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La Couronne 1636 by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS - Corel - Scale 1:100 - First wooden ship build by Kurt Suleski

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La Coruonne by Kurt Suleski - Corel - Scale 1:100 - 1636 - First wooden ship build

 

Hello everyone!

 

Like my father before me, I sailed merchant ships as an Engineering Officer, and have always loved square riggers.  After eight years living aboards ship, seawater still flows in my veins twenty-five years later.  I built several plastic ones as a boy, and now am returning to the hobby decades later, this time with experience in medieval weapon and armour smithing, carpentry, machining and other trade skills.  A decision had to be made as to which era of sailing ship to choose.  

 

The 17th century royal great ships peaked my interest because of their embellishment and style, set apart from the advanced, refined warships of the Lord Admiral Nelson's time.  So, the first ship, what I consider my training vessel, is La Couronne c. 1636.  It's an ambitious ship for a novice such as myself.  EJ's La Couronne build on the Nautical Research Guild was an inspiration, and his build log serves me well as a guide, since plans alone are not sufficient for a first time project.  I also purchased Deagostini's Sovereign of the Seas, all packages, and am saving that for building closer to retirement in 10-13 years.  The challenge of the small scale of 1:100 of La Couronne is rather high, trying to include the level of detail I desire, plus the addition of either full or battle sails.  Silkspan is the material that is planned to use for the sails.  I hope I don't tear them to ribbons in the process!  A ship isn't complete without sails, no matter that they block some of the view of the deck equipment. 

 

 La Couronne so far is about 50% done, with the additions of: properly scaled 18 pound, 9 pound, and 6 pound bronze cannons, use of Falkonet small 2mm blocks instead of the monster blocks supplied with the kit, cannon carriages of walnut instead of dummy barrels, internal circuit board with flickering candle effect LED lights for upper gun deck stern and side galleries and turrets, and of course, stern lanterns.   Below is a link to 264 photos (an growing) of the progress of the build, every step of the way, all numbered to allow one to see the progress in order.  

 

I would treasure your comments and suggestions on how to steer this build in the direction of perfection, or questions as how features of this model were chosen and performed.  All of you who have posted your own builds have unwittingly educated me in this build every step of the way.  

 

Best wishes!

 

Kurt Suleski

DARIVS ARCHITECTVS (Latin for Darius the Engineer)

 

La Couronne Build Photos

 

264-Test-Fit-Towers.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Beautiful work, nice clean lines and definition. Look forward to more of your posts and will be following. Your build blog images are quality craftsmanship, what stain or oil did you use on your finished lower hull. The color definition of the wood grain is gorgeous!

Edited by Jonathan11

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Posted (edited)

No stain or oil was applied to the lower hull.  The kit mohagany was used, and a couple coats of Krylon satin finish were sprayed on.  If too much was applied, leaving a run or glossy area, the excess was removed with an old sock.  Nothing fancy in my technique.  I have yet to learn the sophisticated methods from you guys.  😀

On the transom, I used thin strips of sapelle wood bought from China off an eBay auction.  I was very surprised to see that the color and pattern almost matched the mohagany on the hull.  Using the sapelle was truly lucky, because I almost ran out of mohagany.  I have one 12" strip left when the hull was covered!  That would have created an ugly non-matching patch near the waterline.

Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

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Great to see you log on here! She is shaping up very nicely. Will be fun to follow along and see how everything turns out.

 

If you have not found it already, another one of our members, Yancovitch made an RC version of this ship with working canons. He has a video of him sailing her in his log here:

His is a much larger scale than the one you are building so some of the details are easier to see.

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Hi EJ!  

I've seen Yancovitch's RC La Couronne videos.  I found them by scouring the internet for research information just like I found you build log.  Quite a vessel!  It looks so real in low light out on the water!

 

 Okay, below are pictures from today's progress.  Install gun port lids on all stern guns and started fitting the rear towers on the stern gallery.  Of course I had to test the internal lights again because they are cool.

