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Greek Trireme by ships88 - Dusek - 1:72

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This seems to be the only available trireme kit. It is from a new Czech company - Dusek. I brought the kit because it is a trireme and curiosity about this new company's offering.


The kit turn out to be much better than I expected.


The laser cut bulkheads were nicely done, They fit perfectly without any adjustment. The plywood quality is very good. The laser scored deck verneer sheet was a surprise and superbly done. The wood verneeer quality is also top quality.


The kit comes with a simple(not a tone of wording), yet effective illustrated instruction booklet. The 1 to 1 ratio plans made the built easy.


There is one area the kit is lacking. The bow shape and the kit provided metallic ram is not satisfactory. Modification will need to be done to bring the model's bow to the correct shape (There is a modern full size reconstruction of the Greek Trireme- Olympias, which provides a very good reference for this- GOOGLE it)








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The kit's metallic ram has a nice side profile (it is shown on the right bottom corner of the kit ram picture) , however, the overall shape is rectangular tubular(same width from front to back). The greek ram is wider at the attaching point to the bow of the ship. There are also re-inforcement behind the ram(this is give the ancient ship their unique bow shape). This can be clearly seem from the front view of the reconstruction trireme ship- Olympia.


The kit's plan or instruction does not account for the re-inforcement behind the ram. This omission and the metallic ram shape made the bow shape awkward. This is an easy fix by adding needed enforcement planking behind the ram and reshape or scratch bulld a new ram.


Although the ship is about 20 inches long, it is about the same hull size as a 26 to 28 inches 18th century sail ship model (which includes the bowsprit and jib boom) as the trireme does not have those.







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Ty for the explanation, Ships. It´s a very unique kit and is always good to know where the weak points lie. Also, it´ll be great to see you solve this problem (to reinforce the ram seems easy, but to reshape the ram itself looks more challenging). Great start!


(I have interest in some kits from Dusek - your insight on this build will bring me some light ^_^ )

Edited by Vivian Galad
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The Greek trireme was one of their earlier kit. I believe their best kit to date is the gallery - La Real 1571 http://www.dusekshipkits.com/larealE.html.  It seems to be even par with the Corel's gallery - Reale de France. It is a bit shorter/smaller, it will likely be expensive also. I would love to have this kit (if price is affordable).

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This looks like a fun build; I'll be watching this as well. My first ship was a Trireme, and I have to say, there are a heck of a lot of oars!


For the ram, my advice would be to build up the shape you want, and cover it with a thin brass or bronze sheet, which can be artificially given a patina. I used this method on my second ship, and I was much more pleased with the appearance than if I had cast the ram or just made it out of wood. You can see a photo here: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/gallery/image/8078-akatos-5/


Though the lack of physical evidence of these ships can be a problem, it also means that you can make pretty much any modification you want, simply for aesthetic reasons, and no one can tell you that it is "wrong." :) Some characteristics may be improbable, but since thousands of these ships were built over several hundred years, there must have been a lot of different variations.

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Thanks Sharpie. You have an excellent trireme built/model. Any advise on the stern tail planking and reduction ?


The stern blocks glued in place and shaped to the rounded shape. The laser cut burnt marks on the stern block comes in handy to visually indicate how much material has being removed and the continuity of the curve. Set the the bow and stern deck. The stern is a bit tricky because of the curve shape. The false deck was scored horizontally from the under side. This made bending the wet deck possible to the stern's curvature.

The kit supplies basically two type of planks for the hull, 2mmx2mm (Amati stock - 100 pcs) and 2mmx3mm. Those are a bit thick to bend for hull (a thinner plank or double planking would have been perferred). One thing become very obuvious,,, the plank length is no long enough to go from bow to the stern curve end (oh boy). In addition, the reducing of the hull panking to the stern curve(both thickness and width) is up in to the builder's own determination.

btw- the pictures are out of sequence irregardless how I uploaded them - not sure why.









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Looking good!


Thanks Sharpie. You have an excellent trireme built/model. Any advise on the stern tail planking and reduction ?

Thanks. When I built my trireme, I was very inexperienced with planking methods, so I ran the planks horizontally up the stern, parallel to the hull planks. But, I only did this because it was easier. For my current build, I plan on following the method shown here, which is the same technique as is used on the Olympias:




You can find more photos of this fantastic model here, which may be especially helpful when building the projection for mounting the ram at the bow. http://richardsmodelboats.webs.com/apps/photos/album?albumid=6414147

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Sharpie, Thank you for the excellent Trireme web link. Richard's (an UK naval architect at Plymouth) trireme build log clearly demonistrated how the Trireme bow and ram are constructed. By following his research and build method, I believe the finished model will be greatly more accurate than the completed model shown on the deusek web site/box top picture (especially in the ram & bow area)

The kit calls for the first top 6 rows of planking to be the 2x2mm, while the rest of the hull planking downward to be the wider 3X2mm stock. Both are not long enoguh to cover bow to stern. Also they are hard to bend (even after soaking in water for a while) due to the the thickness.


