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
Making models of historic building and objects is a good way to understand them and remember what has been learned - it is also good fun! A display model of a Viking Longship can be made using Card and Stripwood Materials.
Marking out the hull shape
- Start by designing the shape of the Hull and transfer on to A3 Card in Landscape orientation as shown (click to enlarge);
- The Figure Head can be kept simple or used as a design activity in itself - the object is to create a 'Dragon Head profile;
- Cut two out of Thick Card.
Assembling the hull
- Construct a Deck Frame to separate the two Hull sides using 8mm square Stripwood and reinforce with Medium Card triangles;
- Glue the two hull sides to the Deck Frame and leave to dry;
- Pull the two ends together and temporarily hold with Masking Tape;
- Lay the part-assembled Hull over a sheet of Medium Card rolling it as needed and trace round the shapes required to fill in between the Hull sides at each end;
- The Medium Card shapes can simply be glued on to the Thick Card Hull sides by running a bead of glue round the inside of the join and tape in position until the glue dries;
- Alternatively add Glue Tabs to the Medium Card shapes or first glue a length of Art Straw or Drinking Straw along the joining edge of the Hull sides to provide a joint surface.
Completing the Longship
- Add a Mast by 'stepping' a length of Dowel into a MDF or Ply Disc and glue to the Deck Frame;
- 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.