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Another 1/96 USS Constitution - third time's a charm (I hope)

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  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Another 1/96 USS Constitution - third time's a charm (I hope)
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 10:42 AM

Hello all,

I am Jose Gonzales, a part time participant in this forum a while back, but relegated to the role of lurker (for those offended by lurkers, please accept my apologies) for the last few years by children, health issues, and life in general. 

I begin this log with a dilemma. Many years ago, I was lucky enough to score big on e-bay with a BlueJacket Constitution kit for $55. I wondered at the time if the seller knew what he had in his hands - new, the kit was selling for 10 times that amount. I counted my lucky stars and added the kit to the stash without examining it closely

Fast forward to a few years ago. My neighbor was having a garage sale, and was getting rid of a revell 1/96 Constitution, a Museum Classics version with "cloth-like sails" and a wooden panel with brass-coated plastic stands. I bought that for $25, with the thought in mind of mashing it with the metal parts from the BlueJacket kit - I did not have woodworking tools or skills, and if I wanted to copper plate the Bluejacket kit, I would have to buy 3000 individual copper plates, so I figured the mash-up might be a way to make a great model without having to carve any wood. The kit was placed in the stash and sat for a few years.

Fast forward to April 10, 2016. I had just sold my Constitution version 2 (which took 10 years to build) to clear space for my next build - the Heller HMS Victory 1:100. I had purchased Dafi's absolutely beautiful photoetch set for the Victory (amazing set, well worth the money), but was a little intimidated by the scale and scope of the project. As i dug out my Victory from the stash, I caught sight of the Bluejacket kit, and dragged it out for an inspection. The original purchaser had started on the solid hull, and had made some glaring mistakes, which might explain whay they were willing to part with it. This was the bicentennial version, so it is solid to the gun deck, and upwards, includes the whole hull up to the spar deck bulwarks. The builder has only to cut the gun ports and build up the beams and planking for the spar deck. The owner had cut the gun ports perpendicular to the hull. This means that in the areas of high tumble-home, the gun ports were cut at a downward angle. With thickness of the bulwarks, the ports in the middle of the ship probably had ended up at the deck level. The owner tried to accomodate this by lowering the gun deck, but he apparently assembled one of the guns, set it on the deck to see how it looked, and found that the barrel would not reach out of the hull because of the angle of the gunports.

I had seen the wonderful work of Arnie and Evan, among many others, and found my self inspired to give Old Ironsides one more try. The question - should I contact BlueJacket and order another hull, or go with my original plan to mash up the parts of the two kits? Given that I still did not have woodworking tools or the skills required for such a complex model, I chose the latter.

A close inspection of th kit revealed that even without the hull, this kit is an amazing treasure trove of parts. Check out this parts list: http://www.bluejacketinc.com/kits/partsLists/constitution.pdf  

I checked the contents, and it appears all of it is there, with the exception of a small amount of decking that the previous owner had applied to a small section of the gun deck. Beautiful pieces, which I will be happy to put to good use. 

Unfortunately, the Revell Constitution I had purchased had a few issues:

1. The "cloth-like sails" were crushed beyond repair - good riddance.

2. On one of the hull halves, the billet-head had broken off. The piece was still in the box, and it looked like a clean break, which would be hardly noticeable when glued back on.

3. On the other hull half, the knighthead had broken off. Unfortunately, while inspecting the box, I had actually found the piece, but thinking it was a piece of scrap plastic, I threw it away on, of all days, trash day! Gone forever.

Everything else in the kit was intact and complete. I turned to my trusty friend, Constitution version 1, which I had built when I was 16, and had scavenged for parts to enhance my Constitution 2 build. One last sacrifice - I sawed off the knighthead with a no. 11 blade, and put the piece in the spares box for later application.

Now, off to the build!Big Smile

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 11:12 AM

Well Jose, I would follow a third path.

I would keep the wood kit intact. To me the mistakes, if they are, sound easily fixable.

The Revell kit is nice but it's after all a plastic model.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 12:50 PM

Hello Mr  Morrison,

Thank you very much for your suggestion. I understand that the Bluejacket Kit is, in its intact form, worth quite a lot, and is potentially a basis for a great model. I took a closer look at the partially carved hull, and found some further mistakes made by the original builder. They cut an extra gun port at the bow, and omitted the last gunport near the gallery towards the stern. (He cut 16 ports per side, and I know about the bridle port added by Bainbridge, so he essentially omitted gun port 16 and added gunport -1). It would be easy enough to cut a new port aft and fill in the port forward, but the builder also based his spar deck bulwarks and carronade ports on the faulty placement of the gun ports, so the quarterdeck bulwarks start too far forward, and the the focsl bulwarks end too early. In addition, the copper  plates required for the coppering will cost and extra $225, and that's money I just spent on the photoetch for the Victory. 

