Le Soleil Royal, vaisseau de 104 - De Agostini - by Jack Aubrey

jack.aubrey

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December 6-12th, 2010 - gun ports

This sunday I had some time to dedicate and I worked to exercise myself to serially open the gun ports. The leveling block I prepared are demonstrating their value, although they can be used only were there is nothing that closes the port.
In the latter case I must use a cutter and the work is heavier.

I will have to learn a lot from this exercise because they are about one hundred ports, but my experience with the Santìsima Trinidad, where the ports were 140, vaccinated me forever. Anyway it is important to cut a few ports together to avoid to get tired. So my suggestion for this kind of task is to dilute it in short sessions.

The next planks upwards can be installed faster because there is not the problem to curve the wood strips. Anyway there is again the problem of the gun ports. I also decided to progress the work in the same way on both sides.

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That's all for now, Cheers. Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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December 13-19th, 2010 - Planking

This week wasn't too much productive; Christmas is coming soon and other important things must be done. I continued to install planks upwards and to open, or better refine, gunports.

Now both sides are simmetrical, with the same number of planks, but I'm finishing the strips and I'm waiting for additional material, other I cannot continue.

Kind regards, Jack.

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jack.aubrey

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December 13-19th, 2010 - Planking - Additional considerations

A personal evaluation of the strips of wood used for this first planking, strips o a soft wood that De Agostini calls "ramin".

As first planking they are absolutely perfect: the wood is soft and it is ideal to use for this task. This because when you need to level the planked area with file or blocks their softness makes leveling easier to achieve . . I cannot imagine the efforts when using an hardwood.

Again, also the task of opening the gun ports and refining them is greatly simpler and comfortable.

The only negative point is that all these strips are delivered within different weekly issues and, while they should be all equal, with 5x2 size, this doen't happen due to small differences in size. The only way to minimize this problem is to select the best and leave the worst, helped also by the fact that De Agostini delivers more strips than really needed.

I take the opportunity to insert new images, from different viewpoints.

Kind regards, Jack.

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04 P1070074.jpg


05 P1070073.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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December 20-26th, 2010 - A problem, a solution and new planks

Before planking the headrails of the upper gun deck I discovered a small problem caused by the fact I decided to plank the internal side of them, task described by me some messages ago. The problem is that after this task was done I found the curve of these headrails presented itself with a wrong shape: instead of being slightly curved outside, it was the opposite.

So I built two spacers to insert above the deck and between the two opposite headrails to force a little the wood externally and, keeping them in place, apply the external planking. This solved the problem. Here below I show the two spacers I used to achieve this result.

01 P1070083.jpg


Next three images show the area where I applied the new planks, after the glue was dry and after having removed the spacers I show in the previous image. To provide the maximum in terms of strength I used some strips of walnut in place of ramin. The gun ports here are not yet opened and also the exceeding wood is not removed. I prefer to pospone as much as possible this work to be sure my solution works well.

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03 P1070080.jpg


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See you next time, regards. Jack.Aubrey

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El Capi

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Hi El Capi,
I appreciate your offer of help regarding the building of this model . . .
but . . .
probably you didn't take care of the dates listed on top of each message of this log.

I'm publishing events happened many years ago, more precisely I started this build in 2010 and I finished it in 2014.

I used to maintain records of my work in italian and now I'm publishing the english version on this forum.
If you are eager to see the finished model you may look at it here https://shipsofscale.com/sosforums/media/albums/jack-aubreys-soleil-royal.50/

Anyway, many thanks for your comments and if you like we can share ideas about De Agostini and partworks in general. Regards, Jack.
the same years as me. el capi
 

jack.aubrey

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December 27th, 2010 - January 2nd, 2011 - Finally got the edge !!

I finished planking the right side of the ship, until the edge. Due to the ship dimensions there are a lot of planks: in the higher zone there are 36 of them !! Not difficult to install but anyway this is an important achievement for me.

Now I need to finish also the left side and after I will start sanding and levelling. I foresee a lot of sawdust while sanding all the planks, and there are also the last gun ports to refine.

Here below you can see the finished side and also my technical assistant and global consultant . .

