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La Renommèe by Landlubber Mike - Euromodel - Scale 1:70


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Thanks guys, really appreciate it.  I'll go with gradual tapering.  It seems to me a pronounced step like that would have less structural integrity than a tapering to the front part of the stem too.

 

Mark, I'm pretty sure that this kit is not intended to be the French Renommee that's in the Ancre monographs.  The ship is the same as one of the plates in A.F. Chapman's Architectura.  It's listed in his section on "Privateers" and not in the section of "Several Kinds of Vessels used by Different Nations" - which interestingly, includes one Swedish pleasure boat.  It also looks very much like a larger version of Chapman's Venus, which was of the Swedish Bellona class.  What is interesting is that zu Mondfeld has a picture of that exact stern and labels it a Swedish privateer of 1760.  Given that the Architectura was published in 1768, zu Mondfeld seems closest to what kind of ship that was.  Unfortunately, I can't seem to determine how zu Mondfeld arrived to that.

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Interesting points, Mike.  I agree on it not being French but I'll just shrug my shoulders as to which nation built it.   Chapman seems to be a pretty good source and point of reference so go with that. 

 

I'm thinking zu Mondfeld used Chapman from what you see. He seems to have copied a lot of sources (and even then a few things are wrong) for his book.  As reference works, i take his as more of an "overview" than something "definitve" because of the lack of references.  Having said that.... it's on my shelf and frequently referenced if for nothing else than to give my self a clue and refresh the memory.  IOW, a starting point, not a destination.

 

As for the bow, the more I look at it, the more it looks like kit designer's prerogative to make the design and building of the model easier.   

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I agree about zu Mondfeld as being a good overview book.  But it’s odd that he listed the ship’s stern as being the Swedish privateer “Jupiter” from 1760.  If he looked at Chapman’s works, I can see him saying it’s a privateer (where it’s listed in Architectura) and Swedish given Chapman’s background.  And I can see the name Jupiter from the figurehead.  But 1760?  I doubt he made up a date, but who knows?  It’s almost like he knew the ship -otherwise I would think it would be odd to pick that particular ship of all the other ships out there.

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Am I  reading the comments corect  - about the difference in the width of the top of the  stem compared to the bottom where it merges into the keel,  the rudder post does a similar thing,  I guess it was constructed this way to keep a natural  tapering for streamlining yet still maintain some  strength at the keel.

 

OC.

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OC,Essentially that's correct.  The stem was tapered not only wide at the top and narrower at the bottom but narrower at the front and thicker at the aft end.  Part 7 in Mike's drawing shows this. 

 

Note that on my ship, Licorne was narrower at the top and wider at the bottom.  Seems the French tested and tried a lot of different things in their quest for a better design.   

One would need to look at the keel drawing also as they were tapered.. some ship aft only, others fore and aft.    Don't get me started on the masting....I'm still sorting that out.  But again, appears to have been an experiment. 

 

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made some good progress over the last week or so.  Nothing particularly interesting, but I've installed all bulkheads except for the last, added blocking for the masts, and added some filler blocks at the stem.  I also epoxied in some nuts into the keel to take the screws for the pedestals when I finish this build in 10 years :huh:  I forgot how long all this prep work takes!

 

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So far so good.  I did have to open up the slots in the deck pieces a bit to accommodate the bulkhead tops.  When I had dry fitted the bulkheads and decks as a test early on, everything seemed to fit ok.  I think after squaring up the bulkheads, adding the stem and keel, etc., that things shifted a bit and so the deck slots needed slight adjustments.  Things probably fit on the dry fitting because there was a little flex with the parts.  When glued however, particularly with the bracers in between the bulkheads, things were locked in.  Some people have seen issues with the slots not lining up with the plans, and in some cases, being misaligned between the starboard and port sides.  Others have thought that some of the bulkheads were not properly shaped.

 

I also had a very slight wave in the keel around bulkheads 8-10 which probably didn't help (part of the reason I wanted to install the stem and keel at this stage).  The upper part of the false keel around affected bulkheads leans about 1mm over to the port side.  I think this should be fine because at the stem and stern, and along the bottom of the keel, the keel is perfectly straight.  I'll just need to be mindful when fairing and planking the hull in that section.

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Figurehead

 

In my hull prep work, I cut out a portion of the first bulkhead and a bit of the false keel and filler blocks on either side to help seat the bowsprit.  I figure that rather than having the bowsprit sit on the gun deck, it would be a little more secure if it went through the gun deck and then the gun deck and planking could serve as a sort of anchor just like mast slot blocking on for the masts.  In doing so, I decided to test fit the figurehead and discovered a few problems.  