265 Make Eight Stern Port Covers .jpg

266 Upper Four Port Covers Ready.jpg

267 Install Upper Stern Port Covers.jpg

268 Prepare to Install Lower Stern Port Covers.jpg

269 Install Lower Four Stern Port Covers.jpg

270 Fashion Bulkheads Joining Rear Towers.jpg

271 Test Fit Rear Towers - Internal Lights On.jpg

272 Rear Towers Look Good So Far - Lights On.jpg

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Progress 8 April 2019.  Install glass in windows of stern gallery forward towers.  Glass is made from clear plastic taken from purchased tool packaging and scribed with a razor knife and straight edge.  Scribe lines are darkened with black acrylic paint, with excess removed with moistened toilet paper.  Windows are set in place with small application of CA glue at the corners.  Added 0.5mm thick x2mm wide sapelle wood strips as trim for the bow turrets.  Penciled in outlines of the windows to prepare cutting them our with a bullet shaped coarse diamond bit in a Dremel tool, just like the previous towers.  Wood towers are made from 1mm thick mohagany sheet.  Yellow LED's will illuminate the towers and turrets.

 

274 Glass in Stern Gallery Fwd Towers.jpg

275 Trim on Bow Towers.jpg

276 Draw Windows on Bow Towers.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Did some work on the rearmost gallery tower bells.  Decided that blue and gold was the way to go.  Needed some detail, so added brass wire for contrast, and bought a bunch of brass plated crowns for each tower top.  Test fitted after assembly.  When all stern gallery towers are ready, a hole will be cut through the hull on both sides for the wiring and LED lights, and the LED's will be arranged inside the enclosure between the two towers on each side of the ship, such that light streams through the towers to the outside.  For a 1:100 scale shape, the threshold at which you limit the details is much smaller that on a larger, 1 meter long model, and I have to choose how much detail is worth installing.  Making an entire stern gallery interior for this ship would largely go unappreciated.  Fat fingers also have their limits.  Besides, I have to save up some enthusiasm for the Deagostini Sovereign of the Seas I have it two big boxes awaiting construction next.  

284 Layout Lines on Cones for Shaping.jpg

285 Sand Cones to Hex Shape by Hand.jpg

286 Stain Tower Top Blue.jpg

287 Glue Brass Wire to Facet Edges.jpg

288 Add Crown and Test Fit.jpg

Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

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I don't think you would get much visual appreciation of an interior on this build at 1:100 scale. The only way to see inside her are just through those small windows. Even with interior lighting, what is seen would be very minimal. I think I would save the effort for S.o.t.S. if the scale is a bit larger to allow it.

 

Towers are looking great! The blue you are using nearly matches your keyboard!

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Posted (edited)

I agree, EJ.  I think the internal lighting, and especially the stern lamps will be sufficient.  This is my practice piece for HAM Sovereign of the Seas.  In many ways, La Couronne is more difficult.  Today I was working on the tower caps for the forward stern towers and bow towers.  The caps for the forward stern towers still need wire decoration.  Hand shaping the tiny caps and the bottoms of the bow towers takes lot of time with a sanding block and you have to be precise.  The keyboard in the background is black, and just reflecting blue light from the television on the wall... because it is displaying ships on the ocean, of course!  😁

244252458_289Looksgoodsofar.thumb.jpg.1f08011da6640060ab3105c0524ab06c.jpg

835091749_290MakingTowerCaps.thumb.jpg.5b0d12927d25376b4c125275387c74bd.jpg

1103344742_291ForeTowersandFwdSternTowers.thumb.jpg.6048b6d74626e819480f9429d7737928.jpg

Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

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Ah, that makes sense about the keyboard.

 

Towers are looking good, and I whole heartily agree that the roof caps are a pain to make. Yours are shaping up nicely and the wire work with the crowns is a sharp touch. 

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1 hour ago, EJ_L said:

Ah, that makes sense about the keyboard.

 

Towers are looking good, and I whole heartily agree that the roof caps are a pain to make. Yours are shaping up nicely and the wire work with the crowns is a sharp touch. 

