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US Frigate Constitution by shawn - Guillow balsa ship model


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I recently found and purchased a 70's vintage Guillow U-S-S-Frigate-Constitution balsa ship model on Ebay for $21.00 shipped and wondered if anyone here has built one or seen one? Any hints or tips on building it? it will be my 2nd ship model i'll be building, My first is the Albatros by Constructo...thanks loads

 

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I never knew that Guillow's produced ship kits.......I built a few of their plane kits back in the day.  is there any sort of dating on the box,  or instructions?  I'll have to do some digging when I get home tonight......looking up stuff like this is really neat!   LOL!  the only first observation I could make with this kit, would be to be very careful with sanding.......try not to use too rough a grit.  great find!

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Thanks, I was shocked seeing this kit myself as I had no clue Guillow's tried their hand at ship model kits. As far as I know according to the photo, (photo is of the actual item listed in the Ebay auction I'd won) everything is there including instructions and templates for parts that weren't die cut. I believe the date was 1975....From what I've heard so far, this was the only Ship kit Guillow made. I'm not too terribly concerned about messing up the hull while shaping and sanding as I have plenty of balsa sheet stock on hand but will do my best not to mess it up in any case. Thanks for your comments.

Edited by shawn
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Guillow's "U.S.S. Frigate Constitution" ship model kit review:

 

Specs. on box side:

""7-5/8" hull length,  1-34" beam, approximate scale: 1/26"=1'0"

Real old time model making with smooth textured, golden grain balsa wood-

The light friendly wood that is easy to shape and finish"" Copyright 1975

 

This seems to be a nice kit but it's a lot smaller than I'd realized it was going to be when I received it today. The box is about a 10 inches long by about 6 1/4 inches wide, and about 3 inches tall. The balsa is in very good shape with very minor warping, the downside is that the die cut parts are not quite cut completely through for the majority of the 5 sheets. There is a sheet A, 2 sheets B, and 2 sheets C. Kit also contains 6 small rubber bands that still seem usable, a baggy of flat toothpicks, a baggy of round toothpicks, four 10 inch by about 3/16" wooden dowels, three spools of black thread, a plastic parts sheet, a black hard rubber grommet type doodad and a card stock template for ratlines etc. and 2 full size plans with full size 4 view drawings. Sails were not included or called for with this kit although I plan to possibly add some when I assemble the kit.

 

Below are the full size plans in .jpg and full size copies of the balsa sheets using regular letter size printer paper and card stock where needed so if anyone wants to try to scratch build this kit, you should have what you need minus the plastic parts. Please leave a comment or ask any questions you may have about this kit. I'm happy to share this model with all of you and hope some of you may try to scratch build this kit.

 

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Edited by shawn
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Manufactured here in the USA by Paul K. Guillow's Inc. Wakefield, Mass. circa 1975.

kit no. 153

 

That's what it says on the box.

 

As stated, I found this on Ebay and I've seen finished auctions for the same model while doing Google searches to find out more about this kit...I couldn't find much info but I'm sure you could find one if you searched awhile online. Although it seems to be a fairly rare kit, it's not worth any real value "cash wise" I think it's a super cool kit though.

Edited by shawn
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I made copies of the plans and printed them off since the original ones in my kit are pretty brittle and was afraid they would fall apart if I used them for the build. I haven't done much with the kit yet since I decided to do a little more work on my Albatros kit first. I'll post updates though as I progress.

Edited by shawn
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I think your next kit SHOULD be this one.......from the looks of it,  I think there will more than enough of a challenge factor for you,  with quite a bit of room for a decent bash.   I have a friend that has had dealings with Guillow's in the past,  and asked him if he knew anything about it.   so far i've not heard back.   the instructions read like they were written by an experienced modeler...plenty of do's and don't's sprinkled throughout.   there's good information about paints and interactions......and believe what they say about dope......it smells the high heaven,  and without proper ventilation,  it'll have you singing the top 40 in no time flat!

 

I dabbled in Guillow's planes when I was younger......it's a wonder I didn't see kit before.....I'm sure there are others.   within the past few years,  guillow's has been working towards laser cutting......I believe most of their upper classed kit are by now.   the lower tier kits are still die cut though.....I recently bought one of their plane kit {to see if I still had it....the jury is still out on that},  and it was die cut.  I happen to have their brochure right here........all of the kits that are laser cut {they are all grouped in a series}  have an icon at the bottom corner that say they are.   those that don't,  well ........you know.

