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Hubac's Historian

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  1. Hubac's Historian

    Ship paintings

    Really lovely use of color, amazing detail and perspective, and every painting is full of movement and vitality.
  2. Hello, Model Ship World! My name is Marc and I hail from NYC. While I am new to the site, I am not a novice to the hobby. Owing to the early growth of my two children, and the development of my career in woodworking, it has been some time since I built a ship model. About sixteen years, in fact! Most of my hobby time, in the evenings, has been devoted to a series of woodworking and furniture projects, which fall under the umbrella of something I refer to as the Heirloom Furniture Project - a legacy project for my kids to inherit sometime far down the road, I hope! Despite my interest in that, and my role as an active and involved Dad, I never stopped reading and acquiring books about my particular interest in ships and ship modeling: the 17th C. ship-of-the-line, and particularly French naval architecture of that period. My recent discovery of Pinterest has really accelerated my understanding of the unique design differences in the stern architecture of the French first and second rates. For anyone who's curious, my Pinterest page titled French Vaisseaus can be found under my member name Tafferal. The imagery I have been able to compile, there, has made it possible for me to begin designing a build that I have long been grappling with. Here's the link: https://www.pinterest.com/tafferal/french-vaisseaus/ This will not be a fully-framed scratch build, but rather an extensive modification of Heller's Soleil Royal. I plan to test out my "Theory of the Ship," in plastic, so that I might re-create the ship, in wood, with all the scratch-built bells and whistles, when I eventually retire. This will be my second build of the Heller kit. The first was begun at the age of eight; very cautiously, I proceeded to the main deck level where I stopped the build, understandably, until I had developed enough skill to competently complete the upper works. As a teenager, I completed everything up to the masting and rigging. After college, I finally finished the model and had a very nice case made to house it. I have been transporting it from apartment to apartment for the past twenty years. It is, in my opinion, a very carefully fit and assembled model (no injection marks, gaps or flash lines) that is impeccably painted. It is not, however, a realistic depiction of the ship, or of a sailing ship, in general. That notwithstanding, I, like many others before me have become completely captivated by the conjectural splendor of what the actual vessel must have been like. The short-comings of the Heller kit have been thoroughly documented on a number of forums. I'm assuming that most who come to read this thread are already well acquainted with the inherent omissions and short-comings of the plastic kit. Unlike so many others, though, I believe that there lies within the kit, great potential to build an accurate scale model of a French first-rate ship from the 1660s. Now, it bears mentioning that I have read the forum moderator's post on overly ambitious build threads, and I can certainly appreciate and agree with the thinking, there. This is going to be an ambitious build! I expect it to go on for quite a number of years. This is not, however, a passing fancy. I am a devotee of incremental progress: whatever little can be accomplished, most evenings of the week, gradually adds up to a thing taking shape. My main obstacle, until now, had been the difficulty in fully visualizing what I believe the original intent of Jean Berain's well known drafts of the SR's stern and quarter galleries to be. I will expound on my theory of the ship in a moment, however, I'd like to say a word or two about why this project has legs for me. The kit I am using for this build is one of the early pressings from the 70's, by Heller. It, initially, belonged to my next door neighbor who was a kind of mentor to me when I was young. Mark Hansen was an outstanding modeler of all kinds of military craft, but he especially loved the sailing ships. He gave me a pretty solid foundation on what was and was not appropriate to incorporate on a sailing ship model. It was his SR that I first spied on the top shelf of his hobby room. I was instantly captivated, and from that point forward perennially obsessed with this single vessel, in a way that I still don't fully comprehend. Mark helped me build my first SR. He