Creative Engineers

85' x 85' wave basin at Ashford Studios

Vikings IV needed a controlled wave tank environment to shoot boat scenes that called for intense special effects, combining heavy wind, waves and rain.


The tank needed to be set up in front of the 100’ green screen at Ashford Studios in Ireland. To ensure the tank walls weren’t in-shot, the tank had to be filled to the brim and maintain the horizon line during the action.


OMEY were hired by Vikings IV to design and build their half million litre wave tank. In just four weeks we had designed and built the 85’ x 85’ tank.


We started by using simulation software to determine the hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces likely to be in the wave tank, according to depth and uses. This informed the CAD design work to arrive at a steel space frame supporting a flat sheet tank wall. To achieve the horizon line, the wall modules included a gutter and walkway, allowing the overtopping waves to be recycled by a silenced diesel pump, maintaining the water level at the brim.


Because the design was modular, thirty eight identical wall modules were made from 152 braces rapidly fabricated in parallel. OMEY prepared and sealed the existing concrete slab before installing a steel rail as an ideal, flat sealing edge under the wall units. OMEY tested the design and fixing up to 6tons of force, a x4 safety factor before installing the rest of the wall modules.


In just four days the complete tank was assembled at the studio and made water tight ready to be filled and filmed.  


Breda Walsh Production Manager, Vikings IV said: “Having the wave tank at the studio has already saved us a lot of cost and hassle out on location during the winter. OMEY designed a smart solution in a tight timeline and budget, without hitch. We found them very professional.”