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Heller Soleil Royal (WIP)

575 replies
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  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, January 3, 2015 10:19 PM

Dave, an overarching comment.

This seems to be a very difficult and inaccurate kit from comments I've read.

I am currently in year four of the Heller Victory, which is wholly satisfactory straight out of the box so long as you get your hands on the Imai instruction set.

So my one piece of advice is to make yourself NOT think ahead. Concentrate on the hull only. Do not concern yourself with the masts and yards yet and for heavens sake don't buy ahead with any AM parts.

Get your guns and decks under control, the cables and such. I'd give myself a three month or so goal of getting up to daylight and then start looking up, metaphorically.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.


  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, January 3, 2015 9:35 PM

Yeah, that hole in the knee of the head is a real howler. It's apparently there because Heller was copying an unfinished model. (That model didn't have a figurehead either. Heller did notice that.)

The missing panel almost certainly should have some carved ornamentation on it. Dave, have you ever messed around with Milliput?

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, January 3, 2015 9:27 PM


I would strongly recommend raising the waterline to the lower wale.  I forget the source for this, but I have seen period drawings of 17th and early 18th century French ships-of-the-line showing the same run contained in the kit and the waterline touching upon the lower wale. It will greatly help the sense of proportion in your model. Also, fill in the knee of the head if you can.  You will not regret it!


  • Member since
    July 2008
  • From: Summerville, SC
Posted by jeffpez on Saturday, January 3, 2015 5:59 PM

Good luck. I "took a break" almost exactly two years ago before starting the rigging and it's still sitting there. Because of the elaborate paint scheme people who see it immediately seems drawn to it. Somehow I've become immune to the darn thing but have high hopes for the future.

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, January 3, 2015 5:47 PM


I'm sure you've already done your research on your SR and my posting these two links are probably useless to you now but, you never know.

Best of luck - and, more importantly, lots of wonderfully entertaining, frustrating, conquering, and satisfying states of mind to you while you build her Big Smile.



"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    May 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, January 3, 2015 5:14 PM

Well, you really grabbed the bull by the horns when you opened up the quarter galleries. As molded, they're one of the most inaccurate aspects of the kit.

I'll be interested to see what problems you run into in fixing the rest of the stern. If I remember correctly, there were some pretty elaborate "carved" devices between the spurious windows; those carvings belong on the hull itself. When I built mine (almost forty years ago), I didn't notice the problem till I'd almost finished the model. I don't know how difficult it would be to either move the devices to the hull halves or replace them. Then there need to be decks inside the quarter galleries, etc. And I don't remember whether there are windows in the hull over the quarter galleries; probably so.

One interesting point. On my monitor I can't blow up your picture quite enough to be certain, but it looks as though the artist who painted the picture on the Imai box figured out that the quarter galleries were supposed to be open. Interesting.

I hope you've found some good photos of the old, unfinished model in the Musee de Marine. They're your best guide - along with the drawings and paintings that are in other threads of the Forum.

Good luck.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Marysville, WA
Heller Soleil Royal (WIP)
Posted by David_K on Saturday, January 3, 2015 4:59 PM

Here goes:

I finally decided that the SR would be a good subject for my next WIP thread...

There are other build logs for this kit elsewhere on the internet, some are very well done, and some...well, just never seemed to get finished.  It's like the builders sailed into the Bermuda Triangle or something!

Anyway, I'm hoping to learn a bunch of stuff during this build, and I'd love it if I could count on my fellow modelers to help with advice/insight along the way....I already have questions!  But I also feel like my skills have developed enough since I started building ship models (almost 3 years ago!) that I may have what it takes to do a decent job on this one. 

Please feel free to chime in, but I do ask that remarks be kept positive and more or less on-topic...especially since this build will likely stretch on for many, many months (or years), and I hope it will serve future builders of this kit, should any dare to follow in my footsteps!  :)

Though I have lately begun to consider myself a little more of a *serious* scale modeler, most of you know that I don't trouble myself too much with certain aspects of authenticity or correctness in modeling.  I like to make things that look cool to me, and some stuff doesn't matter so much.  The plan is to make several changes to the kit, but I won't be addressing ALL of the known and oft-mentioned shortcomings...mostly just the ones that I think make it look better to my eye. We'll get more into that later.

For now, I would like to start with a current progress update:

I have some parts prepped, no painting done yet.  I washed everything in the bathtub in a warm bath of Water and Dawn dishwashing soap...then rinsed them copiously and let them dry for 36 hours..anyone who knows abbout this kit knows that there are LOTS of parts, so the Dave-Cave was littered with plastic sprues over the weekend! 

I have removed the windows from the rear quarter galleries, and assembled a couple of gun barrels, just to test the fit of them.

I am torn on whether to assemble the masts and yards first, then airbrush the's much easier to handle and paint parts while they're on the sprue, but it's also difficult to paint halves separately and then assemble them, while trying to keep the seams of each part hidden.  So that's on my mind...though I'll probably go ahead and glue them before painting.

Same problem with the gun barrels.  But they will be painted while on the sprue, then assembled later, for reasons of convenience.

For now, my biggest holdup is the *what-have-you* of chainplates and lower deadeyes.  I have some material on order from ME, so when that stuff comes I can start experimenting with how the chainplates will be set up...once I figure that out, then I can make the necessary hull and bulwark modifications to accommodate whatever means I'll use to fasten the chainplates (of course, the plastic kit eyebolts will not withstand the tension of the shrouds, so that's the issue)....

So, there it is.  I'll put a couple of quick pics, just as a headline.

Hope you guys find this project interesting and provocative!



     _~ )_)_~

Current Project:  Imai/ERTL Spanish Galleon #2

Recently Finished: Revell 1/96 Cutty Sark

Next Up:  ???



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