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USS Constitution build II - 35 years later

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  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, December 26, 2018 7:24 PM

Steve, Dave, Scott & Rob,

Thanks for the compliments, guys.  Not as complicated as it looks.  I kept track of what lights went where when I was building the circuits on the board.  At assembly, all I had to do was hook them up.  Decided to solder everything for security.  Only complicated parts were the cabin lights, as I have 4 lights per circuit.  Since I didn't want them to flash in unison, I purposely mixed the wires around so it looks random (similar to the cannons).

Both my wife and father-in-law suggested I do a YouTube video of the basic wiring circuits so that others can benefit.  It's a little more complicated then that, and math is involved when it comes to choosing a power supply, but I am pretty sure most can add.  Hardest part is soldering the micro-circuitry to the board.

I will take a few photos or a video of the lights and try to post.  Probably thru YouTube, since Postimages doesn't do video.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Friday, January 18, 2019 9:25 AM

Been busy installing all the walls in the Captain's quarters and day cabin.  Also began installing all the knees on the gun deck.  I need to hide some of the wiring for the gun deck lighting, and all of those wires will be hidden in a channel in the knees.

Also started rigging the tackle for the cannons.  If ANYONE has a simple way to rig up the single and double blocks with the hooks and rope, I am all ears!  At this rate, it will take me until next Christmas to get all these guns rigged.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Atlanta Metro, Georgia
Posted by fright on Friday, January 18, 2019 9:56 AM

Bob - Your work on the Constitution is Fantastic - Especially the wiring!!!  I hope you follow thru with your wife's and father-in-law's suggestion on making a video about using lighting and circuit boards. I am lucky to be doing some basic wiring of lights with my build. I admire your work on your build.

Robert O

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 11:47 PM

So here are a few shots of the knees and cannon rigging.  Four down, twenty-six to go!

gun rigging

Also a shot of one of the officer's head.

officer's head

That's all for now.

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 11:52 PM
Thanks Fright. I will do that in the near future. Have to get another board so I can take more shots. Depending on your skill level when it comes to soldering, there are some fabulous new miniature current limiting chips out there which makes it practically "idiot proof." Only trouble is the size - the darn things are nearly microscopic! Need a steady hand, a very fine soldering tip, and a soldering rig that you can control the temperature. Probably show both ways, since the old way is pretty easy to do with a small board, some resistors and diodes, and a basic soldering iron. Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: brisbane australia
Posted by surfsup on Thursday, January 31, 2019 4:30 AM

That is some beautiful work Bob. I love it.....Cheers mark

If i was your wife, i'd poison your tea! If Iwas your husband, I would drink it! WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Sunday, February 24, 2019 9:48 PM

So I have been very busy at work, but finally got the starboard gun tackle all rigged.  Still deciding how to tie up the loose rope.  Probably coil and lay on guns on the starboard side.  Port side are the guns rigged to "fire," so those will have gun crews on them and the ropes left loose and cut a bit shorter.

On the port side, guns were already in place due to running the fiber optics, but loosely sitting on deck.  So I rigged all the breach ropes on the guns by seizing both ends, then securing to the bulkheads via a pin dropped through the rope and then through an eyelet (drop of gorilla glue to hold in place).  Then I secured the guns to the deck in the firing position (one gun in loading position on each side).  I used a small brass nail glued to the bottom of the carriage, pressed it into the wood deck to mark, drilled a pilot hole, then glued in place with gorilla glue.  Also added a drop to each wheel before securing.  Guns are rock solid.  I will get to the tackle next, then finish up the deck furniture and add some crew to "man the guns!"

all guns starboard gun tackle

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Atlanta Metro, Georgia
Posted by fright on Monday, February 25, 2019 1:11 PM

Bob - your time spent on building this ship is well worth every minute. Your talents and mastery to detail AND your wiring skills are amazing!!! Thank you for sharing your talents with us on this piece of art. 

Robert O

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, February 25, 2019 2:16 PM

Thanks Robert.  I truly appreciate the compliments.  This is really just my way of relaxing and "unwinding" my mind - and it keeps my hands busy as well. 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Sunday, March 3, 2019 11:44 PM

So I have been working on the details of the gun deck furniture.  Biggest headache was the messenger cable.  Had to add a pulley to the main timber in the manger.  That would have been no big deal if I hadn't already installed the chain stopper bits.  But I got it in there somehow.  Second headache was trying to keep the messenger cable close to the deck - kept wanting to ride up.  Finally got it all squared away.

gun deck furniture

Did some puddening on the first anchor while watching a bit of golf.