intended to tackle the kit in his retirement, but he never made it. Cancer took him in his late 50s. I have never known a person to be more generous with his time, and his memory remains dear. I'm dedicating this build to him, as it is quite possible I would never have found fulfillment in the trades, if not for his influence. MY THEORY OF THE SHIP Soleil Royal's keel was laid down at Brest shipyards in 1666, as part of Minister to the Navy, Colbert's, aggressive reconstruction and restructuring of Louis XIV's navy. She was launched in 1668, and completed a year later in 1669. Her length on deck is listed as 164.5 antiquated French pieds, with a breadth of 44.5 FP. Using a conversion factor of 1.066, this translates to 175 modern, English feet by 47' 5" in breadth, at the main beam. She displaced 2,400 tons, and her draft measured 23.5 FP, or 25 EF. As a side note, I must mention that I am in the process of establishing a point person at the Musee de la Marine, so that I might ask specific questions about my source material. So far, I have not received any reply to my inquiries. For the moment, though, I'm assuming that these L.O.D. dimensions I am giving are, indeed, the L.O.D., and not some other specific measurement. This will, for the sake of scholarship and my future build in wood, be clarified. However, for the purpose of this build, it doesn't really matter; the kit hull halves are what they are, and in fact, the kit L.O.D. pretty exactly corresponds with 175 EF. In the end, though, the requirements of this particular build will necessitate a certain degree of fudgery to create the impression I am after. There will be small additions and subtractions - all to be explained in the next few posts. Her designer and builder was Laurent Hubac, and her initial armament is listed as 120 guns. As a shipwright, Monsieur Hubac was noted for building warships that were considerably wider than those of his contemporaries. This owed to his belief that the added width improved the handling characteristics of these large ships. Soleil Royal was, indeed, said to he a good sailing ship. One year earlier, another ship by M. Hubac was launched at Brest, and initially christened Le Royal Duc. With the establishment of the French rating system, in 1671, the ship was re-named La Reyne. Her listed dimensions are as follows: L.O.D., 155 FP, by 42 FP on the main beam. Using the above metric, this translates to a L.O.D. of 165' 3" in English feet and a maximum beam of a hair under 44' 9". She displaced 2,000 tons and her draft is listed as 22' 10" FP, or 24' 4" EF. Her initial armament was listed as 104 guns. The two ships are of a similar size, displacement and rating. However, unlike SR, there exist two highly detailed Van De Velde portraits of La Reyne, showing her from the starboard stern quarter, as well as, the port bow, broadside. It is immediately apparent that the design of La Reyne's stern and quarter galleries is markedly different from SR. Also, as is to be expected, the arrangement of her gunports is significantly different from what is known about SR, and the arrangement of her guns. The value of these Van De Velde portraits, for me, has to do with the wealth of hull detail that is apparent (and glaringly omitted in the Heller, and vis-a-vis, the incomplete Tanneron model upon which it is directly based), as well as the ship's sheer line and presence on the water. In pen and wash, one can see a significantly more stout vessel, in La Reyne, with a notably lower sheer line, as compared to Tanneron's interpretation of Berain's designs for SR. As a side note, there is a Belgian on another site who has outlined his build plans for converting Heller's SR into La Reyne of 1671. What he is proposing is absolutely attainable, as the VDV drawings are remarkably clear, especially when combined with another period drawing of La Reyne's stern that shows the ornament for what it is - if not, remotely, to scale. Like me, this gentleman sees the potential in Heller's kit for a sound scale model, although his build will necessitate re-configuring the armament. As am I, he is still in the research stage, but I will be following his build and posting links, as appropriate. I want to say, from the outset, that the question of SR's armament - whether 120 guns upon launching, or 104 at the time of her demise - is not one that I plan to resolve with this build. I will be using the moulded kit hull halves and upper bulwarks. I will be making extensive modifications to those parts, and completely scratch-building the entire stern and beakhead bulkhead. Heller's kit, like