 

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As you can see, the figurehead doesn't sit squarely on the stem.  Even if I squared the figurehead's, uh, bottom, a bit (or filed down the stem) so that it would sit flush, the problem is that the figurehead still will sit too high on the stem for the bowsprit.  In the second picture, you can see the problem, even with the figurehead sitting at the front edge of the bowsprit.  I went back to the plans to see if perhaps the rake of the bowsprit as set by the false keel and stem (two parts of which matched perfectly) was off, but the rake was in the range of both the plans (oddly, plan 7 specifically says 29 degrees from the waterline when plan 17 shows 32 degrees) and Chapman's Architectura (which was about 31 degrees).  The false keel is around 31 degrees, so the problem is not with the false keel.

 

So given that the rake of the bowsprit as set by the false keel is correct, the figurehead needs to sit much lower, as the bowsprit should clear the top of the figurehead by around 6mm.  As you can see in Chapman's Architectura, the figurehead pretty much sits way back on the stem against the curly piece of the stem, and the line of the curly piece to the top of the figurehead is roughly parallel to the line of the bowsprit.

 

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Interestingly, in the few pictures I've found of others working on the kit, it seems as if the builders chose to increase the rake of the bowsprit to accommodate the figurehead.  I think I'm going to stick with the current rake, and instead figure out what to do with the figurehead itself and the stem.  For this stage of the build, I just needed to ensure that the rake of the bowsprit and seating was set up correctly, so I don't have to make any decisions at this point.  My guess is that I will at some point have to lower the seat on the stem.  It might come down to carving a new figurehead too if I can't modify the kit figurehead to sit squarely on the stem.  

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Hi Mike,

 

I think your instinct to lower the seat for the figurehead is the correct approach.  If the angle of the bowsprit is within range, and the scrolled end of head rails terminates where it is supposed to beneath the bowsprit - then lowering the seating of the figurehead shouldn’t interfere with anything else.

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Mike:

I have looked over your log so far. You are doing good work.

 

On the figurehead, I think you decision is the best solution. Changing the rake of the bowsprit would harm the model's finished appearance. The necessary change to the height of the figurehead would be a much better solution. 

 

Russ

 

 

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Thanks very much Hubac and Russ.  Glad to get confirmation from others!

 

Chris, I think that might be on the cards.  I need to start practicing though.  It’s actually a more complicated figurehead in that the Zeus figure is fronted by an eagle with an outstretched wing, that I think Zeus is holding onto.  Might be a little tricky but possibly not too bad with the cast figurehead as a model. 

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Hi Mike,

 

It's nice to see you building this beautiful frigate, I too love the lines of this particular model, you're off to a good start my friend, she's shaping up nicely:)

I really enjoyed reading your discussion on establishing the identity of this ship, excellent research work B)

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Aldo!  Thanks for looking in my friend.  It's a really beautiful subject, and Euromodel makes a nice kit.  Plenty of complexity and optionality from Euromodel to help me learn new skills.  It, along with the other two models I'm working on should get me to the point where I can start trying scratch builds.  I see you mothballed your Pegasus, are you going to take it up again?  I'm at the point where I am going to start scratch building some of the decorative elements of the ship.  I wanted a little more experience before doing so, and started the Charles Morgan.  Then I needed a break from the Morgan so started the Renommee.  I ran into stages of burnout with the Badger (some lasting six months) that I found bouncing between builds helps keep my interest going.

 

Nils, thanks very much and thank you for looking in.  It's a beautiful subject, and Euromodel makes a very nice kit that allows you to add as many details as you would like, so it's been fun to work on.  I was originally thinking of selling it last year to move to scratch building, but I've already gained valuable experience with this kit that I'm glad I'm building it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After a family vacation and being busy with work the past few weeks, I haven't had as much time on the build.  I did make some progress, including gluing down the gun deck templates and making a little more headway on the hull fairing.  As a break, I also glued up the grating strips to begin making the hatches and other grating items.

 

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Yes, a messy shipyard!

