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USS Constitution build II - 35 years later

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  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by CrashTestDummy on Monday, June 04, 2018 4:05 PM

Luvspinball

This may be one reason why it takes me twice as long to complete something than I planned - daddy's little helper!

helping nose

 

 

I have a little helper just about like that, except she's a standard poodle.  She's taken out one complete model (a Revel Apache that I spent WAY too much time just sanding the bad seams), and almost did in the FT-17 I was working on.  Luckily, that one survived.  I keep everything locked up when not working on them now.

 

Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas

G. Beaird,

Pearland, Texas

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, June 04, 2018 4:10 PM

Gene,

My workarea is down in the basement and keep the door closed unless I am in there.  She doesn't really bother my stuff - more interested in her bone or tennis ball.  Or napping on my foot, which is a bit of a problem when I try to use my dremel foot control!  I really don't mind having her down there otherwise.  She's a good pup.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by CrashTestDummy on Monday, June 04, 2018 4:11 PM

Luvspinball

I decided to go with wooden decking, so I had to build some.  I used 1/8" wide basswood strips and "painted" the edge with a dry erase marker before gluing together with wood glue.  Held it all together with 2" wide masking tape spaced every 3 inches  While that was drying, I started with the gun deck from the box.  I glued up the plastic deck and traced it exactly onto paper, including all the deck openings.  Using the drawings from the USS Constitution museum, I then edited the cutouts to better match the plans rather than the model's version.  I then traced this onto the wooden deck and cut everthing out very carefully with a new #11 blade.  <SNIP>

 

 

 

I used a similar solution on the one I built back oh, 50, or so years ago =8-0

The middle upper deck section on my kit was badly warped.  Knowing that styrene softens with heat, I set that deck section in the oven turned on low.  Came back a few minutes to find the Shrinky-Dink secton of deck on the rack!  Lesson learned, styrene softens AND shrinks with heat. 

So, now I had a big, expensive ship kit that was missing the middle of the deck!  I traced a pattern off the instructions and recreated a replacement with balsa sheet.  This elementary-school-age kid thought the finished product didn't look too bad after painting.  Not sure I would have had the patience to do it in 1/8" strips of wood. 

Nice work!  I do have another one of those in my stash.  Maybe one day, I'll recreate it, only without (I hope) the balsa wood replacement parts.

 

Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas

G. Beaird,

Pearland, Texas

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 9:58 AM

Thanks Gene.  One of the main reasons I did wooden decks is because of the warped and bad seams on mine.  I reinforced from below, but that didn't seem to make a difference.  Since I am lighting mine, I couldn't give up too much headroom, and decided to build my own.

So I was all set to put the hull together, when I realized I needed to put my below-deck crew in place, or I would never be able to later.  So painting the crew has commenced.  I have about 60 guys total in various poses, including the 20 or so the ship came with.  Most of the other guys are either Preiser or Woodland Scenics HO gauge figures, which all have to be repainted and/or modified.  Construction guys and railroad track workers seem to be the best choices, but I found many others that will also work with a little bit of work from a sharp exacto blade or my dremel.  Here is what I am basing my painting on:  1812 crew

Here are some of the Preiser figures I am modifying:

preiser figures

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 10:54 PM

First image is of the circuit board I attached to the bottom of the berth deck.  Built a couple of stand-offs so nothing will come in contact with the deck when soldering.  Enough room for over 40 circuits, but I only expect to use about half of that.  Below deck circuits (stove, berth deck lights, flicker lights) have been soldered.

circuit board

A few more shots of the crew painted.  I even found a couple of "short order" cooks to go by the stove.

cook

crew

I have a water barrel and grog tub (scratch built) inthe photo as well.

crew 2

I shot a 10 second video of the stove lit up with the fire going, but not sure where I could post that - postimage doesn't seem to want to host videos.  C'est la vie.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, June 19, 2018 11:06 PM

Bob, this is truly a first, and impressive. 

Also, your figure painting is really well done.

 

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 9:30 AM

Thanks GM.  Means a lot to me coming from you. 

I just hate "messy" wiring jobs.  This lets me keep track of exactly where everything is, and even if one circuit goes out down the line, all the others will continue to work.  I just have to add up all my milliamps when I am done to make sure I have a big enough power supply.  I have several to choose from, so shouldn't be an issue. 

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, July 04, 2018 8:56 PM

Happy 4th of July from the Connie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7OLX5lNKcE

 

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Friday, July 20, 2018 12:28 PM

Been busy on and off.  Tough going in the summer when the weather is nice.

Built rails and bits for the mizzen mast.

Finished painting on the hull.  So time to glue it together:

hull glued

interior hull glued

rudder

wing lights

circuit board

Also finished cutting all the boards for the spar deck and adding all the nail holes.  Also stained.  Took your advice Nino and stained the center area slightly darker than the area under the guns.  Will post pics when I get a coat or two of urethane on it.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    February, 2016
  • From: Western No. Carolina
Posted by gene1 on Friday, July 20, 2018 7:07 PM

Bob, your work is really super impressive in both your artistry & electrical " engineering". I would be lost doing work like that. Your figures are beautiful, are they 1/96 ? They sure fit. 

