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 I'm planning to embark on a build of the venerable USS Constitution 1/96 scale kit in which much of the decking will be omitted and the port side hull opened to allow an interior view. I'd also like to try a similar scale scratchbuilding project, a sectional cutaway of the Constitution (rather like the Mamoli kit but centered on the ship's wheel area). In either event, I'd like to try to include the recessed skylight hiding under the gratings of the small deck fixture immediately forward of the wheel. I know it's there. I've seen it mentioned in a few sources but none had pictures. A Google Image search came up snake eyes. I vaguely recall being told it was noted on the plans of the Model Shipways 1/96 kit but don't have those plans in the hoarde of paperwork, plans, and scrap drawings I'm accumulating. If anyone does have those plans (and if they do show the construction of the skylight itself, rather than just mentioning it's lurking below the grating), I would REALLY appreciate it if you could be so kind as to post the relevent drawings here. Ditto for any photos of the real thing on the actual Constitution. I've tried the MSW search bar but got nada for "Constitution recessed skylight" or several other word combinations. I thank you, ladies & gentlemen, for any aid you may see fit to render.

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I just checked my plans and the drawing is there on sheet 5 but it's very small ( a half-dollar would cover it). Also after seeing TimI"s Constitution thread, he posted a picture that will help much more than the plans anyway. If it was me, I'd save your money on the plans, unless you're planning to do your scratch-build in 1:76.8 scale (5/32" = 1 ft). At that scale, your ship will end up at 4 ft, instead of the 3 ft, at 1:96 scale. The skylight is located on the starboard side right next to the grate.

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Because of all of the weather delays the scheduled March 20 dry docking has been pushed to April.  She is going to be there for three years.  I say "there" like it is so far away, but in reality the dry dock is just on the other side of the pier from where she is now.  So far the Navy anticipates the ship will stay open for visitors depending on the scope of work going on at the time.  Obviously, there are safety concerns with a ship being worked on over a 40 foot deep hole in the ground.

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I went aboard the ship today to search out the deck prisms.  These are let into the gun deck to focus light down into the berth deck.  There are a few of them located in the officers berthing area (ward room) aft on the berth deck.  As you can see they are hexagonal and flat on top and shaped like a prism from below.  By the way the extra shoring beams are there in preparation for the upcoming dry docking.

 

Here is the top of one on the gun deck just forward of the Captains cabin.

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And here is from below:

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Regards,

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The light they provide is really not much.  Look at  my two pictures from below the fitting.  The first was with the camera flash and the second without. You can see that there is a definite glow from the prism.  But, considering that they are the only source of light other than a lantern, I think they do an admirable job.

 

Regards,

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