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USS Constitution by Overworked724 - Revell - Plastic - 1/196


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Well...I am humbled by the level of skill and detail that this boards members exhibit in their work.  It makes me want to not post my work on my first plastic boat model!  I mean, seriously - some of you are true artisans...but I figure we all start somewhere!  Besides, I really enjoy doing something creative...and the more mistakes I make, the more I will learn. 

 

So, with my learning helmet on (I am very new to model building - very very new) I am going to jump slowly into my 1:196 scale USS Constitution project.  I have just enough space for this, plus, it will help me learn about old boats as I progress.

 

With that - here is my Day 1 learnings on the 1:196 scale USS Constitution ('my baby Conny')

 

- The ship hull seemed much smaller than I had assumed once I have it out of the box

- Some of the cannon had snapped off the sprue and were floating around

- It is obviously a pretty old mold, but after I filed down some of the more obvious sprue burrs, I dry fit the hull halves and main deck without too much difficulty

- No broken or cracked pieces (yet) - all seems in tact.  

- As this is a plastic model, and I am still new to painting/detailing (I have a mix of both enamels/Acrylics), I want to maximize my ability to get the best detailing I can without killing myself

- Plan to put on primer today (Hull - flat black; Deck - flat gray)

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Edited by Overworked724
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Oh Joy...

 

 

Completely forgot how much fun snipping sprue burrs off tiny fixtures could be.  Truth be told...I can take great pride in filing/trimming/pruning plastic bits off the unpainted details of my project.  I can actually do this....only takes some good vision (helped by good visions - ie. magnifying glasses/bifocals), and a micro-file (of which I have a few).  But I am not a skilled modeler...so, I will take the successes where I can!  =-)  Aren;t I awesome!

 

Yay...step one complete......and step two in progress...for definition, see below:

 

Step one: Unpack plastic moldy bits and file down until you recognize them against the enclosed directions

Step two: Drink Chivas Regal while trying to apply base coat, avoid wife scrutiny,all while getting a history lesson on what a "Rat Line" is....ok....got it....hiccup....

 

More to come.

 

Cheers

Pat

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Edited by Overworked724
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Not much done yesterday. The model is spru burr heaven, so have spent some time filing and sanding. Just realized I don't have a base support for my baby Conny. No problem. Will plan to use a table vise. Hope I don't break it, otherwise it's 20 bucks down the drain!!

 

Will start in main deck detailing before I put the hull together.

 

Directions are pretty basic, leaving a lot for artistic license! Which I will take advantage of as much as possible.

 

Had not idea this thing would be so small!

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Edited by Overworked724
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Good question.  Artisitic license...I may leave it uncoppered for the contrast it gives to the overall look.  I am not exactly going for historic accuracy, but to challenge my intestinal fortitude to see if I am up to a greater challenge (aka - to see if my interest in building masted ship models is legitimate, or if it is passing fancy).  So, I am starting small and learning a bit as I go...

 

Today - I learned the following terms:

1. Mizzen mast

2. Yard arm

3. Foot ropes

4. Keel

 

I also learned that nautical lingo is a totally separate language.  And here I was trying to learn Japanese to keep up with my wife!

 

Back to your question - if the overall look doesn't support an uncoppered keel, I'll paint it before I mount it.  Another good reason to leave it uncovered it because I haven't joined the hull pieces, and filing down any residual glue globs after the cement has set can be a bit messier when metal based paints are involved.  Just being lazy...but the look is unique.

 

Best

Pat

Edited by Overworked724
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Pat,

She is looking good so far. I love this kit even if it is one of Revell's oldest ship molds from the 1950's. My oldest son and I built this for a 2nd grade project a couple of years ago and it was amazing how much the other kids were excited about it when he brought it to school.

 

Anyway, have fun with it! That 's why we build these things, isn't it?.......

 

Steve

Edited by docidle
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Hi Steve,

 

Appreciate it.  And yes, that it my goal....have fun, learn, and dream a bit during the creative past time (while I listen to old 80's music). 

 

I had noticed the mold was made in 1957 I believe...before my time, but brilliant that Revell still makes it....good learning tool, and very reasonably priced.  If you built her before, I may have some good questions for you and the forum as I am still very new to modeling. 

 

Today I learned:

1. Painting can be dangerous and irritating - spilled and some thinner ran afoul of my left hull...now I have repairs to do and I haven't even put the hull together!!

2. Port = Left, Starboard = right, Grog = watered down rum

3. I am horribly bad at detailing!  Must be patient...

 

Cheers

Patrick

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Looking good. The Constitution was the first ship I built when I decided to try modeling ships. Before that my only experience with watercraft was a model of a Bass Tracker. I went all out and picked the Revell 1:96 scale version though. You probably went smarter with the smaller scale and simp,er version as it does allow for additional details but won't overwhelm you in the overall scope. The sheer size and time required to build a ship can become overwhelming. I hope you find it very enjoyable and I look forward to seeing it progress.

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Progress is slow this week as I am being pulled in too many directions at work.  However, I dug up a blog from someone who built the 1:196 Baby Conny and he made some nice changes to the main deck....including drilling out the grate to give options in perspective.  I may leave it open, or try to create a 'faux' gun deck.  Not going to kill myself over it, but I like the way the main deck looks now.  Step by step...

 

So:

1. Painted with an enamel 'wood' followed by a second single coat of acrylic 'tan'.  (Tan? Really)  Anyhow, may try a wash to bring out the boards a bit more, but the overall effect is a nice non-homogenous view of the main deck.

