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USS Constitution - Deck Question

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  • Member since
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USS Constitution - Deck Question
Posted by SNOOPY on Friday, September 08, 2006 7:30 AM
This may have been asked before but I do not find the search to user freindly.  For someone like me who is color blind (do not see shade very well but see primary colors okay) what would be the color tone of the main weather deck and lower decks of the USS Constitution or of most decks?  I know they are wood but are they teak (a light tan ) or a more dark tan color.  I am not sure if I can used the wood color or have to darken up most of the wood colors.
  • Member since
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  • From: arizona
Posted by cthulhu77 on Friday, September 08, 2006 9:19 AM

Since the planks were replaced as necessary, there would be a lot of variance in the colour...Len Roberto has a great bit on doing the Constitution's deck here:

http://modelingmadness.com/reviews/misc/robertoconst.htm

http://www.ewaldbros.com
  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, September 08, 2006 11:19 AM

The basic color that (to my eye at least) most resembles the deck of a wood ship is an extremely dull grey, with just a hint of tan.  (Remember:  this is unfinished wood, and on a regular basis it gets stomped on by 400 pairs of feet, rained on, sloshed with saltwater, and scrubbed with holystones.)  There would indeed be some variation in color from plank to plank, but that variation would be extremely subtle.  Many models, to my eye, miss the target by making the decks too brown, yellow, or orange.

Poly-Scale makes a color called "Aged Concrete" that, to me, looks just about right - though maybe just a trifle dark.  Actually the color that FSM uses as the background for these Forum pages is remarkably close - though the darkness of it, of course, varies according to how you have your monitor set.

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

  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 08, 2006 3:16 PM

Snoopy:

 

You could also try Tamiya IJN Teak deck color. Looks nice and weathered.

 

Dick Wood

 

 

  • Member since
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  • From: vernon hills illinois
Posted by sumpter250 on Friday, September 08, 2006 4:08 PM

and scrubbed with holystones.) 

   Ah yes, the holystone.  The "stone" part is all too true, the "holy............." I have this bridge I'd like to sell you. Now, a truly dedicated detailer would have his LPB's ( that's Little Plastic Boatswains) run all round with dirt on their shoes, and then, get down to six licks a board. Aarrr, I love the sound of stone on deck planks in the mornin'.

Lead me not into temptation ..................I can find it myself

  • Member since
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Posted by SNOOPY on Friday, September 08, 2006 5:30 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions.  Here is one more thing.  In reading the book How to Build Plastic Ships" by Les Wilkins (I think) the builder odf the USS President, painted the grates on the deck a black to assimulate iron yet on the USS Constitution (both sister ships) Len Roberto (from above link) has his a shade of medium to dark brown (forgive my not seeing shades correctly) not black.  Can some explain why and which one wood be correct?

  • Member since
    February, 2006
Posted by Grymm on Friday, September 08, 2006 7:12 PM

I'll take a shot at this one.  The kit instructions also call for the grates to be black (if memory serves me), with brown around (the framing).  The last time I saw a picture of the real constitution, the entire piece, frame and grate, was wood.  I'm using wood tone for my Constitution.  It just looks better.

I don't think anyone is going to challenge you either way...

Then again, I could be entirely wrong...I'm not the smartest chip in the woodshed...

Grymm

  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Saturday, September 09, 2006 2:35 AM

I don't know why either the author of the instructions or the author of that book recommended black paint for gratings, but I've never heard of an iron hatch grating on board a wood sailing ship.  I question whether such things existed in 1814 (the period represented by the kit).  Come to think of it, I can't recall ever having seen an iron grate in the pattern and proportions represented by the kit parts.  I've seen iron gratings all right - but not big ones with that overlapping, square-mesh grid.  An iron grating made like that, the size of one of those big hatch covers on the gundeck, would weigh several hundred pounds.  Utterly impractical.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gratings were made from lots of different kinds of wood, and the wood was treated in several different ways.  Painting the hatch coaming a dark brown and the grating a lighter shade gives a nice appearance; so does the reverse.  I don't think anybody can disprove any form of immitation wood you pick - but there's no way those gratings were iron.

