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Hubac's Historian

Soleil Royal by Hubac'sHistorian - Heller - An Extensive Modification and Partial Scratch-Build

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One step closer...

 

I’ve made all of the foliate diamonds.  I have 46 to choose from, but will only need about 36. They came out better than I had hoped.  As I did with the fleurs, there was some re-shaping here and there.  Now, they are reasonably consistent, but each just a little different.

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Tonight, I scribed the layout for the shells, and I’ll begin carving those masters tomorrow.

 

I can also begin freeing the frieze lattice from the sheets they were scribed on, now that all the scrolls and perimeter mouldings are in place, and the excess glue has been scraped away.  

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Well, Jan, you raise an interesting question, and it is one that I have considered.  In my view, it is a matter of interpretation, in part, that is bolstered by certain practical considerations, at this scale.

 

In the black and white Berain drawing, I think one can argue an interpretation for either a concave or convex shell.  There do, however, appear to be subtle shadows around the perimeter of some of the shells, that suggest a rounded form:

 

post-26729-0-77810600-1480391342.jpeg

 

The color, Compardel portrait that is based upon this original Berain portrait is, itself, an artistic interpretation with a number of subtle differences, and a marked contrast in the quality of the rendered details (Berain’s drawing is just crisper).

 

All that aside, Compardel definitely argues for a convex form.  In addition to the shadows, Compardel even represents the striated surface texture that runs across the crenelated ridges of the shell.  It is, perhaps, not readily apparent in this image, but it is very clear on the dust jacket for Lemineur’s Les Vaisseaux du Roi Soleil:

 

post-26729-0-94717400-1480195643.jpeg

 

While I agree, Jan, that much ornamental architecture and furniture embellishment, from this period in the latter 17th C., employs concave shell forms, that does not appear to be the intent, here.

 

Even if that were the case, though, I would still have chosen the convex shell form because it is much easier to carve that particular edge treatment (ridge/scallop/ridge) into a convex form, at such a small scale.  This particular edge treatment is an artistic variance from the drawings that I prefer over the rolling, fluffy cloud edge.

 

As ever, I appreciate the question and the debate.  That is, in large part, what I am hoping to encourage with this model, as most of the choices I am making are debatable, either historically or artistically.

Edited by Hubac's Historian

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00F8FD82-18C8-49A1-AC24-ABC12306DFB8.thumb.jpeg.f071aded5652cdfd06d7b45110bf076e.jpeg

Well, this is going to work out beyond my expectations, but it is going to take some doing!

 

Naively, I really thought a few passes, re-tracing my lines, would free the lattice.  No biggie!

 

Not so.  The styrene is thicker than I thought, and one really does have to work up to the line very carefully.

 

I did, in fact, lever off one of my scrolls by pressing up too hard against it with my gouge.

 

Added to that, the lines are near-impossible to see with my diffuse kitchen lighting.  The flourescent overheads, at work, give me better raking light, so I may have to do a lot of this on my breaks.  Or, pencil in my scribe lines.

 

We’ll get there, eventually, and the effort will be worthwhile 😅.

Edited by Hubac's Historian

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Wow!! That scroll work is really going to be fantastic!! Still not sure how I will approach mine but, I'm sure I will get an inspiration eventually.

 

Without a doubt Marc, your build continues to be a very educational build. Be it historical accuracy or artistic interpretations, you have well thought through plans and better still, excellent reasoning that you are always willing to share with us. Thanks!

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The lattice is coming, but it is incredibly tedious work to free it.

 

C350A752-D242-479A-976F-F6B54F58C04E.thumb.jpeg.268f73fbbeed5a4838620d4cc0a5619a.jpeg

I’ve cut across the lattice, at times, and had to fit in graving pieces.  That is the beauty of plastic, though; repairs like that are easy and will be seamless on the finished model. The scrolls are fiddly and often come loose.  I’ve taken to brushing the edges of the scrolls with cyano, as a preventative measure, as they come free of the ground.

 

With all the ornaments made, now, I couldn’t resist placing them in a small section to see the spacing:

 

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I’m very happy with this, and it gives me the motivation I need to continue chipping away at the lattice.

 

Finally, I’ve begun experimenting with acrylics.  Grumbacher’s Academy line produces a Raw Sienna that perfectly captures my interpretation of the “Ventre de Biche” color that will span the lower and middle batteries, between jet black boot topping and wales:

 

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I’m glad, now, that Marc Yeu prevailed upon me to consider more period-correct, painted appearance for the so called “dead works,” which are iron fastened.