2. Tried a 'rust' for contrast for the cannon carriages...looks fairly nice, and not as stark as a red in the case of a smaller model. 

 

To be continued....

 

 

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Hello Patrick,

Welcome to the wonderful art of model ship building.  You are starting with a great kit to get the "feel" of how a sailing ship would go together.  I have built this particular model a few times and also used artistic license by painting it blue once, so don't worry about being accurate with colors, the point is to have fun and enjoy what you are accomplishing.

 

I see your kit has the plastic ratlines.  Please consider looking into rigging these yourself.  Many of us here can talk you through it.  The reason I say this is that these smaller Revell plastic kits, well, the masts like to flex and bend and trying to keep those plastic ratline assemblies from popping off as you rig is a big pain.  Also, like on a full sized ship, rigging the shrouds and ratlines gives those plastic masts a lot more support, so when doing the standing, and later, the running rigging become much easier because the masts are not flexing all over the place.  Overall, everything will look more to scale and you will be pleased with the results. 

 

For the deck, maybe give it a wash of black acrylic, then wipe the acrylic off while its still wet, this will stand out the deck seams, then give the deck a wash of light gray to tone and blend the wood brown, tan, and black.  

 

So keep up the good work and we will be here help you out if you need anything.

Scott

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Hi Scott.

 

I have posted a couple of time the pics I have thus far....but for some reason they keep being deleted!  Will try to post again, after this text only post....to see if they can catch.  If not...will gladly enjoy some tips.  A couple of questions:

 

1. Acrylic wash....recipe?  As I said, I am new...and I know the term wash only from my own web research.  Any additional info on the wash - recipe - technique would be greatly appreciated.

2. Ratlines...are you saying rig the ratlines and the shroud?  If so...one or both are waaaaay out of my league at the moment.  I can tie a granny knot and follow the 'picture only' graphics which Revell uses as an excuse for instructions....but setting up my own shroud/ratlines is a bit of a stretch my friend, unless you have some good information I can use to dumb it down to the 1st grade level.  

3. Totally enjoying building, painting, dreaming...my wife is wondering what drugs I am on...but frankly, just enjoying the creative experience...but the rigging part of this is going to be a challenge...hence the reason I am starting at this scale.  Keep in mind, this is my first ship.   (But I am adventurous and bought the 1:96 scale for incentive - hopefully this little guy won't sink me before I have left port!)

 

See below for next couple of pics...and if they do not post...someone has to tell me what the heck I am doing wrong!

 

Best

Pat

Edited by Overworked724
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Good day Pat, got your PM and thanks :cheers:

 

I see you may not be ready to jump into the deep end of the pool, and that is perfectly ok.  As I said, this kit is a wonderful 1st step into ship modeling without getting too bogged down.  I would now suggest to build the kit and do the basic rig as per the instructions.  This will allow you to test your level of confidence and patience. With the basic running rigging, the plastics ratlines should stay on without too much bending of the masts.  If you do not have the following, get them:  A good magnifying lamp, a set of tweezers, and a pair of small, sharp scissors.  These tools will make rigging a much more enjoyable experience.  

 

Are you going with or without sails?  It will affect how you position the spars. I am at the point of doing the sails of my 1/96 Connie right now so it would be easy to walk you through it. 

 

I'll try to dig up some of my old tutorials on painting decks.  Work and taxes have me pretty busy this time of year but I should be able to post some pictures soon.  But here is an early pic of my 1/96 Connie.  I did a dark brown/black mix base coat and then an light gray wash and dry brushed antique white.  I think I also did a more step by step instruction on a build log for my USS Lexington here on MSW, but I have to find it.  My memory is pretty goofy right now due to work and tax time.

 

 

On your deck, I would do a technique called "dry brushing", which i'm sure you might be familiar with.  Get a flat, wide sable hair brush, dip it in some light gray or antique white paint, then with light strokes brush the paint across a scrap piece of plastic, paper, or cardboard until only very thin, light, dry coats of paint will result from the strokes.  Then brush across your deck.  This will tone down the contrast and will give a blending, weathered wood appearance.

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Tragedy! Was snipping the cannon of the Sprue and one them shot across the room like a 1950's tiddlywink! Alas, 'twas lost in the carpet forest. Neither my wife nor I could find the missing munition. Crap...

 

Lesson learned for today....this thing is small! Wondering if the 1:96 might be less difficult!

 

Onward! (Minus one cannon....will jury rig one using a toothpick....but don't think it will fool the enemy!)

 

Cheers

Pat

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Hey Patrick. Try this:

 

... there was a post here on MSW that I recall seeing some time ago which may hopefully help you ...

The suggestion was to put some stocking material over the end of your vacuum cleaner. Then clean around the area. The stocking should stop any small pieces from disappearing into the nether regions of your vacuum bag.

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My wife vacuumed and looked in vain for the errant tiddly-wink cannon which took like a shot (pardon the pun) from the sprue the other day.  Never fear...I will sally forth.  Made a fake deck and will go for putting the hull together today...if I can still see after trying to get the tiny cannon on the main deck!

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OK....too much work, so little time to play with the Baby Conny.  However, I did get my fake gun deck made, as also got the cannon installed....including the fake one.  (Can you find it?  I will give you a hint...it is a black toothpick tip! )

 

Onward!....

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Edited by Overworked724
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