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

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, December 1, 2012 (please look at the date, its important to understand this message) . .

I spent this last week to choose, collect, prepare and load into the car all what I'll need to "winter" in Tuscany, centre of Italy.

I just finished loading on my car almost everything; the remaining bargage for next morning, at the last useful moment.

Tomorrow, at around 10:00, with the tide, sailed the anchors, I put the bow to south / south-east in "deep downwind close-hauled" to Parma, then south-west with "starboard tack" until La Spezia and then south to Pisa with "the wind in the sails". Go back upstream on Arno river with the favourable tide and I will arrive . .

The ship yard is now closed and will be reopened in 2013, most probably in May.

Cheers, Jack.Aubrey.

Saturday, June 1, 2013 - Next reopening of the shipyard

Good morning, in the coming days, probably tomorrow, after six months of total lack of news due to my absence from home, I'll reopen the yard of the Soleil Royal. The yard will be managed in parallel with the shipyard of Twelve Apostles that for at least five/six months from now will be fluctuating.

I want to work hardly on this model in order to finish it, health permitting, by the end of the year 2013. Let's hope so. Tomorrow afternoon I'll start a planning session to take up the model in the right direction. I have to admit that in these six months I have forgotten many things regarding its construction.

Sincerely, Jack.Aubrey

Thursday, June 20, 2013 - back to work

Today, after a few days when the hot weather was the absolute master, I finally started to work around my Soleil Royal. .

Date absolutely to remember: it was since November of last year that the show was over. I'll manage this shipyard concurrently with that of the Twelve Apostles where I'll probably have frequent downtime because of the monthly shipments.

The aim of this first activities is to install on the forecastle the red columns that long time ago I prepared. There are also some hardwood rings, that will serve as "open gunports" for the forecastle guns.

First I prepared the two (curved) handrails for the castle, which will then be applied over the red columns and the rings. I took the exact shape of the curve on both sides, in order to prepare the curved pieces. I glued together two strips 2.5 x 2mm and retained them over the previously obtained template. When the glue made its mission the two pieces were permanently curved and ready for use.

Then I started the preparation of the straight rack at prow: twelve columns spaced from each other by 91 mm. When drilled the holes to receive the columns I bonded the latter in place with epoxy glue. Now they are drying waiting for tomorrow, when they will be mounted in an "extra strong way".

I then started to prepare the material for the ladders that are located on the two sides of the hull: by the time I prepared only the basic element consisting of a compound strip 4 x 1 plus another 2 x 2.

Of course I have no images to show, virtually there is nothing interesting to show in the work done today.

That'a all for today, see you next time, Jack.Aubrey.
 

jack.aubrey

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Friday I missed the usual appointment with my Soleil Royal because I had another appointment, not with a beautiful woman but with the dentist and I also missed Saturday morning because I cut the grass in the garden of my mother-in-law and in the afternoon I was too tired.

But on Sunday I resumed the activities and the day turned into a fruitful event: after spending last Thursday preparing all the necessary pieces, yesterday I started to reap the benefits.

Let's discuss a detail that I worked on between the downtime on the main work: the preparation and installation of the "stairs to climb on board" (whatever they call?) On the two sides, amidships, of the model.

Here I repeated the same method of construction adopted at the time I prepared the ladders at the bow: 1) apply a sheet of veneer on a plywood tablet, taking care to paste only the two ends; 2) then paste the steps (the composite strip element built Thursday) in a parallel manner to the right distance and, 3) cut the pieces with the table saw. An example is in Figure 01, where you can see from left to right, the initial piece, a piece cut out ready for use and two pieces already in use, where there are no elements of the ladder.

01 P1090548.jpg


Below you can see these ladders applied on both sides of the ship.

02 P1090559.jpg


03 P1090558.jpg



Then I continued to work with the metal columns on the forecastle. I will cover this topic with a separate message.

Sincerely, Jack.Aubrey
 

jack.aubrey

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

And now let's discuss the famous red columns on the forecastle. The first image shows the composite handrail, prepared in advance and already shaped on the lines of the hull. Bending is permanent and non-deformable.

