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I've finally found the time to reconstruct my build log after the great crash of 2013

 

Some of the pictures are lost so the log does not start at the beginning.

 

This is my first serious foray into ship modeling. I say first serious attempt because 30+ years ago I built a Revell USS Constitution. But I was still in High School and not very concerned with accuracy or craftsmanship. I just wanted to finish the kit and display it. This kit of Soleil Royal was given to me as a gift way back then and I am just getting around to continuing building it.

 

I am very much looking forward to a build that I can be proud of. Even though I know that my skills are not up to par with some of you I am trying to incorporate as much research and accuracy as I can muster in a plastic kit.

 

Here are some of the pictures of what has been done. I'll try to summarize what I've done so far to catch everyone up.

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I decided to display the ship with all gunports closed to starboard and opened on the port side. Eventually I plan on setting just the fighting sails (topsails, mizzen, and perhaps the spritsail topsail)  with the courses clewed up. 

I did not like the look of the eyebolts supplied with the kit so I replaced them with brass. The holes for them were drilled and the eyebolts pass completely through the upper wale. The ends will be trimmed and bent over to lay alongside the inner bulkhead. The ends will lay inside the gap between the hull and the upper bulwarks, in an area that needs to be filled anyway. Doing the eyebolts this way should also prevent any pullout cause by strain from rigging.

 

I am leaving the lower hull unpainted for now until a proper cradle/base is finished. I don't want to ruin the paint job. It will be painted a dirty white to represent white stuff.  I also drilled a hole through the bottom of the keel, roughly amidships, and fastened a threaded nut inside the hull over it prior to fitting the decks. This will take a bolt from the base to fasten the model down to it. I don't know how other people secure their models to the display bases so I just improvised with what I had on hand.

 

The head grating in the bow has been noted by others to be a problem with this kit. It has no supporting structure to it and seems to be just floating there. I do not know how this would have looked with respect to ornamentations and design, so I have not decided what to do with this area yet.  [/size]

 

The decks went in easily. The kit has a series of stanchions along the centerline of the first battery deck to support the 2nd battery deck. There are none for between the 2nd and 3rd battery. As a result there is a lot of flex in the 3rd battery deck. Since there will be quite a bit of rigging fastened here that will produce an upward strain on the deck I added some extra support. I trimmed some sprue to length to make stanchions for the centerline to hold the deck up. And I added a boot (coat?) to the base of the mainmast to hold the deck down. The mast coat was fashioned from sheet styrene and quarter round molding. The masts are dry fit at this point. I do not think I will cement them to the step. I'm going to let the rigging hold them in.

 

I added some shims beneath the hatch gratings to raise the gratings above the deck level to give the appearance of a coaming. All of the eyebolts for the decks were replaced with brass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is the start on some of the brightwork. The unpainted area of the after bulwarks is where the quarter gallery will go.

I opened the quarter galleries. Still working on fitting floors for the quarter galleries out of sheet styrene. The ornamentation that was cut out of the openings will be mounted on the bulwarks.

 

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First parts of the rigging.

I decided to rig the ship using as a reference The Rigging of Ships in the Days of the Spritsail Topmast by R.C. Anderson. I chose sizes of rigging thread accordingly. Here you see the wooldings, the gammoning and the Main Stay. The thread is poly/cotton dyed black using Minwax Ebony stain. It took a few attempts to get an eye splice turned in; not so bad on the 0.08 inch diameter Main stay but a real bear on the 0.03 inch Gammoning. I don't think I will be making real eye splices on anything smaller than that. I'm sure simulated ones will look just fine for the smaller rope. The wooldings are 0.02 inch and seized around the masts using the method of taking the required number of turns round the mast and over a bight in the line and heaving the ends taught underneath by pulling the bight down beneath the turns. Not all the wooldings have been put on the Fore Mast yet. You can also see the mast coat I added to the main mast. I will put one on the Fore and Mizzen once the deck level can be determined.

I still need to raise a mouse on the Main Stay and seize a treble block in on the lower end.

 

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Enjoy,

 

Henry

 

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I am contemplating how to fix the area around the head of the ship.  The knee of the head is in two sections (upper and lower) separated by a gap with two cheeks  I am thinking of filling in the gap between the cheeks with a piece that I will carve with decorations to match some of the other decoration of the ship.  I also want to add in the timbers that are missing that would have held up the head rails and head deck.

