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Viking ship redux

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  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Viking ship redux
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 12:20 PM

After the neat builds I have seen here on this kit, and the fact that I am in the middle of a course in Viking history, I couldn't wait any longer to get the kit on the bench.  I want to not duplicate any of the previous models presented already, so I will be trying other options whenever I can.  I decided first off I would not gild the figurehead or the sternpost carving, depicting these figures as bronze.  I have seen pictures of bronze figureheads, and decided that the Vikings were after plunder, and wouldn't waste gold instead of steal it.  So I used my technique of starting with Alclad copper, followed by a very light coat of a dark brown,  Then medium gray and zinc chromate washes.  I felt the artwork on the shield decals was a bit intricate, so hopefully I will be able to do some simpler inkjet shields with a bit less fancy design.

Here is my start.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 12:54 PM

That's great to see another one being built.

My latest thinking on the shields is that they were really thin. I've got the info somewhere, but they were only about 10mm thick at the rim and maybe twice that in the middle. The ideas seems to be, and how re-enacters fight, was to absorb the first blow, probably shatter, and then the warrior could attack and kill his asailant before they could recover from swinging their own weapon. 10mm at 1/60th or so would be less than 0.20 mm. Thin.

Diameter maybe 800mm, also small.

Really the only shields ever found related to a longboat were the ones at Gokstad, which were arranged in a circle around the ship if I recall. They all had the same paint job. No doubt the guy that was buried there's logo.

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 3:36 PM

GMorrison

That's great to see another one being built.

My latest thinking on the shields is that they were really thin. I've got the info somewhere, but they were only about 10mm thick at the rim and maybe twice that in the middle. The ideas seems to be, and how re-enacters fight, was to absorb the first blow, probably shatter, and then the warrior could attack and kill his asailant before they could recover from swinging their own weapon. 10mm at 1/60th or so would be less than 0.20 mm. Thin.

Diameter maybe 800mm, also small.

Really the only shields ever found related to a longboat were the ones at Gokstad, which were arranged in a circle around the ship if I recall. They all had the same paint job. No doubt the guy that was buried there's logo.

 

 

Apparently, in later centuries some Vikings adapted a taller shield, like the Normans were using.  Round ones look better, though.  The prof doing my lectures believed that when used on the bulwarks, they were mainly a defense against arrows.  In sea battles arrows were used a lot.

I haven't gotten to 1066 yet, but if I remember right, William waited for a major Scandinavian raid up north in Yorkshire to make his raid.  Never heard whether there was cooperation or not- maybe my prof will get into that.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2020
  • From: North East of England
Posted by Hutch6390 on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 3:59 PM

Hi Don - the ship's looking good, I like the idea of bronze instead of gold - makes sense to me.  From my schooldays, I recall the account of the battle of Stamford Bridge is stirring stuff, but I won't spoil it for you!  

Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?

TakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakkaTakka

 

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, April 24, 2021 6:33 AM

looking forward to this build don , pity we wont be able to put them all next to one another .

nice start by the way .

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, April 24, 2021 6:58 AM

Found some pictures yesterday from that museum in Australia that shows what they believe the sea chests looked like.  Thinking I will add some.  What do you think- would they remain on deck during sailing, or would they be stored below deck? 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, April 24, 2021 7:43 AM

Is there really a 'below deck?' My understanding was that, with the shallow draft these vessels had, aside from storage wells of a sort at bow and stern, the area below the deck planking was largely devoted to stone ballast.

Of course, I could be wrong... (I've been wrong before. Embarrassed)

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, April 24, 2021 9:15 AM

Don Stauffer

Found some pictures yesterday from that museum in Australia that shows what they believe the sea chests looked like.  Thinking I will add some.  What do you think- would they remain on deck during sailing, or would they be stored below deck? 

 

i don't know but I will look through some books I have, although I doubt there's much. The term "room" is important. A room was the space fore and aft between the oar holes. Ships were often described in size using the term, i.e. the Gokstad ship was a 16 room ship.

Then in some sagas, the crew are described as having "half room" chests. There would also be a chest for weapons, and in one of the ships, I think Oseberg's, a chest was found with grain seed.

With 16 -18 foot oars which have been found, optimal leverage would suggest 10-12 feet outside the ship and 6-7 feet inboard. So each rower had an area of maybe two feet by three or four feet to sit in, and the inner ends of the oars were about 2- 2 1/2 feet above the deck. That means the chests were fairly small and pretty flat, probably wrapped up in something somewhat waterproof and tied up with rope.

The oar holes had a neat detail (the whole ships are a collection of neat details) where a slot was carved up from the round part, for slipping the oar blade-first out from inside the ship.

