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a pentekonter

Of course, now that I am very close to finishing the line, I continue to have new ideas of sculpts that I absolutely need to include... the last one is a pentekonter model. I love the sleek form of its hull and I find it's a charming kind of ship. Below, the beautiful depiction of a pentekonter by the famous Exekias, in the dinos now conserved in the Villa Giulia museum in Roma (this came from Caere, actually, so maybe it's an Etruscan ship?).

Furthermore, it should have been a quite common kind of warship, not only in archaic but even in classical times. Not all city-States could have afforded, or indeed needed, a quite expensive modern trireme, which also required a much larger crew. Most smaller and/or poorer communities probably felt that a more modest and traditional dikrotos pentekonter (i.e. with rowers on two levels, as the one above clearly is) would be a perfectly appropriate and cost-effective solution for their defence and piracy needs!

In 1/2400 scale, it is a small model, thought... at some 30m in lenght, it should be around 12mm. A real challenge to keep it well proportioned, considering that its hull, some 4m wide, would theorically be less than 2mm! The first try, below with a trireme for proportion, had in fact the traditional cockroach form of a failed sculpt...

You can also see that I for the first time tried a new technique, sculpting the hull in supersculpey, cooking it to make it firm, and then adding the prow and the oarage in greenstuff. Before, I always only sculpted the whole ship in one go, with supersculpey, and then cooked it.

It was a partial failure. The model actually attached to the sculpting platform because of the greenstuff, and then broke in pieces after I tried to take it. But, adding the prow in greenstuff to a solid hull was much easier than sculpting it as a part of the hull in supersculpey. So I continued that. And, for the second try, I also sculpted the oarage in a second stage, adding it to an un-cooked hull, with supersculpey and not greenstuff. this came out pretty fine!

I am pretty proud of how it came out. A little sanding at the tail sand to make it less prominent completed the works. I am really happy about how you can clearly see the archer's shield at the prow, and the walking platform running from end to end. Merchants beware!

prowprow.prow, and how you can also see it is an aphracht ship.

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