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Hubac's Historian

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  1. No kidding!! I really can’t even wrap my head around that last bit - the proof marks. Next, she’ll make a 1:1 card scale model of an atom.
  2. If you take a look at Michel Saunier’s build log for SR, you will see that the poop royal houses, if I remember, 5 sleeping berths.
  3. Hello EJ, It is an annoying void in kits of SR that there is no representation of reasonable access to the poop and poop-royal decks. Here is what is presented for the St Philippe monographie: I will, myself, create this sort of bridge platform (although, here, the so-called bridge is really the roof-deck over an officers sleeping berth) over my aft-most quarter deck gun, in order to create access to my poop deck. I may, though, create a different Dutch-style (reverse curve) bulkhead for the poop-royal deck with treads attached directly to the bulkhead. What’s left of my poop-royal deck will be significantly lower and somewhat shorter than what the stock kit allows for.
  4. Okay, so it seems as though the degree of tangential shrinkage of your lime wood substrate is the culprit here. The cracking appears most prominent, along the centerline of the ship, where the lime is pulling away from the central keel former and causing the plywood, there, to split along its laminations. Your planking strakes show irregular gapping and cracking because they are alternately fixed to the shrinking lime and the stable plywood bulkheads. So, that’s a description of the problem. It’s a bit surprising that you are seeing this degree of shrinkage, given how dry the lime was when you first glued it in. You mention that, at one point in your early build, there was some flooding in the basement that damaged the work surface, but not the model. Did the model get even a little wet? Anyway, as for fixing the problem - I agree with the advice of Vossie and others that you are going to need to regulate the humidity, to the degree that the cracks close up again. Personally, I would remove the cracked planks that will never be sufficiently “repaired,” so that I could get a better read on the substrate to know when the cracks had truly closed. Once you have done so, and stabilized the hull, I would think about injecting some thin cyano (or perhaps there’s a better adhesive for the application?) into the crack faults - particularly along the central bulkhead former. You might also consider marking the path of the cracks with pencil, in the event that they close so completely, that you can’t reliably find them for your injections. Once you are satisfied that you have stabilized movement, I think it would be safe to go ahead and make repairs. I feel for you, Drazen. This is one of my favorite models on MSW. I think it is fixable, just a bit of a bear to set things to right, again.
  5. A few questions for clarification: The bulkhead formers and keel plate are plywood? Lime is your filling wood, which initially had a moisture content below 20% - what has the average humidity in your cellar been since this problem first surfaced?
  6. Hello Drazen, I’m sorry that you are having this problem. I’m going to go back and have a look back at the early stages of the build. I will come back, after I’ve had a chance to process a few things.
  7. It took some back and forth to arrive at good symetry, but I was finally satisfied with my “false gallery” extensions. The most time-consuming aspect was cutting-in the planking rebate into the aft-most edge. Although as I mentioned before - the overhang of the fashion pieces, above the wing transom is pretty exaggerated - the outline of the false gallery, which will define the shaping of the QG, just below the middle deck windows, is now more close to correct. After the glue dries, I’ll fair the bottom edge into the fashion pieces, but I am now happy with this. Next, I’ll scrape off those wide middle deck pump scuppers one more time and position them so that they could function properly AND be seen with the port lids open. What would be the point of including the detail, if it were hidden? Then, clean the shells; replace anything missing or damaged bits; prime and then paint. I hope to at least have the shells primed and the ventre-de-biche base coat down before I move my family to Brooklyn, next month.
  8. Thank you, Mike! I am likewise enjoying your Renomee build very much. Of course, the annoying thing was that I came to this realization that my middle deck scuppers were in the wrong position, the very day after I had glued in the new wide scuppers at mid-ships. Consequently, while a wide scupper may be more appropriate, and an upgrade of the detail, my new scupper is still centered on a port, at the middle deck level. My thinking was that the scuppers should line up directly with the locations of the pumps, which they do, just forward and aft of the main mast. At this point, I’m kind of inclined to leave it, as is, but I may re-visit this one after I am satisfied with the stern counter. Making up the wider scupper stock was a bit of a process, and I am just feeling a little lazy about re-doing it, at the moment.
