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USS Constitution by kmart - Model Shipways - scale 1/76

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So   time for my next update.

The stern... 

Well after being thoroughly pleased with myself for how the hull planking came out.....

I though finishing planking the stern would be quick  and easy... boy was I WRONG.  (again)


First pic.. The old Gal back in her build cradle.  


Now for the stern


First I glued on the ears.

Even as I was doing that , I knew sooner or later I would wind up breaking off the tops of the stern  "risers"?? tops of the stern bulkheads.

They are really thin, fragile and not supported by anything.


Since I needed to frame in the stern gun ports on the Spar deck anyways...  I used the same technique as the other gun-ports..

Basically made them solid!

Note the filler pieces are not rectangular.  That would be to easy. 

The spar deck port openings are just roughed in at this point.   Latter on I'll  clean them up to proper size .

Right now they are there to prevent me from breaking off the stern timbers.




Before I can go much further, I knew I had to position the quarter galleries.  So I cut out and shaped two lower solid pieces.

This was done similar to how the bow and stern spaces were made. 

Square block... mini table saw to right size, 

Then scroll saw to get close to the right shape.

Then table sander to finish up.


Then I started the decorative fitting that goes underneath.

For the lower pieces, I dove into hand carving with a number #7  exacto blade



Notice the lip on the upper right piece.  That fits over the wale .    The lower pieces will sit on the wale.  and then the upper  pieces will sit on those. 

So If I measured right.. They will all align and be at same height and symmetrical relative to the wale


Like So...



Note at this point,  the upper blocks are glued on.  The lower blocks are just dry fitted.   

They lowers do need more fitting and  sanding to be flush with the upper pieces.


Those lower pieces were my first ever free hand carving.   🙂   



Next,   Need to frame the 5 stern windows.

Like the gun-ports,  I made a jig.  basically a piece of wood 14x14 mm.  That's the size of the stern window frames.



The challenging  part is that

   1.  The stern angles outwards (further to stern) as it goes up to the top rail

    2.  That the stern framing is NOT straight up and down.     They cant outward port and starboard

    3.  The stern framing are not exactly parallel to one another. They are at slight different angles.


So with those three challenges...  

Need to frame 5 perfectly square 14 x14 mm ports , that are aligned and spaced properly.





I know it looks rough,  but you can see all the shims of various sizes in place.

pretty much all 5 windows needed shims on 3 sided.    The bottom sill was correct and my starting reference point.



You can see the tick marks  above each window.

My methodology was  I basically measured and marked the center-line of the stern.

Then measured from there and marked where the center of each window should be.

My Jig also has the center-line marked.


So I aligned the center-line of the jig with the center-line mark for each window.   

Then positioned the shims around the jig.

Easy  ... NOT!


Now.. Finally,  I glue on the first plank.  

First one is aligned with lower window sills.

So much for stern planking being quick and easy!!  🙂




And that's where I'll leave it for today.

Hopefully next update will have most of the stern planking finished.







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Well,,, it was bound to happen.

I screwed up...

but if your going to do something.. do it right...

So  I screwed up a second time.

Then I identified my 3rd and 4th screw up that I made earlier in the build...but just identified now.




So.  Screw up #1:  The stern.


Hear is what my intended goal is/ was.

Looks like everything is lining up well  so far.


In my prior post.. I showed how I had all the stern prepped to plank...

All the windows and gun ports framed in etc.





For the stern scuppers, portholes.  I cut a small square piece of wood.  half the thickness of the planks and positioned /glued.. them on the stern.


Then I planked around it.

This will allow me to have those ports open.    or if closed they ill sit flush with planking.

either way, I have options.



Getting there.   Will cut out upper gun-ports later.  But they are all properly framed under the planking.



But wait.  Look above pic where the topmost plank is at this point.

I still have 3 more planks to reach the top where the Cap-rail will be.


However ...  The top of the gun ports on the spar deck are already lower than the current plank on the stern.

