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USS Constitution by vacotton - Revell - PLASTIC -1:96-1812 version-1st Kitbash ever.


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Hi

 

Just a further comment on the use of roots for knees.  I believe that trees were 'shaped' as they grew to form the basic shape for a variety of uses in the construction of a ships hull.  I've no idea of how this might be done but it indicates the timescales they were working to were very long - decades.  That's serious forward planning!  Can anyone confirm this - or have I been dreaming??

 

Geoff

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Geoff,

 

Knees, breast hooks, and other curved pieces (such as frame components) were selected and cut from the forms that trees naturally took on as they grew, so a knee for example may be cut from the junction of the trunk and a branch thereby taking advantage of the strength in the natural wood form.  There wasn't any manipulation of tree forms as they grew, just a good eye from the shipwrights to pick out the potential uses from the trees on offer.  That is why as stocks of timber grew scarce in the UK iron knees and fastenings were increasingly in use from the latter part of the 18th century.

 

Gary

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I made a bit of progress these last few days on the gun deck.  I started the the two fore riding bitts and the aft riding bitts.  I will finish them with 12 mm dowling, cutting them to size and placing them behind the braces.

 

Next I fashioned stanchions out of 4.7 mm dowling,  ground them into doric columns and aligned them to match the spar deck beams.

 

Finally, I built the camboose from styrene sheeting and strips.  Note the riveting. After a couple of coats of satin black paint, I hope it will be fairly believable.

 

post-5543-0-83267900-1377312181_thumb.jpg

 

post-5543-0-14091500-1377312193_thumb.jpg

 

post-5543-0-87437800-1377312201_thumb.jpg

 

 

So now I have to create the shotracks around the hatches, build the chain and elm pumps and officers' country, and paint.  Then the hopefully the gundeck will be done.  I will wait till after the gun deck is installed to build the guns.

 

 

 

Now to do a little reading from Tyrone Martin's "A Most Fortunate Ship" (2nd Ed.).  I actually got this book for 7 bucks used.  All that's wrong is no dust cover.  I would say "A Most Fortunate Find". ;)

 

post-5543-0-13776600-1377312213_thumb.jpg

 

Thanks for visiting,

Verne

Edited by vacotton
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Well, it didn't take very long to find a mistake.  It seems that there were really two rows of stanchions under the spar deck. I got the idea of a single line down the center from the Navy Tour pictures.  Apparently during a later rebuild, they removed many of the stanchions from under the spar deck.  I remember wondering at the time: Why would a designer run the stanchions down the center of the deck where the hatches were?  Well, my answer is that they didn't. Thank you Karl Heinz Marquardt for setting me straight on this.

 

In order to correct this, I will have to add missing beams across the waist of the spar deck, move the existing stanchions starboard and make the requisite amount to complete the two lines of stanchions.  Oh, and now I know why you more experienced salts hold off painting until everything is all set.

 

Does anyone know if portable stanchions were used in 1812?  

 

Thanks,

Verne

Edited by vacotton
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I'm still working out the details of the pumps and capstan Verne. It is hard to figure out where to put all the gun deck deck's furniture so they don't interfere with the Revell fittings as well. The ladders are going to have to be thought out a little more for my build and there are a couple ladders that I do not believe Revell included in the kit. Enjoy the reading. Nice price,

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Yes Dave, that is a concern.  I think that some compromises may have to be made.  As I pointed out earlier, there might have been a few things misplaced by Revell.  I built my gundeck capstan right to scale and it was about a scale foot too tall so that beautiful work up top on the real capstan had to be left off.  It is clear now why Evan built his own pumps.  And then he caught that Revell had the elm pumps in the wrong place.

 

I agree that the ladders might become a nightmare.  So from where I sit, this looks like one big guessing game juggling books, postings, drawings, pictures and intuition to try to get an accurate picture of this ship back in 1812.  I can see that 1:96 is a tiny scale to work at for the detail that we are trying to achieve.  

Verne

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Well folks,

I am done for tonight.  Couldn't resist.  Had to paint up what I have installed on the gun deck so far.  Helps me get my bearings a little.  I still have the pumps to do, the shotracks, and the quarterdeck area.  

