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French Frigate by Barbossa - 1/64 - POB based on La Vénus (ANCRE) - semi-scratch

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Hi, this is my new project. It's a kind of a sequel, following my HMS Diana.


1)What is to be expected :


- Let's begin with what is NOT to be expected. I have the deepest admiration whenever I go through those wonderful buildlogs ( fully framed models, admirality models,...you name it) but I'm afraid these pieces of art are totally beyond my skills.

- Why semi-scratch : lots of accessories ( gunnery, belaying pins,....) were already purchased through the available market

- Why La Vénus . I like her lines but above all : I like frigates.

- Why 1/64 ; I upscaled or downscaled ? the 1/72 plans because I wanted to put her aside my Diana


2)Roadblocks ?


Quite easy : a lot of things still need to be figured out. So bear with me


Here's the pics of the present status. But photo's are available since the beginning of this project. So the next coming days updates (or flash backs) are to be expected










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Merci Michel,


The idea is to build her "as if she were a kit".

So along with my previous build, other Diana logs (  Beef Wellington and Rob Durant's) will act as a benchmark whenever it comes to the finishing touch.

Now back to the begin. As this is my first (semi)scratch build I've found it recommendable to build first a prototype in card. This allowed me many measuring possibilities. Measuring is the key-word.









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You're most welcome Edward.

Still +/- 70 photo's to go before we reach Venus' present status.

This little delay allows me to think about the second planking.

Another word of caution according to my introduction yesterday : this build is pretty basic as only the visible/outside details will benefit my attention


And before I forget : as you may assume, this is a POB project. I forgot to specify this in the title.

So , if any moderator/administrator should read this : please feel free  to correct this oblivion as I'm afraid to make a mistake while modifying this log. If not possible, no problem.


The 19 bulkheads were cut out of MDF, 5 mm thickness. And additional space was required for the false keel, which I split up in 3 parts. 

Important notice : none of this would have been possible without my Proxxon saw machine. 

To allow a clean cut of the bulkheads :

- they were cut out of a separate piece of MDF with a stanleyknife. As I wanted a clean cut, both sides of the MDF-panel were marked with a little holes that were connected.

Otherwise was the MDF panel impossible to handle on the saw machine

- Once the bulkheads were cut out of the separate MDF-pieces, I used the same stanleyknife to trace the path the sawblade had to follow.


To be continuated....

- I IMG_3297.jpg.47f1808dff3785c8c5eeea23ab3fb5bb.jpg








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I fixed your title by adding POB.   Is this going to be the Le Venus or is that just the starting point?   If you're doing Le Venus, I'll fix the title to indicate that.


You doing very well on her.   I have the original monograph and recently ANCRE posted that they an additional volume for those building her.   So many models, so little time. <sigh>

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Thanks Mark


I'm afraid I'll have to consult my French grammar 😊. about the LE ou LA Vénus. My guess is "La" as ships are related to the female genus. But I'll gladly comply to MSW staff rules. Anyway, thanks for correcting the title.

A few years ago, the original monograph was a birthday gift from Mrs. Barbossa. So after completing Jotika-Caldercrafts Diana it was about time to do this very nice present justice.

Later on I purchased the second monograph by Franco Fissore.

On French fora as well as at MSW despite her elegant appearence , this model seems rather scarce.


Hi, Kikatinalong you're welcome.

Starting a buildlog was obvious as from the start, on the other hand I wanted to achieve the "first planking" phase. Although first planking seem not appropriate as the first post indicates, I chose for the filling method between the bulkheads. The pics may suggest the opposite, but the surface of the hull is quite smooth already. More details and explanations are to come very soon

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You're correct, Christian.   It should be La Venus.   


French frigate other than the 74 gun model are rather rare. My Licorne was the only build of that one, I've only seen a few (10 total maybe) of Belle Poule anywhere else.  Renommee is also rare as is L'Hemoine.   Yours is the first La Venus build I've seen.  

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Another update.

B.E. thanks for showing interest. While uploading the pics, I'll try respect the exact chronology and also sharing mistakes/difficulties I encountered.

E.g. one thing that puzzled me was the height of the false keel. Plans describe a dotted line which describes the position of the gundeck. Question : does the dotted line indicate the gundeck at it highest (central) point or the position where the gundeck meets both port and starboard sides and by consequence a misinterpretatioin could jeopardise the position of the gunports.

