Sunday, October 23, 2016

Building The TRE Games Trireme - Photo heavy, by the way

Bottom of the hull; this is a 'waterline' kit.

Main and upper deck in place

Side view; note the 'egg crate' design

Yes, you will need a lot of clamps.

Bow, being glued up

Stern, being glued up

The ship, complete with masts and yards

This has been a most enjoyable project! The trireme looks just plain deadly; Tim at TRE games has captured the look of the full-sized ship - google 'Olympias', for the reconstructed ship of the Hellenic Navy - in a model that will still fit on a game table. This ship has sixty oars, thirty to a side, making her a smaller ship and quite suitable for our miniature adventures. (You also get spare oars, too; there must be something like 75 oars included.)

I will be right up front about it; this is a challenging kit, and not particularly suited for beginners. Having said that, if you look at the 'Blog' feature of the TRE website, you'll find out how to do this kit with a lot less effort. (Look at the 'Longship' entry; guess what the Missus wants me to build next, for her Norwegian ancestors.) The secret is soaking the planking sections of the hull in water, and bending them while wet; I built this kit dry, and so had to use a lot more clamps then I would have expected. And you do not need the kind of specialty clamps that I have; ordinary 'c-clamps' which you can get at any hardware store, big-box DIY, or ironmongers, will do just fine.

The secret is patience - take your time, and this kit will flow together. Follow the instructions as you go, and understand what you will be doing in each step; there are a lot of parts in this kit, and you'll want a good-sized table to spread them all out. And, if I may observe, work on a sheet of 'cling-film' (like 'Saran Wrap') or waxed paper to keep the parts from sticking to the table as you glue them up. Allow plenty of time for your glue to dry hard, and it'll all work just fine. TRE also includes spares of the more delicate and vital parts, so you can work with confidence. A little care in getting the parts out of the matrix pays for itself in assembly, and a sharp craft knife helps with this.

Now, this kit does cost US$80; it is not a cheap bit of gaming gear. Is it worth it? You bet it is; the final result is a whopping two feet long, and about four inches wide over the decks. There's plenty of room for figures on bases, and the ship is so sturdy I can put any number of them on the decks without any fear that I'll damage the ship. And the building process was well worth the cost of the kit in sheer entertainment, too; I loved doing this project, and I love the final product even more.

I am hugely impressed by this kit; both the Missus and I thought that the price was good, and well worth it.

Tim makes some very nice kits, and this is one of his best!

(Link to TRE Games in the left-hand column, too.)