Shots of the Captain's quarters:

cabin

CABIN

anchor ring

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Philadelphia Pa
Posted by Nino on Monday, March 4, 2019 1:17 PM

Geez Bob, where's the inkwell on the Commadores desk?

 

  Holy Smokes that is some detail.

Can you make the deck over the cabin removable? That is too good to hide

I love it. I could never do it, but I love this model ship. 

  THANKS BOB!

          Jim

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, March 4, 2019 3:34 PM

Jim,

Might have overdone it with the inkwell, but you will be able to see it through the windows!  My philosophy: Go Big or Go Home!  

Finishing up rigging the port side cannons.  Still looking for a way to cover the LEDs so they look more like lanterns on the rest of the gun deck.  I am contemplating doing what Force 9 did to to open up his spar deck so that you could see more of the gun deck.  My wife also says it would be a shame to cover all this up.  Still have some time before I come to that bridge.

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:43 PM

Got tired of tying blocks for guns, so moved on to the bowsprit.  both the jib and flying jib plastic pieces were warped - the flying jib looked like a snake.  Dolphin strikers also a sore point for most of us as well, as they are quite flimsy and easily broken.  I started by doubling up the dolphins by bonding .040 styrene to the back, essentially doubling the thickness.  Can barely tell once its painted.  Holes were all wrong, so I filled the originals and redrilled the correct number (one short) and in the correct places.  Also added the stretcher bar and wrought iron stiffener at the top of the "Y".  Finally, I added the missing block/roller under the iron bar.

dolphins

Then I moved on to the jibs.  Got some hardwood dowels and marked out the areas for sanding and tapering.  Described below:

jibs

Once I was satisfied with how it all fits together, I stained the jibs and will give a coat or two of polyurethane before assembling.  Still need to do some paint touchups on the dolphin striker as well.  Also added stairs, blocks and a corrected fairlead with 9 holes for rigging the bowsprit.

I will say that overall EVERYTHING is much stiffer, and will be much stronger for rigging.  So I guess it was a good thing the flying jib was so ugly, or I might not have done the extra work.

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:52 PM

I see you are on your way to a wood model. The plastic sailing ship model is a flawed concept when the windy parts are tackled (pun intended).

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 9:48 AM

GM,

I concur.  Looking at the sprues, all 3 of the topgallant masts are warped as well.  Will be a hybrid of plastic at the bottom of the masts, with wood at the tops. 

On a side note, met a guy at my last IPMS meeting who says he has "7 or 8 of those Heller plastic ship models" which he will never get a chance to build.  I told him I would gladly take them off his hands if he can let me know which ones he has.  Hopefully get a list from him in April.  Hoping for a Soleil Royal in there somewhere!

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:25 PM

Hi Bob,

I have been floowing your build and am in awe with what you are doing.  I am about 30 hours away from being done my build.  All the booms, upper masts, and most of the spars were relpace with wood and I used steel rod in the lower masts.  I  learned from earlier Revell builds that rigging plastic masts and spars is like trying to give three cats a bath at the same time. 

Scott

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:35 PM

I don't have 3 cats, but I have 2 goldens, so I can empathize with your statement.  Not sure how you know that you have 30 hours left, since every task I set out to revise seems to take at least twice as long as I thought.  Not complaining - I am in no real hurry, and would rather do a job well rather than quickly.  I do remember back from my first crack at this years ago, that getting tension on the top lines WITHOUT bending the masts in all directions caused me quite a few headaches.

If I might ask, how did you do the spars?  The rest are relatively straight-forward, as they just taper from one end.  But the spars need to taper from the middle out.  Tough to do without a small lathe, I would think.  Any advice would be well received.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, March 14, 2019 2:07 PM

I say 30 hours because all I have left is the three boats to rig up and I'm procrastinating it.  I started this build in 2007 and wish I did not do two things, one was use the kits belaying pins, and two was to follow the instructions and rig the sheets and stays towards the end.  It put a lot of strain on the eyes and brain.

I used steel rod in the main and fore lower spars that were split.  The rest I turned on a Dremel lathe from square stock using the kits spars as a guide.

Gad, time flies, its has been ten years since I did this. 

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Thursday, March 14, 2019 2:26 PM

Hi Bob!