01 P1070128R.jpg


Here two other images without the assistant.

02 P1070129R.jpg


03 P1070130.jpg


That's all for now, Jack.Aubrey
 

jack.aubrey

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Wednesday January 5th, 2011

This morning I finished also the left side and now I'm planning for future and looking with new eyes my model.
The last strips on top of the bulwarks are of hardwood (walnut) and I left wood in excess with respect of their shape.

01 P1070131.jpg


Why hardwood ?

Next step will be the planking of the hull, from waterline downwards. To do so I need to work with the hull capsized and I also need to put it on something such as a table. Having used hardwood and having wood in excess means that I probably will not take any risk to ruin the work done until now. Later I will refine this important area, when the hull will return in its normal position.

02 P1070133.jpg


03 P1070134.jpg


Anyway, the near future predicts for me an interesting session with sandpaper. Some fitness is healthy . .
Kind regards. Jack.Aubrey


Saturday January 8th, 2011 - Dust, Dust and Dust

This morning, after a strong breakfast, at 10:27 AM I started the "Sawdust Mission": levelling all the planks installed until now.

I began with sandpaper no. 80, then 120 and finally 180. I thought I finished, so I paused and checked the result, but early I realized there is additional "sandpapering" to do. I restarted with new energies and I come to the end at 12:14 AM.

That's all for today and, at least for this time, no photos. Cheers, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday January 15th, 2011

Until now I finished the complete levelling of the planks and, after, i decided to close the gun ports still open with a square piece of ply (supplied with the kit). Task quite easy to achieve, with only one main aspect to take care: these "closures" will be drilled in future with a small bore to receive the half barrells of the guns. It is very much important to fix them very well, with a very strong glueing, because if they will detach when the hull is complete, it will be nearly impossible to substitute them. For this reason, when these pieces were fixed and the glue was dry, I started on each gun port something similar to a stress test to be sure they do not detach at all.

Here below some images, the task is still in progress.

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02 P1070140.jpg


03 P1070141.jpg


04 P1070142.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Additional images with more details

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Tuesday January 18th, 2011 - Again . . gun ports

I found some time to complete closing the remaining gun ports, with the exclusion of the 5-6 of them that must still be opened on the upper gun deck, in the middle of the hull were there are the strips of walnut. I plan to open them as soon as the completion of the first planking for the whole hull.

In these tasks I'm following the kit instructions, but from now on I will start to follow less them and more my instinct to continue planking. I have also in mind a completely different way to finish the model . . this is still an embryonic cloud in my mind and it is too early to explain or to take a decision, but I'm thinking about its feasibility . .

I made a test of painting the internal of some gun ports with a matt, black enamel to confirm my assumption: I choose the black colour instead of, for example, the red because I want to obtain an effect of deep or empty . . and to get this I had the confirmation that matt black is the best solution.

To paint these ports I had to mask the sides of each port with masking tape . . something to do staying comfortable while listening and watching the television . . so I will complete this task at home, not in my workshop, during the evening and I will complete all of them in the same way.

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I have closed the missing plank at prow . . I didn't forget it.

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Last edited:

jack.aubrey

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Thursday January 20th, 2011 - again . . gun ports

Today I spent a couple of hours to mask all the gun ports with masking tape and to paint all of then with black enamel.

Here below two images of the method I used.

01 P1070165.jpg


02 P1070166.jpg


Next infos in my future message, the paint is now drying . .
 

jack.aubrey

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I close with this message the long story of the gun ports . .

I have removed the masking I applied before painting the interior of the gun ports and finally I can write: end of a long chapter

I'm happy of the result achieved, good deep and empty lookup. This is not easy to show with photos but the real things sound good. It must also be considered that, with the half barrells and the gun port linds in place this area will be enough crowded to become plausible.

Here below five photos of the model at this important milestone . . (at least for me)

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02 P1070168.jpg


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And now another game is being started . . continue planking, until the end, from the waterline downwards.

I will start soon, although the instructions at this point of time suggest some minimal tasks (mounting anchors, stairs and casks) that in my mind can wait.
Now my first objective is to complete the first planking, all the rest can be posponed to the right moment.

