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DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

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  1. In preparation for installing the main mast shrouds, the main mast was pinned and glued into place. The plumb bob jig was used to make sure it is lined up with the foremast, vertical but with about 3-4 degrees rear rake angle. More nailheads were painted onto the tops, topmast cheeks and topgallant cheeks. After the glue for the mast started to get firm, the mast cover was let slip down the mast and glued to the deck. The mast cover is what covers the mast wedges that anchor into position in the upper deck. Main mast top Main topmast top Main topmast cheeks Mizzenmast top Mizzen topmast cheeks Foremast top Fore topmast top and cheeks Main mast wedge cover at the base of the base of the mast on upper deck
  2. Port side chainplates are complete for the foremast shrouds. Note that the dog bone piece of each chainplate has to be resized so that the anchoring part at the bottom rests on the wale. Small round jawed need nose pliers are used to reform some of the dog bones to make them shorter as necessary. The loose chainplates that appear out of aligniment at this point will pull taut once the shrouds are installed. That way each chainplate will be aligned perfectly with the axis of each shroud respectively. It was tricky relocating the chainplates and chainwales such that nothing will interfere with the line of sight of any of the guns. However, relocating the chainwales is a more accurate feature for many ships of the early 1600's. Mantua's La Couronne is built this way, but Corel's is not. I prefer the Corel stern design over Mantua's because the height is more realistic and not derived from an artist's woodcut or painting, which often tends to romanticize the sheer curvature and stern gallery height to an impractical extreme.
  3. Amati chainplate assemblies will be used instead of the Corel ones. Some of the chainplate assemblies were made and the foremast chainwales were marked using a temporary false shroud line. Notches were cut in the chainwales with a Dremel tool and cutting wheel, then filed to final depth and shape to accept the chainplates on both sides of the hull for the foremast. The chainplate assembles were blackened in a glass bowl, then small needle nose pliers are used to bend the chainplate parts to place the deadeye in the correct angle at the top, and form to fit the wale on the hull at the bottom. The ship hull was tipped in its side to allow me to work easier. Two back pins were used to nail the bottom of the chain plate to the wale and hull. The upper pin was installed first, being held with pliers in my left had while a tack hammer was used to tap the pin into the hull with my right hand. The final taps were made with the jaws of the pliers touch the pin head to set the pin all the way in. Since all this fitting and working rubbed some of the blackening off the chainplates, they were painted black with a small brush once they were installed. More chainplate assemblies need to be prepared and installed next, after which a strip of walnut will be used to cover the the outboard edge of the chainwales.
  4. Thanks OC! The foremast was glued in place in the forecastle. The mast alignment jig was used to make sure it was vertical. A 6" long liquid carpenter's level was used to make sure that the hull was perfectly level. A piece of a drill bit was used as a pin for the mast, but before the drill bit was broken to obtain the shank for the pin, the bit was inserted into the hole drilled into the bottom of the foremast. The angle of the drill bit in the mast was checked by turning the mast in my fingers with the tip of the bot on the table. Any misalignment was corrected and the bit was glued temporarily into the end of the mast. The mast itself was then used to drill the hole in the upper deck (which is below the forecastle deck) using the bit while ensuring the mast was vertical. Certainly there are easier ways to step the mast into place, but this was quick, and after applying PVA glue to the bottom of the mast, the pin ensured that the alignment of the mast was good. A final check was made with the alignment jig, and the lowest section of the foremast lined up perfectly with the string of the plumb bob. Using thin pieces of shaved wood, chocks were added to the surface of the bowsprit behind the collars for the blocks installed earlier. This was a small detail, but every detail counts when the model is finished. All the 7mm deadeyes were stained with Danish Oil (Walnut). A couple of the 7mm deadeyes and chain plates were made as a start to preparing the chainwales for rigging of the shrouds. The new chain plate sets from Model Expo were used instead of the simplified ones supplied by Corel in the kit. The brass wire surrounding the deadeye was round, and this portion of the wire was straightened, then reshaped into the triangle to hold the 7mm triangular deadeye reshaped earlier. The lower chain plate double eyed link and the copper flat plate were assembled onto the upper chain which holds the deadeye. Before the wood deadeye was inserted and the wire closed around it, the chain plate assembly was blackened with brass blackening solution. At the bottom of the deadeye, the ends of the wire are butted, but but soldered. I know it's a better practice to solder the connection, but the break in the wire is too close to the wood in this design, and soldering would char the wood, and leave a silver shiny spot that requires painting later. The wire appears to be stiff enough to take the stress of the shroud tension without bending the deadeye loop open. The open wire joint will be hidden fairly well between the deadeye and the chainwale, and any gap can be filled with a touch of glue and paint.