Tanneron's model, is pierced for 110 guns. I suppose I could omit the two lower bow chase ports, but that would only bring me down to 108. Leaving them out would be a largely arbitrary decision without any clear basis in fact. In the end, my ship will carry 110 guns. There are just certain constraints of working with the pre-established port locations of the plastic hull that I am not willing to overcome. This is the first and most glaring. I am recycling what I can of the kit because the essential lines of the hull and tumblehome are fairly representative of period practice, and of course, it is an enormous time saver to avoid the complete scratch-building of a hull. Ultimately, what I am aiming to achieve, is what I believe to be the correct interpretation of Berain's stern and quarter galleries, as well as the decorative frieze of the upper bulwarks. In the course of the build, I will also add correct period detail - correctly scaled - to the hull, head, decks and guns, while completely re-masting and rigging the ship, according to the guidance of Lees and Anderson. A few gunports, give or take, will not detract from the impression of a ship that sits slightly lower in the water, on a notably broader beam, with noticeably lower sheer; in other words, a ship that won't capsize from the recoil of her own broadside. My ship model will bear a resemblance to the Heller kit, but I hope to far exceed it in ornamental magnificence and correct period detail. What I'm going for is essentially this: This is a work from a twentieth century artist, I believe from the 1950's, who must have been similarly infatuated with SR. I believe that he correctly depicts the configuration of SR's stern. Although, I must say that even if it were the case that she were almost completely painted blue above the lower, main wales - I will not be depicting her, as such. More on that later. In future posts, I will outline what exactly my theory of the ship entails, as well as, my supporting documentary evidence. I will then discuss exactly what I intend to do with the Heller kit, in order to bring all of this about, and then I will share with you the drawings that I have been working on, that will serve as the basis of my modification plan. I've been corresponding with Dan Pariser quite a bit lately, and he has prevailed upon me that I would be much better served digitizing my hand-drawn images so that I could more easily develop them in Corel Draw, for example. He is right, and I will. After not hearing from me for such a long time, I have to credit Dan for being so generous with his knowledge and resources. He and Mark Hansen are two of a kind! So, I must first create a scale "field" - as opposed to a line and body plan (not necessary because I'm not framing) - upon which I can layer all of the new detail. There will be some learning there, naturally, but I will share what I've arrived at, so far, in future posts. Thank you all for taking an interest in this thread and I look forward to hearing whatever you might have to say on the subject. I have also read the moderator's post on forum etiquette, when commenting on a thread or post; I am not nearly as brittle as the plastic I will be working with, so please don't labor too much in your replies. Just tell me what's on your mind. All the best, Marc
  3. Right?! It really is mostly a guessing game. Wait, though, until the point where Nek0 gets to fleshing out his stern. His model, I think, will be the best interpretation of the Berain stern with this particular quarter gallery. Sometimes, I wish I could speed up time just to see how it all turns out.
  4. Well, there is shading, yes, and my whole theory on the projections of the stern balconies is based on the shading clues Berain gives us in this drawing. On the other hand, the specific carvings I am referencing are dark. They stand out from the rest of the drawing, and there appears to me to be a clear demarcation between something... My theory is that Berain is indicating what he re-incorporated into his updated scheme. According to my purely conjectural theory, what is really interesting might be the way in which the Four Seasons busts that support the main deck stern balcony in Berain’s scheme, might actually be an updating of the previous Puget split-tailed Mer-figures that are so prominent on the Monarque/Royal Louis. What I’m proposing for my future (Doris inspired) card model, of the purely hypothetical first Soleil Royal is a sort of hybrid between the Monarque and the refit SR of 1689. I can almost picture it in my mind. Soon, I’ll be able to draw it.
