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Found 22 results

  1. I started this project in January 2017 and worked on it steadily for about three months but have not worked on it since. This is my first model of any kind. In retrospect, it was probably a bit advanced for a first model. I thought my experience as a fairly advanced woodworker and having engraved scrimshaw for several years gave me some of the skills (and most of the tools) I would need. The one thing that kept me going was the Bluejacket helpline that is manned by a very experienced modeler. In fact, Charlie has built models not only for himself but under contract to Bluejacket for those individuals that are willing to pay a great deal of money for a model. He has built the Smuggler more than once. The hull and major structures have been completed and painted. Next, I plan to finish everything except for the masts and rigging. I have also nearly completed two dories and a seine boat. The woodworking tools that I have found most useful are a Lie-Nielsen small brass block plane and some very sharp chisels. This is a solid hull construction. I thought that was a good place to start for a first model. I made templates by getting several photocopies and using spray adhesive to mount them on separate pieces of 1/16” plywood. Each was cut out with a coping saw and finished with sandpaper and a curved sanding block to get just up to the line. The fore-aft templates were reinforced to make sure they remained straight. Once I got the hull shaped as perfectly as possible using the templates to confirm the shape I made a major deviation from the kit plans based on a recommendation from Charlie. The machine-shaped hull has the bulwarks and transom incorporated. Rather than trying to chisel the inside of the bulwarks and transom to get to the proper thickness and attempting to sand the decks to shape, I cut everything off at the level of each deck. At this point, I was able to sand the decks exactly to the shape I wanted as everything was open. I installed the scribed decking supplied in the kit on the foredeck as the original Smuggler has straight planking. However, rather than taking the same approach on the main deck, I purchased wood strips so that I could install curved decking in the same way it was on Smuggler. I then installed the waterboards and built up the bulwarks and transom using 1/16” v 1/16” strips. This method allows one to get accurate wall thickness and real scuppers.
  2. I started building the Blue jacket model of the Portland 6 months ago. During that time i kept photographic records but was too busy to post. right now I am about 90 % complete. My past build are the Sultana, the Philadelphia, the Niagara, the Mary Rose. i belong to a ship building group in Portland Oregon. I have been building for about 5 years. Our group has a blog called Ship Class where we post the progress of our group . If any one is interested its http://woodenshipclass.blogspot.com/ In this first entry I will post the progress of the hull. The Portland is a solid hull. The shape is pretty good with a little sanding and priming it can be made ready. the instructions are a bit vague. It suggests using planking for the sponsoons. I decided to use wider bass wood. It was faster and easier to fill. The hull was primed several times until a smooth finish was obatained . I used rustoleum on the hull but quickly switched to Tamyia paint .. The rustoleum took to long to cure. and ended up crazing if I didnt wait a week or more between coats. Crazy.
  3. This is my 2nd build. Received the Mary Taylor kit for Christmas 2018. My first build was the Swampscott Dory from Bluejacket, so this is a real step up in difficulty. I'm excited to get started and welcome all helpful feedback. The instructions suggest two ways to shape the hull 1) by eye, or 2) using hull templates. Since I'm new at this, I've chosen the template method. It takes a bit more work, but should produce a more accurate hull shape. I've marked the station lines from the Body Line Plan. Now it's time to create the templates.
  4. Here's the kit contents of the BlueJacket Mary Taylor pilot boat. The kit comes with copper tape, but I will be using individual plates on this model.