I didn't want to take any chances and build myself a fake 18 pdr gun  and accordingly with quite some measuring managed to figure this out. (see next range of pics)

just for info : I started this project medio 2018

Mark, I totally agree, except perhaps the release of Lafayette's Hermione kit I'd wish to see more French frigates. Besides I humbly admit that my favourite , La Renommée, is probably a too big challenge for me

Dag Patrick chips & drank helaas nog niet beschikbaar ( translation : chips & drinks not yet available, I'm afraid ), but take a seat.


Now back to the pics

For the insertions necessary for the bulkeads, into the separate parts of the false keel, I fored a hole just big enough to allow my sawblade to make a turn of 90 °. At this stage all parts were still (of course) dry fitIMG_3357.jpg.d41194545e6daca88b8fe7de0c0deef1.jpg








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The last pics describe an attempt to check the alignment of the bulkheads. 

As you have certainly already noticed, until now no CAD neither other software is involved in this project.

On the other hand, whenever it comes to sculptures, figureheads,...3-D printing came already across my mind....












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Hi Mark,


Thanks for the input, but there's no harm. I'll post some close up pics as I assembled one 18lb gun and it seems to fit inside it's gunport. The raise by adding 1 mm extra planking ( to cover the deck) should  be compensated by inserting  a rectangular frame/profile ( +/- same thickness) in each gunport.  A least that is the plan. Perhaps some extra filing  will be required. 


All feedback is welcome, this build (and other builds, perhaps) might benefit from it.

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Continuation previous post : the "gundeck-gunport-position-issue"

Here's the pics.

Let's imagine a worst case scenario : If I were to reduce the size (just a little bit)of the wheels belonging to the gun carriages....would someone notice?

Probably unecessary. let's call this beginners luck 😊. The false gundeck ( that is to be covered) is made of birchwood (0,5 mm)


At present : working on the correct size of the gunports. 




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Another update

(I have the unpleasant feeling, just as if I'm spamming)


Assembling the false keel


Removed the unecessay wood from the bulkheads, above the gundeck line.

This process took some time : every seperate bulkhead, I had to remove and reinstall the sawblad of my Proxxon tool. 

The gundeck : first produced a fake one from card to make the necessary measurements ( alignment & position gunports....etc)












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Previous post : the  only reason why the ends of the bulkheads were connected was for strength purposes.

Made some reinforcements

Another thing that confused me while studying the plans . I was not sure if the width on the drawings included two layers of planking, assuming I would apply a double planking above the bulkheads.

Aside from this, I felt uncomfortable with the use of filler blocks especially in the bow and rudder sections. I felt insecure if I were to achieve identical shapes on both port and starboard sides.


For this reasons, I decided to try out a different approach, a step by step filling method.

The bulkheads, the closest to bow and stern were to be filled up with soaked and bended double planking 1,5 x 5 mm ( lime or birchwood, I guess). So in total 3 mm to make sure I had enough material while sanding and realising the curves in the delicate area ( stern & bowsection)

The central bulkheads were filled with blocks that had to fit inbetween. (thickness 4 mm and height 9 mm).

The latter were cut out from 2,4 meter strips , 18 mm width and 4 mm thickness). Again, all this would not have been possible without an electric saw machine. You can find these strips in every DIY-store, at least here in Belgium


Was this time-consuming ? It definitely was, but I'm satisfied with the result.

French modelling expert B. Frölich's book was a true source of inspiration










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and here's the bow section.

As we all know, a straight wooden strip tends to lift upwards while applying on a spheric shape. If you force the strip in a unnatural horizontal position, a gap becomes unavoidable once you want to fix an adjecent strip. Thus I obtained a solid base for the final planking in the future. I agree, the second planking will require decent soaking/bending, but a have a solid base to work with

That's all for the moment folks.

Back to the workbench, see you next WE








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Hi ETNZ, The eternal story of pro's & con's, I guess.

The advantage : the dimension of the blocks I inserted between the bulkheads ( except those in the bow & stern area) allowed me to follow the shape the hull is to receive after ( minimal) sanding.

To avoid any warping : I alternated the inserting process port & starboard side


Aside from that, you have noticed that the position of some bulkheads obstructs some gunports. Related to present approach, this is but a small inconvenient ( cfr. last pic post Friday 22, nov. )

Although I have no clue , but designers must had good reason for this. 


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Hello G.L.


You're more than welcome. Don't hesitate for input or feedback.

Made some additional measurements, gunports required some minor extra filing & adjustments. According to plans position of the gunports coincides now with channels and the 3 masts, at least at the portside .

While I'm at it, why not post the continuation of the filling-up proces ?

I guess the pics speak for themselves, to connect the blocks, I had to pivot the sawtable 









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  • 4 weeks later...

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