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USS Constitution by khauptfuehrer - Bluejacket - Scale 1:96 - First wood model build

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I would like to redo my build log, because my first attempt failed to coordinate text with photos in a logical way.  If I am successful this time, I will delete the previous posts.  This will put all the comments before the build log instead of after, but that's the way it goes.

This post concerns the basic hull preparation, planking and coppering.

The Bluejacket Constitution, like most of their kits is a solid hull design.  



The first step is to cut out the profile of the hull using the elevation plan provided by Bluejacket.  If you do this according to the plan you will find that the provided photo-etched brass transom will not fit properly.  This is illustrated below, in which the brass transom is indicated in red.



Consequently, the upper counter portion of the brass transom will be hanging out in the breeze.  Trying to get the transom/quarter galleries to work under these conditions is next to impossible.  Seeing this, I inserted a block of wood to fill out the gap.


Next, the hull shaping was done using templates made from Bristol board according the the body lines plans provided in the instruction manual.  I do not think I should go into further detail on this, because the result was an inaccurate hull shape.  It looks nice, but it is inaccurate (too sharp below the water line). I felt better when I saw that the hull shape of the model pictured on the cover of the instructions is also not accurate (too bluff).  One factor that worked against me was the significant asymmetry of the hull carving.   Here is what I ended up with.



Note the afore mentioned wood block insert at the stern.  I found that starboard carved quarter gallery was quite a bit higher than the port one.  Seeing no way to adequately correct this, I cut them off completely.  The instructions mention this operation as a viable option.

Another pitfall is the fact that if you install the stem/stem knee cutout as designed, the stem knee will be way way too high.  I have constructed a composite consisting of scans of the elevation of the bow and the template which appears on page 16 of the instructions to illustrate this.  The red dotted line indicates how the stem knee will be if the template is installed as is.  I saw this only after the stem and knee were installed.  I had to do some creative surgery to correct this.  I wish I had taken pictures of what I did, but this was years ago before I knew that MSW existed.  It was some kind of scarph arrangement. Trailboards serve to mask, and further strengthen the joint.  If I had seen the problem sooner, I might have adapted the template to correct for this.



The elevation shows the "shoulder" of the knee in line with the caprail, with the false rail straight and fairing into the knee just below the scroll.  On the real ship, the intersection sits a bit higher with the false rail curving upward slightly. 


Some creative surgery was needed to lower the stem knee.  I forget exactly how I did that.  It was 9 years ago.  An auger was used to remove wood from where the hatches will go so that ladders accessing the berth deck could be added.

Gun ports were then cut.  Another "heads up"  about the plans.  The spacing of the carronade ports in the side elevation and the spar deck plan do not agree.  This led to incorrect spacing of these in my model.  I recommend using the Marquardt, or the Revell model to determine the spacing of these ports.



One nice thing about solid hull models - they are relatively easy to plank- so easy that even a novice like me can do it.  I decided to duplicate the outer hull planking shown on the Revell model, which I bought to use as a source.  Different widths and thicknesses of basswood planks were used contrary to the instructions, with some double-bead moldings added.  



3/32" wide planking works beautifully at this scale.  As planking was only to the waterline, only a few strakes needed to be tapered.


Coppering was done using Bluejacket plates.  They come on a sprue and are made of copper plated Britannia metal.  They do not come with the kit and do add significantly to the price.   They are the most detailed copper plates I have seen, and therefore do not give the mirror shine that you see on many other models. They are also quite thick.  Approximately 3000 of these are needed.



The hull is upside down in the photo.  As you can see, the plates are overlapped as specified in the instructions.  The instructions also specify goring strakes fore and aft.  The Revell model doesn't not show goring strakes, the Marquardt "Anatomy of the Constitution" book doesn't,  photos of  Constitution in drydock don't, so I didn't. There are, however, stealer strakes aft.



By the way, I forgot to show ceiling planking before going to coppering.  It was also 3/32" basswood planking. Note the spirketting at the bottom.



Here is a profile of what the hull looked like at this stage of construction when painted.



As you can see the trailboards have been added as have the lower finishes of the quarter galleries.  These lower finishes needed to be canted inwards more than is the case on the real ship.  More on that process in the next post.  Gangway steps have also been added.  They are made from 1/16" planking stock and 1/32" by 1/32" stock.