Finally got a chance to peruse your build, one word, WOW! I am super impressed with the work you have done on the gun deck, it is amazing, especially the lighting plan at this scale. 'Tis a pity you cannot display such fine work without the spar deck in place, it is truly good work! Your deck work really appeals to a woodworker like myself, especially as I did not use my wood working skills to scratch build my own decks, primarily due to a serious lack of time. I had to settle for finding the time to repair my badly warped decks and hand scribe the deck planking using Evan's method. My build is here:

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/7/t/164251.aspx

I am particularly impressed with the staining applied to the deck for a couple of reasons. 1, it seems to have a nicely weathered patina, and 2, it is not the traditional coloring that heart of yellow pine, the original decking of Constitution, would weather to, which to my mind adds an individuality that I like to add to my own builds. Your attention to detail however, is way out of my league!

I have a question for you, have you purchased Blue Jacket's build plans? Included in the plans are a full scale template for all of the masts, yards, spars and and studding sail booms for the ship as well as a more correct rigging plan. As you stated on my build log, you are a little further behind my build as well as Evans, the BJ plans may be a big help with regard to how to set up the channels, pin rails (Revell's kit has far fewer than required) and a more complete set of instructions for the rigging itself. I personally think they are the most valuable purchase I have made besides the kit itself. Plus if you go to the kit link on their website it has a full breakdown of all blocks, cleats, cordage, and so on needed to rig her according to their very accurate plans. Plus, there brass belaying pins are first rate, I scratch built all of my pin rails and used their pins, I love the way they came out.

I really like the templates, I am just starting to turn my jibs, spars, yards, studding booms, etc. I have re-enforced the lower and upper masts in addition to the lower yards so I will be using the kit pieces there but the top gallant pieces and and studding sail booms are a joke and so I will turn cherry wood to replace them, including the spanker and gaff, plus the skys'l yard is not even included in the Revell kit.

My resource for blocks and cordage is hands down Syren https://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/miniature-rope.php

I have never seen quality blocks quite like this, plus the cordage is first rate as well, Cottage Industries http://cottageindustrymodels.com/?page_id=153 also makes some pretty first rate cordage.

I wish I had used the 0.6 mm copper eyelets from Jotika instead of there 0.9 bass ones, cheaper and far closer to scale, but alas! The deed is done.

Again, now that I have found your log I will be following with great interest, you clearly do very good work!

 

  • Member since
    May 2017
  • From: Asheville, NC
Posted by LIVIT on Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:02 PM

Absolutely stunning Bob. I had played around with the idea of using fiber optics in the cannon barrels to make them appear to be firing using a sequencer like I have done on my RC planes guns. Was going to use a smoke generator from an electric train to make smoke flow out of gundeck. Found the cannon barrels were just too fragile and rather small to drill out for fiber installation. I am planning on doing this on a future larger wood ship. Your detail work is museum quality. I am jealous :) 

I believe it was Age of Sail who turned me onto the BJ manual and parts list. Not only do you get the manual, but you get the full size plans, rigging plans, parts list and a discount coupon to apply too the purchase of a wood kit. I personally think its a must have and has been a big help on my build. I am going to put metal rod in lower portion of masts, then I am ordering the upper mast bits, spars, booms etc. I really like the syrene rigging line, they have more colors and sizes than kit provides and the look/quality is impressive and its not expensive.

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:21 PM

AOS and LIVIT,

Thanks a lot for the compliments - means a lot.  I plan on ordering a set of BJ plans ASAP after both your comments.  Pretty much just working from the museum plans I got on CD and the AOTS book. I also have a lot of Syren rope - awesome looking stuff.  Their blocks are also the best I have found, bar none.  I acutally have the log book summary of every block used on the ship, and was planning to use that to start ordering blocks.  I may wait until I get the BJ plans now.

Started on the spar deck last night by getting the boards all glued up and the curve to the "underlayment" for the deck.  Using two sheets of .030 glued together with a 1/8" dowel under the bottom to get the curvature.  This way I can sand the deck boards flat, stain and varnish, then glue it to the already curved styrene underlayment.  Using the crappy plastic one supplied as a template for the cut-outs - with modifications of course.  Also using it to gauge where adjustments need to be made so that the spar deck fits correctly.  About 5/32" too short, and about 1/8" not wide enough.  Since everyone wants me to leave some way to see the gun deck, I am going to go with Force9's idea of making some cutouts in the spar deck that can be removed (stick an eyebolt in there so I can grab it).  One fore around the camboose, one just behind the main mast, and one aft by the captain's cabin & lounge.  Force's are permanent openings with the beams and knees, but mine will probably only have the main beams.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, March 14, 2019 3:38 PM

LIVIT
I had played around with the idea of using fiber optics in the cannon barrels to make them appear to be firing using a sequencer like I have done on my RC planes guns. Was going to use a smoke generator from an electric train to make smoke flow out of gundeck. Found the cannon barrels were just too fragile and rather small to drill out for fiber installation. I am planning on doing this on a future larger wood ship.

