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Soleil Royal by Hubac's Historian - Heller - An Extensive Modification and Partial Scratch-Build

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1 hour ago, Hubac's Historian said:

This is not a perfect, or exact recreation.  The execution is not flawless. Overall, though, the impression and resemblance is quite good.

 

Marc - 

 

Hubac's Humble Historian as always.  Your work is much more than simply 'quite good.'  Impressive, imposing, inspirational, and other words beginning with 'i' are much closer to the incredibly high bar that you have set for yourself and everyone else.   Thank you for sharing it with us.

 

Dan

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Thank you kindly, gentlemen!  Druxey, I like your wedding cake analogy.  I’ll bet Louis’s mouth was rotten with the sweets!

 

If Marc Yeu’s model is affectionately nicknamed The Royal Balsa, maybe this project should be The Royal Trifle🙃😆 

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Beautiful work indeed! I'm loving seeing this all come together.

 

As you are modeling this to closely resemble Berain's drawing, where the four seasons will rest, in particularly the two inside figures, would you need those decorative mullions between windows 1&2 and 5&6? I'm having a difficult time determining if there is open space behind those figure as the shadowing kind of makes me think this, or if they are flat against the bulkhead as the outer two figures more closely present. This is one of those aspects of this drawing that has made determining the extent of the stern balconies difficult.

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Thank you, EJ!  You raise a very good question, there.

 

Certainly, behind the center two figures there will be some space, and all of the figures will soon have an outward leaning posture.

 

At the sides, there should still be air space behind the figures, and I think that when viewed from an angle, it would look strange for there to not be pilasters - particularly behind the upper torso and heads.

 

Tonight, I plan to layout the upper counter moulding, thus establishing depth all across the counter.  It will be easier to visualize, then, whether the pilasters look cramped behind the figures.

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It always amazes me the way some people create beautiful masterpieces from the most unlikely sources.  I had always wanted to build the Heller kit, but never got around to it. You are doing some incredibly amazing work. From many years of bashing plastic kits I can only guess at the time spent perfecting ways to get the results that you do. I also am in awe of your perseverance to your task, I would have burnt out years ago. Kudos! I love following your progress.

 

Kurt
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you so much, Kurt and Marc!  I am obsessed(sive) so I will just pour endless (almost) amounts of time into the project, trying to get it right.  ‘Still married, though, and my wife still seems to like me😆

 

It is certainly a huge motivation, though, that people take an interest in the project, and cheer me on.

 

I have found that certain aspects of the build are really intense, and I need to take breaks to focus on some other less demanding aspect of the project.  Once the window panel is glued in, and all the other niggling little details of the lower stern are set, I’ll move back to the ship interior;  cut down and step the lower masts; lay the lower gun deck, fit the dummy carriages, etc.

 

Marc, I sing praises to all the world about your model.  I can’t wait to see where the Royal Balsa is at, these days!

 

Kurt - if you haven’t seen Marc Yeu’s Soleil Royal, well then, you haven’t seen anything yet!  Truly magnificent in every way!

 

All the best,

 

M

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On 2/25/2020 at 10:03 PM, Hubac's Historian said:

Chapman, do you have an even clearer image of this portrait, or do you know where it resides?

 

Maybe I’m seeing things - it is extremely faint - but there appears to be an inscription along the bottom left edge:


196458AE-3E98-4BCA-808B-6F5A1594B97C.jpeg.f6d311ee8f6fca76a2fb155e7b129207.jpeg

It was common practice for the VdVeldes to inscribe the portraits with the ship name - often in their own creative Dutch spelling.

 

If you enlarge your screen, you can maybe see what I mean:  a script inscription.

Hello Marc,
unfortunately I don't have a better version. The text remains illegible. If the name of the ship was noted and legible, the secret would surely be solved. French ships from this period are definitely a headache.

 

In 1673 weren't many french Ponant ships with 14 + 1 ports in the lower tier.

The great drawings of the ship with the elegant flat appearance,  identified as Superbe or Orgilleux, could all show the same ship. And this mysterious two-decker the sister ship or what else ? The latter seems to suit the bulky appearance of the Calais first or second -rate ship.