  5. Liberty Ship SS Stephen Hopkins - BlueJacket Shipcrafters - 1/192 scale While mulling over what kit to select for my next build I was giving some thought to taking a break from warships and BlueJacket’s Liberty ship kit caught my attention because of the amount of rigging on it: Although I never served on any type of cargo or replenishment ship I figured “How complicated can it be?” Doing some photo research I came across the next photo of BIG CHAINS hanging from the masts of the SS John Brown and realized there is a lot I don’t know about cargo rigging and that this might be a good way to learn about it so I will be building BlueJacket’s kit of the Liberty ship SS Jeremiah O’Brian, which is still operating in San Francisco (BTW, I eventually found out that the chains are called Bull Chains). The next decision was what Liberty ship to model. With over 2700 Liberty ships built between 1941 and 1945 there is an embarrassment of ships to choose from but after a little research the choice was obvious. Although the Stephen Hopkins had a very brief life, being sunk on her maiden voyage, she would be a contender in any contest to name the greatest fighting ship in American history, despite being an “SS” vice a “USS.” It’s an amazing story, one that I’m surprised Hollywood hasn’t pick up on. So I won’t be taking a break from building warships after all . . . You can read her full story at http://www.armed-guard.com/hoppy.html, but in brief, after fitting out in San Francisco as one of the earliest Libertys, the Hopkins crossed the Pacific and the Indian Oceans, steaming alone and entered the South Atlantic where on 27 Sep 1942, in low visibility, she encountered at the range of about a mile two ships laying to. The ships turned out to be the heavily armed German raider Stier and the blockade runner Tannenfels. With a crew of 340, six 6-inch guns, torpedoes and numerous smaller caliber weapons the Stier had the armament of a light cruiser, in fact ten months earlier the similarly armed raider Komoran sank the cruiser HMAS Sydney off the West coast of Australia, although the Komoran was sunk also. The Stier opened fire immediately and the Hopkins’ Master decided to fight it out rather than surrender as most ships in her position would have done. The Hopkins’ single, obsolete 4-inch gun was moved by hand cranks and manually loaded but her Naval Armed Guard had been practicing at every opportunity and it began to show. The Hopkins quickly knocked out the Stier’s steering and repetitive hits along the waterline soon caused fires to break out in the Stier’s engineering spaces and she went dead in the water, as the Hopkins did too, with her boilers disabled. Both ships continued to drift and fight at about a thousand yards distance, like something out of the War of 1812. The heavy firepower of the Stier began to tell and after about 20 minutes the Hopkins was afire and sinking with two-thirds of her crew of 55 dead. Engineering Cadet Edwin O’Hara, from the US Merchant Marine Academy, made his way to the 4-inch gun after the engineering spaces were abandoned. He found the gun crew dead and the magazine destroyed but was able to locate 5 loose shells and single-handedly fired them at the Stier just before before he was killed. Nineteen survivors from the Hopkins managed to launch the one undamaged lifeboat. Meanwhile the Stier’s crew was unable to control the fires spreading out of the engine room and she had to be scuttled. Her survivors were recovered by the Tannenfels, who made no effort to aid the Hopkins survivors. Under the command of the 3rd Engineer and without any charts or navigation instruments except a compass the Hopkins’ boat set out to cross the Atlantic to Brazil. Amazingly enough they made it 30 days later with 15 men still alive. The ships were built in 18 purpose-built yards, which themselves were constructed in remarkably short time, turning mudflats into complex shipyards in just a few months. Locations of the yards were based on available manpower, however untrained, and political considerations to “spread the wealth” of government contracts across the coastlines. The Libertys were based on the then yet-to be built British “Ocean” design that was, in turn, based on successful coasters. The goal was to design a ship that was both inexpensive and quick to build, simple enough in design that inexperienced shipyards and workers could build them, that could make 11 knots and carry a significant amount of cargo. They departed from the British design in that they were largely welded, most of the accommodations were in a large deckhouse, rather than divided among the foc’sle, midships and aft.. Their boilers were water tube vice Scotch, and were oil-fired rather than coal. Without having to accommodate coal bunkers they could be fitted with heavier masts rather than king posts. Although by 1941 the advantages of turbines over reciprocating steam engines were well known, the technical skill required to build turbines was much greater and the small number of plants capable of producing them were all dedicated to warship construction so the decision was made to go with reciprocating engines. The Ocean design was further simplified to minimize the amount of curved plates in the hull and wherever possible bulkhead penetrations for piping were avoided by running them outside the skin of the ship. Cost saving measures included waiving a large number of US regulations related to Merchant ship safety, comfort and, ominously for the Hopkins, fireproofing. The ships had little in the way of forced ventilation and had the reputation of being hot and uncomfortable in most climates. Although the building time varied between shipyards , the common trend was that as they gained experience the time required to complete the ships steadily dropped. The first few could