Thanks EJ.  Ther tower caps are done, and next is the covered area between them.

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Posted (edited)

The last 48 hours were devoted to getting a part of the ship that always had me concerned with regard to how well it would turn out; the stern and side galleries. After finishing the towers, including the two bow towers, it was time to tackle the side galleries. One of the 6 circuits off the lighting control board was reserved for the side gallery lights. All the light circuits were programmed to flicker little, simulating torch or lamp light. It sort of brings a little life to an otherwise static model. I wish I had the talent to make human figures, because Doris Obručová's HMS Sovereign of the Seas is a living ship, with lots of human figures (plus a dog) shown actively doing things on the ship. Sadly, 1:100 scale sailor figures are quite rare, having only found 15 1770's American sailor figures available in my search.

But I digress. The side galleries are done! The lighting is nice. I went with blue roofs on the side galleries, and the railings on the fore peak will be changed to be more similar to Dutch style. There are more details to add to the stern besides the rudder, and all the deck details like railings and posts need to be done. I have to fight the ever-present urge to rush things. Best to slow and super-detail everything I can, because the end result will be worth it. 

 

Oh, and by the way, EJ, the little crowns are from Etsy online.  You can find a lot of brass and gold plated trinkets and embossed metal strips there that can be used for details.

 

292 Hollow Out Side Gallery Frames.jpg

293 Add Bulkheads to Forward Stern Gallery Towers.jpg

293 Add Forward Stern Tower.jpg

294 Attach Rear Towers and Rig Lighting.jpg

295 Looking Good So Far.jpg

296 Plank Side Gallery Roof.jpg

297 Planking Side Gallery.jpg

298 Looking Good with Lighting.jpg

299 Build Stbd Side Gallery.jpg

300 Stbd Side Gallery Done.jpg

Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

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I was thinking for days over what to do with the prow of the ship since there are so many interpretations, varying between the Mantua version, the Corel version, and the one depicted in paintings of the St. Louis.  I opted to go with one similar to the St. Louis put using the lower foundation from the Corel kit as a base, and base the style on a paper model made by  Jan, aka Jano 100, which is similar to the St. Louis. 

 

After that, it was time to add some decorations to the starboard side, made up of fluer-de-lis on the sides of the ship and on the prow, and adapting some of the Corel human-like figures and putting them on the prow.  I think I'll work on the bow towers after duplicating the decorations on the port side. 

783289042_301PlanForepeakDecoration.thumb.jpg.313673dc2a4cd0fb56c17599787c42cc.jpg

1707366059_302FitPlywoodForepeaksides.thumb.jpg.c6ea4800ab5dd324ea10ab47c84c38b6.jpg

1436859588_303AddFrames.thumb.jpg.a815cdfac2c4e56c8249d0ebcd90f942.jpg

564824818_304AddRailings.thumb.jpg.da8f8be6e9ecb02082178436e5a08365.jpg

723635199_305LookingGoodSoFar.thumb.jpg.7c8658e9866f529840354eb6eebca1de.jpg

193583010_306ViewfromFront.thumb.jpg.7406152c99828a85b156c2ef9a0fb65f.jpg

821825592_307ApplyFluerdeLisFigureDecorations.thumb.jpg.cbf0eff272556e0826b5c92c1cc15691.jpg

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A few more things were added today. The decoration made on the starboard side were duplicated on the port side. A couple more ladders were installed on the main deck. Two more ladders leading up to the poop deck will be installed after the poop deck is planked.

