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  1. Can anyone with access to some good reference material answer a question that I have regarding what the size of the US flag (stars and stripes) was in 1812? Specifically, what were the dimensions of the US flag on the USF Constitution during her engagement with HMS Guerriere? The problem being that I recently purchased a supposedly 1/96 scale 15 star flag to go on my Revell plastic model of the same scale. However, when the item arrived, it measured out to being 30 scale feet long and a tad over 14 feet wide. That's one large flag! Could the supplier of this item perhaps have made it in 1/87 or even 1/72 scale in error and then sold it as being in 1/96 scale? The product is a good one, printed on cloth on both sides. It just seems huge for supposedly being in 1/96 scale. If incorrect for 1/96, what scale would it be appropriate for? Thanks. Any insight into this question is appreciated.
  2. Perhaps some clarification is indeed due. Good ol' ancestry.com would have me believe that one of my ancestors was a ship's captain that operated a merchant vessel between the Colonies and the Mother Country in the mid to late 17th century. Incidentally - would've the title "Master and Commander" been appropriate for a captain of a merchant vessel, or is this strictly a title for a military officer? The captain's name was John Selleck and the ship in question was named "Brother's Adventure". According to what information I have obtained from the internet, he and his ship disappeared in the year 1689 while attempting to make a transit to England with a cargo of Virginia tobacco. King William's War (1688 - 1699) was in full swing, and it is thought that he and his ship were captured by the French. In any case, he and the Brothers Adventure were never heard from again. I thought that it would be nice to make a model in tribute to a long lost Great Grandfather. I was wanting to make a model of a ship that might come close to approximating the shape and design of Brother's Adventure. Having absolutely NO experience working in wood, I bought the Revell 1/83 scale plastic model of the Mayflower, hoping to convert it into a acceptable example of a merchantman of the period. I know of no other plastic ship model from that time period which could stand in for a merchant vessel - would anyone else have a suggestion? Would the flags supplied with the plastic Mayflower kit be appropriate for the year 1689 I wonder? Thanks for the responses. Perhaps I'll add a splash or two of muted color topside, but will be sure not to overdue it. It was war time after all.
  3. Thanks for the replies. White, black or brown on the hull it is, and bare wood for the topside.
  4. I did a forum search but did not find an answer that addressed my specific question. I am building a model of a late 17th century English/American colony merchant vessel, and wondered what would've been the correct treatment for the ship's hull. I doubt that it was coppered, but might've it been perhaps painted or treated with some sort of anti-rot coating? If so, what would be an accurate color to paint the hull? Also, I assume that being just a humble merchant vessel, there would have been very little or no use of any bright or vibrant colors topside. All the better to hide from French naval vessels of the period (King William's War). Thanks.
  5. Thanks for the input. It will be enjoyable painting various shades of navy blue which reflect different rates of fading. Were both tops and bottoms this navy blue - or perhaps were the shirts white? As expected, the information provided on the internet only confuses the matter. Good to have some knowledgeable answers provided on this forum. Thanks again!
  6. A question for the naval history buffs in the forum: What (if any) were the proper colors for U.S. Navy crewmen during the war of 1812? I am constructing the Revell 1/96th scale U.S.F. Constitution and I'm to the point where I want to paint the crew members. Did every crew member have a specific color for their shirts and pants? Or perhaps, were they permitted to use any color combination they wished? Were they permitted to go bare chested? I would imagine that the officers had regulation uniforms - but did the rank and file? Any help and/or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
  7. Russ: Well I'll be keel hauled! In my previous Connie builds I never went on to properly rig her - obviously! If I had, I would've known to untie those threads from beneath the hull and use them to rig the sails. I was much younger and a good deal more impatient back then. I will now scrutinize the rigging instructions very closely. Many thanks!