 

I am not real big on balsa as a build material.......very soft......dents and dings quite easily......and sucks up glues and paints like a sponge.   but the big thing about this one,  is the challenge factor......it's way over the top!  it has the fun factor as well......I'm sure that you'll come out of it with a fine looking model.........and with a bit of bash,  it'll be a gem!   heck......I'd like to get a copy.....can you do copies 1:1 to the kit instructions?

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Thanks Popeye, it looks like it should be a fun build and I think I'll plank the hull and deck also while I'm at it as I'm a bit concerned as well about the balsa being "dentable" plus with my carving skills with such a large piece, I would be lucky if it even almost resembled ta proper ship hul once I was done with that step.

I do have these scanned 1:1 so I'd gladly send you the copies in .jpg picture form via email...pm me your email address....if anyone else would like copies as well...let me know, I'm happy to share.

 

note: the balsa parts sheets, the plastic parts sheet and the card stock template sheet are also scanned 1:1

Edited by shawn
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I actually have this 'kit' stuck on my shelf.  I had originally thought it would be something to do with my kids but seemed a little of a stretch and got put out of the way.  Maybe pull it out for a dual build!

 

I have used balsa only once before for a ship (three masted schooner Marion Sprague by Ideal Models) and it dented when I even looked at it wrong.  I will be using basswood as a replacement.  Other than that I probably won't go too crazy in the scratch department.  I have never seen a built up model with vertical slices.

 

Mark

Edited by kruginmi
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Let's see, full on POF Druid in work (trying to finish by 1st quarter 2014), kit bash Lady Anne (previously Harvey), Billings Boats Regina (now known as Queen Anne) framed up oh so many years ago and plastic large Constitution from my Dad's estate that he had started.  Not to mention normal day activities plus #6 - the three year old.  Begin something else?  Why not.....

 

I will bring one of my son's into this one though!

 

Mark

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You can never have too many projects going on at once. I'm guessing like myself that most of us here are ADD in some way, I have at least 12 things going on at once and switch between each once boredom starts and switch to another and so on...Eventually one gets finished.

 

Let's see, full on POF Druid in work (trying to finish by 1st quarter 2014), kit bash Lady Anne (previously Harvey), Billings Boats Regina (now known as Queen Anne) framed up oh so many years ago and plastic large Constitution from my Dad's estate that he had started.  Not to mention normal day activities plus #6 - the three year old.  Begin something else?  Why not.....

 

I will bring one of my son's into this one though!

 

Mark

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I started building the model this evening and finished the hull as per instructions. It was a nice build so far but wasn't happy with with a few places up where the sides meet the deck.I plan to add a few filler pieces to help blend the sides with the deck better. I will post more as I go further with the build.

(Note:) The small cuts in the front, rear and bottom were already in the pieces for alignment purposes and not done by me...So with that said, those areas along with many other areas will need a thin layering of balsa filler and sanded out. I plan to plank the entire hull anyway so I may not even bother with the filler.

 

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Edited by shawn
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""Either those are some really really big paper clamps, or she's a very petite little thing.   ;)


Mark""


 


Yes very petite. 1:300


Specs. on box side:


""7-5/8" hull length,  1-34" beam, approximate scale: 1/26"=1'0"


Real old time model making with smooth textured, golden grain balsa wood-


The light friendly wood that is easy to shape and finish"" Copyright 1975


Edited by shawn
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I never knew there was such a thing as a "foam on the bottom" type of ale...probably kind of like not many know Guillow's once tried ship modeling.

 

Side note: It seems I've advanced to Midshipman, pretty cool

Edited by shawn
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you started it....cool!  that signature die cut look......like the parts were cut with a dull blade {puckered wood}.  I remember it well :)  yea,  sanding will bring it down quick.....careful not to use too aggressive a grit.   looking good though......are you going to do something with the view of the gundeck below,  through the opening on the spar deck?

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that signature die cut look......like the parts were cut with a dull blade {puckered wood}.....are you going to do something with the view of the gundeck below,  through the opening on the spar deck?

 

Thanks Popeye, it's sure a far cry from todays laser cut parts. Even Guillow's is retooling a lot of there old kits into laser cut which I think is great, most of the time parts from diecut panels are nearly useless. I'm not sure why they have that cut out area in the deck since in the plan, they have you completely cover it up with the large lifeboat but I may do something else with that area, not sure yet. I know right now it looks kinda crappy where I filled in the spaces I'd mentioned in my previous post but I think it will be just fine once sanded out and planking will cover all of it up anyway.

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