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Hubac's Historian

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  1. Thank you very much, guys, for your kind compliments. It isn’t so much that Mermaids have legs above the knee, but that Berain was maybe suggesting musculature. Here is what Berain drew, originally: Now, if you compare that with this Nat Geo photo of Daryl Hannah in the wild, I think we can agree that Berain was on to something:
  2. Thank you very much, Shipman! The figures are carved from styrene, but don’t be too amazed; carving styrene is analogous to carving soap, for beginners. Carving these figures in wood would be a whole ‘nother story! Alternating grain makes carving wood much more finicky.
  3. Steady progress: One of the things that anatomy forces you to learn are ways in which to introduce the soft hollows of a body, with whatever tool can get into tight spaces. In the area of the belly and hips, I don’t have a gouge that’s small enough to get in, close to the side of the body, without the arm getting in the way. What I use is the hooked knife to scrape hollows on a bias, according to the same principle of cutting a cove moulding on a table saw, by running a fence at an angle to the blade. The scraping motion, at an angle, gently introduces a ho
  4. Work on the main deck continues: The gratings required a little extra attention to get them to lay in an even plane. The main mast plate finally secured the mast, perpendicular to the keel, but the extra thickness of the plate and coamings necessitated a little inletting of the deck furniture: Next, I will drill all of the nailing impressions, and then I will paint the deck. Work on the forward MerAngels is proceeding nicely: Thank you to everyone for your likes, your comments and fo
  5. Main deck engraving is complete. With the way the plank lines faired out, the extra port plank really won’t be noticeable at all because the narrowed ends will be covered over by the quarter and f’ocsle decks: What I really enjoyed about this particular scratch-built portion of the project is that arriving at a deck layout requires you to think like a shipwright. Although I may not be laying planks individually, my shift pattern still has to make sense. As will increasingly become the case, I took my cues from Lemineur’s St. Philippe, and I arranged for two belts of fi
  6. Finally - the head! In observing Druxey’s excellent carved works for his Speedwell project, these past few days, it dawned on me that definition of the brow and position of the nose were the key determinants for getting started. I began by digging down around the hairline, first with score cuts of the EXACTO, followed by pairing slices of the BEEBE. The idea is to approach at a steep enough angle that you creep towards the previously scribed brow line. Keep in mind that this head is just about the size of a pencil eraser head: Once the hairline had been cut dee
  7. Hey Dan - great tip, and very clearly explained. Yes, that would definitely do the trick. I’ll add “coamings” to my internal spellcheck. Hope all is well with you. All the best, Marc
  8. Aha! Well, that may explain why I couldn’t find a help topic, if I was calling the timber by the wrong name 🤦🏼‍♂️ Yes, the binding strakes, that are half-notched into the beams. Before any engraving happens, I’ll draw everything out - maybe I’ll do a double-pencil line thickness on one side, just to see.
  9. I was having the hardest time figuring out how to lay out this fore and aft tapered deck. I was stuck on the difficulty of representing the second king plank, between the central combings and the bulwarks; sure, I can divide each beam location equally, starting at the greatest breadth, by a given number of strakes - but, how do I consistently account for the slightly wider king plank, in the midst of all of that? I could not find any subject headings in the help sections of either MSW or SOS. I was just about to cop-out and layout a parallel-straked deck of uniform width planks,
  10. I’ve been designing the main deck and taking my cues from Lemineur’s St. Philippe monograph. The beam locations are taken and extrapolated from the junction of the hatches: The hatch-marked areas are the cut-outs for the hatches and companionway. To either side of the hatches will be the central pair of king planks, which are marked out. The hatch combing will be contiguous with the central king planks, but with radius’d corners at the forward end of the main hatch, where they will drop down to the main deck level. The main mast will have a mast
  11. The chest and arms: The forearm and hand were tricky. I had to do some delicate re-shaping of the forearm because the way I cut it in, initially, looked a little squiggly. As for the hand, there’s at least the suggestion of a thumb and clenched fingers. At this scale, that’s plenty good enough. The other arm is ill-defined, but the conceit is that most of the arm is tucked behind the crown ornament. Well, we are almost there! I’ll catch up on the other side, and then I’ll tackle the face.
