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Viking Ship Drakkar by Amfibius - FINISHED - Amati - Scale 1:50

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Hi my name is Keith, and I thought I should make a post to prove that I actually build ship models rather than just lurk! This is my fourth ship model. The first two were abandoned due to catastrophic failures, the third (Artesania HMS Bounty) was completed, and this is my fourth. Four models over the space of 20 years and my amateurish skills hardly qualify me as being even worthy to browse this site, let alone post. I am in fact about 75% through the build - I now know that this model is not going to be a failure, so I can avoid the shame of starting a build log and not finishing it. This is why I am posting! 


I made this thread for two reasons - first, to help others who may be contemplating building a Viking ship. Second, to solicit feedback on the mistakes I have made along with suggestions for improvement. 


This boat is intended to be a gift for my friend. He is half Swedish, looks like a giant Viking, and makes jokes about his heritage. I did some research as to which kit to buy. I am aware of three. Artesania Latina was quickly ruled out because it is too basic and does not look authentic. That narrowed it down to either Billings or Amati. The Billings model is of the Oseberg ship, which is sitting in a museum. From what I can see, it looks like a pretty accurate model with some very nice details. However, I do not like Billings' excessive use of plastic. The kit that I inspected had plastic parts which were not moulded properly, so it did not leave a good impression. I therefore took a punt and ordered the Amati kit from the local hobby shop (Float A Boat). 


To my knowledge, this kit is based on a fictional ship with no original in existence. This doesn't bother me, but it may bother you. 


Anyway, on with the boat. First, some unboxing photos. 




The box in my pristine (for now) modelling area. 




Box contents (L-R): planks, planks, frame, deck furniture, deck, instructions. All laser cut. Only after I started working on the model did I realize that the quality of wood supplied was rather poor. I am not sure what wood was supplied, it is some kind of laminate. Box wood, perhaps? I have more detailed photos later. 


The manual was surprisingly good. I am used to the poor efforts of Artesania Latina. By comparison, this manual (in Italian, with a separate sheet in English) was clear, well labelled, and well translated. 




Accessories. Everything present and accounted for - let's get started! 

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A boring shot of the frames going on the keel. Note that this is the actual keel - there is no false keel in this model. I quickly realized that the ugly laminated wood is going to be on full display! 




I made a simple scribing tool by shaping a blade and attaching it to a jig. As you can see, scratching the wood removes the top layer and exposes the laminate underneath. I only realized that this was a mistake after I scribed one plank. I gritted my teeth and decided to do all of them. I can think of a way to hide it later. 






Planking continues. The planks fit the frame like magic with no struggle at all. I was worried about my first clinker boat, but if you do what the manual suggests you will have no problem.


Once again, note the laminated appearance of the keel. 




Shaping the planks at the stern to follow a smooth curve. Note that sanding the planks also reveals the darker coloured laminate underneath.




Thanks to the pre-cut planks, getting to this stage took me no time at all. Within the space of a weekend, I was able to complete the planking up to this point. 

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Hi Amfibius, Your build is looking good so far, good luck with the rest of the build.  If you still have the first two model, why not show them on the site, you never know, there might be some one who could give some inspiring information1

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Nice job so far Keith.  Have you thought about grabbing some other wood and using the plans for a scratch build if you don't like the kit wood ?  What are your plans for a finish?


I researched the Viking boat kits too, I was going to check out the Amati as well.  I want to build a viking ship as my fav sports team in town is the Minnesota Vikings.


Looking forward to seeing this build

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Richard, I will make an album to show off my Bounty in good time. I think I need to dust it off and get some new photos. 


Casey, the planking is completed. I suppose I COULD get some alternative wood and use the laser cut planks as a template, but that would involve buying a scroll saw which I do not currently own, and have no place to put it. Not to mention, my wife would clobber me to death if I bought a new toy. 


Anyway, here are more pictures. 






I decided to take a break from woodwork and paint some shields. They were first sprayed with an etching metal primer. These are too small and too irregularly shaped to use masking tape, so I had to paint them freehand. That's why they look ... hand painted! I wonder how people get such neat lines on small items, they must have really steady hands! 




Hull planking completed. I decided to cover up the ugly naked wood they supplied for the keel. 






I drilled some holes for nails. You can see that I did not do as good a job with the planking as I had hoped - some of the planks were not installed straight. Lesson learnt. 






The kit supplies an alternative scroll for the tail. The lower picture shows a comparison between the scroll attached to the keel and the more ornate alternative scroll. With the help of a Dremel and a small sanding cone I shaped the scroll so that it looks nicer. 


More updates to follow. 

Edited by Amfibius
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks everyone. I've made more progress on this kit so here are some updates.






The hull is complete, so I started on deck planking. I decided to stagger the planks 50% of the width compared to the row before it.




Deck planking completed, installing crossbeams.





Attachment for the shield rails.




Shield rails attached. This build is going extremely smoothly - must be the easiest model I have ever made!




Shaping the cleats. As supplied in the kit in the top left, shaped cleats on the bottom right.

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Hull completed, started on the sails. First, cut the sails to size then cut ribbons from spare sailcloth.