take up to 5 months to launch, although most only required a few weeks. The record was set by the SS Robert E. Peary, while admittedly a publicity stunt involving a lot of pre-fabrication and unlimited manpower, required only 4 days, 15 hours from keel laying to launch. By the end of the war an average of 3 Liberty ships a day were being launched. If you are interested in learning more about the Liberty ships this URL will take you to a decent study produced by the American Bureau of Shipping: https://www.eagle.org/eagleExternalPortalWEB/ShowProperty/BEA%20Repository/News%20&%20Events/Publications/WorkhorseOfTheFleet and this one will take you to a one-hour, color, wartime documentary film about the ships and the shipyard in Richmond, CA where the Hopkins was built: https://archive.org/details/cubanc_00004# I'll be using the following references: SS John W. Brown, a working Liberty ship berthed in Baltimore. Although she has some modifications from her conversion to carry troops and as a school ship in NYC she is still in remarkably good condition and largely unchanged from her WWII days. I was able to spend a few hours onboard, take a lot of photos, and watch the cargo booms at work. She takes day trips from ports along the East Coast. A Call to Arms by Maury Klein. Although the book covers the entire US WWII industrial mobilization, the chapter on shipbuilding is well done. Ships for Victory by Frederic C. Lane. Thank God I was able to get this from the library rather than spend any money on it. If 900+ pages of meeting by meeting and memo by memo descriptions of bureaucracy at work excites you then this is your book. Even while skimming it I was worried that I would pass out and then drown in the puddle of my own drool. The book provided some insight into the welding problems encountered in the early program but that was about it. Websites devoted to the SS John W. Brown, SS Jeremiah O’Brian, and SS Hellenic Victory all have extensive onboard photos to help with details 5) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/55-17/ch3.htm is a webpage that has extensive info on cargo rigging, it will be my primary reference for rigging. In the next post I’ll give an overview of what comes in the kit
  6. Hi All, After having been away from the hobby for a while I purchased the combined USS Monitor and CSS Virginia kits from Bluejacket. I completed the USS Monitor and a build log if it can be seen here: Now moving on to the CSS Virginia. It is a noticeably more complex kit than the Monitor but of equally high quality. The hull is well formed and the various metal pieces come in a nice segregated and sealed bag. The plans are also well drawn and quite descriptive. Thanks to @MrBlueJacket and company for again making a great kit. Looking forward to getting into the thick of building it. The kit contains a number of individual metal pieces all nicely packaged. I couldn't resist setting the completed USS Monitor next to the bare hull of the CSS Virginia for scale.
  7. Hello from a newbie and second year NRG member. This is a log of the Bowdoin arctic explorer schooner kit by Bluejacket Shipcrafters. I started model building many, many years ago, mostly with plastic cars, at a time when it was more fun to rush through the build than to paint. But I always admired wooden ship models, and when I decided it was time for the plunge I looked for a kit where I could learn the skills of planking and rigging on a more modest scale. The Bowdoin seemed a good fit, being about 24 inches long and with two masts. And I liked that the kit is manufactured in Maine. The Bowdoin was constructed for Donald MacMillan in 1921 by Hodgdon Brothers in East Boothbay, Maine. A good history is available in The Arctic Schooner Bowdoin A Biography, by Virginia Thorndike, 1995 published by North Country Press, Unity, Maine. The Bowdoin was eventually transferred to the Maine Maritime Academy and is used for student training. The Academy has a wonderful series of ship photos from various student voyages and from the ship restoration in the 20-teens. The log is retrospective and condensed, based on 90 pages of notes and photos gathered from the keel laying in June 2017 to completion in May 2018. Part of the reason for holding off was abject fear that my work would fall far short of the very high bar you have all demonstrated. You have been my teachers this past year and I would never have gotten through the build without your tips, techniques, articles and enthusiasm for ship building. So I have decided to throw caution to the wind and put the Bowdoin out there for all to see. If my execution has misinterpreted what I have seen and read please jump in. I welcome your comments on what I have done to help prepare me for my second build. My work area is my old professional drafting table from my former architectural practice, which I squeezed into our combination laundry room, pantry coat closet. It’s a great table with hydraulic lift, tilting top and a laminated rubber cover (Borco) over the wood surface. The lamps are great since they can be positioned wherever you need over the work. The building base is two pieces of pine anchored at one end to an old saw vice which is mounted on the table and with C-clamps at either end of the keel. The bulkheads went in without incident although a few laser cut slots needed sanding. The subdeck consists of two pieces that must be glued along the edge. The instruction manual, which is well written, makes some assumptions regarding knowledge of nautical terminology - lazy jacks were a stumper. But the manual also includes helpful tips, such as adding drops of CA mixed with sawdust on the underside of the subdeck to strengthen the joint line. I made ample use of rubber bands, clothes pins (full and sawed off) and binder clips for the deck and plank work.
