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USS Constitution by RadMan – Revell – PLASTIC – 1:96


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Well, here we go again.  I am rebuilding my log from the google cache.

 

02 JANUARY 2013

 

 

Hi, welcome to my build log. I haven't built a model in over 30 years, so I have no idea how this is going to
turn out...but I am going to give it a good try. I plan on building the model exactly (or nearly so) to the
Revell instructions.
 
I will try to show details of my successes and failures. I welcome your comments... I have been working for a week or so, but just now started the log... so the first page or so I dumped a lot of photos.
 
A little about me: I'm a former U.S. Navy submariner (sturgeon class) and mechanical engineer. I have been
working in commerical nuclear power for my entire professional life.
 
I have been working and living in Bulgaria for five years now...but my home is in Arizona!!
 
Finally, Kudo's to build logs from AndyMech, lambsbk, LMDave and "popeye the sailor" just to name a few.

 

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Edited by RadMan
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02 JANUARY 2013

 

My wife bought me the model in early December. Since I hadn't done any modeling in years, I first needed

to gather the necessary equipment. Given that I now live in Bulgaria this is a much bigger challenge than I
originally envisioned, in any case my setup is in the photo below:
 
8608174751_014363e196_c.jpg
Edited by RadMan
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03 JANUARY 2013

 

Painting - In general I am crappy at painting. I believe the painting will be more challenging for me than the

construction. I am going to try to brush paint as much as possible. I decided to brush paint because it is

somehow "more personal" than to spray everything. I believe it will be more technically challenging to

brush paint.

 

With that said, I do intend to spray paint the black part of the hull and the white stripe on the hull... LOL. I

could only find one can of Tamiya spray in Black (TS-14 Black) and (TS-45 Pearl White). I could not find

any copper spray paint.

 

Dilemma... to prime or not to prime. I decided to at least prime the big parts. For primer, I went with Tamiya

Fine Surface Primer (gray).

 

Since I am in Bulgaria, my Revell kit had German instructions (in addition to the English). The German

instructions seemed to have some better details for some of the riggings, especially the sail riggings. I also

have the exact Revell of Germany paints.
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03 JANUARY 2013

 

Cementing the hull: I trimmed and cemented the hull. I used ordinary binder clips for clamping. The hull fit

together fairly well, but I wouldn't say it aligned perfectly. I dry fit it a few times and came up with the
strategy to apply glue to the stern part first, snap that together and then proceed with the rest. Snapping the
stern together first seemed to help the overall ease of alignment...still i was nervous as hell doing it!
 
8608174893_29d76b01e4_c.jpg
Edited by RadMan
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04 JANUARY 2013

 

The hull is primed. I fitted the cannon doors in place because it seemed a good way to prime them and it

also prevented flow-through drips. I also taped over the windows. (I have not fitted the plastic windows yet)

 

8608180553_a8c626179c_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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04 JANUARY 2013

 

Cannon time!!! I decided to start assembling the cannon's because....ok, I was influence by others on this

site including AndyMech. I also think it's a good place to practice painting.

 

I had trouble with the first few red carriages...brush marks were bad. Later, I discovered that one big juicy

coat of enamel was far superior to light coats. You had to just keep moving and let the paint flow. Doublebrushing

over the same spot left big brush marks.

8609287552_50f0e831c1_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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Cannons: First of all, I am missing half of a cannon. I am not sure what I will do about this yet.

 

Secondly: many of the cannons had bad injection marks. In addition, there is an alignment pin which in most

cases, if used, MISaligns the cannons. Unfortunately, I glued a lot of them this way. The last half of them I
just cut off the alignment pin and they went together perfectly.
 
I wish I could start these over.  Some of the better ones are shown below.
8608179661_354a065461_c.jpg
Edited by RadMan
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Next was taping off the hull before painting. I used Tamiya tape. I had to trim the tape in small sections

especially around some of the curves for the hull plating. It was a huge P.I.A. and much more time

consuming than I imagined.