Few things to remember:

  • Make sure to bevel slightly the top edge (inner side the plank that face to the bulkhead) of the plank to be install (except for the first plank), otherwise because of  the plank thickness it will leave a gap on the outer hull against the previous installed plank.
  • I also found it was easier to glue the front half of the plank from the bow to the mid-ship, wait after it has dried, then continue to test fit, adjust the hull bulkhead sharping to align toward the stern then glue in the remaining half from the mid-ship to stern. In this process, the most challenging part is the cuvring and shaping of the plank at the stern (make suer alot of clamps are on hand), As the supplied planks are not long enough, I decided to to a shorter curve(which looks right), and using lower hull planking extensions (which is not as visible) to complete most of the stern curve tail.
  • The trireme is one of the few ship model where the intern hull are visible after completion, So make sure that the internal hull are free of glue overrun, excessive trim marks and that it is reasonable in "appearence". This is apparent on the fifth plank toward the bow, I notched the plank in 2 areas to make the bend, I should have notch more areas and smaller notches so it wouln't be so obvious.

BTW- I temporary removed the ram section to make the planking process easier,




Edited by ships88
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Hello Ships88 - nice you have started this model!  I have exactly the same one over here, but will only use the plans because I will scratch this Trireme in a scale of 1:32 

This makes her over 1 meter length.


Reason why?  We already have a Bireme in 1: 32 and like to have this Trireme in the same scale.







You already have done very nice work on your model!



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The Greek trireme was one of their earlier kit. I believe their best kit to date is the gallery - La Real 1571 http://www.dusekshipkits.com/larealE.html.  It seems to be even par with the Corel's gallery - Reale de France. It is a bit shorter/smaller, it will likely be expensive also. I would love to have this kit (if price is affordable).


This might be a nice alternative?





Edited by *Hans*
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Hans, The quality of the aeronaut kit is questionable to me, I have read mixed reviews onliine (in general of their kits), In addition, there are vitruallly no retail outlets in Norther America that sold their kits. La capitana seems to be nice from the limited number of picture available (there does not to be any build log or finished model picture other than the company's advertisement pictures). It is an older kit and does not seem to have the same level of details as the new LaReale kit (similar pricing for both kits).


Back to the build:


Completed ed the 6 course of 2x2mm planking. The plan drawing shows all the planks are nice line up in a perfect straight line. The first 2x3mm plannking proves otherwise. This is a single plank kit, so how the plank is layed in is how the model will look. The 2mm thickness of the single plank is much harder to bend than the double plank method, but it does save alot of time (no second planking needed).





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Allow me to tell everyone here who is interested that I just purchased the La Real kit.



The plans (5 sheets) are quite good with excellent sectional views. It's obvious an engineer (Daniel Dusek) has perfected this unique design on a very interesting 16th-C warship. The instructions are laughable and there are several matching errors on an included parts plan for the lasered wood pieces. All the wood is lasercut. The fittings are resin and brass photoetch. Skeletal wood (hull pieces) is 3mm ply. Nearly all the balance of laser wood (about 6 sheets) is pear veneer. Beautifully done on nice .6mm stock. Strip wood is primarily basswood, and round sections appear to be birch. I'll use very little of the latter pieces.


All of the wood quality (even strip wood and dowels) is superb; straight and precision cut ( I measured with calipers). There are several sheets of 2mm with relief laser decorative patterns which are exquisite. The resin needs a lot of flash removal and a couple pieces appear unusable due to bending and basically, inappropriate materials for certain detail items - like anchors (but I will scratch their replacements). I'll replace the handful of cannons with brass ones (5 long guns on carriages), I may keep the falconet-like resin ones. This kit is definitely for an advanced builder - and as mentioned I intend to replace some of the wood despite it being high-quality. It would help to have a good mechanical engineering background when it comes to reading the plans. This ship does consist of hundreds of small pieces to fabricate the oar stations correctly. Sailcloth (included in the kit) is decent, but I will be doing furled sails on the huge lateen masts(2). I'll use a lighter paper material for my sails. The photoetch brass is excellent. There are two sheets of 4-color printed "flags" that I'll also modify or use the designs on something more resembling cloth (like paper I will use for furled sails).


So far, I've built the bulkheads and some deck pieces and I've started planking strip wood for decking and lower hull for which I'll use (bash with) precision walnut for the hull and boxwood on the decking as it will be visible through the complex oar stations.


I will NOT be doing a Build Log - but I'll be happy from time to time to take a pic and post it here.


So far, this kit is easily the equal (or even better) than either Victory Models (Amati's premium line) or Caldercraft's Nelson's Navy range. The resin and multi-leveled laser(ed) wood appears to be as good as Euromodel's decent castings.


Bottom line: I intend to strive towards making La Real an award-winning model. I believe I have the rough materials (with good plans) to accomplish this...we'll see... as they say.


