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Constitution by patrickmil - Model Shipways - Wood POB, 1/76th

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Hello to all. I have completed Niagara and am moving on up in the scope of building difficulty. I have chosen The Constitution for my next subject because I fondly remember building Revell's version of her years ago and I have always been in awe of this ship. I know we have quite a few of her being built at this time so I'm sure you're asking "What's going to be different here?" Like a few of the others, I'd like to show a full gundeck with rigged 24 pounders. I'd also like to incorporate some of the bulkheads and cabin details. Plans to light her up below-deck are also on the table to attempt to show off some of this detail. Part of my plans on the gundeck also include the installing the knees and riders. Now you may be asking "Why? Most of this will be completely covered by the spar deck" I'm doing it because I'll know it's there and I'd like to try my hand at seriously bashing a kit before the possibility of scratch building. I have not yet fully determined the time period I would like to model, but I have been giving some thought to modeling her as she was when she was new with the Hercules figurehead. The biggest headache with that time period are that the details of her configuration are even sketchier than how she was in 1812. My plans are all negotiable until I get to her stern anyway, so here goes.....


I photographed the typical box contents and a few resources I'll studying. The last picture is of the main building board materials and a new toy. You may also notice that one of the pics has two false keels. I didn't like the feel of the one that came with the kit so decided that I'd make my own out of 1/4" ply basswood. This build is going to take forever as I plan on making many pieces from scratch and am ordering many aftermarket items like new 24 pounders (if anyone has any ideas where I can get these in turned brass, I'd be indebted to them), new 32 pound carronades (see above parenthesis) and some boxwood deck planking material.


As always, thanks so much for looking in and all of the wonderful support this site has to offer.








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D, I'm very excited to be getting started on such a long journey. I've been salivating over this kit for the last year. The box has just been gathering dust and I don't have the space to work on two tall ships at the same time. You'll need to get your log started so we can compare notes as we progress.

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Nice to be along for the ride, I'm sure you will do an excellent job, and what a good idea to start bashing a kit before going to full scratch building, I'm sure you will learn lots of new skills just as I have now I have started full scratch.


Will look in from time to time on your progress.



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Hi Patrick


Seeing as I missed out on following your Niagara log,I will follow along with this one if you don't mind.My immediate reaction is Caldercraft cannons.All turned brass and nice quality.I think it is a case of seeing if your cannons match anything in this link.Cannons of this period are roughly all of similar proportions,all dimensions increase in respect to poundage.Incidentally,I know of many on here who have ordered from this supplier for delivery to the US,delivery has been around two weeks providing they have the parts in stock.




Kind Regards



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Nigel, I thought of them and Billings. It's now mainly a matter of me measuring my kit's cannons to see what their dimensions are to see if they match. I was also wondering if Chuck's 12 pounders might come close. I am already planning on ordering a number of blocks from him to begin with. 1/76th scale is just an oddball scale in ship modeling. I will continue my research.

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Hello Patrick!


Wonderful to see another Connie in the mix and your work on the Niagara indicates that this will be a terrific build to watch.  Modifying the kit to reflect her earliest period is ambitious... You'll need to do some serious research.  I don't know much about her earliest configuration, but I suspect you'll not need to find turned brass carronades... The ship was originally fitted with 18 pounders on the spar deck and the carronades came along later...


I'll pull up a chair and settle in to watch your build progress...



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I'm sure that you're going to do a great job on Connie, Patrick. You will find that the odd scale requires that you do a lot of measuring and searching when looking for parts such as cannon and their carriages to replace the kit parts. That has certainly been my experience with Essex.



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I'm looking forward to your new build with great anticipation.  That scroll saw looks awfully familiar :)


I have Chuck's cannons in both sizes.  I could measure them up for you if it would be of any help.


Best of luck on this new journey.

Edited by Augie
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Hey Patrick, good to see you getting started. I'll pull up to the table with the Admiralty and the rest of the gang, for popcorn and beer. Yes Piet I brought you a Leffe. Great start with the log and congrats again on the Niagra. Funny, on my travels east last year, my first ship to see was the Niagra, then on to New England to see the Constitution and Henry, then down to Mystic to see the Morgan. I have the finished Revell Conny, and working on the Morgan, and The Niagra is the next build when finished with the Morgan. Good luck with the Conny and looking forward to following along. You'll get to break in that scroll saw pretty quick, might even wear it out before you finish....lol.

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John, thanks for stopping by and welcome aboard. It's a virtual world so every seat is in the front row. If you're bringing beer I figure I'll request some bourbon then. The scroll saw will definitely get a lot of use. I need for the weather to warm up so I can put it through it's paces. Tonight I'll use my hand saw to start cutting out slots on Connie's false keel. On the advice of other's I ordered Commander Martin's book, A Most Fortunate Ship, and I found Ironsides! the Ship, the Men and the Wars of the USS Constitution by Charles Brodine Jr. I also was given a link to some valuable resources online from Navy records. The link is http://www.history.navy.mil/USSCTour/frDrawings.html. This has many drawings on it so I shouldn't have to order the CD ROM from the museum. The resources are piling up and I'm already starting to lean in favor on some decisions. I'm thinking the five window configuration is going to be what we'll see on my finished model. I've also found a rendering of the original figurehead courtesy of this website: http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/winter-storm-hercules-in-boston.93938/. I'll guess we'll be putting my carving skills to the test.

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In case you forgot what Chuck's cannon look like, here's a photo from my log:




They come in 2 sizes, nominally labeled 1 28/64" and 1 11/64".  I took the measurements from 3 of each gun and have given you the average, in inches.  There is very little variation.


1 28/64 gun:


LOA (breech button to muzzle)                  1.4615

Muzzle diameter                                         0.1760

Breech diameter                                         0.2245


Trunnion diameter                                      0.0595

Trunnion length                                          0.3835

Distance, muzzle face to trunnion              0.7315


1  11/64 gun:


LOA (breech button to muzzle)                  1.1780

Muzzle diameter                                         0.1435

Breech diameter                                         0.1800


Trunnion diameter                                       0.0325

Trunnion length                                           0.3195

Distance, muzzle face to trunnion               0.5865


That should cover what you need!

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Hi Patrick, Chuck's cannon's are superb. I had a discussion with him some time back, and he was considering making some carronades also, but he probably hasn't had much time to do so as he is quite busy. He did have a drawing of them though, so maybe by the time you get around to needing them he might have made them. Here is when a small lathe comes in handy.

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Well, I was planning on doing some work tonight but while I was examining the false keel I started to cut out of one whole sheet of ply I found that I was rather hasty on getting the copies of plans attached and the reference lines don't make one straight line. I'm glad I'm double checking everything (there's some sarcasm there) before cutting. I'll have to grab another piece of 1/4" wood to do this now. Maybe I'll grab something that's solid rather than a ply.

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