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Hubac's Historian

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

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Well, that's the weird thing; I work on a Mac and the operating system is current.  When I open the files directly from my email, it isn't a problem.  They show up.  However, when I try to click the link from within the MSW site (just to make sure it was a working link), I get that message.  Weird.  As long as everyone else can access the information, then I am happy.

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Well, digitization is underway, and going well.  Ultimately, I chose to go with Gimp's latest version of their free, open software.  It has some ideosyncracies that make it a little tricky to learn, but I've familiarized myself with working in layers and organizing the drawing, accordingly;  The first layer is an outline/sheer plan from the waterline to the caprail, there will be a layer for the main wales, as well as individual layers for the chanels, assorted other structural details, lower deck guns, upper deck guns (etc), quarter gallery, figure ornaments, frieze, headrails, figurehead, stern, etc.

 

One of the biggest discoveries was figuring out how to copy a path and paste it into a new path layer so that I can repeat an element over and over.  Now that I know how to do this, much of the drawing should move along fairly quickly (I'm measuring in weeks and months, here - that's quick, according to my available time), but the ornament will take time.  Right now, I'm tracing over the end-rail cap ornaments and having great success, but it is time consuming to adjust the many nodes that make up this one small ornamental detail.

 

One thing that I haven't figured out, yet, is how to group multiple paths that make up something like the end-rail cap, into one path so that I can copy and paste the whole assembly into a new path layer.  Any shortcuts, or just process notes here are welcome.  The other thing I think I am learning is that it doesn't make sense to stroke your paths until you have the whole drawing set, really.  I can't seem to erase one stroke line without erasing them all.  I'm sure there's a way with selection tools, I just haven't learned how to do it yet.

 

I'm also enjoying Chuck's tutorials on small parts casting, which I will need to do later, as well as the carving tutorials that various members are engaged in, using Chuck's ornament for the ceremonial barge.  All great stuff!

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I can tell you how to do those things... in Photoshop. Never used GIMP actively.

 

While you are at it you need to understand the basic path modes - you need to be able to add one path to another, subtract a path from another, and last is leave only the intersection between two paths. Along with the path drawing functions those allow you to create about any shape with reasonable efficiency.

 

I will say don't limit yourself on layers. Anything which you might want to change in isolation should be on its own layer. And GIMP has to have a layer grouping function. 

 

My UI design files will have hundreds of layers grouped in various ways, like all the elements that make up a button is one group, and that group is part of a bigger group that contains everything that goes on one dialog. 

 

Equally important is naming convention for layers. Don't use something arbitrary. Use something that makes sense and that tells you clearly what that layer is and what it's a part of.

 

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Yes, Vossie, GIMP does allow layer grouping, and luckily I realized early on that I would need to name my image layers and my path layers in a way that I will understand because I am starting to realize that there will be hundreds of path layers, and probably 15 - 20 image layers.

 

As for adding one path to another, for example, every Youtube tutorial makes it seem so easy to create a geometric and/or bezier curve closed-path.  For some reason, though, when I try and close my path back onto the first node, it won't connect and I end up  faking it (for now).  Or, if I'm drawing something with a lot of convolutions and I break my path, when I resume noding the shape, I can't seem to just pick up where I left off, and resume a continuous path.  I'm going to experiment with these basic operations, tonight, and hopefully I'll figure them out.  I'm not sure what you mean, though, about "leave only the intersection between two paths."  Do you mean, bringing one path to the foreground and another to the background, where they intersect?

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Yeah, you need to figure the path-closing and adding to an existing path issues out in a hurry or you're going to end up with a large amount of required re-work. Really recommend you don't go very far trying to create your finished product until you've got everything working as intended, you can dig yourself very big holes otherwise.

 

What I am talking about with path operations is what we call standard boolean operations in modeling. With boolean operations you can intersect two objects and 1) add them together, 2) subtract one from the other, 3) Remove everything but the parts that intersect.

 

I have a cube and I intersect a rod shape with the cube. If I add them, the parts inside are removed and now I have a cube with two ends of a rod shape sticking out of it. If I subtract the rod shape from the cube I have a cube with a hole through it (very common operation). If I choose the intersection method, everything will be removed but the part of the rod that was inside the cube.

