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USS Constitution Cross Section by monkeyman - Mamoli - 1:93


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There're few blogs about this model, but I'm going to make mine a bit unique. Let's start with a little background story...

 

I consider myself a newbie in a model ship world, however I had build my first model at school (will celebrate my 41th birthday this year). I've made several attempts during the course of life to become a better builder, but all failed due to... well, some lack fo patience, maybe. This time I'm serious and digging stuff as deep as possible.

 

I'm kinda curious guy and at some point decided to try every manufacturer on the market to see, which one's best for me. I already knew OcCre, Artesania Latina and Amati - they all seemed the same. I also saw a bunch of models from Model Shipways (never built one tho) and totaly loved'em. Since MS models are very expensive here, I've decided to try cheaper kits and found out Chinese ones. This is how I got USS Constitution from ShiCheng Model god-knows-who-they-are.

 

Did some research and found out, that this is a rip-off from Mamoli's model, but in larger scale. Remember, I'm a curious guy? That's right. I've decide "What the heck!" and bought a Mamoli's model as well, which appeared to be CHEAPER, than stupid Chinese product! Now I have TWO USS Constitution sections at hand: one from some Chinese "manustibutor" (1:75), one from Mamoli (1:93).

 

Creating another generic blog about this model might seem a bit dull, so I've decided to build BOTH models. I'll build my blog aroud Mamoli's model, since Chinese manufacturers are banned here, but will compare it with a Chinese rip-off from time to time. If there's a Mamoli's representative on this site or anyone related to this company, please, follow me. There's a room for improvement. You can even rip-off a rip-offers for they did better at some points!

 

Tomorrow I'll present some kind of "comparison chart" of two kits and start building. Stay tuned!

 

Here's a little teaser (note the unassembled Mamoli's bulkheads to the right):

 

post-17243-0-76965700-1424810717_thumb.png

Edited by monkeyman
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Here's my promissed "comparison chart". I'll skip the obvious parts about qulity of the printed pictures or wooden items. Mamoli's kit is pretty good, has nice box and items, made from much better wood. Exactly what you expect from European manufacturer. So less talking, more pictures.

 

Sorry for photo quality, but I hope you'll get the idea.

 

Gun ports, emblem etc. (bottom - Mamoli, top - Chinese)

 

Let's start with assorted stuff: gun ports, board entrance side plates, emblem and some other things. I don't like Mamoli's version of gun ports and right now have no idea, how to replace them. It'll be a bit difficult due to their small size. Not sure, why almost all manufacturers make cast ports - they look afwul.

 

post-17243-0-28453800-1424879118_thumb.jpg.

 

Another thing, that MUST be replaced in Mamoli's kit is board entrance side plates. You can't even see the picture on them! Moreover, they have wrong shape. Here's a Chinese version closeup:

 

post-17243-0-72457900-1424879671.jpg

 

Collars (left - Mamoli, right - Chinese)

 

I wonder, were they made from metal in real life or from wood?

 

post-17243-0-86944000-1424879112_thumb.jpg

 

Buckets (left - Mamoli, right - Chinese)

 

Why, why, have you, Mamoli, made buckets from metal?! You can barely see their bucket-y form! Will definitely have them replaced, but still no idea, how to do this - too small.

 

post-17243-0-10642400-1424879123_thumb.jpg

 

Cannons (left - Mamoli, right - Chinese)

 

Don't like neither of them, because Mamoli's made from 3 metal parts and Chinese one have less details and made from wood of very low quality. Will replace Mamoli's completely, including barrel, and only a gun mounting for Chinese version - barrels are perfect.

 

post-17243-0-66612200-1424879127_thumb.jpg

 

post-17243-0-29719700-1424879132_thumb.jpg

 

Flags (bottom - Mamoli, top - Chinese)

 

Another weird solution in both kits. Mamoli made it one sided (!) and Chinese guys decided to make it from two parts:

 

post-17243-0-22145100-1424879872_thumb.jpg

 

Nets (left - Mamoli, right - Chinese)

 

This one is a worst part of Mamoli's kit comparing to Chinese one: it's just a piece of bandage. Chinese guys made it look like real net and even cut it to pieces. Looks very cute. Absolutely no idea, how to replace the net from Mamoli's kit.