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

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Posted by SNOOPY on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:03 AM

Thanks for your help everyone.  I have a trip planned for sometime next Spring or Summer.   I hope to take some nice pictures.  My plans are to build all three ships, USS United States, Constitution, and the President.  I know there are only sudtle differences between the three but it would be nice having all three.  Now how to display them together, well that is a different task all together.

-Scott

  • Member since
    January, 2005
  • From: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Posted by bryan01 on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:12 AM

Hi Scott,

Why don’t you get touch with SirDrake. He visited the Constitution last month and made some great pictures. A few of them are shown in this thread:

http://www.finescale.com/FSM/CS/forums/668745/ShowPost.aspx

I’m sure SirDrake has more pictures and might be willing to share them with you.

That way you don’t have to wait until next year.

 

Bryan
  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by SNOOPY on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:41 AM
Thanks Bryan.  I was looking at some of the pictures there and one of the pictures showed the deck as being either a grey or a green like the gun whales/bulkhead (I think that is what you call them).  Because of my ability not to see certain tints or shades of colors it is hard for me to see that particular shade plus the photo is a little dark (might have been an over case day).  The deck grates are of wood color which help me greatly.  Thanks for the link. 
  • Member since
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  • From: Netherlands
Posted by Grem56 on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 12:34 PM

Correct me if I am wrong here but I have the impression from the photo's that the Constitutions deck now has a nice layer of grey paint to protect it.

Julian

 

illegal immigrants have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.....................

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  • Member since
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Posted by SNOOPY on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 4:39 PM

From the picture that were on the link Bryan sent me, it sure looks like it is grey.  I am trying to find out if this is close to the original look.  I know on some ships of the day, decks were painted red to distract sailors from the blood.  I do not think the US Navy did this.  I am going to start the deck sooner and need to decide what I am going to do.

-Scott

  • Member since
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  • From: Mansfield, TX
Posted by EdGrune on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 5:07 PM

Navy Newstand Photo

Current photo of the deck of the Constitution taken during a recent CPO cruise

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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 9:34 PM

A visit to the prototype of what one's modeling is always an excellent idea - if one can afford it.  There's nothing quite like seeing for yourself what a great sailing ship looks like.  I remember when, as a high school freshman, I saw the Constitution for the first time.  No drawing, painting, or model could have made me as conscious of how tall those masts are.

In using a restored ship as a source of information for building a model, though, a couple of things need to be remembered.  First, most ships (including this one) go through lots of modifications before they get restored - and those modifications have a way of taking place after the time when the ship became most famous.  The preserved carrier Yorktown looks scarcely anything like she did in World War II, and the Constitution looks quite a bit different from how she did during the War of 1812.  If you compare the Revell kit to the real ship, you'll find a disconcerting number of differences.  There is evidence, for instance, that at various times in her career the Constitution's transom has had three, five, six, and eight windows in it.  It currently has three; that configuration probably dates to the 1830s or thereabouts.  The Revell kit, which is based on some high-quality research carried out by an excellent scholar, George Campbell, under the auspices of the Smithsonian, has six.  The kit attempts to represent her 1814 configuration - and in my opinion does a pretty good job of it.  If I were building it I'd probably omit the gunport lids.  (The evidence suggests pretty firmly that she had removable shutters, rather than hinged lids, during the War of 1812).  Otherwise, I don't know of any major changes I'd make to the kit for the sake of accuracy.  (There are plenty that I'd make for the sake of detail and practicality.  Those plastic belaying pins and hammock netting stanchions, for instance, would have to go.)

