|Assembly, Painting and Rigging of Ancient
Naval Models, Scale 1:1200
by Langton Miniatures
Bow Platforms: Fits on the front of certain vessels.
There are a variety of sterns, kits may vary. Or, one may wish to customise
models using miscellaneous sterns.
Catapults could be anywhere on the deck.
Officers accommodation would always be at the stern end of the vessel.
Corvus is always located at the bow.
Decorations, mainly on bows and sterns and sometimes along the bulwarks, would be of colours derived from natural sources (eg plants), so bright but not garish colours. Red appears to have been the most commonly used colour and it is said to have been derived from cinnabar.
The colour purple would have been quite expensive and used on royal vessels.
Sails: These would be mostly unbleached linen (off-white) although different colours were also sewn together. Many books on the subject show alternating sheets of off-white and say, red (could also be green or blue). It was also common for the main sail to have a pattern of a distinctive feature, eg a scorpion, bull's head, urn etc.
Masts: Natural wood colour.
Towers: Although made of wood, they would often be painted to simulate stone.
Officers Accommodation: These would have been made from canvas and often brightly painted (sometimes with red and white stripes).
Corvus: Wood colour.
Shields: Where a model has shields along its sides, these would have been brightly painted.
General: Vessels could be further decorated with flags and pennants (not provided). These were often flown from a pole secured to the vessel's stern. Roman flags were called vexillum - these were distinctive being at right angles as opposed to normal flags.
The control methods
were fairly basic:
Lifts should be run from the masthead to each yardarm and secured, the same lines can then be taken as braces, aft to the stern and fixed and then run forward again and glued to the bottom outermost corners of the mainsail to act as sheets.
Boatsails would also have lifts to the sail's yardarms and braces running aft on either side of the model to a position slightly forward of the main mast. These lines can be taken forward again and fixed to the outermost corners of the boatsail to act as sheets.