Wilhelmshaven 1:200 scale USS Constitution

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

  1. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Well, it's been a while ... quite a while, actually,... but, being New Year and all, I figured it was time to get back to my Constitution.
    Actually, I have been looking up the rigging plan, just to be sure before I got into the masting and rigging. For now, however, I need to finish up the hammock nettings and the mizzen fife rail, before moving into the channels and masting.

    So, I am continuing with the hammock netting. You might recall I was using a silk scarf I found in the Big Apple at a small Kiosk close to where I used to work. After finishing the port side forward netting I figured there was a quicker way to put the netting together.

    I decided to use a wax paper covered card on which I drew parallel lines that matched the height of the finished netting. I also soaks some fly tying silk thread with PVA, which I used for the top and bottom lines of the netting. Here's a photo of the card set up with the netting in place with the glue soaked line on top and in place:


    I also used some fine annealed steel wire for the hammock irons, just a matter of bending them into the right shape and gluing them to the top of the bulwarks. In this photo you can see the trimmed hammock netting and to the left is one of the hammock irons ready to be installed:


    Here's the starboard side forward bulwark with the hammock irons glued in place:


    This photo shows the netting glued in place...I thought using a white card would help show the netting better, but it didn't come out as clearly as I planned:


    Here's the way it all ended up...I still have to touch up spots here and there, but it's pretty much done:


    This view shows how the irons sit on the bulwark with the netting on each side:


    And, a final view:


    Before I work on the quarterdeck hammock nettings, I need to finish up the mizzen fife rail, otherwise I can expect the netting would be banged around a bit when working in and around the deck area...I hope to show the mizzen fiferail in the next installment.

    Thanks for stopping by and having a look...I'll try and keep the delays between updates a bit shorter next time.:grin:

  2. silverw

    silverw Member

    Constitution is back!

    Hi Jim..

    I always wondered what happened to you and the Constitution. It seems to me that the Constitution., went out of my life about the same time as the "DREADNOUGHT"... ( still sitting there on the shelf!! ) It's GREAT to see it back.

    You might just inspire me to dust off the Dreadnought! :)

    ......... Bill

    BTW Jim... has your wife seen your paper model "clamps"?? [Bobby curls, wasn't it??]
  3. Amazyah

    Amazyah Senior Member


    That's some really jaw dropping work, Jim! The details and size are astounding!

    "You da man!"

    I definately can't wait to see more of your creation.. Keep them pics coming...please!

  4. barry

    barry Active Member

    Neptune is back

    That's a sight I have been waiting a long time for glad you've rolled your hammock up. At least you have a place to stow it.

    Wish I knew how you do it.

  5. eatcrow2

    eatcrow2 Member

    Looking great!!! Nice to see that your back into this.
  6. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

    'bout time matey! And what a return! Like Barry sez you now have a place to stow up your hammock. I gaze in wonder at the detail in 1/250 scale? It was a PIA doing in 1/4 scale! A tot o' rum for the shipwright!
  7. rlwhitt

    rlwhitt Active Member

    Jim, this is my first look at your Constitution project, and all I can say is WOW. The detail, the SIZE of that detail! Man this is awesome! I look forward to seeing this progess.

  8. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Wow! That is going to be one sweet looking ship.:yep:
  9. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Wow, thanks so much, guys...I really appreciate the very kind comments! Yeah, feels good working on her again, now that I've got a better idea of where I'm going with the rigging, for the most part....:roll:

    Just a quick update to show what I was working on yesterday. I built up the mizzen fife rail, again using scaled down templates from a more accurate configuration I have. The kit has a simplified fife rail which is a bit out of proportion for the model and did not have enough locations for the belaying pins, so I built it up from scratch.

    This is the scaled down fife railing which needs to have the holes drilled out for the belaying pins. I first poked the holes in the template using the pin drill, and then laminated the piece to another piece of card stock and, using the first series of holes, drilled down into the laminated piece. I then trimmed it to final shape.


    Next, I created the pedestals using thin wire to which I glued some stock to create the top and bottoms; I found it easiest to glue the wire off of a strip of card, sandwiched with another strip on top, and did the same for the bottom. I then built up the middle using PVA glue, painted it when thoroughly dry and then trimmed them to shape:


    I had to cut a number of small pieces of thin wire for the belaying pins; it's amazing how even the slightest difference in length shows up as oversized or undersized pins! So, I cut a whole bunch (the mizzen fife rail uses a total of around 23) and picked the best matched ones from the lot:


    Then, I built up the forward parts, which are like knightheads with a iron cleat that runs athwartship about 1 mm from the top (again, using a pin drill for the hole and thin wire for the cleat), and glued it all together. I found coating the part with thinned out PVA made final touch-ups a bit easier with an emery board and judicious use of a hobby knife. I then added the belaying pins, which was an eye straining affair...I have an magnifying lens that clips to my reading glasses which really magnified the part well for this task...it was like seeing the parts in micro world! I find using slightly watered down PVA glue makes gluing these small parts a bit easier than glue straight from the container; the glue needs to seep into any spaces, like the holes for the belaying pins, and the raw glue just bunches up on the surface. I gave the finished part a few coats of thin paint...you have to be careful, when using acrylic paint, because the paper will soak up the paint and start to soften and deform if you apply it too heavy...you can see a bit of warping at the knighthead joints, but that will sort out when the part is glued to the deck. This last photo shows the almost finished piece...still needs a few touch ups on the pins but I wanted to let it dry very well before doing any more painting before installing it to the deck:


    I need to first put in the mizzen mast footing, as it would be difficult to try and manuveur the piece into place with the fife rail blocking access to the area, so that's the next step....