Second, the costs of ship preservation projects are so enormous that the people responsible for them inevitably are forced to make compromises.  In her most recent restoration the Constitution's internal hull structure underwent some pretty big - and decidedly non-eighteenth-century - changes.  I don't know for sure about paint on the decks, but it wouldn't surprise me.  (The deck planking in the shot Mr. Grune was kind enough to post looks remarkably like pressure-treated pine.  It may not be, but I certainly wouldn't use that photo as a guide to what her deck planking looked like in 1812.)  Her rigging is made of some sort of durable synthetic rope, rather than hemp; I don't know what material those beautiful white sails are made of, but it sure looks modern.  The paints are chosen, not because their composition is authentic, but because they hold up well under the rigors of weather and tourists.  The list goes on. 

The Constitution actually makes fewer compromises with authenticity than many other restored ships.  H.M.S. Victory, for instance, has lower masts made of steel pipe, and in order to reduce the strain on her structure they aren't stepped on the keel.  Several heavy steel rods are welded to each mast; the rods go through the bottom of the hull on either side of the keel and are embedded in the concrete of the drydock underneath.  I believe the spars of the restored Cutty Sark are steel as well.  And much of what the visitor sees of the exterior hull of the U.S.S. Constellation (which has suffered horribly under the ministrations of well-meaning "restorers" over the decades) is fiberglass.

We're lucky indeed to have these grand old ships to educate and inspire us. I have the deepest respect for the people who are willing to devote such enormous amounts of time, energy, and expertise to restoring and maintaining them.  (When the Constitution was in service, her captain could rely on a maintenance staff of about four hundred people - full-time.  Imagine what it would cost to give her that sort of ongoing care today.)  But model builders wanting to use them as sources of information need to be careful.

On a couple of other small points - the side of a sailing ship, including the part that projects above the weather deck, is called a bulwark (pronounced BULL-work).  The equivalent part of a small boat - the upper part of the side, where the oarlocks are located - is called the gunwale (pronounced GUNNel).  "Wale" is a generic term for an unusually heavy belt of timber running the length of the ship; the gunwale got its name because guns originally were mounted on it.  I guess it would be technically correct to call the railing forming the top of a ship's bulwark the gunwale, but I'm more accustomed to seeing the term used in the context of small boats.

Current research suggests that the inside surfaces of the Constitution's bulwarks during the War of 1812 were a dull, medium green.  The once common practice of painting them, and various pieces of deck furniture, red was fading from fashion by then (though the gun carriages may have been red).  The story about the red paint being used to camouflage blood may have some truth to it, but it's now pretty well established that red lead paint was simply a cheap, reasonably durable primer.  I've seen references to red paint on the planking of the orlop deck (the lowest deck, just above the hold - invisible on a model); I have no idea whether the U.S. Navy ever adopted that practice.  I've also seen dark red lead paint on the steel decks of twentieth-century warships.

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

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Posted by SNOOPY on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 8:55 AM
JTILLEY:  Thank you for your insightfulness.  Restorers may not get everything right and the government may not always give the necessary funding to keep history alive but with what they have to work with it is pretty remarkable. 
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 10:53 PM

I agree a hundred percent.  Actually I'm a little surprised that the feds have been willing to spend as much money on the Constitution as they have.  In the space of my lifetime she's gone from a pretty disreputable-looking tourist attraction to one of the best ship preservation projects in the world.  She has some distance to go before achieving Captain Martin's ambition of regaining her War of 1812 configuration, but the people responsible for her deserve an enormous amount of credit.

Some of the saddest - and most frustrating - features of the maritime preservation world are the preserved ships that have been taken on by groups of people who, though their intentions are wonderful, just don't know what they're getting into.  To preserve a ship properly requires a tremendous commitment of time, energy, and money - and it's a commitment that never ends.  When I was working at the Mariners' Museum we rather frequently got phone calls and letters from people who thought we ought to take on the restoration of a ship and exhibit her in the James River near the museum. (The most frequently suggested subjects were the heavy cruiser Newport News and the liner United States.  The thought of a relatively small, private, non-profit organization taking responsibility just for the daily maintenance of either of those two is pretty laughable.)  My standard response was to explain that the museum's bylaws described rather precisely what sorts of artifacts we collected, and that full-sized ships weren't among them.  (Boats and helicopters yes; ships no.)   