  8. I will be building the CSS Virginia (ex-Merrimac) model. When finished, it will be 17 1/2" long. The instructions start with a nice bit of history on the ship:
  9. Good evening fellow ship modelers, I'm new to the forum here, introduced myself the other day in the new member forum. I've been working on Bluejacket's 1/192 Samuel B. Roberts Destroyer Escort. However, I've chosen to model DE-404, USS Eversole, which fought at and was sunk during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944. I chose to model the Eversole for two reasons 1) I love reading about the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and 2) dazzle camouflage fascinates me. Choosing the USS Eversole allowed me to research both the battle and the camouflage, all the while having fun. When it was sunk, the Eversole wore Measure 31/2c. All paint colors are mixes of Model Master enamels matched to paint chip color charts I used as part of a research project in college. This is an impressive solid wood hull kit that supplies plans, styrene, brass rod, brass photo-etch, and great detailed metal fittings, as well as rigging supplies. To the kit contents, I've added 3D printed 5 inch gun turrets, 5 inch gun turret mounts, 40mm Bofors, and a couple other little odds and ends like life preservers to liven up the ship even more. Also additionally, I've been using Tom's Modelworks 1/192 US Naval Doors, 1/192 Portholes, 1/192 Vertical and Horizontal Ladders, and 1/200 Premium 3D railing. I may or may not add Tom's 1/192 Depth Charge Racks, Flotation Racks, and Destroyer Radar. This build log will commence from maybe 30% complete, as that's where the Eversole stands today! I've been painting by hand with oil paints which shows in the up-close pictures, but that's okay by me as I don't have access to or space for an airbrush setup right now. This kit has been great for improving my scratch-building skills, adding little details shown on the ship's plans provided in the kit here and there. I acknowledge there are some odds and ends that need fixing, filling and repainting. I'm slowly but surely getting to them. Finally, on to pictures: (Image source: http://www.navsource.org/archives/06/404.htm) (Image source: http://www.usndazzle.com/Destroyer Escorts Drawings/339 2C.jpg) Thanks for looking, and happy modeling! -Andrew
  10. I'm building this model to give as a Thank You to someone. It is inexpensive, easy to do, and looks nice. The Rainbow was the winner of the 1934 America's Cup race, followed by Endeavour in second place. Here's the box and the contents.
  11. BlueJacket Shipcrafters seems to be under-represented in build logs on MSW, despite their reputation as a quality American model company that’s been in business a very long time. I recently completed their Lobster Boat kit and thought I’d write up a quick review, as there aren’t any build logs for this kit on MSW (I didn’t do a log myself as I wanted a break from documenting model work and intended this to be a relatively quick, relaxing build). Overall, I enjoyed building this kit, though there were a few things future builders might consider. Above is my finished model, built and named for my mother, who has long loved Maine, especially the Schoodic Peninsula. The number boards commemorate this year's birthday, when she'll receive this model. It's finished in the same green and white color as my current house. Positives: Good-quality materials. All the wood was solid and easy to work with, and the castings were clean and straightforward. Clear and accurate plans. These matched the kit’s parts and were helpful as a reference. I could have used them to scratchbuild this without the instructions or materials. Not too complicated. The kit might be tough for a complete beginner as it assumes a bit of knowledge, but almost anyone could figure these bits out and it’s pretty straightforward overall. It doesn’t have a lot of detail, which I think is good as it keeps the cost down and lets you choose whether you want to invest the time and money into creating a more detailed custom version. Concerns: The written instruction booklet is less than ideal. The black-and-white photos are very grainy and make it difficult to see any useful detail. For example, I was essentially unable to determine the planking pattern used because the photo was so blurry. Also, the text is presented in a long, linear block that could really use better organization and editing. Photos and drawings are often placed nowhere near their relevant text, resulting in lots of flipping back and forth trying to make sense of a given step. There is some "curse of knowledge" in places, where the instructions refer to a given part without defining what that is in real life or providing a clear diagram or label for the model. Bow design. The kit’s default is to use a large carved block at the bow, rather than planking all the way to the stem. With no experience, I had a very hard time carving and shaping this properly and finally gave up and reverted to planking the whole hull, something I have more experience in. That may just be my own problem, but it’s something a beginner should consider. Also, the added