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Homage to Old Ironsides

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  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Homage to Old Ironsides
Posted by ageofsail on Sunday, February 15, 2015 12:30 PM

Hello all, new to the forum community here at FSM, but not to the world of modeling. I've built everything from car, trucks, aircraft, to modern warships, including 3 1/96 Revell  sailing ships, Thermopylae in the mid 70's, USS United States in the early 80's, to recently finishing a very badly damaged Cutty Sark that sat for 18 years half finished while life got in the way.

I have been following Force9's build with great pleasure and decided to pay homage to the great Revell kit myself, found a 1976 release on Ebay in perfect unopened condition for $65.00 (with free shipping!) and agree with the consensus that her glory years in the early 1800's are the best way to represent her. Force9, Jtilley, and Bondomans insight have helped me to "plot a course", to borrow an appropriate nautical phrase, regarding the build. One thing I have always done which may seem counterintuitive to some, is to rig running rigging from the pin rails up and tie of in the mast and yards, basically reverse of instructions and cw. I feel I have far more control over tension up where I can actually see to work. I lay out rope coils on the deck and hang them from the pin rails before I ever mount a mast as it is easier for me to get the look right without masts and yards in the way. Any suggestion here to improve my technique would be appreciated, especially since not counting my completion of Cutty Sark last month, it has been over 18 years since my last build, and Cutty Sark required so much repair to broken top masts, bowsprit, catheads, and dolphin striker I very nearly gave up, and I am barely satisfied with the results.

Began my build yesterday  afternoon with gluing hull halves together and the long tedious task of reaming out block and other holes throughout the ship with my pinvise (thank goodness for a good glass of rye!).

Force9, I know you are leaving gunport covers off, but I left them on with United States and even if not period correct I think it gives a better look, I might lash them to the deck but I am curious what your thoughts are on those 2 options?

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Friday, February 20, 2015 2:09 PM

This is my badly damaged and extensively repaired Cutty Sark

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Friday, February 20, 2015 2:21 PM

Kit is in excellent condition for having sat for 39 years, here goes...

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-_fp68fJFbqw/VOeWj9lrYeI/AAAAAAAABD8/1WxRt6jgFmQ/w924-h520-no/20150213_175716.jpg

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Monday, February 23, 2015 2:17 PM

Hull glued, will be using Milliput to fill and refine the keel seams

Photo

Hull primed, lower masts and bowsprit built and seams cleaned up, 3 piece spar deck will be filled and etched following Force9's method

Photo

Pin rails and the beginning of the fore fife rai build, this was a 2 Scotch night!

Photo

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Monday, February 23, 2015 2:18 PM

Test

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:40 AM

Your Cutty Sark looks great so we look forward to what your new Constitution will look like.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 12:38 PM

Thanks Scott, gonna be fun, gonna take some time.

Dan

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:46 PM

You should replace the exposed deck/ boat beams. IIRC they are molded wider than deeper and the real thing no double is heftier looking.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Friday, February 27, 2015 2:25 PM

Hull coppering done, will weather them mildly as I did Cutty Sark, but copper not exposed to oxygen will not look as deteriorated as some examples I have seen, so a light greenish black wash will suffice, obviously the above water line weathering will be a little more pronounced, the job Evan did on his hull was amazing but I do not have that kind of time (nor probably the skill)

 

Keel seams filled and scribed to represent hull plating, not possible to do corresponding scribes on both side of the hull so it will affect the way side of the ship I will display (starboard side)

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Friday, February 27, 2015 2:34 PM

The decks are turning into quite a challenge, horribly warped and simply not lining up correctly. I am not above considering scaledecks.com's superb alternative however were I to spend that money I would be inclined to go a little more extreme on other items as well. MEthinks after all the block sanding on the gun deck, the final spray and finish will decide for me but as can be seen here, the gun deck still needs some work.

I would like to follow Force9's design but I don't know if the deck here are salvageable, we shall see...

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Thursday, March 05, 2015 6:57 PM

Tried my hand at Force9's method of scribing the planking in on the decks, didn't come out quite as nice and I made no attempt at the joggling pattern, infinitely better than the molded deck as it came from Revell

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by RobGroot4 on Friday, March 06, 2015 2:12 PM

If you have more scribing to do, dymo tape REALLY helps as a guide.  It's the stuff old label makers used (the ones with the raised white letters punched into the various colored backgrounds).  Just stick it down and scribe along it.  Office supply stores still carry it (Staples, Office Max, etc.).

Regardless, your deck looks really nice from what I can see!

