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  1. Folks - Here is my rebuilt log of my Plastic Constitution build. I've copied the entries over from another forum and I reserve the right to alter a few things to clean up previous errors: I’ve had a Revell 1/96 USS Constitution fall into my stash at a very reasonable price (Overstock.com) and it seems appropriate to take it on in recognition of the upcoming anniversary of USS Constitution’s victory over HMS Guerriere on August 19. I’ve been spewing forth much hot air in defense of the Michel Felice Corne paintings and their representation of the ship as she first burst into glory against HMS Guerriere, so I feel obligated to back up my tirades with action. I’ll try to make this version align very closely to what we see in these paintings commissioned by Captain Hull immediately after his victory (https://picasaweb.google.com/106997252788973852335/PEMMichelFeliceCorneGuerrierePaintings'>https://picasaweb.google.com/106997252788973852335/PEMMichelFeliceCorneGuerrierePaintings). This does mean that I’ll set aside my Heller HMS Victory build for a time - I haven’t lost a bit of enthusiasm for that project - but I’ll apply what I learn in this new effort towards making that one better down the line. Like many of us (most of us?) I’ve built this kit before... a few decades (or more) back. It seems to have been almost a rite of passage for anyone wanting to take ship modeling seriously. I’ll call that one the MK 1 version and it still exists in a dusty condition on a high shelf in the garage: I was never happy with that earlier effort. Much has happened in the intervening years to improve my chances of making a more representative kit - most notably the proliferation of great information on the internet to inform my approach. This venerable kit was originally issued back... well, back before some of us were born(!)... and I think it still holds up well. Certainly there is plenty of flash and injection moulding marks that we don't see in modern kits, but the kit still makes up into an impressive display as we can see in the various log entries across this forum. It seems to be a copy of the 1/48 George Campbell plan model in the Smithsonian collection (http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/misc/sail/constitution-48-sm/con-index.html'>http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/misc/sail/constitution-48-sm/con-index.html) - which itself is a refinement of the famous Hull model built by the crew and presented to Captain Hull following his victory over Guerriere (https://picasaweb.google.com/106997252788973852335/PEMUSSConstitutionHullModel'>https://picasaweb.google.com/106997252788973852335/PEMUSSConstitutionHullModel). We see plenty of similarities in the bow and stern between the models and the Revell color guide somewhat follows the original. So the question becomes - does this Revell kit align well to the configuration of the Constitution when she earned her “Old Ironsides” moniker against HMS Guerriere? Well, strictly speaking no... In fact, if built OOB it would not actually represent Constitution as she was configured in any of her wartime cruises. There is a critical difference between the historic model and her modern copy - the Hull model shows 15 gun ports on each side of her gun deck (although the forward most are a bit too far forward) and the Revell kit shows 16. The difference is explained by this journal entry from Frederick Baury - one of Constitution’s midshipmen: 21 Sep 1812 Carpenters cutting bridle ports in bows ‑‑ Lieutenant Morgan and Midshipman Taylor left on recruiting duty. After returning to Boston following the battle, Isaac Hull resigned and command was handed over to the much despised William Bainbridge. He proceeded to make a few changes including the addition of “bridle ports” up forward to help in towing, anchoring, and to potentially serve as bow chaser positions. Unlike the guidance provided by the Revell instructions, these positions would not normally have had a gun mounted. If needed during a chase, a nearby 24-pounder would be hauled into one of these spots to lob a few shots and try for a lucky hit to take out a spar and slow down the prey. To that end Bainbridge made another change as outlined by Commander Tyrone Martin in his overview of Constitution’s armament: Following his succession to command of the ship on 15 September 1812, Commodore William Bainbridge eliminated the 18-pounder, simplifying his ammunition loading and handling problem by dropping one caliber. The gun had been virtually useless, anyway, since the ship's bow structure was not well suited to the accommodation of a chase gun. Bainbridge may have been a jerk of a human being, but he was an astute naval commander and he thought it made more sense to offload the 18 pdr chase gun and make room to store more 24 pdr ammunition for his main guns. So the 16 gun ports and the spar deck bow chaser as provided in the kit could not co-exist. The easiest solution to bring things into alignment is to ditch the bow chaser and the two forward main deck guns and call it a day. You’d likely have the correct representation of Constitution’s configuration when she scored her victory over HMS Java. Since I am trying to show her during the battle with HMS Guerriere, I will preserve the bow chaser gun, but I will need to take the drastic step of filling in the forward bridle ports. If you want to represent her last war cruise under Charles Stewart, then you’ll have to revisit the carronades on the spar deck. Here again Commander Martin provides some insight: [Charles Stewart] reduced the number of carronades to twenty and added two 24-pounder "shifting gunades" recently captured from the British by an American privateer. Designed by Sir William Congreve in 1814, each was 8' 6" long, but being of thinner barrel construction weighed only about 5000 pounds on carriage. The design was an attempt to combine the range of a long gun with the lighter weight of a carronade. The pair sat on carriages like the long guns, and it was expected that, since they were lighter, they could readily be shifted from side to side as combat required. Apparently Stewart had the two forward most and two aft most carronades removed and replaced with one each of the newfangled gunnades. I have no idea how these actually looked when mounted on a carriage, but it might be possible to find slightly over scale carronade barrels and mount them to the two gun carriages no longer needed on the main gun deck. Oh, and you’d also need to paint her with a yellow band - that is well documented. Regarding the carronades... As