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On 2/24/2020 at 3:48 PM, Hubac's Historian said:

 

 

 

When we get into these ambiguities of ship identification, I personally like to fall back on apparent artillery as a more reliable gauge of ship identity.  That is why I persistently argue that the following portrait (as well as the starboard quarter portrait that is actually inscribed the Grand Monarque) is actually of the Monarque, and not the Royal Louis:

231D73DA-0EC4-4131-86AC-EF39860FAAE7.jpeg.bb76807b7be2ca3a7dc1aaff1a25878c.jpeg

There is no armed forecastle, here, and even if there was, the total armament would fall far short of RL’s 104.  There is no armed poop deck in these portraits, either.  Add to that a number of ornamental inconsistencies, and the distinction between these two ships becomes even clearer.  Anyway, please forgive my digression.

 

While the Van de Veldes And Puget are the best documentarians of what these ships really looked like, even they were likely to have introduced errors and inconsistencies into their drawings, or so it seems to me.

I mean the drawing on my copy shows 2 small Chase guns and the corresponding round ports in the bulkhead on the forecastle.

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1 hour ago, Chapman said:

Hello Marc

I don't have permission to publish the picture. But you can look at the picture here and also request a better scan. Albertina Museum Wien

Edit: If this link no longer works, then this permanent link will definitely be the one Link

B. T. W. :

 

A good made sharp copy photograph in 1:1 of this Puget drawing was around $90 last summer. 

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Thank, you Mark for the kind compliment, and thank you Chris for the tip on enlarged prints.

 

Chapman, I can see what I think you are referring to in this enlargement of the bow:

C063473F-4DE7-485C-B31E-C3EC7AFA6952.thumb.jpeg.f39e8a6ce47694a11c83f5d5e2c0a96c.jpeg
There appear to be two forward facing chase guns on the forecastle deck.

 

This portrait, together with the other Vienna portrait:

A14A2670-8581-437C-A4D0-B3F046EBF797.thumb.jpeg.54a5f700fea8c0a0a3c3b466b4ac0ea3.jpeg

... are clearly of the same ship.   Perhaps, there are forecastle guns shown along the broadside, as well.  If I enlarge this image, this is what I see:

89403913-63B8-4203-8F09-C964F28FF18B.thumb.jpeg.e5ae90c22f0eb1f0ee3f96c15957cc55.jpeg

Are there gun barrels peaking between the shrouds, from the forecastle deck?  Maybe.

 

Let’s count visible artillery:

33443AEF-CAAB-4958-AEB2-329E6E71C645.jpeg.4dc5c1398d2974ebd55165249612ac9b.jpeg

LD: 14 + 1 un-armed chase port

MD:  14

MD:  12 - mysteriously, there appears to be one gun missing in the fore chains area, just aft of the anchor

QD: 5

FC: 2 visible in this portrait

 

Add all this up, and you have a broadside of 45 X 2 = 90 + 2 chase guns, for a total of 92.

 

If one wants to be generous and add in the six other missing FC guns, that still only brings you to 98, as opposed to Royal Louis’s 104.  Add-in the two guns missing on the main deck and you’re up to 100.

 

If you were to add-in 4 guns on the poop, you’d be at the RL’s armament, but they are clearly not visible in the portrait.

 

Neither is the known lower deck piercing for the Royal Louis of 1668:  15 + 1 unarmed chase port.

 

All of this adds up to a lot of addition of conjectural artillery, and I might add that the RL’s forecastle was never not armed.

 

And, then, there are a number of ornamental differences between this:

29A239AD-3904-4EB4-A096-F0E940FFF876.thumb.jpeg.e34582c2450ccddb2797d2b71a372323.jpeg

and this:

2AC997CA-A30D-44E7-BFDE-46771341806F.thumb.jpeg.da5f8996755a8fdc48c7121754231761.jpeg

... the latter, of which, I believe to be the hand of either LeBrun or Girardon, as it is known that Puget was not permitted to work on the ornamental scheme for the RL.

 

Chief among these differences is the reversal of Neptune and Thetis, between the two ships, and the RL has much more going on from the stern counter, down to the waterline.

 

Also, the structure and support of the quarter deck stern balcony is markedly different between the two ships.

 

And, I always return to the signature inscribed on the Vienna drawing of the Monarque’s starboard quarter:

63F5BF10-B905-4F11-A19F-29F2B68BDE20.thumb.jpeg.bc513d59139d7a1685207b18e0042647.jpeg

I believe these two ships were quite similar in appearance, but the RL was larger, more heavily armed and more ornate.

 

I also believe that Puget made these two excellent portraits of the Monarque because that was his crowning achievement, at Toulon.  The Monarque, and not the RL was his baby.

