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USS Constitution (Mamoli 1:93) What to do?


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(Thought I shouldn’t put this in a “build” forum, since that question is the crux of this post)

Background –

I purchased the 1:93 Mamoli version of the USS Constitution in late 1994 and began assembly the following spring. You can see from the (not-so-great) pictures how far along I was when, as they say, “life happened”. Things came to a halt a few months later.

The partially completed hull sat in an enclosed bookcase for the last 22 years. Overall, it is in decent shape. Sadly, the original Mamoli box containing the remaining OEM parts, along with another container with my tools, building materials, and collection of Floquil paints was mistakenly put in the attic during our last move in 2010. It has essentially baked in the south Texas heat for seven years. When I finally uncovered it, most of the wood and fittings appear salvageable.

So, the big question – where do I go from here? There is a lengthy back-story to my love for the USS Constitution, which I won’t burden you with, but I have a lot of passion for completing what I’ve started…or simply starting over.

Staring at the half-assembled hull for days on end, some of my 1990’s work is generally acceptable. Other things (like the bow) desperately need to be taken apart and redone. Overall, it’s admittedly a not-so-great piece of work.

So back to my question. Is the quality of my past work salvageable or should I start over? (honest replies won’t hurt my feelings) Not being ready for scratch-building, If I start over, which kit would you choose? Is the Mamoli or Model Shipways version a better option? Are there others I’m unaware of that are readily available?

If I continue with my existing Mamoli, what are my options for obtaining replacement fittings and materials? From browsing the Model Expo website they’re not what they were twenty years ago. (Note: Since typing this, I’ve noticed there’s a lot of forum searching I need to do on locating materials)

Your opinion is appreciated...

Constitution 1.jpg

Constitution 2.jpg

Constitution 3.jpg

Constitution 4.jpg

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Hi Techsan,

I'm no expert, but judging by your pictures I would say that you have done a beautiful job so far. I think your model is well worth continuing with. I'm not sure how many of the remaining parts you feel you need to replace, but if you still have the plans, it shouldn't be too difficult to determine what you need and then source them from one or more suppliers, or buy the wood and fashion some of the replacement parts. Another option, although it would be expensive, is to try to obtain a whole second kit and work from it. I know the Mamoli company is not longer in business. Some of their kits are currently available from Dusek, but I don't believe the Constitution is one of them at this point. However, I'll bet you could still find one either through one of the major retailers  or on ebay. I guess a third option would be to finish it off in admiralty style, it's almost there now.


However you choose to approach it, I would encourage you to continue with this model. This model is crying out to be finished.



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Looks great definitely finish it you have done an awesome job. I feel your pain with parts but here are my go to: line and blocks from Syren, (you can't find better) other fittings from Age of Sail and Modelers Central. Wood from Crown Timberyard who is sometimes slow as this is his second job

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 I also put my vote in for continuing with this current build. There are so many great suppliers now that rope and wood stock to complete the build should be fairly easy and not too expensive. As Bill says Syren is great for rope and blocks and there are a few excellent would sources around these days. 

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If I might put in my 2 cents, it ultimately comes down to you. Are you satisfied with what you have? If not, it will bother you like an unreachable itch. If you're not satisfied, trying to continue the build would be like finishing a house on a weak foundation, you just won't to the model justice. If you are happy with what you got, maybe all it needs is just a tweak or two and then you can move on and complete the build and feel the satisfaction of a job well done.


It is difficult to judge the quality of the model from just a few pictures so you are the ultimate judge. Don't forget, the model has waited 22 years for you, so there is no rush to complete it "quickly." Take your time, assess what's good, good enough, barely passable, and must do over, then go from there.



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I sincerely appreciate all of the thoughts and comments! I know Jon is right, I am the one who has to be satisfied with the final product, but I am continually blown away by the craftsmanship displayed in these build threads. It sounds odd, but the opinions of the total strangers on this board are more valuable to me than my friends and family. They have no appreciation for the journey and will just think "wow, that's pretty cool". You guys understand the amount of time, effort and passion it takes to do the subject justice.


All this said, I'm going to start a build thread and finish the Mamoli. Again, thanks for all of your opinions and comments.  


(Oh, one day when I'm in a reminiscent frame of mind, I will post an entry about my passion for the USS Constitution -- connections to a world history-changing vessel I've never actually seen in person)





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Glad you are going to continue and hope to see the thread soon.


20 minutes ago, Techsan said:

I sincerely appreciate all of the thoughts and comments! I know Jon is right, I am the one who has to be satisfied with the final product, but I am continually blown away by the craftsmanship displayed in these build threads.



One of the things I have to continually remind myself of is here on MSW strict amateurs (like me) are rubbing shoulders with the greats.  MSW has some of the best modelers on the planet participating here.  It is like being on a basketball forum and having daily interactions with Jordan, LeBron, Abdul'Jabar etc.  It's like talking to Phelps, Lochte, Thorpe, or Hosszu every day on a swim forum.  It's like being on a music forum with Dion, Rihanna, McCartney etc.  I have to reign in my expectations for myself while appreciating the (for lack of a better word) awesomeness of our fellow members here.  Each day is more inspiration to learn more and get better.  One day (maybe 20-30 years from now) someone may look at my work like I see this, this, this, and especially this (if you are interested in the Constitution) just to point out a few.  There are so many more.  MSW is such a great place to ask questions and learn new skills.  Have fun!!!







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To me it looks like you lack only the anchors and boats, both of which you can scratchbuild. For the spars and rigging, buy aftermarket blocks they may be better quality than the kit parts and ditto the wood for the spars. Certainly you can obtain better rigging line than the kit would have supplied. Maybe your lack of kit parts is will actually prove to be a factor in producing a better model? It will certainly force you to become a more independent solution finding model builder, and that's a very good attribute.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 6 months later...
On 10/7/2019 at 6:27 PM, USSConstitution said:

Just picked this up, but the item i picked up is missing first 2 pages of instructions. Is there anyone out there that may be able to help and provide a copy or picture of those pages. 

I just came across this site and created a profile.

I am getting re-started on my Mamoli 1:93 Constitution that I started back in '93.  I was deployed on USS Theodore Roosevelt and bought the kit in Naples.  I did most of the hull planking while onboard TR, and did a little more over the following few years, but kids/house/career caused me to put it on the shelf.


I am in Mass. and have been onboard Constitution a number of times, and have a lot of pics.  I found that the entire bow area of the Mamoli kit is totally wrong.  I will have to tear it apart and build it from scratch.  After I get a better sense of how this site works, I may start my own build thread.


thanks in advance for all the great info and advice here!


For the poster above, I have the full set of plans if you need a copy of anything, let me know


Edited by johnboyVA36
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