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Installing the rudder was straightforward except for the gudgeons and pintles.  Bluejacket supplies these with an inner measurement of 1/8".  The sternpost and rudder are 3/16" thick.  It is difficult to adapt these to the greater thickness.  Bluejacket also sells gudgeons and pintles with a 1/4" inner measurement.  These are easy to adapt and work well.  Drops of glue are used to simulate bolt heads.



Also visible are the afore mentioned copper stealer strakes.



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The main reason I selected this kit is that it is possible to completely fit out the gun deck from stem to stern.  Bluejacket provides scribed decking sheets simulating 1/16" planking.  Herein lies another pitfall.  The deck planking on the real ship is 9" (3/32") at the waist, tapering to 6" (1/16") at the stern.

As a beginner, I chose to work with decking sheets, but, as the deck was to be left natural and not painted, glued-up decking was chosen because it looks so much neater.  The instructions steer you towards the 1/16" planking width, but this is wrong.  3/32" size should be used.  Tapering deck planking in models is a rare sight, even among master modelers, so I decided not to attempt it. Here is a view of the inside of the model with the glued-up decking in place.



Hatchways were laid out, cut, and coamings installed.  I did not like the supplied grating because the holes were round instead of square.

I used Model Shipways walnut grating strips instead.




Yeah, maybe I should have used the photo etched gratings.


Deck furniture came next.  Horizontal dimensions for the riding bitts are given in the plans, but not the vertical.  Looking at drawings in the Marquardt, I did these by eye.   The camboose is supplied as a photo etched brass origami project.  It is well designed and sets up with no problem.  The Charlie Noble is cast Brittania metal. The camboose sits on a low platform with copper sheathing around the edges, as in the real ship.



The manger rail is visible in the background.  The waterway is planking installed at an angle.  The upper strake of the spirketting is still visible.


The elmtree pumps in the foreground are excellent Britannia metal castings supplied with the kit.  Aft of those are the chain pumps.  Again the horizontal dimensions are given, but the height is a guess on my part.  The design is from the Marquardt.  I later gave up on the cranks because I could not make the stanchions work with the beams.  The capstan is also a Britannia metal casting.  I have not yet seen one supplied with a kit that I like as well as these.



The chain pump covers are half-sections of doweling with brass Liquid Leaf applied.  Brass Liquid Leaf was also applied to the capstan head.


The bulkheads for the captain's quarters are bristol board with 67 lb card stock with panels cut out of it glued on both sides. The doorknobs are wire with a blob of glue on the end.  Hinges are bits of wire with horizontal lines drawn.   Bars in the windows are brass rod (I forget the size, sorry).  I attempted some furniture for the cabin with varying success.  All but the rudder box was done before closing up the stern.  Bulkheads were left long so that when the stern timbers were installed, they could be cut to exact size.





The beds are not that visible, which is just as well.



Gun installation came next.  These are Britannia metal castings which include the gun, the wheels and axles, and the carriage.  I tried to drill out the muzzle openings, with varying success in centering.  I also discovered that the guns sit differently in their carriages depending on which side is down.  This is not that obvious when you look at the gun, but it does make a difference when seated.  I realized this after installing the portside guns, so the starboard side guns line up better.   I decided not to attempt capsquares.   Breeching rope rings are from a metal supply company.  I lost the info on that, sorry.  Fortunately the deck level and gunport level had been checked beforehand, so the guns sit reasonably close to the center.



Rope is from Model Shipways, because it is the right color, and looks more like rope.  Lots of practice seizing.



Unlike most kits, all rigging fittings are metal, not wood.  More precise scaling and shaping is possible, but you must make them look like wood.

I decided to rig the gun tackle to  eyebolts in the hanging knees as they currently are in the real ship.  This, of course, necessitated installing all the hanging knees.  The plans specify a 6" thickness for the knees right next to a specification for 15" thick knees.  They are currently 8" thick (I measured them myself), so I used 3/32" stock to cut them out.   I should have neatened up the painting in the coamings before taking the photo.  I did that subsequently.  Here are views of the completed gun deck.