01 P1090549.jpg


The various elements, including columns, applied in place and ready for the next step, namely the fixing of the "handrail". The wooden parts are fixed with vinyl, the columns with the two-components epoxy. By the way, I decided not to color of gold the circular gunports: I prefer the natural wood color . .

02 P1090553.jpg


03 P1090550.jpg


04 P1090551.jpg


In the next session I'll install the handrails and then I should close the works in the bow and forecatle area. Regards, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Yesterday afternoon was dedicated to the Soleil Royal.

Specifically, I completed the handrails of the forecastle area.

After two or three minutes of thoughts, I decided not to use the metal garnishments of the handrail estremities provided with the kit: too simple and not accurate. I spent a couple of hours to test prototypes of different shapes using a small tablet of pear wood (I was going to try some kind of engraving).

At the end I opted for a simple shape, easier to achieve, given that my first engraving attempts with various tools could not properly be called a success.

Here are some pictures, the first three before making some finishing, especially the "home made" garnishments. The other two are finished and after a coat of oil to enphasize the wooden color.

01 P1090560.jpg


02 P1090561.jpg


03 P1090562.jpg


04 P1090563.jpg


05 P1090564.jpg


I also worked on the preparation of other details located on the forecastle, when they will be completed and installed I'll show them. This afternoon relax. Sincerely, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Sunday, June 30, 2013 - Forecastle

Today I finished some details on the forecastle . . I lost quite a bit of time to prepare the missing pieces, painting and installing them, but at the end, this part of the ship should be complete. Of course the guns and something else are surely missing,but for now it's okay.

Now I'll work on the rear decks of the ship, although first of all I need to study in deep how they should be arranged.

On the forecastle all the pieces where a metal piece is involved are bonded with bi-component glue: are attached in a truly "strong" way . .

Greetings, Jack.Aubrey.

01 P1090576.jpg


02 P1090575.jpg


03 P1090574.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's several days I don't show any progress . . I have done quite a lot of work in spite of the heat that is back now, but I didn't have till now anything interesting to show.

The work done, incidentally, is still about the well known "columns": the forecastle is almost finished, so i started to work on the other decks located in the stern area.

I had no big problems to deal with them, but the work has evolved rather slowly for several reasons, among which the main course is always the bi-component epoxy glue that takes a life to take hold and dry.

I have discovered a kind of epoxy glue that in theory works in 5 minutes instead of hours but for this type of work it is not suitable: once mixed you have only three minutes to paste the piece and for this reason is not suitable to be used on many pieces concurrently (like our columns). Ii's more suitable for one or two pieces, otherwise you do not have enough time to use it. So its usage is delayed to the next first available opportunity.

I am attaching four photos of details of the work done on the rear decks . .

Kind regards. Jack.Aubrey

01 P1090585.jpg


02 P1090586.jpg


03 P1090587.jpg


04 P1090588.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Even a small step forward in the installation of the gunwale with columns. Now only a piece is missing. It's a piece a bit complex because I need to insert a round gunport, but after it what remains is very simple. Let's say three working sessions, one per day, then three days.

01 P1090597.jpg


02 P1090598.jpg


03 P1090599.jpg


04 P1090600.jpg


Kind regards, Jack.
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Some pictures of the aft gunwales practically finished. Now all the pieces are perfectly glued. There are now only a couple of things to be done to finally complete this phase:
- Cut the railing (visible in the photo n° 05) to open the gap in the middle. This element was glued in one piece to ensure a perfectly straight line;
- Decide how to color the gunwales top extremities: I scratch made these elements instead of the quarter-circle golden elements proposed by De Agostini;
- Remove all the dust, now practically covering the whole hull, with the air compressor;
- One coat of oil on the rails and maybe even on the decks.

Until next time with new images. . Jack.

01 P1090606.jpg


02 P1090608.jpg


03 P1090611.jpg


04 P1090610.jpg


05 P1090609.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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I'm publishing other five pictures of my Soleil, always dated back to Saturday, July 13, showing further details and / or views of the complete model.

On Sunday I still worked on the model for a couple of hours working on further trim the ends of the rails to embellish a bit. I also glued five stairs/steps on the decks . . then I left the Soleil and I started to apply seven / eight strakes on the deck of the 12 Apostles.