 

post-17243-0-31738900-1424879962_thumb.jpg

 

Pillars (bottom - Mamoli, top - Chinese)

 

Can somebody tell me, why Chinese pillars are square in shape? I'm a bit confused. Love Mamoli's.

 

post-17243-0-56642000-1424880222_thumb.jpg

 

Pumps (left - Mamoli, right - Chinese)

 

Don't like both versions either. Will replace them completely according to pictures and Anatomy book.

 

post-17243-0-30639200-1424880238_thumb.jpg

 

Threads (top - Mamoli, bottom - Chinese)

 

Looks like textile is a strong side of China. They've made great nets and provided one of the best threads I ever saw. Good colors, pitch black tone, non-hairy and quite enough in length. But Mamoli's also not bad comparing to Artesania Latina, OcCre or Amati.

 

post-17243-0-98248900-1424880242_thumb.jpg

Edited by monkeyman
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I am in the middle of building this myself, I have done many changes, including adding a scratch built plumbing system with fire station, and adding a lot of knees to make it look more authentic.

Your frame is already looking neater than mine.

 

Mamoli factory burnt down last year, I think they have gone out of business. 

 

Looking fwd to seeing your progress.

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I am in the middle of building this myself, I have done many changes, including adding a scratch built plumbing system with fire station, and adding a lot of knees to make it look more authentic.

Yeah, I read your blog and saw all the changes. Looks great, especially pumps! Will borrow a couple things from you, if you don't mind :-)

 

Your frame is already looking neater than mine.

This is actually a frame from Chinese kit. It has much better scheme of building bulkheads: you have to assemble them from 6 parts. And cross-section cut looks more authentic due to extra pieces of different wood and visible joints. I plan to make Mamoli's even better and closer to original. Something like this:

 

post-17243-0-54762800-1424885354_thumb.jpg

 

Do you have Anatomy of the Ship book for USS Constitution? It shows pretty clear, how bulkheads were built.

 

Mamoli factory burnt down last year, I think they have gone out of business.

Wow! Really? Where did you learn that?

Edited by monkeyman
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Just realised, that in real life Constitution has FOUR decks, not three, like kit suggests you to build. That's just... wow.

 

Yep there is lots wrong with this model, It is more a romanticized version of the Constitution, the hull is wine glass shape but the real thing is shaped more like a round bottomed bucket. the fittings are just what they had that sort of fit the scale/period. really it is not a scale model but a fantasy build of what the ship would look like if it was easy to build and missing bits that did not look 'nautical' enough ie. the rest of the pump assembly, 

 

I have seen the kit done with the extra floor put in but the decks looked too small, really if you want to build this accurately, it would be easier to scratch build, but you would need to draw your own plans, the anatomy of a ship  book (which I don't own yet) would be a great help but plans would still need to be drawn.

 

Does The Chinese kit have correct amount of decks? 

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Does The Chinese kit have correct amount of decks? 

 

Nope, also three. But might be easier to build extra one due to larger scale.

 

Actually, Chinese version is a copy of Mamoli's, but with different building scheme, very different package contents and larger scale. I find their scheme of building of hull frame way better, than Mamoli's. The resulting frame is very firm and much easier to build. But quality of Chinese wood ruins all the advantage. You'll literally have to buy the new wood for everything, except mast and spars.

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Nets (left - Mamoli, right - Chinese)

 

This one is a worst part of Mamoli's kit comparing to Chinese one: it's just a piece of bandage. Chinese guys made it look like real net and even cut it to pieces. Looks very cute. Absolutely no idea, how to replace the net from Mamoli's kit.

 

 

 

You could try using some Tulle to replace the material supplied for netting

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I've spent quite some time to create bulkhead joints imitation. First time I took plywood, but oversanded it and dark layer became visible. So I decided to replace it with vineer sheets and got myself 6 meters of natural 0.6 mm beechwood. It was too thin, so I glued 2 layers of it crossing fibers to make it more firm. Then I cut it using scissors, glued to the frame, sanded the edges and carved the joints with the razor. Here's a resulf:

 

post-17243-0-05333200-1425334095_thumb.jpg

 

It's of course not perfect, but should look much better, when stained and varnished.

