This Roman warship was the first of Mr. Hong’s ship series. He performed extensive research before production in order to correct any unrealistic details. Mr. Hong referred to a floor plan of an ancient Roman warship for this work. He decided to create this Roman warship because Roman warships were the most intriguing masterpiece in the world history of wooden sails.
The pulleys on the flagpole were all made with wood. They were completely slidable. The sail on the front was made into a full sail with iron wires, to echo with the mainsail. The coloring on the sail was created with ancient techniques. Dyestuff was also a preservation for cotton cloth because it blocked moisture. The link of Dioscorea rhipogonioides, a plant, was used as dyestuff. The skin was first removed before the plant was grounded into paste. The paste was then soaked in clean water for eight hours. The sail was put into the slurry for two hours before airing dry. This process had to be repeated for three times.
Strictly speaking, this Roman warship was the first work of the series created by Mr. Hong Quan-Rui. Starting from the keel to the finish, it took him a total of ten years with a long window in between. This was because of a creativity bottleneck shortly after he began. However, the issue was resolved when Mr. Hong completed Jhen Hai Kung. It only took him another two months to finish this Roman warship after he resumed the work. The timeframe required for later projects was similar to this one. In other words, Mr. Hong mastered the skills required to crafted wooden ships by completing this Roman warship.
This ancient Roman warship was produced based on a floor plan. Roman warships are the most characteristic masterpiece in the history of wooden sails. Serving a military purpose, they were made to be fast and destructive. Roman warships were long and slender, in order to speed up. Tridents were deployed under the load line in the front, to attack enemies.
The sail on the front is made into a full sail with steel wires, so that it echoes with the main sail.
Made of poplar wood and ebony, this is the eye of the warship. The eye looks forward because the warship marches forward. The tridents below are used to crash the energy.
The pulleys on the flagpole were all made with wood, totally movable.
Sail, made of cotton fabrics, may rotten under heavy moisture. At the ancient times, dyestuff was used as a preservative. The juice of Dioscorea rhipogonioides, a plant, was made into dyestuff. Dioscorea rhipogonioides is a vine, growing in the mountains of c. 600 meters in altitude. Its root resembles that of taros. Peels of Dioscorea rhipogonioides must be removed before it is grinded into paste with a three-foot wooden plank. Rubbing Dioscorea rhipogonioides against the crossed iron needles on the plant can grind the plant into paste. The paste is then placed in clean water for eight hours. Sail is soaked into the paste water for two years before airing dry. The process must be repeated for three times. According to literature, fishermen in Taiwan in early days used Dioscorea rhipogonioides to dye fishing nets, net ropes and sail. Aboriginals used Dioscorea rhipogonioides to dye ramie yarns. Before the invention of chemical dyestuff, Dioscorea rhipogonioides was an important economic crop and exported at huge quantities.
The sail of the ancient Roman warship is in a full shape, as if it were sailing at full speed in the open sea.
According to literature, the warship at that time is approximately 40~45 meters in length, 4.5~5 meters in width and about 1 meter in draft line. The Galley warship was in service until the 16th century. In addition to the force of sails, the warship was driven by the paddling of death row inmates. This was to enhance the crashing power. The paddles of the model ship were made with juniper, carved with a shaving knife.
The little flags blowing in the wind were also carved out from juniper.
The overall design is chic and beautiful. The arch was roughly like a fish tail. The bow resembles the head of a violin. The eye is unique. The tail was particularly difficult to replicate from the floor plan. It was necessary to produce the arch shape with the outside plating plate. The wood was softened with steam. The tool was then fastened onto the framework so that the arch shape could be fixed. The ship’s shiny look owed to the hard work of Mr. Hong, who trimmed the surface with hand, without using any sandpaper.
There are two steers at the back, to enhance stability and strength. In the event of one steer being destroyed, the other steer can still manage the directions.