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

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  • From: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posted by Russ39 on Thursday, September 14, 2006 1:19 AM

Jtilley wrote:

I agree a hundred percent.  Actually I'm a little surprised that the feds have been willing to spend as much money on the Constitution as they have.  In the space of my lifetime she's gone from a pretty disreputable-looking tourist attraction to one of the best ship preservation projects in the world.  She has some distance to go before achieving Captain Martin's ambition of regaining her War of 1812 configuration, but the people responsible for her deserve an enormous amount of credit.

John:

I think we should remember that the Constitution is such an integral part of our national identity that we simply are compelled as a people to preserve her. She is a tanglible artifact from a formative period of myth making for the U.S. with which many of us can identify. She is now a symbol of our heritage and our identity no less than the Washington Monument or the Statue of Liberty. She represents the best aspects of our national self perception.

You know, this reminds me of a story from A Most Fortunate Ship. In 1905, the then Secretary of the Navy, Charles Joseph Bonaparte (yes he was descended from Emperor Napoleon), suggested in his annual report that since the Constitution was in such bad shape and was no longer useful, she ought to be used by the Navy for target practice and sunk. This report found its way into the press and it was not long before Mr. Bonaparte was transferred to the post of U.S. Attorney General. I don't think anyone has ever made the mistake of suggesting her destruction since. Methinks she will be well cared for long after we are dead and gone. :)

Russ

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:14 AM

Russ, I hope you're right.  I don't think we need to worry about the Constitution getting scrapped - though I'm not convinced that the American population as a whole either realizes that she's "an integral part of our national identity" or feels that it's "compelled as a people to preserve" anything whatsoever.  I've seen too many worthy preservation projects fail, and read too many college history exams, to have any illusions about that.  (According to the survey I distribute at the beginning of each introductory-level U.S. history course, the average undergraduate doesn't know what country the U.S. was fighting in the War of 1812.  Scarcely any of them can tell me the year when the American Civil War ended, and about a quarter of them don't know whether the U.S. supported the North or the South in Vietnam.) 

The feds have commited enough long-term funds to ensure that the Constitution will be around for several lifetimes beyond ours - and that's great.  And it looks like we don't need to worry about her falling into the hands of the wrong people.  (The Constellation came uncomfortably close to getting destroyed by such a group, before the current management started handling her intelligently.)  I do wonder, though, what will happen when - or if - somebody proposes spending a few million dollars to backdate the Constitution's transom to its War of 1812 configuration, or in some other way change her appearance in a way that will make enthusiasts like us happy.  A project like that would be a hard sell to the average visitor - and the average congressman.

I first went on board her when I was fourteen years old, and I remember being more than a little disappointed.  That night, in the Boston hotel room, I said to my parents, "I didn't come here to see a bunch of glass cases and curios and a gift shop; I came to see a ship."  (I also remember listening while a member of the crew solemnly explained to a group of visitors that when the ship was in port the sailors' wives were quartered on the deck below the gundeck, where they sometimes gave birth to babies, so it was called the birth deck.  Gawd help us.)  She presents a completely different impression nowadays, and that's a source of tremendous satisfaction to me.  But I wasn't a typical visitor in 1965, and I'm still not.  I wonder whether the average visitor in 1965 and the average visitor in 2005 had significantly different experiences on board her.  Millions of dollars have been spent on that ship since 1965, and by my personal definition almost every dollar of it has been well spent.  Has that money made a significant difference to the public's perception of the ship - or its knowledge of early American history?  I don't know.  I hope so.  But I wouldn't be able to blame any federal bean counter for asking the question.