  5. Vincenzo Lusci's book Costruiamo insieme il modello de La Couronne, Vascello francese del 1636, states: "Nella Couronne peraltro le bigotte dovrebbero essere triangoleggianti (bigotte a cuore)." "In Couronne, however, the blocks (deadeyes) should be triangular (heart shaped blocks?)." This is not the first time I have seen references to early 17th century deadeyes being triangular as opposed to circular in shape. The deadeyes on the DeAgostini model of HMS Sovereign of the Seas are triangular. (the model which the kit is based on, not the ship created using the kit). Since La Couronne is an early early 17th century vessel, it made sense to make the deadeye shapes using this older shape than the round deadeyes provided in the kit. So, based on this information, I decided to reshape all the deadeyes in the kit to triangular. This will lend an older appearance to the vessel, setting it apart from later ships build in the 1650's. It also means I have to file each of the 180 deadeyes, since no one I know makes triangular commercially. Tonight I got through 74 of them. All 72 of the 7mm deadeyes, and two of the 3mm deadeyes (very tiny!) were reshaped. New chain plates were purchased from Model Expo to replace the kit ones. This is because the kit chain plates were made of wire and looked cheap, and the new ones needed to be a bit longer due to the changes made when I moved the channels down below the upper gun deck. They needed to be a few millimeters long in order to reach their attachment points on the wale located below the lower gun deck. The top portions of the new chain plates will be reshaped to the new triangular shape to accommodate the deadeyes. Examples of triangular deadeyes on ORIGINAL DeAgostini HMS Sovereign of the Seas.
  6. Here are a bunch of pictures to show the progress so far. An alignment jig was made with some wood and a plumb bob to be used later in aligning the masts as they get assembled, and to check alignment as the shrouds and stays are added. An 8" long level is used to align the ship model to a level position before using the jig to set the masts at the correct angle. A protractor may be added to the jig later to set mast rake angles. However, there is little to no information on the proper mast rake angles for ships this old.
  7. More progress.... A couple more blocks were attached to the sprit, then more blocks were added to the topmast tops. Two lift line blocks and the main topmast stay line block were attached to the fore topmast crosstrees and top. Then, two lift line blocks were attached to the crosstrees on the main topmast. Since the standing rigging basically begins at the front and proceeds aft, It's time to install the bowsprit and make the gammoning to secure it to the beakshead. The bowsprit was pegged and glued to the forepeak deck. Now, for the gammoning. Using the directions in R.C. Anderson's book, I decided to challenge myself to making the eyesplice on the end of the 0.8mm diameter gammoning line. After about 30 minutes, it was done and it looked great. Not bad for an old sailor who hasn't held a marlin spike for 36 years! Taking the line and passing it over the the top of the bowsprit and feeding it down through the eye on the end of the line, the gammon line was passed down through the beakshead, through the slot and up and around the bowsprit. A total of nine passes were made before the slot in the beakshead was full of line. The gammon line starts at the rear most end of the sprit and subsequent passes go over the sprit, moving in a forward direction. In the beakshead slot, the line passes are layered in the opposite direction, beginning at the front of the slot, with subsequent passes added, moving rearward. After nine wraps (your number may vary), the line passes a final time over the sprit, down, and forms a half hitch around the port side group of lines. Then the line is passed around the starboard line bundle and wrapped around both bundles, drawing them together. The number of wraps around the center of the gammon line bundle should be equal to the number of gammon line wraps around the sprit, in this case, nine wraps. The remaining is half hitched around the bundle, glued in place with watered down PVA glue, and the excess line cut off. The gammoning should be nearly vertical, but with older ships like this, it may angle upward to the rear. To keep the gammoning from sliding down the sprit, cleats (stops) are attached to the sprit behind the line bundle. Usually five are arranged in a semi-circle around the top of the sprit. You may need to attach the cleats before wrapping the gammoning to keep the cord from moving around, but I didn't have to in this case. The cleats were cut and shaped from 2mm x 2mm cherry wood and glued onto the sprit with CA glue.