represented in the kit with the wooden quoins, these would seem to be rather quaint. The carriages on the foredeck with their small trucks would also seem to be inappropriate for 1812. Certainly by the time of Trafalgar it would be more typical for a carronade to be mounted with a pin to the bulwark with trajectory controlled by an elevation screw. I think Karl Heinz Marquardt addresses these same concerns in his AOTS book since the restored ship has these outmoded versions still represented. I’ll optimistically try to modify all of the carronades to include the elevation screws and eliminate the funky rolling carriages on the foredeck. Many folks get caught up in the various permutations of the stern gallery windows. Were there six or five?... or three or eight? The Hull model shows six, but the Corne paintings have five... I’m frankly not concerned either way. I assume there were many chances for the configuration to have changed across the years as different commanders supervised different refits within different time and budget limitations. Perhaps Hull and his crew replaced the six windows with only five after destroying the original gallery windows during their escape from Broke’s squadron (they axed out the windows and some of the transom to position guns to fire at their pursuers). Maybe there were always six and Corne got this wrong. Nobody knows the truth and we likely never will... I’m fine with working with the six depicted on the kit. The rudder on this kit is a bit perplexing... It is moulded with wood grain without any copper plating represented. Hmmm... That doesn’t seem correct. I’ll ponder the idea of putting some of my extra styrene strips to work and setting that right. Of course the kit provided plastic eyelets and rings are worthless - easily broken and a bit over scale. Those will be replaced with wire or PE versions. Somehow I managed to not break any of the plastic hammock cranes on my first effort all those years ago, but I’ll replace those with ones fashioned from brass micro-tubing and Jotika eyelets. Some of the thinner spars are also vulnerable to bending/breakage. I’ll try to shape some brass rod for replacements. I’ll need to carefully consider the moulded blocks - some may be usable or otherwise converted to usefulness. I suspect I’ll replace most with online purchases. The gun port lids will be omitted altogether - the Hull model and the credible paintings of the period (including the Corne series) don’t show them mounted (although the Hull model has a lid for the forward most ports). The pre-formed ratlines, moulded deadeyes, and vacuum formed sails will not be utilized. ‘Nuff said. As for the accuracy of the rig represented in the kit... I am having trouble finding a stable representation of her complete masting and rigging layout. The 1817 Charles Ware diagram may be about the best, but as Marquardt points out it differs in some respects to other seemingly authoritative sources. It is also interesting to note that the Corne paintings are showing crows feet rigged... that is unique. At least it appears that the trysail mast (immediately abaft the mizzen) is authentic - records indicate that Isaac Hull had this added to allow better movement for the boom and gaff. The Hull model clearly shows it fitted as well. I’ll worry more about the rigging when I’m much closer to that phase, but in the meantime I’ll probably fork over the $60 bucks for the Bluejacket manual set and perhaps rely on that for guidance... The biggest bugaboo in this kit is the multi-part decking. Ugh... The forums are full of attempts to mitigate the unsightly seams with various levels of success. Some folks just don’t worry about them at all and instead try to make the rest of the deck interesting enough to be distracting. I’ve even seen one modeler glue “battens” over them and pass them off as a “feature”. My first attempt was relatively successful in aligning the deck sections and eliminating any meaningful gap, but I was hesitant to fill and sand because I was trying to preserve the moulded wood grain detail. I was attempting to follow the “Les Wilkins” method of using a razor or low-grit sandpaper to remove the top layer of tan paint to reveal the base coat of black and highlight the grain (guidance that is also provided in the Revell instructions). I’ve since decided that the grain is a bit overdone at this scale and it’d be best to smooth everything down and use shades of paint and perhaps some artist pencils to impart the wood tones. Eliminating the seams is more important than preserving the grain. There are many fine efforts out there... Here’s one that inspires - well known to those of us who prowl the web for impressive builds: http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=177&t=11091&sid=a22ea2a7adc8efe9b2fcffd0273bb134'>http://www.modelforum.cz/viewtopic.php?f=177&t=11091&sid=a22ea2a7adc8efe9b2fcffd0273bb134 Other useful online resources: http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/war1812/atsea/con-guer.htm'>http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/war1812/atsea/con-guer.htm http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/46/46021.htm'>http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/46/46021.htm http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/sailing_ships/constitution/uss_constitution.htm'>http://www.maritimequest.com/warship_directory/us_navy_pages/sailing_ships/constitution/uss_constitution.htm http://www.hazegray.org/features/constitution/'>http://www.hazegray.org/features/constitution/ http://navysite.de/ships/consttour.htm'>http://navysite.de/ships/consttour.htm http://www.captainsclerk.info/'>http://www.captainsclerk.info/ Here are some of the modifications I hope to incorporate along the way: Customized elements: Fill in the forward Bridle ports. Thicken the gunport sills. Add a scratch built galley stove. Show the anchor cable/messenger cable rigged on the gun deck. Display Carronades with elevation screws. Replace rolling carronade carriages with lug mounted versions. Copper plating on the rudder. Hammock Cranes fashioned from brass micro-tubing. Brass Rod for delicate spars. New capstan on spar deck (and gun deck). Paint scheme (guidance from Corne paintings and Hull model): Yellow ochre band ending up forward in a scalloped half-circle. White trim on bow and stern details. Red gallery windows. Red gunport sills/linings, Green interior bulwarks on spar deck. White bulwarks on the gun deck. Green deck coamings/furniture on spar deck. Yellow ochre lower masts with “natural” above. Tops in Black. Black bowsprit with “natural” jib boom. Let the fun begin.