 

Another note: There seems to be a bit of controversy about the white line. In photos of the real USS

Constitution, it spans the entire height of the cannon doors. However, the model has a molded line about

1/8" above the bottom of the cannon doors...this seems to imply you should stop before the bottom of the

doors. I did not. My white line will span the entire height of the cannon doors.

 

8609286644_3ea84a9a4f_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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After taping with the Tamiya tape, I used aluminum foil to cover the bottom and standard masking tape to

attach the foil to the Tamiya tape. I got some minor bleed through at one or two places but was generally

ecstatic with the overall results.

 

8609285608_503d66a01c_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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(1) The kit was missing a piece for one of the 33 Gun Deck cannons (I swear I didn't lose it! and yes I know

there are only 32 on the gun deck and one topside). Anyway, I started with 32.5 cannons.

 

(2) Gluing... there is a pin-and-hole arrangement which are suppose to align the two halves. However, in

many cases they misaligned the halves. I glued several together this way before deciding to just cut off the

pin and align the halves myself.

 

(3) Painting...I massively FUBAR'd some of the first cannons I painted. It took me probably 6 cannons

before I figured out how to paint them.

 

(4) Un-painting... I decided to use some brush cleaner and wipe off the botched paint job on my first 6

cannons... to my HORROR, the brush cleaner started to melt the plastic and broke off one of the trunions!!

 

(5) Re-painting: I repainted the 3 cannons I doused with brush cleaner, they still look crappy. I put a secondcoat

of black on the other 3...they too look crappy.

 

(6) Conclusion: I will hide the crappy cannons on one side of the ship.

 

The photo below shows the difference between the 'good' (right) and 'bad' (left) cannons (sorry for photo

quality because it really doesn't show how badly I painted the (left) cannon). Note on the left cannon how

the paint fills in the area between the knob and the base of the breech... its suppose to be round but mine

forms a 45 degree angle...  oh well.... what to do. Any suggestions??

 

8608177213_5cac76d35e_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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Well, regarding my cannon problem... a member of this forum has graciously come to my rescue.  lambsbk, generously sent me 7 new cannons from his extra parts... they arrived to me here in Bulgaria last Monday.  Wooo who!!!  

 

How great is this!!!!!!!

 

(note: the yellow spot in the photo is a mystery...the cannons were in perfect condition)

 

8609284130_214a9dcee0_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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The cannons are now completed.  I must say that the cannons lambsbk sent me were superior to the existing ones in my kit.  Maybe the US kits are better (I am using a German kit), or if these cannons are from his 1970 kit, maybe they just made stuff better back then.

 

8608176515_819d81e0e8_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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I am glad to see them together. Yes, they were from the vintage kit. In comparing the parts it does seem that less trimming is needed for the vintage parts. Curious. I wonder if Revell uses the same mold or copies it...i.e copy of a copy of a copy, etc.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

February 19, 2013

 

I painted the gold trim and lettering for the ship's placard.  The gold enamel is so thick that I had quite a bit of trouble with the fine detail.  I tried to thin the paint a bit, but it seems like its not mixing well.  I mixed Humbrol enamel thinner with Revell gold enamel paint.  I think I just need to use a power mixer, so next time I'll put a small wire in my cordless drill, bend the wire a bit, and mix.   I think the gold will need to be much thinner to paint the gold trim on the ship and gallery.

 

I need to do some touch-up on the "U" and the "C".

 

8608176387_9aa4fc0ee6_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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March 13, 2013

 

I have been in the process of painting the white interior bulkhead for the gun deck.  What a PIA!  I really should have painted this before cementing the hull together (I noticed that a few guys who are building the Constitution for their second time did exactly that).  It was a complete disaster.  I should have thinned the white paint more and I should have put on thinner coats...I did neither at first.

