La Reale de France

Beginning work on the hull of the galere du roy, epoque Louis XIV. This has been a deferred task, one i promised myself decades ago when i first espied this ornate galley. At the equivalent of lock-up stage... about 100 hours of mast building and detailing to go.

Painting the fleur-de-lis in gold leaf ( i estimate about 250 on the hull alone)

Craft work is meditative: while i paint, my mind wanders through that jungle of now and before, and dreams of tomorrow. It is interesting seeing the superstructure start to take shape - quite different techniques to earlier galleys.

The original galley was 66m (stem to stern), 10.2m (beam amidship), 30m (beam including oars) and 42.8m (height keel to mast head). A key component in Mediterranean fleets (and the Great Lakes of Northern America) these were used as troop carriers (a bit like cavalry) unless becalmed conditions gave them a tactical advantage. I have not found a reference to naval engagements for this ship - perhaps it was not risked.

This is modelled at 1/75th scale, so the length will be about 82cm long, 40 cm wide and 60cm high.


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