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EJ_L

Le Soleil Royal by EJ_L - Sergal - Scale 1:77 - 1669 Version

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Another advantage of working two builds at once is that I can more easily slow down and make sure I am doing things the way I want to. Just building the one ship, I kept wanting to keep on building and would settle or rush through something. Made a few mistakes that are still bugging me today on past builds doing that. Now, when I am at a slow spot do to research or waiting on supplies I still have another ship to work on that takes care of that itch to keep building. As crazy as it seems, I am more relaxed building these two huge ships than I was working on just one or even a small one.

 

Yes, there will probably end up being extensive bashing done on this build. I was already kind of thinking there would be but as I have already pulled apart work that I have done to completely redesign it and I am only on the framework, I think I will do this a lot. Truthfully, I am happy with doing it though. I would like to build a fully framed ship one day and so this allows me to start thinking of how to do that without having to do the entire ship. Scratch building something with no instructions can be frustrating but it also provides a great opportunity to learn a lot.

 

Thanks for all the support!

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Been busy working on the cabin layouts. The main problem that I have now is that to build the cabins the deck layouts do not align properly. So, now I get to redesign the decks to work the way they should. I guess when you are not planning on showing the inside, it doesn't matter if they physically line up. Maybe I am making this harder than it has to be but, I want it to make sense and look right.

 

So, here is a picture with the latest look. Basically the two horizontal strips that are clamped to the frames are where the decks should be. You can see where the false decks are designed. It really isn't bad until you get to the stern at which point nothing lines up right. I can adjust the gun ports on the false decks and shift the dummy blocks for the canon barrels for the new alignment easily enough. The upper decks and quarter decks will be a different challenge. I have a couple ideas on how to do it. More to come!  :D

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Spent a little more time in the ship yard today and decided that it was time to start laying out the planking guidelines now that I know where my lower decks will be. As this is a double planked hull I know that I have room for errors in my planking but, I always try to do it right as this gets me extra practice. I will explain how I plank my hulls for anyone who is either still learning or looking for a new idea. As with most things, this isn't a right or wrong it is just my method to get the results I am looking for. This will allow you to have your planks laid down with uniform widths in a complete strake running the length of the hull with no drop planks or stealers.

 

So, to get started I established the lowest wale and marked it across all the bulkheads giving me a space to measure for planking between the keel and the wale. Next I measured the space along each bulkhead and wrote that dimension down on the wale at the intersection of the bulkhead. Repeat at each bulkhead. Next I measured the width of the planks that will be used. They are 6mm wide. I start with the widest dimension that I measured along the bulkheads. This was 155mm. I divided that number by 6mm and came up with 25.8 or 26 strakes. 155mm divided by the 26 strakes gives me a width of each plank at the widest point of 5.9mm or 6mm. Always round up as the sanding for tapers will eliminate that .1mm. Since this is my widest point, no plank will exceed that width. Once I know my plank widths I take a flexible tailor's tape measure and make tick marks down the length of the bulkhead from keel to wale line to establish guidelines for my planks. I am now in the process of repeating this step at every bulkhead on both sides of the ship. From here on out in both directions the planks will narrow. As you can see in the picture the spacing is shrinking, the number of planks stay the same and the plank widths decrease as the space shrinks. 

 

I will add more pictures as this continues. Let me know if there is something that should be shown as I can easily leave something out that I take for granted that someone may need.

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Happy New Year! Honestly, not much has happened on S.R. since the last update. I finished the layout and have her ready to go to start planking the lower hull. I am still planning on a two layer planking so this first layer will be out of lime wood. I intend to plank it properly but as everyone who has done plank on bulkhead builds, that can be tough as the frame spacing does not allow for the best curvature and supports. However, a nice planking can still be achieved and the practice is always good. 

 

So, to share with you all my plan so you are not kept waiting in the dark, I am building the mizzen mast on La Couronne and once it is stepped in place with stays shrouds and ratlines, I will be back to start planking. I'm hoping either this weekend or early next week depending upon how my free build time goes and how hard the crew is working after partying a little too much this past weekend. :P Once planking starts I plan on setting goals of every so many strakes I will stop and go work on a top mast on La Couronne. S.R.'s hull is rather big so this will still be a large number of strakes as I am thinking about 10 between breaks. I will try to photo document what I do well for everyone following along. 

