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USS United States by gvaughn1 - Revell - 1/96 Scale - PLASTIC - my first true model ship!


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Hi everyone - as I mentioned in my "New Member Introduction" post, this is my first time truly building a model ship.  I normally build figure kits, sci-fi, fantasy, super heroes, dinosaurs, monsters, etc.  And my only experience with rigging was the Wright Brothers' model plane.

 

But I was at a garage sale and picked this kit up for an amazing $5!  And it was 100% complete.  I felt like a thief.   :)  But I took it home.

 

So here is my build log.  I'm super excited to be embarking on this voyage but slightly intimidated by the rigging.

 

Note: As this is my first kit, I will likely build it pretty much out-of-the-box without a lot of modifications.  (Unless I get inspired to do some customizing).

 

I hope to gain a lot of wisdom from this community during this process.  Anyway, here is the kit in these photos.

 

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Thanks,
George

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My first step was tackling the hull halves.  My steps were:

  1. Get at the flashing with my Xacto knife
  2. Sand down the rough spots
  3. Glue the two halves together with Zap-a-Gap, aided by tons of wooden clothes pins and clamps
  4. Fill in the seams with my favorite two-part putty: Aves Apoxie Sculpt
  5. Sand it vigorously
  6. Prime it with black spray primer
  7. Tape it at the water line with Tamiya 6mm masking tape
  8. Spray the coppered part of the hull with Krylon Metallic Copper spray paint

Here it is so far:

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Next up will be getting the upper part of the hull painted.  Gotta figure out the right colors.

 

Tools of the trade:

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Edited by gvaughn1
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I have this kit.   sadly it's been in the closet for a while now.........afraid to look as to how long.   I built it before when I was in my thirties.......such a nice model when finished.   here's a couple of pictures I have of her........I wish I had more.

 

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since I found this site.....I learned a lot........even a mistake I made on her.   the studding sail booms are not connected to the yards as they are supposed to.  they are suspended by the rigging.......don't ask how I did it,  but it was very easy to do.

    the kit does have some inconsistencies with it,  but out of the box,  it builds well.   you will also hear that some folks did not use the plastic eye bolts and blocks.  it's probably a good idea,  but I used them with little trouble.   keen to note that this kit is a spin off of the Constitution kit........the only additions are the extra badge galleries at the stern {you probably found them in one of the bags,  thrown in as an after thought.

    I got my second kit off E-Bay.........a friend alerted me to it's existence.  I got mine for $50.00,  shipping included......you got a much better deal than I did!   lucky devil! ;)   I have built other kits of this series,  put out by Revell........I think they are Revell's best offerings  ;)    the one thing that always bugged me,  was the three section decking.......the seams are a real bugger to line up.  with this second build of the United States,  I did the decks in wood....all 1 piece.   it's as far as I've gotten so far.   I have a log around here somewhere.  I'll look forward in seeing this fine ship come together!  ;)

 

glad to meet you  :)

 

Denis >Popeye<

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Denis - that build looks GREAT!  Very inspiring to see completed builds like that.  

 

I've seen great builds both with and without sails.  I haven't decided whether to use the pre-formed plastic sails or go without sails.  Are there any advantages to either approach?  Or just comes down to personal preference?

 

Good for you with the wood decking on the 2nd go-around at the Constitution.  That sounds like a good challenge.  I'm hoping the 3-piece decks don't give me too many problems - but keeping my fingers crossed.

 

Thanks for the encouraging words and for the advice on building this kit.

 

George

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I'm going to wait on finishing the hull for a day or two because I ran out of masking tape.  It should be arriving in the mail in a day or two.

 

In the meanwhile, I think I'll put together the inboard cannons (all 32 of them):

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But then a question came up in my mind:  Why should I bother to do any kind of detailed work on these cannons when they'll be down below on the gun deck and almost totally obscured?  Won't the only visible part be the tip of the cannon sticking out of the gun holes?  They'll be covered by the main deck.

 

Is there any reason I should do more than just gluing them, slapping a super quick coat of paint, and maybe just doing some decent dry brush work on the tips of the cannons?

 

Any advice welcome! :)

 

PS: I also like to keep my sprues together vertically so I can sift through them easily:

post-25209-0-69668900-1465447913_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks,
George

Edited by gvaughn1
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  • 2 weeks later...

a lot of folks like to detail the complete build.......even the parts that can't be seen.   it's all a matter of taste really........the prowess of knowing that  'it's in there'  is a real testament and a boon for experience and knowledge.   I sometimes will do it.......but for moving the build along,  and relieving some of the stress,  I will focus on what will be seen instead.   I pray that I don't come across anyone with a flashlight and a microscope  :D  :D

 

however you wish to build your ship,  is totally up to you.

 

I am also building another United States........this is the fifth model of this series that I have done.   I've built up such a backlog of in progress builds,  that the poor ship has been stuck in the closet.   I hope that the wooden decks have unlimited shelf life {the first set I made for it didn't}.  sails or no sails,  it's up to you as well.  I did nothing to the sails you see on my first go - around with the model,  but for my second build of the Cutty Sark,  I painted the sails a light gray.   I had to order a new set for the model........got shorted on the order to Revell....and the replacement ones were of a beige color,  rather than the off white that originally came with it {I still have quite a few sails from that ordeal}.   

 

there is one thing I did try with the deck sections,  that gave me some control over fit.   I did a dry fit of the decks and saw which side of the sections lifted more than the other..........cemented a 1/32 {thin is best} strip under the offending section so it stuck out slightly {like a tab}.   when the sections are cemented together,  I didn't have to concentrate the glue on the edge,  so it would ooze out from between.  there was a dual benefit.

 

I look forward in seeing more  :)

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