Jump to content

Enterprise Maryland 1799 by Rowboat - FINISHED - Constructo - Scale 1:51

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Rowboat said:

Is it normal to have to put filler on the 2nd planking or do I just need to do a better job?

"Better job" is the correct answer, and Sam has given you the proper advice. To that I would add, "Don't use flash photography when taking pictures for MSW," because that always makes the gaps show up worse than they appear in real life. Ask me how I know this. 😟



Link to comment
Share on other sites



First, Wow what a great example of planking ! And that's a close up picture.

Mine is not close to that, maybe if viewed from a distance, lol.

I'll be spending more time on trimming, beveling and fitting trying to attain that level of accurateness.


Thanks for the info and pic.

Edited by Rowboat
adding text
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Next, on to the cannon ports.

I kept it simple. Used a cutout of from the plans of the deck. Supported it with extra planks.

Take a look.




Then I used a caliper to mark the locations of the cannon ports.



Port side cannon ports marked.


Using the calipers I measured the length of the ports , marked and completed the cannon port drawings.

Ready for cutting out.





Followed the same process for the starboard side, I did have to turn the deck cutout over and make some marking as reference points.




Overall the process went smoothly, though I did break off the top of my stem :(


Next post will be the cutting out of the ports.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Rowboat,

First  -  That planking is neat.   Good job.     Like the contrasting colours.

Second   -   Why didn't I think of your method for marking out the gunports.

Like most good ideas it's simple and it works.   Much simpler than what I usually do.


This is turning into a good looking build.


Keep safe,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Drilled the holes out for the cannon ports.

Started with an 1/8th inch steel bit but it started smoking after awhile.

Switched to some bits I picked up on Amazon, WaylinTop 50pcs PCB Drill Bits.


Did a great job of drilling through the wood, did break one but there are 5 bits for each of different sizes.



Also started cutting out the port "squares", using a small chisel and knife.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started cutting the port frames and installing.

Did not like what I was seeing ....



Those squares were horribly out of square.

Took another modelers suggestion of gluing some sand paper to a square surface.

Here's my tool, functional but not pretty. The width is just enough to fit into the cannon ports.



Spent some time with the new tool, knife, and small metal file squaring the ports.

I am happy with the results.





A close up picture reveals some flaws still.


Here's the solution I used to fill in the gaps.

Again, this idea is from another modeler.


Sanded down a plank I used for making the frames.


Make mix of glue with some water.


Applied liberally around the ports. First the glue and then added the sandings.

Pressed the sandings into the holes as best as possible.






Then sanded with 100 grit sand paper.



Perfect, no way, but much better than my initial looking ports.

In case you forgot what they started like, here's the picture again.


I may add another round of sandings to the ports but overall they look much better to me, and that's what counts :)




Edited by Rowboat
removed text
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SIDEWAYS SAM said:

Hi Rowboat,

First  -  That planking is neat.   Good job.     Like the contrasting colours.

Second   -   Why didn't I think of your method for marking out the gunports.

Like most good ideas it's simple and it works.   Much simpler than what I usually do.


This is turning into a good looking build.


Keep safe,



Thanks Sideways, it is starting to come along.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thought I would post a picture of some of tools I use as a reference to any other newbie ship builders.

The costs runs between 5 - 30 US dollars.

Most of the tools came from Harbor Freight, the poor mans hobby shop..

The black knife has a fine tooth blade that does a great job of making cuts through the wood. This item I did buy at my local hobby shop and it's worth the $16 I paid.

 As well, most of the colored clamps in my previous posts came from Harbor Freight.

Not advertising for that company just passing on information.




These cutters tend to squeeze the wood so don't use them much. I think they are made to crimp the wood so it can bend but I couldn't get it to work like I wanted.


Edited by Rowboat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The next step in the manual was add some support timbers around the cannon port holes.

The number 42 calls for some wood that is 1mmX3mm.

So back to the mill house.


This will be close enough.


Measure, cut, glue and clamp.


Finally the finished look.

The inside of the hull had some areas that bowed in so sanding was required before attaching the timbers.

Also notice I cut out the scuppers. They had been covered with the second planking and I forgot about them.




In the next post I'll discuss the cannon and carriages that came with my kit.

Later, Rowboat out.


Edited by Rowboat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, cannon making .... or not?


First the manual image of what should be in the kit.



Now, here's what I got.

Notice that the base fitting for the carriage is trapezoid shaped not rectangular like the image above.

Also the wheels are completely different, worse I'm short 2 wheels ... DSC01370.thumb.JPG.93cb57bc4389de8933734f976ddd5056.JPG

Not happy about the missing brass wheels as that will be difficult to find.

I decided to put one together, here's what I ended up with.






I attached the wheels underneath because if I put them on top of the base they would not touch the ground.


I am not pleased with the look, any comments?

I put it on the ship just to see if it would look and better....




Question: Did they have cannons with brass wheels in 1799? IF so would they be on a cannon carriage?


