Jump to content

USS Constitution Cross Section by AndyMech - FINISHED - Mamoli - Scale 1:93


Recommended Posts

Hey anyone,

 

Since I finished my Revell 1:96 Plastic Constitution in the spring, I've been wanting to get into wood modeling.  As I've only been a plastic modeler to date, I was a bit apprehensive as it feels like a whole new skill set (which I don't have).  I've done nothing with wood, other than trim a few tree branches along the way.

 

So, with that in mind, my first wood ship was the Midwest Peterboro canoe (at 1:12).  It took maybe 6 weeks to do (I never seem to do any of this fast), and here's the result:

 

post-308-0-69029900-1377393160_thumb.jpg

post-308-0-20906500-1377393161_thumb.jpg

 

Next up, I needed more experience.  I have a Syren kit "on deck", but don't feel ready to tackle that yet.  I felt a cross section would be a good next step up in complexity, as it involves some planking, some deck furniture, some masting, etc.  A little bit of everything and with a ship I know pretty well from the Revell model.

 

So, taking advantage of a nice sale by ModelExpo, I purchased the Mamoli USS Constitution Cross Section at 1:93, so very close in scale to my full ship plastic build.

 

I'll detail the build step by step and stick to the instructions as best I can.  I'll also be using some fine builds here on MSW to guide my progress.  Suggestions and criticism welcome - I'm a wood novice so I'm especially interested in tips, tricks, best practices, painting suggestions, etc.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

Andy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok,

 

Into the build - the first steps are setting up the frames.  Mamoli provides spacers (although not quite enough).

 

post-308-0-38233500-1377393414_thumb.jpg

post-308-0-91053300-1377393414_thumb.jpg

post-308-0-34260500-1377393415_thumb.jpg

post-308-0-67012400-1377393415_thumb.jpg

 

I did find the instructions a bit lacking - I didn't realize the need for spacers near the keel and added them in afterwords.

 

post-308-0-68557600-1377393437_thumb.jpg

 

Finally, added the false keel.  This is supposed to be 72mm long but was only 70mm, so I had to center in the hull.  Not a big deal I don't think.

 

post-308-0-12531300-1377393438_thumb.jpg

 

I'm pretty nervous about making mistakes, so I tend to measure 47 times before cutting or gluing.  Which brings me to my next wood related question, for anyone listening:  I'm supposed to cut a bit off the bulkheads to make space for top deck furniture - I don't think my #11 hobby knife is up to the task.  Any tools (saws or chisels) that would make this an easier job?  I'm going to be cutting a fair bit as this progresses, so I don't mind buying a good tool, just need to know what that might be.

 

Thanks,

 

Andy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Terry - thanks.  I did buy a set of saw blades a while back for a different project, but they don't fit my Excel knife handle very well at all.  I think I'll go back to Hobbytown and see what they have (with handles).  A quick search turns up razor saws and jewelers saws, so they should have a selection.

 

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Progress has been slow, as most of my free time has been taken up with making a display case.  I'm working with a friend who has a nice woodshop to make a case for my Revell Constitution.

 

There has been some progress however:

 

I got the deck supports glued together and bent.  I only did the lowest deck as I wanted to experiment a little with the technique.  The instructions say to just glue two walnut strips together and hold them in the bent position until dry.  I wasn't sure that would be enough to hold them in the curved position, so I soaked them in hot water for an hour, pinned them in place and let them sit for a few hours.  Then I glued them together and put them back into the jig.  When I took them out to glue them, they sprung back to almost straight, but their interior was still wet when I applied the glue.

 

post-308-0-83114100-1378659251_thumb.jpg

 

After I let them dry for a few days, they held their shape just fine with no spring-back.  I don't know if the initial soak was necessary, but since it worked, I'll do the same for the next two sets.  I plan on doing the decks one at a time as some of the other builders of this kit have suggested, so there's no rush.