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E J,

My first look at your SR. Yes is a huge ship. I have the Panart Victory 738. It too is a monster. The price of the case will exceed the cost of the kit. One thing I discovered in working on a kit this size is that the constant turning it around can become exhausting. A Lazy Susan or turntable is almost a must have for energy savings. They are easy to fabricate or cheap to buy.

 

Regards

Edited by ca.shipwright

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EJ what a fantastic start to what looks to be a monster of a kit.  Looking forward to this progress as I am always in awe of some of the sizes of these ships.  I will stick to my smaller ones but gladly live vicariously through those of you who take on the monsters! =)

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Michael, Adam, good to have you here! 

 

I do love the large models but I will admit that finding homes for them in the house can be a challenge when done. I am starting to design the display cabinet and stand for La Couronne now. I build my own cases which helps cut down on the costs and I can get a good deal on glass through work. For La Couronne, I am designing a cabinet that will have shelving underneath it for books and such. We have a nice empty corner in the new house that I think will work out perfectly for it but, in order to meet the admiral's approval it has to serve a purpose more than just being a display for a ship, therefore, bookshelf! :D

 

I am going to install a turntable on my model table soon. I got the bearing that I needed from my dad finally and now I just have to take the time to do it. I think that will be this weekends project now that the wood shop is in working order and I can find my tools again.

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Not on this build. Planking will take me a while on her as she is a big one. I will keep updating with pics as she progresses. This is always a fun stage for pictures in my opinion as with each update you can see the hull take shape.

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he....he......I have the same miter box  :)  actually,  I have two  ;)     yea........you do have some irregular spacing there......I've never had or seen one like that before.   I wonder what their thinking was in doing it?   filler blocks in those areas might not allow any sagging of the planking......or rather,  I hope that doesn't happen.   don't mind me........I think too much {just ask my admiral} :rolleyes:

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The spacing is truly horrible and yes very irregular. Fortunately this is a double planked hull so while I am attempting to stay true to proper planking, the spacing is presenting a challenge. I thought about adding more filler blocks but my first layer of planking is on the thicker side between 1-1/2 and 2mm thick. I think that once I have them glued in place, they will be stiff enough to provide a solid base for the second layer. The second layer is only .5mm thick. I am going to keep a close eye on spacing as I get further alone g. If it does not look like the planks will be stiff enough I will get some extra supports in there.

 

The bulkhead spacing has always frustrated me. I always have to modify, adjust and add to them so much that I am really thinking more and more about trying to do a fully framed ship.

 

That mite box has been around for a long time. Dad bought that for me over 20 years ago and it has served me well since. Not bad for a cheap miter box. Been through a few saws though over that same time. I have learned a lot about what materials can and cannot be cut well with them...

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E J,

There is always an option of making additional bulkheads using the adjacent as a pattern. You can still  do this by gluing the additional bulkhead(s) to the center keel and the subdeck which I believe is the white sheet perpendicular to the center  keel in the picture. You really don't need a slot for this and may be a easier solution than filler blocks.

 

Regards

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That is what I will do if they are needed. I always keep my extra wood that the bulkheads are cut from so I still have all the patterns needed.

 

I have never thrown out any extra parts, wood or even the plastic spurs from plastic kits until the model is completely done and even then I keep a lot of that stuff. I have found too many uses for those leftover "trash" parts that I just throw them into boxes under the desk when I am done with the build. :D 

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A few more planks have been laid down though I am still not very far. To get to the first false gun deck I will need 26 strakes and I now have 5 completed with the 6th started. I thought I would take a few pictures to show a little more detail on how I am planking this ship. Also I included some pictures of the tools I use. Simple ones are really all you need: ruler, sanding block, electric plank bender, paper clips, hobby knife, miter saw and box, glue and a pencil. I also use because I have it, a small plane, and needle files. Of course you will need plenty of sandpaper when the planking is done.

