Jump to content

Le Soleil Royal by Nek0 - 1/72 - Marc Yeu

Recommended Posts


so here we are, this is my attempt to build this famous ship ! 

I always loved period ships, as far as I can remember, but it was a real shock when I got the Heller model kit at christmas when I was 14. The box itself was huge and very impressive, and the model was gorgeous. I still have this model in my workshop, I keep it as a relic ! Then I discovered the Tanneron model, the one which is displayed at the Paris naval museum, and as many I was fascinated by the beautiful carvings. 

In 2008 the desire to build model ships went back and my interest for the "SR" was still there so I bought the Sergal model kit, but I was quite disappointed with the quality of the materials and I realized if I wanted something more accurate I would have to do it myself... So I began drawing the plans and building a first model based on the Tanneron, until I found it was false, and nothing like a 17th century ship should look like... So I restarted from scratch... For this new project, I relied only on the period drawings of the stern and the bow, and all the dimensions and mesurements that Michel Saunier had patiently collected and eventually shared with me. I thank him for that ! 

It took me two years of research and work to complete the drawings of the plans, because I had to learn everything on the subject. 

Early 2014 I finally could start the real work but early 2015 I had to stop because of a newborn baby, and too much work keeping me out of my workshop... I finally could go back to the workshop these last past weeks, here is what I've done so far.

At first, some of the drawings, that apparently have already made their way on the internet. ;) 

I use the Gimp as a software. I did the plans according to the dimensions of the ship, and then adapted the decorations to the result. The drawings of the stern and bow are "artist views", and in no way can be used for architectural purposes. So the drawings had to be modified and distorded, element by element, to fit the plans. But it was not the hard part of the work, the worse was getting the waterlines correct... It took me countless hours !
















Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Marc - 


Thank you for posting photos of your outstanding work.  You are clearly a very accomplished draughtsman and woodworker, and your model is well on its way to being a top notch work.  I will be following along with great interest.


It will also be very informative to compare and contrast your work with Hubac Historian's plastic model, and Michel Saulnier's as well.  I may never build one of these massive projects, but I will learn a great deal from all of your efforts.


Thanks again.



Current build -SS Mayaguez (c.1975) scale 1/16" = 1' (1:192) by Dan Pariser


Prior scratch builds - Royal yacht Henrietta, USS Monitor, USS Maine, HMS Pelican, SS America, SS Rex, SS Uruguay, Viking knarr, Gokstad ship, Thames River Skiff , USS OneidaSwan 42 racing yacht  Queen Anne's Revenge (1710) SS Andrea Doria (1952), SS Michelangelo (1962) , Queen Anne's Revenge (2nd model) USS/SS Leviathan (1914),  James B Colgate (1892),  POW bone model (circa 1800) restoration


Prior kit builds - AL Dallas, Mamoli Bounty. Bluejacket America, North River Diligence, Airfix Sovereign of the Seas


"Take big bites.  Moderation is for monks."  Robert A. Heinlein



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have taken many of my cues from both Marc and Michel because they are they only two I know of to fully immerse themselves in study of the ship.


I am so glad that you are posting here, now, Marc!  As I say to everyone who doesn't know your ship, your work is peerless, and this model I think, when it is complete, will become the grandest vision of what the ship once was.


I am personally indebted to both you and Michel for freely sharing information and your passion for one of the least understood "Great" ships.


I'll certainly be following with great interest!

Edited by Hubac'sHistorian

We are all works in progress, all of the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a wonderful work you did so far, Marc... (I've seen your work on the french forum so keep this one updated as well). SR is one of my favorite ships.

I'll certainly follow your build log.


In two or three words, can you tell me why Tanneron's model is false? I was always fascinated by that model (never saw it in real life though) and to me it looked like a real reference (after all, it's displayed in a naval museum).

Edited by moflea



Current build: Constructo's Union, 1:100 Brigantine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few points of curiosity for me, Marc:


With regard to your plywood bulkheads, it appears that the lower section of each bulkhead is a separate piece, before the filling of the balsa.  It appears to coincide with a particular waterline.  Just wondering why?


Also, I'm wondering about the first layer of planking that comes up to just beneath the main wale.  It seems that it is perfectly flush with the surface of the faired-in bulkheads and balsa, which would mean that you had to have first cut a rebate into the bulkhead frames before assembling anything.  It's hard to see, but this appears to be the case.  I'm just curious as to why you wouldn't lay down a first layer of planking over the entire hull.  The rebate seems like an extra step, although I'm sure you had good reason for doing it this way.


