1/130 Lindberg - La Flore / La Vestale

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Hello all,
I have a few kits on my bench in the "long term ship build" category. I thought I would start here with La Flore. I built it as kid many years ago, as I see many others have, and four years ago, right before having surgery, I picked up the "Jolly Roger" and the Heller 1/150 Glorieux to give me something to work on while I was recovering. The Lindberg kit, being fairly inexpensive, was going to be my practice for painting plastic to resemble wood, and then I decided I'd use it as the test bed for rigging and sails and so forth. The mold for this kit is ancient, and a lot of flash was present, there were some warped parts, and the fit is... ok... I cleaned up some of it, filled the worst seams, but at the time, I really didn't spend a lot of effort everywhere, so don't look too close! With all the running gear, guns, boats, etc, many of the flaws are hidden from view.

Ultimately, I'm still plugging away at it, the poor thing has sat idle for a couple of years too, but the end is in sight!

I'll post the build photos here over the next few weeks and then once I'm home from sea again I can post as I finish her. She still needs her main t'gallant, mizzen, and mizzen tops'l among a few other various and sundry bits. I also have a piece of leftover butcher block I'm going to finish for the base.

So, here's La Flore, as she is today:
IMG_1404.jpg


And, as she was in the beginning:
IMG_7098.jpg IMG_7099.jpg IMG_7106.jpg

Glorieux is visible in the background of the last one. That was her initial guise. I have since started over on her, and will post a separate thread for that.

Cheers
 
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I love your paint scheme, however I will try to imitate the photo I posted on my build, we will see. I will try the gun deck and hull method, and follow with the spar deck after, we will see how go's too. Do you have photos of the sails and rigging. Everyone always builds the canons and hull and masts, but I have a hard time with finding sails and rigging posts or videos. Thank you for posts and can't wait for the Glorieux, Ziggy
 
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I love your paint scheme, however I will try to imitate the photo I posted on my build, we will see. I will try the gun deck and hull method, and follow with the spar deck after, we will see how go's too. Do you have photos of the sails and rigging. Everyone always builds the canons and hull and masts, but I have a hard time with finding sails and rigging posts or videos. Thank you for posts and can't wait for the Glorieux, Ziggy
Yeah, I have photos of the rigging. I didn't take pics at every step, but I'd be happy to go over what I did. Given the scale of the model and the unsuitable size of my fingers for being in there, I did make some compromises, and I can outline my thoughts on where I did.
I'm looking forward to seeing yours!

G
 
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I put together a PDF that goes over the first part of rigging. Hopefully the PDF helps keep the file size down so it will post properly.

So the history of this vessel is fairly complicated, as she supposedly began her life in France as the 8pdr Frigate Vestale in the 1750s. Captured by the British and commissioned into the RN as HMS Flora, scuttled in Newport during the American War for Independence, and returned to service by the rebels as Flore Americaine. Ultimately, returned to France and brought back into the Navy, then sold out of the navy to private hands, and finally in service as a privateer before once again being captured and broken up. Lots to unpack there. When it comes to rigging, there are documented national styles, but with this ship changing hands so much I figured she probably bore the marks of all of these. So there are some things rigged in a french style, some in english, etc. Sometimes because I had more information for one type over another, and sometimes I went with the best lead for a line or tackle. Ultimately on a sailing ship, the fairest lead takes priority, as a poor lead means chafe, and chafe means heavy things falling on your head.

The PDF covers setting up the bowsprit and lower standing rigging on fore, main, and mizzen, including the my errors that I am aware of.... also, I made the photos small so that I can upload from my ship (but also because photos are unforgiving, yikes!).
 

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Thanks G, that is helpfull, I too am having issue with the scale, unlike 1/96 or 1/100, 1/130 and 1/144 are tougher to do the shrouds justice, I think I will use the kit shroud/ratlines and the 1/96 deadeyes/lanyards from my Cutty Sark kit. I think it will turn out well, we will see how it looks.
 
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So I will add a few more photos of the rigging process. Once all the standing rig (minus a majority of the ratlines) was in place, the ship sat idle for a little over two years. So these photos get us to that point.


Starting the topmast shrouds. I used line for the deadeyes and ran the tail through the top to become the futtocks. Too small scale for hardware there. I used a bit of styrene as batten in the shrouds to anchor the futtocks and to support the catharpins
Topmast-rigging-start.jpg

Got the fore and main done to the t'gallants. Mizzen topmast shrouds going in
top-and-tgallant-standing-rig.jpg


standing-rig lower.jpg

And this is how she stayed for a good long while. There is, in fact, a mizzen topmast stay there, but I hadn't yet "tarred" it so it's pretty well invisible against the white background....
Standing-Rig.jpg

I didn't sweat the slight upward bend in the jib boom. There is now a jib sail on the jib stay, and in reality, the jib boom can and does bend upward and to leeward with a sail set on it, especially on older style rigs with no martingale stays to draw it down. The jib boom guys running through lizards on the sprit yards acted as an early form of martingale with the yards braced, and I have seen with my own eyes a jib boom bend up and away with a jib set!