 

1593475316_308Prow.thumb.jpg.c89f4c1aec208a67a5c5eff98a84fae9.jpg

432304552_309Fleur-de-LisonPortSide.thumb.jpg.b998deff8028fa3c3bdc5408fd024768.jpg

426656633_310SameDecorationsonPortSide.thumb.jpg.87293aa136f3d0aa3174ddd8bd343619.jpg

269030846_311AddDecorativetrimAroundTransom.thumb.jpg.3e9ef36a73f723be66564987a23b1d04.jpg

1829830739_312MakeMoreDeckLadders.thumb.jpg.fffc3bd4255bef511a8da249c83bab08.jpg

604162971_313AddMainDeckLadders.thumb.jpg.c44bca1b11f2685bacb7fe7caa3b05f9.jpg

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Started on the rudder today. Since the stern post was not layered with mahogany, the rudder will not be either, in order to make it the same thickness as the rudder post. The rear, top, and bottom surfaces were overlaid with sapele wood which matched the grain of the mahogany sides of the rudder, and the inside edge was simply stained dark with walnut stain. The hinges provided needed to be resized using a vise to make them narrower and fit both the stern post and the rudder. The rudder chain, which provides for an alternate method of steering, was blacked as well as the cut edges of the hinges as well as some nails, a few cannon port hinged, and a few brass shafts that will probably not be used in favor of using brass pins on the cannon port hinges.

 

1917101454_314SqueezeHingestoFit.thumb.jpg.3fe50462107a4a0e84b378bab93f2317.jpg

 

341020983_315GlueSapeleTrimtoRudderOutsideEdge.thumb.jpg.459b45381a519db4c3003d75fa11b1b3.jpg

 

163104763_316StaintoMatch.thumb.jpg.9164f4137e0e9f87436d73a6e4ffd030.jpg

 

1488689195_317BlackenBrassParts.thumb.jpg.2c59760549119b458add751a01b6c201.jpg

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On 5/22/2019 at 7:42 AM, Mirabell61 said:

Very nice work Kurt,

 

I like the window pane making of those corner towers at the aft quarters

 

Nils

I got the idea from Doris Obručová and her HMS Sovereign of the Seas model.   She's my hero!  😀

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The rudder hinges were cut to the correct lengths to fit the rudder and the stern post.  More nail holes needed to be drilled into the tiny hinges.  The hinges provided with the kit were the wrong length and had the holes in the wrong places for this ship, being as they are standard Corel parts for several models.  

 

After being customized, the hinges were fitted to the rudder.  Tiny black pins were shortened with a side cutter and the holes were pre-drilled with a micro-drill bit in a Dremel tool to prevent the wood from splitting.  Each nail had CA adhesive applied before being tapped into the rudder with a small tack hammer and held with small needle nosed pliers.  The same technique was used to attach the hinges to the hull.  

 

The emergency steering chain was blackened to make it look like iron and it was attached to eyelets glued into the rudder similar to the nails that hold the hinges on.  The decoration was slipped over the chain and the chain was glued into the holes in the transom.  When dry, the decorative chain portals were also glued to the transom.

 

Installation of the bow towers is begun.  The port tower was completed today, and the starboard one will be installed later.   The tower assemblies were completed earlier and not the arduous process of making the mounts that attach them to the hull needed to be done.  I took some mahogany and cut two thin strips that were custom filed to fit the hull on one side, then to mate to the tower on the other.  Thin strips of mahogany were cut with a scissors to make the top and bottom sides of the mount.  Lots of test was done to make sure the mount fit the contour of the hull and wales and the tower.

 

The side of the mount were CA glued to the hull after studying the blueprints for correct position.  The electrical wires for the yellow LED were cut to a shorter length to allow them to fit properly in the mount.  A hole was cut into the side of the tower for insertion of the LED.  The LED fits into a hole bored into the top bell of the tower, such that the light is dimmed a bit by the hole which the LED is inserted, making the tower lit from above by less direct light.  That way, I won't have to paint the LED to dim the light.  A test fit of the LED in the tower shows how much light it produces in this configuration.

 

The LED is connected to the wiring using two solder & seal connectors that had the seal portion cut off, leaving only the solder part of the connector.  There was not enough space in the mount for the entire connector, and the seals are not needed anyway.  A heat gun was used to melt the solder and make the connections.  I like these connectors!  They take the frustration out of soldering.  The LED was test fitted into the mount.  Then the LED was glued into the top of the tower bell with CA glue, and the tower attached to the mount.

