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U.S.S. Constitution by SgtSki in MI - Revell - PLASTIC - 1:96


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OK here we go...
3 January, 2015. Thus begins my build log of Revell's 1:96 scale USS Constitution. I selected an older kit release because a lot of things I've read indicate that they have much higher molding quality over the newer kits. Mine has a box date of 1974 and it has a US Bicentennial logo, so I believe that it was produced between 1974 and 1976. I plan on "kinda" building her as she appeared under Isaac Hull's command. I say "kinda" because I'm not going into every particle of minutiae involved with how she really was configured. I'm just taking care of the obvious such as eliminating the forward gunport (bridle port) and the skylight above the Captain's cabin. Other than that this will pretty much be an out-of-box build. Feel free to follow along!

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Edited by SgtSki in MI
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3 January, 2015: And we're off! The first step is getting rid of those pesky bridle ports that weren't there under Hull's command. I cut some scrap styrene to block of the ports from the inside and will fill them with putty tomorrow. Once it done and smooth I'll scribe in the woodgrain and planking divisions. The big challenge is going to be smoothing out the fill area without ruining the woodgrain detail surrounding it, because the detail is molded raised instead of recessed. Meanwhile, I'll clean up the mold flashing on the hull halves, of which there is very little.

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Edited by SgtSki in MI
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Good start Sarge!

 

You might try first filling in the port with some styrene before covering it with putty - sometimes the putty will flex/shrink over time if that is the only filler.

 

Looking forward to following your Connie!

 

Evan

Hi Evan,

That IS styrene you see in the gunports. I put it on the inside. Tomorrow I'll putty them in.

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Hi Tom. Glad to see you up and running. Mind if I pull up a barrel and follow along? Built that very same model twice myself--- about 35 years ago.  :D

I'm sure yours will turn out way better though since you have all the guys here to draw knowledge and learn from. Here's a link I found over in Fletch's build log, posted by JSGerson, of some really great pics of a scratch-built Connie depicting her in the 1812 era. In fact that model was used for the base in the designing of this Revell model.

 http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/misc/sail/constitution-48-sm/con-index.html

 

Cheers  :cheers:

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Ski, put some masking tape around those ports to protect the details. The old kits, with raised details, are a pita to work with, but I saved some plastic car kit details with this little trick. And you might try some Bondo glazing and spot putty. Got a 4.5 oz tube for $5-6. Sands OK, doesn't crack. Has some odor, so be careful.

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Hi Tom

My Christmas Present to myself was the same H-386 version of the USS Constitution, same front box art anyway though mine has a copyright date of 1969 printed on the box side.
I bought it for the same reason as you, older production run has supposedly crisper moulding. It will be my first ship build.

Being British I have no patriotic connection with the 1812 Constitution so I am going to leave in the bridle ports !
The main alterations I am thinking of doing so far is just to thicken up the gun ports and bulwarks

 

I will likely be starting a build log myself in a day or two - as soon as the Evergreen strips arrive for the thickening work

 

 

Philip

 

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4 January, 2015: Finished filling in the bridle ports. The first pic is before sanding with masking tape around the ports to save the surrounding detail in the plastic. Second pic is after finishing sanding and scribing in the plank lines and grain. Not perfect but I think it'll work. I didn't want to get overzealous and wreck existing details. Tomorrow I plan on cementing the hull halves together with masking and painting throughout the week.

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9 January 2015: The hull halves have been cemented together. I had to fight a little warpage but not bad for a 40 - year-old kit. After it sets up for 24 hours I'll have some filling to do along the keel, then it's on to exterior paint and interior "whitewashing" of the gun deck bulkheads. The main deck bulwarks will be green and the trimwork will be as per instructions.

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It's a pleasure to see this old kit going together once again Tom. It's been just about 40 years since I've built this one myself. The one main problem I found with that kit was 1st, the sloppy, wobbly, plastic sails, and 2nd, those pesky, very fragile, preformed plastic belaying pins. They will tend to break on you. But I know you've come up with a contingency plan for this so carry on.  ;)

 

Cheers  :cheers:

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That's a little odd since it was '75 or so when I did it, and it had all the sails including the stunsl's. Might have been an older version though. Didn't pay any attention to the year the kit was made. I found a pic of what the box mine came in looked like.

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Cheers  :cheers:

Edited by GLakie
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Been looking into the history of this kit, the original 1965 release was Catalogue number H-386 and came without sails. In 1968 Revell added Cat No. H-398 which is the version with sails. Up until 1972 both versions were in the Revell Catalogue (the version with sails was more expensive).

The box art was changed to the one GLakie shows in his post in 1976

 

There was a third version produced - the 'Museum Classic' version from 1979 which had a prepainted copper hull, a wooden base with a brass plated nameplate and brass plated pedestals for the ship to stand on together with flock coated vac formed sails which were advertised as 'Realistic Cloth Like Sails"

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The information I have is based on the UK Revell catalogues, and the dates may not exactly match the availability in the US - the early 70's catalogue have all the big ship kits down as 'imports' in the UK, presumably from the US. (Revell UK did have a production facility in the UK until about 1980)

Incidentally the 1965 UK catalogue has the 1/96 Cutty Sark available with or without sails, so why the Constitution wasn't originally available with sails who knows ?
 

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I'll be following along with your build as well.  Since I am in the process of building my second Revell kit.  One kit was like yours, the 1976 version without sails and now a 1980 release with sails.    The only problem  with this kits is dealing with the deck seams.

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  • 3 weeks later...

7 February, 2015: Work on the Connie has been at a bit of a standstill due to other priorities. I just made a paint run to the not-so-local hobby shop. Soon I plan on painting the main deck and gun deck bulwarks and getting the hull exterior painted. What's a good mix ratio for red ochre paint? (for when I begin on the gun carriages)

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