Should I try to get these to work or scrap them and look for a better solution?


I think I put them together correctly but it is my first time, maybe I got it wrong.


Thanks for any input on this issue.


Aye, Aye matey........




Edited by Rowboat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow, those are really poor quality guns! Which is a knock against the kit, not you of course. If you want to upgrade, you can get replacement barrels and carriages from a number of suppliers (not taking vagaries of current shipping situation into account). Given the size of the ship, something like either 4 or 6 pounders is probably appropriate, or perhaps even carronades.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with Chris.  Your build quality deserves better than the kit bits supplied.

Research first to find appropriate style, size and time slot for cannon

to suit this build.   Check if iron or wooden wheels are correct also,

carriage style.   When you have all the relevant information compare

with supplied material.  If you can alter to be more authentic then alter.

If not and, it bugs you, you will have to replace.

I agonise over using kit supplied cannon on every build.

Usually replace.  At a scale of 1:51 they will stand out more.


Good luck,




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started working on the bowspirit.

The first thing I needed to do ( actually measuring was the first) was to taper the dowels.

I have a Harbor Freight table top lathe I purchased a few years ago, never used.

So I watch a few videos and started the latheing process.

Here's a few pics.


Not the best looking bow spirit but sanding helped.


Overall it took about an hour but this was my first time.

I kept thinking I could hand sand faster.

I still have the mainmast and foremast so we'll see if the process goes any faster and looks any better.


Here's my first mistake with the bowspirit. Don't pay attention the the larger end piece, I just haven't cut it to off yet.


See how nice and straight everything is ...... well that's wrong! Wish the instructions would have described this process better.

The pieces actually need to connect at angle so that when mounted the brown connector is pointed close to 90 degrees up and down. When I mounted this unit as is the connector was more like 45 degrees.


Here's some pics.

Sorry for the blurry image, just showing the angle I needed to cut into both holes.


Also the instructions call for mounting 2 small 2X2X5 mm pieces on the bowspirit though they don't exactly tell where they go.

This is my best guess. Notice the one near the bow of the boat, I think it's used later when we tie off the bowspirit.

Here the connector is much closer to 90 degrees similar to the plans.


A litle more sanding and then on to the next step.




Edited by Rowboat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some information on cannons discussed that the carronade cannons were typically on top deck and the regular cannons below deck.

I think I might just make mine regular cannons.

I cut some small wheels for dowels and the wheel size looks ok, smaller front larger back wheels.

Thus, I know I can make the wheels if necessary.


Question: would I drill the holes before cutting or after.

If done before, I would be afraid the small wheels would just come apart in the table saw.

If done after, holding those small wheels while drilling seems like an issue.

I guess I'll figure it out when/if I get around to it.


Taking some more time on this issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next I need to put some eyebolts in the bowspirit.


Here's what the manual calls for.



Here's what I got in the kit. ..... 0 , nada, nothing ! Actually I did find some in a back, not enough for the entire build but enough to start.


Since  the manual shows the size as 7mm , I ordered some.

Only they are 9mm total, 7 mm to the eyebolt and very small.



Not sure if these are the right size, Any one have thoughts?


There is an issue with font size and underlining of text on this web site. Not sure why it happens but sometimes this app underlines my text and/or changes the font size.

Maybe an administrator can look into it.


Between the cannons and now the eyebolt's I'm ready for a change.,






Edited by Rowboat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Decided to change up things and have some fun.

I wanted a docking station/ship holder thingy.... lol.


After looking around I found something I liked.

Took this picture off the web and thought it would do both, hold the ship and act as a docking station.DSC01410.thumb.JPG.c1f050fb982f0333de8856a4d7c99c2a.JPG


Here's my progress after a few hours. I should have taken more pictures as I developed this docking station, but didn't think about it till now.


Here's another image from the web of the design I'm working towards.


Those images motivated me to keep going. Once this dries it's ready for the ship :)


Testing if the keel fits my dock.


Finally the glue dries and the clamps come off.






Well, how did I do?



Wait, you thought I was done. No way, need some support timbers.



Both sides now have supports beams.



Now my ship has a place to call home.





Still needs some finishing touches but I'll get to that later.


It took about 3 days working 4 to 5 hours a day.

I had a lot of fun and enjoyed the project.


Later mates ......


Edited by Rowboat
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris and Sam,


Thanks for the input on cannons and their carriages.

I will attempt to make some wheels, axle and a little redesign and see what it will look like.


Currently though I'm building the masts.

This time I just used a drill and sandpaper as opposed to the lathe.

Turns out the drill was much faster.



On the masts my kit was missing the round pieces that meet where the deck and the mast join.

Ended up making my own, to get the center I just used the original to mark the circle and then drilled pilot holes all around the marking.

Used the xacto knife to cut the center out and sanded. Mine is the one on the square between 5 and 6.



Test fitting shows a good job.


On to the mast holes for the ship.

I initially pre-drilled small holes when the decking went on so I know where they go.