  5. I have for a good number of years, now, been studying this Berain drawing of the stern, and puzzling over the significance of the deliberately dark shaded figures of The America’s, Europe, Apollo and his Chariot, the Port quarter figure beneath the port lantern, and the three zodiac signs. This always seemed strange, yet deliberate. Today, I had something of an epiphany! If it is so that some of SR’s ornamentation was salvaged and re-installed during the refit, then perhaps, these shaded ornaments represent those that were salvaged. When you think about it, at this later stage of ornamentation in 1689, the large figurative works that were so characteristic of Puget’s early work, were largely a thing of the past. Yet, here are these relatively large figures adorning the stern of SR after her refit. Also consider the archeological convention of reconstructing old bones around the fossilized remnants of the original skeleton. The original bone is darker than the artificial medium that makes up the re-construction. That’s kind of what this drawing reminds me of. It has been noted by others that the figure of the Orient/Asia, astride her camel, on the starboard side of the tafferal, is actually supposed to represent a tiger. Well, no, I think Berain actually drew a camel. Perhaps, though, the original figure which was too rotten to salvage actually was a tiger, and perhaps Berain chose to alter the figure with a camel. Perhaps. Then, there is the known fact that the coffered ceiling of the Great Council Chamber was preserved and re-incorporated into the re-built ship. This is significant for two reasons. First, the paintings that adorn this ceiling are thematically consistent with Berain’s allegory on the exterior, and thus suggest that there would be some ornamental consistency from Puget’s past into Berain’s present. Secondly, the outline of the ceiling suggests that the timber framing of the stern would have remained largely the same as Laurent Hubac constructed it, even if Etienne had to replace most of it with fresh timber. It is not hard to imagine the dilligent son respecting his father’s intuitive framing of the ship’s lines, and thus also maintaining the wing transom above the stern chase ports, as is drawn by Berain. With all of that in mind, it becomes increasingly plausible for me to construct an ornamental tableaux around the vague outline of this ship, which increasingly, I believe to be Soleil Royal, perhaps painted by Puget, sometime between 1670 and 1688. Ornamentally, the allegory would be much the same, but the structure, ornamentation and support of the lower two projecting stern balconies would have been more florid and figurative as Puget designed for the Monarch/Royal Louis. The second is a better drawing provided by Heinrich, which Comes from the German study of the Royal Louis that Chapman first brought to my attention. Or, so this all seems to me.
  6. Your sheer cap and deck rails really came out well, EJ. I’m feeling you on the gap between building a kit and wanting to improve it. What you have accomplished, though, is truly remarkable. This build is one of a kind and perfectly illustrative of your developing talents.
  7. Hello, Heinrich! Yes, this passage you are referencing is from early in my build-log, when I was still pretty uncertain of the quarter galleries, and not yet aware of the amortisement. Now, it is much clearer to me that the officers’ toilet exists only on the lower, middle deck level of the quarter galleries. The Saint Philippe monographie illustrates the structure of the QGs very clearly. In fact, the only substantive difference between SR’s reconstructed stern in 1689, IMO, and the SP of 1693’s stern would be the presence of an abbreviated, projecting stern balcony on the quarter deck level. On the SP this is represented as merely a false “gallery”. Speaking of the St. Phillipe monographie, I’ve read through a little more than half of the plates with all of their pertinent notes, and on the whole, I am really impressed with Mr. Lemineur’s comparentalization of the ship interior. He gives an excellent perspective on the interlocking construction of the ship’s timbers, and good engineering explainations of the ways in which these innovations counter-act hogging forces. It is clear, though, that there was a concerted effort to complete the text and the models before the Rochefort conference, and certainly, the text could have benefited from a more rigorous editing. There is evidence in both the text and the two models that they were rushing to finish it in time. It isn’t just typographical errors, but missing information when describing proportional ratios to derive one framing member from another. That happens kind of frequently. Nevertheless, one could fill in the blanks by measuring off the plans, which are exceptionally well drawn. The important thing - the translation into English is really quite good and very helpful in coming to understand the subtleties of the architecture from this period. It would be nice for that price, however, if the monographie itself were hard bound. Instead, the text comes encased in a hard cover folio, along with the plates (44 plates in 1/48 scale, and, one 1/96 plan view of the fully rigged ship). I take issue with two details of the re-construction. I don’t understand why he is describing the “false keel” as being sandwiched between the keel and keelson. Further, it does not make any practical sense for the joint between the keel and the false keel to be located just above the upper (interior) edge of the rabbet line. So, there’s that. The other thing that jumps out at me is the depiction of the gammoning extending down, below the water line. I don’t personally know whether that is right or wrong, but it is the first time I have seen that and one would think that you wouldn’t want an important brace to be immersed in water all of the time. There are many gems to be found and appreciated throughout this epic reconstruction, though, and among them are the following two period portraits. In continuing our debate of the Royal Louis of 1668, here is yet another drawing of her stern, which once again, agrees very closely with that of the Monarque. I still don’t know what to make of all of that, but it is nonetheless interesting. I have to get my hands on Commissioner Hyatt’s first-hand description of, specifically, the Royal Louis of 1668. And then, there is this: As the caption states, this is a First Rate being fitted out at Rochefort. I am in no way about to argue that this un-named vessel is SR. I will say, though, that with her reverse-cyma curved tafferal and her partially enclosed QG’s, this portrait provides a truly excellent sense for what the refit Soleil Royal must have looked like. As depicted, the ornamental scheme is very much in keeping with the work of Jean Berain. This port quarter view, which shows only space enough above the main deck guns for a frieze of fleur-de-lis, makes a strong argument for Heller’s decision to place the large acanthus escutcheon/royal monogram carvings between the main deck guns. That has always seemed more sensible to me than for those large carvings to be placed between the quarter deck guns. Anyway, that one image is almost worth the price of admission for me.
