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Tidbinbilla

U.S.S. Constitution by Tidbinbilla - Model Shipways

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With some trepidation, I've started the build on this kit.  I was going to wait until this winter (when I do most if not all my modeling) to begin but decided to get an early start.  This is a bucket list endeavor.  I built two of the Revell plastic kits back in the 60's and out of that experience dreamed of building a proper wooden model.  I'm just a beginner modeler so I'll be stretching my skills to do a good job.  I've completed three models :  U.S.S. constitution and H.M.S. Victory cross-sections and the H.M.S. Victory bow section.  I consider these to be practice in preparation for this model.  To assist me, I purchased Robert Hunt's practicum which really fills in the gaps left open by the MS instructions.  Also, I'm following about five build logs in this site.  So with them and all the other useful information on the forum, I just make a good go of it.

 

So far, I'm assembling the center keel, keel, stern and stem.  Pictures to following once I finished the clean-up.

 

Thanks,

 

Tidbinbilla

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Good luck with the build, looking forward to seeing your progress.

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Gidday Tidbinbilla and a warm welcome from the Land Downunder.

You have found a site where there is a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Most members will freely offer encouragement and practical advice.

I am looking forward to your photos and wish you all the best in your endeavours.

Mark.

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Well, I finally began building this model.  First thing I did was make a complete copy of all the plans.  I like to keep the originals intact and use the copy for templates, notes, etc.  Besides following what others have said in their logs, I'm also using Robert Hunts practicum.  Nothing too dramatic so far.  The keel went together easily.  There was one moment when I was going through the bulkheads.  On four of them the letters were clearly burnt into the wood but the rest where not to be found.  I set Sheet 1 on a table and tried to match up the bulkheads to their corresponding outline.  I thought I had them identified.  But a few days later when I was closely examining one of the bulkheads under a bright light, I could make out a faint impression of the missing letter!!  I only had two wrong!  The problem was now solved. 

Before gluing the bulkheads to the keel, I started my initial faring.  I used a sanding drum on my drill press to remove the material.  It worked just fine.  When gluing the bulkheads I used a small square to align it.  If it was off, I just clamped the square to the keel and left it there until the glue was set.

Next it is on the to filler blocks...

 

Pleas excuse the poor quality of the attached photos...

 

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I thought an update is in order.  Found time this summer to spend on the model.   I've been following Bob Hunt's Practicum, along with various blogs on this site.  All have been very helpful!  This is an advanced model and by all considerations way above my skill level.  But with lots of help, I've been taking my time and plugging along.  No major drama so far.  I have determined that framing is similar to that I did working construction during summer vacation while in college.  I rather enjoy planking.  I'm going to give it a rest for a couple of weeks while I attend to domestic duties.

 

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Ah, the Connie.  What American does not love this ole gal.  I have a couple of times, started to order this kit and then think, hey you have the Marine Models version that is the same scale but with a solid hull, well 2 really, one is Bass Wood, the other Mahogany of which I will mount as a Lift Model on a Board.  I also lucked up and acquired a piece of wood from her during the last refit.  I still do not know exactly where I will use, but a part of the real will be apart of the build!  Your hull looks great.  As you already know, most of the kit is Bass Wood.  Might I make a suggestion, if you can, look at acquiring Box Wood.  You will love how the stuff works and does not split or crack.  I also like Holly and Pear.  I lucked up and several years placed a large order with sadly now, Hobby Mill.  I really miss that fella, he was a 1st class act.  Anyway, you will be surprised at just how clean and sharp the wood looks.  My plain was until I found out how hard and the dust can kill ya, use ebony, Box and Pear on mine if I ever get around to the build.  But please do not take what I am saying as neg against Model Shipways supplied wood, it is all good.  But if you every venture out from just what comes in a kit, you will see what I am talking about.  Looking forward to more of your build.

Rick😎

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Welcome to the group. It looks like you are off to a good start. Hang in there and take your time. It is a long build. Have fun making sawdust.  

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It is time for a little progress report.  Following Bob Hunt's Practicum, I've been working on the spar deck and lower gun ports.  It went fairly well.  No real drama.  I completed the chapter on one side as a a sort of learning guide before starting the other.  The masts are just sitting in the mast partners - final alignment is forth coming.

 

 

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It looks like you're doing an excellent job on her.  I like your use of two standard mini-vises in lieu of a purpose-build keel vise.  I like the Constitution as a subject because it's a ship you can still go see today.

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Just discovered your build and it looks great. I too am using Mr. Hunt's practicum, as it is a valuable resource. I could not have built my first square rigged ship, Rattlesnake without it. Just be aware that he is not infallible, he makes mistakes, and he does simplify some of the detail which may or may not be to your liking. In my Connie build, I am using his practicum as a guide and not the bible as I did with the Rattlesnake. That's partially because I am adding as much detail as I can to the gun deck which he, and the Shipway instructions covered up with a fully planked spar deck.

 

I use a lot of reference photos of the actual ship to guide me and I assume you will too. The Shipway kit is based on the 1926 restoration which NOT how the ship looks today. So make sure when you are looking at a photo, it is reflecting the proper time frame of your model. A good example of this is the topgallant rail. It was installed in 1926 but has been subsequently removed.

 

I look forward to seeing future installments of your build log.

 

Jon

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Just a little update.  I've been having fun planking the spar deck.  I was intimidated by the need to taper the planks.  Several different methods are suggested on how to do this.  After several failed attempts, I ended up just making the taper with a straight edge and then used a sanding block to remove the excess wood.  It went fairly easy after that!  This kit did not have enough stock to finish the deck, so I'm waiting for the postman to bring me some more along with a few other items.  My next post hopefully will show a completely finished spar deck!

 

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You build is looking good.  Off to a great start.

Will be following you progress!

 

 

K

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Well, I finished planking the spar deck.  I used that same procedure that will be used when planking the hull, so this was good practice for me.  

I gave a lot of thought as to how I wanted to finished the deck - to leave it natural or to stain it per Bob Hunts Practicum.  As you can see, I went for the latter.  The major factor in my decision was artistic.  I think all the deck details, esp. rigging is highlighted by the darker deck.  I spent time studying the USS Constitution's deck color via its website.  I saw gold highlights in there, so I gave the deck some golden oak stain before applying the grey and brown.  I may give it a black wash as a final touch-up.

 

Next up:  I choose not to do the main and topgallant rails per the BHP.  My hands are quite steady, so detail painting does not bother me.  I will install the two rails before moving on the planking the hull.

 

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Edited by Tidbinbilla
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