  12. My guess as to the low rail, above the sorting pens Is that this rail has something to do with helping to break, or open the net into the pens. Just a guess, though. I’m still reading through the log, and it is just brilliant work!
  13. Yeah, I have to say, Vic, that the Tally Ho project has my full TV attention, these days - so good! Just a quick montage of the garland. So far, I have found this to be one of the most enjoyable segments of the carving. Bellflowers look difficult to do, but you really only need the EXACTO and the hooked knife. The whole process is digging-in, paring and scraping as described, before. Once the outlines of the flowers were really clear (digging-in and paring cuts with the BEEBE), I’d begin by parting the bell-bottom of each flower with a flaring bevel. Then, it’s a simple
  14. Most of the main deck beams are in. I’m still doing a little paint work on the side beams that frame the main deck companionway. As you can see, the ladders are painted and grunged-up with the walnut ink. I’ve applied the Van Dyke Brown oil over the tan base-coat of the beams. I wanted to give it a few days before applying a wipe-coat of grey wash. Once that’s all set, I’ll glue these pieces in and fair the beam tops. I’ve made a tight-fitting card template for the new main deck, that accounts for the differences between the port and starboard sides, as they relate to the
  15. You are absolutely correct, EJ - the plastic is much more forgiving for that reason, and also because you can can cut out and replace a portion of a carving, should you mess up. I’m hopeful that I will get the heads right, on these carvings, but if I screw up, I’ll just send them to the guillotine! Then, I’ll Franken-splice new heads onto their bodies; a little putty and paint and none are the wiser.
  16. Of the remaining elements to carve, the wings are set the furthest back. I decided that now was the best time to create a clean separation between the head and wings. Certainly, drilling into these areas with the smallest bits I have makes it easier to clear the waste. Initially, I use the heal of my EXACTO blade to drag backwards and connect the drill holes. There are no substitutes, here, for care and patience. Eventually, you will dig a channel deep and wide enough to come in with the tip of your hooked knife to make forward-pushing, shaving cuts until you get to th
  17. That planking job is outstanding, EJ! Your skills improve exponentially with each build!
  18. Well, Mark, I rarely have any good Scotch in the house, as that habit would quickly become very expensive. When I do, I really love sherry cask finished Glenmorangie Lasanta. Mostly, though, I keep what I like to call maintenance Scotch blends like Dewars in the house, that are highly drinkable, not overly expensive, and equally inspirational. Also - never underestimate a good Irish whiskey! There are many affordable labels to choose from. Thank you, Henry! This project simply would not be happening without your help. Your hull and part donations made the hull expansion possib
  19. Thank you both very much! I will definitely be taking that approach when I have a chance to work in a larger scale. That will be when - despite our means to accommodate it, I begin my true MAGNUM OPUS of the fully framed, 1670 Soleil Royal in 1:48 scale or bigger!! - and, my first wife divorces me... And, then, I will need the big, loving eyes of Soleil Royal’s lady/hippocampus figurehead to carry me through to the glorious completion of the project. I can see those eyes now; gilded orbs of trust and un-relenting support. Passion knows no bound
  20. Hi Mark, Unusually, I’m at a loss for words. However, I was looking at my favorite model of La Belle on Pinterest, by Olivier Gatine, when I saw the following picture: This picture reminded me of your earlier discussion, concerning intersecting mouldings from stern gallery to stern edge. I really don’t know what to say about this picture, other than it is an interesting illustration of the problem. Much as yourself, that Olivier Gatine is a sharp executioner of the details. ATB, Marc
  21. I can appreciate your approach, David. That makes a lot of sense. What I do is an artifact of my furniture-making days at Steinway; the confluence of a clear design idea and the availability of prime material would present themselves, yet I may not have a fully developed idea of the whole ornamental program. Despite that, time was of the essence, so I’d just get busy making the piece, while leaving sufficient material allowances for the carvings. I’d just allow my subconscious to work on the problem, and eventually I’d have a unified ornamental scheme hit me like a bolt of light
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