Blue Ensign

Le Superbe by Blue Ensign - FINISHED - Heller - PLASTIC - Built as "Le Praetorian", after Boudriot

90 posts in this topic

From Le Superbe to Le Praetorian – A  Heller Seventy-four, after Boudriot


This is a summarised record of my attempt to modify a small scale plastic
kit by reference to the works of Jean Boudriot. Very few of the original kit
fittings were used in the build.

 

This was to be a first attempt at fully detailing a model of this scale,
adding sails and displaying in a waterline setting.


Early progress
 

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Lower deck detail.

 

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Upperdeck showing Galley and Pastry oven.

One unfortunate fellow is spending time in the bilboes, for swearing on a Sunday.


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Restyling the Foc’sle rail.

 

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Modified waist railings using brass strip.

 

 

 



 

 



 



 



 



 



 



 

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Continuing

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Waist with Longboat and sheep pens.

 

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Quarterdeck modifications with added cabin detail.

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Modified berthing of the Main Ladderway and added Chicken Coops on the Poop deck.


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Modified Head.

 

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Copper wire and strip used to make the chains and preventer plates.


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Upgrading the Long boat.


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Modified ‘N’ scale figures fit just right.


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The finished boat.

 

 

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Rigging the ‘show’ guns was a bit of a challenge at this scale

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Rigging can get a tad untidy at this scale, blocking yourself out is so easy.

 

 

 






 

 





 

 



 

 

 

 

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Continuing:


Details of the sails.


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These were drawn from the plans of Boudriot and are made of Modelspan
tissue .

 

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Attaching reef points nearly destroyed what little was left of my sanity.


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As did the ratlines using 125g copper wire.

 

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Almost done.



 



 



 


 








 

druxey, tasmanian, MSzwarc and 16 others like this

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Continuing:

 

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Raising the Topsail yards.

 

A word about yards.

 

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Working out the details.

 

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Parrals at 1:150 scale are pretty small.

 

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Topsail yard in place,

 

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A member of the Royal Corps of Marine Infantry gives scale to the top.

The sails were attached, dampened and pulled into position using the Buntlines, Leechlines, and clues.

 

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Rigging the anchors.

 

 

 

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Detail shots of the completed model


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Long boat with the sheep pens beneath.

 

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Activity on the Qtr deck, the crew are converted ‘N’ scale rail figures.

 

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Poop deck detail.

 

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Crew ascending the Main shrouds.

 

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Fore deck detail.

 

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Crew at the Fore Topmast head.

 

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Head details.

 


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Stern Qtr details.

 

 

Full shots of the model
 



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Secure in her protective case.

 

I think this has been the most exacting build I have undertaken due to the small scale and my
less than good eyesight, I am very pleased with the result but I don’t think I
will attempt another at this scale.

 

I am much more comfortable with 1:64 scale, as with my current Pegasus build.


B.E.



 



 



 

 

 

 

 



 





 

 

 



 



 



 

 



 



 

 



 



 



 



 

 



 

 



 



 



 



 



 



 

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You talked about the model in the German forum and I am happy to see some pics of your fantastic build.

 

Thank you Christian, that's very kind of you; I really only posted this summary log on here to show some support for the new MSW.

 

Regards,

 

B.E.

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Cheers Aldo, thanks for looking in, I have to say I found that 'bash' far more tricky than Pegasus :) 

 

B.E.

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Absolutely beautiful B.E. I only hope when I start the Le Superbe in my stash that it looks half as good. Thanks for sharing.

Steve

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Cheers Steve, I'm glad you like it.

 

The Heller Le Superbe/Glorieux are the only game in town if  a medium sized plastic Seventy -four model  is  wanted.

 

At least it can be fully rigged and displayed without the where are you going to put that ! comment from the Domestic Goddess ;)

 

B.E.

foxy and gary r like this

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Thanks BE.  I wish I'd seen the whole process in real time from the beginning.  Great build!

PeteB and riverboat like this

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Cheers Mark, trouble is the whole log runs for 196 pages with 550 photos,  I think it would have become a life's work re-posting it. :wacko:

 

B.E.

riverboat likes this

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Very nice work! I have just bought this model myself, and I know I will not be able to do such a great job on it as you have, but I will do my best. Are there any tips that you wish to give me? I do have a little question though; on the model there are no wooden beam structures on the upperhull. How did you manage to replicate these?

 

Kind regards,

Lvdb

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Thank you Lukas, the only reason I could do such a kit bash on this model was that I had the superb works by Jean Boudriot to refer to - The Seventy four gun ship.