  2. “Huzza! Her sides are made of iron!” (Unknown sailor, USS Constitution, 19 August 1812, battle with HMS Guerriere) "Building a new Navy for the 'new' United States" The American Revolution ended in 1783, and the new United States sent its merchant fleet afar to trade in spices, fish, leather, etc. to rebuild its economy. However. The last Continental Navy warship was effectively sold in 1785, and US merchant vessels thereafter sailed unprotected. This lack of protection soon became a problem, especially when sailing off of North Africa in the 1790's, and finally Congress authorized a new navy, in 1794, to protect the fleet. Between 1797 and 1800, 6 frigates were launched: United States, Constellation, Constitution, Chesapeake, Congress, and President. USS Constitution, launched 21 October 1797, is the sole survivor (USS Constellation, in Baltimore Harbor, is the 1854 warship of the same name). Joshua Humphreys designed theses frigates to be the strongest, fastest, and most heavily armed warships of the era. Constitution’s hull is 3-layers of wood: exterior & interior oak planking and dense live oak framing (ribs) spaced 'close together' as the middle layer. At the waterline, the ship is over 22” thick... and this thick, strong and dense hull makes up her “iron” sides. When hit with enemy fire, Constitution’s hull either repelled the cannon shot's, and/or effectively absorbed them, due to her massive hull, thus helping to prevent serious damage to the ship while also minimizing casualties to her crew. Between 1798 and 1854, Constitution was victorious in 33 engagements and a great deal of her fame rests in her 3 stunning victories over Royal Navy vessels in the War of 1812. The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned ship on the U.S. Navy roster. Still seaworthy and served by Navel officers and crew to this very day! _______________________________________________________ ... and so the build begins! I've acquired a copy of Joshua Humphreys original hull design from 1794, courtesy of the 'Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment, Boston'. This will make for a proper start to this historic project. My goal is to reconstruct an accurate depiction, in scale, of the USS Constitution as she was originally designed, by Joshua Humphreys in 1794. This build will begin with my restoration and clarification of the original hull drawing, via Autocad, as there are portions of this original drawing that have obviously lost a bit of needful detail via the ages. Mid-ship frame details, via the body plan, will likely be difficult to accurately recreate, therefore, I'll likely make those frames a bit proud both internally 'and' externally, for safety... and simply fair them down to their proper forms once it's time to fair the hull's frames to shape. I've not yet decided as to the true scale that I'll actually be building her to, however. I'm currently 'thinking' somewhere around 1/75'ish. Larger, maybe, but definitely no smaller than 1/75. I'll also likely build a rather lengthy mid-section 'prototype' prior to going for the full length build. I can see a lot of potential 'difficulties' to be encountered in such a complex build. A prototype, whether I finish it, or not, should prove to be a good 'test-bed' from which I can figure out just how in the h*ll I'm going to pull this off to personally 'acceptable' standards. It's going to be very interesting and time consuming, for sure! This is what I'm starting with. It's Humphreys original draft of the constitution's original hull as designed in 1794. Sorry for all of the edits to this post. I was trying to post the hull drawing that I received, in .pdf format, from the Naval History & Heritage Command, but no joy. You'll have to settle for this much smaller 'jpeg', instead of the actual 5' foot long drawing...
  3. Hi folks. My name is Avi Deitcher, finally starting my build log. "Old Ironsides" is my first build. I went camping up in Maine with my wife a very long time ago (Toddy Pond, for those who know the area), long enough that it was a year before our first kid, who recently finished college. On the way back, we stopped for a break and wandered into a store that had my jaw open the whole time, BlueJacket. I have wanted that Constitution ever since, and my wife just surprised me with the model. It took a few weeks of going through the manual, including pulling out my old copy of "Sea of Words" to remember what half the terms meant (half being generous, more likely ¾ 🙂 ), slowly figuring out what paints to get, where to get tools, whether or not to get the topside planking and copper plates, not to mention going through the parts list. I needed calipers to tell which wood part is which! I finally am just about ready to get started. To make things more interesting, I live in Israel, so while some of what I need is readily available here, not everything is. I have an order from a local modeling place that arrived yesterday (he imports Vallejo paints and some tools), Amazon UK coming next week (mostly tools and sandpaper) and one from BlueJacket (planks and copper, etc.). Heading off today to the copy shop to make copies of the profile so I can cut it and start to shape it. I have been looking especially at @KHauptfuehrer's amazing log here (who kindly responded to some of my questions in thread; I hope I stopped before really hijacking it), @jfinan's here (I really like your idea of staining the topside planks instead of painting them, and staining them before gluing them on), @JSGersonkindly welcomed me in the thread and linked to Ken Forman's build and Bill Edgin's build. So many capable and helpful people here, I really am looking forward to this. Yes, I know the build is likely to take me years; I work full time doing technology business consulting. I will post some initial pictures soon.
