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La Couronne by GP-SAV - 1:100


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Posted (edited)
 

I went looking to choose my first model ship and ran across the plans for La Couronne.  I'm a sailor that is married to a devout Francophile so I felt it was a good fit.  

 

I've been at it for a month and have learned so much from this site.   I've been inspired by the great work done by such talented modelers that I decided to add this Build Log to the mix.  I've got experience working with wood, but the small scale is new to me.  I'm really enjoying the combination of problem solving and precision.

 

I'm working from scratch but I did copy the hull pieces from the Corel plans that are out there online.  Short of that, it's all made from looking at other models and the tracings of the original drawings.

 

I hope you enjoy the work I'm doing and I'm sure I'll be asking for a ton of advice.

 

Greg

 

 

I started with a dry fit of the hull pieces.  My inexperience caused me to end up with a combination of plywood and basswood pieces.  

 

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I'm decking in individual basswood planks cut to size.

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Started the upper decks20210515_101042.thumb.jpg.f55f5f6a526d629aa11c4ed006bef973.jpg

 

And moved onto planking.  (I know the workbench got messy)

 

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Learned a lesson at this point about what to plank first, but feel like a solved it well enough.  I'll be double planking, so I can afford a learning experience.

 

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And now the Starboard side is nearly complete.20210604_155553.thumb.jpg.3cf4f7def5c7eaf2ce872e5e0e06f1a5.jpg

 

A little more filler and some sanding and I'll be onto the bottom of the port side.

 

Let me know if you have any questions or comments.  I'm here to learn and have fun building La Couronne!

 

Edited by GP-SAV
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  • 4 weeks later...

So it's been 3 weeks of lessons.

 

I spent a lot of time studying how to plank the hull.  I wasn't happy with my the job I did on the starboard side and i think I did a much better job on the port side first planking.

 

I found a great article here on ModelShipWorld that gave me the method I  used for the second planking.  I am using Mahogany veneer for the planks and Walnut veneer for the wales.

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I made a mistake in laying out the gunports that I intend to correct on the other side.   After a bit of thought I decided I would choose accuracy over symmetry.  Anybody that's had this dilemma I invite your feedback.  Please let me know what you think.

 

You can see that the lower gunports are too low.  Since I am building from scratch with only drawings to use, I measured against the location of the wales and since those were incorrectly located, the gunports ended up being so also.

 

I still think it looks fine and only knowledgeable people will likely notice the error.

 

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Here she is will the last piece drying on the second planking.  I've learned a lot about how long it takes and how difficult it is to clean up excess glue.  I'll be much more conscious moving forward.

 

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I used maple veneer for the upper sides because they will be painted and a small test showed it to be most receptive to paint.

 

I've also purchased modeling clay to see if it works for the small detailed pieces that normally come with a kit.  I was happy with my first attempt at making a decorative crown that will ultimate be painted to looking like it is gilded.  The tweezers are for scale, I used other tools to shape the clay.

 I used a product called SuperSculpey and after 15 minutes of baking it was good to go.

 

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Lastly, I tried to create a ladder/stair at scale from the Mahogany veneer.  I wasn't really happy with the result.  The grain is too loose and it ended up looking ragged.  I'll try again with Walnut and see how it looks.

 

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I am new to this and any advice or feedback is welcomed.  Let me know what you think and also what could done better!

 

Greg

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While Woods like mahogany and walnut are the staple of European POB kits they are not good modeling Woods.  The grain is too coarse.  Fortunately, our American Black Walnut is Superior to other walnut type species provided in kits.  I have some Mahogany in my stash that was salvaged from an old chair that is beautiful stuff that I would not hesitate to use in a model.  It is probably the true Honduras variety.  On the other hand, the other woods sold as Mahogany today can be nasty stuff with a stringy grain, unsuitable for models.

 

American Hard Maple can be an excellent modeling wood, if you can find straight grained material.

 

In the long run, you’ll get better results using solids Woods than veneers.  Most veneers sold today are “rotary cut,” in other words, peeled from logs.  This process can cause tiny tears in the wood that would be invisible in veneered cabinetry but are causing the ragged appearance that is concerning you.

 

Roger

 

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Thanks Roger for the knowledge,

 

I'm a little too far in to quit the mahogany on the hull, but I can definitely avoid in on the upper decks.  The walnut seems to be behaving a lot better anyway.    I have a bit of maple to mix in and I think the color contrast could look good also.

