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Royal Louis 1780 by Ulises Victoria - Mamoli - Scale 1/90 - French Vessel- 126 cannons- Started in April 10 2014

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I bought this as my second kit and while an expensive item, in Australia it is much cheaper than the larger kits from every other manufacturer thanks to Hobbyco having some very very competitive prices. 



It does say 1080mm but really that number is quite deceptive. The Mamoli HMS Victory is listed at over 1100mm and the Occre Santisima Trinidad at 1060mm, both at a nominal 1:90 (less said the better about scales)...but when you compare the size of the hull of each the Royal Louis is much much bigger and far more impressive.


The kit doesn't include lanterns, and when you mount the arch on the stern if you decide to use the castings then it has to be pinned from the weight. An interesting idea is to attach a lantern to the pins used to secure the arch. You're a fair way off that stage but it is something to consider.


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Demonborger: Did you glue the frames first and then the false decks per the instructions? GaryM said he had to place the frames without gluing, then adjust the decks and once the decks in place, glue the frames with the decks in position. My frames are already glued, but I'd like to know if the decks can be adjusted once the frames are glued.... of if I quit this build altogether. :P  :P  :P

Thank you.

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I did the adjusting during dry fit and then glued everything together  ;)


The quarter deck, forecastle and poop deck (or the upper decks generally) can all be adjusted easily at anytime. When you do them their heights are important to give the gallery frames a nice snug fit. Too tight and you will be forced to grind them down a bit, too loose and you will need to pack the gaps (i made them a bit too loose..)


With the decks the main things to worry about are:

1) The quarter deck and forecastle deck are curved and not flat. For both that depends largely on the columns and beams. It is important because the galleries are also curved, and that of course it is historical practice. So that should be fine until you get to that stage.

2) The upper gundeck consists of multiple pieces and if you plan to have clear gallery windows so you can see the entire deck then you should try to get it as level as possible (it will probably have a slight elevation which is ok if not excessive), but even then you can only see so much and the columns are more important there.

3) The exposed part of the upper gun deck is the main concern imo as it is what is exposed and where the most trouble will be with the joints. Try to get it as level as possible. but remember the stairs and the cannons under them can hide small imperfections. I ended up using some filler to get the level right at the joints before covering it with the tanganyka planks.

4) getting the gunport level is probably more important again and the carriages have a lot of leeway in sizing options if you use them (they will actually probably need to be lowered on the exposed upper gundeck)




The biggest problem to solve with the decks is to get the columns and beams to be at the correct heights. That can be adjusted after, it might be a tiny bit fiddly at times due to awkward angles and lack of space but not impossible.


When you assemble the decks at the stern, do so with the metal galleries dry fitted, also dry fit the banisters, getting the right curvature is important, and ensuring the back isn't lopsided is vital.

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nice work so far VU. I'm sure once finished it will be a lovely model.

I'll be following your log as often as I can.


As for the work space, I am lucky to have a larger workhsop than you. My problem is exposing the models (in their cases) once finished.

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Mamoli's model of the Royal Louis is based on the 1780 build of the French 1st rate.  However as I wrote above a friend of mine built it years ago and found many errors in the kit.  There were several 1rst rates of this vessel.  He said that the Mamoli version carried aspects of all of them.  It makes into a nice and impressive model out of the box and makes a good model to build on if you wish to do some research.

David B

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Tim: I think it's too soon to make a fair evaluation, but so far I am a bit (just a bit, it actually is not that bad) disappointed with the amount of metallic parts. Some things I feel MUST be wood, like the steering wheel, belaying pins, the boats. I agree that making some of them at scale in wood has to be nearly impossible.So I guess we have to compromise certain things. One batch of wood, looks like its called Tulipie, measuring 1 x 2 mm is awful. Looks like it was ripped instead of cut. The rest of the wood looks very nice, though. Instructions are definitely for the advanced builder. The instructions are included within the plans, and even at my early stages of build I have seen some things not very clear, but I have managed nevertheless (I think). All in all, so far I can say I have no real complaints with this kit. No kit is perfect. In every kit you will find good and bad things. The thing here is that I love this ship. It was in my dream list for so many years but just couldn't afford it at its regular price. When Model Expo put it at 450 dlls, I just couldn't pass the offer, and I don't regret it. 


Thanks for your interest.

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The 1x2mm wood is used on the masts and for the railings. 


A wooden wheel would've been nice but in the end it is not that visible in the build anyway (it's behind the dual staircase).


I wish a manufacturer produces nice slender wooden belaying pins at that size but sadly they tend to be very fat little things...


Mamoli kits use older build techniques (there is almost no laser cut parts other than the bulkheads, false keel and false deck on recent releases). So no fancy gunport templates ala Occre and Caldercraft. The wood quality is ok for some and a bit raggedy for others. Some fittings are really good (the metal anchors are the nicest I've seen).


One of the best things about Mamoli is they have some of the most aesthetically beautiful subjects, it's probably their greatest strength. The Freisland and Royal Louis are two of the most beautiful ship model kits on market.


