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Finally got around to starting this old "yellow box" solid hull of USS Essex. Was boxed in 1957! and the contents were 99% there. Got it on Ebay for $15 and put it on the back shelf where it remained for a while. I intend on making it into a "half hull" with the masts and yards in half also. Gonna mount it to an interesting board of some sort (maybe driftwood). I'll probably also start another project at the same time and fiddle with this one here and there. Began cutting gun ports and shaping quarter gallery for a start. The cast parts are remarkably detailed and clean. Like on the gun port lids (that are only about 1/8" square), hinges are evident! The gun carriages and guns are also clean and detailed. The direction manual though is bad. If this was someone's first build, they would be lost! Oh well, should be fun to experiment with. I'll try to keep it in the spirit of the real Essex anyways.
This is a older kit picked up from a estate - someone with a large stash of model ship kits. I bought 2 of the last 3 available - I didn’t need the wood for a scratch build Essex so I only purchased the 2 kits. I gather Aeropiccola has been out of the model ship kit business for many years but I can't be sure of the date of the kit. The plans indicate they were published in 1984. Since this an old kit I'll show the contents. I am quite satisfied with the quality of the parts. The plans consist of 2 sheets of detail images and construction expansions. The instructions are very brief but I think the plans are going to guide the build quite well.
So, with the Harriet Lane nearing completion and the Emma C. Berry moving along, I figured it was time to start a whole new adventure. This Aeropiccola kit dates to 1974 (according to the drawings, at least). It is a very solid POB kit, plans are in Italian but a brief translation provided for the labels into English. No instructions, just the plans. My intent is to work through the plans, referencing the Model Shipways instructions for ideas. I will also be using the Hackett plans and the redrawn version by William Baker provided in The Frigate Essex Papers (1974). I also have The Anatomy of the Ship The 32-Gun Frigate Essex by Portia Takakjian, as well as several articles from The Nautical Research Journal and Model Ship Builder Magazine (Seaways Publishing). I have ordered a copy of Portia's plans for the Essex and the Model Shipways plans as well. My goal, over the time I am building this beastie, is to take it slowly and try to combine the best from all sources available to me. We'll see how that works out! This is quite a change from the Harriet Lane - 1:70 scale as opposed to the 1:144 for the Harriet (and 1:32 for the ECB). This one measures about 27" stem to stern for the framer - total length when finished will be 43 inches long, 13 3/4 inches wide and 29 inches tall with the rigging. The kit includes all the rigging, including material for sails. That decision is a long time off, so no idea yet whether to include the sails or not. Here, then, is the obligatory photo of the box (note this is one of the kits Maryann was selling last June). Some of the contents The Bulkhead framer and bulkheads laid out for inspection And, the bulkheads dry fit - all slid in slick as could be. I did have to file the fitting between the central portion of the framer and the bow and stern pieces. No glue has been harmed as of yet, but the first bits of saw dust have been made. So, welcome, pull up a chair, and look forward to seeing how this goes!
Hello everyone, This is the build log for my Model Shipways Solid Hull USS Essex kit. I picked this kit up for 20$ from my local thrift store. I checked the components a couple of times and everything appears to be present. This is my first wooden ship model and I am still in the process of planning, acquiring tools, and generally getting prepared before I put chisel (or sandpaper, or saw...) to wood. I have Model Ship Building by Gene Johnson on the way in the mail, and I just picked up my first set of (kinda cruddy) chisels. Here is the kit as it currently stands: Here is a couple of closeups of a place of concern: I guess this bit is shallow enough that I will be squaring it off during the deckbuilding process but we shall see. Any advice is appreciated!