One more question:  your layout of the wales and all of what would be the actual framing, onto the un-planked hull is all perfectly fair and straight and regular looking.  How do you go about transferring curved lines onto a curved object and have it all look so neat?


Also, I like your solution to shaping the headers of the quarter deck ports; very clean!

Edited by Hubac'sHistorian

We are all works in progress, all of the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose I see, now that your wale locations are indicated on the bulkhead patterns, but what about the rest of the layout?  Going that extra step will certainly  assist your efforts to convincingly tree-nail the model, as is evident in other pictures I've seen of your exterior planking.


And one more question for the evening!  It would seem that the un-planked balsa/bulkhead hull would be fairly fragile, however, as your planking progresses, have you noticed that the model both seems and is substantially more solid/rigid?

Edited by Hubac'sHistorian

We are all works in progress, all of the time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi all, and thank you for your kind words.

Dan, I went to your Queen Anne's revenge thread and I'm really impressed, it's beautiful work !!

Alex, Tanneron model is false in many ways. You may know that the Soleil Royal was built in 1669, when Tanneron model were built in 1839, so Tanneron never saw the real ship. The most important may be the stern with it's huge and very high rear castle. The ships at this time were not that high, and more wide. For an example here is a comparison between my first drawing based on the Tanneron, and the one based on the Berain. The differences are obvious, not only because of the decoration but from an architectural point of view. You can see that the Tanneron has five windows when the Berain has six for one deck. Then, there is a big fault on the first deck, where two last gunports are too low. It's a fault based on the Admiral Paris work that are subject to caution. There are some other minor faults, as the shape of the third deck gunports, (also based on the Admiral Paris's plans) and other little things. 

Nonetheless it is a masterpiece of carving, beautifully executed. In the museum, it is displayed in the "ship ornaments" section and not in the "XVIIe century vessels" section. ;)

I have no time to write the following, I come back this evening.





Sans titre (2).jpg


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here I am again !

Patrice, content de te retrouver ici également !! Vas tu ouvrir un sujet sur ta superbe Renommée ? (Patrice, nice to meet you here too ! Will you open a thread on your beautiful Renommée ?)


Hi Marc ! You're absolutely right, I did several landmarks on the bulkheads. One cm landmarks to be sure each bulkhead positionned correctly on the keel. And landmarks for the wales, gunports, waterline, and decks to be sure the building would be faithful to the plans. Once the balsa filling done, I just had to join the landmarks to make the correct positionning of these elements appear. It was very helpful particularly for the gunports, to make them form a nice and sweet curve for each deck. 

I made a one mm thick ramin planking (crate wood !) because the balsa is a very soft and flabby wood, and I feared in these areas below the waterline, very curved, the joint between the balsa and the plywood would eventually make facets because of the hardness difference. The ramin made a homogeneous base, regular and hard enough. At last, I did not totally trust myself in the drawing of the water lines, and the one mm thickness of ramin would be a security layer that I could sand down more or less to have a real neat and smooth surface. 

The two pieces of the bulkheads, it's to make the rabbet, a stop for the planking. It would not have been possible with only one piece because of the keel. The cutting is done, not on a waterline, but on an "one cm" landmark, only for convenience purpose. 

The plywood/balsa structure was quite fragile, but not as much as I would have thought. And indeed with the pear planking it became very strong.

Thank you very much for your interest !!




Couple 8.jpg

Soleil Royal 32.JPG

Soleil Royal 52.JPG

Soleil Royal 144.JPG

Soleil Royal 146.JPG

Soleil Royal 182.JPG

Soleil Royal 191.JPG

Soleil Royal 193.JPG

Soleil Royal 228.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bienvenue, Mark. From browsing websites all over the world it is apparent there are many extraordinary ship model makers whose work we have never seen. Happily, several of them seem to have discovered Model Ship World recently and we are very pleased to view your work. I especially appreciate the meticulous lining out of your hull. It takes a very brave builder to take on a model with such exquisite carvings!


Admiralty Models

moderator Echo Cross-section build
Admiralty Models Cross-section Build

Finished build
Pegasus, 1776, cross-section

Current build
Speedwell, 1752

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Nek0.

Outstanding build and drafting.

Will follow along on this build.

I like your method of construction.  And your planking looks first class. 


Regards Antony.

Best advice ever given to me."If you don't know ..Just ask.

