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How to build a trireme model ship

Updated February 21, 2017

The Trireme is an ancient Greek war ship with three tiers of rowers, and designed with a hidden battering ram fitted to the prow of the ship, and under water. These effective warships helped the Greeks to maintain their oceanic supremacy. Triremes have a particular style, one which model boat aficionados will recognise for their distinctive ram. If you want to make yourself a simple model of the ship, you may do so out of card stock and a few simple materials.

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  1. Download and print out a trireme template. You can find a template located under Resources.

  2. Glue the template to a sheet of card stock.

  3. Decorate the trireme. Paint or draw in the sides of the vehicle with a light brown wood colour. The eye of the ship is typically made blue. The deck should be a darker shade of the wood, and the same shade as the oars. Paint the sailors to look like people.

  4. Cut out the pieces of the Trireme model. Do not cut the marines into individual pieces. Trim the oars into a comb shape, rather than cut them into individual pieces.

  5. Score the fold lines, which appear as dashed lines. To score an object, press the utility knife or a scissors blade against the line, but do not cut through the material.

  6. Fold the ship into a trireme shape, and glue the tabs into their places. Leave the model to dry overnight.

  7. Tip

    You can use an image editing program such as Microsoft Paint to enlarge or colour the template.


    Children should supervise children when assembling the model, particularly when using the utility knife or scissors.

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Things You'll Need

  • Trireme template (see Resources)
  • Glue
  • Card stock
  • Markers, paints or coloured pencils
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Tape or paper clips
  • Image editing program

About the Author

Grahame Turner

Grahame Turner has worked as a freelance writer since 2009 and a freelance reporter since 2010 for Wellesley Patch and Jamaica Plain Patch in Massachusetts. He also works part-time as a bookseller at the Northeastern University bookstore. He is a Northeastern University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English.

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