I plan to start with the plastic hull, and scratch build from the Bluejacket wood, and apply all the metal parts, so that a small number of parts will be from the revell kit.

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 12:59 PM

Here is a view of the two hull halves from the Revell kit - note the broken nose. _DSC7554 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:07 PM

I did not have thick strip styrene on hand, but I did have a 0.040 thick styrene sheet, so i cut some rough strips, cut that into small pieces, and surrounded the gunports to thicken them. For the ports with lots of tumblehome near the middle, I overlapped the strip over the opening, and then filed down the strip horizontally relative to the upright ship. My original intent was simply to make the bulwars appear thicker through the gunports, but I then realized that the gundeck bulwarks would be visible through the main hatch, so I started to plank the bulwarks between the ports that would be visible through the hatch with 0.030 x 0.156 " styrene strip. One thing led to another, and I ended up planking the entire gundeck bulwarks and adding hanging vertical and diagonal knees.

 _DSC7623 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:07 PM

If you have the broken piece, you'll be able to glue it to the opposite half.

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:22 PM

Yes, I do have the broken piece, and plan to attach it when I bring the hull halves together. I have a question for you constitution experts. I checked the deck planking width for the decks as scribed on the revell kit, based on the 1/96 scale - 1/8 inch = 1 foot, and found that the scale width of the planks was ~9 inches. The planking provided by the BlueJacket kit, which I plan to apply, is 6 scale inches wide. Any ideas which one is closer to historical width?

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 1:33 PM

I'll be interested to see answers to that. The ship has been rebuilt so many times that it would be very difficult to know. Even the earliest photos would of course be 50 years after construction.

I've seen photos and, well, the real thing plus contemporary drawings and I think there are some weird things going on.

But that is just me.

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 2:24 PM

Here are pictures of the hull from the Bluejacket kit.

Here is the bluejacket hull juxtaposed with the revell hull. Note the misplacement of the quarterdeck and forecastle bulkheads. I confirmed this with the plans that came with the bluejacket kit, which match the Revell hull.

 _DSC7630 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 2:31 PM

Here is the gun deck. I reinforced the bottom of the deck with styrene strip. The center section was thicker than thhe outer sections, so I added thickness with some additional styrene strip _DSC7634 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

My initial plan was to mask individual planks, paint different shades of gray and brown, then overlay with the main light deck color. The masking did not work, and the paint seeped under the tape.

 _DSC7633 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

The next plan is to plank with wood strips. I bought 1/32 basswood sheets at the local hobby store (they did not have wood strips in the right size). I then marked and pencilled in plankinng lines of 3/32 width (9 scale inches) and cut with a straight edge and no. 11 blade, and tested my planking skills at the bow section of the gun deck

 _DSC7635 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 10:02 PM
Sr Gonzales, Let me recommend google's Image Search, and enter "USS Constitution Deck"--this will get you a glut of images of the current ship, but those are a place to start. The lumber available for the original build was old growth forest giants. I'll wager the raw bawlk planks in the yards were probably two foot wide. Only yhr needs of ship building narrowed those to 8 or 10" wide.. If memory serves, Connie is center planked with the planks being full from the centerline out, and joggled into the waterway plank. But, my memory could be wrong, too. But, it was only 2ยข, too.
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 10:39 PM

Where I see weird stuff in contemporary photos, Capn, is not a lot of joggling, but curved to fit the waterway, and redirection of plank lines along the way.

We do know her decks were originally pine.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2010
  • From: Irvine, CA
Posted by Force9 on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 11:44 PM

Hello Jose

Regarding the planking... Joshua Humphries does not provide most of the plank dimensions in his builders notes... He does, however, specify white oak planks 6 inches thick and "not less than" 10 inches wide for the thick strake planking along the gun deck. These were scarfed into the underlying beams and joggled together at forty foot intervals to add strength to the complex structure.  (You can see my feeble representation of these strakes within my build log somewhere... ) Humphries further specifies using the best white oak planks on the gun deck 6 feet out from the side - the rest to be of the best heart pitch pine.  This is similar on the spar deck with white oak 5 feet from the side.  This higher grade white oak would stand up better directly under the gun carriages.

Good to see you taking on the 1/96 Constitution kit.  I think this Revell version is the most representative of her 1812 appearance - even more so than the Bluejacket kit.

I'll be following along as I begin to ramp up again on my own build later this month.

