This kit will be on sale until the end of August - then "retired". If we're not totally overwhelmed, we expect to get one batch of "early order" kits shipped in mid-August and a second batch in early September.
Many people have suggested that it looks like an Egyptian or even an East-Asian craft - and it certainly has a certain Viking look to it if you build it with the alternative "Dragon Prow" that comes with the kit.
But since there is no direct historical precedent for the design, we're calling it "Elven".
The finished model is just a little short of 12 inches long and 3.3 inches wide. The kit is unpainted and comes with a bunch of extra parts that can turn into a ceremonial vessel or a weapon of war. There is a front and rear canopy - perhaps to keep the sun off of the partygoers or perhaps to protect from a fall of arrows onto the rowmen. We include a ballista that can fit into a mount in the stern or fit onto the bow. There are a couple of thrones on a dais for the Elven King and Queen - or perhaps for the Captain and his concubine. Finally, we include a deck mount into which you can insert a 1/4" dowel rod for a mast (dowel rod, not included). The roof of the rear cabin is removable so you can put figurines inside.
You'll have to find your own flower garlands - look for them in the ribbons & trim section of HobbyLobby or other craft stores.
You can built it with swappable parts so you can go from stripped down warcraft to fancy ceremonial longship in 30 seconds.
It's strongly advised that you paint all of the parts before you assemble them - it's a heck of a lot easier that way!
But for clarity, we'll show you how the kit goes together with unpainted parts:
First, locate the hull, the ribs, the cabin walls and the bow parts:
Glue the ribs and the two cabin walls into the holes in the hull:
Glue the two small riblets into the front section of the hull, then glue the two parts of the bo
w decoration together (Note that following discussions with our followers, we have added an alte
rnative prow part to the kit - choose whichever you prefer):
Then glue the bow parts into the holes at the front of the ship:
We neet the glue to set hard before going any further with the hull - so let's assemble some other parts while we wait. Locate the three rowing benches and their legs:
Glue the legs into the holes in the bench top:
These benches fit over the ribs of the ship - you don't have to glue them if you don't want to - they make handy bits of furniture for street settings or whatever:
Locate the parts for the ceremonial thrones and dias:
Assemble the two thrones by gluing the seat between the two sides - then glue the seat back onto the base:
Glue together the three parts of the dais:
Glue the two thrones onto the dais:
In preparation for gluing the sides onto the ship, make sure you have some painter's tape (or masking tape). It's especiall important to use a low-tack tape if you're assembling pre-painted parts:
Get a couple of strips of tape peeled off the roll before you start! Apply plenty of glue to both ends of each rib - to the ends of the cabin walls and to the sides of the V-shaped part at the bow. Also add plenty to the underside of the two ship sides. Make sure you have the U-shaped "brace" part handy - but DO NOT APPLY GLUE TO IT!
Hold the two sides against the sides of the cabin with one hand - make sure they are aligned with the back of the hull floor. Then use your free hand to wedge them tightly together with the U-shaped brace - then wrap tape around and under the hull as tightly as you can manage:
Next, squeeze the sides of the ship together as tightly as you can and wrap another strip of tape around the front end of the ship as tightly as you can:
Now, go along each rib in turn, pressing the side planking tightly against each one in turn and add another wrap of tape...gradually "mummifying" the ship in blue tape!
Finally, squeeze the bow tightly together and wrap more tape there too.
We again need to let the glue harden before going any further - and to distract you from the temptation to cut it open too soon, let's build some more parts.
Locate the parts for the ballista:
Glue together the two parts of the stand:
Glue the two sides onto the T-shaped base of the ballista:
Take the top plate...
...glue that over the top of the spikes on the ballista sides:
Insert the two throwing arms between the two plates:
Glue the two tiny rods through the holes in the ballista to keep the arms in place:
Glue the hook that pulls back the bow-string into the slot in the main frame and glue the two winding handles on either side of the back of the ballista:
Glue the round "boss" onto the top of the stand:
The stand has a subtle tilt to it - glue the body of the ballista to the stand so that the ballista points slightly upwards:
OK! The Ballista mounts onto a deck piece that can be (optionally) set into holes in the rear deck of the ship.
Place the two supports into the holes in the deck: DO NOT GLUE THEM IN PLACE!!
Glue the three planks onto the supports:
The ballista sits on top of those planks. You could glue it to the planks - but you don't have to.
OK - back to the hull:
Hopefully, by now your glue is completely hardened - so we'll get brave and cut through the tape:
If you lead a good and wholesome life - your hull will emerge looking perfect!
Sadly, mine had a small gap at front and back. You make have gaps between the ribs instead. Don't panic - just get more glue into the areas that came loose and squish it up again with more tape:
Next remove the ballista stand and fit the rear deck on top of the cabin walls and between the sides of the cabin. My early prototype had a bad "fit" issue here (fixed in your kit!) - it should drop neatly between the sides of the ship. If you want, you can glue that part in place - but if you leave it loose, you can place figurines inside the cabin.
Glue the ladder to the deck and the front of the cabin.
Locate the roof supports and fit them into the deck holes - DO NOT GLUE THEM!!
Locate the roof parts:
Apply glue to the roof supports and glue the roof planks one at a time...
...one side done...
...and the other side too:
Repeat the process with the smaller roof:
Before the glue sets, double-check that the roof planking lines up nicely and meets at the peak.
Find the two curved flag poles. You'll need to print out a couple of paper flags - download this image, or make your own:
Again, my prototype needed fixing - the holes on your deck are a little further aft than in this photo:
Next we're going to give it more of a Viking Longship look by glueing shields around the outside of the hull. There are also two C-shaped decorative pieces which glue into holes on the rear cabin wall:
I put the smaller shields down both sides of the top and bottom decks - and the large ones up near the bow - but, hey, it's your ship!
Locate the two sections of roof decor:
Glue the long section onto the main roof:
...and the smaller section onto the stern roof piece:
With the two thrones in the prow of the ship - our ceremonial ship needs just one more thing...Oars!
To make a warship of her - lift out the roof sections and the thrones - and put the ballista up on the rear deck:
Following a couple of requests from our followers, we added a mast support to the kit in case you wish to build a sail-powered craft. You'll have to buy your own dowel rod for the mast (and any cross-stay you might want - the mast should be 1/4" dowel (6mm or 7mm), and in my opinion, it needs to be about 8" (200mm) long. Dowel rod can sometimes be a little under-sized - if so then you may need to add one or two wraps of adhesive tape around the base to make it fit tightly into the support bracket. If you want a cross-stay, I'd suggest a thinner dowel and using some rough thread wrapped around mast and stay in a figure-8 wrap then smear glue over the thread to keep it in place. For a sail, find the thinnest cloth you can that won't fray easily...or fold over the edges and apply glue to the seam.