 

I also purchased a jewelers saw at Hobbytown and cut the notch in the bulkheads.  It was tough getting a straight cut, but after some sanding it looks ok I think.

 

post-308-0-36117700-1378659252_thumb.jpg

 

I've also done some measuring and re-cutting in preparation for adding the gunport frames in the lower deck.  I had to extent the bulkhead notch by 1mm so the planking will fit properly (I hope).

 

Andy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Wow, it's been a long time since I've updated this log.

 

I've been spending much of my weekends building a display case for Revell Constitution - glass has been ordered, and I'm waiting for it to be ready.  Pictures of that will show up in the Revell's build log.

 

I did make some progress on the cross-section.

 

Planked the inner hull, below the first deck.

post-308-0-11143300-1381035073_thumb.jpg

 

And added the supports for that deck.  

post-308-0-74711300-1381035073_thumb.jpg

 

I'm planning on doing it deck by deck, based on some of the other cross section logs, so I will plank what I can from the keep upwards.

 

Next up is to place the mast support and plank the first deck.

 

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work, both on the canoe and on this one! I just picked up the hobby again and am working on an HMS Victory cross section.  I look forward to following your build to see how it works out and learn any tips and tricks you come up with.  The only advice I can give you is something I realized too late, I built 4 decks before I thought about the limited space I was going to have to work on the details of the guns and furniture, I should have built up a deck completely with all the guns and furniture before building up and planking the next deck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I planked the outside of my cross section this weekend.  Since I plan on building the decks one by one, I can't plank the inside until after the deck supports for the top decks are in place.  I can plank the outside, however, so that's what I did.

 

Starting at the top of the bulwarks, I wanted to make sure the highlight pieces (3rd plank down) were lined up:

 

post-308-0-17212300-1381703288_thumb.jpg

 

Then I added the cap rail piece.  In order to line up the initial planking, I had to place the shorter bulwark pieces up a little higher than the top of the internal, leaving a gap:

 

post-308-0-08874500-1381703290_thumb.jpg

 

It looks a little sloppy, so I was thinking of filling the gap with a spare piece of wood or some wood filler.  Any ideas?

 

Then, ran the planking down the outside, following the directions:

 

post-308-0-77811700-1381703288_thumb.jpg

post-308-0-14312700-1381703289_thumb.jpg

 

It's not been sanded yet, so looks a little rough.  I plan on sanding, adding some wipe-on-poly and painting it black and white with a copper bottom.

 

Andy.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today's update seems small, but took me all Sunday afternoon.  I added the deck supports for the first deck:

 

post-308-0-40401800-1382304354_thumb.jpg

 

post-308-0-74563000-1382304354_thumb.jpg

 

Then, I added the mast support base and the framing through the deck rails, making sure all was straight and true.

 

post-308-0-40209700-1382304353_thumb.jpg

 

post-308-0-03296300-1382304354_thumb.jpg

 

I'll add ballast (probably small rocks) and barrels after more is complete.  Next up very well might be planking the first deck!  But at my pace, let's not get ahead of myself.

 

Thanks for watching.

 

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really coming along Andy. 

 

Time spent doing something right the first time is time well spent.  Whether it can be seen or not.  Time spent re-doing something is not nearly as productive.

 

You made me think for a second ......  I've spent 2 hard months framing my Confederacy and, in the end, not even one member of the frame will be visible !!  That's modeling :)  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You guys are right - it is somewhat satisfying to spend forever on a detail that may eventually be totally hidden.  At least I know it was done with care, if a little inefficiently.  No matter, at least it got done.  

 

It helps me a lot to set realistic goals for the day.  Sunday was good - I achieved installing the deck supports and the mast framing.

 

Next goal - cut and and properly the 4 support stanchions for the lower deck.  This will be tricky (for me) as the neither end is square since both the bottom and top are curved surfaces, yet I want the stanchions to be perfectly vertical.  If anyone has tips on ensuring a vertical stanchion, I'm all ears.  Much less making 4 line up with each other in the vertices of a rectangle.

