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

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WOW, Michael - that was absolutely worth the visit!  Your 1765 Victory is a remarkable achievement!


Everything from the quarters to the figurehead to the masting and rigging is just extremely well done.  I love your natural wood tones.   This is just an excellent example of how much more dynamic and interesting the hobby becomes, when you incorporate some scratch-work into the build.


I am curious to know what material you used for your sails, and what technique you employed for such realistic furls.  Please feel free to post within this log.


This was your first foray into that kind of build, and it came out so well because you took your time.  I think, sometimes builders become intimidated by the scratch work, but there are a handful of easy to acquire skills, like scribing for example, that make anything possible.


I heartily encourage everyone here to check out Michael’s Victory (see the links at the bottom of the prior page), and don’t miss out on his Heller Reale:

Of course, there is immense talent, technique and skill involved, but mostly - this kind of work is the product of patience and time.  Thanks for sharing, Michael!

Edited by Hubac's Historian
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My pleasure gentlemen, regarding the sails I used tissue paper Marc and for the square sails I cut the paper to about a 1/4 of the actual size and for lack of a better term cut them into the shape of a jock strap so to speak..lol. I used pencil for the seams and then glued the bolt rope around the perimeter leaving just enough paper to fold over it then brushed thinned pva glue over that and once dried, a series of the thin washes using tamiya white and desert yellow acrylics to the desired color, turned the sail over working from the aft side, punched holes for attaching to the yard and started wetting the sail in small sections starting at the bottom middle and working my way out using brushes, tweezers etc until I had a basic shape and let that dry up a bit. With the yard fitted out with all the blocks I attached the sail to it, wet it again and using the gaskets I drew in closer the yard forming the furl, again using a brush to help form the shape in and around the leech and bunt line blocks.

For the clues I used small triangle shaped pieces and tucked them into the furled sail once they were rigged. Hope that helps?


Kirill I used tamiya desert yellow acrylic as a base followed by thin washes of red brown and raw sienna artist acrylics and just played with it until I got the desired effect followed by some slight dry brushing of red brown and raw sienna then picked out the seams with a black wash and used a Qtip to wipe away any excess, for the deck I used deck tan..( go figure) and a thin wash of red brown and those really were my primary colors through out the build.


Michael D.


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Dear Marc, 


great work yo did.

Cramping the QG isn't a good idea so your solution is the optical perfect way to go. A perfect way to feeding all the rivet counters and keyboard warriors* till they do burst on teir own fire and brimstine to this artic decision to go away from the plan. I do think you are completly right in this. 



Did you copy the top and below side of your final fit in pieces to mirrow them and reuse the done work on the port side for economically reasons? 



Ordonances aren't on board now Did you made a decision how to place it? One side ready to fire the other after firing? What is your olan. Adding the canons before closing the deck is crucial and is avoiding endescopial surgery on yout kit. There is no big problem for you to build every single carriage through the gunport - but does this need to happen? 


If yoz could dispense two further Heller kits you may buy this... 




I really like the way your build is done. 













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Hello, Chris!


As Berain originally drew the QG, the five windows of the lower tier appear to be a kind of artifact of the First Marine design conventions.




Following the early freedom and exuberance of Puget’s early work on the Monarque, the Paris, the Scepter, and other early ships, Colbert and the crown decide that they must reign all of this in, so as not to literally embarrass themselves on the world stage.  Louis and Colbert are particularly concerned with how the new French fleet will be perceived by the English.


By the time, the Van de Veldes are making the following portraits in English waters, in 1672, many of these ships had been cut down, their ornament reduced and their names changed.


The Paris becomes the Royal Therese:




Le Royal Duc becomes La Reyne:


Who knows what Le Royal Duc looked like in 1668, but by 1672 La Reyne is a fairly sober looking vessel that is mainly notable for her impressive size and armament.


Here, the lower quarter of a large second rate:



By 1672, the open walkable quarters, on this lower tier of the QGs are now closed in.  Gone, are the massive split-tail tritons supporting the open walk, above.  By 1672, most French ships display this multiplicity of “windows” on the lower level.  Their number varies from ship to ship, but it hardly matters from an architectural standpoint, because it is all a facade.


On the other hand, as French design approaches the dawn of the second marine, there is a shift toward a more orderly and balanced presentation of the QGs.  This is what we see, manifest in the QGs of the St. Philippe of 1693, for example.


