Wilhelmshaven 1:200 scale USS Constitution

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by Jim Krauzlis, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. rkelterer

    rkelterer Member

    hi jim,

    outstanding - the photos and the built - you are an artist !! i never would think about that detailing :wink:

    cheers from austria
  2. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks again, me mates, Rob, Barry and Raimund! :D I noticed the time I was posting...during the loooong upload period :( ...that my post was 9 or 10 a.m. your time (or there abouts...never really good figuring out those time zones :lol: ) so I was hoping they would give you something to look at during your morning tea...or coffee (I prefer coffee, maybe a little too much :shock: ).

    I'm going to try and post a few photos of how I made the ship's wheels, but I'm still experiencing a bit of a server problem :( . Hopefully they will come out okay... :roll:

    The Constitution was originally fitted with a single wheel, but acquired her double wheel configuration after her battle with the HMS JAVA on 29 December 1812. Constitution had her single wheel shot away during the battle but was able to jury rig an auxiliary steering set up and to successfully continue the battle. After demasting JAVA and accepting her surrender, Commodore Bainbridge (who was injured twice during the action) took Java's double wheel as a replacement...which she carried for most of her career. I think the wheel may have been replaced during a refit later in her career (I could be wrong on this), but she had a double wheel from that date forward.

    On to the wheel construction.... As is often my habit, while things are drying, I tend to play around with assemblies to be used later on in the build. I have been brainstorming a bit on the wheel. The kit wheel is a pretty crude part, having nine spokes rather than the twelve she actually carries, and just didn't look right. I had seen someone else make a wheel using a disc to set up the spokes and decided to give it a try. I used a plastic bottle cap from a bottle of water and noticed it had a series of recessed tabs used as part of the cap sealing set up...you know, the part that breaks away when you twist it open for the first time...and those tabs were conveniently placed at twenty four points along the cap rim. Excellent! I had the twelve points of reference I would need for the spokes! :lol: I scored the tabs along the rim, being sure it went all the way across the lip of the bottle cap. It was then a simple matter of winding the thread through the slits, around the bottom, and than again across the top of the cap, going to the next spoke location. I continued this until all twelve spokes (actually six crossing lines) were in place. I secured the thread with a bit of tape and then used CA to glue the intersection and to soak the line for the spokes.

    While that was drying, I fashioned the outter rim for the wheel using a dowel of the right diameter, and wrapped some thin paper around the shaft, carefully gluing it into a short tube. I coated the outside of the tube with PVA to stiffen it up a bit. When it was thoroughly dry, I then sliced a very fine sliver off of the tube for the rim...it was as thin as I could cut it.

    Before I removed the wheel spokes from the cap, I glued a small disc for the hub. When it all was dry, I cut the spokes from the cap/jig and glued the rim ring centered on the hub. When dry I then smashed the whole assembly with my steel ruler and the rim flattened out to assume the shape I wanted...that was a gamble and guess but it came out okay, thankfully. :wink: I then painted the wheel assembly with flat brown acrylics, included a bit outside the rim on each spoke for the spindle handles and let it all dry very well (overnight, in fact). Then it was a simple matter of trimming the excess thread to make the finished spokes...and there you have it! :D

    Hope to get more done today. Until then...


  3. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And here is a photo of the finished wheel...and a comparison to the kit part as well as the actual wheel.

    More later, I hope!


  4. barry

    barry Active Member

    Point made I think Jim

  5. silverw

    silverw Member

    Hey Jim,

    I'm back. Took me a while to get caught up! Looking absolutely fantastic :shock:
  6. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Hey, Bill! :D
    Thanks for the kind words. It's been slow going this week so far, too much else going on, but hopefully I'll get back to her by weeks end.
    How's Dreadnought coming along?

    Hi, Barry! :D
    Now, which point would that be, mate...that I'm a bit crazy (we already knew that, what?) but aren't we all? :lol: Actually, given my ham hock fingers I was surprised the wheel came out like it did, but I figured almost anything was better than the kit printed wheel...I just don't have a steady enough hand to cut out the kit wheel even if it had the right number of spokes. :shock: Besides, it was a blast trying to figure out how to make something resembling a wheel. :D


  7. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Well, after a bit of a break to work on the Arleigh Burke by Yuki Yuji, I'm back continuing with the little bits on Constitution. I finished the pinrails for the forecastle area, all of it being scratch built because the kit parts are too out of scale and mis-proportioned...not to mention they have the pinrails set up wrong. :roll: I'm not sure what plan the designer was looking at, but the set up I am following is based on the US Navy plans and current photos, and it's been the same pinrail set up since 1929. :?

