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Hubac's Historian

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  1. The past few weeks have been mostly about tying up loose ends. The bow area is nearly done with the paint re-touches. I also realized, recently, that the beakhead bulkhead should be equipped with doors, in order to prevent heavy seaways from swamping the middle gun deck. I got myself busy making a pair of those: I also spent quite a lot of time building up the port side amortisement: I took extra care to beef-up the portion of the crown that rises above the sheer rail: One can get a very good sense, here, of just how shallow the amortisement really is.
  2. I submit that Revell’s Batavia was a nice recent addition to the cannon of plastic ship modeling; what’s moulded into the kit is good, and the model provides a solid foundation for upgrades. On the other hand, Revell’s Vasa doesn’t come close, IMO, to bettering the Airfix version. In response to the earlier question of gravers, I use the back of a #11 blade to engrave plank lines, after first taking a few light, marking passes with the sharp side of the blade. As Dafi mentions, a steel rule is essential for straight lines, but I have found that the curving plank lines
  3. What I’m thinking about, EJ, are these transitional pieces that ornament each step in the sheer railing:
  4. I have a question that is not related to this discussion - more a point of curiosity. This beautiful, old dockyard model of Bellona - even in its interior - appears heavily aged and distressed; much much more-so than your typical dockyard model. Was the distressing deliberate, on the part of the model-maker,do you think, or is the model’s appearance the natural by-product of vigorous handling, over the years? Either way it is curiously different from most other original models I have seen. Apart from that, Mark, nobody could ever accuse you (and Gary) of not doing you
  5. I appreciate the thought, T_C. When I first painted the ship sides, I worked in manageable sections (3-4 port openings), and I only left the oil on the surface for five minutes, before wiping off the excess. This go ‘round, I left the oil on for significantly longer - about 15 minutes - but the contrast was still high after cleaning away the oil, in the darker areas, with spirits. Fortunately, what I proposed seems to have worked pretty well. It will certainly be good enough in this area which is overshadowed by the headrails, anyway. A shot of the stipple
  6. Hello, Kevin! Your approach to this kit, and your engineering work-arounds are fascinating. I appreciate your commitment and will follow the project with great interest. You are making a fabulous job of it, so far! All the best, Marc
  7. Take your time, Man - she’s coming along beautifully! I’m wondering whether the kit provides fittings for the transitional hance pieces that foot each step in the sheer. I’m not sure if I’m using the correct terminology, here.
  8. It has been a slow week of mixed results and some small progress. Painting-in of the head timbers was going well enough. Unfortunately, I over-estimated the blending capability of Van Dyke Brown oil paint to conceal the color-fills I made to the ventre-de-biche of the deadworks. I thought I was being careful to feather-in the new color, yet because of the contrast of the original weathering, I still ended up with a clear line of demarcation: This was after two applications of oil and wiping off the excess. Part of the problem is that the or
  9. Thank you, Mark and Jan! Yes, T_C, the forward wing will be inset into the frieze - eliminating a shell - the afterwing, though, lands directly over the aft octagonal port. I will pare that wing away.
  10. So, the upper finishing of the amortisement has been straight-forward but surprisingly labor intensive. This particular photo of Tanneron’s damaged model of L’Agreable is so instructive because it provides so much information about the fabric of his construction, as well as the shaping cues for the upper finishing of the amortisement: My ambition, always, is to attempt to capture some sense of the magic that makes Tanneron’s models so impressive. Toward that end, it’s a process of layering details with all of the care of execution that one can muster. As has
  11. I love all that you are doing here, Gary! Your ship is incredible, and your insight, here, and on related logs is very interesting. Personally, I think you really exemplify what the NRG is really about. Awesome stuff!