 

Same thing applies to creating paths, in photoshop I can select two paths and add them together, subtract one from the other, or just leave the intersection. All three are required to efficiently model complex shapes.

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Tonight, I did manage to work out those path-closing/adding issues, and they speed up the process immensely.  Thank you, Vossie, for so succinctly explaining boolean operations.  I can see the tools that enable me to do those things.  I just need to fiddle around with them a little.

 

 

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It's harder to explain than it is to understand once you start experimenting with them. Then you have to learn how to think through a logical workflow including those in your tool kit, they are your knives and saws.

 

Like, you have a vertical line that you need to cut a series of rabbets into so it's like a vertical corrugated shape. You could try to draw that manually with the pen tool and you'd get something that is maybe close if you pay lots of attention. Or instead you could just draw a vertical line, then a separate rectangle shape that's correct for the rabbet. Clone that rectangle and then space them out with the ruler and guides or use an array tool (standard in modeling, not so much in 2d unfortunately, you can say I want this many of this shape spaced this far apart and click a button). Intersect the rectangles with the vertical line and then add them. Then delete any vertices or segments you don't need. It's a bit faster and more accurate.

 

That's what I mean about learning to think in terms of boolean tools. Instead of a vertical line now make that the inside of a frame shape. You can correctly position a series of rabbets by creating one rectangle and positioning it, and then clone it while rotating it around the central point of the frame - manipulating the center point of a rotation is another common thing to keep in mind. In a few seconds you'd have the rectangles all at the right depth and oriented correctly. Subtract them from the frame shape and off to next step.

 

You can make about any shape very quickly using simple tools that create lines with bezier splines if you want them and primitive shapes likes squares and circles and such and basic boolean operations.

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Indeed, it is very useful knowledge! While I have not yet started to tackle drawing ship designs on the computer, it is something that I feel I will be doing before long and having all these tips and explanations handy will be very useful then. So thanks from me as well!

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Actually now that I think about it starting with 2D probably helps. When I'm working in MAX in 3D, about half of the objects I make I start with making a 2D shape and then extrude it, so working with 2D paths you're learning things you'd directly use modeling.

 

Another way 2D shapes are commonly used is in what are called lofts, you make a series of 2D shapes and position them along a path and the program will create the 3D object defined by those cross sections by creating a skin that transitions from one cross section to the next, so yes the best way to make a ship 3D model is to do it the same way folks do here.

 

In your case Hubac you could eventually take your frame shapes into a modeling program and loft them to create the inner surface of the planking. Extrude that surface to the depth of the planking, you have a the ship's basic shape. Take another copy of those shapes and then position them inside your ship and extrude each of them and you have 3D frames that should fit perfectly inside your lofted ship object. Now take all the vertices at the very top of the frames and copy them. Turn that into a surface (several ways to do it) and then extrude it and you have a deck that should exactly fit the top of the frames and your outer planking.

 

Not quite as simple as that of course but that describes a valid workflow.

 

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Vossie - you are speaking my language!  Ha ha!  I see what you mean, now, about workflow as it relates to building up a design.  That three-D stuff you're doing is incredible.  And I have thought about the potential for using 3-D modeling, not just to develop a valid hull-form for Soleil Royal (whenever I get around to a full scratch build, but of course, I'll have to build a few smaller models from scratch to learn that kind of modeling), but to do a virtual tank test to see what sort of handling characteristics my mock hull might have.  I mean, why not?  The technology is there to work as a virtual naval architect.  All it takes is time, which in middle-age, is in remarkably short supply.

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Sometimes I worry that the forum moderators will close my build-log, if they don't see any signs of activity.  With that in mind - this post is something of a place marker, but it does illustrate progress on the drawing and highlights a few of the areas where designing to fit within the kit architecture presents specific challenges and/or limitations.

 

This is my work area in Gimp.  For this picture, I've hidden the white background tracing layer, which is my digitized hand-drawing.  With the main wales located, and the first three batteries in place, and properly located, she is beginning to look like a ship of war.  With the water line raised and the sheer line reduced, slightly, I think she sits pretty in the water:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.cc7dd055327aab6e3f8b86506fad00ca.jpeg

The next three pics have the tracing layer visible, and I've scaled the zoom to accurately reflect the size of the actual kit.  This first shot of the bow shows the difficulty of designing the filligree between the knees of the head; rather than a parallel space between the knees, the space widens as you move outboard from the stem.  This means that the elements that make up the filligree can't simply be drawn once and copied, but must be drawn individually to fit.  The "X" shaped bits are supposed to frame shell carvings (which I may not model at this scale because the detail would be so tiny), are placed to correspond with the vertical ballusters that unify the three rows of headrails:

 

image.thumb.jpeg.1921a1112f96a6ecb2a6bd115f0211e8.jpeg

The arched, main deck ports also presented unique challenges that were not readily apparent until they were duplicated and placed along the upper bulwark.

