Hi, I am currently working on the Academy Roman galley kit @1/72, I am assuming the old Aurora molds. I am converting it to an early simple Greek galley using only one bank of oars as they only supplied 26 oars in the kit.
With the kit in front of me I don't know if two kits can be joined to make a longer model due to the curve amidships stated earlier. Possibly three kits can be joined to minimize the bowing effect. That would also require a lot of sanding to remove the strakes under the galley unless one makes a waterline model. One would welcome all those extra oars. I cheated in my frist build of the Aurora kit by using skewers. I placed the skewers in such a way as it apperared as the oars were submerged in the water. I placed the second original set above and cut the blades on an angle to apper as they were partly in the water.
I know this thread is about joining two kits but I though that I would throw this in. I wonder if it is necessary to stretch the kit at all to replicate a bireme.
The kit states that it is a bireme even though they only supply one set of oars. Two rowers can occupy the same bench so logically if we found another set of oars we could mount them and call it a bireme. I have purchased a few boxes of the Orion Roman rowers to populate the kits and it apperas to work.
In doing some very quick research I am not finding too much on actual measurements of Roman galleys. Bjorn Landstrom also states many things about Roman galleys but again with no fine measurements. He provides the following about Greek galleys, Greek biremes were 65 feet long, 8 feeet wide and had 56 oars. Later they became up to 80 feet long and 10 feet wide but with only 50 oars. During these eras technology did not change as fast as our last century so I hope that one can make some assumptions that the Roman galleys could be similar.
If that is the case the Academy galley measures from stem to ram almost 14 inches, 1 1/2 wide on deck, pushing it to 3 inches with the outriggers. At 1/72 if you scale out 65 feet it measures 10.83 and 80 feet becomes 13.33. 10 feet becomes 1.66 inches. Pretty darn close to Bjorn's numbers.
If we try to model a trireme all bets are off on measurements. Will really have to hit the books on that. I am unsure if the galleys were as luxurious as portrayed in Ben Hur but definetly more space is required than provided in the Academy kit. So even with two or three kits to make a longer trieme, I see a great difficulty in providing the room for a third oar per side and of course our good friends, Mr. Oversearer with his sidekick the Mr. Tom Tom player. Not to forget the ski instructor on weekends.