 

For anyone interested, the following link will take you to a truly excellent review of Puget’s work at Toulon, and it makes mention of the hasty grafting of the RL’s ornamental works onto the Monarque, in order to satisfy Beaufort.  It is an excellent read and a much clearer distillation of other Puget biographies that precede it:

https://www.academia.edu/41636304/La_bonne_fabrique_et_le_superbe_ornement_Pierre_Puget_s_ship_decoration
 

I know that the academic community all say that these portraits all represent the RL, but I respectfully disagree.  Nobody that I have read, to date, can definitively tie the Vienna portraits to the RL; they all simply say that it is so, while vaguely acknowledging that there are some ambiguities, there.

 

For his part, the author of Uber Den Wellen bases his analysis of the RL’s stern allegory almost entirely on the LeBrun drawing, which corresponds very closely with Hayett’s description.

 

Even the biographer I just referenced does not think there are any extant portraits of the Monarque.  I, however, think they are hiding in plain sight.

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In designing the upper counter moulding/shelf, I began by scribing a piece of styrene to neatly fit the round-up, against the window plate, and I then traced the outline of the counter onto the bottom of this blank.

 

Ultimately, I settled on an overhang of a light 3/32”, all around.  At first, I thought the outline of the shelf should follow the ins and outs of the pilaster bases:

B5372042-D906-4B2E-8280-ECF2451E6DF9.thumb.jpeg.c111721fa0f6e47a84e1479c3df21607.jpeg

But this seemed rather busy, the negative spaces between projections too small, and the overall design seemed to betray Berain’s intent.  So, for the outline, I settled upon this:

D7A63F3B-7A20-42FC-9184-7E6F1D144A40.thumb.jpeg.d9151626d41770943b6daf74038b889b.jpeg

After trimming to my lines, I made sure to make a duplicate tracing - just in case I screwed up the moulding process:

05246B65-8094-4A8E-9C0C-2031E924A692.thumb.jpeg.f10ee8ed271900266a2b0f15b6abeb4b.jpeg
I made a pair of hacksaw profile scrapers; one for the shelf, and one for the secondary lamination, beneath the shelf:

image.thumb.jpg.4b21bef74ef5bc3edb7bc1504d6a7b86.jpg
My first attempt for the shelf scraper produced a profile that was too deep and too flat looking, as seen on this piece of scrap:

image.thumb.jpg.daf677bcad38c20f16af7a2695aee3fa.jpg

So, I reground the profile, and ended up with this:

BAD8BEF0-2635-4C7A-9375-52DF0DD0C798.thumb.jpeg.35bcc605d37c41cbab6f903e4d0c4e5e.jpeg

The scraper gets pretty close into the corners, but you still need to define them with a chisel, afterwards.

 

The under-moulding is very narrow, so I first scraped the cove into the straight edge of a larger sheet, and then I “ripped” off the 1/16” that I needed.

 

Just as I would with full-scale trim, everything is mitered.  When dealing with parts so small, I find it easier to tack in the short pieces, over-long, and then fit the long pieces to them.

 

Miters are first cut into the long pieces and then traced directly onto the shorts for perfectly mating joints:

5EAE7DC5-2670-4634-8BA1-0297DBB665D2.thumb.jpeg.ab4789e43af3e591a419c7f87ef8641d.jpeg

31699412-9668-4813-9C6B-67926DB5A14F.thumb.jpeg.175b8c84aa76b97b42c2156d4b20e72b.jpeg

47ECDF0E-E52C-4DDD-A4E0-2E5CEEABFCAE.thumb.jpeg.061edebfd83691b827bba293fc38b35e.jpeg

CD1859CD-82C3-43B3-86CA-7FD02A4B7A08.thumb.jpeg.c55833b5ddb17c137a3d7df2f983b954.jpeg
Here is how that looks on the model, from a variety of angles:

1F13C116-3EA5-49DD-8C89-6632C274F88C.thumb.jpeg.a3b39ed4e38ab6e04dd36711a2a1a170.jpeg

748D4CB2-6D8F-4B99-8519-4C278B81BB57.thumb.jpeg.ff93422465b8721d2def67c77df7370b.jpeg

DA39A99F-0C35-4C70-AD8E-1F719B2D4351.thumb.jpeg.f52b91afe4d7d441e894ac12b21662f3.jpeg

2C48987F-D21D-4196-89F3-266A61F188C1.thumb.jpeg.b709730ba4ef4093d0fa733fa619f561.jpeg

B1C22A2C-F7B0-4230-8321-138764A0D381.thumb.jpeg.1c655ae87f42a6eff52bbbe99fc3f9eb.jpeg

To answer EJ’s question from an earlier post, I can now see that there will be ample air space behind even the side figures, so I will definitely be including the pilasters.