 

Here is my "3rd grader" paint job:

8608175443_81bec4e92c_c.jpg

 

and another view

 

8608175269_4ca9f96eb4_c.jpg

Edited by RadMan
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March 23, 2013

 

After regrouping, I decided to experiment with different brush heads.  I also cut the brush handles short so I could maneuver my hand better inside the ship.  I also thinned the white paint, and laid several more coats of white.  Seemed like this took forever.  I also finished the green bulwarks.  The result turned out pretty good considering my start.  Also, it is of note that this interior will be mostly out of site...so no harm done.

 

The flat brush worked best, the big fat round brush was worst (what was i thinking?!?!?!)

 

8608175181_929e99bf2c_c.jpg

 

the final result:

 

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March 23, 2012

 

The interior white and green is finished.  Starting prep for painting the white stripe on the exterior.  Note:  I have not painted the copper hull yet because I knew I'd be handling the ship a lot and didn't want any fingerprints or scrapes on the paint.  I will probably paint it after the white stripe is finished.  I will paint it in parallel with the AndyMech method of wood-graining the gun deck.

 

8608294333_6b5c86cd6f_c.jpg

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The white stripe:

 

I have spent way, way, way too much time taping the sides of the hull.  The curves around the aft windows were especially hard to tape.  Even when I think I got it right, the next day, the tape would lift...ugh!  I started with Tamiya tape, then I completely taped off the rest of the hull as well as the interior cannon door windows, to be sure that the white spray paint only goes where its suppose to.

 

We will soon see whether it was worth it.

 

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8609401362_ab2e1ae338_c.jpg

 

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Edited by RadMan
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Good luck with the spray painting - I wasn't nearly as thorough as you with my masking job, and it showed.  I had plenty of leaks, but even if you do it's not too difficult to touch up and fix it.

 

I had a very similar experience with the inner bulkheads as well - I almost didn't paint it at all until a another member here reminded me.  I had to remove the gun deck which I had just installed (but not glued, luckily) and apply what seemed like 5 coats of white paint.  Now that it's all assembled, you'd need a flashlight to see it.  Still, worth doing though.

 

Looking good - I look forward to seeing the deck treatments.

 

Andy.

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your build reminds me of all the painting I'm going to have to do,  when I get back to my United States build.........I use an airbrush though, so it might not be a huge job.   I use the frog tape.....I seem to get better results.   it's been tough getting back all of the builds I used to follow.........talking to you on my United States build,  jogged my memory that I haven't gotten yours back........I have it now ;)   nice job so far........keep up the good work!

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I agree. The Frog tape is superior to most masking tape. It was the first thing I tested on the spare hull before starting to paint my model...noticeable difference in 'leakage'. I taped andthen brush painted the stripe. It took at least 2 coats AND some touch-up. Good work on the painting by the way. -

 

I like the way you used the brush stroke to mimick the longitudinal wood grain of the bulwark...nice!

Edited by lambsbk
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, the pink tape above is frog tape, but I cannot find any high quality frog tape here in Bulgaria, thus, it's better for me to use the Tamiya tape.

 

Thanks for the brush stroke comment... sometimes pure chance can work in your favor! :)  

Edited by RadMan
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Well, I have been working in Poland for a couple weeks, but will return back to Bulgaria tomorrow.  Before I left, I spray painted the white stripe (see taping of stripe above) using Tamiya TS-45 Pearl White.  I wanted to use TS-26 Pure White, but couldn't find any in Bulgaria.    I didn't realize that the TS-45 pearl white was semi-translucent (duh! it looks like a pearl) and I used an entire can to paint the stripe.... it still looks like the paint didn't cover but upon closer observation there is a nice thick layer of translucent white.  

 

So now I am searching "all of Europe" for a fraking can of TS-26 white paint.  

 

I really like the Tamiya spray paint and while expensive it is very, very, forgiving... and as I am an amateur spray painter, this has been a real godsend.  

 

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