 

Greg

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My build log of La Couronne may be of some use to you: La Couronne.  It is also built from the Corel model, because it seemed that the Vincenzo Lusci design was too tall and the decks too steep in the stern to be practical as a working ship, probably taking ship paintings from the 17th century a bit too literally.  The rigging plan was taken from Lusci with a few exceptions.  Because sails were added to the Corel plans, many more lines had to be added.  It was very difficult to interpret the Lusci rigging plans and text from Italian, which is foreign to me. 

 

846844683_1364ShiponNewStand.thumb.jpg.d3e59b2527b6d99a5ace64f6d1672153.jpg

 

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Mahogany is rather brittle with its coarse grain, although I did use it as the structural wood for the gallery towers.  It's best used as a final finish layer on the hull like in the pictures above, supported by wood underneath.  Because thin mahogany breaks if you try to cut it with a dull blade, you can either use a sharp blade or a rotary diamond bit in a Dremel took to grind and shape parts quickly without splitting it.  American walnut is stronger, but still a coarse grained wood, and prone to occasional splitting, and it does not bend very far without breaking unless soaked with water and steamed by applying heat with a hot iron while forming.  Ladders on 1:100 scale are best done with a fine grain wood like boxwood and stain it dark.  This is how I made the ladders, using boxwood with mahogany or sapelle wood on the outsides for contrast and to hide the ends of the steps.

 

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Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS
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Posted (edited)

Thanks Darivs! 

 

I've already snooped yours, EJ_L's and yancovitch's build logs. Your beautiful work is part of what inspired me to choose this ship.

 

I'm resisting the urge that probably all new people have, which is to start over knowing what I've already learned.  But I'll push on past that impulse.  I'm really enjoying the process and excited at the progress.

 

Is it too much to bother you for advice? 

 

I see a lot of different versions of the bow/bowsprit and I'm curious what your decision making process was. I'll be taking that on soon and frankly, I haven't settled on how to proceed.

 

Greg

Edited by GP-SAV
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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, GP-SAV said:

Thanks Darivs! 

 

I've already snooped yours, EJ_L's and yancovitch's build logs. Your beautiful work is part of what inspired me to choose this ship.

 

I'm resisting the urge that probably all new people have, which is to start over knowing what I've already learned.  But I'll push on past that impulse.  I'm really enjoying the process and excited at the progress.

 

Is it too much to bother you for advice? 

 

I see a lot of different versions of the bow/bowsprit and I'm curious what your decision making process was. I'll be taking that on soon and frankly, I haven't settled on how to proceed.

 

Greg

 

I am at your disposal and to any who have questions on building La Couronne.  PM me for my email address, which gets my attention sooner than a PM on this forum.  Best wishes!  Oh, and go back to my first response above because some changes were made.  As for the bowsprit, I should have moved the base of it to the starboard side of the stem, not placed it on centerline.  I also learned as I went since La Couronne was my first ship, and some of the things I wanted to change in mid-stream could not be done because the build progressed too far.  In the build log somewhere is a list of mistakes and features that should be changed based on later information, but on the whole, the model turned out far better than my expectations.  The precise construction of La Couronne is a mystery, with no first hand drawings or paintings of the ship except one, shown below.  It is a sketch from an overlooking mountain of the harbor below, with La Couronne moored behind the similar but smaller ship Saint Louis (circled in blue).  Not much can be learned, EXCEPT that if you look closely, you can count the gun ports, and see that the channels (chain wales) are located above the lower gun deck and the upper gun deck.  Note also that the topgallant and topmasts are taken down in this sketch.  Also, the main and mizzen masts are raked rearward, with the foremast vertical, a common practice for the time.  This is why I redesigned the channels and shrouds, moving them lower on the hull, as was often featured on early 17th century ships.  That's about all we know.  Later plans, pictures, and designs are interpretations.   A smaller ship appears in the foreground alongside La Couronne.  A pinnace (lighter support ship) perhaps?  For me, La Couronne was more research than model building.  Don't hesitate to ask me the source of any particular feature, but understand that a lot is based on general 17th century ship knowledge, not information specific to the construction of La Couronne

 

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Edited by DARIVS ARCHITECTVS
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