Bill Nelson R/C Roman Bireme

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by Bill Nelson, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    here is a link to a video of my first try at a bireme.

    this is a failure, but not an unqualified one. this is my first scratchbuilt boat, built plank on frame, it looks great and floats well empty; the mechanism worked satisfactoraly after many rebuilds, but the model was too small to carry the needed weight of the mechanism, radio and battery. It sat too deep in the water, with the waterline too close to the oar ports for proper or even safe operation

    The current plan. finish this one as a display model, and built another larger model, using this one as a guide, cause it looks so good, except placing the oar ports higher up on the sides of the Hull. I'm thinking one twice this size would be much more practicable.

    Bill Nelson
  2. Maico Shark

    Maico Shark Guest

    I love it !! Did you try spray foam or air bladders? Smaller motor & batteries (helicopter type). It's just too great to give up on.
  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I tried adding Cork roadbed from my Dad's standard gauge tinplate under the hull, but by the time I got enough extra lift it started to get tipy, requiring some centering ballast, that would then reqire more lift.

    The whole thing runs on a battery pack about the size of 3 AA batteries not much to save there. The motors for the oar mechanisms are modified servos. using micro servos for those and the steering oars would save some weight, but would require completely rebuilding the oar mechanism. In any case my cheap radio died, and it is going to take me a lot of time to scrounge up the $$ needed for a good one.

    It looks real good on the shelf, so all is not lost. Also If I build one twice this size, the laws of physics will be on my side , and the huge increase in displacement will be a big plus. I'll have more room inside, and can possibly get a six channel radio, have one channel for the port oar bank, one for the starboard oar bank, one for the steering oars, and I could use the remaining ones for some sail control, and possibly a centerboard .something there is no room fore in this edition.

    Bill Nelson
  4. Maico Shark

    Maico Shark Guest

    Well foam is better than cork and that model is just so nice. Anyway...great craftsmanship. What's next in store?
  5. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member


    I have the outline of the keel, and the cross sections from the original construction. I had ripped the lines off of a plastic kit from Academy , which was called Roman Warship, 100 bc I think. I still have the plastic model 1/2 built. where I departed from It's lines, I modified it to match it's big brother, which is twice it's size.

    This next one will be three or probably four times the size of the original plastic model. When I get going I will do a build log here, as well as Model ship World, and Drydock models. not a huge amount of rabid ship modeling going on here, the I need to do my part to help add to that niche.

    The first step will be to gather materials. I have a considerable stash of yellow poplar. which I can feed to my 10 inch and 4 inch table saws to get the planking. On this next effort I want to get some walnut, cherry, and mahogany as well. I have a trick I figured out that uses a drill press and multiple hole saws to get uniform curved rib sections, that greatly speed up the framing process. I will document that in my build log.

    this is very different from my logging railroad modeling, but very satisfying, even when things don't work as I planned. like I have found with train modeling wood makes better looking wood.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  6. Maico Shark

    Maico Shark Guest

    I enjoy working with wood myself...really need a bandsaw though. I love poplar it is straight grain and stains well. Walnut is my first love. I live in the middle of sawmill country with the main products being railroad ties and pallets. I will look forward to your build thread.
  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    On my other boat project a civil war era paddle wheel vessel, I used mahogany on the deck, the smell of mahogany alone when you sand it is worthwhile.


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