 

At the moment, I am working out the fixation of the window panes, so that I can paint the window openings yellow ocher, and then secure the window plate and upper transom moulding in place.

 

Thank you all for your interest!

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On 2/29/2020 at 5:34 PM, Hubac's Historian said:

Thank, you Mark for the kind compliment, and thank you Chris for the tip on enlarged prints.

 

Chapman, I can see what I think you are referring to in this enlargement of the bow:

C063473F-4DE7-485C-B31E-C3EC7AFA6952.thumb.jpeg.f39e8a6ce47694a11c83f5d5e2c0a96c.jpeg
There appear to be two forward facing chase guns on the forecastle deck.

 

This portrait, together with the other Vienna portrait:

A14A2670-8581-437C-A4D0-B3F046EBF797.thumb.jpeg.54a5f700fea8c0a0a3c3b466b4ac0ea3.jpeg

... are clearly of the same ship.   Perhaps, there are forecastle guns shown along the broadside, as well.  If I enlarge this image, this is what I see:

89403913-63B8-4203-8F09-C964F28FF18B.thumb.jpeg.e5ae90c22f0eb1f0ee3f96c15957cc55.jpeg

Are there gun barrels peaking between the shrouds, from the forecastle deck?  Maybe.

 

Let’s count visible artillery:

33443AEF-CAAB-4958-AEB2-329E6E71C645.jpeg.4dc5c1398d2974ebd55165249612ac9b.jpeg

LD: 14 + 1 un-armed chase port

MD:  14

MD:  12 - mysteriously, there appears to be one gun missing in the fore chains area, just aft of the anchor

QD: 5

FC: 2 visible in this portrait

 

Add all this up, and you have a broadside of 45 X 2 = 90 + 2 chase guns, for a total of 92.

 

If one wants to be generous and add in the six other missing FC guns, that still only brings you to 98, as opposed to Royal Louis’s 104.  Add-in the two guns missing on the main deck and you’re up to 100.

 

If you were to add-in 4 guns on the poop, you’d be at the RL’s armament, but they are clearly not visible in the portrait.

 

Neither is the known lower deck piercing for the Royal Louis of 1668:  15 + 1 unarmed chase port.

 

All of this adds up to a lot of addition of conjectural artillery, and I might add that the RL’s forecastle was never not armed.

 

And, then, there are a number of ornamental differences between this:

29A239AD-3904-4EB4-A096-F0E940FFF876.thumb.jpeg.e34582c2450ccddb2797d2b71a372323.jpeg

and this:

2AC997CA-A30D-44E7-BFDE-46771341806F.thumb.jpeg.da5f8996755a8fdc48c7121754231761.jpeg

... the latter, of which, I believe to be the hand of either LeBrun or Girardon, as it is known that Puget was not permitted to work on the ornamental scheme for the RL.

 

Chief among these differences is the reversal of Neptune and Thetis, between the two ships, and the RL has much more going on from the stern counter, down to the waterline.

 

Also, the structure and support of the quarter deck stern balcony is markedly different between the two ships.

 

And, I always return to the signature inscribed on the Vienna drawing of the Monarque’s starboard quarter:

63F5BF10-B905-4F11-A19F-29F2B68BDE20.thumb.jpeg.bc513d59139d7a1685207b18e0042647.jpeg

I believe these two ships were quite similar in appearance, but the RL was larger, more heavily armed and more ornate.

 

I also believe that Puget made these two excellent portraits of the Monarque because that was his crowning achievement, at Toulon.  The Monarque, and not the RL was his baby.

 

For anyone interested, the following link will take you to a truly excellent review of Puget’s work at Toulon, and it makes mention of the hasty grafting of the RL’s ornamental works onto the Monarque, in order to satisfy Beaufort.  It is an excellent read and a much clearer distillation of other Puget biographies that precede it:

https://www.academia.edu/41636304/La_bonne_fabrique_et_le_superbe_ornement_Pierre_Puget_s_ship_decoration
 

I know that the academic community all say that these portraits all represent the RL, but I respectfully disagree.  Nobody that I have read, to date, can definitively tie the Vienna portraits to the RL; they all simply say that it is so, while vaguely acknowledging that there are some ambiguities, there.

 

For his part, the author of Uber Den Wellen bases his analysis of the RL’s stern allegory almost entirely on the LeBrun drawing, which corresponds very closely with Hayett’s description.