By now it's obvious that I'm a post-middle-aged man suffering from a rather serious case of cynicism, arising from more than thirty years of dealing with college undergraduates (and stepchildren, for that matter).  But as ship modelers and nautical history buffs, we do need to realize that we're the unusual ones - and ship preservation projects would never take place if they relied exclusively on people like us.

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

  • Member since
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  • From: New York City
Posted by Goshawk on Thursday, September 14, 2006 10:15 AM

John,

I couldn't aggree with you more, the average "young person" thinks the events of 9/11/2001 are ancient history, go back further than that and forget it.

I too am a cynic, although only middle aged. My oldest daughter is in her third year of college at Temple University and she is majoring in secondary education. She wants to be a history teacher, to which she would be very good. She has a wonderful sense of history (due at least in part to her dad) as well as a contagious enthusiasm.

However, I've already warned her that it will be a tough road ahead trying to get kids, especially high school aged ones, interested in events that took place 200-300 years ago. I hope she can hack it.

  • Member since
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  • From: Maastricht, The Netherlands
Posted by bryan01 on Thursday, September 14, 2006 10:28 AM
 jtilley wrote:

(According to the survey I distribute at the beginning of each introductory-level U.S. history course, the average undergraduate doesn't know what country the U.S. was fighting in the War of 1812.  Scarcely any of them can tell me the year when the American Civil War ended, and about a quarter of them don't know whether the U.S. supported the North or the South in Vietnam.) 

Another example: in Rotterdam it frequently happens that (young) German tourists ask directions to the old city centre…..

 

Bryan
  • Member since
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  • From: San Diego
Posted by jgonzales on Thursday, September 14, 2006 11:09 AM

Yes, we are the unusual ones - and while ship preservation projects would not occur exclusively on our support, it is certainly true that they would not take place at all without it. It is often the task of an interested few to preserve for posterity that which goes unappreciated and unloved by the many (I hope that does not sound elitist - I don't intend it that way, and we each have our different interests). Fortunately for the Constitution the beancounter's questions have been always overcome by the rabble-rousing of the interested few, enough stirring by them to create a groundswell throughout the country.

Here in San Diego, the rabble rousing of a few interested people saved, preserved, and restored to full function a beautiful ship, the Star of India, the oldest sailing iron-hulled merchant ship afloat. Recently the San Diego Maritime Museum obtained the HMS Surprise, the replica used in "Master and Commander: the Far Side of the World". I went aboard her, and was pleased by the appearance of the topsides and rig, and a little disappointed at the view below decks - she's not a full replica of a fighting frigate: e.g. lots of deckspace below (no ducking the beams), a ship's wheel and engine controls (the wheel topside is non-functional), a handfull of plastic/fiberglass cannon.. The ship was originally built as HMS Rose, a sail training ship that was actively plying the seas before she was bought by the movie studio.

The museum's docents (bless them, they've done a wonderful job with the Star of India) that were on board the HMS Surprise clearly did not understand warships of the 18th century. They pointed out that the Surprise was a Hollywood ship, with rubber-encased steel cables for the shrouds (a concession for safety) and that the lower masts were hollow steel tubes, not wood. They then proceeded to point out that most of the lines on the HMS Surprise were useless and only put on for show, and would never be on a real ship, then pointed to the Star of India and set that as an example of true ship's rigging. From my readings about 18th century warship rigging, I was able to recognize many if not most of the lines as actual functional lines. I did not point this out to those docents out of respect for what they know - they actually sail the Star out to sea every year, sometimes twice a year, going through some tacking and wearing maneuvers off Point Loma under full sail, relying on nothing but wind for propulsion. The HMS Surprise was a new addition to their collection, representing a ship built nearly a hundred years earlier, and I'm hopeful that in time they will get to know her as well as they know the Star and their other boats. I point it out mainly to show that we nautical bookworms are hard to please when it comes to knowledge and accuracy about our subject matter.

BTW, EdGrune, that's a great picture of the Constitution-thanks for posting it!