Cheers

Evan

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, May 03, 2016 11:51 PM
Hmm, quarter-sawn heart pine will bend nicely; almost without needing a steam box. So, Yankee Ingenuity--why fuss with joggling when straps and wedges will get a curve that works as well. would explain the honey-colored decks, too.
  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 1:47 AM

http://www.maritime.org/conf/conf-otton-mat.htm

Whereas the original materials for deck, ceiling, and deck beams were specified to be "best heart pitch pine"

"Places white oak timber was used in the Rehabilitation and Restoration of Constitution: Planking, Below the Waterline"

The hull planking and the deck planking being of two different types...

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by rdiaz on Wednesday, May 04, 2016 2:17 AM

Congratulations and good luck with the build. It's a great subject. I want it to fall into my stash badly but Amazon won't send to Spain without charging more than what the model's worth for shipping and customs... :(

 

Will be following this closely.

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Thursday, May 19, 2016 2:57 AM

Thank you, I will be watching your HMS Victory build as well. Here is my latest update. It took me two weeks to complete the gun deck planking. I cut the planks myself from sheets of 1/32 inch thick basswood from the local hobby store. I started by creating a 1-column table in Microsoft Word, with cells that were ~ 3/32 inches tall, which works out to about 9 inches in that scale. I printed the table out, and used it as a guide to drawing lines on the basswood sheets. I then used a ruler with a metal straightedge and a number 11 blade in my exacto knife to cut the long planks out. _DSC7639 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Initially I was cutting the planks and gluing them directly onto the Revell gun deck. Problem was, doing them one at a time ensured that they would be uneven. I tried to use the etchings on the revell deck as a guide for placement of the planks, since I had worked out that the planks on the Revell deck would be 9 scale inches wide as well, but it turns out that the planks I was cutting were just a touch narrower than the planks on the plastic. It led to uneven gaps between some of the planks. _DSC7637 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Just like learning to tie clove hitches for ratlines, I got better as went along. I figured out that by cutting out several planks at a time, then stacking them and filing and sanding them to shape, I ended up with much more even planks. Here is the completed deck - you can see that the outer deck appears much more even than the center.  _DSC7644 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7643 by Jose Gonzales, on FlickrUnfortunately, I finished my first basswood sheet, and had to start using a second sheet, which happened to be a pronounced shade lighter than the first, so the outer deck has a much lighter tone. I had read somewhere that the outer areas under the guns on the gun deck were at one time planked with a different wood than the inner planks, but I can't find the reference right now. Perhaps i can imagine that the shade differences represent these different types of wood. It took me 2 weeks to plank the deck, working half an hour to an hour a night. I learned that going slow yields much better looking results.

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:06 AM

I think it look's fantastic my friend really looking forward to this build , have you tried e-bay rdiaz

steve5

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Thursday, May 26, 2016 5:58 PM

Another dilemma....Thanks, steve5, I really appreciate the compliment (or is that complement, I can never remember when to use which). I ordered some blackeners from Bluejacket for blackening the guns and other metal parts, so I've paused a bit in the build.  I also assembled a 24-lb gun from both the Revell and Bluejacket kits. Force9's (Evan's) fantastic build detailed on pg 10 of the log (http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/146977.aspx?page=10 ) the discrepancy in size between the Revell and Bluejacket 24 pounders. In short, the Revell barrels are the correct length for 1812 (9 ft 6 in), but look "wimpy", while the Bluejacket barrels are the length of the guns originally loaded onto Old Ironsides as built (8 ft), incorrect for 1812, but they sure look more "menacing" . I don't have a spare Heller Victory around, so I have a choice to make - shorter, better looking barrels, or longer, historically accurate, but wimpy looking barrels? Also, the Bluejacket kit comes with matching carriages, fine for the short barrels, but a bit small if I were to load the longer barrels onto them. The Bluejacket carriages look much beefier in terms of the thickness of the side panels than the Revell ones, have the bottom curve already molded in, and a nice taper to match the taper of the barrels. I'll post pics when I can.

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Friday, May 27, 2016 11:51 AM

Jose

I second Steve's compliment (complement has to do with completion - i.e.: That dark stain is a nice complement to your wood deck). I commend your fortitude in perservering with the creation and placement of the deck planks.

Mike

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Sunday, May 29, 2016 7:50 AM

Hello Evan, 

I just reread your previous post in this thread and realized that you had directly mentioned the alternate planking underneath the guns. Please accept my sincere apologies for not reading more closely. 