 

Even the biographer I just referenced does not think there are any extant portraits of the Monarque.  I, however, think they are hiding in plain sight.

Yes I can see 2 guns and with a lot of good will or a drink maybe 3 on the forecastle.
And also guns on the poop. What I cannot say in conclusion is that it is RL or Monarque. But I tend more to RL.

 

What is striking about the port drawing is the low freeboard of the ship, even though the ship is only slightly heeling.

This drawing also shows a pronounced tumble home.
Similar to that of the Royal Louis from 1692 on the original plans from the Rochefort archive, which were made in 1697 for a repair. This adaptation of the body plan seems to me to be more exemplary for the RL or Monarque from 1668/70, after adjustment, than the well-known strange body plan from the work of Admiral Paris.
Unfortunately, I cannot show the plan here either for copyright reasons.

But I can give you a source if you are interested.

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So, as I try to close this chapter of the build, I got busy tying up a few if the loose ends.

 

In preparation for securing the window plate, I thought it would be helpful to do a few things, in advance.

 

Rather than attempt to paint the inner lip of the window frames with the glass in place, I pre-painted this inner reveal.

 

I have come to realize that the artists’ acrylics I used for the deadworks are exceedingly fragile, and so - going forward, I will use purpose-made model acrylics wherever possible.

 

To that end, I mixed a Tamiya primary yellow with a medium brown Tamiya shade until I was satisfied with my resulting yellow ocher color.  I mixed brown, drop by drop, into the yellow bottle, so that I will have enough ocher to paint everything on the model, without having to re-mix and try and match shades.

 

Following Druxey’s advice, acetate sheet was scribed with a sharp knife and medium-grey acrylic was wiped into the lines.  This was all reasonably straight-forward, and produced excellent results.

 

My initial plan was to glue-in L-angle styrene strip, to the vertical bulkheads, and a ledge strip to the inner bottom edge of the window plate, so that the individual panes would be housed and well supported, but floating.

 

I quickly realized, though, that the positioning of the mullions, relative to the window opening will not always be ideal, if the loose pane shifts from side to side.

 

With that in mind, I took a spare test pane (one of the QG side lights that I botched during the engraving process), and test-tacked it to styrene strip, with medium viscosity CA.  It did not result in the dreaded cyano blush.

 

With the success of that experiment, I decided to apply CA along the inner crease of the bottom ledge and one small tack dot of CA in the top center of each pane (behind what is the ornamental cartouche, on the exterior).  This all worked out neatly enough:

F9FA95CE-11DE-48C4-9E1A-C3FDDF1544F3.thumb.jpeg.c8e1939c53362b1c910e96757bc03cfd.jpeg

78C2A7C2-80FC-4BB0-8C0E-32B45F99838D.thumb.jpeg.af11b777ebaccb6b053dace64160a1b4.jpeg

B4020287-8964-4785-8428-B666C10F191B.thumb.jpeg.f0f53857d4f022ca8cb3fa5629a046bd.jpeg

In hindsight, because the vertical bulkheads are relatively deep, it would have been beneficial if I had painted their sides flat black before fitting them to the model.  Unfortunately, I did not do so, and the perfectionist in me refuses to make a gloppy mess of black paint work, after the bulkheads were fixed in place; access, here, is severely limited.

 

In compromise, I decided to blacken the visible surfaces of the L-Angle, since there would not be any glue applied there.  In the following picture, I have blacked-in half of the supports:

B9E812BB-563E-4CD7-9AC2-5B51C72F79B9.thumb.jpeg.4228d82bc6d9f78a31f5c65e8de43f3d.jpeg

On the other hand, I refused to compromise on simulating with paint, the impression of hull depth for the stern chase ports.  Access, here, is limited, but a little better.

 

After brush priming this area, as well as the port linings with ModelMaster flat white - which laid-down beautifully, BTW, and allayed my concerns about brush-priming the stern - I blacked-in the inner bulkhead surfaces, but not completely.  I left most of what I wanted to show as red-ocher, in primer white.  The blacking was merely approximate and done by eye.

AB4EB842-44B2-4A50-A814-08C9458F1B2D.thumb.jpeg.6c95c0e86e90c397ad13aeeadddee1d4.jpeg

Knowing that I would be doing this, I had saved the bulkhead pattern and now used it to cut four sets of opposed masks that created a parallel line with the profile of the transom.

