|Kit :||Scratch built|
|Scale :||1/100 (Length : 480mm, Height : 310mm, Width : 260mm)|
|Plan :||"The Plan of Venetian Galley" I made is shown in another page.|
|September 16th 2007|
I decided to construct a Venetian war galley in the age of the Battle of Lepanto.
I could not find the suitable kit. So, I determined to get the information from reference books listed above and make this from scratch.
In August 2004, I started the construction of the Venetian galley.
Late in August, I completed hull planking and fixed the 'spur' to the bow.
According to the reference 2 p87, the spur is generally viewed as a 'ram', yet its position well above the water line makes abundantly clear that it was not a ram in the classical sense. The classical parallel for the spur of modern and medieval galleys is clearly the Roman boarding bridge, not the Greek ram.
In September, the corsia, the raised gangway running between the rowing benches, was made and the deck planking was completed.
Then, the 24 banks of rowing benches and the rudder were made.
In October, the apostis and the gangways are completed.
From November to December, The gun-deck, the shields along the apostis and the cage on the poop deck were made.
The track for the main centerline gun was elongated by cutting off the front of the corsia in order to permit recoiling up to 1 m, as described in "An Estimation of the Recoil of the Main Centerline Gun on the Galley". All of the bow guns were fixed.
Then, I made the temporary fighting platform above the bow artillery according to the reference 2 p223.
At the last of 2004, I made the skiff . The method of construction is described at Memo 5.
In January 2005, I constructed the mast. I fastened the shrouds to the apostis.
In February, I found that I made a serious mistake. I forgot the space for the anchors. Mr. Marco's suggestion and Hendrik Vroom depiction on pp180-181 of reference 7 indicate that the anchors were placed in the spaces between guns and shields. As shown at Memo 4, there is no space in my model. After serious consideration, I decided to remove the fighting platform and rearrange the guns.
Then the anchors were mounted. These were made of brass wire and card.
In March, I completed the yard.
Then, I started making the oars. This galley has 144 oars. I completed the setting all of the oars in May.
This looks like a centipede.
In alla sensile system, three oars are set on a rowing bench and their lengths are different from each other. The heights of the toes of these oars are also different. The shortest is the deepest and the longest is the shallowest.
In June, I made the sail, flags and a pennant. The sail was made of my used-white-shirt. The image of Venetian lion in the flag was copied from a website "Flag of the World". Then, it was printed on a sheet of paper by inkjet printer.
The Venetian galleys on the left wing at the Battle of Lepanto flew a yellow pennant at the yard peak10). I also made this of paper.
In September 2007, I added 8 swivel guns on the poop deck. The sail, the cannopy and the pennant were remade with thin cloth.
I thought that the model of a Venetian trireme, commissioned by Rear Admiral Luigi Fincati in 1881, was the most reliable. However, the rudder of the Fincati's model is attached to the sternpost by two hinges (A and B) as shown in the figure.
Since the swing-axes (a and b) of these hinges intersect each other, this rudder seems not to swing.
However, Mr. Marco Brancaleon showed me, from Italy, the several more detail drawings and he told me that Fincati's arrangement was correct.
After modifying my rudder like Fincati's model as shown in the photograph, I found an important description in the reference 4 p162-166. That is the curved rudder was used only in 15th century. After the late of 15th century, "the straight stern rudder was eventually preferred, because the curved stern rudder could break quite easily."
The number of the oars is a crucial factor for the galleys.
Before 1550, the standard Mediterranean warship was the trireme alla sensile of 24 banks (rowing benches per side) in which 144 oarsmen pulled his own individual oar. In this system, high dash speed was obtained but skillful oars men were required. Slaves and convicts could not master this rowing system.
The different numbers of oars have confused me for a long time.
However, I got the reference 9 and finally found the answer on page 17 in this book that is "--around 1550 and 1560-- , when they (the Venetians and Ottoman Turks) switched over to the alla scaloccio system for their larger galleys (command galleys)."
In galleys, one rowing bench was left vacant for cook's galley.
Venetian galley ca. 1571 is armed with a 52-55 pdr cannone weighing some 5,500 lb, two 12 pdr aspidi weighing about 1,200 lb and a pair of 5-6 pdr falconetti weighing perhaps 900 lb2). So, the sum of the gun's weight is about 7600 lb (3.4 tons). A change of the trim caused by this concentrated weight is shown in "A Calculation of Trim".
By the way, the length of the cannone is about 4.2 m, the aspidi is 2m2) and the falconetti is 1.6m8). If all of these guns are set on the deck of the body, the space will be too small.
In February 2005, I found that there was no space for the anchors in this arrangement. So, I modified the arrangement of the guns as shown in the under photograph.
Anchors on the sailing ships were generally hung on catheads. But the catheads on the 16th century galleys have hardly ever been depicted in the contemporary paintings except a painting on the endpaper of reference 7 which is captioned as "A near contemporary painting of the battle of Lepanto from the Venetian school". The projections like catheads are depicted on at least two galleys. However the anchors are not connected to these projections, placed on the side of the guns. I think this configuration is not reasonable.
The length of the skiff is only 2.5 cm. At first, I tried to construct this of wood using the plug as shown at the left in the photograph. But too short length made the construction difficult. So, I made this of card strips without using the plug. The hull was first made with card strips. Then, the ribs were glued inside of the hull.