The cap-rail has to run in 1 level from around the side to the stern.

My stern is 3 planks to high.  Ugg



My current stern planking ends at the lower red arrow.   3 more planks will end up way over the side cap-rail at upper red arrow.



What to Do???







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Trying to fix screw up #1  let me to Screw up  #2.


Sooo as mentioned about earlier in my log.  I chose to go with the 1812 version of the ship that does NOT have that top-galleon Rail.

On the model expo plans of the current ship... the cap-rail sits right on top of the spar deck gun-ports.. and then there are 3 more planks... and then their is the second ( top-galleon) rail.


That's where I messed up.  I positioned my stern based on the model expo plan... Not adjusting for the different stern and lack of the extra planks.  i.e. 3 more planks.


Looking at the AOS  and also several other models.  I notices that while they don't have the top galleon rail... some models DO have 1  maby 2 planks over the spar gun-ports under the mail cap rail.


That's  it.  that my way to fix... Add a plank or two over the ports, but still under the main cap.






Look Close again


The green arrow is the extra plank.  All good.

But red is screw up #2.   

I forgot I had not completely cleaned up the gun ports.  they were planked higher than actual size,

The plan was to pair it back down to proper size, when I put cap-rail on.


Well when I added the extra plank,, all my gun-ports became too tall.

I had to go back and add extra plank and as well as a  header behind it.


You can see I used small scrap pieces to put in in backings as well as gun-port header the full length of the extra plank.

So when I get to the cap rail.. it will be a solid 3 pieces top to attach to,  outer plank+ backer+ inner plank.







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Another view of the aft  extra  plank in place








Screw up #3

This was done prior.. I just noticed it now.

Well since I'm adding the extra plank aft .. it needs to go all the way around  so I'm making same update at the bow.


Look at the first gun-port... that's closet to the bow.


That's Not actually a gun-port.. its where the anchor gets stored.

Notice its a larger size than the gun-port.  That's correct per the current 2019 version of the ship.

But all the Corne paintings and AOS pictures show it as the same size as a normal gun-port....

So  not correct for 1812.   Plus I really didn't like how it looks.  not symmetrical with the rest of the ports...


Soo demolishing time.20190421_172521.thumb.jpg.8370f78ffb1c25bc68c61c285249299a.jpg

Made a new backing piece




Glued in place



Next session  I'll plank it over..


Screw up #4  Also just noticed today.

Waaay back when I was framing the main deck gun-ports.  

I was so pleased with myself for my framing method and my jig for perfectly square gun-ports...





As you can clearly see...  quite a large gap.

This is for both gun-ports on both sides.

The way I framed them two at at a time port starboard... worked great for rest of the ship.

Because of the steep curvature at the bow,   If I run the jig all the way through both ports.. its square and proper sized,  but because of the curvature of the hull,  if I put the jig in at 90 to the hull... the ports too wide.  Fortunately is just the one pair that suffers from this.

I can build up one side of the frame to the right side.   Not sure how to add extra planking to cover it up.


I'll figure something out.


The past week is NOT what I had been expecting to do in the wood-shop.



Oh well.  Fix and move forwards.





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On the plus-side, at least you discovered all four problems at the one time. Rather than fixing one, then discovering the next etc etc.


If it helps at all, before I abandoned my Connie, I was actually planning on NOT cutting the two chase-ports. This might help with scaling your stern cap-rail somewhat. From reading Theodore Roosevelt's book "The Naval War of 1812", I learned that these two ports were actually cut by Cpt Hull (well, maybe not him personally, but under his instruction) during the Great Chase. Since you have gone with the 5 window arrangement, I think it would be perfectly logical for you to argue that the chase ports did not exist at the time of your Connie.


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Hello all,

Sooo sailing season (real sailing as apposed to model sailing :-))   is wrapping up in the next few weeks here in New England.

Hoping to get a few more days on the water before hauling her out. 

