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John

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1

Tuesday, April 28th 2009, 10:29pm

Palais des Papes, Avignon [FERTIG]

Model: The Papal Palace, Avignon
Publisher: L'Instant Durable
Copyright Date: 1991
Designer: Jean-Tristan Roquebert
Colour: Gérad Gros

This construction report will differ from the fine report written by Friedulin from August 20, 2008 to February 2, 2009 detailing the model's construction.

The focus of this abbreviated report is to show the completed elements of the palace coming together as they were historically built. There is no need to show construction details. Friedulin,has taken us through the construction of the various parts of this amazing structure.

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "John" (May 14th 2009, 12:39am)


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Tuesday, April 28th 2009, 10:33pm

This is goodness. We all missed you, John, and it will be very interesting to see how you pull the palace together.
best regards
mit herzlichen grussen

Fred

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Tuesday, April 28th 2009, 11:17pm

A Brief History

Thanks Fred. I hope I do not disappoint.

This model has taught me a great deal about the seat of the papacy in France. Because the government of Italy was very unstable when the archbishop of Bordeaux was elected pope in 1305, he decided to stay in France. So began the reign of nine French popes who succeeded each other. The feudal town of Avignon was chosen as their seat.

It was the third pope, Benedict XII who began the construction of palace as we know it today. He demolished the previous episcopal palace used by his predecessors and built the north half of the palace. He became known as one of the two 'builder popes' to reside at Avignon.

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Tuesday, April 28th 2009, 11:40pm

The Palais Vieux

The pontiff Benedict XII built a structure that resembled a fortified monastery. Influences of the heavy, Romanesque style of architecture are clearly evident. An austere, fortress mentality prevails.

Now to the model.

The designer numbered his parts starting at the low, south facade of the palace. However, Benedict XII built the north half of the palais, so that is where we will begin.

Here is the first photo showing the beginnings of the Palais Vieux. You see a massive tower anchoring the northeast corner, the gardens and the chapel of Benedict XII and a crenellated tower. You can tell by the look of that tower, that peace prevails. It is not a fighting platform. We see a more civilized penthouse sitting on top. It's interesting that the custom of maintaining an east/west orientation for cathedrals is employed here.
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  • IMG_8676.jpg

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "John" (May 2nd 2009, 6:00pm)


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Saturday, May 2nd 2009, 6:06pm

RE: The Palais Vieux

The east wing of the Palais Vieux has been added. Tour Saint-Jean is the square tower to the left.
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  • IMG_8683.jpg
  • IMG_8684.jpg

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Saturday, May 2nd 2009, 6:20pm

RE: A Brief History

Quoted

Original von John
... Because the government of Italy was very unstable when the archbishop of Bordeaux was elected pope in 1305, he decided to stay in France. ...


Well,
I think it was a very good decision specially for the wine-fans, too... ;)
Bis die Tage...

Helmut


"Der größte Feind des Wissens ist nicht Unwissenheit, sondern die Illusion, wissend zu sein."

In Memoriam Stephen Hawking



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Saturday, May 2nd 2009, 6:22pm

RE: The Palais Vieux

I am finding that a lot of reinforcement is necessary with many of the walls. There is a tendency for them to twist or rack. I think the large arcade openings with glued backing parts have something to do with this. A lot of stresses can build up if parts are not glued up properly. Efforts to force things into line just cause problems.

The real test of the pudding is when the assembled sections of the palace come together. It's not just a case of butting one assembly up against another and gluing them into place; many of their parts are intertwined with each other.

This is a challenging model to assemble. A good challenge made quite manageable because of the accurate design of the model.
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  • IMG_8686.jpg

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Saturday, May 2nd 2009, 6:52pm

RE: A Brief History

Quoted

Original von John
... Because the government of Italy was very unstable when the archbishop of Bordeaux was elected pope in 1305, he decided to stay in France. ...


John,

No doubt, as usual a very beautiful report.

...but I think Italy had never a stable government till today. ;)

René
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Sunday, May 3rd 2009, 12:27am

The Palais Vieux

Thanks René.
Helmut, a nice bordeaux wine might just be a very appropriate way to finish off this thread. I see that Friedulin celebrated with beer.

The buildings of the Palais Vieux surround the cloister of Benedict XII. It can be seen here ready for installation. I have no idea why there is a line extending outward from the edge of the staircase across a portion of the courtyard. Friedulin?
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  • IMG_8689.jpg

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Sunday, May 3rd 2009, 1:04am

RE: The Palais Vieux

Hi John,

From the first few pictures I got the impression this is a large model.

Your mention of twisting walls is another indication and now is the first time I see both your hands in a picture (camera on a smal tripod and a timed exposure?).

Must be a large model indeed. Footprint?

Cheers,

Bruno
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This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "erasmus" (May 3rd 2009, 1:05am)


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Sunday, May 3rd 2009, 12:23pm

RE: The Palais Vieux

Good Morning Bruno.