 

Andy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andy,

 

Beautiful work on the canoe and this Cross Section, I opened my Mamoli box Saturday 10/19/13. I've been following your build as well as Tim's and MTC37. The frames are built and I'm starting to frame the hull. The deck supports are glued together waiting to be bent. A master builder once told me to add some ammonia to the warm water to bend the wood, it worked well on the Bounty Launch I did last year.

 

Thanks for your post's & photos, please continue.

Thanks,

 

Ed

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ed,

 

Thanks for writing.  Do you plan on creating a build log yourself for this kit?  I hope you do - at the rate you're going, you'll be ahead of me in no time and then I can use yours as guide too. :) 

 

I've created and bent the deck supports for the next two decks, but I want to finish the lower deck before putting them in.  I glued mine when still wet and let them dry in the bent position - worked well for the first set, but I've not yet taken the next two sets out of their pinned position, and it's been 3 weeks.  I'm guessing they're dry, but keeping them there allows me to keep them organized.

 

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Andy: Let me add kudos as well for a job well done so far.

 

In answer to above - would a laser line generator (the same kind as used to hang pictures, etc.) work to keep the stanchions in line and vertical. Once mounted stationary to the model make it just slightly off center and place the stanchion NEXT TO the vertical laser line. A piece of paper should make the line visible along the deck length at each stanchion station. - just a thought.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the ideas on keeping the stanchions straight.  I wish I had a laser line level, but it's hard to justify buying that, even the low-end stuff.  I've seen other build logs use them to mark the water line.  It would be cool though.

 

I used a mini-plumb bob to center the deck mast supports by just weighting a string over the keel line and letting it hang straight.  I could easily do the same for the stanchions.  Then it would just be a matter of sanding off just enough so they fit against the curved surfaces above and below.

 

Dave, the deck camber is part of the kit - they have a nice template of the curve that I copied and pinned the beam supports to and let them dry in place.  The build is fun as you get to do essentially all the ship without having to do each part 16 times.  The only thing it isn't really teaching me is full hull planking - there is no curve  or taper at all to the hull strips as it's mid-ship.  I did do some beveling, but that was trivial.

 

Andy. 

Edited by AndyMech
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spent the weekend working on the vertical stanchions and starting on the lower deck work.

 

Here are the stanchions - used a weighted bit of string to find the vertical lines, then just sanded to length and glued in.

 

post-308-0-55992100-1382931722_thumb.jpg

 

Next up was framing the hatch - the plans called for mitered joints, so I made cuts at 45-degree angle using a lego as a guide.  I glued in the outside frame, then added the slats (I guess the hatch is closed, eventually a ladder is placed on it):

 

post-308-0-18099000-1382931723_thumb.jpg

 

Finally, I started on the deck planking.  I thought it would be very straightforward, but I have some questions.  First, here's how it stands right now:

 

post-308-0-61926800-1382931723_thumb.jpg

 

I used a #2 pencil to mark the ends of one plank for caulking, which I think is ok looking.

 

The questions I have are:  I see in the plans that each plank doesn't run the full length - like most decks, the planks are staggered and should have butt-joints at periodic locations.  How, generally, do folks do this?  Do you cut the planks the lengths the joints demand, or can one simulate it by scoring a line?  I hesitated to cut them to the shorter lengths as I wondered how folks get them to line up properly?

 

Finally, you can see in the last photo, there is small gap on the left of the hatch and an even smaller one on the right side.  What's the best way to fill these?  My approach to date has been to try to cut a length of planking so narrow that it fits in there, but the right side one is no more than a sliver!  I really would appreciate some advice for fixing this, and I'm sure similar situations will come up on the next two decks - how do I avoid this for the future and how do I fix this now?