The caprails were basswood strips with double bead molding added to each side.  This made for  rather thick bulwarks I'm afraid.

Anchor cables were added at this time.






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I have found the building of the stern and quarter galleries in this kit to be a remarkably troublesome process.  I see four main reasons for this. The first is my own inexperience and undeveloped skills.  The second is the misleading first step described above which causes a cascade of problems, one leading to another like dominoes. The third is the fact that the Britannia metal castings of the quarter gallery components are well out of scale, and are therefore difficult to integrate into the hull shape properly.  The fourth is the fact that the provided quarter gallery castings bear little resemblance to the plans.  In looking at other build logs of this kit, I am fascinated by the variety of creative ways of dealing with this thorny issue.  One solution is to make the quarter galleries from scratch.  Not having confidence in my ability to pull this off, I rejected that option.  What I ended up with is a series of compromises.  Much experimenting with bristol board mockups was done as preparation.

The framing of the stern looks crude, but, as little of it is visible in the final product, I do not see this as a serious issue.



Here is a photo of the partially painted photo-etched transom fascia.




So what to do about the human figures and the nereids?  One way is to use Sculpey, or some such product, which I knew nothing about at the time.  Another way is to paint shading and details, which I did to the best of my ability.  Twisted rope detail around the perimeter of the fascia is called for by the instructions.  There are also some excellent metal castings of wreaths, pendants, scrolls, stars, and an eagle in the kit.  I did not like the crude rope detail offered here as part of the fascia, so I sought an alternative.  Here is what I ended up with.



The rope detail is twisted wire ordered from a jeweler supply site.  I wish I had written down which site that was, but I did not anticipate doing this log years later.  The moldings which border the upper counter.are 1/16" basswood double bead strips from Bluejacket.  Basswood pieces were also glued in under the scrolls to make them stand out beyond the twisted wire.  I have not glazed the windows, to insure maximum visibility of the interior cabin.  Just visible are the edges of the gallery's lower finish pieces which had to be canted inwards to conform to the hull shape.


The quarter galleries represent a series of compromises.  I reduced the length of the roof and the window section as best I could without sacrificing critical detail.  The windows were drilled, then filed out, and the openings filled with liquid glaze.



Because of the oversize nature of the gallery, I found it necessary to sacrifice the aft most gun port.   One of the most challenging aspects of this operation was the coordinating of the galleries with both the transom and the contours of the hull.  Again, the art of compromise was key.  Here is my solution.



Just as a point of interest, here is a recent photo comparing the quarter gallery of the Revell model which is accurate, to this model.  Apologies of the blurry image, but you get the idea.  Both models are 1/96 scale, but see the difference in the gallery sizes.




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Based on my admittedly limited experience and observations, I believe that the bowheads are one of the most challenging aspects of any build.  This is particularly true of Constitution as she now appears.  It is the current appearance that is presented in the instruction booklet.  No scale is given for the drawings of the bowshead elements, but I later figured out that they are in fact 1/96 scale and can be used as is.  The bowheads as presented in the Revell model are considerably simpler, with 3 sets of timbers instead of 5 as is currently the case.  Also, the second rail fairs into the hull with little or no lateral curve, unlike the one currently used which curves laterally and upwards to connect with the support knee of the cathead.  I elected to go with the current appearance because I have no plans for the other, and because I am a glutton for punishment.  Here is a photo of Constitution's current bowhead arrangement.



As you can see the curves of the rails and the curving and beveling of the outer edges of the bowhead timbers are complex indeed.  The edges of the bowhead timbers fair into the inboard edges of the rail above, matching the angle of that rail, and then into the outboard edge of the rail below, again matching its angle which is often different.  In all my searching of images of Constitution models, I have only found one example of a  Constitution build which achieves this.  Here is my attempt at this daunting task.



I used a more recent photo here because it looks nicer than the other one.


Bluejacket's method of doing the rails makes a lot of sense, and, as far as I know, they are the only ones that offer this method.  They supply 3/32" by 3/32" by 5" metal sticks with which to make the rails.  This is great, because you can bend them in any direction, and taper them easily.  Wire was glued to the outer edges to make painting the white trim easy.  The trailboards are flat to begin with and had to be bent to suit.  I did taper the stem knee, but I should have tapered it almost to a point owing to the thickness of the trailboards.  Detail on these trailboards is not even close to what you see in the Revell model, but I painted in as much detail as I could.