 

When that dried, the tower was attached to the mount with PVA (Titebond III) and held with rubber bands until it dried.  I'm very pleased with how the lighting turned out.

 

841949373_318FitRuddertoSternpost.thumb.jpg.458ee17d409bc0b5017840cb2bb09275.jpg

1244582449_319InstallEmergencyChain.thumb.jpg.8212b9ddec28eda5b0328ce40218c1a5.jpg

1716965303_320PortBowTowerMount.thumb.jpg.015a1eada19187c828e55ac595035628.jpg

344956774_321TestTowerLight.thumb.jpg.e4c5782f3f39579ade2bfdf9ea2671d9.jpg

1405619226_322AttachLEDUsingShortenedSolderCouplings.thumb.jpg.eaf48d9ef5670b2d60680e95c957859a.jpg

425058425_323TestFitLED.thumb.jpg.c9b48e39661158c0e8533db3c070e3c2.jpg

169505935_324CompleteMountAttachTower.thumb.jpg.f20b4403772462feff4b1be04b401458.jpg

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Great work on both the rudder and the forward tower. Looking very sharp!

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Thanks EJ!  Things are coming together on the hull.  The lighting is nice.  I hope I have the same enthusiasm building DeAgostini's HMS Sovereign of the Seas.  I had a moment of weakness last week, and bought the San Francisco II by Artesania Latina on sale on Amazon for only $76.71.  It's a much simpler model that begs for super-detailing.  The kit appears complete.  It also is the newer "N" model that has the wooden pinnace and double planking construction.  Just a small update for the build log tonight.  The starboard bow tower is now installed, and the lights still work amazingly.  Maybe the railings are next.  The next step needs to be planned.  Maybe the anchor chain ports or the deck railings....

 

Any suggestions, EJ?

 

837908566_325BuildStbdTowerMount.thumb.jpg.3b726846e6fea27ed4d483fdaba46a90.jpg

1034519956_326StbdBowTowerComplete.thumb.jpg.a44701f345c560669167b12191d754bb.jpg

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Hey Darvius, she is looking GREAT!  Lots of charm and I like the warm lighting.  I agree that Doris is incredibly talented. 

 

You mentioned a desire to add people.   Find a copy of Justin F. Camarata's book Waterline Dioramas ISBN 9780982057926, Seawatch Books. 

Chapter 7 explains in detail how he makes his figures in any scale with wire armatures and gesso.  I recommend it highly.   Duff

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Thanks Richard!

 

I looked into that technique making figures out of gesso.  I don't have the skill set for that.  My brain doesn't do carving all that well.  Making one figure would get out of proportion easily.  I'm an engineer, not an artist, hence the name in old Latin "Darius the Engineer".  Much easier to find figures that would be suitable than try to carve or form my own.  That would end in disaster.  A man's got to know his limitations.  Now, if I could get DORIS to make the figures for me...  :)

 

Today the anchor line hawse pipes were installed on both sides of the bow.  I had to remove one of the prow supports on each side, closest to the hull, because they posed an obstruction which would contact or foul the anchor lines.  The pieces were cut from walnut, two holes drilled in each, filed to shape and attached to the hull.  Then, the hawse pipe holes were drilled deep into the hull.  

 

The stern gallery is finally completed with the construction of the stern balcony railing.  Instead of the plain flat wood railing provided by the kit, inspiration for a custom design was provided by another builder of this model.  Decorative brass strip 10 mm wide was cut, and the center section of the strip was assembled into a gunwale and railing for the balcony using pillars and rail made from walnut.  The top rail of walnut was shaped in an arc to match the balcony by soaking it in hot water, clamping it to shape and allowing it to dry.  The brass was bent into an arc and helped maintain the top rail of walnut from returning to straight as the CA glue set.  The finished piece was filed to final trim and attached to the stern balcony with CA glue.  The stern gallery is now complete, and the last piece adds a lot of detail to the overall appearance.  Note that persons walking the balcony now have enough room to walk without banging their heads on the transom.  Too often models are built with features that would not be truly functional in full scale.  Most interpretations of the rear balcony of La Couronne are extremely narrow.