That Berain, apparently, chose to draw this earlier structure, in 1688/89, muddles their credibility for this later time period.  This is  but one example of why scholars of the period do not believe that these QGs belong to this period.


It is hard not to sympathize with that point of view, however, I see too much corollary - even where others do not - with the stern ornamentation to conclude that these quarters are anything but the rightful companion to Berain’s stern.


That being said, the original drawing - even if it is a facade - is cluttered and problematic.  I chose to de-clutter and reinforce harmonies with the stern ornament.


As for the guns, I designed this build to make it easy to install the guns after the model is complete.


On the lower decks, I have installed dummy carriages that are pre-drilled and positioned to point the guns in the desired attitude:






I found with my Airfix Vasa that I was constantly breaking off the gun barrels as the build progressed, which really annoyed me.


Unfortunately, I will have no choice but to mount the upper deck(s) guns, as the build progresses, but there will be less to break away.


For the same reason, I won’t put the port lids on until the end of the build.


The model will be displayed with all guns out, and ready for action.  My nod to historic reality will be that there are no bow or stern chase guns mounted.


Edited by Hubac's Historian
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That is an interesting point to look at Marc! 

Here two views of the Paris model it may help. 





I remember your fabulous ordonance and think I will do the same on a deck's level - as I do think there will be some light in the MD and the LD is seperated by the 7mm beech plywood I do have to paint mocca brown later on. Adding sockets for the fitting of the deck's halfs. 



I do think I will make the some 150 ropes for opening the lids from yarn. Looks easy but I think these pictures where the side of the hull has something like a



"comical hairy moment" doesn't need to be.


If the amount of needed yarn is stiffed by a little cheap superglue while haning down with a weight on it so it is getting perfectly straight. When dry you can cut out the right length and adding a pair of fine rings to the gunport's lid in the right angle to the rope. When adding a yarn knot to the ring you can cut it short at it's ends and add the stiff rope from the knot up to the lead cladded hole in the hull. Using a cross pinzette will make live easier. So you can work your way along the hole hull to add the lids in same quality everywhere alwas filling the groove between knot on the ring and holes over the lid. Working from LD to MD will make the work a lot less obstaceled and by this easier. 


 What do you think about this idea? Is it practical to do so? 



Edited by Heinrich der Seefahrer
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It is really fascinating watching and reading about how you are working your way through all the potential designs and deciding what to do. Your patience and workmanship are an example to us all, and certainly far beyond the time and effort I am willing and able to put in to my own project (not least because I am also building a Heller Scharnhorst - another model that requires a lot of research and extra work to get right, and one or two other non-maritime models).

As I mentioned before, I am sticking mainly with the kit's parts and adjusting those. It was interesting to see the much more three-dimensional carving on the stern of the Paris model but trying to emulate that is quite beyond me. What a shame Heller seem to have thought so too. Did you say earlier that you might be thinking of painting the sun chariot panel in full colour, rather than just gilt? That would be quite a departure but very striking.

Interesting too to see how you have tackled the cannon. I can identify with your frustration at losing barrels; I had to buy several extra barrels to replace ones I pushed into the lower decks of the Glorieux. I am just hoping that I've lathered enough glue over the SR carriages that they stay in place. Like Christian, I have drilled the holes for the port lid ropes and glued  the ropes on the inside so they don't disappear too until the lids are fixed on at the end.

Still waiting for my guns and tackle bits to arrive from HisModel; I think Brexit is causing us Europeans a lot of headaches, not least that I might end up paying tax on the purchase twice over.

Looking forward to the continuation of your amazing project.

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Thank you, John.  It is the challenge of figuring out how to do something, and present a picture of the ship that is both functionally practical and beautiful.  I am determined to show a coherent marriage of the Berain stern to these quarter galleries, in the hope (perhaps vain) that some may finally see that they have more in common, than not.  It is a passionate argument that propels me forward in a way that is hard for me to explain.


Yes, I will incorporate a radiant burst of sun energy emanating from all around Apollo and his horses, against a deep ultra-marine ground; this will be a nod to the artistic portraiture of this particular subject that I think will be a fitting coronation to this magnificent work of art that LeBrun/Puget/Berain evolved over time.


I sympathize with you, re: Brexit.  I have a hard time understanding how insular politics benefit anyone in the modern age.



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