  9. After a very nice holiday season, I got back to work on SR. It was tedious to scrape away the faux raised grain along the lower and middle deck run of ports, and to add 60-grit texture, but the effort will be worth it; the paint work will come out as I want it to. I only broke off a few pieces of my “iron” work, so that shouldn’t be too much extra work to replace, after cleaning the hull shells for painting. One of the more immediate moments of truth, as a result of reading Lemineur’s work on the St. Philippe, was realizing that I had incorrectly placed my middle deck scuppers directly over my lower deck gunports. For all practical purposes, they really should be placed either, just forward or aft of the port beneath. There are two reasons for this. For one, the scupper tubes project beyond the surface of the wales, and would be an impingement to the full opening of the port lids. More importantly, though, whether the lid is open or closed, there should be no obstruction of the scuppers. Added to these practical considerations, I realized that what turned out to be a nice detail would only be covered by my open, lower deck port lids. So, I bit the bullet, scraped em’ off and am in the process of re-doing them. As yet, I still need to fair them into the ship’s sides and re-drill the hole. The other interesting detail that I picked up from the monographie is that the scupper ports just forward of the main mast (middle deck) and aft of the main mast (lower deck) should have a wider mouth. This only makes sense, when you consider that the point of the pumps is to drain water quickly. So, I re-made these scuppers, as well. I had some hesitation in introducing such a large hole into the hull, so close to the waterline. In practice, though, the lower scuppers would have been fitted with a kind of anti-backflow sleave. I have some ideas about how to represent this, but I will worry about that much later on in the project. The other revision I have had to consider is the fact that my stern counter, as I originally fashioned it is exaggerated both in it’s projection, and it does not make any allowance for what should be a “false” lower stern balcony that, essentially, provides a ledge of support to the four seasons figures. The solution, I think, is the sort of compromise that has defined this kit-bash. I am fashioning an extension that will create this shelf, while somewhat correcting the projection issue by bringing the stern counter more into the vertical plane. The compromise is that the fashion pieces must, then, extend even further (about another 1/8”) aft, of what was already an exaggerated posture above the wing transom. Going way back in my modifications - remember if you will - that I shaved back the stern profile by about 1/16”, from the break of the stern counter down to the waterline, in order to create the appearance of a “round-up” to the square-tuck stern. This gave the fashion pieces a more (and, IMO, not unpleasing) rakish appearance. So, first I faired in an extension piece, then I sketched in the new profile to an 1/8” projection from the face of the stern. I thought this was a bit much, so I reduced the projection by 1/32”. This is my final profile. I may or may not fill in the short wale segments. I’m not sure it really matters because the QGs will cover that, anyway. What makes me feel better about all of this is that the lower finishing of the quarter gallery sweeps down, overlays and obscures this exaggeration of the fashion pieces. A little bit of fudgery. Comme ci, comme ca.
  10. That’s the spirit! I’ve been thinking about paper, lately, and the many ways in which it can be used to detail our models. I figure it’s a low-risk/high-reward proposition. Personally, I want to experiment with using silkspan tissue to create a painted scrolling banner, with tendrilly ends, that I will paint to appear three dimensional. The theory being that anything ornamental, below the stern chase guns, would be painted on, in order to circumvent an actual carving bring washed away by a following sea.
  11. P.S. it’s Friday, and I have a few whiskeys in me... but, what about paper? Print ‘em, cut ‘em, glue ‘em, mold-master ‘em, cast ‘em. If it doesn’t work, scrape ‘em off your masters. I’m assuming - because I’ve lost track of the log conversation - that you might still be looking to cast resin guns.
  12. Really lovely use of color, amazing detail and perspective, and every painting is full of movement and vitality.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. That depends a lot upon what materials you are building with. Is this a kit, or a scratch-build? Wood, plastic or card?
  22. 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.

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