  12. Alright, so I’m pretty psyched with how this all came together: Before glueing on the top and bottom moulding plates, I faired the canopy to the curvature of the upper bulwarks. Now I can simply sand the plates down to match. For this profile scraper, I decided that attempting to scrape the full reverse curve was likely to chatter and dig into the plastic - particularly, along the bottom return. So, I simply ground the top portion of the reverse curve, and then rounded the underside by hand. Now, I can move-on to the upper finishing o
  13. Thank you very much, Victor and EJ! This next level of the amortisement is fun to make because, while it seems simple, it is actually a pretty complex form. Without having drawn a top plan view, I have to wing-it, a little, when it comes to establishing depth and taper. The first step was to make up a styrene billet. The canopy is 1/4” in height, between the top and bottom mouldings. I made my billet stock a little wider, in order to file in the top and bottom taper necessitated by the tumblehome of the ship’s sides (see pic below). Once I had billet stock
  14. The beakhead bulkhead is painted, now, and ready for installation. Before I do so, though, I will do a little addition to increase the glue surface area, backing the bulkhead. I decided at the last minute to add panel framing around the foliate diamond ornaments. It echos, if not exactly, panel framing around the lowest tier of fleurs on the upper bulwarks. I didn’t really have the necessary space to copy this, so I simplified the paneling. In fact, I originally wanted to use fleurs, but I couldn’t reduce them enough to make it work. Even the smaller fleurs that I ma
  15. Thank you, Victor - Little by little, we are getting there! I made this - I’m not sure what to call it - Xs ornament for the starboard side. Even more so than the trailboard, this thing is terribly small and impossibly fragile. This turned out okay. The first effort was a disaster and had to be scrapped; a lighter touch and a pointier blade produced much better results. Still, though, the extensions of the Xs don’t have the neatly uniform rounding I was hoping for. I decided to add tiny domed slices of styrene rod to dress it up a bit, and give the whole t
  16. I appreciate the compliment, Mark! Well, with the harps made, the windows are now complete, and I’m about 60% of the way, done, with the amortisement. Final assembly will take some finessing, but here is what we have so far: Next up, I will tackle the semi-structural elements above the windows. Thanks for the likes and for looking in!
  17. Thank you, Dan! What makes it all the more gratifying is how easy it is to do. Well, this has been a banner week in my mobile shipyard. I’ve made up the false amortisement windows, and I have finished modifying and prepping to paint the beakhead bulkhead. What’s missing is the lyre carving between the windows. I’ll re-draw that this weekend, and get busy making those next week. Now, these windows would be fine, as is, but they’re a little two-dimensional, IMO. Adding just a little bit of moulding gives the windows a better sense o
  18. I’m not sure what scale your Sovereign is, but assuming it is the same as Katherine - this is a fascinating evolution in warship design. Your work and progress are remarkable. I really like the blocks you are using and will have to look into those, myself.
  19. I have heard that sentiment here and elsewhere, and it is my guiding ethos on this build. My objective, always, is to maintain a standard that will allow the viewer to get up really close and scrutinize the work. It isn’t that they won’t find flaws, errors or omissions, but they definitely won’t find any distracting sloppiness. So, the knee extensions are glued-in, and I think the run of their sweep is fair and consistent. I like the look of the raised bolsters around the hawse holes. Given how fragile the artists’ acrylic, raw sienna was when I applied it - I was su
  20. Thank you so much, Mark! I’ve been thinking quite a lot, lately, about the relative ease of constructing the model straight out of the box; with the number of hours that I have invested in these head structures, one would reasonably expect much more to show for it. In fact, it is absurd to me, at times, to consider that this is the single project that I have ever undertaken, that has consumed the greatest amount of focused concentration and effort. A plastic model. But there is no rhyme or reason to what the heart desires, and my heart wishes to transform this really
  21. These upper knee extensions have been a real challenge to fit, so far. A big part of the challenge is that I raised the upper knee a solid 1/32”, in order to buy a little extra space for the trailboard. That modification, though, did result in the need to add and shim with new plastic. One upgrade that I wanted to attempt was to raise the cheeks, surrounding the hawse holes, which I think I reasonably succeeded at. In this reverse-engineering environment, it isn’t perfect, but I think it is passably better than stock. Be well, and thank you for
  22. Here’s a small, but I think interesting realization I had over the weekend. Berain’s new ornamental scheme for L’Agreable also incorporates small winged fairies: This is interesting to me because even at this later date, winged fairies are still part of Berain’s design vocabulary. Skeptics of the authenticity of the mermaid pixies, on the amortisement, tend to view them as something that may have been present much earlier than 1689 - perhaps as part of the original ornamental scheme. I tend to think that their presence, here on L’Agre
  23. Every bit of this is just astonishing. I don’t often comment, here, but I have been watching with great interest. Your care and precision of execution are enviable, indeed!
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