 

This was very fiddly and could only be accomplished with tweezers and a palate knife to finesse  the tape into position.  Once satisfied and the tape edges burnished, I applied some clear dull-coat to the seam, in order to prevent any annoying bleed into the black.

 

In hindsight, I could have made these reveals a little thinner, but the impression is still good, and at least the depth is consistent from one port to the next:

D1D8EF53-3695-4835-AB8E-B1BAFE89DDD9.thumb.jpeg.512faa59d83fb538a02673aa7a269d69.jpeg

41962357-3E56-49CD-BC1B-A5050E2667BB.thumb.jpeg.5d9a4ff7d06efe7feca6cfd8c9fbd03e.jpeg

I scraped away any ugly black paint over-brushing, just to quiet the voices in my head.

 

And, finally, I glued in the window plate, the top transom moulding and the side pilasters:

5F0EA333-A01E-40C5-A445-641BDCCC72F1.thumb.jpeg.5b1b4928f81ca83d6a01ef52014cd749.jpeg

DD2842F7-CEB7-487A-9F54-8A17BD8E8F8F.thumb.jpeg.66d3f132391d94012546d24abb5383aa.jpeg

E6481B4C-4DAF-41FF-B351-470D5FEBD811.thumb.jpeg.6a3e142f71c7b0beb102d80b32c9cdd4.jpeg

I discovered, after doing so, that I had made a mistake in trimming the pilaster tops flush with the window plate; the mistake is that I had failed to accommodate the raking angle of the stern, so I will eventually have to fill a gap between each of the pilaster tops and the wrapping stern balcony above them.  This, of course, is the beauty of plastic - I can make this edit fairly easily by splicing-in plastic shims.

 

One last shot of the transom interior, showing all of the interior structure:

9853B845-542A-45C9-B375-9339FE7789AB.thumb.jpeg.4d7e36127882fff93378660de021e225.jpeg

I gave the model a good dusting, as I will bring it to our club meeting tonight; I was astonished at how much plastic dust had accumulated, so far.  I’ll have to be more mindful of that, now, as these windows will soon be completely inaccessible.

 

As ever, thank you for looking in, your likes and your comments.  It is all very much appreciated.

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Hello Marc !

You really did a great work with the windows, and the job on the stern is topnotch, it will look very accurate. Congrats ! Your model is going to be a reference when finished. By the way, a funny thing about languages. In english, one say "stern chase gunports". In French, we call them "retreat gunports". It always made me laugh !

:) 

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Well, there was certainly no “retreat,” on the part of the French, at Barfleur.  It is interesting to consider whether Soleil Royal would be dreamed of, in the way we do today, if Tourville had ignored the King’s initial orders to engage at all costs.  Tourville’s success against all odds has elevated both he and the ship to mythical status in the popular imagination.  Or, so it seems to me.

 

Marc, you are very kind, but I happen to think your “Royal Balsa” will soon become the gilt-standard for all SR models, going forward.  Both you and Tony Devroude (Dauphin Royal, 1668), have managed to capture these early hull forms with tremendous authenticity.  Anyway, I am glad to see that you are back at it, and bringing the ship into sharper focus.

 

It has been an interesting week of reading, and attempting to read a variety of interesting things.  One thing of particular interest, here, is a 75-page manuscript by Quebec native Guy Maher.

 

Guy is someone whom I came to know through the comments section of Trois Ponts.  For a good number of years, now, Mr. Maher has been combing through the archives - original correspondence between Colbert and the Ponant/Levant yards, as well as older and more recent histories and biographies - to assemble what I personally believe is a very plausible and coherent history of Soleil Royal from her inception, through her refit.

 

I don’t necessarily agree with every word, but he makes interesting arguments for the arrangement of her artillery, as determined by certain vagaries of her generally accepted dimensions.

 

There is quite a lot of interesting biography on Puget and his influence, as well as many other key figures that were directly engaged in the development of the First Marine.  There is even a truly fascinating discussion of period colors that were likely used on the king’s ships.  A good number of pictures, as well!

 

Mr. Maher is eager to share his research, but less so to start a blog of his own.  It truly is fascinating reading, though, and I will be happy to send it to anyone who PM’s me.  While written in French, it translates pretty clearly through Google Translate.

 

Thank you to everyone for looking in, your likes, and comments.  More to come...

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There  is quite a bit of discussion of the colors used on French ships in The Color Blue in Historic Shipbuilding by Joachim Müllerschön  Originally in German, titled Die Farbe Blau im historischen Schiffbau: von der Antike bis zur Neuzeit. Full disclosure: I was the translation editor.

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