 

First, my hand drawing did not accurately reflect the height and width of the actual ports; I drew them about a 1/16" too tall and almost a 1/16" too wide.  However, the space they can fit into, along the upper bulwark, is tallest aft and tapers to a more narrow space in the forecastle.  When you factor in that I also, initially, exaggerated the domed arch, and you add on the scrolled port enhancement, then the whole thing becomes really crowded, among the antler escutcheon carvings (not sure what else to call them):

 

image.thumb.jpeg.e0240e658be1ff1fc3a6ac5b8d762b00.jpeg

I had to re-draw the port several times, duplicate it and place the row of ports until I was satisfied that the composition did not look too cluttered.  I have yet to correct the bow angel's extended hand, which no longer rests upon the smaller port, but I will do so soon.

 

Now, while the whole thing is very busy looking, when I consider the Compardel drawing upon which these port enhancements are based - then I think that my layout is actually better balanced and less cluttered looking.  This has to do with the fact that the Berain (black and white) and Compardel drawings of the stern quarters reflect a more exaggerated sheer of the wales, as it intersects with a less pronounced sheer of the actual gundecks;  the wales, the ornamentation and everything else outside the ship appear to rise rather sharply, while the gun ports, themselves, cut more steeply into the wales than is shown on the Heller kit.

 

I have tried unsuccessfully, just now, to post a sketch of The Monarch of 1668, which illustrates quite nicely this more pronounced sheer of the wales, on a ship of the First Marine.  You can see that the aft-most ports cut completely through the wale.  I will post this pic later, from my home computer, where it is easier to do so.

 

58ffb3099e731_Monarch1668.jpeg.de229fa9239c3f1cc914b47ac573ba1a.jpeg

 

The reason for this variance has to do with the fact that the Heller kit, and the Tanneron model upon which it is based, reflect latter 17th C. Architecture of the Second marine - namely, the Foudroyant of 1693.  This fundamental difference between what I am trying to represent with the first Soleil Royal and the inherent inability to accurately represent the correct sheer of the wales on the plastic kit drives purists nuts; that, among other architectural inaccuracies.  I don't mean for that to be the case, but it is a compromise that I am willing to make because, in the end, I think it results in a less chaotic assemblage of details.  I am thinking about adding the leafy port enhancement that is shown beneath the port sills.  This would simply be affixed to the wale strake beneath the upper bulwarks, and omitted wherever the re-located main and fore channels make it impossible to include them.

 

As a related aside, a Belgian modeler named Cedric - whom I mentioned much earlier in this build log - is, in fact, closing off the Heller ports and re-locating them, and the wale locations so that he can more closely model La Reyne.  So, to be more clear - it is not impossible.  Cedric has already begun by cutting his hull along the same raised waterline I am proposing, sanding away the wales and using the kit port lids to seal off the openings.  This promises to be a very visually rewarding project, on his part, and one that I think will be very complementary to what is happening here.  I commend Cedric for his effort and attention to detail because what he is doing goes to a level that I am not willing to take my project.

 

Here is a link to his build-log for La Reyne, where he recently posted an update with pictures:

 

http://www.laroyale-modelisme.net/t19428p25-la-reine-vaisseau-de-premier-rang-au-1-90-eme?highlight=La+Reine+++Heller+Customise

 

One can immediately see, in Cedric's pictures, how cutting away the lower hull drastically improves the impression of the hull as a viable sailing ship.

 

image.jpeg

You can begin to see a few of the details that will be added in: scribed scarf joints into the wales at appropriate intervals, and the through-bolting for the carriage tackles.  There are a number of other small details, like this, that can be sketched in now, with the gunports in place.