The grating for the bowsheads is photo-etched brass.  Its design is for the hull shape that Bluejacket provides, which is essentially semicircular as you look straight down at it.  The constitution does not have this shape at deck level at the bows as you can see.



Therefore, considerable reshaping of the supplied grating was necessary.   This was very tricky, as the hull of the model is asymmetrical.    Accordingly, the photo-etched seats of ease had to be cut much shorter in order to fit in the space. These seats rest on a brass tube cut in half length wise.  Supporting these is a basswood foundation.  Metal strips from Bluejacket make up the outboard framing of the grating.



Backtracking a bit, some info regarding the catheads.  Downloading the instructions for Jotika's Victory, I saw an ingenious method of making the cathead which gives nice neat slots into which sheaves can be inserted.


This technique has been used in this model for the catheads, sheet bitts, and boat davits.  Here is a recent photo showing the slots and sheaves in the cathead.


The lion head carving is a supplied metal casting.

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The spar deck timbers for this kit must be all from scratch, as there are no laser cut wooden parts.  The hanging knees have already been installed.  The beams are made from 5/32" by 1/8" basswood stock, soaked in water then put into a plank bending jig bought from Micro Mark.  It's the one with all the movable white plastic posts.  The camber is slightly more than on the real ship despite my best efforts, but it looks nice, and I long ago gave up on building an exactly accurate model.  These dimensions closely approximate the beams on the ship currently, and agree with the fold-out plan in the instruction book.  Feeling ambitious, I decided to replicate all of the diagonal knees, as well as the lodging knees.  While visiting Constitution during her last refit, I took this shot.



The diagonal knees connect to the sides of the beams, while the hanging knees connect to the underside.  Because of this, the diagonal knees and their associated beams had to be installed together.  Delaying installation of the beams associated with the hanging knees gave me more space to work.  Each knee had to be cut out individually, as the angle between the diagonal knee and the end of the hanging knee varied a lot as did the angle between the arm and the beam.  


That's a lotta knees!  Then came installation of the remaining beams on the hanging knees.  There was not always an exact fit, but, as the beams are wider than the knees, the only way to see this is to use a dentist's mirror.  If I do this again in the future, I will make the arms of the knees slant up more, to be subsequently sanded down to an exact fit.



Stanchions are metal castings provided in the kit.  These had to be cut a lot shorter in order to fit.  Lodging knees came next.



Now there is ceiling, spirketting, waterway, hanging knees, diagonal knees, and lodging knees visible.  Eyebolts were installed on either side of, and just above the gun ports.  Carriage tackle would have been hooked into these during an engagement. Mast boots are also in place.  Next to be installed were the carlings.



Then came the coamings with their associated ladders ( again, metal castings).  Care was need to locate the spar deck hatchways exactly over their gun deck counterparts.  Also visible is one of the

removable" iron stanchions which were installed.      1799290000_coamingsandladderssmall.jpg.c0a7b1f31c7f599714c090e873941c24.jpg

And here is a view of the finished spar deck timbers.  I decided to leave out the ledges in order to maximize visibility of the gun deck details.


450923773_spardecktimberssmall.jpg.eb200f843f642fcfe1a1726592790bd5.jpg                                                                             This model is not without its flaws, but this is where, if I may be forgiven a moment of self congratulation, I said to myself "Not bad for a rank beginner".


As was the case on the gun deck, glued up decking was used for the spar deck.  Most of the knee detail at the quarter deck is still visible with the decking if your sight line is right, so it was not a total waste.



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The decking was carefully measured to just barely accommodate the carronades, so that the maximum view of the gun deck would be retained.

The gun castings are very good, except that, as is, the gun barrel is too high, and, in my model at least, is even with the caprail.  Some creative surgery was necessary to lower the gun to suit.  The muzzle has an indentation which made accurate drilling out of the hole therein easy.  It was also necessary to remove material from in front of the trucks, which was not that difficult.  The breeching rope had to be thinner than it should be owing to the small inner diameter of the breeching rings.  Rope for the skeet and carriage tackles were likewise thinner than they should be to make a contrast with the breeching ropes.