Then it will be back to work on the Connie after the summer hiatus.


I already started cleaning up the  basement workshop to start getting my brain back into modeling mode

And thinking about where I left off .


My goal  for this winter modeling season.... is :

  • Finish the hull
  • Finish the stern windows/ details/ quarter galleries
  • Paint the hull
  • Detail the main gun deck
  • And just maybe get the spar deck planking in

At my speed of modeling that's ambitious.  but that's the goal. 

Especially as I'm trying to do a respectable job and up the quality of my Connie build over my past builds as apposed to fast...


Should start having real updates and (modeling) pics in the next few weeks.





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So,,,last spring, when I left off, I had started working on the quarter galleries..   

I had just completed the lower piece, and the decorative piece underneath it.


Next  After several attempts I made the main part where the windows will go.


I made out of a solid block.   The challenge was fitting the three surfaces properly .. All of them angled and not square with one another.

Bottom, inner side towards the hull  and then the back towards the aft.  

After several attempts, I got the block to fit.  After that,  shaping the front curved side was fairly straight forward.


Using the kits window frames,  I traced in where the windows will go.

leaving 2 mm under and over the window frames,  Then another 3 mm for the trim.  You can see that marked up on the block  


Next up comes the Roof.   I have two options with this.

The easier one...




or the harder version...


I'll give you 3 guesses on which one I chose to attempt.


Attempt #1 : i thought I could model in two pieces to make up the roof. First piece breaking of the trim in the middle



So attempt #1 failed.  I didn't like the looks, and the top of the roof was not sized to have the second layer.

Attempt #2, and #3,  all failed as well.


I cant believe how much time I've wasted on making 2 little pieces of wood.  



Now onto attempt #4 came out a bit better: 

This attempt is with a single piece.   Because doing one big complex block couldn't possibly be harder than doing smaller , simpler shaped pieces )


Laying out the cuts to make on the block


After cutting and rough shaping

It has potential..   But it kinda looks more like a shoe or sneaker that a fancy roof.

Both at the bottom and then at the flat selection in the middle , I'll put a trim piece.   

That might make it look better.   But I'm not convinced yet.   

 Still considering to another  attempt.


This is a really hard part to make.   Really testing and frustrating me.


Thoughts , opinions....  look good enough once cleaned up and painted... or start over.?




FYI  for the main piece.. the plan is to cut out where the windows will go.  

Then use jig saw to cut away the inside of the block.   That will leave the outer wall... say 2 mm thick, with all the proper curves and fitting and window frames as one piece.


( I still think the roof looks like a sneaker!)

That's it for now.


And please comment on the roof.  keep the roof or toss it and try again.


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I just went and checked my picture library. ...  This is how Connie's roof currently looks today.  This is in line with the simpler version of the roof.   

Now the fancier version the roof extends higher up and has another white trim line in the middle.  


So my last attempt isn't as far off shape wise as i thought.   hmmmm



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I feel you should keep your double roof and add smaller bent trim around the lower roof shelves for detailing. Then sand very gently and precisely the added bent smaller trim into shape and add a little wood filler per needed. The basis of what you have is great to work with adding the smaller wood bent trim pieces for definition. Could blend them in nicely with what you have.



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Jonathan and GrandpaPhil...  Thanks for the feedback.

The more I'm looking at it, the more I like it.  Once cleaned up and detailed it will work.


So onto my progress.  slow but moving forward.

I needed to prep the quarter gallery windows.   so after tracing out where the windows will go... I drilled a bunch of holes in the block




Then carefully carved, cut out the openings





From the backside



both Quarters with  windows roughed in


Set on the Hull



And the port side


Once cleaned up and painted..  I think they will come out looking decent.

I cant believe how long a 4 small block took me to make.    (days)


That's it for today.



And Happy Veterans Day for all of you who have served.  

We owe you more than we could ever possibly repay!   Thank you.



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