I'll see if I can get some more photos scrounged up and ready over the weekend while we're in port. And I have a few ready to start a thread for Glorieux.

G
 
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When I was last home, I began working on the sails for La Flore. I got them from hismodel.com along with a set for Glorieux. I initially had tried to make a set for La Flore out of Silkspan tissue for aircraft models, drawing on the panel seams and using strips to double the tabling and reef bands. They worked ok, but I wasn't thrilled with them, so I decided to give the cotton sails a try, even though they will be too thick for the scale. Unfortunately, I didn't think to photograph the silk span attempt, so I will only have pictures of the cloth sails.

I started by dying the sails and then sewing on bolt ropes. I used fabric dye of a dark grey and also a khaki color, mixed to give what I hope is a somewhat hempen color, with more tan in the lighter weight sails to give an impression of flax.

During the bolt roping process I made some scale-based choices for expediency and the sake of my eyesight. I did not put cringles for reef bands or bowlines on the sails. I'm leaning fairly heavily to not rigging bowlines at all as they would be of a rope diameter at this scale that would be nearly invisible. The jury is still out on that. But I am not going to rig reef tackles on the topsails, for certain. I don't think it will be terribly noticeable with the busy-ness of the rest of the rigging being so compact.

Bolt rope going on:
bolt rope.jpg


After I put the bolt ropes on the sails, seizing eyes for the clew and earring cringles, I began to bend the sails to the sprit yards, beginning with the sprits'l and working forward to the sprit tops'l, then the foretopmast stays'l and lastly, the jib. I used one turn around the yard and a reef knot (square knot) as would be appropriate at full scale for robands. For the fore-and-aft sails, I laced them up the stay rather try to figure out tiny hanks - it's pretty well invisible without magnification anyway.

spritsails.jpg

I ran the running gear for all the sails. I put sheets, clew lines, and buntlines on the sprits'l. The buntlines are pretty much invisible, so those will be the last ones I run. I don't think they'll be missed. The sheets run aft to the fore channel, on the after end, outboard, where I placed a turning block for the line to run up to the foc's'le.

For the sprit tops'l, I rigged clews and sheets (the sheets are the sprit yard lifts, as was commonly done on smaller vessels for the sprit tops'l and t'gallants).

Both yards are braced sharp to starboard for the port tack, and the headsails are sheeted to starboard, also for a port tack. The jib boom guys were used like the later martingales would be (the stays running through the martingale aka dolphin striker in later ships) to hold the jib boom down and to weather against the drive of the sails.

All of the blocks used in the photo above are 2mm, which I believe is as small as you can buy them.... so anywhere I have needed smaller, I've faked it.

bow-rigging-and-sails.jpg

The pic above has the head rig all set up, with the jib on last. Some items are still missing at this point, like the sprit yard braces. You can see the tangle of spaghetti developing from the running rigging left loose. I kept everything loose as long as I could because inevitably lines need adjustment as my clumsy fingers move around hanging things.

Until next time.

G
 
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Can't wait for more, please educate me and others, most of what you wrote I understand, but how you rigged the lines could be helpful. Thanks C!
 
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Can't wait for more, please educate me and others, most of what you wrote I understand, but how you rigged the lines could be helpful. Thanks C!
Thanks! I will do my best - what kind of "how-to" are you looking for? The leads of lines or the knots I use, or the tools? I will see what photos I have available and can try to be more specific. Though right now I'm not at home so, if I don't have anything suitable here, I won't for some months.
Let me know!

G
 
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Thank you so much, everything I have studied, researched and learned is all in theory. I guess I just need the practice. I will try to come up with a better post that is more specific to the rigging. Talk to you then.
 
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Wow... got this kit as pirate ship in my stash and removed it this friday night from the removal box into the stash-shelf of naval kits. My wife does want some "interesting naval decoration" in the living room... :cool:

So today I found your article in here and the temptation of building her more historically sounds directly into my ear. So I have to look at the type of frigate leger or at the RENOMMEE to find something more prototypical for the transom? To my eye the hull is astonishingly long and narrow for a sailing ship. Am I wrong?

I leaved recently and very fastly though the Jean Boudriot's famous History Of The French Frigate

HotFF1650-1850.jpeg

but nothing really matched in my point of view for a 28 gun ship so I wasn't satisfied.
But this evening I may find some time to get a closer loot with the transom and half a hull in my hand so I may now caught the similarities I missed recently.
What sources did you use for your astonishing build?