You nailed it. Tripod and timed exposure. When I'm holding an object, I like to crank up the ISO speed and give myself 10 seconds.

The model is scaled at 1/300. The stated base size is 48 x 43 cm.

Cheers...John

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Sunday, May 3rd 2009, 12:46pm

RE: The Palais Vieux

Quoted

Original von John
...Helmut, a nice bordeaux wine might just be a very appropriate way to finish off this thread. ...


John, I was thinking of "Châteauneuf-du-Pape". =)

Today the castle there is an impressive ruin. I'm sure you know that "Châteauneuf-du-Pape" at that time was the summer-residence of the "french" popes.

Your report is very interesting, as always! :]
Bis die Tage...

Helmut


"Der größte Feind des Wissens ist nicht Unwissenheit, sondern die Illusion, wissend zu sein."

In Memoriam Stephen Hawking



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Monday, May 4th 2009, 9:52pm

RE: The Palais Vieux

Thanks for the nice comments Helmut.

The cloister of Benedict XII is in place. It is suspended by the surrounding walls.
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  • IMG_8691.jpg
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Monday, May 4th 2009, 10:08pm

RE: The Palais Vieux

This third shot of the cloister is being featured by itself. I would like to mention the white tab paddle hanging down from the red tile roof on the open side of the cloister.

Here's a tip that might prove useful to anyone trying to get their fingers up under a sloping roof edge that depends on a tab to fasten it to a wall. It's hard to get your fingers into a space that is progressively narrowing to a thin edge so far up under that you can't reach it with your fingers. Solution? Glue a paddle under the tab that will extend down far enough so that you can get your fingers behind it to apply pressure to the tab.

I wouldn't use this method often. The optimum method would be to build a shelf on the receiving wall and cut the tab off entirely. Then the roof could be gently glued down onto the shelf. It's much easier working from above than trying to get your fingers up inside the model from below.

You can also damage the model in attempting to prop it on a table or cradle it in your lap so that you can gain access to that elusive tab. Has anyone experienced this? I'm sure I'm not the only one.

John
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "John" (May 4th 2009, 10:10pm)


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Monday, May 4th 2009, 10:15pm

Hello Hagen,

Good to hear from you. Hope you find the build interesting. I apologize for not getting into the shipping area to view your fine work. Something to be corrected.

About Avignon. You wouldn't happen to have a digital shot of the digs would you...?

Cheers...John

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Monday, May 4th 2009, 10:18pm

The little belfry adds much to the roof line in this area. The detailing of the counterbalanced bell is nice.
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  • IMG_8696.jpg

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Monday, May 4th 2009, 10:24pm

hello john!

nice to see you again - at work :) with a very fine instant durable model. this will be another masterpiece!!!

good luck
waltair
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Monday, May 4th 2009, 10:30pm

Hi Waltair. Thank you.

Hagen, not to worry. Thanks for the quick response.

Here's a final peek into the cloister...
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Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 7:54am

Hi John,

A real wonderful work!

Your version of the palace is much better then ours.

Greetings Friedulin

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Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 1:56pm

Palais Vieux

Good Morning Friedulin.

Thank you so much for your kind words. However, it was your fine construction report that revealed the intricacies of this wonderful model.

The buildings of Benedict XII are complete. You can see from this photograph that the structure is complete unto itself. It would have served Benedict XII well as a papal seat in France.

However, things were going to change. There were two builder popes residing in Avignon.
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Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 3:03pm

Hello John,
I agree when you say this is a challenging model. The problem is not on the sub-assemblies but rather on putting everything together. Sometimes, the 'inside' looks a bit bigger than the 'outside' on ID kits. Your outside - in approach to this large section may well be the best one!

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Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 7:58pm

Palais Neuf

Thanks Ricardo.

Clement VI, elected in 1342, was the second builder pope. Anxious to extend and embellish his residence, he acquired the houses to the south of the Palais Vieux. They were razed to make way for his expansion.

Although the exterior facades maintained the look of military fortifications,he used a lighter hand with the design of interior spaces.

He built his own chapel, which we seen in this photo. It was significantly larger than the chapel of Benedict XII.
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  • IMG_8708.jpg

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Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 8:04pm

RE: Palais Neuf

Both builders used an open space in the centre of their structures as a focal point. For Benedict XII, it was the cloiser; for Clement VI it was the Grand Courtyard of Honour.
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  • IMG_8705.jpg
  • IMG_8711.jpg
  • IMG_8712.jpg
  • IMG_8713.jpg

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Tuesday, May 5th 2009, 8:15pm

Hello John, another outstanding report!

I love such historical informations about the originals; they also belong to the model, certainly!
Bis die Tage...

Helmut


"Der größte Feind des Wissens ist nicht Unwissenheit, sondern die Illusion, wissend zu sein."

In Memoriam Stephen Hawking



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Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 9:40pm

Palais Neuf

Thank you Helmut. I agree with you. It's the history of the buildings that make them come alive. They have so many stories to tell. I think this is why I never tire of making architectural models.

