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DougA

USS Consitution by DougA - Revell - 1:96 - Plastic - Second Time around, 35 years later

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Hello,

 

I built plastic scale models during my youth.  Mostly WWII aircraft and ship.  I built them mostly to play with, not to display.  I grew up in the late 60's and 70's and WWII fascinated my friends and me.  I eventually grew out of the hobby and proceeded with life.  Now in my mid fifties I fondly remember the fun I had with the kits.  I'm able now to relax a bit and re-enter the hobby now with the means to do it right.  I built the Connie when I was 12 or 13 and did what I thought at the time was a decent job however now I realize it was pretty sad.  That original model has long been scuttled and I intend to rebuild it and do a much better job.  I hope to journal the process here on this forum and receive tips and advice on how to best do things and to ask questions.  There will be questions!  Thanks for the opportunity to do this and thanks in advance for all your expert advice.  I have been visiting this site for a week or so and I'm impressed with its content.  The kit should arrive today.  I have readied a suitable work area and have bought what I hope is enough tools and equipment to begin.  I have promised myself that I will take my time and do things well.  My wife is very supportive which does help!  So Here I go... I will update this thread as a progress.  Please do not hesitate to add constructive criticism anytime it is necessary, I am always receptive to people better at something than me.  With all of this said, and sorry for the rambling....Let's begin this journey...

 

Thanks

 

DougA

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Thanks Robert! 

 

The kit JUST arrived.  Inspecting the contents now.  Going to spend the rest of the day and evening reading the booklet and planning my attack.

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Congratulations !!! A great kit with very good detail. Mine is on a holding pattern. I had to step away from her and try to learn some needed skills with some other models. I hope to get back to her in the near future. Here's a good book to pick up if you do not already own it. "The 44-Gun Frigate USS Constitution 'Old ironsides' (Anatomy of The Ship) " by Karl Heinz Marquardt. It has a lot of reference diagrams along with history of the ship.

Edited by Fright

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You didn't ask for my advice , so... I'll just give it to you  😇 😇Strongly consider replacing the masts and spars with wood. The plastic stuff will get brittle and therefore delicate over time. The LAST thing you want is the be very nearly finished and bust a topgallant or the jib boom! (ask me how I know) Actual wood is readily available and when you consider the prep time necessary to make the plastic spars look good (filling ejector marks, removing mold lines) you could have wood masts and spars that look really good, are more robust by far and provide a strong sense of accomplishment. Also consider replacing the rope with better quality and blocks with wood- Model shipways is one company among several that can provide wood blocks and deadeyes. The deck can also be planked- use super thin wood and gel super glue. This step will solve the problem of hiding the seperation lines of the 3 part deck. I tell you plainly; these simple upgrades are all out of proportion to the impact and appearance of the completed model. Also 'Fright' above recommended some reference materiel. I wholeheartedly concur. You don't want to get into the model, get hung up on some technical problem and be delayed for lack of readily available(and affordable) reference material. As you may imagine the super people on this site are also eager to help.

     I think it is important to decide early on just how far down the 'resto-mod' pathway you will go. I feel the best ship model is the completed one. Case in point- there are build logs of the Wanderer whaling ship that shows extensive modifications but the build is proceeding, DAFI is redoing the HMS Victory (Heller) and I've been following it with avid fascination for years now - progress is SLOOOOOWWWW. It is a matter of compromise as in all things.

Ultimately HAVE FUN!😆😆😆

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Steve has offered some good pointers and tips. I purchased my line from Syren Ship Model and Cottage Industry Models. I was not happy with the seam lines from the three-part deck so I purchased my deck from Scaledecks.com on Amazon at a special price. I also reinforced the underneath of the deck seams by gluing plastic styrene strips. Run a good thick bead of cement all along the inside of hull seam. This, along with the reinforced styrene will prevent hull separation when it comes time to install the decks. 

Once again, like Steve mentioned, how much detail and time do you wish to put into your build depends on you. I have spent two years working on and off and I have finally installed the gun deck. I added lights and made some modifications before I had to step away for a while. Oh yes, I have learned quite a bit in these eight years of modeling and I am so thankful for the help that has been given to me from fellow modelers in these sites. Big lesson is take your time. Completing this ship is a challenge and your goal. I wish you smooth sailing and good adventures with this ship! 

Edited by Fright

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Wow, you guys are amazing - so much information already!

Last night I did some prep work and glued the two halves of the hull - puttied a little bit and will sand it in a few hours.  I hope to lay down a primer on the hull today as well.  I hope to upgrade the rigging and everything associated with it.  I would like to recreate sails using actual material, can material be glued over the plastic sails that come with the ship and then weathered with some diluted paint?  What is your best ideas on making realistic sails.  I really want it to be rigged with the sails in place - thanks in advance.