 

Note, this is a double planked hull and it is a plank on bulkhead build. Therefore, this first layer of planking will not done in the exact way you should do an exposed planking. The overall techniques are the same but there are a couple of differences I will note. Plus you can cover the imperfections with filler later. :P

 

So in an earlier post I talked about finding the widths of the planks, number of planks and then laying that information out on the edges of the frames to act as guidelines. Now I can start fitting my planks. I do not lay one solid strip of wood from bow to stern but instead I cut individual plank lengths and install them that way. Why? First, it is more true to actual ship construction. On a large vessel like S.R., there would not have been lumber available in the length required to span her entire length. Second, I personally find dealing with shorter pieces easier. Less material to have to fit especially around the sharper bends in the hull. 

 

To get my lengths I start in the middle of the hull and lay a strip of wood across four frames splitting the first and last in half so another plank can share the frame. Once cut to length I will then use my guidelines and established widths to draw my taper across the plank. Cut and sand smooth the plank and I always taper the bottom (side against the frame) edges inward so the top is slightly wider. This allows for a tighter fit edge to edge. Once cut and tapered, now you can bend it to shape. There are many ways you can bend wood. Typically I just use heat from my plank bender but if the curve is going to be sharp, I will soak it in some water first and then use the heat to bend. This is basically trial and error of the various ways until you find a method that works for you. Just keep in mind when sing water that the wood expands when wet and shrinks when dry. If you install wet wood, when it dries you will have gaps. Once the plank has been shaped glue in place. I use a combination of wood and CA glues and a lot of modified paper clamps to hold the wood in place till dry.

 

The rest of the planking is basically a repeating of the above steps. Remember that you should not have to force the wood into place. If tapered, sanded and bent properly, the plank should just lay in place with the only pressure just being that to keep it from slipping as the glue dries.

 

The pattern in the joints is one of the deviations from the finish planking I will address. The pattern itself of a joint, two solid boards and a joint is correct however, due to the bulkhead spacing, the pattern is not even and the lack of uniform plank lengths is wrong. If all of the actual frames were in place then I could run all the planks the same length as they would have equally spaced frames to attach to the entire length of the ship. On a P.O.B. model, you are restricted to the few bulkhead frames that are there. The second layer of planking will be done correctly as then it will be similar to planking a solid hull ship.

 

To achieve the pattern know that all your planks will stretch across 4 frames.

1st frame split in half.

2nd frame cross completely.

3rd frame cross completely.

4th frame split in half.

As you move on to the adjacent strake, start the first plank one frame to either the bow or the stern. Which way you pick does not greatly matter, just be sure to keep going the same direction. I always set one frame to the stern. Each following strake should always start it's first plank one frame back. Every 4th strake should see the joints line back up to create a pattern of joint, solid, solid, joint. (If you are looking to be historically accurate, you will need to do some research on the ship, era and countries practices as they varied in all those categories.) When I plank the 2nd layer I will explain how I create the pattern then.

 

On a final note, be sure to pay attention to your guidelines. They will help keep you on track with your planking so that they all fit correctly and evenly. However, do not assume that you did everything right. Periodically double check the remaining space available and make sure the planking layout is still accurate. It is easier and better to adjust in small increments over the entire hull than end up with one or two planks at the end that are extremely wider or smaller than the rest.

 

More to come! :D

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Major milestone passed tonight as I have now shed my blood on the ship. I was wondering when he first time this would happen would be and it looks like hour 43 gets that distinction! :D On the plus side of things, I am happy to report that my plane is still extremely sharp and ready to continue working. I am never sure if this is a good sign or a bad one but, at least it is proof that work is being done! :P I do not think I have built a model ship yet that I did not become blood brothers with.

 

I think the annoying part isn't so much that I manage to cut my fingers or sand the skin off, or any of the other ways I manage to draw blood but more in the fact that I don;t always notice that I am bleeding until I lift my fingers from the part I am working on and see the red dot or streak. I then sit there and stare at it with a WTF expression until it hits me that that sharp pain I felt a while back was indeed an actual injury....