Not sure when is the correct time to drill the mast holes completely, I just chose this time.


I used a drill press for accuracy.

First I started with a level surface.



Then I added the ship.


Then I crossed my fingers and drilled. The blue tape on the drill bit is my mark as to the farthest I want to drill.




Edited by Rowboat
added to post
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't mean to cut that last post so abruptly, something came up.


To continue .... fitting of the masts.


Not to bad, I'll glue them in later when it's appropriate.


I did spend some time working on the trestle trees.  The plans called for drilling out the ends for some eyebolts.

I did split the end of one of the separators but glue resolved the problem.DSC01429.thumb.JPG.bf2bffe7666878a0aa6b98c1c47a9433.JPG

The plan is different than how the manual shows them made. In the manual all three separators are the same length and they have holes drilled through them for rigging lines.


If anyone remembers I started this build without the manual ( and lots of missing pieces), I was gifted a manual from a fellow ship builder.👍


Their model must be slightly different than mine, so I need to be wary of just following the manual.

Here's a pic showing the issue.


Those rigging lines are tied nicely, I need to see if there are instructions on how to do this.

I'm accepting any offers on knot tying tips  ....  😉


I think next steps are building rails on the poop deck. Will need to mill the wood for that first.


Rowboat out.


Edited by Rowboat
added text
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Started work on the poop deck.

Added the rails and railings.

First measured, cut, sanded....



Prepared the ship ....



... finally glued everything.


Also attached the back of the poop deck.


I'm liking the docking station I built, stabilizes the boat while working on it.

Easy to take off and put back on which I had to do when I installed the rudder.


From the view below, the wales show that I need more experience on the planking the aft section.

I don't think you're supposed to see the ends of the wales. Not sure what I could have done as the aft section had a 2mm first plank and then a .5 mm second plank whereas the wales are 2mm on top of the 2mm 1st planking. So I'm looking at a 1.5 mm variance.


The rudder took a little damage upon instillation, will need to repair that.


The attached rudder handle.


Next step, the ship's beakhead.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I have mentioned before, the model I have did not have a manual, but I was gifted one later in the build.

The manual, sometimes, is different than the build plans.


This is the case with the beakhead.

Here's a picture of how the model's beakhead should look.


Looking at the image above, the two metal parts are the top head rail and the lower head rail.

If you look closely on the stem you can see 2mm wire, this represents the cheek rails.

The cheek knees, where the cheek rails connect at the bow, seem to be made of wood.


These parts make up the beakhead for this model.

However, the manual is completly different, there are no metal parts or wire making up the beakhead, everything is wood.


I decided to go with the manual first because the metal head rails are brittle and break easily ( yep, I did that 🙄 ) and secondly I like the manual's look better. Lastly, the manual's build better supported the stem, which I've already broken countless times 😡.


The cheek knees were made following the manual's instructions.DSC01467.thumb.JPG.b6f9a5291be8644980e8730bd4135242.JPG

Next, I needed to fix my broken stem.

Here I added the top portion of the stem but still need to add filler to support the upper cheek rail.



Next I mapped out where I wanted the cheek rails to go, somewhat mirroring the manual.




Made a few jigs, and added the cheek rails.




Next, build the head rails, one on each side.

The manual shows the head rail with a timber rail attached.

This is my design, using the metal parts from the kit to add support.

The metal part will eventually get painted and will be the side that points toward the ship, the wood side is what will be displayed.



Waiting for the head rails to dry.


That's about it for now.




Have a great Memorial Weekend, stay safe.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Firstly the build look great.


I am replying to your post hoping that somehow you read it. I have just brought the same ship kit - USS Enterprise, and I also don't have the instruction booklet. I have tried buying it from ebay, and everywhere else and while searching the web I stumbled upon this thread and I was hoping perhaps you could help me?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Work on the ship has slowed do to "honey do lists" or as millennials may say, HDL.


Cut to length the cat rails and drilled out some holes. On the end with a single hole I'll be inserting a wood pin to bind the two pieces together.

The 4 holes are close together but a close up will show their is separation between them.


These pics are a bit blurry but they show the separation of the holes.

I was trying to use one hand to hold the rail while taking the picture with the other, harder to do then I thought.


Since I'm posting blurry pictures 😅, heres one of the cat rails being put in place and how I use a stick of wood to make the wood pin to hold the butt joints together.



Next I'll start on the channels for the chainplates.

Here's one ready to be attached to the hull.

The timber is curved on one side to match up to the ship's hull at the point where it will be placed.


Before gluing them to the hull I drilled two holes in each one and then drilled corresponding holes on the ship.

Put a small nail in the holes and then cut off the rest leaving about 1/2 inch, which will go into the ship hull.

This should add some extra support.





Looks like the next few weeks will be spent making and attaching deck pieces.


Rowboat out.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking good! The kits out of Spain (Constructo, Artesania Latina, Dikar, OcCre) have always tended to have an eye-pleasing variety of woods for modelers who like to leave their builds in the natural. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...