  8. I am new to wooden sailing ship modeling, but have the advantage of having skilled hands from various other building hobbies. Because of this, I got ambitious and am buklding a bashed version of Corel's La Couronne. However, I do not think this is the ideal choice for most beginners. La Couronne Build Log I think one of the best models for new builders is Artisania Latinia's San Francisco II Spanish galleon. The latest version of this model has two layers of planking on the bulkheads, not one as in the previous version, which makes it far easier to get a smooth hull without sharp bends in curvature at the bulkheads or flat areas between the bulkheads. The rigging is detailed enough for all basic sail operation, so it's a great education for the new builder for all the lines found on most square riggers. The level of complexity on the hull is not too daunting, but you can easily add more scratch built details, like see-through glass windows on the gallery for extra detail instead of the fake red painted glass, traditionally used on models to symbolize glass instead of create a facsimile of it. You may want to scratch build the lower decks and buy extra cannons and carriages to display all the gun with the ports open. Or, you may want to add trenails to the decks and iron nail head on the hull for extra detail. The choice is up to you. The kit already strikes a perfect balance between simple construction and baroque level of details. Adding a bit more than what the kit asks for just makes it better. I liked the San Francisco II so much that I bought one to build later as an easy project, just because I love galleons. It's not too expensive, and a great buy for what you get. You can buy it for $137.19 USD on Amazon. The instructions are really good. They are provided on CD, and you can print them if you like. The plans for the model are scaled 1:1, so that makes measuring error free, no conversions, and they are clear and easy to follow. I still recommend buying reference books on ship rigging so you can learn the function and details of all the lines. Even with a model as simple as this one, research is still very important, and if you want to add custom details, absolutely essential. Hey Y.T.! I really like how well your SF2 version 1 hull came out. That wood looks fantastic!
  9. Blocks were attached to the masts for the stays. After a while, I found that for stropping blocks, tying a traditional whipping to secure the line around the block, even on blocks as small as 4mm. They stay tighter than just winding thread around the line and hoping the glue will be strong enough to hold it in place.
  10. More preparation for rigging, drilling and carving the sheaves in the topmasts and top-gallant masts. Then, installed blocks for halyards which, with blocks, haul the ties for supporting the mizzen topmast yard and bowsprit topsail yard. The diagram from R.C. Anderson's book shows how that sheaves appear in the hounds of the topmasts and top-gallant masts. A tie line is attached to the yard, runs up and through a sheave, back down to a fiddle block. This fiddle block, combined with another block that is secured to the rearmost side of the lower mast top and a halyard line, are used to haul the tie and raise or lower the yardarm. The lower 4 mm blocks for each tie were rigged to a small brass laser etched eye-bolt, one for the mizzen mast and one for the bowsprit topmast. The 0.25 mm line which passes around each block is seized with 0.08 mm brown thread, then PVA glue thinned with water is applied. A heat gun or hair dryer is useful in drying the glue quickly. In each case, the shank of the brass eye-bolt is inserted through a hold in the top, then the end is turned over and passed into a second hole in from the bottom surface of the top. Turn nailing this thin and flexible shank and gluing it in place ensure that it will be a strong connection. For the bowsprit top, wood was installed which forms the rectangular hole in the center.
  11. The pendants for the lift lines were made. They were attached with eyebolts to the crosstrees on the main and mizzen masts. The pendants are served like the ones made previously for the foremast. The lift pendants for the topmasts are next.