 

I found measuring the distance from the edge of the deck to the hatch should have left 3mm or so, and with a 4mm plank, I should have had a bigger gap.  But after the planks are laid, they must take up more room, or the planks aren't exactly 4mm, so I've got a very small gap instead.

 

I also must not have centered the hatch properly, or the keel isn't dead center - either way something is off and I'd like to fix the deck planking.

 

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those stanchions look great.

 

On the length of the planks, normally I cut the planks so that the butt joint is real.  If the joints are square the planks should line up.

 

There is always the possibility of varying plank width in a batch.  Also, your technique can effect the width of a series of laid planks.  Even the moisture content can have impact on the final dimension.  What I'm saying is, there are lots of small variables that will multiply the more planks are laid.  And in your specific case the hatch may be off center.  You really can't do anything with the keel..... but check the hatch and the two sets of coamings behind it to try and get everything centered.

 

As a general rule, I lay the planks from the center out to the hull.  Any variation will then pop up near the hull and yes, sometimes it's necessary to lay an odd size plank out there.  I suppose that's 'cheating' but it's easier to handle.

 

If you ever get a really small gap, you can try the old sawdust/glue trick.  Make some sawdust, mix with a little glue and fill the gap.  Sanding and finishing will generally make a presentable appearance.

 

Hope this gives you some ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahoy Andy

 

I like Augie's idea

 

And second his comments on your build. It is really starting to look great.

 

The only thing I would add would be to take some measurements before you get to the hull. This way if you needed to you could take 1/64th or even a 1/128th off a few planks so as not to have to resort to a sawdust filler. Cut little strips of paper to fit between the planks and the hull and measure those. Lie them across the beams, you can even mark the beams for each plank.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank Augie and JPett - I appreciate your thoughts.  I think I will try to do the butt joints correctly on the next deck up and fix this one as best I can given it's current state.  It won't be overly visible as a bunch of furniture goes in and the next deck covers it as well.

 

My problem with centering is that the keel is probably not center and I need the mast supports to be center to ensure a straight mast.  I should have centered the hatch between the bulwarks and not centered over the keel is my guess - the difference is about 2mm, which probably isn't too visible, but affects the planks.

 

I should have started planking by the hatch, but when I went to plank this deck, I wanted a full plank near the hull and when I dry-fitted it, it wasn't perfectly straight, so I had to glue and clamp with a little lateral bending.  Nothing really visible, but if I didn't correct it, there would have been some gaps.  I realize now that the best solution would have been to place one plank at the hull, then lay planks at the hatch and move towards the hull.  I'll remember that for the next decks.  Funny thing, is that's what I did when planking the inside and outside of the hull, but I just forgot when doing the deck.

 

I still have a couple of questions regarding plank cutting techniques:  I've been cutting most planks a little long with a hobby-knife chisel blade that's super sharp and long enough to cut through in one slice. Then, I sand them to fit.  Most of this is freehand and I often end up with a non-square end to my plank, which would make butt-joints difficult.  How best to cut and/or sand the ends to both get the exact length I need and keep it square?

 

Doing this is a mystery to me - especially for larger square pieces of wood - getting a flush, square end seems impossible.  Is there some tool or technique that will help with this?

 

Andy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andy I previously used a straight edge and carpenter square for the 90 degree sanding. I placed the piece along the straight edge and held a sanding stick to the square. The square could move along the straight edge and the piece keeping them true. I don't have a pic...sorry.

 

Or you could buy another tool: this was a suggestion by Wes Cook (aka Cookster): http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=NW57-4

 

Looking good so far...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, since Wes gave out his 'secret weapon' , here's mine:

 

http://www.micromark.com/the-dobson-miter-rite,6453.html

 

It's not the strongest or most accurate thing in the world but it gets you in the ballpark.  I've cut up to 1/2" square stock on this and the cut is pretty accurate.  Finish up with Wes' tool and you're there!

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.

Guest
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.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...