The small scale discouraged me from attempting the full compliment of seizings and hooks, resulting in a simplified rig.



The pinrails are of 1/16" basswood stock, with a reinforcing piece underneath, out of sight.  Bluejacket's pins are of turned brass, and are excellent if you do not mind the flat rather than round tops (I don't).



I was much relieved to see that careful planking of the hull interior provided a reliable guideline for the installation of the knees, so that the decking would lie flat against the beams.  Incidentally, the long lines you see issuing from the gun deck will become wheel ropes for the helm later.


The foremast fife rail and the associated stanchions are castings by Bluejacket.  My hat is off to those modelers which show the slot/sheave detail on those stanchions.  I chickened out on that one.  The topsail sheet bitts and their associated knees are scratch.  At least I could show slot/sheave detail here using the layering technique described above.




For the main fiferail, three rails and their associated stanchions came with the kit.  These rails were cast with depressions to receive the stanchions.  Unfortunately, these indicators did not line up.  I traced the oultine of the second rail onto 1/16" basswood stock, cut out two new rails, glued these plus the top rail together with rubber cement, then drilled holes through all three to correct the situation.  The top  rail is a casting, and the lower two are scratch.



The fairleads between the second and third rails are 1/8" blocks.  The advantage to metal cast blocks are that they can show detail that the wooden ones cannot.  In this case, it was just a matter of leaving the sheave detail unpainted. 

The main topsail sheet bitts are castings.  The monkey rail is scratch.



Both the fore and main fiferails are removable to facilitate the rigging of stays.  They will be glued in only after all standing rigging is completed.

I really like the capstan castings Bluejacket makes.


I considered using the Revell model's steering wheels, which are better designed and less vulnerable to damage than the Bluejacket, the hubs being the same diameter as the drum.  At the same time the wheel stands provided by Bluejacket are nicer than the Revell.  Unfortunately, the Revell wheels are a lot bigger than the Bluejacket, so I could not mix and match.  The cast metal binnacles are lovely to have as complete units.



The afore mentioned wheel ropes were glued into the gun deck, emerging from a brass fitting (actually a Britannia metal strip with brass Liquid Leaf) and passed through similar fittings on the spar deck before being wound around the drum.  This was a bit tricky as alignments had to be precise.




The handles of the wheel bend at the slightest touch, and when you bend them back, they break off.  A box was constructed to protect them while work continues on the model.

Here are two views of the spar deck fittings.







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Wonderful work. You have got me thinking about this kit - I don't have the room for a fully rigged and cased sailing ship of this size but the hull is so nice it could look great on it's own with just stub masts, sort of like Model shipway's Confederacy kit. Please keep the posts coming....

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Thank you so much Tim.  As a matter of fact, the idea of making an admiralty model of my build did cross my mind.  I have the components of a display case big enough to display the fully rigged model, but what if I could make it a two-tiered display with Constitution and Confederacy in the same case?  Being a renter instead of a home owner, I also deal with limited space.  Less admirable motivations for this include the fact that I have been working on this build for almost 10 years, and that, as a novice, I am thoroughly intimidated by the prospect of making masts that have round, square, and octagonal sections.

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The  plans do indicate the presence of knightheads in the vertical elevation, but do not give much detail.  Therefore, I fashioned these after Constitution's present appearance.  Luckily, online searching for photos yielded a view of these with a sailor standing between them.  Using a figure from the Revell model, a reasonable approximation of the height could be determined.  The fairleads are strips of britannia ordered from Bluejacket with metal with holes drilled.



What looks like spots left unpainted are really blown-out highlights, honest!


The previously described layering technique was used for the stern davits.  The cleats are photo-etched brass ones provided in the kit.




The spanker boom rest was my best approximation based on photos found online.


The instructions recommend that the hammock cranes and netting be the last step in the build.  This would have meant doing these behind the shrouds, which would be extremely difficult, so I elected to do them at this time.   The cranes are photo-etched brass.