One thing for sure. whatever space was under the deck would have had a lot of water in it. No baler was found at Gokstad, but a very conventional looking one was found at Oseberg.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 25, 2021 8:42 AM

GMorrison

 

 

 

 

i don't know but I will look through some books I have, although I doubt there's much. The term "room" is important. A room was the space fore and aft between the oar holes. Ships were often described in size using the term, i.e. the Gokstad ship was a 16 room ship.

 

Then in some sagas, the crew are described as having "half room" chests. There would also be a chest for weapons, and in one of the ships, I think Oseberg's, a chest was found with grain seed.

....

 

Yes, the picture I have of the chest on that Aussie Museum build shows chests in place and they do look approximately a half room.

I suspect much of the deck planking was removable for storage.  Some of their raids took a fair amount of time.  Although they beached ships at night, I would doubt they could count on food and water at every stop.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 25, 2021 6:21 PM

Got some more work done over weekend.  Since I intend to showship rigged for sail, oars stowed, I punched out 32 disks from0.020 styrene to act as oar port covers.  These were glued inside hull and painted.

I have started the rigging.  I found a couple of diagrams of viking ships, and several pictures, graphics, and pictures of rigged models.  No two were the same.  I have read about the variability of Viking ships so I feel free to rig with the conbination I chose, as long as things would provide the functions ofthe lines shown in these references.

Also shown are the completed 24 shields using the kit decals.  There will be eight more using  homemade decals with common Viking graphics.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 8:50 AM

Decided to redo the forestay.  Several problems- the tensioning area was too high up, and the serving was pretty crude.  Havent done much rigging for a few months and need time to recover my rigging ***.

Have a question on rigging fittings.  There are two rigging fittings I have seen only on viking ship rigging, and I have no idea what they are called.  The first are the ones included in the kit, which look kind of like a ref signalling a field goal;

The second is something I see on some shrouds, sort of a lever/clamp to tension the shrouds and provide a quick release for stowing the mast (this is the fitting I will use on my shrouds.

Sort of looks like it could be made from an animal horn!  In this shot the stay is served but not tarred.  I have also seen pictures of this fitting tarred above and below fitting.  Anyway, anyone know what it is called?

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 9:38 AM

The only photo I have of one of those calls it a block- Brogger and Shetelig.

No idea. Dr. Tilley called it a gadget...

 

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 10:01 AM

Don Stauffer
Sort of looks like it could be made from an animal horn! In this shot the stay is seized but not tarred. I have also seen pictures of this fitting tarred above and below fittling. Anyway, anyone know what it is called?

According to several sources, they were referred to as 'virgins' or 'angels'; the second would make some sense, based on the shape.

https://regia.org/research/ships/Ships2.htm

Go down to the 'sails and rigging' section.

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:11 PM

Got the shrouds rigged now.  Here is a closeup of my take on that fitting that looks like it may be made from an animal horn.  Looks like it is a quick-disconnect that also gives a bit of additional tension when it is clamped.  Since the Vikings frequently stepped and lowered the mast, this looks like a neat fitting.

 

Here is a shot of the simple jig for serving parts of the lines near ends. 

 

I have seen pictures of rigging with entire lines tarred, and some with only the fitting and serving tarred.  I have elected to go with the latter.  Here is picture with running rigging complete.

 

I am starting on the sail next.  This is going to be a lot of work.  I don't particularly like the kit sail- I believe it is molded with too much depth.  But I am not a great tailer, and didn't want to put in the effort to sew one from scratch, so I'll do the best I can with the kit sail.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:41 PM

In my old thread, I show how I made mine out of vellum paper. I thought it came out pretty well.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, May 1, 2021 6:32 AM

looking good don

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, May 16, 2021 4:05 PM

Finally discarded the kit's plastic sail, and made one from paper, a pretty simple, with inkjet coloring.  I got it wet in a few spots and it made a slight stain.  But I figured Viking sails must have gotten wet at times, and it looked weathered, so I left it.  Working on the running rigging now.  Not much to it, be done soon.  Then will be stowed spars and oars, followed by the shields.  Also gave the base a couple of coats of glosscoat- it will be ready soon.

 

 

I am doing the rigging on my rigging stand.  It is a simple stand made of  two sort of telescoping pieces of PVC pipe with a swivel tray on top.  The height is adjustable in one inch incraments.  The bottom pipe is fastened to a simple plywood square with L brackets.  I find it very handy.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, May 16, 2021 4:42 PM

Looking most excellent, Don!

(Can almost picture Kirk Douglas at the prow....) Big Smile

Greg

George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
 
  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Sunday, May 16, 2021 6:04 PM

I'm enjoying this build. Your taking a class which touches on this subject is interesting. I hope you let us know more about what you learn.

I think your build plan is much more representative of the bulk of Viking vessels than what's depicted on the box art. That's just a guess on my part but like your plan.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    September 2013
  • From: San Antonio, Texas
Posted by Marcus McBean on Sunday, May 16, 2021 6:33 PM

Don,

Nice job with creating the sail, digging your rigging stand. 

