Longship based on milk carton
From DT Online
Longships were long elegant craft used by The Vikings to cross the North Sea, first on raiding missions and later to explore and settle in Engand, Ireland, Iceland and beyond. They were a wooden construction with a shallow Draft which meant they could be rowed up shallow rivers as well as across the sea, powered by oars and their large square woollen sail. They could also land on beaches and were light enough to be carried when necessary and tipped upside down to use as a temporary shelter.
Making a Model Longship
A model Longship can be based around a plastic milk carton.
- The plastic 'bottles' are readily available and can be cut to create a water-proof Hull;
- The model decribed is based on a 1 litre 'bottle' but larger 'bottles' could be used (scale the drawings to suit);
- The 'bottles' are made out of a plastic called Polyethylene which is very difficult to glue;
- The bottom and neck of the 'bottle' may be too thick to cut with scissors and will need to be sawn.
Making the hull shape
The model described is based around a 1 litre plastic milk carton and 10mm square Stripwood (some dimensions will need to be adjusted if 8mm square is used).
- Start by cutting a plastic milk carton along its length.
- The bottom and neck of the carton may be too thick to cut easily with scissors and may need to be sawn
- Hold the carton steady while sawing with a Junior Hacksaw using a Jig as shown;
- Construct a Deck Frame to separate the two Hull sides using square Stripwood and reinforce with Medium Card triangles;
- Add a self-adhesive paper tape, around the inside edges to provide a surface more easily glued to than the plastic surface of the carton or use a Glue Gun to fix the Deck Frame to the inside.
- Glue the Deck Frame in between the two hull sides, as shown;
- The Figure Head and 'Tail' can be kept simple or used as a design activity in itself - the object is to create a 'Dragon Head' profile and a matching 'Tail' end of the Longship;
- Some suggested sizes are shown opposite but these are only for guidance (click on image to enlarge);
- Cut two of each out of Medium Card and fix with Glue Gun, Thumb Tacks/Drawing Pins or Double-sided tape;
Completing the Longship
- Add a Mast by 'stepping' a length of Dowel into a MDF or Ply Disc and glue to the Deck Frame or the bottom of the Hull;
- Add a Main Spar by fixing a length of Dowel across the top of the Mast either by lashing with string and glue or by cutting two holes at right angles into a short length of PVC Tubing;
- Make a Sail out of Thin Card, paint as required and glue along the Main Spar;
- Design and paint Viking Shields on MDF, Ply or Card Discs and glue along the sides of the Hull;
- Add Oars made by squashing the end of Art Straws or Drinking Straws.
- MDF Discs which are pre-drilled are most useful if available, otherwise this might be done as preparation before using with younger children - alternatively a Hand Drill Stand could be used (if neccessary, adults or older children can cut them out of strips of MDF or Ply using a Holesaw).
- Dowels 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm are useful sizes for axles.
- Florist Wire is easily bent into shape whereas stiff wire, such as Brass Brazing Rod, is more suitable for connecting rods.