Now I have to think a little bit about the upcoming activities. Of big stuff there would still be a two/three things:
- End to apply decorations (boring part but that sooner or later I have to finish);
- Install the channels and related chain plates and deadeyes;
- Install all the gunports.

Then there would be other jobs that could be interesting (the stumps of the trees, the guns on the forecastle and quarterdeck, etc.). We'll see though probably (and rationally) follow my plan just stated above.

A cordial greeting, Jack.

01 P1090617.jpg


02 P1090616.jpg


03 P1090615.jpg


04 P1090613.jpg


05 P1090612.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I have painted my "doodles" closing the tops of the gunwales with stain and I have installed five stairs/steps which connect various decks together . .

Now I have to find new things to do. There are still many and I cannot decide where to start, maybe I'll start with the installation of the channels . .

01 P1090622.jpg


02 P1090623.jpg


03 P1090625.jpg


04 P1090624.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

I spent the Christmas period to reorganize my lab. . it was really needed, partly because of the long period of activity and inactivity that characterized the last months.

I have now a full and renewed knowledge of what I have in charge and where it is . . before I felt the lab of another person.

I had to think for a long time during these days on which model to work: the Soleil Royal or the Twelve Apostles, and at the end I decided to resume my work on the Soleil Royal.
The reason of this decision is quite simple: the next activity on the Twelve Apostles is to do works that generate a lot of sawdust and in this particular moment I prefer, at least for a couple of months, to avoid jobs that produce dust. This to minimize the impact on my eyes, just recoverted from two surgical operations.

So, as a logical consequence, the choice fell on the Soleil.

There are quite a lot of works to do. Today I spent the afternoon preparing a working plan that I will refine further tomorrow.
Anyway I decided that I will start with the preparation and installation of the channels.
Obviously I think to improve the material provided by De Agostini . .
Then I'll work on the broken pieces of the masts (you should already know they will not be full masts but only a mokup interrupted below the tops .

Now I just have to start real work and I'm going to do this tomorrow.

We'll hear soon. Jack.

Friday, January 3, 2014

As promised yesterday I went back at work. . starting with the channels. I'm using my new glasses (I had to change them after the last cataract operation) and they sound OK.

I used the material provided by De Agostini just as a support to be coated above, below and to the sides with veneer strips of 0.5x5mm. This to provide greater realism to these details that were not built with a single piece of wood.

Obviously I still have to finish them and later I'll need to fix on the sides of the hull , so no photos.

On the other hand I wrote down a rough plan of the activities that I will carry forward in the future in order to get finished this model . It's a rough plan that needs to be further refined, but it is enough to understand that there is still much work to do, even if the solution I have in mind doesn't foresee the complete masts and consequently all the rigging and the sails.

The plan is roughly as follows; the list is not in order of priority, but only a simple list of macro activities.

  • Masts: mainmast, foremastes, mizzen mast and bowstrit (only stumps)
  • Lower and intermediate deck guns: fix gunports as prototype made some months ago
  • Lower and middle deck guns fixing
  • Upper deck guns fixing
  • Quarterdeck and forecastle guns: complete installation with rigging
  • Channels
  • Chain plates and deadeyes
  • Poop decorations to be completed
  • Figurehead and headrails, bowsprit
  • Missing riding bitts, belaying pins
  • Poop lanterns
  • Stern guns and gunports
  • Boats to fix onboard
  • Boat to be fixed on the display case
  • Finishing the display case (plexyglass)
Thursday January 8, 2014 - Channels

Today I did'nt work because I had other commitments but yesterdaty I carried out some useful work with the channels: today I only limited myself in taking photos.

Preparing the channels may feel a simple task but it is not. To bring MY channels to the point that you can see in the following photos, I spent three afternoons . . . and there are still to prepare other elements.

To build MY channels I used the material from De Agostini (a pre- cut plywood rather poor) only as internal support that I covered with strips of chestnut veneer on both sides of the element.

The outer frame is made with boxwood to match the original shape.

Then I inserted some metal pins with the objective of strengthening the bonding on the sides of the hull.

But let the pictures speak for me: work in progress, you can see more clamps than anything else. They keep in place a reinforcement below the channel.

01 P1090704.jpg


The channels installed but without the outer frame complete. .