 

I have some ideas about how to lightly weather the painted finish, so that it makes for a more realistic diorama.  I’ll discuss that more, in detail, as I work through paint tests on my scrap hull.

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Impressive what you do with plastic.

I have been building plastic military kits for more than 30 years myself (kits, semi scratch and scratch).
This is great work and really worth following. :imNotWorthy:

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Posted (edited)

Thank you very much, Backer!

 

I hadn’t built a model in such a long time - not since a never completed Airfix Vasa that was coming along nicely until I learned that the upper works were actually red and not blue.  I then lost interest, continued to carry it around with me through several moves, and finally shipped it to the great beyond, down the compactor chute, after so many parts had broken off.  I regret it, now, because the paint work was really good, but it was pretty much a stock build.

 

Fast-forward to now, and I have learned to enjoy the experimental possibilities and to try and push the craft to my limits.  That keeps the challenge fresh and my interest stoked.  It also gives me something productive to do at lunch and in the time before work.  Little by little, day by day.  It won’t be long before all of these modifications begin to take shape as an assembled thing.

 

Thank you, again, and thank you to everyone who has stuck around.  It is greatly appreciated!

Edited by Hubac's Historian

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Posted (edited)

Interesting find on Pinterest, the other day:

2107548648_SRPortraitModern.jpg.f9312792ef75ff8edd0eb469613e3bc9.jpg

I have no idea whom the artist is, or when this was done, but it shows an interesting interpretation of SR's stern balconies; at all three levels, there appear to be only central projecting galleries, spanning the middle four windows at each level.  This arrangement is very similar to this Puget drawing of the Monarch's stern:

 

LeMonarchStern.jpg.51975840678acefc83b8a6363ace0006.jpg

Here's the Monarch from starboard, quarter view:

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Perhaps these contemporary drawings were the inspiration for this drawing of SR.  The reason that I don't think this interpretation is correct is that Berain's drawing, from the starboard quarter view, shows that the figure of "Fall" is  supporting a projecting stern balcony of the middle tier, or main deck level.

 

1023712393_BerainStern.jpeg.a244fe47615131983e914b49c4fbc1de.jpeg

As "Fall" is positioned at the outer edge of the stern, at the juncture of the quarter gallery, this strongly suggests that the middle stern balcony projects at least to this juncture, and more likely wraps around and connects to the quarter gallery.  As previously stated, I don't believe that the lower, stern counter projects into an open balcony at all.

 

I do, however, believe that the upper stern balcony only projects across the middle two stern windows.

 

Anyway, I like posting these artistic interpretations, as I find them.  I suspect that they are often riddled with evidence of ship-building practice, at the time of the artwork's creation.  There is nothing that I have found in authentic contemporary portraiture to suggest that the first SR would have had a mizzen t'gallent mast and sail.  Later in the 18th Century, though, this would have been standard practice; perhaps this is a clue as to when the portrait was done.  If nothing else, it is evidence of other people puzzling over the same problems of how to represent the ship.

 

Whatever the case may be, it is a well-executed artwork, with nothing seeming grossly out of proportion.  I like the use of red on the stern, as it is similar to what I intend for my model.  The artist appears to have included Le Pheonix, to port of SR.

Edited by Hubac's Historian

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The sail/mast may have been an experiment of sorts or a proposed method.   At least on French ships, they did try certain things that may or may not have been used later.  For example, Licorne's masting at the time of capture wasn't the "as built", nor the same as the 12 pounder frigates.  It was the same (or darn close) to that of Le Venus.   

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Alright, so after all of that tedious cutting out, I can begin placing the frieze lattice.

 

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Please bear in mind that this seeming, non-sensical gap will eventually be bridged by the upper finishing of the quarter gallery.  In the meantime, I have left the ends overlong to allow for cutting in.  Also, the edges of the frieze lattice may look a little ragged, but that’s just squeeze-out from the styrene cement, which will later be scraped away.  These pieces are really welded on, now; I degreased the upper bulwarks and I give the backs of the frieze segments a light sanding before glue.

 

I must have spent an hour checking and re-checking my starting point in order to be sure I allowed the propper space for the quarter gallery, but also in an effort to optimize my ornamental layout, so that I didn’t have too many oddly cut away shells or fleur-de-lis.  There will be the odd one, here and there, but not many.

 

Until now, I wasn’t really sure just how accurately I had measured and drawn the upper bulwarks and all of their piercings; I did pretty well, I think, to come +/- a light sixteenth.  There was enough latitude to shift the whole layout left or right, in order to make the best of these discrepancies.

 

So, more to come later. Thanks for looking in 😀

Edited by Hubac's Historian

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