material needed to plank the whole hull (rather than just up to the bow block) meant that I exhausted the kit material and had to use a few pieces of my own scrap to complete the work. Beware of this potential if you decide to fully plank the hull rather than carving the bow. A few oddities in the proper fit and size of pieces. For example, several of the hull frames really didn’t line up with the others, requiring me to add a 1/8” strip along the frame to match the flow of the planking or to carve/sand away material. Some of the cabin pieces also needed significant sanding or additions to form up properly. None of this was particularly difficult, but did mean that builders should be careful to check everything before gluing. For example, see the following two photos: In the photo above, note that the run of lower planking really bows upward at the third frame from the stern. I somehow missed this when checking my fairing and planking run. It isn't really noticeable on the finished model because both the paint and position hide it from clear view, but this clearly needed extra material added to the frame. In the photo above, you can see the thickness of extra material I needed to add to both sides of the second frame from the bow to match the natural flow of the planks. It's more obvious on the right side due to the shadow effect, but it's the same for both. The fourth frame from the bow has similar material attached to widen it, while other frames needed to be sanded down by a similar margin. Getting a smooth run of planking was more work than I expected, though not particularly difficult. Here are two more photos of the completed model from various perspectives: Overall, I certainly recommend this model as a fun build. True beginners should be cautious and would benefit from carefully thinking through every step, test-fitting everything, and doing some research on the side to understand certain aspects of kit-building that are taken for granted by the instructions. Although I mildly criticize the instructions and a few parts above, they were still far better than those of the Corel Ranger that I built before this. Overall, the concerns were minor and easily dealt with by common sense and careful work, and the result is a quite attractive model (in my humble opinion). It has a lot of potential for adding extra detail if you really want a realistic appearance; for my mother, I was happy with a representative model that captures the feel of these iconic American work boats without much fuss. This was my first BlueJacket kit and I would definitely purchase another.
  12. There is never a lack of suggestions for new kits. The key point is to try and make kits that people want. The thread on MSW about kits you wished were made was helpful, but kind of all over the place. We have put together a list of potential kits we think might be interesting. So fill out the survey and send it to us by whichever means you like! 2014 Survey.pdf
  13. USS Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer I recently took a trans-Atlantic cruise from Rotterdam to Norway, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Boston. I saw so many unusual ships, both models and full sized, that I had to start another model. I was intrigued by the Aeronaut Bismarck model, but I couldn't find any useful reviews. Please let me know if you've had any experience with their kits. Bluejacket Shipcrafters has a couple of WWII kits, but their kit of the Arleigh Burke guided missile destroyer caught my eye and I ordered it. It is by far the most expensive kit that I've ever bought. Please don't tell my wife. Is it worth the price? Well, lets see what's Inside The Box The model came in a large box packed full of styrofoam peanuts. It was a pain to separate the parts from the junk. Here's what was inside. The hull is machine-carved from a single piece of basswood. The hull shape looks very good, but there are still attachment points that will have to be carved away. There is a 65-page instruction manual that seems to be very thorough. Bluejacket offers a CD of build photos for an additional fee. I didn't order it. The kit includes hull templates printed on self-adhesive paper, a guide for painting the helicopter landing marks on the deck, and a big piece of styrene for God knows what. The kit includes 5 pages of plans. You should be able to see the titles in the photo. There are 5 sheets of laser-cut parts. The cut lines are crisp and nearly free of char. All of the deck superstructure will be made from these parts. The instructions say that there are over 600 photo-etched parts. Whew. The kit had a tiny box packed full of beautiful cast metal parts. There are also a few cast resin parts. These don't look so great. I will be doing a lot of cleanup on them. There is a small bag of wood strips, a bag of metal strips, and a spool of rigging thread. The brass pedestals were extra. You'd think that for what this kit cost they could throw in the pedestals. I also ordered the optional paint kit. It came with a dozen bottles of Testors paints. I will probably spray most of the model gray and use the red and black for details. We'll see.