  4. Introduction This is the Model Shipways Kit No. 2040, 5/32” scale. Kit purchased new about 2005. Notably, after starting (15 years later!), noticed Plan Sheet 5 missing, contacted Model Shipways and they immediately sent a replacement at no charge. Building out of the box - meaning using kit supplied plans and materials, and adding additional hardwood wood if necessary. Update 7/18/20: See this post (currently pending) for upgraded parts and sources. This kit is not for the novice. You should come to this game with at least 1 ship model under your belt, preferably several. And you need an understanding of the nature of wood and how to shape it using chisels, files, and a hand plane. These tools need not be expensive, however they must be sharp. I recommend a 1/4” fish tale chisel from Lie-Nielson located in Maine. Power tools are used, they save time, essential to me for this project as there are hundreds of cuts. Not necessary though. I’ve built many kits and expect this to be some old hat but also I’m stretching into new areas like building stern galleries. So welcome aboard, I’m glad you are here. USS Constitution References: my own photographs of the ship Anatomy of the Ship: USS Constitution College of Model Shipbuilding: USS Constitution Practicum General References: David Antscherl’s: HMS Swan Class Sloops - for construction techniques Mastini: Ship Modeling Simplified George F. Campbell, M.R.I.N.A.: The Neophyte Ship Modelers Jackstay (Inexpensive and Essential) Table of Contents Part 1: Hull Doweling the Stem, Sternpost, and Keel to Centerboard Bulkhead Marking and Glueup Prep Shaping the Counter Block Bulkhead Glueup Completing the Counterblock Transom Frame Prep Bow and Stern Block Prep Shaping the Bow Filler Block and Fairing the Bulkheads Shaping the Filler Blocks (continued) Shaping the Filler Blocks (continued), Starting Bow Framing Bow Framing (continued) Bow Framing Completion Transom Frame Installation Making and Installing the Waterway Tools Inner Planksheer/Bulwarks and Bowsprit Prep Framing and Cutting Out the Gunports Cutting Out the Gunports (continued) Gunport Cleanup and Bulwark Prep Bulwark Completion Leveling the Bulwarks Lower Gunport Upper Sills Lower Gunport Framing and Planking Smoothing the Planking Gunports and Upper Hull Planking Completion Mast Partners/Tenons and Deck Framing Coamings and Hatch Framing Planking the Wales - Planking Without Pins or Clamps Tapering a Plank Planking Starboard Wale Belt A Installation - Starboard Side Forming the Forward Planks Belt B Installation - Starboard Side Belt C Installation - Starboard Side Belt D Installation - Starboard Side Belt B - Port Side, Marking the Belt Width Dealing with Butt Joint Gaps Using Proportional Dividers Plank Glue Up Completion of Port Side Planking USS Constitution Pictures - June 2020 Part 2: Fitting Out Installing Eyebolts for Carronade Tackle Installing Large Inboard Bulkhead Cleats Installing Small Inboard Bulkhead Cleats Fitting the Cathead Painting the Bulkwarks Cleaning Up the Dust Finish and Installing Deck Grates Deck Plank Stock Preparation Planking the Deck - Part 1 Planking the Deck - Part 2 Planking the Deck - Part 3 Planking the Deck - Part 4 Evening Deck Finish Color
  5. USS Constitution - Model Shipway’s Kit No.: MS2040 “Old Ironsides” 1797 Frigate Scale: 5/32” = 1 ft. (1:76.8) This is my second POB square rigged ship; I spent about seven years building my first, Mamoli’s Rattlesnake. Like the first one, I will be following Robert Hunt’s practicum, but unlike the first, I have a multitude of excellent build logs and books to supplement it and help guide me through the inevitable pitfalls that are sure to raise their ugly heads. Hopefully, based on this and my hard-earned experience with the Rattlesnake, it won’t take another half a lifetime to build. Now for the obligatory part. Below is the kit box and contents. I won’t bore you with showing all the little packets that are stuffed in the box, that has been done very well by numerous other builders. I will state that in addition to what came with the kit, I purchased a few more items: · Robert Hunt’s practicum · Hobby Mill’s wood supplement package (based on Hunt’s practicum) * · Additional copper plate tape (as I understand it, the kit was a bit too frugal with their supply) · 2 - 2½” x 2½” x ¾” genuine pieces of USS Constitution wood ** · Medallion made from genuine USS Constitution copper plate. Not sure yet how or if it will be used. * Wood package purchased before HobbyMills closed shop. The supplement package was derived by HobbyMills where Mr. Hunt made his substitutions in the practicum. It was not identified as a package that could be purchased in the practicum. I have the original price list which describes what the wood is being substituted for and where in the practicum it is being described. If anyone wants a copy of the supplement wood list, please send me a PM. ** Constitution wood was purchased from the museum just before the ship went into drydock, December 2014. I have since tried to get a larger size for the keel or nameplate but accordioning to popeye2sea (who as I understand it volunteers on the ship), the US Navy is withholding any more wood from the public for now for reasons unknown. The museum told me, maybe in the Spring sometime. This will be my third attempt at constructing this model. The first attempt was done when I was a child building Revell’s small plastic model which I really botched. I hadn’t yet learned to read and follow instructions, but just dove into assembling the parts with expected results. My second attempt was as a young teenager and when the wounds of that failed build had waned, went a bit better. This time I got the larger plastic model. I did follow instructions and even painted the parts but had absolutely no idea how a rigged ship worked let alone how the lines were attached or what they were for. It looked decent to my young ignorant eyes at the time. Both models met their demise at my hand with firecrackers; usual method of disposing such items This time I expect a glorious finish…I hope.