 

At this stage I've been working on fairing the bulkheads and filler blocks.  This stage takes a long longer than one would think, but I've learned that it's better to take time now, rather than have to later do a lot of filling and sanding.  I had a slight wave in my false keel, which was largely straightened after attaching the stem and keel.  Unfortunately, the top of the false keel lists slightly by about 1-2mm to the port side between bulkheads 8 and 11.  I'm a bit annoyed because I spent a lot of time dry fitting, using square blocks, spacers, etc. to make sure that the bulkheads were square and perpendicular, but it looks like I couldn't fully get the keel fully straightened at that section.  This resulted in the tops of bulkheads 8-11 listing slightly over to port, which in turn required a bit of opening up the gun deck template slots and the port template being slightly askew at the stern (still scratching my head on that one).

 

These are all small deviations which I am fixing by adding extra material on the starboard bulkheads, and will sand a bit off the port bulkheads.  In the end, I'm expecting these end up being non issues, especially after two layers of hull planking, etc.  I keep thinking back to my Pegasus build, where Amati used MDF that was perfectly flat and everything fit like a glove.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Slowly making some progress.  Finally got the bulkheads and filler blocks faired and started with the first planking.  First three planks starting from the keel are in:

 

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So far so good.  Lots of curves on this ship.  There's a lot going on with the stern, so I spent quite a bit of time going over the plans and how the cast metal parts are supposed to fit together.  The interesting thing about the Euromodel plans is that they will be true to the Chapman plans in some drawings and simplified (e.g., straight, less curvatures) in others - sometimes on the same sheet.  So, you have to be mindful of that when building.  The cast metal pieces for the stern are pretty good, but in some cases like the row of stern windows fronting the balcony, follow the more simplified square approach, whereas the Chapman plans show more curves intended that follow the curvatures of the decks and balcony.  As is often said with respect to these Euromodel kits, they are quasi scratch kits that are intended allow a builder plenty of latitude to build the model as simple or as detailed as one would like.

 

I think I'm going to challenge myself and scratch build some or all of the cast metal pieces for the stern.  I'd like to follow the Chapman plans as much as possible, and I think the cast metal parts deviate in certain respects.  For example, there are windows at the lower drop area of the quarter galleries and between the balcony and counter/chase ports - but the cast metal parts have these filled in.  Building them from scratch would probably take close to the same amount of time as opening these and other windows up.  Along with potentially not doing a clean job opening the windows up, I worry that the seams where the cast metal and wood parts meet would need to be filled, which sometimes could be a hard thing to do.  Then of course, there is the need to paint the cast metal parts, and I'm not that great when it comes to detailed painting.  I just think that I can achieve a crisper finish scratching these items than I can from working with the cast metal parts.  The good news is that the parts and plans give a very good model for me to base my work on.  I'll try to detail some of the changes from the kit in future posts.

 

 

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Some more progress - got the first seven strakes of first planking on, starting from the keel up.  

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I also finished the upper stem blocks.  These took a little time because I wanted to make sure that not only would they provide support for the planking, but that they would also help keep the bowsprit in alignment.  Because the false keel is about 5.5mm in thickness but the bowsprit is around 8.5mm, I added some spacers to the blocks (hard to see in the pictures), with the correct bowsprit angle built in.  So, everything now fits like a glove and I won't have to worry about the bowsprit alignment.

 

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For folks building the kit, the cast metal pieces are pretty close to the Chapman plans (the kit plans shown below are exact replicas from Chapman).  There are some differences though, which people should be aware of.  For example, the upper tier of lights is the right dimension, but the kit is simplified in having a rectangular row, rather than slight curves as in the plans.  The gallery balcony railing is pretty close.  The quarter gallery lights are pretty much spot on.

 

What is a little off is the lower tier of lights/upper counter area, the wrap around section that goes to the quarter galleries, and the tafferel - all of which are smaller than the plans suggest:

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They aren't off by much, but it's something to be on the lookout for.  My guess is that the tafferal can be bent outwards to widen it a bit at the sides.  What is tougher is the fact that the lower lights section of the stern is not as wide or tall as the plans.  I'm not sure the reason, but maybe it was intended to simplify things for the builder a bit.  It looks like builders have taken all types of approaches to make the cast parts work, since the plans and parts don't match up precisely.

 

In particular, I think that the lower half of the quarter gallery should extend further out as in the picture below.  I think you could use the cast part, but my guess from the Chapman plans is that one would need to add some filler under the cast metal piece to accomplish this.

 

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So, I think I'm going to try scratch building the stern as much as possible.  It's complicated, and has taken me a lot of time to work through, but I think in the end I'll be a little happier.  Plus, I won't have to try to fill in caps between the cast metal pieces, open up the window panes, etc.