 

I also bought both the Heller kits Le Superbe, and Le Glorieux and used bits from both of them.

 

I'm not quite sure which wooden beam structures on the Upper Hull you are referring to, can you elaborate?

 

As for tips I'm not sure where I could start, but I am happy to answer any questions you may have on your build.

 

Regards,

 

B.E.

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Perhaps  I was a bite too vague or even incorrect indeed, my apologies. What I meant was the horizontal planking on the upperhull, above the waterline. I have looked at some reviews of the kit and they weren't present. I read a number of times that the ship seems to be carved out of one single log. I hope this gives some clarification? Or has Heller solved this problem in the mean time?

 

The work of Jean Boudriot would indeed be a great addition to this build!

 

I think I will have many once I start the build... The learning curve on this model will be huge. After building only WWII and more recent ships this is the first of its kind. I believe this kit isn't meant for beginners?

 

greeting?

Lukas

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Hi Lukas, now I understand,

 

The absence of planking lines along the hull was the first job I attended to in the build. There is 9mm between the wales and I inscribed four lines of planking using styrene strip guides of one, two, and three widths to guide the probe, these sit against the wale edge and given the fairly small scale seem to work fine.The scribing was done with a curved Dental probe.

The butt ends were scribed in, and the grain pattern already on the mouldings reduced a little.

 

A jig made from polystyrene packing was used to support the hull half whilst the scribing was done.

 

The Wales

Fortunately Boudroit does not indicate anchor stock planking for the wales, so these were also scribed as above.

 

The fair run of coppering

This does present a slight problem, and looks odd to my eye the way it follows the wale around the hull which doesn’t seem to take into account any sheer.
 

Starting at the centre of the hull side, tape was applied beneath the wale and carried straight to the bows and stern, so it dropped below the wale by one strake at the bows and by about five strakes at the stern extreme.

 

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Where the plating has been removed it is necessary to fill and smooth the edges and scribe planking lines.

At first sight I thought the plates looked over scale, but on checking using 4’ as a norm, they are in fact ok for length if a tad too deep.

 

One thing I would do differently at the outset is to glue the hawse hole sections to the hull halves so that a consistent paint finish can be achieved along the hull.

 

I don't think you will have any trouble putting the kit together as an out of box build, and if it's your first period ship build it may be wise not to be too ambitious with modifications. just enjoy the build and make a few changes that you feel comfortable with.

 

Cheers,

 

B.E.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

neptune likes this

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Ahoy B.E.

 

Very nice build, thanks for sharing

 

Your work on the sails is most impressive. Might I ask what material was used and a few more details, if possible.

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Just for you JP I'll dig out my posts on the subject.

 

A Simple man’s guide to small scale sail making.

 

For this I used modelspan tissue at 21gsm.

 

This is where it all starts, my patent jig for sail making.

 

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Well alright it’s a box with a hole cut into it.

 

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The Modelspan tissue is taped over the hole – make sure the hole is large enough for the sail dimensions.

 

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The witches brew – ear of bat, eye of toad, you know the sort of thing - actually pva diluted to the consistency of milk with a little yellow ochre  paint added.

 

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Once the potion is mixed it takes on a fetching ochre colour.

 

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The potion being applied, note the colour change and how the tissue has started to sag.

 

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The completed effect, just needs to be set aside to dry............. but if you’re impatient like me...

 

 

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A quick blast with the CPO’s hairdryer, diffuser in place – and were ready to go.

 

The tissue is now as tight as drum skin and much the same colour, a little more ochery than appears in the photo.
The sail ‘material’ is removed by cutting around the edges of the hole with a scalpel, or any other such sharp implement that is to hand, and is taped over the drawing as previously made.

 

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I had previously  drawn out a scaled sail from the works of Jean Boudriot.

 

The lines are transferred and the fiddly business of making the sail up begins.

 

This will be the subject of the next post.

 

B.E.

riverboat, dafi, JMaitri and 5 others like this

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A simple man’s guide to sail making (part two)

 

The sail has been cut out complete with a hem all the way round, the positions of the cringles have been marked along the edges.
The hems are folded over and a small slit where the cringles are to be placed is made with the scalpel.
0.1mm line is then placed along the hem inside the fold and fished thro with a small pointy thing, to form the cringles.
This is the position so reached.

 

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After the first few cringles have been formed the hem is glued down using neat PVA to hold the cringles in place.

 

In the pic below all the cringles have now been put into place.

 

Down each side from the top are the three pairs of Reef cringles, followed by three Bowline cringles; the leech line is attached thro’ the top two.
 

At the clue is the cringle for the blocks..