  6. Hi everybody. My name is Kurt Hauptfuehrer. You can just call me Kurt H when replying. I am new to this site, and, as you can see, new to the process of posting build logs. The Bluejacket Constitution is my first build. I chose this one because you can completely outfit the gun deck. This kit is excellent in many respects, but it is a very challenging build, especially for a novice like me. I wanted to share my build logs because, even though there are a multitude of sins, there are some aspects of my build that you may merit your attention (I hope). At any rate, my sharing of the experiences I had and the mistakes I made my benefit other novices who are doing this build.
  7. Motivation - My interest in Constitution goes back to when I was 10 years old. My uncle bought me a 22” Revell model of Constitution – it had a record in the box that that described the highlights of Constitution’s history which I nearly wore out while my dad built the ship for me. I don’t know what ever happened to the model, but I have a photo of it completed (see below). Seeing that photo inspired me in 2020 to purchase the kit off of **bay**, and upon finishing it (see below), I began thinking in larger terms – what about a wood ship model? So here I am, 18 months later, having obtained a Model Shipways kit of Constitution, and having taken some time with the Lowell Grand Banks Dory, Norwegian Sailing Pram, and 18th Century Longboat kits to get some basic experience in wood ship modeling under my belt. I have no illusions of matching the outcomes of the model masters I’ve seen on this site, but I won’t hurry the build along. As I turn 60 next month, my thoughts turn to finishing Constitution before I’m done with this world, and who will get it after I’m gone (I love the picture of xken’s son’s family with his – I hope for similar interest from one of my sons…). Details Modeling Constitution from 1812 prior to Guerriere Battle, possibly before “The Great Chase”. - Stern fashioned after Hull, Revell, and Bluejacket models - Billet Head & Trailboards fashioned after Hull, Revell, and Bluejacket models - 30-Gun gun deck – no bow chase/bridle ports - 24-Carronade spar deck + 1 bow chaser - Ships Boats – Captain’s gig & cutters in the davits, undecided about the hatch for now. Model Examples I will follow - Isaac Hull Model (Peabody Essex Museum) - Revell 1:96 Model - Bluejacket Model - Others as depicted on Model Ship World Modeling Resources - Model Ship World builds – many - Model Ship World model techniques - various Books & Papers Resources – this list will grow as the need arises - A Most Fortunate Ship – Martin - All Sails Up and Flying – Eriksen - Anatomy of the Ship – Marquardt - Constitution Close Up – Martin - Constitution Practicum – Hunt - Rigging Period Ship Models – Petersson Plans and Misc Resources - USS Constitution Museum – Modelers Resources - US Navy - Bluejacket Models (undecided) - Historical Paintings – difficult to sort out for accuracy Photographs - A “bazillion” online images and videos One thing that is somewhat discouraging is the number of attempts at this model that have apparently been abandoned. I have no doubt that every one of you who set it aside in the end started out with much enthusiasm as I carry today. Only time will tell. I do have a life beyond modeling - wife, children, and grandchildren. Oh, and work. Therefore you won't see progress moving along at a quick pace. However, if you stick with it, so will I. Looking forward to the ride... Midshipman 3/c (Ret) Bob
  8. I will pick up where my previous build log left off here. Unfortunately, I won't have time to reconstruct my previous posts.
  9. Ok I’m a little late starting my build log for this one. After doing a lot of research and comparing, I chose the Model Shipways kit of the USS Constitution for my first large scale all wood kit. In my research I came across JSGerson’s build log for the same kit and I got a lot of inspiration from his build! Just like JSGerson’s build I’m building a complete scratch gun deck for my kit. I’ve currently have a lot of my hull done and I just need to finish cleaning up my starboard gun ports and thin I’ll start working on a lot of my finer details.
  10. First some background... I started this build in 2004 using Bob Hunt's practicum so my build will continue to use the practicum. About 6 months into the build Bob was looking for someone to mill wood for his new kit business and that was the start of HobbyMill. So the kit has laid idle for 17 years while I did HobbyMill and eventually relocated to Phoenix from Cincinnati. This is also my first build so I'm making all of the typical mistakes of a newbie. Over the years I've had the privilege to observe so many great builds and learn from the commentary on this site so I was a little intimidated to post a log. However, after spending some time lurking here recently and the wealth of information that I have received, I decided to try to give something back...even if its just all of the mistakes that I'm making. Lessons Learned: Modeling is a lot harder than milling wood Don't wait 17 years between steps in a build Once I figure out how to upload some pics, I'll start my build. Unfortunately I must have deleted some of my early pics from 2004 so we'll start from where we are today. Jeff
  11. With some trepidation, I've started the build on this kit. I was going to wait until this winter (when I do most if not all my modeling) to begin but decided to get an early start. This is a bucket list endeavor. I built two of the Revell plastic kits back in the 60's and out of that experience dreamed of building a proper wooden model. I'm just a beginner modeler so I'll be stretching my skills to do a good job. I've completed three models : U.S.S. constitution and H.M.S. Victory cross-sections and the H.M.S. Victory bow section. I consider these to be practice in preparation for this model. To assist me, I purchased Robert Hunt's practicum which really fills in the gaps left open by the MS instructions. Also, I'm following about five build logs in this site. So with them and all the other useful information on the forum, I just make a good go of it. So far, I'm assembling the center keel, keel, stern and stem. Pictures to following once I finished the clean-up. Thanks, Tidbinbilla