I would like to describe in detail some of the techniques I used as I go along. For the vertical hanging knees i stacked together  3 pieces of 0.156 x 0.040 styrene stripes, of 3 different lengths, short, shorter and shortest, to form a sort of 3-stepped staircase, then filled and sanded the steps so the entire piece was a sharp vee. I sanded down the edges and rounded the bottom, and glued what was once the stepped side down to the gun deck bulwarks. The diagonals are similar but made of only 2 pieces of styrene.

 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Sunday, June 05, 2016 10:38 AM

Here are a few shots comparing the 24 pounders from Revell and BlueJacket. BlueJacket is on the left, and Revell on the right:

 _DSC7652 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr _DSC7654 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr _DSC7657 by Jose Gonzales, on FlickrThe Revell gun was left over from the last Constitution I built, and the Bluejacket was the one assembled by the previous owner presumably to check the fit of the guns to the gunports. I painted them temporarily to get an idea of how they would look. I'm currently leaning toward the BlueJacket version despite the short barrels.

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Sunday, June 05, 2016 10:43 AM

Inspired by Force9's build, I have planked the bulkheads on the spar deck with representations of the bolts that attach them, although I've done a much poorer and cruder job of it. As always I got better as I went along. I used the tip of a needle file to imprint the bolts:

 _DSC7752 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr _DSC7753 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Saturday, July 16, 2016 3:07 AM

Hello all,

It's been a while since my last update. I've done a few things on the model since then, and I figured I'd better post them now before the pics back up and the pile gets so large that I procrastinate further.

I primed and painted the inner bulwarks. The gun deck bulwarks got ModelMaster flat white and the spar deck got ModelMaster green. My last Constitution got the old small testor's green which was bluer, but this yellower modelmaster green looks more of a match to the green in the Corne paintings, at least to my eye

I also drilled out a lot of holes for the eyebolts and ringbolts surrounding the gunports. Each gunport got 4 holes, plus a hole for a shared eyebolt between each port for the side tackles of each gun.

Next I tackled the 24 pounders. I had already purchased blackening solutions from Bluejacket, but I had to decide between painting the guns and blackening them. 

Painted on the left, blackened on the right. The painted barrel looks like the barrels on the ship today. The blackened barrel reminds me of the replica guns I saw on board the HMS Surprise at the maritime museum here in San Diego, metallic with oxidation. I chose to go with blackening; even though I think I like the look of the painted barrel better, I think the blackened barrels will have more of an impact.

To blacken the guns, I first had to polish them to remove some dirt and oxidation coating the barrels, so I stuck them in my drill chuck, used it as a mini lathe of sorts, and polished the barrels with sand paper while spinning. It made a big difference, as unpolished barrels would have shown very patchy blackening.

For the guns I had to assemble ringbolts with and without rings. The BlueJacket kit comes with ~300 ringbolts, but no rings. It also comes with 9 feet of brass wire, so I wound the wire several dozen turns tightly around a 1/8 inch diameter brass tubing, slid the wire off the tubing, and snipped off rings. I threaded one ringbolt onto each ring, closed the ring with a pair of pliers (I did not solder, as these would not be taking any strain) and blackened them with the solution. Looks like I'll need a lot of those ringbolts. Each carriage will have 7 ringbolts (only 2 of which will have rings, see above picture), and the gunports will have at least 4 ringbolts each, at least 2 of which will have rings. 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Saturday, July 16, 2016 3:18 AM

I next turned my attention to the camboose. I attempted to assemble bluejacket's photoetched pieces, but the pieces broke at the folds as I was manipulating them. I ended up having to assemble the camboose from the many pieces that resulted from them breaking apart. 

For the brick hearth, I painted a small square of styrene sheet red, then etched a brick pattern. 

I used 3/16 x 3/16 square wood dowel from the Bluejacket kit for the bitts and cheeks, and added the ringbolts. _DSC7778 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr _DSC7777 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Saturday, July 16, 2016 3:49 AM

I decided I would open most of the hatches on the gun deck, and suspend a representative section of the berth deck underneath the gun deck, to be visible through the opened hatches, so I cut out the hatch gratings from select hatches on the gun deck, then built up the hatch coamings using scrap strips from the gun deck planking. I added square wood dowel underneath the deck flanking the open hatches to represent the gun deck beams where they might be visible through the hatches. These would also serve to anchor the dowels I would be using to suspend my berth deck section underneath.

