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USS Constitution by daddytotwo - Revell - 1:96 - PLASTIC - Here we go again!!!

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HI, I'm pretty new to the community.  I have seen some really beautiful work here and hope I can add to it.

I have recently started my 4th attempt of the Revell 1/96 USS Constitution!  Like everyone else here, I tried to assemble this model for the first time when I was a teen in the 70s but I did not have the skill or the patience required.  I tried it again while I was in the Air Force, but that was too hard to do while living in the dorms.  The third time I had either a New Bride, a New Baby, another New Baby, or basically just, life.

About a month and a half ago I saw the model in an ad on ebay, and the bug was planted again.  Now I’m about a month into the build and I have already spent A LOT more on “after market” upgrades than I’ve ever spent on a model!  Wow there is a lot of great stuff out there, and so many great craftsmen on this site!

This will be my first attempt to log a build, so bear with me, OK? I look forward to all of your advice and suggestions.


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So, I waited a month to start this log, so there will be a few posts in a row.  After that, who knows...


First, the Obligatory Un-Boxing! 

As always the box is huge and seems really flimsy, but everything look like it’s in perfect shape. 






Edited by daddytotwo
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I decided I was going to join the hull halves before painting so I would be able to work the edges first.  As many have said before, Thank You Harbor Freight for the clamps!  I used CA Glue and all the clamps I could find.  After a few days drying I ran a good bead of CA Glue on the inside.  The hull feels very solid.






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I really dropped the ball as far as pictures go while painting the hull. I will be better about that from here on. 


The first thing I did was give the hull a few coats of primer. I worked the seams and edges with putty, files and sanding between coats. Then I sprayed the whole thing Gloss Black. Why Gloss?? I decided I was going to re-create (loosely) the latest restoration in Boston. Kind of an “off the showroom floor” look. 


After the I taped off and sprayed the copper plates using a metalic paint. Next was the Red Waterline Mark, followed by the white stripe along the gun ports on the gun deck. 


About this time I drilled three holes thru the bottom of the hull and installed the model onto a block of wood.  I used Small bolts, inserted from the inside and epoxied in place. The pedestals came from BlueJacket Ship Crafters. The wood block will be replaced when the ship is complete. 




Edited by daddytotwo
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Next came all the detail painting as well as the White walls of the Gun Deck and the green walls on the Spar Deck level.  ALOT of touching up and re touching up, and a month later, and I am pretty happy with the way it is turning out.  I think she is ready for the final coats of Satin Clear Coat.  Boy does that stuff hide alot of issues!



















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Hey Daddytotwo,

Thought I'd drop by and pull up a chair. Nice paint job and I like the three pedestals and the red strip (I only used two pedestals i mean...not stripes) Just one thought at this point. Consider replacing the wood base now as it will be much easier to handle compared to trying to do it once your Connie is finished. You can always cover the wood to protect it  during construction. Just a thought and I'm full of them ....among other things...lol


What after market upgrades have you bought?


Looking forward to following your progress.


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Hey Mike!

Thanks for checking her out!  I’m glad you like it so far, thank you. I’m really happy with the way it’s coming out this time around. It’s really hard to take my time and not rush it. I’m really looking forward to getting to the rigging. 


I actually havent recieved anything yet 😂 So far I have ordered everything in HISModel’s Constitution set except any of the cannon kits or the decks. I am really excited about the full sails with studding sails, but of course, that’s the last thing I get to do! 🤦🏻‍♂️  I also ordered some extra eyebolts and some other extra metal fittings. 


I ordered some deck laminates from someone in California on eBay. I’d rather not say the sellers name until I have seen them. 


I also orded a bunch of misc blocks, deadeyes, and some cool looking Chain Plate sets for the Deadeyes on the Channels connecting the Ratlines from Model-expo.com. 


I will probably upgrade all the guns, but that is gonna have to wait till I get my allowance 😝




Edited by daddytotwo
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I got my Deck Laminate today. It looks pretty good. I figured there was NO WAY I could ever paint the decks to look realistic, so this was the next best thing. 


They are very thin and fragile, but I think when I get them glued to the decks they will be fine. The only thing that surprised me is that they are real wood, but the “plank” pattern is thermal printed on and the manufacturer’s instructions say you should not stain them. 


I painted the entire plastic deck dark brown, so that should darken them a little. They do say you should spray them with clear satin sealant so that fits right in with my “showroom” look. 



Edited by daddytotwo
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Looks Super !!!

One thing to be aware of with the satin finish...you may need to scuff up the area under the cannon carriages when you glue them to the deck. Otherwise the glue may not hold. Especially important on the lower gun deck because once the upper spar deck is installed it's a real challenge to put the cannon back where it belongs. Trust me I know. I just used liquid plastic cement (several coats) but still several cannons broke loose from the glue joints. I used plastic carriages on the gun deck as they would not be seen. On the spar deck I used the wooden carriages from HisModel. I glued spare wheels under the carriage so I would have a glue spot. I ruff up the area under the spare wheel on the deck and used Titebond wood glue professional strength that I got at the local hardware store.


Here's the spare wheel glued under the carriage for the spar deck.



Edited by MikeU48
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Thanks Man!  I saw the "spare tire" idea on your build log.  Thats a great idea. 👍 I hardly ever use the plastic cement any more.  CF Glue (Super Glue)  works really well for me, even on the painted parts.  The plastic cement works by melting the two pieces of plastic together where CF Glue actually glues the surface of the part, or paint, or whatever.  As long as you have a good top coat, you will be alright. 😉

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That deck looks really nice. I share your excitement at what aftermarket goodies

are available these days. It sounds like you have a great plan for your Connie, will be

watching as she grows to completion.