Kind regards, Jack.Aubrey.
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday January 29th, 2011 - Planking the quickwork

This week I began the task of planking the hull, from waterline downwards.

As usually happens, during the installation of the first planks, it is necessary to become comfortable with this work and this takes time. And this regularly happened: I succeded to install only seven planks on each side of the ship spending a lot of time and efforts. There are some problems originated by the length of the strips I'm using, but I will try to expand this matter later.

Here are four images . .

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At the beginning I was able to apply a couple of planks by spending about two hours and half each time. After I became a little bit faster and now I'm able to apply three planks every three hours. This low speed is mainly due to the strips for planking supplied in the kit: they are too short, only 25 cm, and I need to use four of them to complete an entire plank, making joints with a lot of care to maintain the right shape and bending. I evaluated the idea to use long strips by buying them on the market but I took the decision to save money and be more useful to other shipmodelers that are building the same model and are using the same materials.

Anyway I can say I made some nice experiences, I will try to introduce them in the future. That's all for today, Jak.Aubrey
 

jack.aubrey

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Inside this message I inserted four other images that show more in detail what I've done in these days.

Images n° 01 and 02 show how all the new strips, added downwards, were tapered. The strips are 25 cm. long and, before starting the planking task I prepared a scale with Excel to calculate exactly how to taper these strips. For the prow area, the bulkheads involved are n° 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 plus the stem. Tapering was made starting between third and fourth bulkhead, towards the bow, +/- 18 cm. long. Tapering has reduced the height of the strip at its smaller side to 2,5mm. For tapering I used an iron ruler and a cutter with a new blade. Strips are quite soft and it is possible to cut them without problems. After cutting, with a sanding block I finished the tapering in the right shape. With a calibre I check and eventually modify the shape according with the calculated measures.

The strips so prepared were soaked in warm water for 20/30 minutes and this was, for this kind of wood, always enough to permit curving the strips wihout problems. Glue used was the vinyl and somewere some brass nails, some of them hammered totally, some of them only partially and often removed when the glue was dry. Strips are glued together with the strips of the previous plank: this is important but I think it is not certainly a news.

01 P1070176.jpg


In this second image you can see how i made the joint on the same plank: first it was done in a staggered way, for a certain plank it was done between the third and the fourth, in the next between the fourth and the fifth. I have also done the joint not over the bulkhead but in the area between two of them. I used same masking tape to keep the strips together until glue exsiccation and I also used a small clamp to force the same curve of the previous plank.

02 P1070177.jpg


Here it is possible to see the poop area. Also in this area tapering is required but the amount of it is smaller than for the bow. Here, over the last bulkhead, its height is +/- 4 mm. Here the strips are not soaked because there are no big curves to follow. In the middle of the hull there is no need for tapering.

03 P1070178.jpg


Here below an image with the hull capsized and where it is possible to view how the planks have a natural bending and shape. Somewhere I had to change a bulkhead by adding some thin wood spacers. By looking at the image n° 4 it is possible to see at least one of them.

04 P1070179.jpg


To conclude this long message, my work is well proceeding, without big problems; . . the only setback is the time needed to perform this tasks and, as you can see in the last image, the remaining area still to be planked is wide . .


Cheers, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday February 26th, 2011 - latest news

It is more or less one month that I don't work on my Soleil Royal (remember to take care of the date inside the messages, not the date the message was added).
The shipyard at the moment is still closed and the reason is that I had the need to finish another model, in time for an exibition here in Italy. This model is the "Armed Launch 1803" and I have posted several images of it in the ModelShipWorld Gallery at http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/gallery/album/210-armed-launch-1803/ .

To complete the launch model I had to install a gun and two swivels, and also some other things. The gun and the swivels, made of brass worked at lathe, had to be blackened with a particular liquid that oxidates the surface of these pieces. I don't have an english translation of the italian word "brunitore". If you go to look at the gallery there are many images of these guns and probably you will better understand what I mean.

Having to perform this kind of task, I took the occasion to make some test also on the guns for the Soleil Royal. It may be too early but I had the liquid available so I did it.