Check out Model Monkey (Steve Larsen) on Shapeways.com.  He does 3D printing.  He has both the 24 and 32 pounders which are really good quality and drillable for fiber optics.  He has lots of other cannons in just about every scale possible.  Nice guy - just tell him what you need and he can print it up for you.

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Saturday, March 16, 2019 3:31 PM

Glued up the spar deck with a fixed deck pitch or arch.  3 layers to the spar deck:

bottom layers are 2 .030 styrene sheets glued together

Top layer is the wood deck.  Process outlined below:

underlayment

top-layer

Now I kick back and wait 24 hours.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 11:15 PM

After letting the curve in the spar deck cure for a few days, I marked the deck with the cardboard template I made and started cutting out the holes in the deck for the hatches, masts, capstan, etc.

I start by cutting only through the wood to the correct size for the hatchcoming.  When that fits well, I then mark and cut the hole through the plastic portion of the deck.  This then leaves space to glue/bond the plastic hatch to the styrene portion of the deck under the wood.  I am leaving the very large main hatch until I get all the wiring run for the spar deck.  This will hopefully prevent the deck from warping or twisting before it is glued in place.  Also checked fit of the masts to make sure they were plumb and level through the decks.  All good.

first cut

second cut

all hatches

mast test fit

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    February 2015
  • From: UT
Posted by ageofsail on Thursday, March 28, 2019 11:39 AM

Deck looks great Bob! I know it's not color correct but I love the dark finish, I likewise went for non color correct on my deck because I think it looks better, you really did a nice job

Dan

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Thursday, March 28, 2019 12:52 PM

Thanks, Dan.  I know the photos don't show it well because of the flash, but I tried to do a darker stain down the middle, and a lighter stain under the carronades.  Looks good under natural light.  Inspired by the picture below:

spar deck staining

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:20 PM

Gundeck is finally completed.  All guns rigged, all ropes installed and secured, and crew is painted (drying as I type).  Images below.

gd01

gd02

gd03

gd04

gd05

Bob

Happy Easter !

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: brisbane australia
Posted by surfsup on Monday, April 22, 2019 2:10 AM

That is just some stunning work Bob. I am in awe.....Cheers mark

If i was your wife, i'd poison your tea! If Iwas your husband, I would drink it! WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Monday, April 22, 2019 2:42 PM

Thanks Mark.  Fabulous job on the Bismarck.  Love the antenna rigging.  Your attention to detail is some of the finest I have seen.  One curious question perhaps you can answer:  Since those big lifeboats had to be craned into the water, and the cranes rested on the outer edges of the deck and super-structure, weren't the cranes vulnerable to both broadside hits and strafing attacks?  Perhaps that's why they carried liferafts as well.

Anyway, fine job as well.

Thanks again, Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 3:10 PM

I finally completed the lighting mods on the underside of the spar deck, as well as all the cut-outs in the deck for masts, hatches, ladders and the main hatch.  I also added two additional cut-outs which will be removeable later on to view the commodore's war room and the cook's area on the gun deck.  I will just glue a guy to each of the cutouts so they can be easily removed.  Finally, I added all the ringbolts to the spar deck bulwarks for rigging the carronades and bowchaser guns (4 per gun).

There are 25 more lights added on 5 separate circuits to light the gun deck.  The wires to power them were hidden in the bulkheads or beams before the gun deck was installed.  These were powered by 20mA circuits from the power driver board.  Each lighting circuit was terminated with two pins which project downward from the deck at the appropriate points to match up with the 5 circuits.  The circuit to the captain's and commodore's cabins and the war room were run through the mizzen mast hole.  I then stripped the wires and wrapped them around the pins and soldered, leaving about an inch or so of play in the wires so I could tip and manuever the deck to get to them.

I also secured the galley windows to the stern and adjusted so it was "light tight" - no light sneaking out from the edges.  Also added the the stern bulwark, which had to be "adjusted" since it was about 1/8" too short on the starboard side.  I will add some pictures tonight showing how all this was done.  Last step is to glue the spar deck down to the underlying supports, then onto the deck furniture and masts.

 

Bob

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current build:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution

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