02 P1090703.jpg


The channels with the outer frame (here only positioned, not fixed)

03 P1090699.jpg


04 P1090700.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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continuation of the previous message. .

The channels photographed from a lower perspective.

It's possible to note that I have added a further reinforcement with the same wood of the wale below.

I felt this measure necessary because, having decided to set up the model with no full masts, there will be no standing rigging to firmly hold together these elemens.
In my case, in fact there will be in place only the lower deadeyes . .


01 P1090701.jpg


02 P1090702.jpg


03 P1090705.jpg



These days I'd the possibility to use the grinding machine illustrated here below. It 'a great tool for many processes.
To use at its best it has to be fixed to the worktop, in my case on an old desk.
I preferred an alternative solution (although not to spoil the desk) that works in practice in the same way and can be removed easily . .


04 P1090706.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Thursday, January 9, 2014 - Chain Plates

Today I started to do some tests to determine how to build the chain plates with the lower deadeyes . .

I have in mind several ideas but all of them have as a prerequisite some kind of "soldering" . .

Unfortunately, I discovered that soldering is a real headache for me and this doesn't make things easier. I'm following training courses via YouTube where everything seems quite easy, but then I can mess with. I also asked for recommendations to friends.

I know that sooner or later I will be successful but it will cost me tears and blood before I'll get satisfactory results.

That's all for today, Jack.

Monday, January 13, 2014 - Channels and chain plates

Yesterday I spent the afternoon of Sunday working on Soleil.

I delayed for a while the preparation of the chain plates, waiting to feel confident with "soldering" methodology. But I had to find new size of deadeyes, 7mm. rather than 5mm. (the latter are provided by De Agostini but I feel them out of scale), so I worked to finish the wooden part of the channels.

In practice, as you can see from the pictures so far proposed, they lack all the reinforcements of the upper side, similar to reversed bracket. These pieces are distributed by De Agostini pre-cut but, once again, I decided to redo them from scratch, starting from a strip of solid dark wood.

In practice I had to do from scratch these fairly small pieces with the aggravating factor that I had to correct them to get the joints to fit (one by one) to their individual locations.

This activity, laughing and joking, took me a whole afternoon . .

PS: the pencil marks on the channels and the wale below indicate the position for each chain plate. This positioning takes care of the locations of the gunports.


01 P1090710.jpg


02 P1090711.jpg


03 P1090712.jpg


04 P1090709.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Thursday, January 16, 2014 - Small but important progresses. .

Yesterday, Wednesday, I spent a couple of hours to find, plan and fix on the sides of the hull, with the usual two-component epoxy glue, new decorations, elements that should be applied before fixing the chain plates.

Then, while waiting for the glue to take its course, I have finished the preparation of the individual pieces that make up the chain plates that I had in mind to build for my Soleil.


01 P1090723.jpg


02 P1090724.jpg



Today, however, I was able to proceed with the assemply of the chain plates . . my bigger problems was the need to weld some pieces, task which for me had always been rather problematic. But this time I put new right efforts and, with the proper tools and the correct method I finally managed the job . .

Below two pictures show you ten "prototype" chain plates . . but I'm so satisfied of the result that I will pass to mass production soon: I need to build about sixty of them.



03 P1090721.jpg


04 P1090722.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, January 25, 2014 - Chain plates again . .

On Thursday and Friday I continued to devote myself to the construction of the " blessed chain plates". After the ten prototypes that I have fully complied with, now it remains to construct another 50 to complete the full set.

So these two days I started this business, pretty boring because of the high repeatability.
Let's say that today, if I find a couple of hours to work, matter that is not guaranteed due to other commitments, I should add to the ten prototypes about 35-40 new pieces.

Then I'll can finally proceed with their installation on the hull.

But first, there is still another task to do : paint or burnish brass/tin with which they are made.

1st hypothesis : Painting
Here the problem lies in how to prepare the pieces for painting . The solding flux paste leaves a film of dirt that must be removed in advance with a detergent. Then a coat of primer and matt black or gun metal. Does anyone have any idea what is better to use for cleaning ?

2nd Hypothesis : Browning
Again, there is the problem of degreasing with the addition of the uncertainty of how the burnishing liquid works on brass and tin. If that produces the same color effect or not. In the latter case I would say that this hypothesis would be rejected. Has anyone an answer on this matter?