Marcus Beer

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, May 16, 2021 11:26 PM

Awesome work Don. What is the kit brand? I have the Imaii and the Aurora/Heller kit and I agree with Hutch, the battle of Stamford Bridge is stirring stuff indeed. There is a historical novel called 'Byzantium' by Michael Ennis, (Pan books), which tells the story of Harald Hadrada's time as a member of the Varangian Guard. A good read. Hadrada was one of the beligerants at Stamford Bridge.

Ferg

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, May 17, 2021 7:40 AM

1943Mike

I'm enjoying this build. Your taking a class which touches on this subject is interesting. I hope you let us know more about what you learn.

 

 

A recent lesson explained how vikings became the Ukrainians and Russians.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, May 17, 2021 7:50 AM

Dodgy

Awesome work Don. What is the kit brand? I have the Imaii and the Aurora/Heller kit and I agree with Hutch, the battle of Stamford Bridge is stirring stuff indeed. There is a historical novel called 'Byzantium' by Michael Ennis, (Pan books), which tells the story of Harald Hadrada's time as a member of the Varangian Guard. A good read. Hadrada was one of the beligerants at Stamford Bridge.

Ferg

 

I am reading a historical novel called Empire of Fire.  The main character is a Viking who fought at the 1066 battle who escaped and made his way to Constantinople and joined the Varingian Guard.  The emperor sends hm to China to learn the formula of gunpowder.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, May 28, 2021 5:35 AM

All the rigging is done, base nameplate done.  Only thing left is getting all the shields on and securing those spars that hold the windward side of the sail out (forget the name), and bundle the oars.

 

The course in viking history has been interesing lately. In the mid 11th century, the viking kings began to wake up to the idea of a nation.  Previously there were usually several kings in England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  So the existing kings began to vie to establish themselves as the king of that nation.  So extensive wars defined the period, and there were a number of sea battles, with fleets of up to 300 ships!  Google "battle of Nisa".

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, May 28, 2021 9:18 AM

Don Stauffer
Only thing left is getting all the shields on and securing those spars that hold the windward side of the sail out (forget the name)

They are called a beitass. 

If you have a copy of Landstrom, he has a good illustration of a Knorr with one rigged up.

Bill 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, June 6, 2021 9:39 PM

Boy, I"ve got a lot of work ahead of me.  I misinturpreted the spacing instructio on the shields.  I had decaled and painted 32 shields.  But the way I had been spacing them will call for 64!  Got started cutting out the remaining decals.  After decaling and painting them I still need to install another 32 shields!

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Friday, June 18, 2021 2:39 PM

Well, it is finished.  At least almost- found a rope coil I still need to add.  But I am considering it done.  Because of the user name screwup I cannot edit any of my threads, so I cannot yet edit the title to show "finished!"

The pictures are not that great, but the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow, so hope to get out and do some sunlight photography.  Here is some of what I have now.

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, June 18, 2021 3:41 PM

Turned out really nice Don.  The sheilds look fantastic - well done.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Friday, June 18, 2021 6:59 PM

Don, this ship is looking awesome.  I admire your attentiion to the little details, which I imagine comes from your intensive research.  I also built this kit several years ago.  I was happy about how it had turned out and had even entered it in several contests where it had done well.  The last time I entered it a gentleman came up to me afterwards and told me how much he admired the kit and that he wished that he could build one for his wife who was of Nordic heritage.  I was done entering the model since it had made the rounds  and since it was going to be sitting on my shelf, I gave the kit to the man.  His appreciation and look of happiness was better than any contest award I could ever hope to win.  Since then I have built models for family and friends as gifts and I've even built some for vets to thank them for their service to our country.

TJS

  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Saturday, June 19, 2021 11:07 AM

MR TOM SCHRY

Don, this ship is looking awesome.  I admire your attentiion to the little details, which I imagine comes from your intensive research.  I also built this kit several years ago.  I was happy about how it had turned out and had even entered it in several contests where it had done well.  The last time I entered it a gentleman came up to me afterwards and told me how much he admired the kit and that he wished that he could build one for his wife who was of Nordic heritage.  I was done entering the model since it had made the rounds  and since it was going to be sitting on my shelf, I gave the kit to the man.  His appreciation and look of happiness was better than any contest award I could ever hope to win.  Since then I have built models for family and friends as gifts and I've even built some for vets to thank them for their service to our country.

 

I have reached the point where I have zero display space in my house, so I now have to give away almost every model I make.  I have given military models to recruiting offices, and people who flew a particular aircraft I have modeled.  I have donated models that I thought would survive shipping to museums.

I do keep models for a year to enter them in contests.  Then I start looking for places to give them away.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

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