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Friday, July 20, 2018 11:15 PM

Gene,

I have the distinct advantage of having really poor eyesight, so when I want to work up close - such as painting figures or other intricate details - I just remove my contact lenses for the evening.  My depth of field without them is only about 4.5 inches, so I can get really close to what I am painting.  The figures are a mix of the 20 crew that come with the model and then another 50-60 Preiser and Woodland Scenics HO figures that have been modified to better fit with the rest of the crew.  The cook was a genuine find, though. 

Electronics comes naturally to me, as I have been repairing pinball and arcade machines for 25+ years, and working with breadboards and circuit building for 35+ years (needed to build all kinds of circuits for my PhD work, and worked in a bowling alley before that).  So wiring up some LEDs is child's play.  If anyone wants to do this for their kits, I am ready and willing to lend a hand.  Getting easier nowadays with current limiting diodes "tuned" to the lead current for most LEDs, SMDs and COB lights out there.  Toughest part for me is figuring out where to hide the wires!

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Philadelphia Pa
Posted by Nino on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 5:50 PM

Luvspinball

Gene,

Electronics comes naturally to me,... Toughest part for me is figuring out where to hide the wires!

Bob

 

   

Bob,
     I have been watching and taking it all in. Greatly Impressed is a big understatement. Fantastic work and it's a joy to follow all your posts & pics.
      I suspect hiding the wires will be easy for you. Figuring out where to put the Fuse box (They didn't have Circuit Breakers back then...ha.ha) will be challenging.  Maybe near the flag locker? 
  Just kidding 'bout the fuse box thing but  I hope I am not spoiling a surprise by suggesting you put a to-scale Pinball machine in the officers' quarters. Visible thru the gallery windows?
 Maybe a repairman figure at work on it? (a suggestion from one repairman to another.)
 
  Nino  (nino@repairman.com)
 
  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 10:40 PM

Just pop a copper penny in the fuse holder when the fuse pops - that will fix it right up!

I still can't believe people actually did that.  When my inlaws were selling their very old home, we went through it to find any old antiques worth saving.  Down in the basement was an old fuse box, and sure enough, the dining room circuit was shorted with a penny.  Did find an old clock and a turn-of-the-century phone with all the paperwork and schematics inside.  Swedish American Telephone Co., Hercules model, circa 1908.  Plan to restore it one day. Box and most of the parts still in pretty good condition.  Just needs to be cleaned up and restained.

old phone

As for the pinball machine, that would be an interesting "Easter Egg" to hide in there!  No fun playing in a rolling sea, though: Launch ball, TILT.  Launch ball, TILT.  Game Over.

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, August 02, 2018 10:05 AM

Been working on all the cannons for the gun deck, as well as the life boats and a fife & pin rails for the mizzen mast.

guns

boatsgun closeup

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, August 02, 2018 11:00 AM

Aha! 

 A fuzznose helper . All in all , you have to admire they'r curiosity , Right ? You are doing great work . My Connie still sits on the mantelpiece at the Museum that wound up with it .It's an old sea captain's house in Massachussetts .

 We didn't have LED and stuff back then . But , If you use a small light through the windows you can see the paintings on the Bulkheads !

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, August 02, 2018 11:05 AM

I have a question ;

 Have you test fired any of those guns yet ? LOL.LOL ! Note . I found that on most of my larger sail vessels they are easier to rig . IF , You build the Taffrails and then drill and place belaying pins .You do know that the reasons they used those pins don't you ?

 When a line was mounted in the standard way you put a lock loop ( reverse ) in them. Need a quick release ? Pull the pin . Viola ! Loose line gathered up and used for setting or reefing . Now that same system can be used in 1/96 to mount those lines . Plus it gives a more convincing look to the use thereof .

 Here's another point to consider .The Cascabel ( The ball on the end of the cannon ) .Was rigged with a line in battle to help stop the gun on recoil . Many times the recoil would cause the iron rings to pull out . Especially if the gunner double charged the weapon , which was done sometimes .

 Every effort was used to ensure they didn't get a runaway gun . Plus rigged to the cascabel the gun could also be secured better in stormy seas .

 Here's a P.S for you . I found on my R.C. Models that using black to shield light sometimes backfired in variation in the color of a panel . So I did this . Where there was a light I installed a disc of aluminum behind the bulb and used sky grey in a ring outside the bulb then white . Works great ! 

 Someone told me once that they read where they would use strongbacks across the Gun doors inside to run the guns up against in rough weather . Each strongback had an indentation that matched the Muzzle end of the gun . I don't know if that was or is true or not .

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, August 02, 2018 11:21 AM

Uh Oh !

The crew is laying down on the job ! LOL.LOL. You have done a very commendable job so far . Gotta say you're making me jealous .Naw , Just kidding and Too  ,what an awesome deck !