These guns are not made with brass, they are not lathed and are probably die cast. First I had to remove with small files the flaws from the casting and, after having refined each gun and cleaned and degreased all of them, I blackened these pieces. Cleaning and degreasing is very important for the final result.

There are two types of guns, in the first two images the first type is shown, after and before the treatment with the liquid. Barrells are only positioned on the truck, not yet coloured.

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Images 03 and 04 show the barrells of the other gun type. These guns have in my opinion an exagerrated and out of scale decoration, but this is the material supplied and I cannot find something more realistic on the market as alternative.

03 P1070236.jpg


04 P1070238R.jpg


After the successful test, I will blacken all of them soon. Kind regards. Jack.Aubrey
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday April 9th, 2011 - Shipyard reopened

I restarted the shipyard and I decided to install planks from the keel upwards. Now there are eight planks on each side, while in the bow area there are a piece of the nineth. I will continue until the end of this process although I don't know how much time I'll need. To finish may be necessary at least ten planks per side.

I've taken some images outside. I hope they should be better quality than inside. Here five images, three outside with the hull capsized and two in my laboratory, the hull kept by a keel clamper and the images taken using the flashlight.

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02 P1070515.jpg


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04 P1070528.jpg


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I had to taper considerably in the bow area but the result sounds good. Regards, Jack.Aubrey
 

jack.aubrey

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With this new message I want to show some details of the poop area and how the planks are installed there. The strips supplied and used are very good for this task: they are of softwood and can be soaked for a few minutes and become very flexible, so you can manage them easily, without problems to follow the hull lines and risks of breakage. In spite of their size (5x2mm) I was able to install the first seven planks at the poop area without the need of fillers. The thickness of the keel, near the stern post, was previously reduced in order to maintain the original thickness after having installed the planks. This can be seen easily in images 04 and 05.

I wrote before about the absence of fillers, but now I will probably use some of them for the next planks near the stern post. At the prow there are much less problems, here, in contrast with the stern, there is the need for a couple of stealers at the right place.

See you next time, Jack.Aubrey

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jack.aubrey

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April 26th, 2011 - first planking finished

Yesterday I finished to apply the first planking of my Soleil Royal: it was a long lasting task, made of several relatively short sessions because of the strips supplied. The wood was good but the problem came from the maximum length of them. As I wrote some messages ago, their length was 24 cm. and to complete a full plank I had to use four strips. And obviously the time consuming matter were the joints. So I took more than 15 days to finish.

But now this work is over and today I spent half hour to remove some brass nails I had to hammer completely somewhere. Where possible I used to hammer them partially, in a way it was easy to remove them but this wasn't possible everywhere. To remove the nails I used a modified mini-screwdriver I prepared some months ago, while working on another model.

Here below five images taken today. I did nothing regarding sanding and levelling the hull below the waterline, this will be another step but I think that the proposed images can show better where are the points that will need to be leveled and refined. See the high resolution images for better viewing these points. After sanding they will become invisible and for this reason it's important to show them now.

01 P1070554.jpg


02 P1070555.jpg


03 P1070556.jpg


04 P1070557.jpg


05 P1070558.jpg


See you soon, Jack.Aubrey
 

jack.aubrey

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Five additional images of the Soleil Royal first planking.

Finally it is now the long awaited moment to completely see and appreciate the hull lines and the huge size of this model . .

Today a new great achievement in building this model is over and I'm ready and preparing for the future tasks . .

Today, April 26th, one year is past since I started building this model . .

Kind regards by Jack.Aubrey.

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05 P1070563.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Sunday July 10th, 2011 - Some reflections about second planking
(advice: keep in mind the date inside the message, other you may misunderstand.)

Some months ago, more precisely in April, I finished the first planking of my Soleil Royal. After that date I stopped any activity for it because I decided to finish another model. So, my Soleil Royal is now over a shelf, waiting to be resumed.

In the meantime De Agostini provided every week new materials and instructions and this week I received the 77th issue of this collection. During these past months, while I was working on the other model, De Agostini started to provide strips for the second planking. These strips measure 5 x 0.5mm and are 25cm long. They are the same mahogany strips De Agostini distributed in two previous collections: Santisìma Trinidad and USS Constitution.

