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Modeling a Viking ship with splines

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Date Added: 30th December 2010
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The business end of the Gokstad Viking ship in the Oslo Viking ship museum.

1. Open LW. Use 1m grid, hit the key on the numerical keypad (num Lock on) and enlarge one of the viewports to lay the points out as I did. Be reasonably close, but don't get paranoid about the accuracy. All Viking ships were built one at a time, in different areas, usually for some rich Nordic land owner, and by different shipwrights. Probably no two were ever identical. In CREATE/points place them where I show them.

2. Copy the points and paste them back and then slide them horiontally to the right. Image 2 shows them as seen in the 500 mm grid.

NOTE: The tip is made up of four (4) points.

3. Next it's "connect the dots". In CREATE/Make Curve connect them with Open Curves. Make sure you use only one series of points at a time. You have enough points to end up with four separate curves. This gives us the keel of the ship.

NOTE (Center Image): I squeezed the outside line inward, to have the whole thing come to a near-point.

4. To make the outer bow shape a little smoother, go to a different layer and create a disk. Don't bother to make it 3D. You'll just use it as a guide to slide the points into a more smoothly rounded shape. Delete the disk when you're finished.

5. Next, copy the upper inside curve to another layer and delete the first two points.

6. You are now left with a shortened curve in a different layer, as shown below.

7. Copy that line, you know and seven times. Each time slide it as I have indicated. That means that one of the copies will be below the original one. The other six will be above the original curve. You'll end up with this:

8. Now for some tedium (much more to come). Connect the dots vertically with open curves. To keep from getting snagged later, I decided to do it like this. The first row will be connected two dots at a time. The next row, all dots will be connected with a single open curve, and so on.

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