As I mentioned in my first post I have been working on a little treatise on Tekumelani naval warfare. I haven't decided yet how to post it, since it doesn't break down very naturally into blog posts.
I guess I'll find a way.
In the meantime, I was very interested to read over at The Pewter-Pixel Wars (http://pewterpixelwars.blogspot.com/) about the challenges in wrestling with the problem of representing Tekumelani warships with earthly Hellenistic/Roman-style miniatures. It looks like pretty fiddly work at that scale, I look forward to seeing how it turns out.
The question of what Tekumelani warships really look like is one that has always interested me. Yes we have text from a number of canon sources indicating that certain vessel types might be "like" pentekonters, others are "like" triremes etc. But more than the text descriptions, I am personally rather influenced by the little ships portrayed on the original EPT box cover. These have an over-the-top Tekumel design sensibility that sometimes looks a little improbable but surely must be right for the "look and feel" of Tekumelani ships.
My own take on Tekumelani ships, at least in the Five Empires, is that like most material culture they have elaborate ornamentation: superstructural decoration that may look impractical, but is considered essential. Not a frill. In fact, if chlen-hide panels are used for some of this ornament it might even be vaguely functional since it would be somewhat armoured and would especially protect against flaming missiles.
Here are a couple of screen-grabs from the working copy of my naval piece to show what I mean. Both of these vessels are supposed to be Tsolyani. I am not totally happy with the way my zoomorphic elements look like I just glommed them onto streamlined hulls (though that is more or less what I did!); ideally I think the hulls and the superstructures should have a more unitary look, but still, I think it is an approach that has possibilities.... and it may be one way we can make historical models look more Tekumelani.