  8. This is really an interesting experiment. I dare say, BALLSY! I think it will work out, though, and ScotchBright type abrasive pads should level any foam residue without any major issues.
  9. Happy New Year, Marc! I'm just re-visiting your build because I've been reading J.C. Lemineur's monographie on the Saint Philippe, and enjoying that very much. What you have achieved with your hull, from the main couple forward and aft, corresponds very well with what Lemineur details so clearly about late 17th C. practice, while also seamlessly incorporating the pre-1673 transom framing. It really is a marvel! I wasn't really understanding, until just recently, that it was the placement of the wing transom above the stern chase ports (pre-1673) that cause this peculiarity of SR1's transom profile. Michel has tried to explain this to me - and other things that, owing to a lack of common ship vocabulary were hard to grasp - but now they are coming into focus. I hope that life, fatherhood and work are being kind to you, and that you will soon be working on your magnificent ship again. All the best, M
  10. Thank you, Dan, for the Rochefort link - lots of excellent models and perspectives, there, and thank you to everyone for looking in, your likes and comments. Heinrich does raise one of the “issues” with my build log - that being that it is lengthy and tangential, and as I write most of this on subway trains - it’s a rambling stream of consciousness on the subject of SR and her times. I do have a tendency to go on (see below). I will never say that I can provide an accurate glimpse of what SR1 looked like at any time in her career - the closest to approach that are the scholars; Michel Saunier, Marc Yeu, and J.C. Lemineur, whose latest monographie on the St. Philippe provides a highly plausible (IMO) starting point for creating a hull form for SR1 (1689). But, really, Michel and Nek0 (Yeu) have already crossed this threshold - paying particular attention to the subtleties of SR1’s pre-1673 transom. The only thing I’m striving for, here, is an impressionistic attempt at historic plausibility. Speaking to Heinrich’s suggestion, though, maybe I can create an image database in a separate topic thread, in the general forum, where a wider cross-section of MSW might see and have some knowledge of these portraits and images that I’m struggling to identify and put into a period context. I will make an attempt at brevity, in my captioning of these images. Maybe call it something like Colbert’s Navy Under Louis XIV.
  11. Hubac's Historian

    Yet Another Returnee

    Welcome, Kevin!
  12. That depends a lot upon what materials you are building with. Is this a kit, or a scratch-build? Wood, plastic or card?
  13. I suppose you could scribe in planking on this flat area, but it really isn’t visible when the model is in a display base. The important thing, I think, would be to raise the load waterline by a solid quarter inch. If you do not cut away the lower hull to make it a waterline model, then you will have to carefully scrape away the moulded waterline, because it will telegraph through whatever paint you use for your “white stuff.” This one simple alteration really improves the appearance of the model. Just look at your hull clipped together; without paint clearly demarcating the stock waterline, the hull form looks pretty good, and sufficiently rounded in the hold. If you decide to experiment with Evergreen wales, you could probably raise the lower two wales another 1/8”, at midships, and then correct the exaggerated forward sheer of the wales. Keep in mind, though, that doing so will require alterations to the head rail arrangememt and the hawsers.