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If I was, I would probably bleed out before I noticed it without the glaringly obvious red spots on white wood! :D

 

Now that you mention blood wood though, I do have some out in the wood shop. I may look at ripping some down to use in lieu of red paint. I don't need a lot for this model so it might be worth it. Something to think about. Now if only trees produced royal blue wood.... :P

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Quick progress update. I have completed the first 10 strakes on the starboard side and have now started the port side. Garboard strake is in place and strakes 2 and 3 have begun. Planning on getting a lot of work time in this weekend as we have an ice storm headed our way. Good time to just stay inside and build.

 

My plan is to go 10 strakes on both halves of the hull and then I will stop again to switch back to La Couronne. While working on her, I will start figuring out where I want to run the wiring for the cabin lighting down and out the bottom. I am also going to look into the cradle design I want to use and make sure I can hide the wires either in it or in a place that won't be easily seen. I needed the bottom of the ship planked but not very far so I could still get inside to run the wires. I am having to do a lot more forward thinking on this one since I am changing the build so far outside the instructions. Adds some more excitement! :D  

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My first planking goal has been reached. I now have 20 strakes, 10 on each side of the keel complete. You can start to see how much it takes to plank these large ships of the line when you realize that although I have already gone up 10 strakes on a side, I still have not gotten out from under the bottom of the ship! Something to think about if you are new, watching this build and considering a large build. I have spent 25 hours planking and still have very little to show for it and remember, this is a double planked hull so I get to do it twice!

 

As you can see my planking can still has room for improvement which is a why I like double planked hulls. Gives the extra practice and allows the 2nd layer to cover the bad spots. Still, I want people that are learning to take note of a few things that may help them. Remember, these are my tips and methods not rules and certainly not the only way. I am constantly learning new ways to improve myself. One thing that I see that gets asked all the time is how to measure the widths of the planks at the stem? Since you do not have a bulkhead there that runs all the way from the keel up like you have for the other locations you have to measure this differently. What I do take a long piece of plank and draw the known taper angle across the face from about 4 to 5 bulkheads back. Start by measuring the distance from the stem to the first bulkhead, then 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 etc. and mark those spots on your plank. Then mark the width of the plank at those locations. This will give you a line of dots that you can then connect with a straight line. Extend that line past the first frame to the end of the board and this will give you the width at the end of the plank where it butts to the stem.

 

Now draw a straight line across the bottoms of the frames where they meet the keel and extend that line straight out to the end of the stem. This is the line for your garboard plank. To make life easy, I cut a small scrap board to the width if the plank at the stem and laying it against the line from the garboard, I trace out the next line and repeat until I have the same number of marks down my stem as I have on the edges of my bulkheads. See the below close up of the bow. Then when you plank all that has to be done is to make the plank fit within the space you just marked. Note: My garboard strake is wider than the first space. This is because the garboard is wider than the rest of the planking and this is where it tucks into the rabbet or in my case just tapers into a fake rabbet. 

 

Something else to look at is the fairing on the bulkhead edges. Planking should lay flat and even across the edges with no sharp corners showing or gaps between the plank and the frame. Mine mostly do but I know there is a gap at the first frame. This will need to be shimmed up. By making sure the edges are properly faired you can make planking lot easier as the wood will lay down smoother and have a stronger connection. 

 

I also went ahead and built a cradle for her to sit in. My normal vise that I use for this stage of building is too small for her. I need to build an adjustable build board just have not gotten around to it. 

 

So since I have reached my goal, it is time to take a break from S.R. and return to La Couronne to build her fore top mast and continue on with rigging. When I return in a week or two I will plank the next 20 strakes which will bring me up to just below the lower gun deck on both sides. Before that I will need  to establish the wiring pathways I need for the L.E.D.s. Seeing her up on the cradle has given me a clearer picture of where and how I want to run them, just need to test and see.

 

No idea why the pictures did not stay in order but they are all there! :huh::D

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