Initial painting of these was done on the sprue, with the eyes at the tops left natural so as not to impede reaving the hammock netting line through them.  The instructions suggest cutting slots in the caprail to receive these, but I chose to drill holes to receive the pins instead.  If I had been smart, I would have done this before installing the caprails.  The cranes were inserted into these holes along with wood filler, and fixed with liquid CA.  I am sure there is a better way of doing this, which I hope to discover before doing this task on a future build.



The afore mentioned box which protects the helm is visible here.  Black line provided by Bluejacket (R1654 0.020") was used for the hammock netting ropes.  It is the ideal size, big enough to be seen, yet small enough to pass through the eyes of the cranes easily. The smooth "served" appearance of the line was great.  Once in place, CA liquid was used to stiffen them and glue them to the cranes to provide much needed stability.  Bluejacket provides excellent netting which is will designed and to scale, but it is a bright white.  As the color of the netting is black in every photo of Constitution that I have seen, I went to Joann's fabric store to see if a more suitable netting was available there.  Luckily, there was a very nice netting with a 1/16" mesh which is perfect for this scale.  Constitution has used both square and rhomboid netting at one time or another.  I chose the latter.  Using a metal ruler I cut the netting into strips with a curved exacto blade, being careful to hold down the ruler very firmly so that the netting would not move while cutting was being done.  The strips were over sized, so that they could be cut to size after installation.  The strips were installed by gluing them to the inside edges of the cranes with contact cement, supplemented as needed with CA gel.  The stiffness of the netting made gluing to the ropes unnecessary except at the waist, where CA gel was used to secure the tops.  Touch up with black paint was done where needed, mainly at the eyes of the cranes, and in places where the contact cement was visible.  Here is a photo showing both the hammock nets and the chains described below.




The method used to make the chains is illustrated in the scan from the instruction manual.




The backlinks were  photo-etched brass. the mid links and toe links were fashioned from brass wire provided in the kit.  The deadeye/strop pieces are britannia metal castings.



The chainplate associated with the swifter shroud had to be bent at sharp angles.  I was at a loss as to how to do this until I noticed that jaws of one of my cutters did not close properly.  There was a small gap at the rear.  This made the perfect tool for making sharp bends in the photo-etched brass chainplate.  Pins ordered from Bluejacket (#0040) were great for simulating the bolts and for securing the back links.  Their heads fit the eyes in the back links perfectly.

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The construction of the quarter davits also involves use of the the layering procedure here to fore described.  The outer layers are 1/64" birch plywood, and the center layer is 1/16" basswood.  This gives the required 3/32" (9") width.  Two sheaves glued together provide the double block effect.  The bracket allows the davit to pivot, allowing the right angle to be achieved upon final installation.  They will be temporarily installed on the model with rubber cement, allowing their removal for rigging.


QDAVIT.thumb.jpg.4441cbad4073b2865ad0be0242e5b460.jpgthe yoke is permanently installed on the ship.  It replicates the one currently installed on Constitution.



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The boats provided by Bluejacket are resin castings.  Details include inner bulwark molding, ribs, stemson, keelson, and sternson knee.  As far as I know, Bluejacket is the only company that does this.  It save a whole lot of time.  The builder makes open waling, stern foot waling, breast foot waling, stern bench, and breast decking, thwarts and their knees, and rudder from scratch.



The whale boat castings are different in that they have a raised flooring.  This means that the thwarts, stern bench, and breast deck must be located closer to the top of the gunwales than is the case with the real boats.  I do not see how I can include thwart knees.




The boats provided in the kit originally were full of holes, presumably caused by bubbles.  Bluejacket graciously agreed to replace them.  I subsequently saw a notification on their website that it will be up to be builder to fill in holes with putty.  The whaleboat castings are great, but the pinnace was severely misshapen upon arrival.  I ran it under hot water and was able to bend it back to a reasonable shape.  I decided to attempt completion of the interior details.  The thickness of the inner components of the real boat is no more than an inch.  1/64"  plywood is thinnest wood stock I know of which, at this scale translates to 1 1/2" so some of these elements are made of 67 lb card stock, printed in the right color by a laser printer, and sprayed with fixative.  Such is the case for the open foot waling of the pinnace.