 

regarding the thin wale strakes that frame the railings of the sheer line - they will be mostly scraped away to make room for the upper bulwark frieze.  For now, I'm showing a short, moulded nub beneath the scalloped detail at each step in the sheer.  I'm not sure how I will ultimately resolve that, but for now, I like this.

 

You can see the 1/4" re-location, forward, of the aft most port on the lower deck, that makes a little extra room for the lower finishing of the quarter gallery.  I have the tracing layer for the quarter gallery on a separate layer that I am not showing right now.  Of course, aspects of the QG are not lining up so neatly with where I would like those transitions to land, so that will require digital manipulation, when I get to that part of the tracing.

 

High-lighted in red are two parallel lines that (in-board) indicate where the stock kit architecture ends and (out-board) shows the 3/8" extension piece that is necessary to close-in the lower stern walk.  The blue line beyond that indicates the round-up of the upper stern, which is probably exaggerated.  I will have a better sense for the depth of that when I begin making card templates to offer up to the stern, for patterning of the framing elements.

 

Finally, while I am cutting away the topmost step of the Heller sheer, I am adding back a lower-profile, continuous rail that extends forward to the rail cap.  The reason for doing this, primarily, is that it buys me back a little extra real estate (in-board) for the upper most "poop royal" deck that will have to be lowered, somewhat, and the camber increased, slightly, towards the middle of the deck, in order to work within the reduced sheer.  The depth of the deck, fore and aft, will also need to be shortened, somewhat.  I haven't drawn any of that, but I know it can be re-worked in a pleasing way.

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WOW! Great start and I am comforted to see that I am not the only one having trouble with the port layouts on this ship. There is indeed a huge amount of decoration which makes the spacing difficult to get everything to fit. That brings me to wonder if the thinking that all the decorations would have been the same size and evenly spaced or if there would have been changes made to them to fit as space allows. Obviously they would not have moved the ports, wales, or any other structural components to accommodate the decorations and so I would think that the carvers would have had to measure each individual space and modify their work to fit. Much like you had to do for the filigree between the knees, you may need to change the sizing on the "antler" carvings.

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Thank you for the comment, EJ.  You raise a good question.  This antler carving is one that I was hoping to keep without altering it or re-creating it.  It's one of the details that the Heller kit really does well.  Although it differs from the Berain drawing of this detail, in some ways I think it is a more elegant execution.  In truth, my hand-drawing does not completely accurately mimic the lines of the antler details.  As moulded, they take up even less space between the ports than my drawing shows.  Try as I might, I just could not get the lay of the line right on those, but because I wasn't planning to re-create it - good enough really seemed adequate for the purpose of assessing the total layout.

 

What I may have to do is slightly alter the leafy scrolls of the port enhancements, here and there, wherever they encroach too much on the antler things.  For the most part, though, I don't think these two details will interfere with each other.

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In the following series of pictures, you can see that the armament is now fully in place.  This enabled me to correct a few positional errors in the quarter deck cap rails.  There is some overlapping of detail on one of the ornamental end caps, as it overlays the plank scallop detail, but some of that scallop detail will remain visible, and as can be seen in Berain's black and white drawing - where certain details overlap, the dominant detail seems to prevail; in this case, the end cap ornament is the dominant detail and so it will not be reduced.

 

I still have not corrected the problem of overlapping lines, where paths intersect and certain path objects are intended for the foreground and others for the background.  I suspect this has something to do with the fact that I have not yet "stroked" the paths, but I am going to make a test copy of the document soon, in order to test out a few different ideas about how to solve this problem.

 

59112b200f832_Stern5817.jpg.d774380b84b2dc08d24f31c751b41592.jpg

I drew in a lower port accent for the main deck ports, which will be affixed to the wale strake just beneath the ports.  I've omitted this new detail, in the areas reserved for where I am going to re-locate the main and fore channels.

 

59112b15550a2_Waist5817.jpg.e5e96ca5f703e01fe290c565c03f8cb2.jpg

The location of the waist ladder is one port aft of where it appears on the model.  This gives me better visual balance, relative to the vertical skid timbers that are evenly spaced, just forward of the ladder.  Also in place, now, are the scupper ports on the lower and middle deck levels.