 _DSC7832 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

The Bluejacket kit includes some basswood sheets that have been scribed to simulate deck planking

 _DSC7822 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

I cut a section that was long enough to match the hatches I was opening on the gun deck, cut out some corresponding rectangles out of the sheet to represent the continuation of the hatches on the deck, and built up the coamings around the cutout rectangles. I then added deck beams similar to those underneath the gun deck. I cut  short segments of square dowels that would serve as berth deck stanchions, as well as the means of suspending the berth deck segment, drilled holes on both ends of each, and inserted small diameter brass rod, one short, the other longer. I drilled holes into the gun deck "beams", inserted the short brass rods of the dowels and glued the stanchions to the gun deck securely. I then drilled holes through the berth deck section and through the deck beams, inserted the long brass rods on the stanchions through these holes, and bent the brass rod to secure the berth deck to the gun deck.

 _DSC7831 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7828 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

The stanchions aren't perfectly straight, but they are barely visible from above, and the import thing is that the hatches line up very well.

 _DSC7829 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Saturday, July 16, 2016 3:57 AM

I also started working on the chain pumps. Initially I was going to make them out of styrene, but my first efforts were large and out of scale. I switched to basswood sheets. The round housings I made out of plumbing washers that are used in faucet stems. I cut them in half and glued the halves to the top of the pumps, then painted them all ModelMaster military brown. Here is a comparison of the styrene vs wood versions:

 _DSC7821 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Friday, July 22, 2016 11:52 AM

Hi all,

I've assembled the gun deck to the hull halves - pix upcoming - but I wanted to share some musing about the guns and my plans to rig them. 

So for a fully rigged gun, there are 5 tackles: 2 side tackles, 2 gun tackles and 1 training tackle. For each tackle, there would be 1 single and 1 double block. For each block there would be 1 hook. So, for 24 fully rigged spar deck carronades, there would be a total of 120 tackles, 120 single blocks, 120 double blocks, 240 hooks. For 30 gun deck guns, that would be 150 tackles, 150 single blocks, 150 double blocks, 300 hooks.

My original ambition was to fully rig all guns...

 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Monday, August 01, 2016 11:41 PM

Hello all,

Here are the promised pictures of the assembled hull halves and gun deck.

 _DSC7838 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7839 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7840 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7841 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7842 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

I was encouraged by the success of the suspended berth deck below, and was considering building up the spar deck from the wood dowels and deck plank sheets, but when I lined up the Revell plastic spar deck pieces on the deck plan sheet from the BlueJacket kit, I found some discrepancies.

 _DSC7844 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

First, note that the main hatch on the Bluejacket plans is smaller than the Revell deck's hatch. The deck beam locations seem to line up fairly well. But the biggest discrepancy is the locations of the fore and main masts. The foremast on the Bluejacket plans is stepped farther back, and the mainmast is farther forward

 _DSC7846 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

 _DSC7845 by Jose Gonzales, on Flickr

The mizzen mast lines up fairly closely. Since I had already mounted the wood-planked plastic gun deck, I could not use these plans to generate a wooden spar deck to match the gun deck. 

I searched for an explanation for the discrepancy, and found one - in the book "Old Ironsides: The Rise, Decline, and Resurrection of the USS Constitution" by Thomas Gillmer, illustrations by William Gilkerson, 1993, paperback (first printing 1997). On pg 160, Chapter 5 "The Restoration Question", Gillmer describes the changes in the structure of the ship over the last ~200+ years: "One of the most striking diversions from the original design is in the location of the masts. The formast step has been moved aft about 2 feet 4 inches. At the deck it is 3 feet 2 inches farther aft, showing an increased rake aft of more than 2 1/2 degrees; this results in a total aftward change of approximately 5 1/2 feet to the mast's fore top. the mainmast, to the contrary, has been moved forward and closer to the foremast, with the mast-step center moved about 2 feet 3 inches forward on the keelson..." In short, the mizzen mast is relatively unchanged from launch, but the foremast has been moved back, and the main mast has been moved forward since launch. If this is true, the Bluejacket plans represent the ship post mast step movement, while the Revell kit has the masts in their original location. If you have the book, there is also a drawing on pg 156 of the same chapter which overlays a draft of the current lines of the ship on top of an as-built drawing - this drawing  alone is worthy of a separate discussion. The question is, when did the mast-step changes take place, before, during, or after the glory years of the War of 1812? Unfortunately, the book does not answer that question.

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
    December, 2005
  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Monday, August 08, 2016 12:21 PM

Hi all,

I've been working on stropping the lower deadeys in preparation for mounting the channels, and it's been quite hard. I found some instruction on the forums at Modelshipworld.com, that I think will be very useful, will try out their suggestions. Here is the page:

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/7625-manufacturing-of-deadeye-strops/ 

Best,

Jose

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA

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