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USS Constitution S.O.S. -- REPAIR

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  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
USS Constitution S.O.S. -- REPAIR
Posted by Shipwreck on Monday, July 25, 2022 3:02 PM

This is my first and, no doubt, last sailing ship model. I have a major problem here in which I would certainly appreciate any advice on. Complicating my ship problem is that I have Parkinson's disease which is hindering any possible solution. My objective is to fix it while  I still can!

 

Parkinson's has no fix; the ship there is? The fore mast was just fine after setting the shrouds. Then one morning after finishing the ratlines the mask took on a new angle; an unacceptable one.

 

 DSC09902 by Ship Wreck, on Flickr

 

 DSC00596 (1) by Ship Wreck, on Flickr

 

It would seem to me that the fore main mast leaned back and at about the fore yard it took on an additional lean. I realize that I may have to cut all the stays and shrouds in-order to straighten and reset the mast, but I do wish to save  the rattled shrouds and tie them back on the mast kind-of like you would tie off the plastic kit shrouds.

 

At this point, if I could finish up the standing rigging I might call the rigging finished (that is, if I can still make that choice)!

On the Bench:

Kinetic 1/48 MQ-9 Drone

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, July 25, 2022 4:44 PM

In no particular order- yes you can certainly make that choice. My Heller Victory has no masts and probably never will.

Plastic spars really don't work do they? If you do rebuild the mast I'd substitute wood for the masts.

Ouch.

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 10:14 AM

In the first picture, the masts are straight, and the shrouds look just fine.  Shrouds are there to prevent lateral movement and keep the masts together (also prevents upward movement).  So your shrouds should be fine.  I notice that you do NOT have the bowsprit rigged yet either.  That must be done first in order to rig the forestays, otherwise your masts will pull forward.

In the second photo, the foremast is bent at the fighting top - and it looks like both the lower and topmast are bent, meaning you may have broken the lower foremast.  All of the backstays are straight, meaning they are very tight, while the mainmast stays are slack while the forestays (from the bowsprit to the foremast) are tight.  I would start with releasing all of the foremast backstays.  Shrouds should be fine.  Once you release all that tension on the foremast, check to see that the lower mast isn't broken.  If it is, then you might be able to save it by drilling a hole in the top and inserting a brass rod (since the lower masts are all hollow).  Hide it by gluing on a small piece of flat stock.

Once the mast is straight again, check your forestays (you may need to tighten these up now), and then add the backstays back with less tension.  Hopefully this will work.

PM me if you have any questions.

Bob (aka Luvspinball)

 

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current builds:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution with extensive scratch building

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 11:16 AM

Thanks for you invaluable advice Bob, I will get right to it as soon as I wrap some shop maintenance.

On the Bench:

Kinetic 1/48 MQ-9 Drone

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 1:35 PM

Luvspinball

In the first picture, the masts are straight, and the shrouds look just fine.  Shrouds are there to prevent lateral movement and keep the masts together (also prevents upward movement).  So your shrouds should be fine.  I notice that you do NOT have the bowsprit rigged yet either.  That must be done first in order to rig the forestays, otherwise your masts will pull forward.

In the second photo, the foremast is bent at the fighting top - and it looks like both the lower and topmast are bent, meaning you may have broken the lower foremast.  All of the backstays are straight, meaning they are very tight, while the mainmast stays are slack while the forestays (from the bowsprit to the foremast) are tight.  I would start with releasing all of the foremast backstays.  Shrouds should be fine.  Once you release all that tension on the foremast, check to see that the lower mast isn't broken.  If it is, then you might be able to save it by drilling a hole in the top and inserting a brass rod (since the lower masts are all hollow).  Hide it by gluing on a small piece of flat stock.

Once the mast is straight again, check your forestays (you may need to tighten these up now), and then add the backstays back with less tension.  Hopefully this will work.

PM me if you have any questions.

Bob (aka Luvspinball)

 

 

and, I would reinforce replace all elements of the bowsprit with wood or brass. Every built of that kit I've ever done, the bowsprit really wants to curl upward.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 3:06 PM

Yup!

      After my second experience for a client, I started replacing the masts with Brass and the Yards with wood or brass. The BowSprit Always got replaced with Brass to prevent just that.

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Friday, July 29, 2022 11:35 AM

I take a different approach to the lower masts. I reinforce them before cementing the mast halves together. I do so by cleaning the masts of any obstructions, sanding down the interiors, and placing a wood dowel inside them.  The detail of the plastic is preserved and the masts are then strong. The topmasts now have a solid base to help support them.

I followed this routine with my conversion of the Revell CSS Alabama, which, if built from the box does not represent the ship. Given that the real ship had raked masts, I replaced the base of the masts with wooden dowels and angled them aft using epoxy. I have a strong bond, the masts are not bent, and I have a nice model of the Alabama, all corrections to the ship made.

Bill

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, July 30, 2022 8:57 AM

I find plastic masts need little to no tension on the shrouds.  Sure, it makes tieing the ratlines harder, but that is the nature of plastic kits.  Do them over- thread is cheap.  The good thing is, by doing the ones you have done, your hands should be programmed to do it easier now.  I have tremors now from old age, and it is a real challenge, but hang in there. Even the young guys in a local ship modeling club talk about the (expletive deleted) ratlines.

I am trying to develope a scheme for photo-less photo etch, primarily for shroud/ratline assemblies on smaller scale sailing ships, but until then, the agony and the ectasy.

 

  • Member since
    May 2006
  • From: Chapin, South Carolina
Posted by Shipwreck on Thursday, August 18, 2022 3:41 PM

 DSC00771 by Ship Wreck, on Flickr

In order to fix it, sometimes it has to be broken! The foremast would not be bent forward, so I cut it where the yard attaches, inserted a .312 brass rod into the fore mast that extends about .25 inches into the top and top mast. The top was now level and the mast was straight.

 DSC00777 by Ship Wreck, on Flickr

 

But I noticed the fore top was about .25 Inches higher than the main top. The easy fix was to drop the fore mast .25 inch into the hull. Now I am back in trouble because the shrouds are no longer supported by the mast. Now the next easy fix was to tie two ropes on either side of the mast under the shrouds and hall them up to provide normal looking tension then tie the ropes around the top mast top. Jerry rigged!

Now I am searching for wisdom. Should I rig the back stays first or the main top mast, middle, top gallant, royal, and flag stays?

On the Bench:

Kinetic 1/48 MQ-9 Drone

Revell 1/96 USS Constitution - rigging

Trumpeter 1/350 USS Hornet CV-8

Revell 1/48 B-1B Lancer Prep & Reasearch

 

 

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