 

59112db018c1e_Bow5817.jpg.a70287e40d25100a64d66a0cafb6c285.jpg

Here, one can see the protective anchor sweep, and just forward of that on the lower battery, I've drawn in a 15th "hunting port."  The first  Soleil Royal was pierced (along with La Reyne, before her) with 16 ports on the first battery.  While my inclusion of this forward-most port still leaves me one shy of her actual first battery piercing, it is still one port closer to accuracy than the Tanneron model, which is pierced for 14.  I am told that, in practice, this forward most port would not - for the most part - have been armed, except when in chase, the next gun aft would be shifted to this forward pointing port.

 

Again, including this detail is a good example of an attempt on my part to create a better impression of accuracy; although, of course, if one counts the ports they will realize that one port is missing.  I haven't decided whether I will simply scribe in the port detail and add hinge strapping, hinge barrels and a ring bolt, or if I will actually cut in the port.

 

The spacing between the anchor sweep and the hawser detail is tight, but workable, and in reality, a little less congested than I've drawn it.  I'm just not good enough with the software to properly depict the foreshortening of the bows and how the hawse holes should appear in plan view.

 

Next, I'll fill in all the railing detail and then I'll start filling in the quarter galleries and the frieze details.  I realize that this is all incredibly tedious, on my part, but I find it helpful to see exactly how the arrangement of details falls in relation to each other.  I can now see, for example, that my window surround, just forward of the quarter gallery, will need to be simplified quite a bit.

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Hi Marc - 

 

Love the way this is coming along.  You are certainly doing everything you can to make her accurate, according to the information you have.  

 

I don't envy your huge task in making all of the decorations and carved work.  The horse-headed catheads are particularly complicated, and I imagine that they will be difficult to work out how to add the decorations and still have a working anchor davit.

 

One quick question - the surrounds for the third deck gunports, the ones with the antler/acanthus decorations, are slanted at the fore and aft ends of the line.  They are the only gunports that are tipped this way.  Is this how they are on the ship or is this an artifact of the drawing process?

 

Looking forward to seeing her in person.

 

Dan

 

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Great observation, Dan, regarding the arched main deck ports.  This is how Heller has moulded them, so that the port sills run parallell with the wale strake just beneath them.

 

With regard to the cathead timbers, you have brought my attention to a bit of a design problem;  a problem, whereby the standard kit architecture isn't going to allow me to simply add this horsehead detail, as it's currently drawn.

 

Because I was planning to use the kit headrails (a nice detail of the Heller kit that would be difficult to improve upon, from scratch), I had not bothered to draw them in.  I have simply suggested the top edge of the headrail escutcheon, as it relates to the horsehead.

 

The Berain drawing/Compardel Painting of the bow, show the cathead timbers extending out, just forward of the bridge of the horse's snout.

 

The following link takes you to a nice waterline model of the Heller kit, which shows pretty clearly the standard relationship of the cathead timbers to the headrail:

 

http://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=G2K1cdzB&id=F0B0CE36616C3A6F325006FC8C3F0F2B17225E49&thid=OIP.G2K1cdzBhSy9N9CHzi3MpAEsDJ&q=heller+soleil+royal&simid=608024584384217243&selectedIndex=2

 

As I've drawn it, the cathead timber would want to run through the horse's snout, in order to be properly supported by the cathead knee.  I'll have to take some measurements to see what sort of clearance I have.  Perhaps, i can just re-scale the drawing of the horsehead a little bit, but more than likely I will have to redraw it altogether, if I want to keep this detail.

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This will be my Derby themed entry:

 

59126e72a4562_HorseHead5917.jpg.d8539b76227a031f744823c88ea8fb23.jpg

The winner of my re-scaling derby is the red horse, on the outside track!  A copy of him has also been placed above the headrail escutcheon, where it is more apparent how the decreases in scaling affect the overall appearance and position of the horse carving.  The middle horse was an intermediate re-scaling effort, and the top horse is just a copy of my original path tracing.

 

It doesn't seem like much, but the heavy 1/32" I gained between the bridge of the horse's nose and where the cathead timber projects will probably be enough clearance to make the whole thing fit seamlessly, while providing (IMO) a better, more streamlined interpretation of the original Berain/Compardel rendering.  The reason this works is that there is actually a solid 1/8" of clear passage between the headrail escutcheon and the cathead timber.  That space is increased, slightly, by the longer-bias distance that the horse head carving can project from the escutcheon before it hits the cathead.  If need be, I can cheat the headrails back a good 1/32", without it being apparent.  Fortunately, I still have the first SR I built all those years ago - against which I can see these relationships and take measurements.