  14. Yes, this surviving ornamentation of the Reale gives a perfect sense for the style and weight of the carved figures, and perhaps even the likelihood that gold leaf was used a little more extensively than might seem reasonable, considering the huge expense.
  15. Well, there isn't any hair left, so no worries, there! Thank you for this link Heinrich. I will check this out, right now, in fact. I'm also going to pack up your spare parts today and ship them out this coming Saturday. This Tanneron model of the Foudroyant/Soleil Royal, no matter it's omissions and sources of inspiration is still the most remarkable example of the ship carvers' art. I've been sanding and scraping, and thinking about adding some additional through bolting to represent the hanging knees that support the deck beams. The St. Philippe monograph is really illuminating when it comes to fleshing out certain details, as per example: a notably wider scupper on the middle deck level, in line with the pumps, for quick draining of water from the bilges. The other revelation is that I need to pad out my construction of the lower stern counter, so that I can properly create a false-gallery ledge upon which the Four Seasons figures can sit, comfortably, and support the main deck stern balcony that wraps to the quarters. So, I'll have to add back a little plastic, there, but it shouldn't be a big deal and it will save me the disappointment of an improbable appearance to my stern counter. This was one of the qualms that J.C. Lemineur raised, concerning the black and white drawing of the quarter galleries that is my avatar. As it is drawn, there is not a proper ledge for these rather large figures to rest upon. Now that I understand this better, I have to agree with him, there. I do not, on the other hand, agree that this detail, along with the incongruities between the QG figure of Africa (sans elephant head dress) and the way the figure appears on the stern drawing, completely discount the credibility of this representation of the quarter galleries. As I have detailed at great length, earlier in this log, there are many corresponding elements between the stern and quarter galleries, with regard to mouldings, banding arrangements, and the shape of the windows at each level. Mr. Lemineur comments on the improbability of the fish-tailed, butterfly winged mermaid figures that flank the quarter gallery, however, I personally believe that this may be Berain's nod of the cap to the earlier styling of the Puget figures that likely graced the first version of the ship; Puget was fond of split-fishtailed figures supporting each layer of the gallery. In this way, I think that Berain may have been attempting to incorporate a sense of continuity into this later development of the ornamental scheme - in other words, that the ship would not be totally unrecognizable from it's earlier appearance. In fact, the filigree banding that borders these color gouache drawings by, I believe, Etienne Compardel (Lemineur cites Pierre Vary as the creator of this color portrait), includes vividly colored representations of these split-tailed figures, amidst the very Berain-styled banding of the filigree border; something new rising from something old. As with most of what I write, here, this is all theoretical and may be completely wrong. I don't believe it is implausible, though. And the reason I cite Compardel, as opposed to Peter Vary, is that it bears many direct similarities to this known Compardel portrait of the Konung Karl. At the time that Berain had taken over the artistic oversight of ornamenting the King's ships, there was an established relationship between Berain and Compardel, as noted by Andrew Peters in his book, Ship Decoration 1630-1780. Not only are there similar issues of proportion and scale that show up in both of these ship portraits, but the particular style of rendering the sea and sky is nearly identical. I leave it to you all to form your own opinions, though.