As you can see the foredeck is complete with the fore and aft riding bitts and the camboose in place. The firepit is finished in copper with a hint of copper corrosion at the corners.

 

post-5543-0-38512100-1377493362_thumb.jpg

 

Before I go any further though, I have to do some touching up and put a satin varnish overlay on the parts.  But the gun deck is starting to populate.

 

Here are some views under the spar deck:

 

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post-5543-0-33967500-1377492508_thumb.jpg

 

And through the cutaway on the spar deck:

 

post-5543-0-50818600-1377492559_thumb.jpg

 

 

And finally down the port gun deck:

 

post-5543-0-65345100-1377492466_thumb.jpg

 

 

Thanks for your interest and all comments.  

Verne

Edited by vacotton
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Verne:

It all looks good. The riding bitts look like the current ship which uses chain anchor cable instead of rope. I don't know if they will change back to the original riding bitts or not at her next refit (scheduled to start next year I think.) I hope you are having fun with the build.

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Hi Dave,

I was wondering about those riding bitts as well.  So then, are those black drums actually the hoisting mechanisms for the anchor chain?  Do you know where I can get drawings from the 1812 era riding bitts?

 

Today I am working on the shotracks.  Tried to knock them out on my Dremel workstation.  No dice.  My power drill drifts unpredictably even when I use a punch and the bits clog up with melted styrene.  I am going to have to drill those by hand.    My thumb joints feel like they are going to explode now.  I have been living off of Aleve for the past couple of days.

 

I am looking for a push drill that will accomodate my Dremel bits.

 

As for fun, I am having intermittent bouts of panic.  This has been like going to craftsmanship school.  As I mentioned the other day, I am willing to tear things down and start over as I progress.  I am sure glad that i picked the gun deck to do first.  I had better be on my A-game for that spar deck.

 

Thanks for stopping by, Dave.

Verne

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They are stationary Verne. Thick steel over a wooden circular core with a wide spiral chain guide. I believe these were fit in the 1923 refit. I am going to include a pic of the diagram from Marquardt's AOTS. It was used by me to guide my design but I do not know if they date to 1812. It is a pertial scan and I will try to get a better one to you. I posted this earlier in my build log to show the rigging of the bitt.

 

post-916-0-96136500-1377545001_thumb.jpg

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Oh hell, John, after you boys took me to school today I tore that deck down and I'm getting ready to do it right!!  

 

Seriously, I had some issues with that gun deck anyway.  The stanchions were too high for the kit and the deck was damaged.  I won't have too much of a problem reworking it so all will be well.  So, hopefully, all of my ideas will be intact, just a little more accurate work this time.

 

I really admire that Constitution of yours.

 

Verne

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As I mentioned above, I had to start my gundeck over.  Just got done stripping and rescribing my deck.  Now it's time to come up with that "just right" color to paint so that the plank caulking shows through.  I tried using a dark brown sharpie but that was terrible.  I like that Vallejo "Deck Tan" #110 but I want to put some character into it to make the deck look holystoned but not just slab grey. Maybe an undercoat of Vallejo "Black-Grey" #168 wash that could seep into the cracks?  I think I had better experiment on a piece of sheeting first and avoid yet another disaster.

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some folks go with the dark color first.......then a lighter top coat......and then lightly sand till the darker color comes out.  one drawback to this though,  is that some of the plank detail gets lost......not to mention the tiny flecks of the plastic color that show up.  yea, it can be a never ending battle.

 

to put in detail that would be seen in these vessels,  takes time.  you kinda have to weigh out what will,  or won't be seen,  and whether or not it will benefit the construction of your build.  sometimes the  'I know it's there' idealism, is greatly over rated ;)

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Well Popeye,  I just sanded down the black-grey wash and it seemed to work albeit the deck looks old as the hills and twice as dusty, sort of like me.  I will put a coat of Vallejo Deck Tan on tomorrow, sand her down and call it good.

True story about tradeoffs and practicality.  I sort of look at this way:  It's practice and experience and that is the only way to develop skill.

Part of experience, I suppose though, is knowing when to stop.

Tomorrow is another day.