 

Here's a shot of the original drawing:

 

5912707a2d688_BerainBow.jpeg.bfaf3e9caf0f58b0860cf304671cf4eb.jpeg

 

Here's a shot of the rendering without the background.  This doesn't show up so well, without the white background, but it is a little less cluttered without the black line drawing that is the original tracing layer. In any case, I think the lower profile horse is more in keeping with Berain's intent.  The headrail escutcheons are different, so necessarily, my horse is a little more elongated, but I can live with it.

 

591272afe2f75_HorseheadWithoutBackground.jpg.80f983c4cb3ed4a105e34c74a7ddeae8.jpg

 

Alright, one last picture that sucks a little less than the others:

5912778945da0_BetterHorse.thumb.jpg.a640d9cad1f2a636d2bac932b213ce40.jpg

I'll still need to edit the Roman tunic so that it re-connects with the angel figure, but I am tired and have had enough for the night.

 

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Attention Marc. A few comments !
It is better to start from the original drawing of the prow drawn by Berain. That of Compardel is already a copy that includes notable deformations. Ex: proportions of the body of the naiad, the breasts in "washcloths", And the horse of prow too thinned, with a horrible tail.
The frieze of the spur must be of the same height from one end to the other .;
At the prow the gap between the first and second pairs of pre-wires must not shrink, but on the contrary widen. Same way to the stern.
On the other hand, it is an invention of Tanneron. Look in the work of Lemineur (The Ships of the King) and also on the Monarch, the flaps are much more flexible.
Big error for the ports of the third bridge, the sides must be vertical and not follow the sheer of the bridge.
The ports of the second bridge are too small and do not respect the dimensions of the time.
cordially

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Hi Marc - 

 

I see the same issues as M. Saunier.  The detailed drawing that he provided should give you a lot of information.  It certainly looks better than some of the other drawings of the head structures.

 

Perhaps you can develop a drawing of the bow from above (plan view) which will give you a better feel for the relative positions and sizes of the catheads, headrails, and carvings.  The two-dimensional drawings distort the look and placement of the catheads.  The placement and size of the carvings as drawn may set the catheads so far forward that it would be impossible to work the anchors without damaging the headrails.  

 

Another question is about the number of gun decks at the bow.  i do not recall seeing a plan or drawing of the bow which shows 4 decks of cannon as you have them.  Rather, the Berain painting that you included seems to show only 3.  How are you resolving this conflict?  

 

Lots to think about, but you are up to it, I know.

 

Dan

 

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Nice to see very good progress being made on an important subject, Hubac I hope you find a way to include the final plans you have in the MSW article DB for others to work with and hopefully further improve on if more information is found.

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Hey Vossie!  Yeah, that was always my idea; that once I had finished with a plan, I'd publish it on the site for anyone to use, improve upon, etc.

 

Michel, I'm glad you are joining the discussion.  There are many, here, who have expressed their gratitude for your contributions to my research, so far, and I am certainly not least among them.

 

I am in agreement with you, Michel, on all of the points that you are making, regarding the frieze space between the knees of the head, the size of the middle deck gun ports, and the alignment of the arched main deck ports.  These are all inaccuracies of the Heller kit.  And I will ask you to take the long view of what I am doing now, as it relates to what I plan to do further into the future; this project is providing me with a sound research base to eventually build an architecturally sound, fully scratch-built model of SR.

 

Some day, I will have the space and resources to make a really good wooden, framed model of the ship, and when that day comes, all of the resources and information you (and Mr. Lemineur, Mr. Peters and Cedric, among others) have shared with me, will come more fully to fruition.  In the meantime, though, my objective is to make a much better model of the Heller kit than the kit, alone, provides for.

 

I am aware of the problems that you mention, however, there does come a point where one goes beyond kit-bashing to making a fully scratch-built model.  If, for example, I am going to completely rebuild the bowsprit and headrails and carve a new figurehead, and scratch-build everything above the second battery, well then, I might as well draw up a correct hull plan snd make the entire thing from scratch.  At this time, though and for a variety of reasons, I am just not ready to go that route.  I'm capable of it, but not ready.