The Courtyard of Honour is now enclosed. Notice the arched tunnel at the top of the ramp. That tunnel will lead into the Palais Vieux.
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Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 9:42pm

The Tunnel

I like the tunnel...
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "John" (May 6th 2009, 9:45pm)


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Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 10:14pm

Coming Together

The moment of truth is fast approaching.
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Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 10:15pm

RE: The Tunnel

John,

This looks like the type of tunnel that the roadrunner paints on a rockface to fool the coyote - twice.
The first time the coyote runs into the rockface and the second time he is run over by a train leaving the very same tunnel ;).

Cheers,

Bruno
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "erasmus" (May 6th 2009, 10:17pm)


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Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 11:00pm

RE: The Tunnel

Wiley E. Coyote never stood a chance with that bird Bruno. Loved those cartoons.

I googled Wiley on the Internet and found all kinds of cartoon clips...

Cheers...John

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Thursday, May 7th 2009, 2:45pm

Coming Together

Before I glue the two sections of the palace together, I thought it would be a good idea to label the sections. Once the palace is joined, the two parts will blend together and be united with ground cover. The time to dramatize the uniqueness of the two sections is now.

I labelled Wiley's tunnel for you Bruno.
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Thursday, May 7th 2009, 6:27pm

RE: Coming Together

Hi John,

Thanks, I appreciate you returning the favour (you do know you star in the model I am currently building, don't you? ;)).

I now see that the tunnel is actually a 3-D part.
I assumed the tunnel floor to be level. In that case the point - and lines of view would be "off".
I recognized it as a "trompe l'oeil" (not unlike the road sloping up the hill in your Quebec model).
In this case I saw an image of a tunnel on a flat surface: Wiley's tunnel.

That means I have not done you right. You did put effort into building a 3-D part here. The tunnel floor must be at an incline and then all pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

This model is going to be another gem. Success with the "docking procedure".

Cheers,

Bruno
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Friday, May 8th 2009, 9:30am

Hi John,

Beside everything else the quality of your pictures is superb! It really makes a difference when watching a report. Not to mention your almost academic approach of pointing out certain interesting aspects and features. Many thanks for another pleasurable read!

Cheers .... Wolfgang

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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 1:25pm

Thank you Wolfgang. You are very kind.

Well, the docking procedure went well. The two segments of the palace did not have to be wrestled into place. They slid home!
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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 1:26pm

Another view...
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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 1:39pm

The East Side

A grassy piece of turf runs along the east side of the palace between two stone walls. A dirt path wanders along this area from a doorway in the south wall.

I knew that this ground would be difficult to fit so I custom tailored the existing parts. To do this, I made a built-up template with little pieces of card that fit into all the 'ins and outs' along the east wall. Then this pattern was taped down onto the original printed parts.

In this picture you can see the tape and the knife about to cut away parts of the original piece below. It's a bit of a leap of faith here, because you are cutting off the tabs and in some areas a good bit of the printed material...
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "John" (May 9th 2009, 1:40pm)


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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 1:47pm

RE: The East Side

... but all is not lost. Cutting off printed material is fine, and adding new material isn't a problem if one anticipates this in advance.

I photocopied the grass and a wall section previously just in case I might have to add material to the custom parts. I print extra parts now on light paper instead of card. It is easier to add as 'skin' when grafting it onto a stiffer foundation. Its thickness is not as noticeable if overlapping occurs.
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This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "John" (May 9th 2009, 1:47pm)


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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 1:49pm

RE: The East Side

And so here is the grassy section of ground on the east side.
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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 2:07pm

Water Colours

Here is a close-up of a polygonal entrance and wall jutting out on the east side. Notice the artwork here. This is the fine work of Gérald Gros. You see cobblestones at the doorway gradually fading to a dirt path. You can see the brushstrokes creating the wisps of weed and grass. There is light and shadow here.

Perhaps the days of hand created work are gone in the field of card models. Pity.

This model was created in 1991.
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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 9:26pm

John, I think we will eventually see such quality work done digitally. It is certainly a pleasure to see that artistry in the older models, and a good reason to build them. :D
best regards
mit herzlichen grussen

Fred

In Build:
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Saturday, May 9th 2009, 10:04pm

You may be right Fred. However, there seems to be a move toward more photo realism with digital work. I fully embrace the future, but as you say, appreciate the human touch with earlier works.

A close friend of mine, many years ago, told me that with restored cars, the hand painted detail work, although imperfect holds a much higher value. I guess the connoisseur is looking for the 'natural' look of hand drawn detail lines.

Now our attention turns to the northwest corner of the palace. There is a vertical drop of nine meters from the gardens to the level of the lower walkway and a twenty-one meter elevation drop to ground level out at the southeast corner of the palace.

P.S. Bruno, I don't understand your reference to me in your next model?

John
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This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "John" (May 9th 2009, 10:11pm)


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