anchor anchor

Le Fleuron

French 64-gun frigate, 1729

Le Fleuron

The model

I started building my model of Le Fleuron (scale 1:48) in the beginning of 2002 and finished in the autumn 2010. The mesures of the model : 138 cm long, 57 cm wide and 114 cm tall (with bowsprit and and yards).

 It is difficult to calculate the time used for the project, maybe somewhere between 6000 and 8000 hours. I have built and made everything from scratch; cut and planed the wood; turned and founded the guns; laying the ropes in the desired dimensions; decorations; carvings; etc. Well, I have to admit that I bought the small chain used for securing the rudder!... but this is the only ready-made element on the model.

For the construction I have mainly used sweet cherry wood which constitutes nearly all elements of the structure (frames, beams, external planking, etc). Boxwood has been used for the decorations, sculptures and for example mouldings that normally were painted yellow. For black or dark details I have used ebony, for example parts of the masts, parts of the external planking and all the blocks. Deck planks usually became lighter over time from scrubbing and to represent this I have used maple wood. A diluted clear varnish has been applied on all wood but no paint at all. I have employed brass in all cases where iron originally was used (nails, fittings, guns, anchors, poop lantern, etc). A chemical product has been applied to blacken the brass.

While starboard side is fully planked and contains all details including decorations, guns, etc, the port side is not planked and part of the frames have been cut out in order to make an opening in the hull and the port side decks are not fully planked either. The reason for this is to offer a better view of the construction structure at all deck levels and to show some of the details that would normally be hidden under deck in a fully planked model.

In order to provide a more comprehensive view of the ship's rigging I have chosen not to put sails on the model. However, all running rigging necessary for sail-carrying is in place.

Most of the pictures shown in the site's photo galleries have been taken at various stages of building the model and not of the finished model.

As mentioned earlier, I have used the monograph by Jean Boudriot and Gerard Delacroix as the basis for constructing the model. For the general understanding of ships from that period I have greatly benefitted from Jean Boudriot’s four volume “Le Vaisseau de 74 canons, Collection Archéologie Navale Française”. I have also found valuable advice, tips and information on the internet and especially from Marine et Modelisme d'Arsenal, which is a French discussion forum for scale ship model makers. In addition, Bernard Frölich's book "L'ART DU MODELISME" (Editions ANCRE) has greatly helped me with various construction details.

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