How to make toy Viking long boats

Written by carl hose
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How to make toy Viking long boats
The Vikings were a major part of the UK's history. (

Viking ships and longboats are the stuff little boys' adventures are made of. Toy ships have long been a part of childhood imagination and the Viking ships conjure up images of adventure on the high seas. Toy ships are readily available in the shops, but not always the right ship, and not nearly as fun as those you make by hand. Making a Viking longboat is not a difficult task and can provide your children with countless hours of entertainment. Learn how you can make a toy Viking longboat your child will treasure for years to come.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Carving knife
  • 80-grit sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Balsa wood
  • Craft sticks
  • Natural round stick -- 15 cm (6 inches)
  • Cloth
  • Sewing thread
  • Acrylic paint

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  1. 1

    Carve the body of the long boat from balsa wood. It's a light, easy-to-shape wood that makes it the perfect choice for a toy boat project. Using a reference photo, start to carve the long, curved dragon-head ornament at the front of the boat, typical to Viking long boats, and shape the boat from there. Aim for an overall length of 30 cm (1 foot). Once you've got the outer portion shaped, cut the steps inside the boat to create the deck. You can purchase balsa wood blocks at hobby, craft and model shops.

  2. 2

    Make 8 tiny notches along each side of the Viking long boat. These notches will be where you rest the oars. Fashion the oars using natural round sticks, each about 6 inches long. You can buy them at hobby and craft shops in various size packages. Use extra balsa wood to carve the oar tip for each of these sticks. Glue the tips onto the sticks and set them aside to dry.

  3. 3

    Paint craft sticks with brown and black acrylic paint to give the effect of timber. Glue the craft sticks to your Viking long boat to give it the look of timber used in making real Viking boats. Once you have covered the boat with painted craft sticks, set it aside to dry while you work on another part of the longboat.

  4. 4

    Cut a square of white cloth from an old sheet or from cloth strips you can purchase at a craft shop. This square of cloth should be about 15 x 12.5 cm (6 x 5 inches); it will be the sail for your longboat.

  5. 5

    Use a 15 cm (6 inch) natural round stick as the mast. Glue it to the deck of the longboat, then attach the cloth sail to the mast with glue and string sewing thread around it for the rigging.

  6. 6

    Finish the Viking longboat by gluing each of the oars into the notches you created on the sides of your longboat. You can use acrylic paint to add designs to the ornamental fore and aft of your longboat. Once the boat has dried, it's ready to be tested in the bath.

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