 

1626563290_328AttachDrillOutAnchorLinePortsonEachSide.thumb.jpg.19359d7d6ea9c2fbd8d39b3d79ee2f94.jpg

2014024364_329StartMakingSternBalconyRail.thumb.jpg.ac4ae1a10317ceae92a202ef8dd073c2.jpg

2073178588_330WetandFormWalnutSternBalconyRail.thumb.jpg.38c525bf0598561765101778ad2ab012.jpg

931038042_331AssembleTrimSternBalconyRail.thumb.jpg.426e6003ce7922e24b1801d4b212077f.jpg

2050878523_332LooksGoodontheOutside.thumb.jpg.5c52d327020629c8493e2c51b88ec0c4.jpg

437366506_333InstallSternBalconyRail.thumb.jpg.5cf78e6c3b084979b6927236fef51329.jpg

2101752009_334LotsofRoomontheBalcony.thumb.jpg.b8864ca24ace8589f90b45ace05894a7.jpg

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Work on the handrails has begun. The rails were profiled with a Artesania Latina scraper before cutting and fitting them into place. Three rails were installed today. They add a lot to the appearance. More rails will be added, except for the poop deck, which needs planking, fittings, and stern lanterns first.
250452248_335ProfileHandrailsWithScraper.thumb.jpg.55dc66a827fe776db752dbfa4519a374.jpg

575487360_336Scraper.thumb.jpg.738b868d0b14a76ad243b7e3dc31223a.jpg

1952214935_337InstallFirstHandrail.thumb.jpg.2c0c67384da43a737285c8ee80e6121e.jpg

78972720_338MeasureHandrailColumnInterval.thumb.jpg.63c259036b1b725920f6bd2874f95ced.jpg

1522933577_339AssembleHandrails.thumb.jpg.1340e718c248e2ecc8e1f76c5c079cf7.jpg

1802342503_340BeginFittingInstallingHandrails.thumb.jpg.5465be099b600ba255804e8c697f4cdc.jpg

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It is my understanding that they would have had catheads. I remember looking into this myself as I believe that the kit does not show them, but they would have been there. I modeled mine off of similar era ships and made them to fit through the forecastle rails. 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, EJ_L said:

It is my understanding that they would have had catheads. I remember looking into this myself as I believe that the kit does not show them, but they would have been there. I modeled mine off of similar era ships and made them to fit through the forecastle rails. 

Strange that James Sephton's Book Sovereign of the Seas - The Seventheenth-Century Warship states that La Couronne had no catheads and the anchors were somehow lifted to the foremast channels.  Having catheads seems necessary.  There does not seem to be a way of handling the anchors without them.  I wonder what James was basing his statement on.  The catheads do not appear in the Navire Royale depictions or in the painting by Jacob Gerritz Loef "Een_oorlogsschip".  Could these be oversights?

 

Today some of the railings were added to the gunwales and decks on the rear end of the ship.  Some care was taken to sand the ends of each pillar so that they appear vertical relative to the sheer of the gunwale railings and the camber of the deck for the deck railings.  The decorative metal castings were added.  Two of the smaller castings will not be used on the forecastle railing as shown in the instructions, and appear better on the railings of the quarterdeck.  The corners of the forecastle railings will feature gold fleur-de-lis.

637336223_341AnglePillarsonTraverseRailings.thumb.jpg.f9c805d15d666dd4fe21bc14cd855cef.jpg

435078500_342AssembleRailingsSuchThatPillarsareVertical.thumb.jpg.7dfd85600df77912984ade48f670b3a2.jpg

584130198_343InstalledRailingsandOrnamentalCarvings.thumb.jpg.eabc3c9606dcd57534037eced530aa3c.jpg

 

Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS

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