  12. Many years ago (25-30?), before the advent of the internet, I bought and started construction of this cross section of the USS Constitution. It may have been following a visit to that venerable ship in Boston that I felt so inspired. I got the frame built,deck beams formed and installed, and the planking done outside and in. At that time I started to feel overwhelmed,with many questions that needed answering before I went any further. With no help readily available I packed the unfinished kit away. Someday. I never lost my love of wooden ships and had the opportunity to visit several including the CW Morgan of Mystic, Cutty Sark in Greenwich, and the Draken Harfarge Viking ship. I still felt the tug of building a ship and when we moved to Maryland 3 years ago I started reading about The Pride of Baltimore II which I decided I'd really like to build. I figured that my long neglected Constitution would be a great practice project since I already had most of the hull built, and it only has one mast and spars, and associated rigging. I took her out of her cardboard box dry dock and started work. I made a crude working cradle to hold the hull, and gave the ship a quick coat of polyurethane as a sealer. The The mast dowel is just inserted to check it's fit and rake. The mast step is imperfectly fitted to the hold, but I figure that it will be covered with ballast and barrels so I didn't worry about it. I've read through the other build logs for this kit and if I was to do it over, I would not have installed the deck beams other than the ones over the hold to make it easier to install decking and deck fittings. You live and learn. Installing all the below deck items should be "fun". In my zeal, I mistakenly added un necessary hatch cross pieces between the lower deck's beams. Oh well, it was good practice. I'm planning on using copper foil rather than the cheesy looking green wood chips supplied with the kit. Anyone here tried simply scribing the lines in the copper tape to simulate individual copper plates? It would sure be easier, but might not look convincing. I might try to give the copper an aged patina which could enhance the illusion I can always try a strip or two on a piece of scrap wood to see. One thing that deterred me from working on this kit when I first got it was a dread of figuring out how to thread deadeyes and form ratlines. Now that there's a resource like Model Ship World, I'll have some guidance which is a great relief. I need to figure out a better way to mount the hull. The kit just includes a cheap looking piece of pine and I gather you're supposed to run a couple of screws up through it into the keel,which does not sound very secure. I might build a nicer version of my crude work cradle in better wood, like cherry, for final displaying. I thought it might be fun to have some crew members on deck and aloft, but I can't find any in 1:93 scale. Do you think figures in 1:87,HO railroad scale, would look 'way too off scale? I could probably modify some of those. What's with the natural colored standing rigging cordage supplied with the kit? Can I somehow dye it black or would it be better to replace it? I know I'll have tons of other questions as time goes on, and I welcome any and all criticism and suggestions.
  13. 1. Constitution - Superfrigate of the many Faces - A tribute to the Basses Years ago I got this nice book by William Bass and his wife in which they describe their findings and their reconstruction of US Frigate Constitutions "Second Phase" as they called it. The years after launch and Quasi War with France - and before the War 1812 - the times of Preble and the Barbary War. Since I saw this beautiful book which was published privatly and therefor did not get the audience it deserves, I did fall in love with this beautiful ship! The Basses based their reconstruction mainly on Felice Corné´s paintings done in 1803 (Side view) 1805 (?) and 1807 (Battle of Tripolis). This one for shure you all know very well. Its - as far as we know by today - the very first visual description of Old Ironsides - done by Felice Corné in Summer 1803 most likely. The Basses did brief investigations even on which viewing angle the artist must have had for his sketches and they could prove that Corné did do really intensive studies of his object. But isn´t the ship a beauty here? Ochre gun strike, no bulkward on foredeck, single dolphin striker, open galion and - that impressive Hercules. Nevertheless, as we will see later: this interpretation causes headaches (at least in my little brain). Here now one of the Tripolis Paintings: Source: https://www.mainememory.net/artifact/6155 You can increase the image if you click on the picture on the Maine Historical Societies Homepage (link). Look at that beautiful lines, the two yellow stripes above the gun deck - and note the position of the channels on the lower of those lines: and here the beautiful Stern of the ship in its early phase: She was a beauty in ochre and black, some white, yellow and maybe a bit gold? .. and a thrilling sight with all that guns! In my eyes the ships earlier appearance is of much more grace and elegance than in her later designs. Fortunatly the real ship is getting closer and closer to that design again with the restorations since Tyrone Martin started that process. But maybe the most beautiful sight she must have been as she was planned: with complete open bulkwards - just as Humphrey intented her to be: Nevertheless: my plan is to rework and pimp the beautiful Revell kit which is ment to show her 1812-15 configuration - but which has some "errors" in it and which does not totally fit to her 1803 appearance. And this 1803-4 appearance - before leaving to the Mediterean Sea - that is my goal. I imagine by now a situation in which the ship is about to be fitted out for sea - maybe some weeks before the above shown departure of the ship takes place. Still with only long guns on the quarder deck... This build will be the very first for me since about 35 years. I was doing a Cutty Sark 1/144 (without proper rigging and bad painting) and a very nice Spanish Men of War in 1/72 - this time with Revell instructed but fully rigging (boy was I proud !) .. So I need to re-learn during the build all the needed techniques. Oh, I was mistaken: I started some years ago the build of the Revell Charles W. Morgan - but the "rush hour of life" did stop that efforts. Now, in times of Corona and possible loss of job I believe I need a time out for some hours a week from crazy daily hectic .. and "if not now, then when?" shall I start with this beauty. I hope you join me in my efforts and I am open for any advice and hint. Thanks for watching me.