 Next thing we know you'll have the top off of the Grog tub and have grog and a ladle in there !

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, August 02, 2018 12:32 PM

TB,

Thanks for the wealth of info.  Lots of juicy nuggets there!

I do have a grog tub I made, and I'm sure I could fashion a ladle to hang from the side.  Not sure about filling it, though.  Most likely spill during rigging if I lay her down on her side.  Plus I prefer a good scotch or bourbon.  Thought of putting a bottle on the Captain's table.

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, August 02, 2018 12:39 PM

Tanker - Builder
Have you test fired any of those guns yet ? LOL.

I am seriously thinking about running some fiberoptic cable to 10 or 12 of the guns on the visible side, and hooking them into a flashing red LED.  I have done it before about 5 years ago on my "Pirates of the Caribbean" pinball topper of the Black Pearl, so I know it can be done.  But I would need to conceal the F.O. this time by coming through the deck, the carriage and then the cannon.  Might be a lot of work, but would be cool.  PirateCool

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, August 02, 2018 1:23 PM

that would look so cool rob , you doing a great job on this build mate .

steve5

 

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, August 06, 2018 1:13 PM

Looked through the cabinet and I happened to have a leftover sequencer board from one of my pinball projects, so I started drilling out 10-12 cannons on the gun deck to get the fiber optic cable in there.  I have four or five different sizes of F.O.  One fits snugly inside the cannon, but is to big to flex around the berth deck, so I will have to step it down to a smaller diameter so that I can get back to the board which will be housed in the bow below the (partial) berth deck. Using the sequencer so that the cannons will cycle through in a "random" pattern.  Planning on installing a switch somewhere discretely so that I can turn the flashing off but leave the rest of the lights on.

So there WILL be flashing cannons on the Connie.  Getting to the spar deck would be difficult (if not impossible) to hide the F.O. so I will only be doing the big guns down below.  That, and the fact that I have brass caronades, so a lot tougher to drill those.  I will document the process for anyone else that wants to do it in the future.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, August 06, 2018 11:44 PM

Decided to put together a little "How To" on adding flashing cannons.  Enjoy.  Please note that I did NOT rig this through the deck.  I did this on the bench for clarity.  You will have to run the fiber optic cable through the deck and to the board with the LEDs on it.  The board is quite small, and can easily be hidden in the bowels of the ship.

cannons01

cannons02

cannons03

cannons04

cannons05

Hope that all makes sense!

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, August 09, 2018 7:52 AM

Giving the video thing a try.

This is a video of the camboose lit with flickering orange LED.

https://youtu.be/WprsG512yFQ

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, August 09, 2018 9:37 AM

First video shows the board and a single cannon.  You can see the board sequencing and the cannon flash when it hits that position.

Second video is just a close-up of the cannon (bit out of focus, but you get the idea).

https://youtu.be/DTfefOiKMfo

https://youtu.be/UwRhoHegk8E

 

I have also bowed to peer pressure and lit the entire port-side cannons on the gun deck with a random firing pattern (15 guns).  Two will fire simultaneously on the even numbered LEDs and 5 will fire individually as the sequencing board progresses.  They will only fire when I flip the switch which I will hide in the crews head at the bow.

 

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Philadelphia Pa
Posted by Nino on Thursday, August 09, 2018 4:02 PM

Bob,  Thank you. You have a fantastic treasure-trove of info and How-to's  for us.... But watch out.  next thing you know we'll be wantin' Smoke from the guns and we'll take away points if the guns firing have not recoiled..... LOL.

Again,  Thank You. I am about to re-read this thread again. It is a Pleasure!

   Jim.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Friday, August 10, 2018 1:53 AM

bob , what you are doing is extrordinary , just loving this build . keep up the great work .

steve5

 

  • Member since
    January, 2012
  • From: Atlanta Metro, Georgia
Posted by fright on Friday, August 10, 2018 9:27 AM

Bob - your work on this ship is truly outstanding! Your attention to details with everything are precise and expertly crafted and, I am in awe on your knowledge when it comes to wiring lights, circuit boards etc. Like someone else has already said, 'thank you' for sharing all of this information and knowledge on this build. Tagging along in the wake of things lol

Robert O

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Friday, August 10, 2018 11:59 PM

Went to my first meeting of the IPMS here in Chicago.  Butch O'Hare chapter meets in Downers Grove so I thought I would check it out.  Interesting group of older gentlemen.  Had fun.  Not many ships tonight (1) which was an old paddleboat from early 1800's, probably because the theme was the Viet Nam War era.

This is what happens when you succumb to peer pressure:

 

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March, 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Sunday, August 12, 2018 10:09 PM

Video of cannons installed (not glued to deck yet) with fiber optic lighting from a 10 LED high output chaser circuit.

https://youtu.be/02YECR2b-6o

 

Pictures of the finished fiber optic runs and the circuit board with all fiber optics attached.

fiber optics board with fiber optics attached

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Monday, August 13, 2018 1:35 AM

that is so cool bob ,when do the sound effect's go in ? Wink

 

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