 

Across the foot of the sail are the cringles for the buntlines.

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Bands, patches and linings

Additional strengthening pieces of ‘cloth’ are now required to be added to the sail. These are all attached to the aft side of the sail as shown above (Fore side on British ships.)

They comprise:

The reef bands, three narrow strips thro’ which the reef points are fixed.
The Patches small squares of material below the reef cringles at the leech.
The Top lining, the most distinctive addition whose purpose is to protect the sail from wear by friction against the mast top.
The Lining cloths which are strengthening strips staggered down the leech of the sail.

A bit like wallpapering this part, cut it to size, slap on the paste, and stick it down.

 

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With the light behind the full effect of the various additions can now be seen.

A series of holes were drilled thro’ the Reef bands to take the Reef points, and again on the Head lining to take the Robands.

Some 150 reef points are required on the Topsail.

 

Once the sails are in place they can be manipulated at any later stage by the simple expediency of wetting them down.

 

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The Mizen sail, the Brails that control the sail furling are all in place, there are matching lines on each side of the sail.

 

 

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a simple wet down of the sail and haul on the Brails and the sail is loosely furled.

 

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Modelspan is a tough material and in my workings with I had no failures.

 

 

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I would use modelspan for kitting out models certainly up to 1:96 scale.

 

Cheers,

 

B.E.

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Hi B.E.

 

Gorgeous work!  Those sails are amazing!  And your sea looks so real!

 

Congrats,

 

Robert

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Wow, thank you for these VERY instructive posts! Very clear and understandable!

I do have a little question about painting the model. Did you paint it by hand or airbrush or both? I can imagine that the hull and deck are easier to airbrush?

 

Greetings

Lukas

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Thanks guys for your support of my build. :)

 

Lukas, the model is all handpainted, I think it gives a more appropriate finish to period ships.

 

Regards,

 

B.E.

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Thank you for the advice!

My ship just came in today. I did a little dryfit of the hull and it seems that the fit a bit off in the middle. Did you have the same sort of issue with your model?

 

regards,

Lukas

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B.E. ..........  this build is just outstanding !!!   Thanks for posting . It's such a pleasure to look at your work   .

Frank

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B.E. ..........  this build is just outstanding !!!   Thanks for posting . It's such a pleasure to look at your work   .

Frank

 

 

B.E. ..........  this build is just outstanding !!!   Thanks for posting . It's such a pleasure to look at your work   .

Frank

Cheers Frank :)

 

 

Thank you for the advice!

My ship just came in today. I did a little dryfit of the hull and it seems that the fit a bit off in the middle. Did you have the same sort of issue with your model?

 

regards,

Lukas

 

Hi Lukas,

 

I've just had a look at the two hull halves of the spare hull I have and they seem to fit together ok. 

I commented on the build that the hull goes together without any trouble at all, but that the gun-deck is a tight fit requiring spreading of the upper bulwarks.

 

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The Upper deck was a different matter, here's what I said at the time.

 

The Upper deck

 

This was the very devil to fit, due to the quite severe tumblehome and the pressure needed to force the deck into place without dislodging any of the fittings on the gun-deck or the cannon protruding thro’ the hull.

 

At one point it seemed almost that I would split the upper bulwarks trying to get the deck below the Quarterdeck level. I fitted the deck dry, and once in place I don’t think I would have got it out again without damage.

 

As with the Gun-deck I was able to depress the deck below the support ridges along the inside of the hull and let the deck spring back into place, once glue had been applied to the ledges.

 

Things didn’t really go smoothly, quite a bit of pressure is needed to secure the deck edges to the hull, and even so the bond broke in one or two places, fortunately not where it will be ultimately seen.

 

In the process three cannon were dislodged on the Gun-deck, fortunately the breeching ropes held them to allow re-fixing with a little super-glue inserted thro’ the port.

 

Tip

For the purposes of applying pressure to the awkward hull shape to secure the decks I used those small and cheap single handed clamps. If small blocks of balsa are super-glued to the face of the jaws they can be cut to shape, a wedge in this case, so that the clamp holds square to the job, and applies pressure without slipping or damaging the paint surface.

 

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I was relieved when that bit of the assembly was completed.

 

B.E.

GeraldTodd and neptune like this

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I took another look and, hower the lines are still a bit off, this can be fixed very easily by applying some pressure. So no problem there. The fit of the decks is very good but indeed, like you said, it's going to be a hell of a job to fit them in there without cracking the hull apart or dislodging any cannons.

 

But your information is very helpfull and wil get me a long way! Thank you!

 

Kind regards,

Lukas

garyshipwright likes this

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