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Techsan

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About Techsan

  • Birthday 03/23/1958

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    Texas

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  1. As I finish reading A Most Fortunate Ship and research my new MS build, I continue to take baby steps on my Mamoli. Figuring out exactly where to stop is the question! Still much work to do on the bow, but it's getting better...
  2. Geoff -- Appreciate your reply and recommendations. I understand the MS Constitution will be more difficult than the Mamoli build I'm wrapping up, but I'm up for the challenge! Sadly, my biggest concern is that (at 59) I've lost the eyesight and dexterity I once considered my comparative advantage. My attention to detail, however, has likely improved. I'm an electrical engineer (manager) and have spent my entire career planning out details. I can now say I've read through the entirety of several build logs (yours included) and am astonished by the craftsmanship and detail. I know the direction I want this build to go, but I have to set realistic expectations for myself. I want to do a moderate amount of kitbashing and scratchbuilding, but I don't want to get to a point where I become frustrated and discouraged. We both know how that will turn out. The only reason I haven't so much as laid the keel yet is I want to have all of this worked out in my head before I begin. Again, thanks for your comments. They're appreciated very much. Regards, Bryan
  3. I haven't dropped off the planet, just taking time to get to a reasonable stopping point on my 1:93 Mamoli and finally read "A Most Fortunate Ship". Fascinating book. Speaking of reading, does anyone have a copy of Anatomy of the Ship for the USS Constitution that they would be willing to part with? I check eBay from time to time, but so far, no luck. Any other must-have reference documentation you Constitution experts (Ken, Geoff, et al) recommend before I restart my journey? Regards, Bryan
  4. You're continually resetting the bar so high it's impossible to reach. It's getting downright demotivating! Apologies if I missed it, but have you carved the catheads yet? I can't even imagine what they must look like...
  5. Here goes build thread number two! I am continuing to finish out the "hull model" of my Mamoli 1:93 USS Constitution. I'll post photos in that thread as the work continues. I received my Model Shipways kit yesterday and have been reviewing the plans and contents. I've attached the obligatory box pictures because, well...that's what you do. Just a couple of brief observations. I didn't realize the quality of the Mamoli product until I started unpacking the MS kit. The hardwood double planking and premium fittings (cannon barrels, carronades, et al) are truly a step above the plain basswood and cast-crap metal included by MS. I'll be looking for a lot of replacement parts. I'm also going to buy hardwoods for second layer hull and deck planking. This makes the bottom layer much more forgiving and wood filler can be used shamelessly. All I see right now is dollar signs! Don't want to sound negative, though. I'm truly excited to begin the build. I'm going to build it the way I want it to look, which is as close to the current configuration as I can make it. The greatest thing I have going is the wealth of knowledge contained in these build threads. We have some true masters here. I wish I had the brass skills of xken...your bow and ship's boats detail is insane. Appreciate your input as I go! Regards, Bryan
  6. I know this has likely been discussed before, and I apologize. I've read a good bit on the subject, but still can't come around. Seems like the 'modern' consensus is acrylics, but I'm an old-school modeler that loved enamels. Anyone still use them? (Options for available sources would be appreciated) My 20+ year old Floquil collection is no longer an option.
  7. So... I've been working at it for a week now and I've come to the painful conclusion that I'm never going to be happy with this build. The "current configuration" in the thread title simply isn't possible. If I was 90% complete, I'd finish it out. I'm nowhere near there...so I'm stopping. I'll refinish the bow and put it back in the enclosed bookcase it's lived in since 1995. Maybe one day... The good news? I just ordered the Model Shipways USS Constitution a few minutes ago. I've been so inspired by some of the build threads here that I know where I want to go with it. The mods can kill this thread soon, and I'll be on my way with a new one. I've sincerely appreciated the feedback.
  8. So the first thing I needed to do was remove my poor 1995 work -- the things I truly couldn't live with. The bow was awful. If you look at the bow picture above you'll notice the location of the hawse pipes in relation to the gunports. It's simply all wrong. To be kind, the poorly cast Mamoli billet head/scrollwork is complete crap. The biggest issue with the kit is that the plans were drawn in 1982 and reflect an earlier restoration rather than the current configuration. To compound the problem, the angles were wrong. After removing the ornamental metal crappola down to the hawse pipes you'll notice the bow planking above the billet head is solid, not open with netting as it exists today. Admittedly, I'm already a bit frustrated. Not sure what to do.
  9. So the consensus is that "loom-a-line" ratline jigs are worthless?
  10. I purchased the 1:93 Mamoli version of the USS Constitution in late 1994 and began assembly the following spring. You can see from the pictures how far along I was when, as they say, “life happened”. Things came grinding to a halt a few months later. The partially completed hull sat in an enclosed bookcase for the last 22 years. Sadly, the original Mamoli box containing the remaining OEM parts, along with another container with my tools, building materials, and collection of Floquil paints was mistakenly put in the attic during our last move in 2010. It has essentially baked in the south Texas heat for seven years. When I finally uncovered it, most of the wood and fittings appear salvageable. So, after a lengthy hiatus, here I go...
  11. I sincerely appreciate all of the thoughts and comments! I know Jon is right, I am the one who has to be satisfied with the final product, but I am continually blown away by the craftsmanship displayed in these build threads. It sounds odd, but the opinions of the total strangers on this board are more valuable to me than my friends and family. They have no appreciation for the journey and will just think "wow, that's pretty cool". You guys understand the amount of time, effort and passion it takes to do the subject justice. All this said, I'm going to start a build thread and finish the Mamoli. Again, thanks for all of your opinions and comments. (Oh, one day when I'm in a reminiscent frame of mind, I will post an entry about my passion for the USS Constitution -- connections to a world history-changing vessel I've never actually seen in person) Regards, Bryan
  12. (Thought I shouldn’t put this in a “build” forum, since that question is the crux of this post) Background – I purchased the 1:93 Mamoli version of the USS Constitution in late 1994 and began assembly the following spring. You can see from the (not-so-great) pictures how far along I was when, as they say, “life happened”. Things came to a halt a few months later. The partially completed hull sat in an enclosed bookcase for the last 22 years. Overall, it is in decent shape. Sadly, the original Mamoli box containing the remaining OEM parts, along with another container with my tools, building materials, and collection of Floquil paints was mistakenly put in the attic during our last move in 2010. It has essentially baked in the south Texas heat for seven years. When I finally uncovered it, most of the wood and fittings appear salvageable. So, the big question – where do I go from here? There is a lengthy back-story to my love for the USS Constitution, which I won’t burden you with, but I have a lot of passion for completing what I’ve started…or simply starting over. Staring at the half-assembled hull for days on end, some of my 1990’s work is generally acceptable. Other things (like the bow) desperately need to be taken apart and redone. Overall, it’s admittedly a not-so-great piece of work. So back to my question. Is the quality of my past work salvageable or should I start over? (honest replies won’t hurt my feelings) Not being ready for scratch-building, If I start over, which kit would you choose? Is the Mamoli or Model Shipways version a better option? Are there others I’m unaware of that are readily available? If I continue with my existing Mamoli, what are my options for obtaining replacement fittings and materials? From browsing the Model Expo website they’re not what they were twenty years ago. (Note: Since typing this, I’ve noticed there’s a lot of forum searching I need to do on locating materials) Your opinion is appreciated...

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