  14. Well here goes … my first build log, hopefully it won’t be sunk by my non-existent photography skills. I’ll be building a model of the USS Basilone (DD-824) as she appeared in the early 1960’s, just after her Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) upgrade. I’ll be using the USS Gearing (DD-710) FRAM 1 kit from Bluejacket Ship Crafters. I plan to add some details to the kit and possibly replace a few components with some scratch building. I selected this ship/kit for several reasons: The “FRAMs” formed the backbone of the US Navy’s destroyer fleet for most of the cold war. While not as glamorous as the guided missile ships, they were still the epitome of a “tin can.” Although they were leaving service just as my time in the Navy was beginning, they had enough in common with my ships that I can bring my experience to bear in adding details - something I can’t do with a sailing ship model At 1/192 (1ft =1/16 inch) the scale of the model is large enough that it lends itself to adding details, something that is hard to do at 1:350 and smaller scales. On the other hand, with a length of 24” the model is still compact enough to fit on a bookshelf. The Basilone had a long career that lasted well into the 70’s and as such is a fitting representative of the class To honor a great Marine hero. The ship was named after Sgt John Basilone who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on Guadalcanal in 1942. He then resisted efforts to keep him selling War Bonds for the rest of the war and insisted on returning to combat duty. He went on to win the Navy Cross on Iwo Jima where he was killed in action. References I’ll be using: Sumner-Gearing Class Destroyers; Their design, Weapons, and Equipment by Robert Sumrall, US Naval Institute Press, 1995. This book is just what it’s title says, a technical study of the ships – not an operational history. I consider it “nice to have” rather than “must have” for someone modeling a Gearing destroyer. It has many good pix and is a great help for detailing weapons and antennas. Waterline Warships – An Illustrated Masterclass by Phillip Reed, Seaforth Publications, 2010. This is a great book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to try their hand at either scratch building an entire ship or just adding details. He shows his construction of a 1:192 scale British WWII destroyer. It is amazing what he does with just wood, paper, sheet plastic, brass rod and wire. I hope to try a few of his techniques on my build. 1:96 General Drawing of USS Gearing, 1970, from The Floating Drydock website. With a price of $22 I expected a little more but this is just one sheet of plans, showing the starboard side and an overhead view of each deck. I had the print reduced by 50% so it is at 1:192 scale and I can pull dimensions right off the drawing. It has some, but not a lot, of detail so I will also have to use contemporary photos from online. USN General Drawings for USS Basilone, last update 1971, from the US National Archives in College Park,MD. The plans show several differences from the Gearing and have a higher level of detail than the Gearing plans from the Floating Drydock (not sure why, maybe the Boston Naval Shipyard was more meticulous in the blueprint-making than whatever yard did the Gearing). Online photo resources: www.navsource.org is a great resource. Although the coverage varies between individual ships, there are usually quite a few that cover the life of any given ship. Most photos are of the postcard variety, taken from too great a distance to reveal details, but some ships have onboard photos in their albums. Former crew websites. Although it can be tedious to Google the name of each FRAM it is worth the time in that about half of the ships have active “alumni associations” many of which have photos from former crewmembers. These can be pure gold for clear, close-up photos of ships of the class. Bookmarking them has given me some excellent material. USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr (DD-850), a museum ship moored at Battleship Cove in Fall River Mass. I plan to take a trip up there with a camera, tape measure and notebook to get a good handle on deck details and dimensions. Brief background on Gearings and FRAMs The Gearing class destroyers (a minor modification to the Sumner class) came into service late in WWII. The design was the result of hard lessons learned in the war, with the result that the Gearings were probably the best destroyer design of the period. They were fast and heavily armed and posed a significant threat to ships, submarines and aircraft. By 1960 the technology of naval warfare had changed to the point that the Gearing destroyers need major modifications to remain relevant. The advent of jet aircraft made AAA guns of limited value, guided missiles being much more effective. Anti-ship missiles required improved radar and electronic countermeasures. Improvements in submarine speed and weapons range made it necessary to improve the DD’s detection range and ASW weapons range. Hence the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization program was launched. There where 2 major variants, FRAM 1 and FRAM 2 with the FRAM 2’s main difference being only a partial rebuild of the superstructure whereas the FRAM 1’s , like the Basilone, had everything above the main deck replaced. The ships were rebuilt to focus on ASW with long-range sonar, a rocket-launched torpedo (ASROC), over-the-side MK32 torpedo tubes for quick-reaction to close-in sub detections. Additional radars and electronic sensors and countermeasures were also included, as well as a flight deck to support this little cutie, a drone helicopter - the DASH, to carry torpedoes and, believe it or not - nuclear depth charges. DASHs had a reputation for flying over the horizon, never to be seen again so maybe this sailor is engaged in some type of pre-launch prayer or sacrifice ritual. My next post will show the contents of the kit. Tim
  15. From what I understand the USS Constitution is the most difficult model BlueJacket has to offer. As a novice model ship builder it appears that I am in for a real challenge! This model was given to me as a gift from my father when I was 11 or 12. I think he was tired of hearing that plastic model airplanes weren't difficult enough and wanted to give me a real challenge. He succeeded. I remember opening the manual and thinking, "Where's step one?" I didn't get very far on the model as it was lost in storage after a move. I have always longed to continue working on my Connie. Over 15 years have passed and now the kit is back in my possession! Your help, advice, and patience through this forum would be greatly appreciated as I undertake this challenge. Best, Anthony Mongillo, A novice.

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