Groot

"Firing flares while dumping fuel may ruin your day" SH-60B NATOPS

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Friday, March 13, 2015 6:16 PM

I appreciate the advise Groot, but the deed is done, so maybe next time I tackle this ship Big Smile. BTW, I have a cousin named Oost who goes by the handle of Groot, very cool you do the same, you Dutch are strange people!

That being said, I finished the spar deck as a somewhat worn and weathered piece as is my wont and I must say, I am not too disappointed, the exception being the forward seam, I just could't seem to make it look right, but I like the way the weathering came out. The deck is a flat black base coat, wood tan top. I then layed on a rather heavy smear of undiluted leather to fill the seams and then washed it off with thinner SLIGHTLY tinted with flat black. I then poured a nice single malt scotch, (for me, not the deck) and proceeded to dot the butt ends with undiluted leather.

I left the gun deck somewhat weathered but didn't spend too much time on it. Unlike Evan I am not cutting viewing ports into the spar deck so no ned to get too extravagant with detail, but what is visible should be ok.

 

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Friday, March 13, 2015 6:17 PM

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by RobGroot4 on Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:25 PM

Your deck looks pretty good to me!  Though now I am curious what affect a scotch would have applied to the deck... Big Smile

Groot is my callsign as sometimes naval aviation isn't overly creative.  The family name is Groothousen.  Originally Dutch-German, what we have now is the simplified American version as my great-grandmother refused to marry my great-grandfather until he simplified it! 

Groot

"Firing flares while dumping fuel may ruin your day" SH-60B NATOPS

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Sunday, March 15, 2015 12:37 AM

I hope the following will be accepted as a constructive suggestion. It's the sort of thing that's relatively easy to fix this early in the project - if you want to - but would be a pain in the derrière later.

In laying a wood deck, each plank is fastened to every beam it crosses. There's a line of nails, or trunnels, running across the deck over every beam.

It's also worth thinking about what those fastenings look like. If they're trunnels, the carpenter starts by boring a hole for each one. He than pounds the trunnel in with a mallet. The top of the trunnel has a slot in it; the carpenter pound a small wood wedge into the slot, expanding the trunnel. Then he hacks the whole thing off flush with an adz. Because the visible part of the trunnel is end grain, it soaks up more of the oil or whatever else is applied to the deck much faster than the face grade n of the surrounding plank does. Another factor: the plank is probably pine and the trunnel is probably locust, which is a darker, harder species. So the trunnel becomes a little darker than the plank - but not a lot.

If the fasteners are iron or copper spikes, the carpenter starts by boring a hole that's a tight fit on the shank of the spike. He then counter bores, with a bigger bit, part way through the plank. He then drives the spike into the hole, so its head winds up slightly below the surface of the plank. In the meantime, somebody else has been using a bung cutter (a hollow drill that's slightly tapered) to cut a bunch of tapered plugs (bungs) out of a pine board. The carpenter dips a bung in caulking compound, and pounds the bung into the hole, covering the head of the spike. When the caulk is dry, he planes tithe protruding bung off flush with the plank.

With that method, what's visible to the eye is a thin, hollow circle, an inch or two in diameter. It's the color of the caulk, probably a slightly brownish black.

Which of those systems was used in the Constitution I'm not sure; Force 9 probably knows. My guess is that pine bungs covered the heads of the copper "bolts" that were supplied by Paul Revere. But maybe she originally had trunnels.

How all this should be represented in 1/96 scale is, of course, up to the individual modeler. But the real deck would have a heck of a lot of fasteners.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Sunday, March 15, 2015 2:34 PM

I actually did a fair amount of research on the subject John and your description of the various methodologies is spot on. Having a fairly extensive background in carpentry, particularly finished trim woodworking, I pondered long and hard using the doweling (or trunnel) method, which would require a much lighter color to properly depict, as opposed to the unthinned leather I used to represent the oakum in the deck seams and end butts, or whether to use the iron spiking method which would allow me to use the leather again to depict oakum. I obviously chose the latter as it allows for a more pronounced detail on the finished deck which will capture the eye of the casual observer. My normal method of furniture or wood working is doweling but then visibility of the joint work or fasteners is not desirable in most cases, I figured a functional Naval ship has no such criteria. I also share your opinion that she likely had copper bolts with cross grained wooden bungs, likely finished off with an oakum caulking, which is the look I am going for.

The reason for just representing the fasteners at the butt ends is, as you so clearly stated, that would be a lot fasteners! I think the detail at the butt joints illustrates the point without making the deck look too "busy". Besides, it would take more time than I really have, (and good single malt to "assist" me is not cheap :) ). I'm already 12 plus hours into just the decks and I did not even spend a lot of time on the gun deck, scribed, weathered and left it alone from there, I am not cutting viewing ports into the spar deck as Force9 did so with my time constraints it seemed  a reasonable compromise. I still have the cannonball racks to build and I am still considering whether or not to beef up the hatch comings, so time is definitely a factor for me.