For now it's all about, to hear from you, Jack.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - Display Case

Cause a very aggressive flu I did nothing since my last post in this topic.

In the meantime, however, I had arranged with a craftsman to prepare for my model a display case in plexiglass; this case went in the meantime available just these last days.

It seems pointless to go back on the exposition way of the model, since it is a topic discussed in detail in the past.

Here are some photos which show that, even with the selected display solution, it is a very nice "backside" although it's nothing if compared with the model completed with masting.

Cheers, Jack.


01 P1090734.jpg


02 P1090733.jpg


03 P1090732.jpg


04 P1090731.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Thursday, February 20, 2014 - still chain plates . .


Today I started the painting of the more than 50 chain plates.

- I prepared a small polystyrene frame on which I applied two strips of double-sided adhesive on which to place the pieces to be painted.

- Once I placed all the chain plates on the frame I painted with the airbrush a metal primer on all the items. I then waited an hour or so waiting the primer to dry.

- In the meantime I prepared the airbrush with the final paint color (the final color is not exactly this, but for now we can consider it so).

- I then sprayed the chain plates and I left everything to dry thoroughly.

- Tomorrow I will proceed to remove and reposition the chain plates on the other side to repeat the same procedure on the hidden side . Only at this point the task of painting can be considered as finished.

At that point i'll have to mount them in place and, once established definitively, with the dry-brush technique pass a rather rough coat (only on the metal parts of the chain plates) with "gun metal" paint.

Hoping everything is clear, warm greetings, Jack.


01 P1090736.jpg


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03 P1090738.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, April 12, 2014 - reopening the shipyard . .

It's almost two months since this yard was closed, due to various commitments . . Now it is a couple of days I've found the will to start working again and I immediately applied myself to finish the work I stopped before this health interruption.

The new work consisted of installing in their place all the deadeyes and their chains . An operation that requires a good deal of patience and precision. At the end it came out with a job half done, in the sense that I finished the right side of the model and for the next few days I have to complete the left side.

I forgot to write that before closing the shipyard I prepared the stumps of the masts, excluding the bowsprit. These pieces can be seen in some of the attached images.

I omit the explanation of how I proceeded in fixing the chain plates, I think everyone can imagine how . I am very happy with the resulting strength and appearance.

Here are some pictures to describe the work done and the results obtained.

01 P1090756.jpg


02 P1090750.jpg


03 P1090752.jpg


04 P1090751.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 - slowly but . .

As I said in the title, slowly. . . but regularly, I resumed working on the Soleil Royal. This week I finished the installation of the chain plates and the deadeyes, left missing on one side of the hull. This time, thanks to the experience gained from the work of the previous week, I went slightly faster.

I then changed type of activity: although it probably will not be the most appropriate activity in a logical sequence, I began to work to install the gun ports and the guns (or the half pipe skeletons of the gun) themselves. Twenty-six gun ports on each side plus four aft and four in the bow.

I already prepared long time ago the wooden part of these ports. Now I have prepared brass rings starting from wire 0.25 rolled around a drill bit of 0.5. For every door will need three, two to lift it and one to withdraw, so 60 x 3 = 180.

To make the story short, after having prepared enough material for one side, I set the rings on the gunports, and then I tried gluing the ports in their position. I used for this task the two components epoxy glue and a drop of cyan in gel format. The gel is useful to keep the ports in position for the 12/24 hour necessary to the epoxy for hardening.

I think this is the strongest bonding possible, as confirmed by the prototype that I prepared and shown long time ago.

Here are some pictures . . but the work still to be done is a lot. I took photos with the smartphone, so they are not very sharp, but still give the idea in their own way .

01 CAM00168.jpg


02 CAM00162.jpg


03 CAM00165.jpg


04 CAM00166.jpg
 

jack.aubrey

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Today, Easter Sunday, resting relaxed.

I just checked when I went to pick up my mother-in-law to bring her to my house that the bonding of the gun ports, made with the epoxy came well: I have not tried the breaking point it seem to be, for my feeling, pretty high. So I'm fully satisfied with my choice.

Cheers, Jack.

CAM00163.jpg


CAM00167.jpg


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