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Still trying to figure out which ship to start (moved by moderator)


sailordori
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So I'm back to the drawing board. I was going to build the wood version of the USS Constitution because I live for the challenge however, after listening to you all that speak the truth, I may have actually listened!! Wow is that scary, I'm usually a jump right in over my head kind of person without doing what others tell me but this is important to me and therapy for me. So as I have mentioned, I have built 3 plastic USS Constitutions small to large.  So I was looking for a historic ship with a great history story behind it that I can feel the passion in the ship as I build it. So I found the Constellation it appears smaller, 2 masses, less detail but still rated advanced.  If it looks boring I won't waste my time or money. Do I want plank of frame or plank on bulkhead? I want to learn and practice how to shape the wood like I will need to know when I advance to the USS Constitution.  Do you all think I should even go smaller?  Please help me understand the scale used for sizing of ships. When I was a kid I just walked into a hobby store and bought the kit. I never got into what scale it was. I would appreciate as much advice as possible.  I see as a member I can request a mentor, would I be better off doing that to get started rather than asking every member their advice? 

 

Doris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Doris -

 

You might check out the USS SYREN by Model Shipways.  She has a great history, and was launched in 1803 to fight against terrorists in the Mediterranean.  The kit is very well designed with excellent instructions printed in color and bound as a book.  I just completed her and feel that the kit is suited to builders with a range of skills.  There are several very good build logs on this site, as well as a number of hobbyists to assist you. You can download the instruction manual from Model Expo as a series of Adobe pdf documents.  Those plus the build logs should give you a good indication of what is involved.

 

And at the end, if you do even a half way decent job building her, you will have a beautiful model.

 

Good luck in your search for a model.

 

<<Gary>>

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Geetings Doris,

Gary is right on with his suggestion of the Syren. See if you can hunt down

a copy of the instructions for the Syren's big brother, the Confederacy. It takes a

great manual and improves on it. I have gone that route so I can speak from

experience. Some folks would suggest starting with something more simple.

Get on Model Expo's email list. You will find that the kit prices vary a lot from week to week.

Enjoy, Harley

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You ask about scale.  The gold standard is 1:48.  This is museum scale for sailing ships. The

original plans were usually drawn using this scale.  It allows for being able to include a lot of

detail on a model.  The problem is that the model tends to be large.  If you live in Downton Abbey

this is not so much a problem.  But, not many of us do.

 

The Constitution is a very large frigate.  It could easily support the additional decks to turn it into

a 74 gun ship - a 3rd rate.  The Constitution at 1:48 has a hull that is close to 4 feet long

without spars.  Kits for most any ship tend to be designed around a standard length of hull, so, the larger the ship

the smaller the scale.   When you get to models at 1:96 or smaller, you are getting into the

miniature range.  This gets from a skill and craft talent into an artist talent area.  It gets into an

scale where wood does not work or fit so easily.

 

The Constellation is a problem because of the controversy about which

vessel it is.  There were two.  One was a frigate built at the end of the

18th C..  It was not a giant like the Constitution, but was about 20 feet shorter.

The other was a Sloop-of-War - the last purely sailing warship at least of its class

and was built in the middle of the 19th C.  To trick Congress, the original was

broken up as the 2nd was being built beside it and this was called a rebuild.

The city of Baltimore owns the 2nd vessel, but deluded itself into thinking that

it was the first that had been repaired instead of being the total replacement that it

was and they built 18th C detail onto a 19th C ship.  The result was an anachronistic 

hodge podge.  Depending on the kit, you could get vessel 1, vessel 2, or the Baltimore version.

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The Constellation isn't small by any means Doris and it is a 3-mast vessel.  That is if we're speaking of the same Constellation....  I've got a build log on the AL frigate kit that I bashed into the sloop of war. The AL kit represents the bastardized version that sat in Baltimore before it's restoration to the sloop of war that it actually is/was.

 

I have link to my build down in my signature.

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Hi Doris -

 

Yes, the SYREN model is at a scale of 1:64.  The hull is approximately 19 inches long and 5 inches wide.  Here is a link:

 

http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=MS2260

 

I have also built Model Shipways Sultana, Rattlesnake,  Fair American, Newsboy, and Benjamin W. Latham.  I had more enjoyment building SYREN than any of these, and the finished model looks better too.  I also learned many useful techniques from the instructions that I can use on future models.

 

<<Gary>>

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Hi Gary,

 

You have been very helpful looks like I can buy it for around 250.00 I just wasn't sure if it was the right one since they called it the US  Brig Syren. It comes with a 130 or 150 pg. can't remember, colored instruction booklet. I love detail did you buy brass fitting from model shipways too? Can't wait to get started. Thanks again. I still have to figure out how this site works so I'm not on everyones log. I believe this is considered my log? So I can keep in touch and put updates on here.  

 

Thanks again

 

Doris 

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Have you considered the Bluejacket Constitution?  It still builds to about 40 inches, but is a very solidly researched model.  Combines some solid hull with POF (solid hull below the gun deck).  http://www.bluejacketinc.com/kits/ussconstitution.htm

No I think I like Garys recommendation. I think the Constitution in wood will be my goal. I want to learn techniqes first, thats not the ship I want to practice on. But thank you for your suggestion.

 

Doris

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You ask about scale.  The gold standard is 1:48.  This is museum scale for sailing ships. The

original plans were usually drawn using this scale.  It allows for being able to include a lot of

detail on a model.  The problem is that the model tends to be large.  If you live in Downton Abbey

this is not so much a problem.  But, not many of us do.