  16. Okay, Doris - now you’re just messing with us! Really? A perfect card model recreation of your Nissan?! Whenever it is that both of my children have stopped believing in Santa Clause, I will let them know that it is perfectly real to believe in you - the magical maker of things. I don’t know how you do it, or where you find the time, but it is a real treat every single time. Happy New Year to all! - Marc
  17. Hello, Heinrich. Yes, I have also found this book by Winfield and Roberts to be a great help, and the depth of their research lends the work great credibility, IMO. These are the dimensions I will be checking against. I have also lately become acquainted with War Hammer, as my Godson is really into it. I visited their shop in lower Manhattan, recently, and was quite impressed with the array of colors. Of course, there is no shortage of YouTube videos that demonstrate how to layer their paints and use distress washes to pick out details. I will probably re-visit their store for a really light distress wash for experiments in toning down my upper bulwark colors just a little bit. As for the decks, I am leaning toward making them from styrene sheet for several reasons. First, I can easily lay out and scribe in the tapering plank widths, and the plank butts on their beam locations. My earlier paint experiments were quite a success, and I think that one of my samples would make a really good deck treatment. Also, I’m not sure the marriage of a real wooden deck (scribed veneer, or individual plank) wouldn’t seem jarring on what is mostly a painted plastic model. Finally, as I am going to continue scratch-building deck furniture in plastic, for the most part, I prefer to bond plastic to plastic. I am sure cyano glues are perfectly up to the task of wedding wood to plastic, but this is simply a stubborn idea in my head. Sometime this week, I will do a post on the St. Philippe monograph. There are a number of really great illustrations that I had never seen before, including yet another of the Royal Louis/Grand Monarque’s stern; this one is a mixture of good detail, reasonably well scaled, but a little primitive in execution. Anyway, he discusses SR, a bit. I still disagree with him, regarding the quarter galleries and their resonance with the Berain stern, however, he does make a few salient points, there, that I will unpack later. All fascinating stuff, and his reconstruction of the St. Philippe is really superb.
  18. One argument for the lining being flush with all four sides of the lid is that because it is nailed to the outer planking at right angles - perhaps a full height and width lining helps to more completely balance the forces of expansion and contraction, thus allowing for a tighter fit inside the opening. I will say that the Bellona model appears to be a very deliberate and detailed representation of this detail.
  19. I have been here, before, yes. Some good information there. Thank you for posting the link!
  20. With the exception of a tallow/lead white for the small portion that will be visible below the waterline, I have found all of the other colors I needed for the upper bulwarks. Although it will be used pretty sparingly, this Holbein ultra-marine was just the right shade that I was looking for. It will be a nice counterpoint to the Cerulean blue - which is probably too vivid a color for this time period, but I prefer it for artisitic reasons. Utrecht is the manufacturer of this irridescent gold. The ornaments should really pop against the yellow ocher of the frieze lattice. My beakhead bulkhead, the stern and the area between the main deck guns will be done in this red ocher color, with the acanthus escutcheons picked out in yellow ocher, ultramarine blue and the fronds and Royal monogram in gold. I think that the quarter galleries might also feature this red ocher color, but I have not figured out which areas that might look good on, as the QGs cross over the blues of the upper bulwarks. Perhaps the amortisement will be mostly Cerulean blue and red ochre from the main top wale down. Or, maybe the QGs will be all red or all blue. The answer will become more clear as I go. My SR will be a vivid riot of color above the top wale. It has been a pleasant holiday season, and I hope to soon get back to the scraping/paint prep of the lower hull. My St. Philippe monograph arrived while I was away, and though I have only skimmed through it - it appears well worth the investment. I will be very busy in the new year.
  21. I have been following this debate from the sidelines, and not commenting until now. For all practical purposes, and thinking like a tradesman, it would seem to make the most sense to stop the planking a few inches short of the frame siding, along the sides of the ports, and to cut the plank opening around the sills. Although ship carpenters of yore would have been fantastically adept with their tools, chopping additional mortises into the frames and sills would be remarkably labor intensive, with the disadvantage of weakening, to some small degree, the underlying frames. Also, from a practical perspective, it would seem to create a better gasket, if the lid linings were stepped back around all four sides of the lid, so that they fit into the opening. While it is good and usefull to look at surviving examples, like Victory, as Druxey points out, the history of repairs - even on an important ship - isn’t always reliable; sometimes modern carpenters do strange rot-prone things like filling the lower rabbet with short stock - for whatever reason, I can not tell you. Perhaps a better surviving example, albeit from a much earlier time, is the Vasa. She has not been altered, but re-assembled, and she exhibits stepped lid linings and rabbeted ports. It just seems to me that a shipyard, regardless of the epoch, would work as efficiently as possible. And there are sound mechanical advantages to fitting the port lids in this way. Certain details on contemporary models, on the other hand, are often simplified for the sake of making models more quickly.
