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Viking Knarr by Daryl - FINISHED - Dusek - Scale 1:72

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Wishing all forum members all the best for 2015 and I hope you continue to have fun building your models.


To start the year, I will be building a very small Viking Knarr for an elderly friend of mine. It is a Dusek model and, due to what I have found in researcing Knarr's, it will have a few modifications.


The following photos are of the kit as it arrived.





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The kit contained everything it said it did, and from the first inspection, the parts look like they are in very good condition.

The Plans are well drawn, but as I have been advised by Dusek, they are "simplified" drawings. what this means is that in some places they do NOT represent the actual shape of the part. That surprised me as I would have expected them to be 100% accurate. Contact with Dusek was immediate and well received.


As you can see in the Parts photo, there does not seem to be too much work on this model. But, you never know.




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The work in a model depends solely on our desire to build - we can build it straightly from the instructions and have just that amount of work and time spent, or we can modify, redo, scratch parts and fits - add myriad details and take long months to build something others take 3 weeks - to look at the parts alone is to be deceived by the builder´s intentions ^_^ ^_^ ^_^


Nice ship, one of the types I want to try. I´ll put a chair right there and follow your progress.

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Q. What does one do when it is 40 degrees C outside?


A. Go inside, switch on the A/C and start building a new model. A very small one (1:72) so the rigging is going to be fun when I get to it.


And I have.


First off, I must say that I really like the laser cut ply that is used for this model. Very strong, and the laser cuts are spot on. I found that when putting the parts together, I really did not require any glue most of the time. The fits were tight and perfect.


As I mentioned earlier, I now know that the drawings are only "simplified". ie. Not perfect. But, so far, that is not causing me any problems.


The first step is to use the "to scale" drawing to mark on the keel the contour lines of the planking. This helps in aligning them later on. Having done that, I then started installing the frames.  The frames are installed in groups. The first set cater for the main decking.






Now the support for the deck planking is installed on these frames.




Now comes the next section of framing which is for the bow and stern, and their associated small decks.




The remainder of the main frames are now installed.




The Mast foot is now assembled and installed followed by the deck planking for all 4 decks. Transverse strips are also installed across the deck planks.




All the installed frames are now held together in place by the installation of the Inner frame.


In the drawings, the Inner frame is located a distance below the top of the frames. There is nothing to tell you what the distance should be. If you do not glue this immediately (the fit is tight so you will not have a problem with it falling out) you can go to the next step where you have to install small frames that sit on top of the transverse strips and fit into cut aways in the Inner frame.




The last set of frames are small deck/secondary frames spaced out between the main frames.




I glued these in and once they were dry, fitted the Inner frame. Everything seems to be in line from stem to stern so I am looking forward to starting the hull planking in a day or so.


And the weather has now changed and we are getting some rain. A fun weekend.




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And now it is time to start the planking.


Each frame is cut so that you have a rebate to fit each plank in, thereby making the alignment of the planking a lot simpler. What make the little grey cells work overtime (apologies to Hercule Poirot) is making sure you have the planks centered correctly before gluing them. The contour lines I mentioned in the beginning now become very important. So far, I have found the rebates to have been very well cut as the odd shape of the planks seem to fit into them very nicely. I am not concerned if the spacing of the planks is not perfect as I am assuming they were not 100% perfect on the original knarrs all those years ago.


The next photo shows the first planks installed each side of the keel and the second row being aligned before fixing.




The next photo shows the 1st & 2nd rows attached and the 3rd row being aligned. It only took me two rows to agree with their instruction comments regarding gluing the planks from the middle before doing the ends. I am fixing the planks to the middle 7 frames and letting it set completely before doing the ends.




As there is limited space to use clamps, I have been using very very small brass nails to hold the planks in place while the glue dries and then removing them later.



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  • 2 weeks later...

At this point, I found that the planking contour lines I drew on the keel as per the first step in the instructions, no longer match up with the rebates in each frame. I finally found out that the drawings in the plans show there are 11 planks on the stern and 10 on the bow. I immediately contacted Daniel at Dusek and pointed this out to him. Within a couple of days, Daniel had sent me a new drawing showing the correct layout of the planking.