Jose Gonzales

 

Jose Gonzales San Diego, CA
  • Member since
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  • From: Biloxi, Mississippi
Posted by Russ39 on Thursday, September 14, 2006 11:16 AM
 jtilley wrote:

Russ, I hope you're right.  I don't think we need to worry about the Constitution getting scrapped - though I'm not convinced that the American population as a whole either realizes that she's "an integral part of our national identity" or feels that it's "compelled as a people to preserve" anything whatsoever.  I've seen too many worthy preservation projects fail, and read too many college history exams, to have any illusions about that.  (According to the survey I distribute at the beginning of each introductory-level U.S. history course, the average undergraduate doesn't know what country the U.S. was fighting in the War of 1812.  Scarcely any of them can tell me the year when the American Civil War ended, and about a quarter of them don't know whether the U.S. supported the North or the South in Vietnam.) 

The feds have commited enough long-term funds to ensure that the Constitution will be around for several lifetimes beyond ours - and that's great.  And it looks like we don't need to worry about her falling into the hands of the wrong people (as happened for so many years to the Constellation).  I do wonder, though, what will happen when - or if - somebody proposes spending a few million dollars to backdate the Constitution's transom to its War of 1812 configuration, or in some other way change her appearance in a way that will make enthusiasts like us happy.  A project like that would be a hard sell to the average visitor - and the average congressman.

I first went on board her when I was fourteen years old, and I remember being more than a little disappointed.  That night, in the Boston hotel room, I said to my parents, "I didn't come here to see a bunch of glass cases and curios and a gift shop; I came to see a ship."  (I also remember listening while a member of the crew solemnly explained to a group of visitors that when the ship was in port the sailors' wives were quartered on the deck below the gundeck, where they sometimes gave birth to babies, so it was called the birth deck.  Gawd help us.)  She presents a completely different impression nowadays, and that's a source of tremendous satisfaction to me.  But I wasn't a typical visitor in 1965, and I'm still not.  I whether the average visitor in 1965 and the average visitor in 2005 had significantly different experiences on board her.  Millions of dollars have been spent on that ship since 1965, and by my personal definition almost every dollar of it has been well spent.  Has that money made a significant difference to the public's perception of the ship - or its knowledge of early American history?  I don't know.  I hope so.  But I wouldn't be able to blame any federal bean counter for asking the question.

John:

I too sometimes share your cynicism regarding the public, especially when it comes to museums and such. But, look at how many people come to visit the Constitution every year. There must be some significant interest there. And, although, many people either don't know or don't care about the Constitution and the heritage she represents, what if, for whatever reason, that federal bean counter should decide that she should be scrapped next week? What would the public say? The entire citizenry need not rise up in arms to stop them scrapping her. Even if a handful of historians, enthusiasts etc called their congressman, if the newspapers wrote the story, I have to believe that the government would save her somehow. Its would be impolitic to do otherwise. Would you want to be the president who has to decide what portion of his presidential library is devoted to how he let a national symbol like the Constitution be scrapped? Even if the general public does not care, there will always be that segment that will be there, ever watchful, to safeguard our national symbols. That's just my opinion and I grant that I am probably overly hopeful about Constitution's future. I still look at her through the eyes of a 10 year old who watched her on TV in OpSail 1976.

Russ

 

 

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Douglasville Georgia
Posted by fright on Friday, September 30, 2016 12:16 PM

jtilley - I'm attempting to build an 1812 version of the Constitution. I went with Scaledeck's wood decking and I used flat black on hatch coaming and a light flat brown for grating. Searching through photos online, I noticed that the 1812 version model built by crew shows coamings as the same green used on bulwarks. I've tried looking up 'original' color scheme online but have had no luck. I have been following threads from both yourself and also force9 (amoung others) and I would like to get your opinion on the color I should go with. Any help would glady be appreciated! I also would like to compliment all of the model builders and their versions that I've come across with this ship model. Cheers!