  12. After a long delay and much thought, it's time to get working on the ship model again. The block pendants and the eyebolts that attach them to the tops for various lines were made for the foremast top. First, the blocks had to be prepared. The blocks from the kit come with sharp edges and needed to be reshaped into more rounded and realistic shapes by rounding the sharp edges off with the Block Buster from ModelExpo, which is basically a plastic cup with lid that has 100 grit sandpaper on the inside surfaces. You put the blocks in, attach the shaft for the internal flapper of the Block Buster to a portable drill, and spin the flapper inside the cup, which you hold with your other hand. It's like a rock polishing tumbler for blocks. After spinning the flapper at slow to moderate speed for about 30 seconds, you open the cup and dump out your nicely reshaped blocks and a bit of sawdust. The blocks were then stained with a red-brown stain to give them a rich color. The pendants were made by taking a length of 0.045" dark brown line and gluing it around the block on one end and feeding the other through a blackened laser etched eyebolt. PVA glue was used to hold the loop of line together at the center, and a cheap Chinese serving jig was used to wrap the pendant with 0.008" diameter dark brown line. The serving was tied at the block end with an overhand knot secured with a touch of PVA glue, then more PVA was applied to the line of the pendant. The jig was then used to slowly rotate the pendant which keeping tension on the serving line with your other hand. When the serving approached the eye of the eyebolt, it was secured with a simple reverse turn of the line, then the end was trimmed off. The glue holds the line assembly together. A total of five pendants were made. The two in front included an eyebolts attached to the ends of 4mm blocks, and are for the foremast's course sail yardarm lift lines. Two at the rear of the top are 5mm blocks for the hoist tackle lines used for general lifting and hoisting the pinnace off it's cradle. The fifth is for the block that the main topmast stay passes through and is attached to the rear of the top. The shafts of the eyebolts were CA glued into hand drilled holes. For the eyebolts attached to the crosstrees, the shafts of the eyebolts were bent in outboard direction like a turn nail for extra strength. The tip of a razor knife was used to cut a tint slot into the top of the crosstrees to accept each bent over portion of the eyebolt, so they would not protrude above the surface of the wood. The top itself will glued to the trestle tree after all blocks and pendants for rigging in the area of the of have been installed. This will take some thought, since the Corel model was not meant to include sails, and more eyebolts and blocks may have to installed than the instructions call for, especially if some more lines and details are added to the model. A couple errors had to be corrected for the fore and main fiferails. The holes to simulate the sheaves in the fore fiferail needed improvement. A square needle file was used to open and shape the hole, and a small flat piece of wood was glued into the holes to divide them into two holes, simulating two sheaves in each side. The tops of the vertical members for both fore and main fiferails were cut too short to tie lines to easily so more wood was added to form the bitts on top. The holes in the fore knight are a bit sloppy, but at this scale, they won't be that noticeable once the lined for the tackles for the yard ties are installed. The next ship will be easier since it's larger.
  13. I have not seen an Italian translation of the Corel lists. My kit had English instructions for the instruction steps, though. What is the nature of the parts list problem? The parts are shown on the drawings and schematics. Use the numbers and identify the types of wood in Italian and make a list of them in English. I mentioned previously that ANY translation would not match the terminology we use in English. In order to learn the names of the parts of the ship, you need a book like the one I linked above. Without it, you will find it extremely difficult to understand instructions, even in English. I don't think I could have built this kit WITHOUT the reading the book once through, then constantly referencing it to check if the Corel instructions are correct for a 1630's ship. The book combined with the schematics ARE the instructions. The parts list only tells you what size and type of wood to use. Also, there are ALWAYS errors in the instructions. Example: Look at the belaying pins located on the rails on either side of the bridge deck. Notice that the locations of the pins in the top view to NOT match the precise locations in the side view? And if you think the Corel instructions are poor, there are kits out there that are a LOT worse. The model companies ASSUME that you have experience building wooden ship models and know some things about rigging. It's tough to start fresh with one of these. I know. La Couronne is my FIRST wooden model ship. Bottom line (no pun intended): you NEED to know the names and functions of the rigging and structural features of a ship like this in order to build it. THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO READING AND RESEARCH. It's actually a MAJOR part of the experience of building the model. 80% of building this ship is planning, reading and learning the features. Only 20% is actually cutting, shaping, fitting and painting. That's why these things take years to complete properly.