At any rate, thanks for the comments, keep 'em coming, I appreciate the insight and suggestions. I am getting a new mini lathe soon and I your suggestion regarding the use of cherry for the mast tops is probably course I will pursue.

Dan

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Sunday, March 15, 2015 2:46 PM

Thanks Groot, I wish I had more time to spend on the deck but it is not a luxury I can afford right now and as my goodies from JoTika should be here Monday (eyebolts, cannonballs, rigging hooks, etc). I really need to focus on finishing up my prep on the hull. I would like to have the at least the gun deck finished with gun carriages in place and lashed and the spar deck installed before I cut back my time on her, my mountain bike is calling my name, Alas! I must answer the call! So it means Connie will be worked on sporadically over the spring/summer months and I really hope to at least have the deck in place before that.

As a side note, I am sure the original decks had plenty of spilled grog "applied" to them back in the day, a nice single malt, probably not so much, too expensive and too tasty for the average sailor I'd wager! Wink

Happy Modeling!

Dan

  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by RobGroot4 on Sunday, March 15, 2015 6:53 PM

I wish I still lived in Annapolis, I could have run up to Baltimore and shot some photos for anyone really interested in what the decks look like (of course that would be what the deck currently looks like).

Groot

"Firing flares while dumping fuel may ruin your day" SH-60B NATOPS

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Wednesday, April 08, 2015 4:11 PM

So I know I will get grief for this and that's OK, at my age it's water off a duck's back, but I think clean unblackened brass eyebolts look kind of cool, and so I will leave them that way. I know it's not correct and I do want to capture the year 1812 as much as possible, however, if everyone is bent on that goal, then everything looks the same right? Besides, when I look at Force9 and Arnie60's work I realize I am not on their league and so I will do the build similarly but with a nod to what I think looks good, and I think the brass eyebolts look very cool.

This does not mean I will not attempt to make other  aspects of the build come as close as I can to the era I am trying to represent, but it is my take on what will make the build stand out.

That said, here is my latest work on this build, I decided the little "knobs" molded into the hull for the gun rigging on the gun deck are a joke and so I replaced them with the OOB eyebolts, no need for strength so I did not use the JoTika brass, better served where they're seen and needed, IE the spar deck.

Evan, I'm curious, did you simply fill the hinge points for the gun ports or insert styrene to fill the holes? I am thinking I will discard the port doors and haven't decided what to do regarding the hinge points

  • Member since
    July, 2010
  • From: Tempe AZ
Posted by docidle on Wednesday, April 08, 2015 10:27 PM

Dan,

She coming along nicely. I really like what you've done so far. What are you using for rigging thread?

Steve

       

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Thursday, April 09, 2015 11:20 AM

Thanks Steve, certainly better than the OOB version I built 20 plus years ago, and I thought it came out pretty nice, but sites like this and the work of cats like Evan and Arnie, including Evan's excellent research, as well as the experience and advice of John Tilley have taken me out of the realm of OOB and I will never look back. Even though I will not be going to the lengths they are going in terms of period correctness or detail, I have been inspired to redo the channels and build my own shrouds, alter the standing rigging, turn my own top masts and yards, and add various other features heretofore undreamed of by a casual modeler like me, the spar deck in particular I am pretty proud of and Evan had a distinct influence there. Still waiting for John's response on sheet and bunt lines as I will be furling sails in the yards and rigging is where I really love to work and I want as much accuracy there as possible, and I do not believe in forgoing some rigging, I want all that is supposed to be there to be there.

As far as cordage goes, I actually have 2 spools of black Revell cordage left over from Cutty Sark, heavy and medium with more than enough I believe to do the standing rigging. It's the good old stuff too, not that garbage they include in the kits now, I really like the way it looks when treated to look like it's been tarred and it is a pretty hefty rope for standing rigging, it really stands out. I have a good supply of Artesania Latina but I'm not particularly impressed with it, so methinks the stuff Arnie is using from Cottage Industry Models ( http://cottageindustrymodels.com/?page_id=153 ) or the cordage at Syren Ship Model Company ( http://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/miniature-rope.php ) are likely the way I'll go for running rigging, I am leaning toward CIM, at least 3 different sizes, if not more.

I am curious what John and Evan's take on cordage is though and seeing as I have some time before I reach that point, I will await their input, but Arnies ship looks so good it's hard to see how any other cordage would be better. I used the .5 Latina for rigging the cannons on the gun deck because they will be relatively unseen and so the less than authentic look of the cordage wasn't a huge concern. Such will not be thecase topside, i want the best cordage I can find and so the 2 companies I mentioned are looking like the way to go.