 

And so, with this model project, there are certain lengths I am willing to go to add a detail, and/or modify some aspect of the kit to try and correct some of its inherent flaws, and there are other things about the kit that I can look past, right now; like the too small second battery ports, or the run of the main deck ports, or that the space for the bow frieze tapers.  That being said, I am always glad for the lesson in what should be because that is knowledge that will be applied to future models.

 

Dan, the f'ocsle deck is armed with three guns, each side, and they are just out of view in the Berain and Compardel drawings.   I am 99% certain, now, that my reduced scale for the horsehead provides enough clearance for the cathead without having to alter anything about the position of the cathead.

 

the greatest value to me, right now, of this much clearer  Berain drawing of the bow is that I can now draw a much improved bow angel.  I'll trace this, instead, and scale it to fit.

 

As always, thank you to everyone who stops by, weighs in, and for those likes.  Even, and perhaps especially, if you don't agree with what I am doing - I am interested to hear what you have you say.

 

All the best - Marc

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Marc, you know that a full scratch build is going to be in the future anyway. May as well bite the bullet and go for it! ;) 

 

Actually I know what you mean by capable but not yet ready. That is precisely why I am still kit bashing my S.R.. Plus I'm not opposed to building the same ship again down the road when my skills are more fine tuned to the task.

 

Michel Saunier, I will also offer my thanks for your assistance to Marc on his project. The information has been both helpful in my own build and also very educational. A large part of why I love this hobby is learning about the ships I am building and your research has been a great gift!

 

 

 

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What I need that I don't have right now is SPACE.  Plastic models lend themselves pretty well to construction on the kitchen table, and then being tucked away in their custom made build-box until the next session;  there's no putting away of machinery, just some simple hand tools and maybe a Dremel to deal with.  Plus, I'd really like my scratch-build to be in a larger scale than 1/100.  It takes a special talent to build 17th C. Men-O-War in small scales, and not everyone can be Donald McNary or Lloyd McCaffery.  So, again, display space is at a premium in our small apartment.  At some point in the actual build, I'll have to give away my first SR :(.

 

The other issue is that, while I'm quite a competent woodworker, I'll still have to learn the art of framing a few smaller wooden models before I take on something immense like SR.  Some day... Some day!

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Not because it particularly informs this build, but simply because I happened upon these images in my recent internet searches - I would like to point out a few things regarding the early appearance of SR.

 

It would be difficult to argue that the following two images are of any significant value as historical references, other than as folk-art, but nevertheless they seem to be the only two images that represent the very first incarnation of Soleil Royal, before her re-fit:

 

image.thumb.png.02aec4f493557bba23cd44962d0c92c0.png

image.png.4ec9b4357f7aa088ffaf55543e5671b4.png

 

While these two images seem to differ more than they agree (the presence of a middle-deck entry port on one, the relative profussion of upper bulwark ornamentation on the first image, the location of the main and fore channels), it is interesting to note where there is agreement.

 

In particular, the arrangement of the headrails and the figurehead are very similar.  And while the depiction of these details is crude, I will say that they seem to mimic what we can see of La Reyne's headrail arrangement.  This is the main reason why I believe these images to be representative of SR, after her launching.

 

What's really interesting to me is what little we can see of the stern ornamentation.  It is known that Peter Puget designed the original ornamentation and he is well known, and often maligned, for his large figurative works.  What I find interesting about the first drawing is the large nereid figure between the middle and quarter deck levels of the stern.  A similar figure appears in the more realistic second drawing.  Likewise, at the lower deck level, where the stern evolves into the counter timber, the first drawing shows a horse figure, which may also exist in the second drawing.

 

It seems to me that, in actuality, these figures probably looked very much like the proposed and actual ornament for The Monarch of 1668 - another of the vessels that Puget designed ornamentation for.

 

I don't think it is too far a leap of faith to say that, in her original appearance, Soleil Royal was probably architecturally and ornamentally a very similar ship to the Monarch.  The particular motifs would have been different, but the probable arrangement of her quarter galleries - all open walks - would probably have been  very similar.  Also, the Monarch being a heavily decorated ship, was probably almost on a par with SR's level of ornamentation.

 

I don't think there are any hard conclusions to be drawn here; just interesting possibilities of what might have been.

 

Interestingly, both drawings of SR only show 15 gun pory opennings on the first deck.

 

 

image.png

image.png

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