Completed Mayflower

Completed Fun build Tail boat Tailboat

Completed Build Chinese Junk Chinese Pirate Junk

Completed scratch built Korean Turtle ship 1/32 Turtle ship

Completed Santa Lucia Sicilian Cargo Boat 1/30 scale Santa Lucia

On hold. Bounty Occre 1/45

Completed HMS Victory by DeAgostini modelspace. DeAgostini Victory Cross Section

Completed H.M.S. Victory X section by Coral. HMS Victory cross section

Completed The Black Pearl fun build Black Queen

Completed A large scale Victory cross section 1/36 Victory Cross Section

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very interesting approach to building the hull and its already a beautiful result, can't wait to see how the rest of the planking goes together!


"Which it will be ready when it is ready!"
In the shipyard:

HMS Jason (c.1794: Artois Class 38 gun frigate)

Queen Anne Royal Barge (c.1700)


HMS Snake (c.1797: Cruizer Class, ship rigged sloop)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks !!

Gaetan, the goal is to build the full ship with all the carving, the rigging and sails, in "branle bas de combat" state. (what is the english word for this ?) I know it may take a while, since I'm not retired and I have many more activities, but I will stuck to the project and would rather go slow than rush some aspects of the building. I had to learn everything from scratch: "how is built a period ship", "what is a piece of wood and how to work with it", "what is ornament carving" etc, so it took me a lot of time because I was learning. Now I can go a little faster. :)

Marc, indeed, I spent a lot (a looooooot !) of time on the plans because I wanted the building to be as easy as possible and I tried to anticipate any problem I should met during the build. (of course I didn't manage, but at least I made plans that were easy to follow)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work

In the early 80's I also built the Soleil Royal from Heller. And she is also still on display in our house.


I will follow.
I have a feeling that I'm going to learn a lot here.

Regards, Patrick


Finished :  Soleil Royal Heller 1/100   Wasa Billing Boats   Bounty Revell 1/110 plastic (semi scratch)   Pelican / Golden Hind  1/45 scratch

Current build :  Mary Rose 1/50 scratch

Gallery Revell Bounty  Pelican/Golden hind 1/45 scratch

To do Prins Willem Corel, Le Tonnant Corel, Yacht d'Oro Corel


Shore leave,  non ship models build logs :  

ADGZ M35 funkwagen 1/72    Einhets Pkw. Kfz.2 and 4 1/72   Autoblinda AB40 1/72   122mm A-19 & 152mm ML-20 & 12.8cm Pak.44 {K8 1/2} 1/72   10.5cm Howitzer 16 on Mark. VI(e)  Centurion Mk.1 conversion   M29 Weasel 1/72     SAM6 1/72    T26 Finland  T26 TN 1/72  Autoprotetto S37 1/72     Opel Blitz buses 1/72  Boxer and MAN trucks 1/72

Shore leave,  time consuming projects :

a new bathroom


Si vis pacem, para bellum

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Then, we arrive to the "carving problem".... I never sculpted anything, so I had to practice before I try to do the ship's ornaments. First, I made a sitting sailor for a friend. It is now displayed in his 74 gunship model. 

Oh, and I forgot to say, this Soleil Royal is 1/72 scale, so is this sitting sailor. 







Edited by Nek0
Link to comment
Share on other sites

augh.....i think i'm gonna be ill :o..or at least cry....unbelieveable....time for me to quit pretending i'm a modeler :D.........boy.... am i gonna be attached to this thread....super super....and the fellow looks so natural and lifelike..............................................................and so small...................sheesh!!!

Edited by yancovitch
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've never carved before? And you made your own carving tools?  You have incredible natural talent and skills.  I am in awe:o. I wish I had a fraction of your talent.  Even your photography skills are great.






Laissez le bon temps rouler ! 



Current Build:  Le Soleil Royal

Completed Build Amerigo Vespucci

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if i may........what kind of pear wood?.....got some pear once which was very light like yours....then the second time years later i got some which was relative dark.......maybe grown in the north or south makes a difference.....and if i missed it .....what kind of wood for the carving?...looks like it has an awfully fine grain...thanks..

Edited by yancovitch
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neko, you built miniature cutters and you show us that you will have the necessary skill to produce nice carvings. Sculpture is an art you can learn, but you need to have basics talents. I would say that the most important tool would be the proportions. The last ones I did were for the Fleuron which also appeared in this forum.


If I could suggest 1 helping hint for carving, it would be to try rotary burrs and for the smallest ones, dental burrs. There is a learning curves in using tools. In carving, we begin with knives but a knife is harder to control than a rotary burr. You need to exercise strength and control his dosage. With rotary burs... you need no strength to control it, the tool has the power and you concentrate all your talent on the carving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...