Hope this info is helpful to those contemplating something "out of the box".




PS I paid a little over $300 for this kit. Shipping was about $25. It isn't a heavy box owing to the .6mm pear veneer sheets. Oh yeah, scale is 1/72. This is smaller than I prefer but it lends itself to nice fine detail.

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Hi Ron,


Thank you for sharing your evaluation of the La Reale. Can you advise where you purchased the kit from ?  In addition, how do you think this kit compares to the classic Corel's Reale de France ?


I am looking forward to see the pictures of your built (would really love to see you start a log)>.


Thank you.      

Edited by ships88
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Hello Ships88. You are quite welcome; I have always felt that one of the more important benefits of MSW has been commentary on vendors - and more important, the comments on various aspects of either kit building and/or tools and materials we use in our unique hobby. I could be wrong, but I would guess that a majority of active MSW'ers still remain largely kit builders (versus "hardcore"scratch builders). If someone here knows of a thread that has taken this type of survey, that would be fun to see.


I bought the kit from ModelExpo (online purchase). Age of Sail also has Dusek kits listed on their site - however, the La Real is not included. I've spent some time looking into U.S. and European sources for this manufacturer and it's pretty slim. My opinion (and it is only that) is that Daniel Dusek spends the majority of his time designing and running an engineering-centric company; that is, the marketing is the last thing on his "to do" punch list.


I have only seen photos of Reale de France so I can't comment intelligently on the design or quality of this kit. Corel is a respected manufacturer, but I personally have never built a Corel kit.


I wil post photos this weekend on my build; I'm at an interesting point on the hull assembly that might be of interest to members in this thread. As I said previously, I'll not be doing a Build Log per se, but I will offer some photos and brief comments as the project rolls along.



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I came across this photo of a French Galley, circa 1690. It has similar qualities to it's historic forbears - namely the Spanish flagship, LaReal which was built 130 years earlier. Life moved a little slower in the 16th and 17th centuries.


This finely crafted model is by August Crabtree and on display (with 50 others) at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA.


I haven't seen many high-quality models from the war-fighting galley era of the 16th-C, although this one is a very nice and exceptional example.


I just placed this Museum on my Bucket List - expressly to see Mr. Crabtree's extensive work.




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  • 1 month later...

Sanded the hull and tried to fit the ram support to the hull.


First attempt defining the ram side support lambers proved too small. The second attempt ram support seems to be the appropiate sized for the ship (both ram attempt supports terminatesd on the same point on the of the center line ram outline).The plan provided a drawing detail of pre-built the mid level rowing deck and beams. The intend was to buit the row deck outside the hull, then drop the assembled row deck unit into the hull and glue it. However, unless you have a perfect hull build, there will be gaps between the pre-assembled row bean and the hull planks. I decided to cut and place the row bean one at a time. This meant each bean will be trimmed individually to fit (touching the hull on both end- make sure the bean is cut at an angle to fit the curve of the hull).





Edited by ships88
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  • 3 months later...

This kit's weakest area is the ram. The kit provided a nice metallic ram. However, the trireme's ram is more than just the frontal metallic ram casing that covered the foward portion of the massive ram structure. The construction of the ram is the hardest part of this kit. It was hard to get sufficient information to correctly scale the ram size as the kit's depriction  of the ram is incorrect. The Olympias trireme gallery picture was used the refernce. for the scaled size estimate .


The front portion plankw are rough, but they will not visible once the ramming casting is place over it.  







Edited by ships88
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  • 3 weeks later...

Because of the small size of th ram and th slopping angle, it was impossible to make a single piece ram. The ram was constrcuted in mutiple pieces. The easiest material to make this turn out to be ----cereal box   :D  :D  :D . The pieces were cut to size against the hull and glue together (make sure no glue touches the hull) . Once dried enough, removed from the hull and painted with bronze color paint. It looks realistic enought. This tririeme is unlikely to use it's ram in action anyway. :10_1_10:  :dancetl6:





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Nice job on the ram! The texture of the paperboard really gives the impression of cast bronze. What type/brand of paint did you use? I've pretty much given up on trying to make the ram for my build out of actual bronze, so I'm looking for alternatives.

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I first brushed on a black base coat paint (Americana - DecoArt acrylic paint) over the card board ram. Once the black paint dried, a mixture of Ceramocat metalic14k gold acrylic paint #02604 with  small amount of the black paint (which makes a nice bronze color) is brushed over the black base coat. The acrylic paint  coats also strengthens the cardboard from absorbing moisture in the air.


Both paints were bought at the local Michael's craft store. They should be readily available at any craft/paint stores.I


I originally thought about using some type of soft sheet metal as well. However, after researching the Trireme ram images on Google, the actual ram has too many corners and edges, making it impossible to replicate with sheet metal in miniature. I believe casting method is the only way suitable to recreate a miniature metallic ram.

Edited by ships88
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  • 4 years later...

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