Mamoli kits also have a very robust construction designs with a very solid false keel and a lot of bulkheads, so will provide a great base for kit bashing (as many do to avoid the metal gunports..which aren't that bad.. B)  ). 

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demonborger: You seem to know a lot about this build.

Instructions say, or that's what I understand, that after placing the lowermost false decks to plank from frame 2 to frame 6 and then from frame 12 to the end, leaving the area between frame 6 to 12 unplanked.

The way I see it it is exactly the opposite, as it's the area between frame 6 and 12 what is left uncovered by the upper decks, so this is the area that should be planked.

What are your thoughts?


Thank you very much in advance.

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If you plan on making the gallery windows clear then you should be able to see the entire upper gundeck. So plank the entire length in one effort, with special attention to getting the exposed planks (6 to 12) looking nice and pretty..


They way they have it silly, i think they were probably thinking "do the areas under the upper false decks first, add the upper false decks, then plank the exposed part of the lower gundeck" Not sure why though....


So plank the entire length of it in one application. Probably start from the centre and plank each way if it gives you a nice look there.

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Update april 18


Cutting 68mm planks



First batch of deck blanks for testing. 



A little sanding to planks sides



False gun decks installed, glued and nailed







Test run of planking. I know this doesn't look good. I am using leftover planks from other previous builds to test different methods of caulking. Two black smears in the middle is where bowsprit and fore mast holes are located. No wood from the kit has been used yet in this step. This area will be covered by an upper deck, so it will be almost invisible. The area to the right, which starts looking better, is the area that will be seen after the decks are done. Sanding and finishing will make this look better.


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Where do you find research material for this ship? Have you a web site that covers a lot about her? Books? I've never heard of this ship until now and would like to know more about her. Pictures etc of course. :)  Let us know what you've got. Maybe it will lead me to something you don't yet have. 

Hello and thanks for your interest.

If you go to post # 47 above, there is a link to some photos of another model.

I wish there was more info about this ship. Google searches lead you to wikipedia which has very little info. Searches in Amazon for books, lead you to some crappy things they call "models", and other assorted stuff.

I have a couple of French books that I have not researched well yet. Will do this weekend.


This is a nice site to get some general info about ships.




If anyone finds more info, I will be forever in your debt. :)


I would give my right pinky for a practicum on how to build this kit.  :P

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I've been away and just catching up. Whoa, you are moving along at a very fast pace. Your shipyard must be filled with workers (:-) Your start looks excellent. Nice work.


I have always loved this beautiful ship, but it has always intimidated me. Now that I have learned, and improved my skills, and now after following yours I am very tempted to put one under my table.


Brian was mentioning something about an improved kit. Is yours the current issue?

Also are the metal pieces well replicated?

Is the instructions book very good?

I think that the photos used for the kit box are of an improved example built an outside party. Do you know something about this?


(lo siento por todas las preguntas mi amigo) SORRY for all the questions my friend.


Nature Coast hobbies has it listed at $699 USD. I'm tempted to order one, that seems super cheap. 


Yours looks as though it will be a beautiful example of this super detailed ship. I'm enjoying your updates.


Thanks in advance,



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Hey Michael.Thanks for visiting. 699 dlls is very good price for this kit. ME has it at 1,100 but it has to be ordered. I got very lucky I got mine at ME at 450 dlls.


I'm not 100% sure, but by reading some things that other people who owns this kit had said, I think mine is the newer version. I bought it in May 2010.

Metal parts are ok.I like the gold parts, but don't like things like the boats, steering wheel belaying pins etc in metal.

There is NO instruction book. Some sort of instructions are in the plans, but they are definitely intended for an experienced modeler.


Hope this helps.If you have more questions, shoot.

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Small update and baffled!

Hello all.This is just a small update that shows how far I am with my lower deck planking.

I know most of this deck will not be seen, but I'm doing it for several reasons:


2- Try different caulking methods,

3- see in advance potential mistakes that may arise in the upper and more important decks.This has proven useful, as you will see below.

4- somehow I think it's the right thing to do...  B)


Some planks had to be shaped like this to accommodate to the frames









I am baffled!!! At what moment did the pattern broke?


In this next photo, the green circles show the correct pattern (4 step) that I had religiously followed since plank 1.

When coming around the central opening and closing the planking behind it, suddenly I realized the pattern was broken to a 3 step (Red circles) in a few rows instead of the 4 step I was doing all along.  I am puzzled about what and how it happened. Now... I don't know if just keep going like this, or try to fix it somehow, but I have no idea at this moment how I would do that. :huh:  :huh:  :huh:  :huh:  :huh:


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Hi Ulises,


Nice job so far on your build – Looks like you're making great progress!


On the pattern issue you mentioned. Check to make sure your planks are parallel. At one end of the opening, how many planks wide is the opening? And how many planks wide at the other end? Looks to me that it's 8 planks wide at the fore end and 7 planks wide at the after end? 



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