    Anyway, the rails themselves are made of laminated card, and the belaying pins are short pieces of wire. They are placed in between the gun ports and seem to be glued sturdy enough for use in belaying the rigging later on (I hope! :roll: ).

    I also added the lower bullseyes for the Bentinck shrouds as it would be a bear to try and add them later on. These are the black donuts on each side of the deck, opposite the mast hole.

    I also built up the cages for the companionways on the main hatch. It's still a bit overscale and some of the glue added a bit of bulk, but they're going to have to do for now. I think I had brain drain because the labeled photo has "companionways" mis-spelled...sorry about that! :oops:

    I also have been working on the remaining carronades, all sixteen of them, to be put eight on each side in the quarter deck (after deck area). There's going to be a bit of a lapse in posting the next time because I need to make a whole bunch of "blocks" to rig them, so pardon the delay in the next post.

    Anyway, the "clutter" on the forecastle area is starting to give her a bit of character, or at least add some interest to what was an otherwise bare forecastle area. :wink: I laid one set of eight carronades on the port side of the quarterdeck, just to see how it looks, and I have to admit with all those red carriages and black barrels, it looked a lot better...unfortunately I did not take a photo of that, but maybe for the next post. :D

    Anyway, here's a few photos showing where I am now in this build. Hope you find them interesting. :D


  8. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And just two more photos, one another view of the forecastle thus far and another showing the carronades in various stages of construction....


  9. murban

    murban Member


    great work and truly amazing detail!. Never thought this is possible in 1:200.
    I just hope that "Victory" will turn out half as good as this.

  10. silverw

    silverw Member

    Just Great Jim...

    I'm beginning to be a little leary of logging in here, for fear of the ocean will come rushing in on me! :shock:
    ... And the "Constitution" will have sailed off to my starboard side!
    (Another benefit of cardmodeling..... I didn't used to know which was which!) :oops:
  11. DN

    DN Member

    Beautiful model Jim.
  12. barry

    barry Active Member

    I guess to keep up with your standards we are going to have to put the locking levers on all the ships doors plus working hinges

    Fantastic work JIm

  13. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks for the VERY generous words, mates! :D

    I was able to finish making all the carronades tonight and I was just too tempted to put them on deck to see how she looked almost fully dressed in her full complement of guns...last time I only had one side in place but forgot to take a photo. :oops:

    Anyway, here are some shots of how she now looks with the entire battery temporarily in place. I have started to add the breech ropes to a few, but they are not ready for rigging until I finish putting on the rest of the breech ropes and then pre-rig (is that a word? :lol: ) the train tackles for each. I figure that's going to be real tedious, boring and just plain uninteresting to you good folk, not to mention taking a good deal of time before the next update, so here's a few photos before I start. She's really begining to look like a warship now, don't you think? :wink: Hope you enjoy the pics.


  14. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And, now, the last of the lot for now....


  15. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Makes one want to climb aboard and take a walk around the deck, stepping over the rigging wires and resting against various structures! - Leif
  16. barry

    barry Active Member

    That's a classic old mate just bore us a bit more if you don't mind.


  17. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Jim

    Its a very nice way to be bored though watching this :lol:

    Bore us some more :roll:

  18. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    Steady lads on the uproll.......Fire :!: :!: :!: Excellant work. At that scale having done nothing more than a mere lifeboat ,I raise my glass sir. Good job Jim.
  19. Corporal_Trim

    Corporal_Trim Member

    Absolutely ! Beautiful work, Jim. 8) :)
  20. larrymax

    larrymax Member

    My dear friend Jim! all I can say is UNBELIEVEABLE! You're work is AMAZING and an inspiration! I SORELY need to get back to work on Cleo!!!!

    MORE, MORE, MORE....Please!


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