Cheers, Harley

Cheers, Harley<p 

Under Construction:    USS Yorktown CV-5 1/200 by Trumpeter                                

Completed:              USS Curtis Wilbur DDG-54 1/200 by ILoveKit

                                USS Atlanta CL-51 1/350 by Very Fire 

                                Liberty Ship John W. Brown 1/350 by Trumpeter

                                HMS Spiraea K-08 1/350 

                                 USS Arizona BB-39 1/200 by Trumpeter/Mk1 Design

                                 HMS Sir Gareth 1/350 by Starling Models

                                 USS Missouri BB-63 1945 1/350 by Joy-Yard, 9/11/21

                                 USS Indianapolis CA-35 1945 1/350 by Trumpeter

                                 USS Kidd DD-661, 1945, 1/350, on The Sullivans kit by Trumpeter

                                 USS Alaska CB-1, 1/350, Hobby Boss, Circa 2/1945

                                 US Brig Syren 1/64 Model Shipways, Wood 

Started, On Hold:  Frigate Confederacy 1/64 Model Shipways, Wood

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3 hours ago, daddytotwo said:

I saw the "spare tire" idea on your build log.  Thats a great idea.

You can really use any scrap material you have (maybe some of the wood scraps from your wood veneer deck sheets) Just make sure it doesn't elevate the carriage especially on the spar deck where the front of the cannon carriage fits on pins at the gun port opening. 

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I’ve been busy this afternoon!  I really need to learn not to rush things. 


The next step of my build is to finish the decks so they are ready to install. 


First I painted the decks a very dark brown. The manufacturer of the wood laminate said that the color under the laminate could affect the shade of the decks, so I went pretty dark.  I also figured it would help hide any spots where the wood isn’t cut exactly correct. 


I then painted the parts that that will show a light “Wood” color. 




The wood is cut so that, if you shave down the ridge on the gun deck, it will reach all the way to the edge.





I wanted to keep the ridge line to help align the cannons, so I trimmed the wood to fit and painted the outside edge of the gun deck black. 






Edited by daddytotwo
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Of coarse, I HAD to set the Spar Deck in the hull to see what it looks like! 




As I said before, there is absolutely NO WAY I could have painted the decks even close to realistic so I am very happy with the extra $$ for the wood laminate.  If anyone is interested in them, you can find them on EBay. The sellers name is “ScaleDecks”.

Edited by daddytotwo
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Well, i got some packages this weekend and **** JUST GOT REAL! 😲  The first wave of accessories from HISModels.com came in. 


The first kit is for adding the rigging for the guns:

IMG_5297 (Edited).JPG


The next kit is the Standing rigging kit:



And I also ordered the Cloth Flag Set and Draft Scales:


The flags are really nice and printed on both sides.  Too bad they are the LAST thing to go on 🤦‍♂️




Edited by daddytotwo
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Lastly, I received these Chain Plate Kits!  They look great!  I can't stand the thought of putting those big, ugly, molded chainplates that came with the kit on, since that is one of the first things that your eyes are drawn to.  This will be a challenge!

IMG_5299 (Edited).JPGIMG_5300 (Edited).JPG

Edited by daddytotwo
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I got my lighting installed on the gun deck this weekend.


Here you see an LED in the Captain's Cabin and another by the Mizzen Mast:

IMG_5273 (Edited).JPG


One by the Fore Mast:

IMG_5274 (Edited).JPG


And one by the Main Mast:

IMG_5275 (Edited).JPG

These will all be hidden by the Spar Deck.  I used Liquid Window Glass (not sure what it is really called) in the galley, so it is sort of opaque and cant be seen thru.  Any LEDs that are visible once the Spar Deck is in place will be camouflaged with Barrels, Boxes, and Canvas.


All the wiring is hidden under the Gun Deck.  You can see in the top left corner of the pic, I have 1 feed going thru the gun deck (in a corner where it will be easy to hide) that will connect to 1 final LED i am going to put somewhere close to the helm.  Still haven't figured out how I am gonna make that one actually look like a lantern.

IMG_5282 (Edited).JPG


I have a Dimmer switch in l;ine, but it turns out the LEDs don't flicker corectly until they have the full 9 volts.  I will be removing the dimmer and rewiring the battery directly to the plug.

IMG_5290 (Edited).JPG

IMG_5289 (Edited).JPG

Edited by daddytotwo
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I decided to glue the Gun Deck in, even though the instructions say not to.  Im assuming it is supposed to make it easier to install the masts, but I don't like the idea of the deck moving around with all the cannons on it.


Also, I decided not to do a lot of detail in the Captain's Cabin because you cant see thru the liquid windows I used.  I just did a quick white wash on the walls and put in a little color for affect.


IMG_5280 (Edited).JPG


IMG_5303 (Edited).JPG

IMG_5304 (Edited).JPG

IMG_5305 (Edited).JPG


Edited by daddytotwo
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Looks nice!! You made a lot of progress.


One thing to mention when you start installing items to the spar deck. I'd recommend not installing parts 51-54 (step 12) around the hole for the Fore Mast as well as parts 65 and 66 (step 12) that are by the main mast. These pinrails (to keep it simple) are there to secure rigging way down the road and they will make attaching eyebolts and deadeyes to holes in the spar deck very difficult. You may want to check the holes around the fore mast opening where the eyebolts attach (Shown in the second rigging manual) to make sure the eyebolts will fit because of the paint in this area. I like to read ahead of myself many many times in the instructions but this was one thing I missed along the way. After you attach the necessary eyebolts and rigging to these areas then it's time to glue the above mentioned parts on the spar deck.....in my humble opinion.


Keep up the good work.

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