Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Yachts and Sail => Topic started by: birlinn on October 26, 2019, 04:47:50 PM

Title: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on October 26, 2019, 04:47:50 PM

About to start building a West Highland Galley, or Birlinn.
Scale 1:24, and no particular prototype- it will have 16 oars, and be influenced by Aileach  and one of Iain Oughtred's designs.
Moulds made, and keel, stem and stern ready- the latter two have rebates for the strake ends.

Strtakes will be 1mm limewood; looks a bit thin, but about scale thickness.
Moulds are every other frame.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: dreadnought72 on October 26, 2019, 06:23:56 PM
 :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))


Andy
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 03, 2019, 01:59:38 PM

Strakes all fixed, although a bit uneven in places. Hope it will not be too noticeable when viewed from above.
Now to pluck up courage to get it off the moulds!
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: dreadnought72 on November 03, 2019, 11:12:24 PM
THAT was quick!  :o


Andy
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 04, 2019, 04:23:03 PM

Now off the moulds- the lower parts are glued in, at alternative frame positions. They will be hidden by the sole boards.
Plenty of frames, thwarts, knees, stringers etc. to follow!
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 06, 2019, 02:44:29 PM

A bit more progress.
The tiller is based on one shown in the Holkham Bible- I think this is more likely than the arrangement they had on the Aileach.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 11, 2019, 02:41:09 PM
Interior shows a bit of progress- mast step and mast next.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 12, 2019, 05:38:39 PM
We have a mast!
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: gingyer on November 12, 2019, 05:41:15 PM
Looks great, where did you get the drawings??


Did you carve the figure head yourself
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 12, 2019, 06:14:21 PM

Did my own drawings, based loosely on some Iain Oughtred  kindly supplied. Scale 1:25.
Yes, I whittled the figurehead.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 18, 2019, 05:48:07 PM

Woodwork now completed, apart from the oars.
Still debating how to paint it- white lime wood doesn't look right for a ship that would have been built in oak, with a pine tar finish.
Can't use stain, as there will be white patches wherever it has been glued. Anyone any suggestions, please?
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: RST on November 18, 2019, 06:25:21 PM
Very impressive. I did try and join the crew of Aileach years ago but it never came to pass.

Stupid question time. Why the key hole shaped holes for the oars?

Rich
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 18, 2019, 06:41:57 PM
The oar blades are wider than the oar shafts and the oar ports- the slot allows oars to be unshipped inboard. The slots always face aft.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 20, 2019, 01:42:25 PM

Painted the wee beastie figurehead- I will scrape the tiny speck of paint off his eye! I found some tiny glass beads for these. The gold outlines of scales were an experiment- I will repaint and do them more neatly.
Still experimenting with stains and paints for the hull; the problem is areas of glue look very different to finishes on the bare lime wood.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 24, 2019, 03:47:19 PM

The dragon has changed to red, and painting now complete,
It's a shame to cover up all that lovely white lime wood, but it just doesn't look like oak with a pine tar finish.
The colours are cribbed from the replica of Skuldelev 2, the Sea Stallion from Glandalough.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 27, 2019, 04:26:49 PM

We have a sail!
Running and standing rigging, plus reefing points next.
Oh, and 13 more oars.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: SailorGreg on November 27, 2019, 06:30:05 PM
Super job. As you say, a shame to paint that lovely woodwork but needs must!  Did you draw your own plans or are they available somewhere?

Greg
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 27, 2019, 06:48:08 PM
Drew my own plans, based loosely on Iain Oughtred's Gall Gael design. He kindly sent me drawings and pics of his model. Mine is to a different scale, with different frame spacing.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: dreadnought72 on November 27, 2019, 08:07:35 PM
Are reef points in period? I understand bonnets are 'the way to go' until late Tudor times?


Andy
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 27, 2019, 09:23:19 PM

Reefing points are shown on the birlinn on the MacLeod tomb at Rodel, Harris, on the town seal for Rye, dating to c. 1400, and on the 13th century seal of Dublin.
 I am quite happy with them on my model!
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 27, 2019, 10:43:13 PM

Re Bonnets- surely these added to a sail's area, rather than reducing it? they were a strip of sailcloth laced to the bottom of a sail, and first appeared in the Mediterranean area in the early 14th century.
Did you perchance mean brails? these certainly did reduce sail area , and go back to Classica times.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: johnv on November 28, 2019, 11:07:15 AM
Hi it's John V just looking at your build . I think you are doing a lovely Job .you should pat yourself on your back .keep up the good work .nice one cheers John V
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: dreadnought72 on November 28, 2019, 11:53:03 AM
Just to be clear: a bonnet - the strip of cloth under the mainsail - would be taken off and the yard lowered in high winds as a method of reefing.


Intrigued by the mention of 13th century reef points, tho'.


Andy, off to google an image.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 28, 2019, 08:23:15 PM

Point taken, Dreadnaught- bonnet removal will subtract sail area!
I have seen no evidence for the use of bonnets on Birlinns and similar medieval single mast ships though.
The enclosed badly scanned pic is from the 13th century Bodleian Apocolypse, and shows reefing points. They are much clearer on the original.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 28, 2019, 08:24:35 PM

Made a clang with a post, but on this site you can't delete!
Sorry.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: dreadnought72 on November 29, 2019, 12:14:41 PM
That is clearly reef points!


And the stick at the bows? For anchoring or to hold the tack of the sail forwards when sailing close-hauled?


Andy
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on November 29, 2019, 05:31:11 PM

The latter, I think, Andy.
A very early bowsprit.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on December 01, 2019, 02:01:06 PM
nearly there!
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: Martin [Admin] on December 01, 2019, 04:16:41 PM
 :-))
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: JayDee on December 01, 2019, 09:13:03 PM



Very,very Good !!!.


JayDee.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: coch y bonddu on December 01, 2019, 09:19:25 PM
Looks simply AWSOME  O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0 O0




Dave
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on December 04, 2019, 06:39:34 PM

Finished, or will be after I take the oars in and lash them down.

Wanted to see what they looked like deployed.
Poor lighting- will try for better pics.
Title: Re: Birlinn
Post by: birlinn on December 05, 2019, 12:25:09 PM
Better pics.