  14. Hi Mike, Like you, I have to learn the names of all the basic lines on a galleon for both standing rigging and running rigging. For help in understanding, you will need a copy of The Rigging of Ships: in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast, 1600-1720 by R.C. Anderson. You will have to pick out the bits of information that apply to "foreign" (non-English) vessels from the early 17th century and apply them to La Couronne. Gaps in the information you will have to fill in from other sources, but if you see options, choose Dutch style features since La Couronne was primarily Dutch in design. 1) Catharpins are a web of lines and blocks between the shrouds, locate under the tops on the mainmast and foremast. They prevent the shrouds from being pulled in an outboard direction by the futtuckshrouds. La Couronne probably did not have these lines. 2) Jeers are sets of blocks and tackles that hoist the yardarms and hold them up. The lines that support the yardarms are called ties. In old ships, the blocks and tackles that pull the ties and hoise the yard arms up are located near the deck. In later ships, they are located up high, just under the tops, and these are called jeers. The arrangement of the ties for the yardarms are of the older style, so La Couronne does not have jeers. 3) the bowlines are lines attached to the our edges (leech) of a sqaure sail. They extend toward the bow and are used to pull the edge of the sail forward to assist turning the sail when changing the angle of the yardarms, when tacking for example. These will be on La Couronne. Typically they start at the leech of the sail and extend down and forward, passing through a hole in the bulwark for the main course sail. 4) On the mizzenmast, the second section of the mast up from the deck is called the mizzen topmast. Stays are classified as standing rigging. That is, they are lines that support the masts as opposed to runing rigging, which are lines that are used to operate the yards and sails. A mizzen topmast stay run from the top of the mizzen topmast in the forward direction, and ends in a variety of places depending on the ship. On La Couronne, this line has a block at the end, and the line that goes through this block is tied off in two locations, one at a block and tackle near the deck right in front of the mizzenmast, and the other ends in a complex crows foot of expanding line segments and blocks tied to the rearmost shroud for the main mast. It's easier to draw picture than to explain. Refer to photos of EJ-L's La Couronne model. 5) Topmast stays are stays that support the top end of any topmast section in the forward direction, whether it be on the fore, main, or mizzen masts. 6) A Backstay is a stay that extends from a mast and travels in the rear directions, offering support to the mast from the rear. At the end of the bowsprit on La Couronne is a small mast called the sprit topmast. This mast holds the sprit topsail which is used for assitsing in turning the ship. The backstay for that mast goes from the top of that mast down and rearward, offering support from the rear. Refer to rigging pictures for what it is tied to. Hope that helps. Learn your basic rigging terms for each part of the ship before assembling it and you will be talking like a sailor in no time. Buy this: The Rigging of Ships: in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast
  15. Hi Mike, I am just over halfway through building Corel's La Couronne, and had to learn the Italian terms by simple repetition. It's most important to translate the names of the types of wood so you use the right piece of wood by dimension and the right color. The names of the parts are less important since you have drawings that show you where they are by number and what they look like. Google Translate works pretty well, although the names you get in English will not match up to the names we usually associate with the items in English. Often the names are descriptive and can provide a clue as to what item they are referring to. If you have any specific questions, drop me a note. For my build, lots of changes will be made to the constructions features of the hull and the rigging which are different than the instructons, or add more details to the build. EJ_L has a wonderful build of this ship already on this forum. My build log is at: La Couronne.
  16. Regardings kits: Sometimes the parts in the kit are satisfactory. Some of the fittings and most of the wood was used in La Couronne. Where a kits typically falls short is detail. Replacing all the materials in a kit is hugely expensive, so a balance has to be truck to keep costs low. It also depends on your skill level, knowledge of wooden ship construction, how much you want to spend on tools, books, and materials, how much research you want to do to correct kit features that are known to be inauthentic, and how much patience you have. All of these contribute to the final appearance of the model, and they vary widely from person to person. If you put your best effort into the project, the results will always make you happy. 😁 Attached is an Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of all the material costs for the kit, tools, research books and extra materials used to build La Couronne. The total cost of the entire ship project is currently $2293.64. So far, the cost of DeAgostini's HMS Sovereign of the Seas is $1574.04, and I haven't even started construction yet! 😲 La Couronne Model Constructon Expenses.xlsx
  17. The main and mizzen channels were copied in major dimensions from the kit parts in cherry wood, and attached to the hull with CA glued. Before coating them with spray varnish, a thin mechanical pencil was used to draw the lines separating the planks that make up each channel to simulate the seams. More details added = better model. Since the shroud locations were not altered from the original kit design, the notches for the mizzen channel kit parts were transferred to the new parts. The shrouds for the main and fore masts will be relocated to new positions based on the new cannon port layout to avoid interference.
  18. FINALLY! All the cannons and their port lids are finished. Now as long as I can work on the rigging without snagging them... Next are the main mast and mizzen mast channels.
  19. Three of the lower deck cannons and lids were completed on each side because they would be too difficult to install once the channels are in place. Seams for the timbers that make up the channels for the foremast were simply penciled in on both sides of each channel and varnished over to lock in the markings. The forward channels were glued to the hull atop the wale. The location of the shrouds for the foremast and their deadeyes and chain wales can now be determined, which will present a design challenge so as not to block any of the gun ports. Notches for the lower deadeyes will be cut, and other fittings like brackets on the channels will then be fitted.

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