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Roman Bireme Construction Process
From January 2006

Date Photograph Memo

I bought this kit from "Wooden kits shop MicroCraft" through the internet in January 2006. I think it is not easy to construct this bireme because the instruction manual is too brief.
According to the drawing of the kit, the mainmast is designed to be located near the aft. But it must have been near the fore according to the figure in the reference 1 written by authorities. I determined to modify the structures on the deck.


I started the deck planking using 5mm width planks in stead of 8mm width planks prepared in the kit.


Late in February, I completed the deck planking and painted the deck with WATCO oil.


In March, I started hull planking. But the poor quality of the planks are racking my brain. These planks are torn easily.

2006.04.03/Ram and Stern

After finishing hull planking, I attached the ram and stern blocks. These blocks are made of bulsa wood.


I made the oarports in April. The position of the oarports was modified as described at Memo1.


I made the oarports for the upper oars in the wall of the projection in April.
Eventually, however, I sealed these ports and remade these beneath the projection in September.


The hull was painted in brown using acrylic paints for plasitic model in May. The patterns on the bulwarks and the eyes at the ram were also painted without use of the printed sheet patterns in the kit. This sheet is shown at Memo2.


I made the "Corvus"2)-4) in June though there is no "Corvus" in this kit. This is a boarding bridge which was invented by Roman Empire at the Punic war so that the Roman soldiers could easily board an enemy galley.
This bording bridge was called "Corvus" from its shape resemblance to a bird. "Corvus" is raven or crow.


I made the masts, tower and the frame of tent. Since the Corvus has been settled on the fore deck, I settled the tower on the aft deck. This tower could be carried fore and aft according to the description in p122 of reference 4 as quoted in Memo4.


Although a piece of printed sail cloth, as shown at Memo5, is in the kit, I made the sails of a bed sheet by myself in August. Then the main sail was equipped. Because the precise information about the rigging is very scarce, I did it by my imagination.


The bowsprit sail was equipped.


I remodified the oarport arrangement in September as described in Memo1. I drilled all of the oarports bellow the projections.
The oarports in the projections are not sealed yet.