 

I also found a good replacement for that sexy bandages from Mamoli's kit:

 

post-17243-0-30058100-1425334100.jpg

 

Got it from local drapery. This is not tulle, but a fabric called "net". We have tons of them in different colors and cell sizes. Should look nice on the model

Edited by monkeyman
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I've finaly put away my programming and got back to modelling. Spent today's evening to finish with bulkhead joints immitation and made a couple improvements to false keel and floor timber according to Anatomy book:

 

post-17243-0-70996400-1425676723_thumb.jpg

 

Kit completely misses a plank below the keel, which is called false keel. As far as I know, it was present on all ships with metal bildge (bottom) and protected metal from impacts or such.

 

And floor timber (middle, above bulkheads) should be 1.5 times higher, so I put another 2 mm plank beneath it:

 

post-17243-0-32562600-1425676731_thumb.jpg

 

Also I did some calculation on abscent 4th deck and it actually fits pretty well. There's pretty enough space for it and I'm not sure, why model developers excluded it. Here's a new plan with 4th deck (note the red beams):

 

post-17243-0-95651300-1425677337_thumb.jpg

 

You have to put 3rd beam a little higher (on a height of beam, actually) and put the the 4th beam at the same distance below it (1.9 - 2 mm). I compared the new plan with the one from Anatomy and it's close to perfect.

Edited by monkeyman
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Nice work, Monkeyman !!

 

Thanx, pal! Really enjoying your work, so your compliments are very valuable to me.

 

* * *

 

I know, that most visitors love pictures from actual modellin and less theory, but I can't help myself, sorry :-)

Did a little research on mast step, and it looks like, kit ofers pretty outdated vesion of it.

 

Here's a picture of fine mast step from Tuffarts, which follows mostly a kit's version:

 

post-17243-0-91019500-1425759693_thumb.jpg

 

Here're plans from Anatomy book (100 - is a mast step):

 

post-17243-0-01227000-1425759701_thumb.jpg

 

post-17243-0-69987200-1425759705_thumb.jpg

 

And here's how it should look like on the model (taken from Model Ship Builder site):

 

post-17243-0-99523300-1425759687.jpg

 

I'm going to follow the original (from Anatomy book), so this is mostly for those, who would want the same.

Edited by monkeyman
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I've started with planking. Kit is pretty acurate in this, but I still found one issue with wales (a thick part). I've followed a kit from the start:

 

post-17243-0-85944600-1426198916_thumb.jpg

 

But that's not right. Kit tells you to glue 4 planks, but actually it should be 5. Here's a plan from Anatomy book:

 

post-17243-0-01416500-1426199327_thumb.jpg

 

When you put this on the model, it looks too thin. Guess, I'll add extra plank or two. Here's a photo of real ship:

 

post-17243-0-07788100-1426199865_thumb.jpg

 

As you can see, the original wales are much bigger, than kit's (lower border is where the copper plates start).

 

I've also completely replaced the mast stamp with the one closer to original:

 

post-17243-0-34037300-1426200050_thumb.jpg

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Finished the outer planking and also did some reseach on gangway. On one side of it there's a hammock rail, but on the other side sometimes it's a wooden broadside and some - set of railings with net. On all modern photos there's a railing:

 

post-17243-0-88872900-1426337193_thumb.jpg

 

Here's a close up of it:

 

post-17243-0-70379900-1426367163_thumb.jpg

 

On old photos there's a broadside:

 

post-17243-0-79648400-1426337188.jpg

 

I've seen tons of photos and broadside stuff magically appears and disappears. I assume it is detachable. Kit tells you to build broadside, not railings, so be it.

 

Also, gangboard steps are white today and were striped before. Kit tells you to go with stripes and we obey.

 

Finally I've made 2 modifications to the outside planking (besides the copper bottom, which comes soon): sliglty bigger wales and a waist rail at the base of the gangway, which is somehow not present in the kit:

 

post-17243-0-01777000-1426337627_thumb.jpg

 

Don't mind the varnish coat. I've added it to see impurities better :-)

 

Note to future builders of this model

 

Don't worry, if your frame isn't perfect - you can easily fix it anytime. Mine was twisted a bit and I "untwisted" it with hair dryer. Just put it on one side, add some weight to the top (about 1 kilo is enough) and do a good warm up with hair dryer. Leave it for a while and your frame will become perfect after that. I'd recommend to do this after you finished with outer planking, because wrong planking can lead to more twist.

Edited by monkeyman
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