To get the details of the stern and breast foot waling, the boat plans in the instructions, which are detailed, but not to scale, were imported into Corel Draw and sized to match the casting.  Lines were drawn over the ones in the plans, then separated as a unit from the plans and superimposed over a rectangle filled with the appropriate color (to match MS bulwarks brown).  These were then printed, sprayed, and cut out to get this result:



Edges of these elements were painted bulwarks brown.  The long open foot waling strakes are to be added after the rising is in place.  


3/64" wide by .020" thick planking strips from Bluejacket are to be used to construct the rising.  The plan is to install the thwarts just below the inner bulwarks molding, with the rising just underneath.  In attempting this, a possible fatal flaw in the casting became evident.   On the starboard side, the molding deviates up and down.  It also joins the stemson at a different level than the port molding does.


1839935515_PINNACE4.thumb.JPG.74c672f1fb3225d9a812540950358db4.JPG1436007452_PINNACE5.thumb.JPG.fee6825541da464bc1a8eb95a5413622.JPG Oops!  What to do?  I have ordered another Pinnace from Bluejacket.  If that does not work out, perhaps one of the lifeboat kits from MS might work.  One of them is approximately the same size.


Meanwhile, I might as well start work on the whaleboats.  I soaked the above described planking strips in water then clamped them to be boat to get the curve.



They were subsequently trimmed and glued in place.




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Hi Kurt. Great to see your excellent work here. I am currently working on the Blue Jacket Constitution as well and I'm deciding whether or not to create the hanging shot lockers that reside between the guns. I believe you opted to leave them out. Your thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance.


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Thanks so much, Jim, for your kind words.  I left them out on the gun deck because I could not find space for them because of the knee details, and because of the manner in which I rigged the guns.  Nor did I see space for them on the spar deck because of the pinrails, and, again, because of the gun rigging.   I could not imagine fitting them under the pinrails, and still having room to belay the lines.  Also, because I am a novice, I shied away from tackling that challenge.  My hat is off to you if you pull that off.   I saw Lawrence Arnot's model when I visited the Constitution museum.  He glued them directly onto the deck.  I am following your build with great interest to see how you deal with the unique challenges posed by this kit.  I see you have completed the coppering.  It is excellent!

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Work on the whale boats continues.  Interior of the boat is painted.  Unfortunately this process reveals a plethora of little anomalies and irregularities in the casting process which I have neither the tools nor the skills to smooth out.  I have done some cleaning up with the metal castings, but resin is a different animal altogether.  The exterior will be painted just before installation on the ship.  Two of the boats will be white, and one green as is currently the case on Constitution.



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Illustrated here is my scheme for getting the detail I want for the stern foot waling, the stern bench, and the breast decking.  Scans of the plans from the instruction manual, and a photo of the boat are imported into Corel Draw and sized appropriately.  Using drawing tools, the lines in the plans are duplicated (1), then transferred to the photo (2) for  adjustments if needed.  That done, I transfer the drawing onto a background colored to match MS Bulwarks Brown (3).  This is printed out on brochure paper.  The plan is to cut them out and glue them to 1/64" birch plywood.  I have also ordered a decal making kit from Micromark.  The designs would be printed out on the decal sheet, which would be applied to the plywood which has been painted with MS Bulwarks brown.  Let's see which looks better.



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While waiting for the decal supplies to arrive from Micromark, I have gone ahead with the plan to print out the design on brochure paper, then glue it onto a 1/64" birch plywood backing to see if I could implement the plan effectively.  I made up the stern sheet foot waling, the stern sheet bench, and the breast decking and placed them into the boat casting.



I will do the same when I get the decal supplies to see which looks the best.  Incidentally, I did try to cut up a stern bench into planks, paint them, blacken the edges, then glue them back together onto a plywood backing, to see if I could pull it off at this scale.  I couldn't.  Perhaps, as my skills improve, I will be able to do that sometime in the future.  Now to do the thwarts...



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I recently came across a discussion in which there was a posting of one of my build photos to illustrate a point.  It was taken down by admin. because I had not given permission to use it.  I hereby give permission for my photos to be used.  Even if it is to illustrate what not to do, I am OK with it if it will help someone else in their modeling endeavors.

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