Attached is a the file Daniel sent me in case someone has found the same problem.


revised knarr72-plan.pdf


I have found that the response from Dusek has always been quick and fantastic. 


The only other problem I have found with the planking is that I feel the planks are about 1-2mm short each end. I have been having difficulty in clamping them when glueing and a bit extra timber would make the clamping much easier and it could easily be trimmed off once the glue has set. I will pass this on to Daniel later.


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I have now finished planking the hull but found another problem which is more lack of detail in the instructions rather than a problem with the model.


As I mentioned earlier, before starting the planking, you have to instll the "Inner Frame". It sits some distance below the tops of the main frames. The instructions do not tell you how far below so I took an estimated guess from looking at the drawings. My suggestion would be to not glue it in place but to pin it so that you can complete the planking and then relocate the Inner Fram so that it fits more correctly. ie the gap between the top of the Inner Frame and the side beams is uniform. It would also need you to not glue the sub-frames into the Inner Frame but pin them as well. A bit of extra work but I think the end result would warrant it.


All planks attached - Bottom and side views.







How it looked before painting. You can see the uneven space I referred to between the Inner frame and the side beam.






The internal hull was painted with Pine tar and the fore and aft decking with some model boat "wood brown" paint.






The external hull was painted with Pine tar. The following photos show how the color changes in different light.








I am now working on the Rudder oar.


Once I have finished that, I will be having lots of fun using heaps of 4mm lengths of 0.5mm black fibre optic as replacements for the wrought iron rivits used on the original Knarrs. The Dremel is about to get a serious work out.


Hopefully I will start on the rigging in two weeks time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rigging time.


I found a few things that I was not happy with and therefore made changes to.


The first one was how the shrouds were attatched to hull. In the instructions, they asked that you tied a loop through a hole in the inner frame (see follwing photo) and then linked the shroud to it using the shroud pins.




If you did this, then there was no way in which you could tighten/loosen the shrouds.


Searching on the internet I found another option which I decided to follow. It is shown in the next photo.




The next photo shows the mast with its shrouds.




The next thing I changed was how the forestay was attached to the bow. The instructions ask you to tie the forestay through a hole in the bow. Whilst researching I found that there was a "pin" inserted through the bow which the forestay was tied around, so I decided to do that as is shown in the following photos.






The last thing I changed was the Parrel. There is evidence that they used a wooden parrel so I made one up and used that insted of tying rope around the mast and spar.




The following photos show the sail, sail bar and some of the sail ropes






I hope to finish the rigging in the next week and then make up the cargo and that will be it.

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I could not wait. I was so close to finishing it so I got on with it.


Attaching the rudder to the hull is interesting. The rope starts from outside (knotted end), goes through the hull, comes out side and then back inside and ties off. Or that is how I see it happenign.  Here is how it looks.





The barrels did not want to lay straight by themselves, so I stuck two together and hey presto, everything went well.





Wrapping the bales was fun, especially as my fingers are not on the small side.





And then it was finished.





This has been a fun build. Not sure if I will do a 1:72 scale again, but you never know. John is the name of the gentleman who I have built it for. We are going to name it John's Knarr. It will be painted on the bow in the "Younger Futhork” (Long Branch) Runic alphabet. Younger Futhork or "Normal Runes" gradually evolved Elder Futhark over a period of many years and stabilized by about 800 A.D., the beginning of the Viking Age. It was the main alphabet in Norway, Sweden and Denmark throughout the Viking Age.


John's Knarr translates to:




I hope you have enjoyed watching this build as much as I have enjoyed doing it.


I will be back sometime in the next 2 - 3 months with my next build once I have finished the other 3 projects I currently have underway. 1 - Restoring a 1901 Singer treadle Sewing machine, 2 - building a Cigar box ukulele and 3 - building a rocking horse for a new great nephew.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 years later...
On 2/21/2015 at 8:52 PM, Daryl said:

I hope you have enjoyed watching this build as much as I have enjoyed doing it.

You did a wonderful job on this interesting boat. Painting the boat with pine tar makes it very authentic and realistic. Does the pine tar take a long time to dry?

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