  8. A question for the more nautically educated of our members. Many of us are familiar with the 1/96 scale plastic Revell USS Constitution kit. I myself am in the process of building it for the third time in my life. During all of those builds, I've never thought to question any of the instructions until now. I guess you could say that it's a rigging question and quite familiar to those who have built this model. On page 5, step 6 of the instructions for the old H-398 kit, the modeler is instructed to cut six 24" lengths of the large diameter tan thread. They are then told to thread three of these lines per side through the hull and tie them off underneath. My question is - just what purpose did/do these three sections of rope serve on the actual ship? Help stabilize the hull in some manner? I wonder if these rope lines have always been on the ship, or if they might just be a result of a more recent restoration/rebuild (1927?). While doing research in the 1950's for their USS Constitution model, Revell may have then automatically incorporated these ropes into their kit. I am building my Connie to be as close to her July 19, 1812 configuration as i can possibly ascertain, and I wonder if she actually had these ropes during that time frame. Does the Hull model show these ropes going around the ship's hull? Would appreciate any input from the rigging experts on the forum.
  9. RE: USF Constitution (circa August of 1812) and gun port lids - I quite concur with Marcus.K. Could it have been that there were indeed removable gun port lids? Removed during action and fair sailing weather? Stored until needed and then put in place when required? It's quite possible. This subject is reminiscent of the ever on going debate as to whether or not the Constitution wore a white or pale yellow gun stripe on August 19, 1812. I vote for the existence of a white stripe on that particular day in history.
  10. Kimberly, One of the best aspects of model building is that it allows our imaginations to run free. Just as a painter can place any scene they desire on their canvas, we can express our artistic visions as we desire with wood or plastic. Case in point: I took an old rather mundane 1/200 scale Spanish Galleon (Airfix?) and turned it into my vision of the Black Pearl from the Pirates Of the Caribbean movie series. Was it an absolutely perfect rendition of the movie ship? Heck no! But I had a ball creating it and making it my own interpretation of the ship. If a person isn't enjoying themselves doing this hobby, then it ain't really worth doing at all. I fully realize that there are certain projects that don't allow for much "free form interpretation". Historical accuracy and such (like the USS Constitution for example). Fine and dandy, I like doing that also. However, modeling also permits us at times to be quite creative and imaginative. For this reason, I love to build dioramas. And as the late artist Bob Ross used to emphasize, in "our world that we are painting/building/creating, we get to decide what belongs and what doesn't". Don't forget, model building is an art - and as artists we have the latitude to create what we desire. The important thing is to satisfy the creative urge that is in all of us. So have fun. You obviously have that creative talent and will get much enjoyment out of this hobby.
  11. Russ: Thanks for the info. I'll add the booms to the sides of my Connie.
  12. Ah! Studding sail booms they are then. Next question: since I am building a Connie that represents how she looked during her engagement with the Guerriere in August of 1812, would she have carried these sail booms at that time? Were the studding sail booms a later addition perhaps?
  13. mtaylor: If you go to Google Images, put in "Model of USS Constitution ship", multiple images are brought up. The very first image on the top left hand side shows a port side view of: "USS Constitution wooden model ship kit (MS2040) by Model Shipways". It has the intermittent red stripe along its port side. Click on the image and it will enlarge. The wooden pole in question is visible just aft of the foremast, tan in color and above the gun ports. As previously stated, some examples of this model show as many as four of these poles, two per ship side. I agree - they may very well be the stud booms. A good place to store them.
  14. I am in the process of building the 1/96 scale Revell plastic USF Constitution. Many of the internet images of that I have googled (both plastic and wooden) show some mysterious wooden poles that have been added to the sides of the ship. I am referring to what appears to be a scale 40 foot plus round wooden pole suspended horizontally along both sides of the Connies hull, forward and immediately above the cannon ports. Some models even have four of them, two forward and two aft - again just above the gun ports. Although they have the appearance of yardarms and are portrayed as having a raw wooden color, I doubt that's their function. The Revell kit of course makes no provision for this accessory and does not even elude to it. Why would the USF Constitution have 40 - 50 foot raw wooden poles hanging off its sides? Any old time sailors or naval historians out there that can shed some light on this question? If appropriate, I am thinking of adding on these features- whatever their purpose. Thanks.

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