  22. It is interesting that, on this model of the SP, the sheer of the wales, near the quarter galleries, rises sharply enough that the aft three, or so, gunports cut completely through the wales - especially at the main deck level. On the Heller/Tanneron models, the aft most ports cut into, but not through the top wale. You could sand away the wales completely, and increase the degree of sheer of the wales, to match this, but unless you also adjust the moulded sheer strake just above the main deck ports, you will see an unflattering narrowing of the distance between the top wale and this sheer strake. I’d have to check, but I believe the rabbeted bottom edge of the aft upper bulwark runs paralell to this moulded sheer strake. That being said, the moulded sheer strakes/drift rails above this first one, increase in sheer as they extend aft, so that the planks in-between are wider aft than they are in the waist. My frieze obscures this fact of the kit architecture, and it would seem that a conversion to the SP would also require scraping away the SR ornaments and drift rails to make room for the diamond-hatch frieze of fleur-de-lis. If this (the widening aft) happens to also be true for the space between the rabbeted bottom edge and the first moulded sheer strake, then increasing the sheer of the top two wales so that they run parallel to that first moulded sheer strake would be an improvement to the authenticity of the model, in my opinion.
  23. Well, I’m not sure what you are asking, exactly: The Heller kit is in the scale of 1:100, which works out pretty neatly to 1/8” = 1’. If you are asking what scale this would represent for the Saint Philippe, then one would have to take the actual length and breadth of the Saint Philippe and convert that to a common unit (I know inches and feet, so I would use inches), and divide that by the length of the kit main deck, between stem and sternpost, in inches. That would give you a reasonable idea of scale. Now, as it relates to my conversion of the Heller kit into her 1689 appearance, I have so far used 1:100 as a guide for scaling my new, scratch-built parts, but I won’t really have much of an idea what scale my broader and longer model is (relative to the known dimensions of SR1), until after I have mounted my hull halves on their flat bottom and built up the transom to the main deck level. Once I get there, I will take measurements between perpendiculars, just for fun, but the answer hardly matters for this model, as it is an impressionistic effort, and not a wholly realistic one. I just want to see whether my greater breadth and length bring the model closer to scale with the actual ship. For my purposes, though, 1:100 is a good enough guide.
  24. I think you can definitely make a very compelling model of the St. Philippe, without going to modification extremes. It just requires acceptance of certain hard realities of the kit. Earlier, in my modification of the upper bulwarks, it was pointed out to me that the main deck port frames appeared to run perpendicular to the top wale, as opposed to parallel with the underlying (in this case, imaginary) framing. Well, since I had the extra set of bulwarks, I convinced myself that it was worthwhile to sand away the aft 7 or 8 port frames and replace them in the correct orientation to the top wale. It’s a small detail, but I am glad I did it because the upgrade lends just a little more credibility to a kit that is full of silly errors. But, then, the actual size of these main deck ports is exaggerated - they should be smaller, as displayed to good effect on the St. Philippe model. I accept this design defect though, because on the balance - the frames are nicely moulded and my ornamental port enhancements worked out well enough; although, if they were the correct size, in the first place, I would not have had to let the very tops into my sheer strake, in places. I was thinking, Heinrich, that I could pay the favor forward and send you the forward halves of the scrap hulls that I’ve been cutting from and experimenting with. The starboard side has a pretty severe heat warp in it, along the upper wale, which is why Popeye2Sea, had to start over, but the port side is good. Perhaps you could use these to experiment with cutting down of wales and replacing with Evergreen to see whether you want to go that route. The upper bulwark pieces still have enough frames attached that you could extract them, if you wanted to correct the port frame issue. I just want to save one piece to experiment with upper bulwark paint protocols. I will say, though, that I felt much more free to cut into my good hull because I could do a dry run/dress rehearsal on the donated kit parts. This really gave me the confidence that the broadening and lengthening of my hull was probably going to work out. Private message me with your address, if you are interested.

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