Glue the ribbons to the sailcloth in a criss-cross pattern. I could have simply ignored the weaving (since it is not apparent when the sail is painted), but I wanted to ensure that the ribbons would not come off when I soak the sail again later.




Red stripes painted on the sail.




Painting completed. In retrospect I should have chosen an odd number of stripes rather than an even number. It would have made the sail look more balanced. Nothing I can do about that now. Still, it looks great (in my humble opinion!).

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Oh well. Looks like this build is getting no love. For those who care (all 3 of you) ... the ship has been completed.




Rigging of main spar including seizing.




Progress to date.




Oars completed. They are all of different sizes, so I painted stripes representing I - VII on them.




Attaching the rope to the sail.




... and then the sail to the yard.




The sail complete, it was soaked in a 40% solution of white glue then left to dry on a jig to give a windblown appearance.






Rigging of mainmast complete.





Almost near the finish line!




Rigging complete, last step is to glue the shields on.

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All finished. Some shots in my home studio.
















In front of a Viking cross-stitch given to me by my friend's wife more than 10 years ago.




With my other ship - the HMS Bounty. The scale of both ships is roughly comparable. The Bounty is 1:48, the Viking ship is 1:50.

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Thanks everyone. Wackowolf i'm not sure what ship i'll build next ... I have wanted to built the Victory all my life, but I don't think I have the skills yet. I'm thinking of doing the Royal Caroline ... she's a beautiful ship. Not sure which version to build ... Panart perhaps?

Edited by Amfibius
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She came up very nicely Keith, the woven sail reinforcements look good - glad you put that detail in.  I love that little flourish on the display stand with the anchor  did that come with the kit or an enhancement you made?





Edited by BANYAN
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Thanks Pat. Everything that you see (with the exception of the display stand) came with the kit.


Even though this boat was much simpler than the Bounty, I still learnt a lot from it. I am thinking I might have to attempt a couple more small projects before I try something more ambitious. Ever since I joined MSW, my expectations of what is possible has gone up. I am no longer content to build another model to the same standard as my Bounty - it has to be even better. That means I have to acquire more skills and probably more tools!

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Careful Keith, you'll be a tool' aholic before you know it :) You may even need to sell off some of that supurb sound equipment to buy the tools  ;)


WRT to developing your skills, you've come a long way but I know what you mean.  I look at my Endeavour and just wish I could redo some of the very early work again.  But like you, I have accepted it for what it is and I can live with it, and will strive for better in the next build. 


If you are looking for a smaller project have a look at / maybe consider the Longboat or Cutter kits (from Model Expo) that Chuck designed.  Quite a nice project that brings in some interesting build challenges?






p.s. Don't be too concerned if not too many people coimment in your log -  you probably get a lot more visitors that read the page but don't comment.  There are a lot of build logs and I only comment in about 10 myself (not enough time for others but they do deserve looking at - purely time management), but I do realise it is nice to get some acknowledgement for your efforts at times :)

Edited by BANYAN
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What Pat said... it's a hobby of "improvement".  The true modeler in all of says: "the next one will be perfect".  And it's usually better just from the skills we pick up along the way. 


And I'm with Pat on commenting... too many excellent logs, too little time.

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Thanks Pat and Mark. I did a bit of exploring on this site last night and came across numerous build projects. Even something as simple as a Bounty pinnace has been built to a standard that I can not hope to equal - let alone the numerous Royal Carolines or Victories. I really do have to improve my skills - and yes I did think about building one of those little boats from Model Expo.


Steve, the base and pedestal were from Artesania Latina. I did a bit of fishing on their website to look for it. I came across a couple of "soporte de peana, forma de pez" (base support in the form of a fish) items, but I am not sure which one it is:






I think it may be the horizontal one. It is made from white metal and coated with brass paint. I widened the channel using my Dremel, and I was surprised by how easily I could shape it. It is not apparent in the picture, but I drilled a hole all the way through the pedestal and into the base and inserted a sawn off nail from there into the hull, which I had previously reinforced to accept the stand.


The base is also from Artesania, but I would not recommend it. It is MDF with veneer on top. You can see from the pictures that the sides look a little ugly. If you have a router, you are probably better off buying a nice plank and making your own base.

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Hi Keith,


Very nice build.

As mentioned earlier, a number of us dont realy comment. I love looking at the logs, and may hit the "like" button more often now, but I am not in to repeating comments for the sake of it.

In saying that, this is a kit that I am thinking of, and your fine build is tempting me to open my wallet.




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Thank you Meredith, your kind words are appreciated. 


Greg, I am starting to be aware that there is no way I can follow all the build logs on this site. Even if I were to restrict myself to build logs by those people who are more skilled than I, that still leaves nearly everyone :) 


Mike, I used the Feast Watson Old Baltic stain which I bought from my http://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/paint-decorating/paint/wood-finishes/timber-stains?facets=BrandName%3DFeast%20Watson'>local hardware store. I bought this particular brand because it was the only brand that sold "sample size" quantities of stain. The problem is - the appearance of the stain on the wood looks quite different to the samples provided. I had to return to the shop four times, buying five different samples, before I settled on Old Baltic. 

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