  14. Another birthday gift, started painting the hull so why not start the log? I know I started a revell Constitution when I was a kid, but never finished it. I figured it was probably the smaller one, I didn't think my parents would buy me a 3 foot long model ship, and I didn't see myself having the means to buy the big one myself. So I ordered this kit with an amazon gift card from my sister in law. It's not the one I had... after looking into reviews and videos on YouTube I have determined that I somehow ended up with the 1:96 kit as a kid!! So I don't get to "finish the one I started ", at least not now, but I'm sure I'll still have fun building this smaller one...
  15. Hey anyone, Since I finished my Revell 1:96 Plastic Constitution in the spring, I've been wanting to get into wood modeling. As I've only been a plastic modeler to date, I was a bit apprehensive as it feels like a whole new skill set (which I don't have). I've done nothing with wood, other than trim a few tree branches along the way. So, with that in mind, my first wood ship was the Midwest Peterboro canoe (at 1:12). It took maybe 6 weeks to do (I never seem to do any of this fast), and here's the result: Next up, I needed more experience. I have a Syren kit "on deck", but don't feel ready to tackle that yet. I felt a cross section would be a good next step up in complexity, as it involves some planking, some deck furniture, some masting, etc. A little bit of everything and with a ship I know pretty well from the Revell model. So, taking advantage of a nice sale by ModelExpo, I purchased the Mamoli USS Constitution Cross Section at 1:93, so very close in scale to my full ship plastic build. I'll detail the build step by step and stick to the instructions as best I can. I'll also be using some fine builds here on MSW to guide my progress. Suggestions and criticism welcome - I'm a wood novice so I'm especially interested in tips, tricks, best practices, painting suggestions, etc. Thanks for looking. Andy.
  16. Started the uss constitution today. This is my first build, and will post some pics later in the week..
  17. Well, here we go again. I am rebuilding my log from the google cache. 02 JANUARY 2013 Hi, welcome to my build log. I haven't built a model in over 30 years, so I have no idea how this is going to turn out...but I am going to give it a good try. I plan on building the model exactly (or nearly so) to the Revell instructions. I will try to show details of my successes and failures. I welcome your comments... I have been working for a week or so, but just now started the log... so the first page or so I dumped a lot of photos. A little about me: I'm a former U.S. Navy submariner (sturgeon class) and mechanical engineer. I have been working in commerical nuclear power for my entire professional life. I have been working and living in Bulgaria for five years now...but my home is in Arizona!! Finally, Kudo's to build logs from AndyMech, lambsbk, LMDave and "popeye the sailor" just to name a few.
  18. First, I want to say thank you to the MSW staff for their continued perseverance in the rebuilding of the MSW forum. It is great that you are back up and running. I had not posted a great deal before the data loss and will try to rebuild the information previously posted. When I was a teenager I loved building plastic models. My last one built was a Revell 1:96 USS Constitution which I managed to build as far as the standing rigging before enlisting in the USAF and transferred out. It was several years before I asked my family where the model was stored so I could finish it. Alas, they thought I had lost interest and it went out with a spring cleaning. Years pass…and while on a visit home I saw a case displayed 1:96 Connie at my brother in law’s house. It really looked good and my thoughts were taken back in time. In September this year I saw an Ebay listed Revell 1:96 Connie kit and thought why not give it another try. After it arrived I realized in a small way the project scope and its difficulty so I started trying to remember all I had forgotten about plastic builds. My first decision point was to figure out the final look of the build: new or with patina. To assist with this I bought a second model which had been started in the 1970’s but only got as far as the hull halves bonding. I got a pretty good price and it allows for some spare parts for the first kit. The copper antiquing was a thumbs down by my wife who liked the fresh copper look better even though I got a pretty good patina with a blue-green wash. So a fresh build without antiquing was the plan. I followed the Revell directions for the deck detail but wasn’t entirely happy with the look. About this same time I started to follow the MSW site and saw the decks created by AndyMech. They looked far better than mine but I thought there was no un-doing the work I had already done.. I thought about the differences for a month before finally deciding to just dive in and try Andy’s method OVER the work already completed on my decks. So the result is actually a combination of the two: First flat black spray to the decks followed by wood tan spray per the Revell directions. They were then sanded with 6-0 sandpaper spray glued to paint stirring sticks to give flat sanding control. This added a nice ‘worn weather’ look to the decks which I was not expecting and took away the gloss sheen. Next I followed Andy’s directions to a tee. I discovered the scoring of the planks works best the closer the ruler and blade are to the work. The result is, in my opinion, not as good as Andy’s but I was much happier with the detail his deck method had added. In addition I had made a decision to mount the ship on pedestal type mounts to allow the fiber optic cable to get under the base. Some of the Connie hulls have a molded spot at the keel to drill out and put bolts in to mount the ship. In addition, they will allow an easy transition from cradle (see below) to base. The square nuts were placed before the hull halves were glued. After the glue dried the hull was carefully aligned parallel to the drill press and using a 11/64" bit the holes were drilled through the keel. See pics below.The insert is for a square nut and the keelson and keel can be CAREFULLY drilled out to accommodate a bolt for pedestal mounting. The square nut has to be placed before gluing the hull halves together (well, it can be placed after but then requires some repair). You then drill top down with a small diameter bit (through the eye of the square nut) and then flip the ship keel up and, change the bit, and drill the exact diameter hole to accommodate the bolt, stopping short of the nut placed in the hull. If you are careful, you will not see the drilled hole externally.