 

The Constitution is a very large frigate.  It could easily support the additional decks to turn it into

a 74 gun ship - a 3rd rate.  The Constitution at 1:48 has a hull that is close to 4 feet long

without spars.  Kits for most any ship tend to be designed around a standard length of hull, so, the larger the ship

the smaller the scale.   When you get to models at 1:96 or smaller, you are getting into the

miniature range.  This gets from a skill and craft talent into an artist talent area.  It gets into an

scale where wood does not work or fit so easily.

 

The Constellation is a problem because of the controversy about which

vessel it is.  There were two.  One was a frigate built at the end of the

18th C..  It was not a giant like the Constitution, but was about 20 feet shorter.

The other was a Sloop-of-War - the last purely sailing warship at least of its class

and was built in the middle of the 19th C.  To trick Congress, the original was

broken up as the 2nd was being built beside it and this was called a rebuild.

The city of Baltimore owns the 2nd vessel, but deluded itself into thinking that

it was the first that had been repaired instead of being the total replacement that it

was and they built 18th C detail onto a 19th C ship.  The result was an anachronistic 

hodge podge.  Depending on the kit, you could get vessel 1, vessel 2, or the Baltimore version.

Thank you, that makes sense to me now.  I see how the history is messed up. who wants to build a hodge podge. I'll try the USS Syren it looks like a fun ship to build for my first wood ship. I love working with wood so I'm looking forward to this project. Thanks again for your help and explanation of everything.

 

Doris

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Doris,

 

    I am glad you reconsidered building the CONSTITUTION as your first build.  Very often when people start out with something like that as their first build, it ends up being their last build.  It is quite a challenge.

 

    I agree with Gary in that models like SULTANA, NEWSBOY or BEN'j LATHAM make good starter models.  IF you have  experience, SYREN might be good, but it is still something more than a starter kit.

 

   I like SULTANA.  It is very basic and lets you work with all the skill sets you would need to do a CONSTITUTION, but in an easier format.

 

post-1153-0-12971100-1486320834_thumb.jpg

 

post-1153-0-61029700-1486320835_thumb.jpg

 

    SULTANA is a solid hull.  I found it difficult to work with, but it is easy to make a better hull by using the body/sheer plan that comes with the kit and making the hull using bread and butter method, or making your own bulkheads (or a combination as I did).  If you don't have the skills to do that, in my opinion you don't have the skill set to tackle the CONSTITUTION.  Just sayin'.

 

    I believe that if two people with the same skill level started building (1) SULTANA and (2) Model Expo CONSTITUTION, the SULTANA builder would be pretty much done by the time the CONSTITUTION was planked.  If they were beginner modelers, the SULTANA builder would be planning his/her next build while the CONSTITUTION builder would be thinking about getting into model railroading.

 

   Anywho, my 2 cents worth.....

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Hi Gary,

 

I believe this is considered my log? So I can keep in touch and put updates on here.  

 

Thanks again

 

Doris 

 

Nope.. this is where kit logs go:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/forum/10-build-logs-for-ship-model-kits/   Read the pinned topic about naming and starting your log first though.

 

Now... get your kit and have some fun.  ;)

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Doris, another good one to start with is the one I'm working on, the Lady Nelson RN cutter from Victory models. It couldn't get more ahistoric in that no cutter of that name existed, but it's also extremely historic in that it accurately represents the RN cutter designs of ~1800 and they were extremely important as a class and the sailing Ferraris of their day.

 

It has only one mast which simplifies the masting and rigging task even further than Syren, but the rigging that is required is exactly what you'd do with more complex ships - standing rigging, shrouds and ratlines and deadeyes, braces and lifts and halliards, so you'll practice what your next project will require.

 

Here's the thing - I'm very familiar with woodworking and carving but even so ship modeling is a big leap requiring lots of tools you probably don't have and learning very tricky skills like bending wood and getting two pieces of wood that are curving in multiple axes to fit together perfectly - this is planking,

 

It makes much, much more sense to have a very simple first project during which you'll be buying things you need and learning how to use them and no matter how good you are naturally with making things, you won't be real good at some of the tasks the first time. You'll also be figuring out processes and workflows that fit the way you like to work/the tools you have (there are many ways to build a ship model), and then you'll be making jigs and things that will help in future projects.

 

In short, the learning curve is steep and there is a tooling up/basic learning phase you need to go through and both to make that process go smoothly and so you don't have hundreds of dollars at stake, it makes the best sense to do it while working on a smaller and relatively inexpensive kit.

 

I came very close to doing the English Longboat from Model Shipways for the first project, and although I'm doing fine with Lady Nelson I can still make an argument for that being the better choice.

 

So anyway, this is one of those start slow, finish fast things. Start with easy, small project and go slow and learn the options for every step and experiment with different ways to skin various cats, and you'll still make reasonable progress because the kit is small and simple. And then you'll have an order of magnitude more confidence when you start Syren, which to me is an excellent second build and I have that kit sitting in a closet for when I finish Lady Nelson.

 

And also sitting in the closet under Syren is the MS Constitution :) So basically I'm on the same path as you, but I think I might be working on Old Ironsides before you are if you start with Syren :)

 

Link below takes you to my Lady Nelson build log if you want to see how I'm doing. Since I am apparently psychologically incapable of building something out of the box, the extra complication I am adding is replacing the kit wood with better woods, and I'm going to try to do more realistic rigging, mostly because I have 30 pages of a book showing exactly what it should be for an 1800 RN cutter in perfect detail. You can still do a few things like that on your first build if you must as long as you know your own skills well and are sure you can handle them.

 

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