you. I should have a nice basic squaring jig and the keel cut out in a few days. 

    Have fun with your builds,


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Hi Matt,


Just found this log, looks like an interesting first build for your venture into scratch building. I agree with you that they must have been very brave men who sailed these vessels in the treacherous waters of the Norrth Sea and beyond.


I look forward to watching your progess

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 Thanks for dropping in Everybody. I'll definitely check that video out when i get a spare moment. I've decided to go with the keel in 5 pieces. The longer main part that holds the bulkheads in one piece, and the curves at the bow and stern in two pieces each. As far as I've been able to research, this is the way they were. I'm hoping this will give a more realistic look.Even though this is not a complicated build, making this look more like the real deal will still be quite tricky. 

    I've managed a very basic start. I.ve dismantled my wifes painting easel, to make use of one of the legs to clamp the keel. She can have it back later in one piece as I better not cut it into pieces. I only needed a simple squaring jig for putting in the bulkheads, and then I'll transfer it to a keel clamp for planking. I should now be able to glue them in one at a time nice and square. I'll see how it goes, but I'll finish the keel first.




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    I'm enjoying this so far. I've managed to get the keel and the first bulkhead cut and fitted. I;m not gluing anything in yet, as I've found a couple of spots that need trimming on the keel. I did cut the next bulkhead but broke it while filing it down.







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   Moving along with it now, so I,ve got the bulkheads cut out, and I'm now gluing them in. Once they are in I'll straighten the keel, as it has a slight bend, by putting in a couple of planks flush to the deck level while it's clamped. That should sort that little problem out. Then I'll fair the frames. In the meantime it's a little difficult deciding on which timber to go with for the planks. I've looked at some cherry veneer, but i've never used it before. I also like the look of Jarrah, it's got nice red color. Then there's Teak? Choices Choices. 


As always I hope you are all having fun with your builds,









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I think the teak might have too much grain for the planking.  Test it next to the Jarrah.  Go with the one you like best.

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Nice work, Matt. That looks very like the Oseberg ship, the burial ship of Queen Asa, dating to the 9th century AD. You can find a lot of detail on her (the ship, that is) if you do a google image search on "Oseberg Ship", including how she looked when she was first unearthed in 1904 and how she looks now. Though not necessary to your own model, the original Oseberg Ship had the most amazingly complex and intricate carving on the stem and sternposts - well worth a look (and a bit of a drool). The archaeological reports on the ship are also available. I'm in Victoria and I'm told the State Library here has a copy for referral (but not for loan). I don't know what State you live in but it might also have the reports. The title is something like "Osebergfundet", andI think it is in several parts, covering the ship itself, the artefacts found aboard etc (including a tent frame and a wheeled cart)

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Cheers Louie, Sound interesting, and an opportunity to add some more authentic detail to the ship. I'll follow up on your info. Thanks for your help. Stay away from the pea beu.


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Hello Mat! I recently completed this ship, but I built mine from the kit. I suspect that you have more skills than I do, but if you need any help or any clarification with the instructions, let me know. 


How are you planning to carve the figurehead if this is a scratch build? 


Where in Australia are you? I am in Melbourne. I will still be in possession of this model for a few more days before I give it to my friend as a gift :) He doesn't know yet!

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OK. I finally have some materials to get moving on yhis little side project. I ordered some 0.6 mm veneer from a place up in townsville. I got 3 types of timber so that I can cintrast the hull and the deck. I need wider deck planks than can be ordered so I'll cut them from the Hoop Pine veneer. Once I got the materials I realised that it would be impractical to try and join each plank on the edges, so I've changed the approach to single piece planks which are difficult enough to put on as it is. the clinker planks are Chilean Myrtle, and the other timber of lesser quality is Coachwood that I'll use for the false decks.

Hope you are all well, Matt. I've thrown in a couple of pictures of the Bireme I'm working on as well.


Hope everyone had a lovely Easter, Matt.




















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