  19. I purchased this model kit about a year ago while I was finishing up my second model, first scratch (USS ENGAGE). Now that I am done with that model (with the exception of building the display base) I am moving on to something more challenging. However, I am not a fan of the kits solid hull and only having the gun deck and main deck visible. There is a lot more to the CONSTITUTION than those two decks. My plan, therefore is to mix this as a kit and a scratch. The hull is going to be plank on frame. One side of the ship (probably the starboard) will be completely planked and painted; the other side (port side) will be open, so that someone can see all decks of this fine ship. Additionally, I am going to be as true to the construction of this model as to the original. I am going to use white oak and yellow pine through out the hull. I recognize this will be a significant challenge and will consume years (USS ENGAGE took me 12 years to complete, granted it sat idle for significant portions of that period). Everything else will be as per the model kit instructions. My first step in this process is the framing. Using the hull lines plan from the model instruction book I traced out one side of the frame and scanned the tracing into a PDF. I have attached the tracing for Frame "7". After scanning into my computer, I adjusted the scale to 100% (they were coming out at 139%) and took a screen shot of just the tracing from the centerline out just past the frame. I then pasted that screen shot onto a Power Point slide, increased the size to 108% (I came to that percentage after trial and error of getting the print out accurate size). I copied the half and flipped it to make the entire frame - port and starboard side (see the attached photo). Once I have all the frames and keel complete, I will glue them onto white oak plank and commence cutting. I have a concern about the strength of the frame, especially where it narrows at the top, above the main deck. My gut tells me to glue two or three planks with their grains perpendicular to then one next to it and then plane that down to the thickness of the frame. I am open to suggestions here, and welcome them as I am still tracing out the frames. CCF07272019_00002.pdf
  20. I decided to do a build log on my constitution, I wasn’t going to at first but decided to go for it. It’s my second wooden ship build, the first one was a little over 15 years ago. Just a small artisan Latina kit that I don’t even remember the name of. After looking at a lot of the ships built on here I don’t think mine can compare to the level of most on here, my skills aren’t that good but I really enjoy building it. I’ve been following bob hunts practicum for the most part. I started around December of 2020. I didn’t take too many pics as I went along because I didn’t plan on doing a build log but I’ll put up what I have to this point and try to keep up from here on. Here are my pics in no particular order and thanks for looking.
  21. Greetings all! My first post is to display the find that brought me here. I found this kit in a thrift store down the street. They wanted $100 for it, but gave me a military discount! I was thrilled, since I have been to see the ship when I was on a business trip in Boston. It really made an impression on me. I enjoyed the museum. I learned about the time during a storm when the ship came loose from its lines and was swinging around on its remaining moorings. It swung into the modern steel warship moored next to it and did extreme damage to it, while taking only scratches itself. An amazing ship, undefeated in battle (even if it required her crew to man the boats and tow her out of the doldrums.) My background in making stuff is mixed. Plane models as a kid, home repair, car modifications, machining, and extensive gunsmithing. I have never done anything more detailed in wood than a pinewood derby car, but I'm ex-military, and believe I can follow a manual. Looks like everything is here. We'll see!
  22. I'm at the very first stage of the build of Blue Jacket's Constitution build. Unlike Model Shipway's plank on bulkhead construction seen here in other builds, I opted for this semi-solid hull build. I say "semi" as although the focus is not on hull construction but on detail in the gun and spar decks. Despite having some experience with Blue Jacket ( i built the Portland several years ago) I have already had a few questions swiftly answered by the good folks at Blue Jacket. This is far from a "cut it out and glue it together" build. I'm looking forward to the challenge. Stay tuned.
  23. Just got my USS Constitution. Built a Long Boat but this will be my first major ship build trying to work out as I am not a carpenter how to build the building slip will show you pictures once I get started
  24. Good Evening, I am writing this build log to chronicle my second ship build from Billings Boats, and altogether. I received the ship model as an early birthday gift, and could not wait to get started.
  25. Well, here goes. This will be my 3rd build log on this site, the previous ones being the King of the Mississippi and the Bounty. Both of those projects were Atesania Latina kits. While I enjoyed building them, I did feel that the instructions left much to be desired. I was only able to complete the Bounty thanks to the full-scale plans and to the excellent advice, support, and direction found on this site. Anyway.... the USS Constitution! The Admiral gave me the Anatomy of the Ship book last Christmas, as I have been planning this as my next project for some time. The box arrived a week ago and I've commandeered my pool table as a good spot to spread everything out and check for damaged, missing, or warped parts. As far as I can tell, everything is in the box that is supposed to be there, though there does appear to be some discrepancy between exactly which sheets contain exactly which parts. This will the subject of some investigation over the next day or so, but I suspect it is only the result of some changes and additions to the supplied parts since the contents list was written nearly 20 years ago. I've already decided on one likely deviation from the supplied instructions, based on what I've seen in Captain Al's 'Mayflower' work. The Constitution kit does provide a fair amount of balsa filler blocks, but I am going to augment what was provided with enough filler blocks to give complete gluing surfaces to both the bow and stern curves. At least, that's my current plan. Here a few shots of the sorted contents of the kit...
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