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One question for everyone.  The stern is sort of a square-tuck stern, and not a round tuck as with others.  I think the last bulkhead provides the lower circular shape of the counter, but at the same time, I'm wondering if the bulkhead needs to be faired in order to accommodate the end of the planking runs into it.  If faired though, it seems like the counter shape will change.  Hopefully these pictures show what I'm trying to describe (it's the lower edge of this piece that the planking is suppose to terminate at:

 

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Anyone else encounter this issue?  I'm trying to figure out whether I should fair the last bulkhead, or build it up a bit so that I can fair it to the edge the original bulkhead so that the end of the planks have something to sit on.

 

Thanks in advance!

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I’m not entirely sure if I understand what you are grappling with, here Mike, but with a square tuck stern, it is adviseable to plank the transom and counter first, so that your hull planking can overlay the transom/counter plank ends, and be cut flush with their outboard surface.

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Hi Mike - I understand what you are saying. From the position of the 2 outer supports I would be tempted to maybe add some 3mm basswood strips to the bottom edge & fair them at an angle to match the run of the planking. How does it look when laying a plank across the bulkheads forward of the transom? With the forward bulkheads faired the planks should show a smooth curve up to the transom. Just speculation on my part since I don`t have this kit to compare. Any thoughts from Pete? With this being a double planked hull, I think the first planking should be done before planking the transom.

 

Mark 

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Hi Hubac, thanks for looking in.  It's always harder to describe, but maybe this picture helps:

 

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If you look at the circled area, you can see that the last bulkhead is not faired, with barely any area to glue the plank to.  To fair it will change the orientation of the planking considerably to a sharper upward angle.  I'll also likely have to fair the bulkhead or two immediately preceding it to ensure a continuous curve.  

 

Fairing the last bulkhead will also change the shape of the lower part of the counter shown in yellow below:

 

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My guess is that highlighted area will flatten out a bit.  But maybe that's ok?  Looking again at the plans, seems like the same area is a bit flatter than what the lower part of the bulkhead is shaped like from the picture above:

 

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Does that all make sense?  I guess I'm just trying to figure out whether to fair the bottom edge of that bulkhead - which will provide better support for the planking yet change the shape of the bottom edge of the bulkhead/counter -- or not fair it, but find some way of adding a better planking surface (for example, adding a thick strip to the bottom of the bulkhead and then fairing it to the aft line of the original bulkhead.

 

Sorry for the confusing question.  Hope this makes sense.

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Aaah, now I see!  The eyeball test says that’s too short a span to fair the bulkhead - for the sake of glue surface - and to also have a fair run of planking to the transom;  you would definitely have to fair the two preceding frames, IMO.  If you didn’t do so, I strongly suspect that that would result in an abrupt and awkward rise of the planking to meet the transom.  I would, instead, add material to the bulkhead and fill the gap.  

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28 minutes ago, marktiedens said:

Hi Mike - I understand what you are saying. From the position of the 2 outer supports I would be tempted to maybe add some 3mm basswood strips to the bottom edge & fair them at an angle to match the run of the planking. How does it look when laying a plank across the bulkheads forward of the transom? With the forward bulkheads faired the planks should show a smooth curve up to the transom. Just speculation on my part since I don`t have this kit to compare. Any thoughts from Pete? With this being a double planked hull, I think the first planking should be done before planking the transom.

 

Mark 

 

Hi Mark, your post came in as I was writing the one above.  I think you're right if you take a look at my pictures.  I see Hubac just wrote in too, and seems to be of a similar opinion.  I did reach out to Pete, but he didn't have the benefit of my pictures.  Hopefully he sees the pictures and advises on what he did on his LAR.

5 minutes ago, Hubac'sHistorian said:

Aaah, now I see!  The eyeball test says that’s too short a span to fair the bulkhead - for the sake of glue surface - and to also have a fair run of planking to the transom;  I strongly suspect that that would result in an abrupt and awkward rise of the planking to meet the transom.  I would, instead, add material to the bulkhead and fill the gap.  

 

Thanks Hubac!  That was what I was thinking as well.  The angle would be very steep indeed, which is why I think adding material and fairing back to the lower edge of the aft side of the bulkhead makes the most sense.  

 

Appreciate too what you said about planking the counter first, and then adding the side planking.  I think what I'll do is complete the first planking, then plank the counter, and finish up with the second planking.

 

 

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