Verne

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this is true,  but I'm not one to turn a model build into the never ending story......hee....hee.   there is food for thought though.  you see,  I intend to use wood for the decks and probably the masts as well.........that's going to leave me with a lot of parts lying around.  I have been looking over the work of Dr. Dafi.......his diorama work is really nice.....and a great idea.  especially,  since I'll have these decks......I hate to throw them away.   I wish though I had a couple of extra hulls lying around..{sick thoughs}    I can't wait till I can work on this build....it's still sitting in the closet.  I have the gun deck sections already cut out and prepped,  and the platform for the stern quarters {that were omitted in this kit is set up as well.........I need to get through my other builds in progress first.

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Well guys,  I redid the deck and it will stand as it is.  Now I have a question for anybody:  Is there a way to reduce a bitmap picture of say a sailing ship or map down to 1:96 so that it will fit on the wall of the captain's after cabin?  I can't get my printer to print a jpeg that small.

Thanks,

Verne

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I agree with all the comments regarding balance between the amount of detail and amount of time spent on the detail.  So far, I have been spending lots of hours on the smallest details.  The gun deck in particular is a bit of a dilemma.  I will probably spent many hours doing the "AndyMech" method of deck detailing which nobody will be able to see...I have thought more than once that I could probably just put it in "as-is" and nobody would even notice (of course I won't do that).  The way I am justifying the gun deck detailing is that it will be my practice for the spar deck which will be much more visable.

 

Relating to the photo, I haven't done it yet, but when I do, I will let you know how.  The detail will vary depending upon your printer and type of paper used.  Also, you mentioned a "bit mapped" photo...don't start with a bit map, use tiff or jpeg.  I may experiment a bit this weekend on it.

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Rick:  I share your thoughts about building detail that no one would ever see.  I also concur that the more practice the better and I get a rush out of creating something that works.  I was thinking of taking some good pictures of the gun deck before covering it up with the spar deck.

 

John: Using MS Word is a handy tip.  Sure would beat trying to hand paint microscopic pictures.

 

Thanks, guys.

Verne

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Do you plan on lighting the captains quarters? If not, it will be very hard to see in there. I spent a lot of time picking paint colors and detailing the furniture in there, and now it's completely invisible.

 

It's still worth doing, don't get me wrong, but do it for yourself mainly. Hardly anyone else will see it!

 

Andy

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AndyMech: My neighbor completed the Victory and he lit it.  So I think I might do that too.  Either that or put a flashlight next to the ship.

 

John, using MS Word was a brilliant suggestion.  Here's what it did to the Captain's Room.

 

post-5543-0-52672900-1377748019_thumb.jpg

 

Constitution above the couch.  Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown in the Commodore's stateroom and Hull's portrait in the Commander's stateroom.  I don't know, maybe his wife gave it to him.  The other guy is there by the door because the picture was of that period and the right shape.I can see that I am going to have to get the texture of the wall under control.  Those planks fairly leap out. 

 

I also built the wardroom and Captain's pantry.  Now the Navy photos are starting to make more sense.

 

I will do some more things and then take some more pictures in the next day or two.

 

Thanks for reading.

Verne

 

 

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Verne,

I'm looking for a good reference book to start my 1812 build. Any suggestions on where to start? I'm thinking of anatomy of the ship, but I heard it could be unreliable.  Rigging will also be a chore to me although not needed now suggestions here will also help.

thanks

Joe

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Hi Joe,

Well, I have AOTS open right now and it's good enough for me.  I should have read AOTS first before making the wrong bitts.  Great diagrams.  My only criticism is that the blueprints don't have dimensions so you sort of have to guess and eyeball it.

 

The other book I bought is Commander Tyrone Martin's (USN Ret.) excellent and fascinating "A Most Fortunate Ship".  Try to get the second edition as there is a lot more facts stuffed into that book.

 

Another thing to do is to consult with the excellent craftsmen on MSW who obviously have spent countless hours researching and thinking about this vessel.  Then follow this link http://cs.finescale.com/members/jtilley/default.aspx and contact John Tilley who is a professor of history at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  He started his career as Assistant Curator for Collections at the famous Mariners' Museum in Newport News, VA.

 

Other than digging on the internet and picking other peoples' brains, that's about all I have.  If you find some more good stuff, please share with us.

 

Regards,

Verne

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