Robert O

  • Member since
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  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Friday, September 30, 2016 3:06 PM

Well, as is obvious from this thread, there's quite a bit of room for argument about the color of the ship's decks. I've never worked with an aftermarket wood deck, so I'm not the best person to ask. As I said much earlier in this thread, I prefer a dull medium grey with a hint of tan. Minwax makes a stain color called "Driftwood," and another called "Golden Oak." For the basswood decks of my current project, I mixed the two together about 50-50, and I'm satisfied with the results.

But I'd be really concerned about the effect of stain on that pre-inked decking. Seems like the stain might either (a) cover up the inked lines, or (b) make the ink run. You may be stuck with the color the wood is now.

For gratings, I'd use a slightly darker brown. As I mentioned earlier, I've seen gratings in a lot of colors. I suppose it's conceivable that that they were painted green, like the other inboard works. The old "Hull model," in the Reabody-Essex Museum, is one of the best sources we have; I don't have any reason to think it's wrong in that respect. It should be remembered, though, that from the spar deck down it's a pretty primitive piece of workmanship. I think the guy who built it had three colors of paint available to him: black, white, and green. (If I remember right, he used the same green on the inboard works and the hull bottom.) Plus tiny bits of red and blue on the transom. (They may well have been added by somebody else; that model has undergone lots of changes.) Like I said, there's plenty of room for argument.

Good luck.

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

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, September 30, 2016 9:59 PM

We know from good sources that the decks were best quality pine.

"Driftwood" is a very nice stain,  I am sure Minwax spent a very long time getting it right. You also can thin it down.

My only advice- make sure that you have the plastic deck down perfectly. Do not expect the wood to cover any flaws, it will only make them more obvious.

 

  • Member since
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  • From: north Baltimore City, Maryland
Posted by baltosale on Friday, September 30, 2016 10:21 PM

I am new here but I have watched and considwered your posts with interest and appreciation.  This is gonna be fun.  You and Mr Tilley are encyclopedias.  (remember them?)

  • Member since
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  • From: Douglasville Georgia
Posted by fright on Saturday, October 01, 2016 2:42 PM

jtilley - thanks for your feedback. I'm going to change my model from my flat black on the hatch coamings to a dark green that I used on my bulwarks. If nothing else, I've learned that building a sailing ship model gives one not only an enormous respect for the builders of these ships as well as the modelers, but a wonderful lesson in the history of these great ships as well.

Robert O

  • Member since
    September, 2016
  • From: north Baltimore City, Maryland
Posted by baltosale on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 10:24 PM

jtilley

I don't know why either the author of the instructions or the author of that book recommended black paint for gratings, but I've never heard of an iron hatch grating on board a wood sailing ship.  I question whether such things existed in 1814 (the period represented by the kit).  Come to think of it, I can't recall ever having seen an iron grate in the pattern and proportions represented by the kit parts.  I've seen iron gratings all right - but not big ones with that overlapping, square-mesh grid.  An iron grating made like that, the size of one of those big hatch covers on the gundeck, would weigh several hundred pounds.  Utterly impractical.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries gratings were made from lots of different kinds of wood, and the wood was treated in several different ways.  Painting the hatch coaming a dark brown and the grating a lighter shade gives a nice appearance; so does the reverse.  I don't think anybody can disprove any form of immitation wood you pick - but there's no way those gratings were iron.

 Prof. Tilley - I havebeen folowing you and this wooden ship forum for a couple of years.  I checked your profile - no surprise that you were a history professor.  Good on you.    I rejoined the hobby about 6 months ago and much has changed.  I decided tore-hone my skills on the USS Constitution 1:196 (not 96).  I need help on the painting - the process more than the color schemes.  Any one have ideas about the means of masking, painting brush? airbrush? Notions on what to enhance with dry brushing and shading?
   I've stripped it twice and now I put it on the side to work on a few Lindberg 1/170's
    Allideas and questions are elcome.   Thanks   

It's hard totell how you stand form where you sit.

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