Here the typical Lindberg trial to give their box art something interesting kind of eye catcher...
61rNbiiK8aL._AC_SL1100_.jpg
 
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Wow... got this kit as pirate ship in my stash and removed it this friday night from the removal box into the stash-shelf of naval kits. My wife does want some "interesting naval decoration" in the living room... :cool:

So today I found your article in here and the temptation of building her more historically sounds directly into my ear. So I have to look at the type of frigate leger or at the RENOMMEE to find something more prototypical for the transom? To my eye the hull is astonishingly long and narrow for a sailing ship. Am I wrong?

I leaved recently and very fastly though the Jean Boudriot's famous History Of The French Frigate

View attachment 231042

but nothing really matched in my point of view for a 28 gun ship so I wasn't satisfied.
But this evening I may find some time to get a closer loot with the transom and half a hull in my hand so I may now caught the similarities I missed recently.
What sources did you use for your astonishing build?

Here the typical Lindberg trial to give their box art something interesting kind of eye catcher...
View attachment 231043
Hello Chris! That's an excellent book. I have a copy, as well. And your Jolly Roger box is the same packaging mine came in.
The kit definitely shows its age. There is lots of flash, prominent mold seams, and soft detail in places. When it comes to rigging, the scale of the kit (and the size of the original ship) means that aftermarket blocks and deadeyes don't come in a small enough scale. So there is definitely going to be compromise if you decide to go forward. There is a brief mention of the 8 pounder frigate Vestale from the 1750s in Boudriot's History of the French Frigate, but no good comparison in any of the line drawings. Supposedly, this La Flore began her life as Vestale.

Shortcomings of the kit aside, I have enjoyed the (slow) process. I originally intended to use the kit to practice techniques only, and that's more or less what I did at first - I cleaned up some but not all of the above mentioned molding issues as I didn't know if I would ever finish. But, overtime, as I have slowly worked through it, I will say that I am pleased with where the kit has ended up (just don't examine too closely!)

The Lindberg kit was made after the model of La Flore that was presented to President John F. Kennedy by France in the early 1960s. La Flore was chosen because of her connection to the American Revolutionary War and the Colonies' alliance with France against Britain. The original model remains in the JFK Presidential library and there are photos online. I will include one here:
JFKSG-MO-1979-184-MAIN.jpg

It is this model I used as inspiration for how I did mine. I took some liberty with the decoration of the galleries and stern. And, I have rigged some items a bit differently (main tops'l braces, for example), but the overall look I have chosen was inspired by the Kennedy model.

The Lindberg model presents its challenges, but I've enjoyed the build and I'm (mostly) happy with the result, though as always I have a list of things I would have done a bit differently. With a bit of work, the kit can produce a good representation of a mid-18th Century light frigate (The scale sure is small though!). I will apply those lessons to future ship builds, though I'm not sure I will revisit this kit any time soon.

Best of luck if you decide to give yours a go! And I'm very happy if my effort has provided encouragement for you!

G
 
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There is also an article (about 10 pages) in the NRJ on the subject:

View attachment 231188View attachment 231189


Greetings, Hartmut
Hartmut,

That is a priceless piece of information you have just given me, many thanks! I have always browsed over at the Nautical Research Guild, but, today, I have joined because of the NRJ article you showed us above. That looks to be a gold mine of information, and will give me plenty to read! Thank you again.

Gerin
 

Uwek

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Only for the completeness of the different La Flore - frigates which were existing (and I guess the article of Jean Boudriot is talking about)

Take a look at the Three-decks web-page, where some more information are given (search: "Flore" )


Unbenannt.JPG

There was once a planset in 1:75 published in 1954 by the Association des Amis des Musees de a Marine, Paris, France
la-flore-american-28-gun-frigate-75th_360_b2702ceab1dc28bf585f6c6ea27fa97c.jpg
 
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Only for the completeness of the different La Flore - frigates which were existing (and I guess the article of Jean Boudriot is talking about)

Take a look at the Three-decks web-page, where some more information are given (search: "Flore" )


View attachment 231239

There was once a planset in 1:75 published in 1954 by the Association des Amis des Musees de a Marine, Paris, France
View attachment 231240
Very interesting, Uwe! According to the JFK Library website page concerning La Flore, she was built as a gift by the Association des Amis des Musees de la Marine. I would bet that the plan set you mentioned above is the one used for the Kennedy model.

G
 
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I would bet that the plan set you mentioned above is the one used for the Kennedy model.
This is the case, as far as I know.

Just for fun: I once picked up a picture somewhere in the net showing the Oval Office and the President and the Vice-President (Lyndon B. Johnson) in conversation. You can see the La Flore above the President's head, in her original showroom. Unfortunately I don't know the original source of this photo any more.

Edit: Ok, the original source was the site of the JFK Library :) :



unbek. Quelle Kennedy & L.B.Johnson mit Flore.jpg
 
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