Thanks for looking Steve and happy modeling!

Dan

  • Member since
    June, 2012
Posted by arnie60 on Thursday, April 09, 2015 12:35 PM

Dan;

Looking really good. Your decks came out very nicely!

Just thought I would chime in about cordage. As you noted I am using almost entirely the cordage from Syren. I did order and try some from Cottage Industries, and it is pretty nice stuff except that I found it unravels pretty easily and doesn't have the "feel" or look that the Syren cordage has. I am not sure what they make it from since they don't say on their web site, but from working w/ it I suspect it is synthetic fibers or a mix. I am sure the CIM would work fine for you though, and it is less expensive.  They offer a sample pack for a $2.00 shipping fee.

Looking forward to your next post.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, April 09, 2015 12:42 PM

I'm currently using EZ line on my steamship because it's all taut. Looking through my "good" cordage, it's mostly the Imai stuff that came with Victory (black), or Caldercraft (tan). I'm really happy with all of that.

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Thursday, April 09, 2015 3:56 PM

Thanks Arnie, given the atrocious warping and bowing on these decks I am pleasantly surprised I was able to straighten them out. I still have to fill in the gap at the stern and the open gaps where the waterway and deck come together at the bow but overall it came out much nicer that I expected.

I was under the impression you were using CIM for your rigging and it looked so good in your photos that was what was swaying me that direction. I love the look of Syren cordage and knowing now that is what you are using I will probably go with it instead. I want absolutely the best most authentic looking stuff I can find as rigging is my favorite part of a full rigged ship and the modest cost of this product is not enough to sweat over, Blue Jacket belaying pins are far more pricey that cordage and if that is what it takes so be it.

Dan

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by rwiederrich on Thursday, April 09, 2015 3:57 PM

I use pre-waxed button thread(hard to find)...but it can be found  in many sizes and colors...and it is spot on accurate...in my view.....not to mention imported black lacing thread(from India).  I keep my eyes open in old sewing, upholstering  shops and import stores.

Rob

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Thursday, April 09, 2015 4:35 PM

Thanks Rob, I will check into that, I wax my cordage with pure paraffin wax, eliminates "fuzzies" and helps the line look taut even if you rig it a little loose, so pre-waxed in the right diameter would sure save me a step.

Dan  

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by rwiederrich on Thursday, April 09, 2015 6:40 PM

I know this may sound strange...but on the last CS I built..I used while nylon line and then stained each line after I installed it with an alcohol based stain(That looked so real).  Once dry it took on a protypical sag as would be evident with real weighted line.  The real issue is..if you try to get some sag initially..your line twists and tries to follow the spool contour.  NOT good.  But my technique allows the line to naturally sag under its own weight looking very convincing. This technique while it produces slight sag...it does not look droopy...but very even and natural.

Rob(Plus you can dye the line any color you wish)

  • Member since
    July, 2010
  • From: Tempe AZ
Posted by docidle on Thursday, April 09, 2015 10:53 PM

Dan,

I have used the old Revell rigging line myself on some of my models and I agree it still holds up pretty well. On my Catalan Ship build I purchased Syren's line for the entire rigging and used it on other builds recently and I love it.

On my Dreadnought thread I plan on using EZ line like GM, although I might try fly fishing line on some of the WW2 ships when I get to them. 

In regards to the CIM line, I know Rod Millard uses it and has been very happy with the results. He also stains his line to the colors he needs. You can see the line in use on his Catalan Ship thread here:

cs.finescale.com/.../160320.aspx

I also checked out Morope which is also very nice but unravels unless you glue the ends. I really do not think you could go wrong with any of these lines for rigging.

Steve

       

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2010
  • From: Irvine, CA
Posted by Force9 on Thursday, April 09, 2015 11:46 PM

Very nice progress Dan!

With regard to cordage... Like other modelers I quickly ordered up some sample line from Chuck at Syren when he first began taking orders and I was very impressed. It is beautiful stuff. I do plan, however, to use some of the CIM line in my build. I've been working a bit with William At Cottage Industries and I think his line will do well for the shrouds. I really like how his line has a bit of spring to it that will help keep tension on these critical lines. He uses a synthetic with no fuzz and no need to wax. Probably CIM line for standing rigging and Syren for running...

William is also helping me with breaching lines and the anchor cable.  More to come soon..

I'm glad you've elected to stray from strictly OOB... You may never go back after getting bit by the Evergreen bug!

Good suff!

Evan

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