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USS United States by AmonFinn - Revell - plastic married cardstock

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Hello all,


as promised I'd like to show my actual project: USS United States. 


First I have to mention that this is a really worse kit by means of historical and technical correctness. So let's have a close look at the kit and the ship itself:


USS United States has been one of the "Original Six" frigates authorized 1794 by the Congress. They've been built under supervision of Joshua Humphreys.

Her service history is shown on threedecks.org and Wikipedia.


There's very few evidence about her appearance. It IS evident that she had a raised quarterdeck purchased by her first CO, Cpt. John Barry, shown in Chapelle's "History Of The American Sailing Navy":



In these times she also had a figurehead showing the Goddess Of Liberty. Lloyd McCaffery shows us how it may have looked like:



According to Osprey's "American Heavy Frigates" the figurehead disappeared around 1808 and scrollwork took place at the bow. The raised quarterdeck influenced the ship's behaviour so it has also been removed. I think this happened about 1810 during refit. Here we have another nice picture of USS United States with quarterdeck, figurehead and 2 rows of stern windows (??):



Please note that there are no portholes shown... 


OK, that's what we have by research. Now let's have a look at the kit. HERE (Link) you'll find a very good description and some pictures (German language).

Following topics have to be criticized:


  • Scale: obviously NOT 1/150 but very close to 1/220
  • Outboard: portholes, closed bow, lids of gunports are parted, no hammock nettings
  • Stern: clearly the stern of USS Constitution in the 1870s until today
  • Inboard: no fiferails along the breastwork, gratings too simple, round skylight over Captain's cabin
  • Equipment: only one cutter on the main grating, no clamps or ringbolts
  • Rigging: all masts are molded as one part including yards that are molded in 90 degrees to the ship's direction, double dolphin striker


In fact, you get a simplified "Constitution" kit which is miles away from USS United States. So you've got the choice either to build USS Constitution or have fun with a nearly correct USS United States... guess my choice :piratetongueor4:


I further decided to build her in a kind of 1842 configuration. Advantage is, the closed bow, bulwarks, gunlids and portholes can remain. I think these features have been added somewhere in the 1820s or 1830, maybe 1828 during her extensive repairs at Philadelphia Navy Yard.


So let's have a walk-around:


I sheathed the kit's stern with a self designed one made of cardboard, choosing a simple 5-window configuration:






All gratings were replaced by self made ones. I used paper strips. Also the skylight was replaced, fiferails were made out of cardstock and wire, bitts out of cardstock, wire and parts of toothpicks. The boats were another challenge. I also made them entirely from card and paper. I also added hammock nettings and hammoks from tissue, wire and thread and put some crew members and US Marines into place.

The paintwork is entirely made with acrylics, note that the bow decorations are not guilded and the white gunport belt is painted to the bows. This can be seen on older pictures of USS Constitution and USS Constellation.

Now let's have a look at the pictures:









I built the masts completely new, the following pictures are showing the kit's condition right now. The tops are parts of the original kit. 


OK, that's it for today. Looking forward to your comments.





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now you have me wanting to go out and purchase one of these kits.   it appears to me that it in no way resembles the United states.   where is the added poop deck and quarter deck badges?   I have the 1:96 scale kit of the United States.   I have built the 1:96 scale Constitution in my teen years........when I bought the United states kit,  I found the extra poop deck parts were thrown in one of the bags,  suggesting that the kit is a spin off of the Constitution model.   if Revell didn't follow through with the 1:150 scale kit,  then they failed :(   you've done a great job of depicting life aboard a warship...but what I see is the Constitution....or even the President.  unfortunately,  it lacks the distinguishing features that depicts it as the United States.   do carry on though......finished and with sails,  this will be a really cool looking model.   love to follow along :) 

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Hi popeye :)


thanks for your words :)


Just as I mentioned before, the raised poop deck has been removed in the 1810s, figurehead has been removed before 1808 and both features are not going along with the parted gunlids and the portholes. So I decided to do something like an 1840s configuration like this one:



Of course, the kit itself clearly depicts the USS Constitution as she appears right now, so that's the challenge: Modifying it until a "kind of" ore "close to" USS United States appears on my desk :)


Greets, Alex


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I went through the information and articles I've compiled on her.......I see a number of refits and repairs,  but doesn't say what was done.  she did go through a modernization refit in 1832......and was decommissioned and recommissioned quite a few times.   she remained in Norfolk Va.  .....looks like the later part of 1800 till 1805,  until she was recommissioned again......at this time, she was known as the U.S.F. United States.  I have a birthday  coming up......I think I know what to get myself hee.....hee ;)    I have a 1:150 {I think it is} U.S.S. constitution.....I quite agree..there were so many small consistencies in the kit,  that I just built it as it was.   I tend to blame it on the production date of the kit and the information available at the time of mold tooling.   I like the older kits....I look for the tool dates on the parts {usually on the underside of the decks or inner hull halves},  or print dates on the instructions or box.  

      I've never known her not to have the round house.  that picture is included in one of the articles I have




I have a few other articles as well.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Popeye :)


I finally did it. Found some interesting hints on the poop deck. First I read about a pilot who insubordinately left the poop deck while proceeding through Gedney Channel in 1840: 



In his book "White Jacket", Herman Melville didn't clearly mention United States's appearance, but when we have a look at these quotes, he mentioned quarterdeck and poop deck separately:



But though I cannot say much of him personally, I can mention something of him in his general character, as a flag-officer. In the first place, then, I have serious doubts, whether for the most part, he was not dumb; for in my hearing, he seldom or never uttered a word. And not only did he seem dumb himself, but his presence possessed the strange power of making other people dumb for the time. His appearance on the Quarter-deck seemed to give every officer the lock-jaw.


At the first sign of those epaulets of his on the weather side of the poop, the officers there congregated invariably shrunk over to leeward, and left him alone.


Last not least there is an interesting article on constitutionmuseum.org: Have a look at this link.


So I decided to remove most of my stern additions:





Next step was to create a new stern, poop deck, galleries ... the whole stuff:

















I think, I'm coming close to the real thing ...






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I'm not sure if the 1:96 instruction sheets would give you any ideas.  if you'd like to see them:




perhaps the difference in scale will show you something you may not have seen.   what your doing looks very good ;) 

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