They are absolutely good for second planking but I get bored of them . . I developed in these years of shipmodeling a kind of dislike for mahogany (or sapelli, a kind of mahogany but less expensive) and also for walnut. Why: they are too dark, I prefer light/medium colour woods such as beechwood, oak, chestnut and tanganica (I don't know the english name, may it be the same ?).
Having this propensity I took the following decision for MY Soleil Royal: instead of using the supplied mahogany strips I will produce them by myself using chestnut veneer. I found it some days ago in a wood store. This veneer is sold in linear meters, wide 20cm and thick 0,5mm. On one of the two sides there is a very thin layer of a kind of paper or fabric. Its presence maintains the veneer integer and makes easier to manipulate and cut it, while doesn't interfere with the glue. If you give a look to the following images, particularly the high resolution images, you can better understand how it is.

01 P1070686.jpg


02 P1070687.jpg


The idea is to use strips of this veneer, of a given length that simulates, in scale, a plank of 7-8 meters and apply them following a pattern similar to the one used for the decks. I have also built a jig to cut these strips all the same.

Here below two other images of the veneer, chestnut in the foreground and oak in the background. Images 01 and 02 show the chestnut veneer. I purchased four linear meters, I think will be enough . .

03 P1070688.jpg


04 P1070689.jpg


To conclude this message, I don't know when the shipyard will be reopend, I'm still working on the other model, but, surely, the second planking will be the subject of the future activities on my Soleil Royal. Kind regards, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Wednesday September 14th, 2011 - Poop

After +/- two months I resumed my Soleil Royal and now I want to show the work done in the poop area and at the transom. I used the mahogany strips supplied with the kit for the upper part of the poop and the "home made" chestnut strips for the transom. Mainly the reason of this behaviour was to understand the differences between the two kinds of veneer and definitely decide if my idea to use the chestnut was good or not. The mahogany strips proved to be very different in colour between them, while this did not happened for the chestnut. The way to work with them is practically the same but the differences in colour of mahogany are too evident. I made this knowing that the upper part of the poop will be 90% covered by decorations and should also be painted in blue. But this experience was enough for me to decide for the chestnut.

Coming back to the chestnut veneer, I was able to obtain the strips very easily and, thanks the the paper/fabric layer on one side, the cutting is greatly facilitated and precise: you can use cutter or scissors and you have a great flexibility to obtain strips of the needed height.

The next four images do not need comments. Before planking I coloured with black paint inside the four gun ports here located.

01 P1070785.jpg


02 P1070786.jpg


03 P1070784.jpg


04 P1070789.jpg


And now let's discuss about the following: how to proceed with the second planking on both sides of the hull. I'll try to explain better my mind.

The instructions from the kit manufacturer suggest to install first the mahogany strip and to plank all the hull, then to refine and level the planks and finally to install the wales, using walnut strips 2 x 4mm, over this second planking, in the right position.

On each side of the hull, from the waterline to the top, wales should be installed as follows:
  1. 2 wales below the gunports of the lower gun deck;
  2. 1 wale over the gunports of the lower gun deck;
  3. 1 wale below the gunports of the intermediate deck;
  4. 1 wale over the gunports of the intermediate deck;
  5. 1 wale below the gunports of the upper deck;
  6. 1 wale over the gunports of the upper deck. This last wale seems to be smaller than the other listed before, but I have not yet received the issues where this is explained.

My plan is to change this process and proceed in the following way:

  1. install the wales of 1) to 5) using strips 3 x 4mm and, perhaps for 1) 3 x 5 directly of the first planking;
  2. install chestnut veneer strips between the wales that contain the gun ports;
  3. install mahogany strips between the wales where there are not the gun ports;
  4. the remaining parts of the hull will be planked with chestnut;
  5. the keel will be, when installed, of mahogany instead of stained plywood. The latter is the material supplied for the keel by De Agostini.

After this complex script, I recognize that probably someone may not understand what I have in mind, If you have any question, please do not hesitate to write.

Regards, Jack.
 
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