 

I am looking for some advise here.  As you can see in the photo below if I construct the timbers by having them arise from the top of the upper cheek they will have a nearly horizontal lead out to the lowest head rail.  The other options would be to have them arise from the top of the lower cheek or to have them run from the upper cheek to the middle head rail.

 

Any thoughts?

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Henry

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally have some new progress to report. Seems like there is never enough time to work on the build.

 

I am working on correcting the deficiencies in the head of the ship. Since no one really knows what this area of the ship looked like I took some artistic license. I was also pointed in the direction of a build log on another site which gave me some good ideas.

 

Here's what I came up with:

 

I filled the space between the cheeks with a billet carved from styrene stock. Then I cast some silicone molds using the decoration on one of the quarter galleries and cast some pieces in resin.

 

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Here are the resin pieces mounted and painted

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Next I carved some head rail timbers from strip styrene

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And mounted them

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Then I cast another decoration to ornament the head timbers and mounted them to finish out this project

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And here is a couple of pics with the head rails and grating temporarily fitted

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That's all for now.

Thanks for looking in on the build.

 

P.S. I'm hoping this is not too horrible a build. No one has commented yet

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  • 2 weeks later...

Le Soleil Royale is one of my dream ships. Too bad is out of my budget to buy the wooden version at this moment.

 I have the plastic Heller kit under my workshop table. I just don't feel like going the plastic way again.

I must add you are doing a tremendous job here. Keep on it!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Henry, I just found your build log, and will be following along too. Than you for your generous offer, and I look forward to meeting you when I get to Boston. Please email me with your email address and phone number, so I can contact you when I know my schedule. My RV should be in this week, and we will probably start heading north at the end of next week hopefully. I'll give you plenty of warning and lead time. My email is: texxn5@aol.com,

Thanks,

John Fleming

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  • 1 month later...

I had a bit of a set back (at least in my mind) and I would like your opinions.  After taking a long time with painting all of that gilt work on the ships sides, stern and quarter galleries, I wanted to put a coat of lacquer over all to protect the paint.  I sprayed the sides with dull cote and the result is to my eye a bit disheartening.  I do not like how dull the gold becomes, but I do not think there is any way to fix it, or if I should even try.

 

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I am thinking of leaving the quarter galleries and stern with more of a bright finish even though there will be a contrast with the sides.

 

What do you think?   Any suggestions?

 

 

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From here Henry it look s superb. Fixed..? I've got some plastic Connie parts that would love to look that good ANY DAY. Nice work.

 

Dave

 

PS: I may have to use dullcote as well. I have had trouble with the gold testors paint showing signs of 'handling' even when there is no handling going on.

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Henry:

 

I am still a ways from finding out. I.e. I am afraid you will know before me on this one. I hope some of the other more experienced modelers have had some luck with this problem. I started a thread last year to discuss it but not much info was exchanged.

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I know there are some modelers who are against leaving the gold bright.  They don't feel that it would have been like that on the real ship.  Personally I like the way it pops against the french blue.  It gives the model a more wow effect.

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Henry,

 

I  think outside of repainting the gold, the only other choice you have is to let it be as is.  Dullcoat does mute the colors some, particularly the shiny ones like gold, copper, brass, etc.

 

Hmm.... try this:somewhere on scrap...paint some blue... paint some gold for detail...  spray with dullcoat.  The brush some gloss coat on the gold.  Might work.

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you can always spray it again with glosscote! :piratetongueor4:

 

Personally, if it was me I would have dullcoated the gold anyway. Shiny looks pretty on small pieces, but taken as a whole on a plastic scale model ship the end result is almost inevitably a fake "toyish" look. The dullcoted gold looks more "natural" to my eyes.

 

My 2 cents anyway.

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Block and Tackle for Cannons:

 

I have been working for some time on a method for stropping blocks with hooks and I think I've decided on a workable solution.  The blocks I am using for the gun and train tackles for the cannons are Chuck Passaro's 2 mm blocks.  The strops are made with black polyester sewing thread and the hooks are formed from 28 gauge steel wire.  For this 2 mm block the strop is about 9 mm long.

 

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An eye is made in the thread by tucking the end twice between the strands.

 

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The serving machine is employed to serve over a couple of turns of the thread.

 

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Hooks are either with the eye perpendicular to the hook or with the eye on the same plane.

 

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A hook is threaded onto the strop and the ends of the strop closed by passing the end of the thread through the eyes of the strop.

 

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I made a seizing jig by filing a pin down to fit the holes of a 2 mm block and placing a few more pins to tension the hook and strop on the block

 

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Another pin is inserted to form the eye of the strop around

 

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The free end is passed around the strop between the pin and the block to seize the sides of the strop together, hove tight, and secured with a clove hitch.