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I'm fairly new at modeling myself (since 2011) but I've read articles and posts from several modelers on material used in making sails. Kleenex, silkspan, and cloth material. I used rolled up Kleenex to create furled sails on mt Capt. Kidd kit that I used for practice. I used a nice canvas colored linen that I picked up at JoAnns for my wooden Bluenose. I tried laying material over my pre-formed plasic sails using a 50/50 mix of water and glue to try and get the detail work to transfer but I was unsuccessful with my attempt.

Will you be doing full sails or furled sails on your Connie? There are a lot of articles on this subject but I found these two to be very helpful for me in making sails. Look up a gentleman by the name of Tom Lauria on Youtube or on ModelShipWorld.com. Another great article is by a modeler who goes by the name of Landlubber Mike on this site. Here's a link to his method of sail making: 

There is a good build of the Constitution by Force9. These are just my favorites that I've found along the way. The excitement builds as we await some of your pictures with your progress. Cheers and a good weekend!

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Troops,

 

I made some small steps today.  I need some supplies and Hobby Lobby is closed today so I did some little things.  I taped off and prepped the hull and laid down a primer on the lower section that will be copper colored.  I also primed the canons.  I'm torn between the basic black canon most modelers do and maybe doing something a little more interesting.  I am not married to the entire historic accuracy of this build.  I want to be accurate in most things but would like to take some artistic liberties in some areas.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to install the Dish Network on the spar deck but I hope no one is offended if i add a bit of splash to the canons...When I have one done to my satisfaction I will post a pic and you guys can tell me what you think.  I would like your thoughts on the decks.  I would like it as realistic as possible.  I found some nice scale laser cut wood decks online for 85$ - not sure I can justify spending that.  I have seen discussion on "weathering" the Out-of-the-Box decks but I don't know if I could do a good enough job.  Does anyone have a technique they prefer?

 

Again, Thanks in advance.

 

DougA

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I remember the excitement of opening up my ship upon it's arrival. It's pretty overwhelming for a plastic model kit. Wow - your preformed sails took a beating from that support brace. I guess I was fortunate to only have one of my sails arrive with some damage done to it.

Here's a well made video that was made on this man's build:

 

Edited by Fright

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That was a well done video.  I enjoyed it.  

 

I worked on decks last night.  I will post some picture later today.  I'm pleased with the results.  I was able to create a planking effect on the plastic using some tips I saw on a few videos.  The "wood" is lighter than most I have seen for the Connie but I like the look of the way the planks fit and are not uniform.  Again, Historic Buffs will probably scoff, but it is the look I was hoping to create.  I have been painting the copper plating of the hull for 2 days now.  I'm almost there.  Trying to create a "old penny" appearance rather that a bright, shiny "new penny" look.  I have a few more details to achieve and I will post pics of that as well.  I bought some material for the sails, I would like to start experimenting with that project soon.  I have some ideas I want to try.

 

Onward and upward,

 

Capt. Doug

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It's been a few days - I'm not ready to post pics of the decks yet....I'm trying something a little unconventional. I have high hopes and I like the effect so far.  Very time consuming....The main part of the hull is painted.  I need to tape off and do some of the upper hull work.  I'm pretty pleased...I promise pics soon, just taking my time and have a blast!

 

"The sea was angry today my friend..."

 - George Costanza

 

Until later, 

 

Capt. Doug

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Crew,

 

I've taken my time and am now ready to post a few pics.  I have completed the decks and will disclose my process if anyone is interested.  If no one speaks up I'll understand that no one likes the look I achieved.  I am pleased with it.  It's a distressed look that may or may not be accurate but I could see decks looking like this at some point.  Let me know your thoughts.

 

Until the ocean stills,

 

Capt. Doug

 

IMG_2253.jpg.45648033b1845b526eba31b6492760fd.jpgIMG_2254.jpg.aeadf1c5adb42b2acdb996d2036c2da7.jpgIMG_2255.jpg.80003a66be49c304f55b454338992f56.jpgIMG_2252.jpg.d566a3abc11e3ed97f2a702c87fc51b6.jpg

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A really nice job on the weathering. I'll take you up on the offer of how you achieved this look. ;)

 

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I actually used wood.  I used the smallest wooden hobby sticks I could find, snipped the rounded ends off and glued them to the plastic decks.  I used a really small drill bit and hand drilled the nail holes (not all the way thru the plastic) - Sanded the heck out of them once all were laid and rubbed on a Minwax stain, very lightly.  I realize I've raised the deck by a little over 5 inches in scale but I will deal with that later....I like how they look. 

 

To reach a port we must set sail - Sail, not tie at anchor - Sail, not drift.

     - Franklin D Roosevelt

 

Until later,

 

Capt. Doug

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