 

The finished blocks:

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The 2 mm blocks are really hard to work with because they are so small.  I think as I get better with this I want to make the eye of the hook smaller, the eye of the strop smaller, and the strop itself thinner diameter.  They all seem to be a little large for this block.

 

Next up is figuring out how to make a good looking becket for the standing part of the tackle to seize to.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Henry,

I sent you an email last week, but haven't heard from you.  I'll be in Boston September 5-8.  Will you be available for a tour, and if so which day is good for you.  Would you reccomend during or after hours?  If I don't hear from you in the next few days, I'll call you.  I'm in Augusta, Maine right now.  Look forward to meeting you,

John

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Henry, thank you my friend, for the chance of a lifetime, to have that great ship to ourselves, and for your gracious hospitality. Meeting you was like seeing an old friend that I had known forever, and to be able to do this was an event that could never even fathom that I could do. Diane and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you again for your time and the wonderful tour.

John & Diane

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Hi Henry

  You mentioned a problem with the evolution of the gold paint on the brite work. I make this observation. If you have started with solvent based paints - presumably as a primer, then try to use and acrylic/waterbase paint in the next layer, in this case presumably the gold. Solvent color over solvent color means that the layer below is effecting the layer above no matter how long you let the earlier layer dry/cure. By alternating the sovent base with water base the paints cannot affect one anothers chemistry.  So, down to cases. You indicated that the last thing you did was spray dulcote as a protective layer - cool I do that to an any project that might require handling. To really make the color pop,  take some water based gold - a shade or two brighter than the gold you have now. Paint only the highest relief areas using a tiny brush and infinite care and patience. I would avoid drybrushing it is too imprecise, you'll just get it all over the blue and you'll have a bloody mess. Then cover that in turn with a solvent based semigloss/satin coat (as one of the other posts mentioned gloss would probably be inappropriate) With this layering the brite work will develop a depth that will really make a difference and yet remain authentic. 

  BTW I have this kit as well and find that adding detail and technique to accurize the model is really satisfying. I liked your solution to the headrails and will use that on mine. I also invariably accurize the mast wolding the way you indicated - small details like that make a huge difference.

   I do have a question. Why stick with the kit sparring?  I usually simply take measurements off of the kit parts and replace with wood. It does make a difference especially in the rigging phase. Rigging often deflects and distorts the plastic in ways that wood will resist.

  Keep up the great work

   Steve

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Hi Henry,

your Details are admirable. I have the same kit on the shelf for many years now after getting it for a Christmas present. With respect for the fine Details and the small scale I never touched it so far but I will follow your build with interest as the Soleil is a beatiful ship.

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   I do have a question. Why stick with the kit sparring?  I usually simply take measurements off of the kit parts and replace with wood. It does make a difference especially in the rigging phase. Rigging often deflects and distorts the plastic in ways that wood will resist.

  Keep up the great work

   Steve

 

Steve,

I have not arrived at the point where I have to deal with spars yet.  I have indeed been thinking about replacing them with wood.

 

Your suggestion for the gold paintwork sounds like exactly what I need.  Thanks.

 

Thanks for looking in on my build.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The blacksmith forge at the shipyard is working overtime making hooks, eyebolts, and ringbolts for rigging the cannons.  The riggers (unfortunately they are all neophytes and apprentices) are working out the proper ways to rig everything in ship shape fashion.

 

Here is the latest:

Breeching Rope with ring bolt

 

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Thanks for looking in.

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Henry,

Your build is looking great. I really like your solution to the head rails and your casting details. I was trying to see the company name on the silicone putty you used since I am missing a detail piece on the Heller Le Phenix and have been leaning towards casting it in resin.

 

I too have the Royale in my stash although I have been waiting to build it while I try and get my chops back... 40 years away from modeling sure can put a crimp in your style. As I said, keep up the good work and I will be following the build with great interest.

 

Steve

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Here is the product of all the hard work of the smith.  All are made from 28 gauge steel wire blackened with Blacken-it.

The small rivets/nails are not blackened yet.  I am waiting till I get a pile of them made.  They will be used to represent the bolts that hold the gun carriages together.  

 

I may be going a little overboard with these bolts.  Each one is peened by hand and I am putting 8 on each gun carriage. The hooks and eyebolts were easy by comparison.

 

I must be crazy....that's what the Admiral says ;)

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