    Thanks again for stopping by and having a look!

  10. Clashster

    Clashster Member

    Wow, Jim! Great job! Looking at your thread makes me think that my building of the Constellation out of wood was a cake walk! Great job! Look forward to more!
  11. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    Looking great, Jim!!

    I'm really glad you didn't drop this project. It's beautiful, man!
  12. Clashster

    Clashster Member

    Hey Jim! I don't know if you have heard, but the History Channel is having a program on the Constellation (sister ship of sorts) this Saturday night (2/10)...

  13. jasco

    jasco Member

    Great looking details, Jim. Did you really cut out those bitty little fife rails with a knife?:-o I haven't had time to look through the complete thread yet But what I've seen is great! I attempted the old Scientific (wood) model of this about 30 years ago. Got as far as the standing rigging before losing momentum and she still sits on the shelf above this computer daring me to finish her. I did a lot of research on rigging ships in general during that period. I think I have a belaying plan for the Constitution around somewhere, if you're interested.
  14. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks so much, guys!:) I only wish I had an update to post this week, but work has been a bit demanding lately.

    @Jasco. Yep, it's actually two ply laminated #67 pound card, works out just about right for the thickness I was looking for. I have to tell you punching the holes for the belaying pins was a bit tedious and required a slow process to get the holes big enough without causing the rails to deform too much. I ended up starting the holes with a pin then carefully using that pin drill to enlarge them to the right size. I then test fitted the holes with a piece of wire the same size as the belaying pins to be sure it was large enough. Better to start small and work up than to get a hole too big...which often means the card stock would start to bend from the piercings. That Scientific model is a nice little kit, although it again suffers from oversimplified rigging and parts...as I recall they did not provide enough guns for the spar deck battery and gave you a very simple pattern on paper for the transom lights and head railings. I have one I started oh too many years ago stuffed away somewhere in storage, got the hull pretty much done, but no deck details; maybe someday after finishing this one I will go back and try and finish it, just because it begs to be done!:grin: I have seen a few belaying plans, but would always welcome another set for comparison. As I recall from my wooden ship building days belaying plans are often based on a common sense approach on getting the lines set up so none cross over another set, but a there is also the personal preference of the crew/sailing master so no two plans are hardly the same even for the same ship from a different time. I have the one for her current configuration which I will be following, but there is also one I have based on models made by master shipmodelers over the years that I have come across, some of which are based on a fully rigged sailing arrangement (includes a lot of sail handling rigging which her current configuration and, therefore, this model, does not have).

    @Chris. I caught part of that program last night, very interesting. In point of fact, however, Constellation was not a true sister ship, and the era they were dealing with in the program didn't even refer to the original Constellation frigate, but a Sloop of War that was built using some of the original frigate hull structure later on, in 1854 or so, after the original Constellation was decommissioned and dismantled. Not sure if you are aware of it, but there is a bit of controversy over the two Constellations, particularly the heritage of the Constellation on display in Baltimore. The original Constellation pre-dated the launch of Constitution by a few years, was a different sized and designed frigate, though indeed one of the original six sailing warships authorized under the Naval War Act of 1794. Not all ships were built within the original building schedule, and some were changed during their build with respect to their rating/number of guns they were designed to carry. There's a bit more I could talk about, this is the primary area of my long interest in sailing war ships, but suffice to say the Constellation frigate was eventually dismantled and the Sloop of War build in her place with more "modern" attributes, such as the rounded transom and structure of her spar or main deck and battery composition. Funny thing, the ship they kept showing in the show was not even the Sloop of War, actually, as she was rigged differently and had an obvious difference in hull structure, the most notable being she did not have the rounded stern of the Sloop of War of 1854...I wonder what ship they used as a prop to represent the Constellation? Which ship did you build out of wood, the one from the kit made by Artesania Latina? Dr. McArdle also published a book for building her from scratch, which I bought a while ago, but again it's the 1854 Sloop of War, not the original frigate.

    Thanks, Gerardo! I hope to be able to spend more time on here in the very near future. I'm certainly driven to see this one to the end...:grin:

  15. Larry

    Larry New Member

    hello Jim :: Is it just me , I am not getting any pictures of your build when going to your thread ?
  16. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Hi, Larry!

    It depends on how far back you are going into the thread. When the group changed servers a while back the photos I had posted in the thread were apparently based on the database of the old server so the links were lost when the thread was reposted under the new server. I do have to add the photos to the old posts at some point...assuming I can figure out which photos go to what posts.:?

    You should be able to see the photos for the more recent posts...if not, then I'm not sure why that is. I have to admit I from time to time can't see photos that the members include in their posts, not sure why that is...all I get is a blank spot between the test, not even a little red cross to show me the link is lost.

    Let me know if you are not seeing the photos on the more recent posts, say from page 25 (19 September 2005), that seems to be where the photos begin again.

    Just to let you know, I tried to edit the earlier posts with some photos I had saved, but it seems I can't edit the prior posts...probably because the administrators posted my older posts, and only they can apparently edit them...sorry!

  17. Clashster

    Clashster Member

    Thanks for the info on the Constellation, Jim! Interesting program on the History Channel, but it was not exactly what I expected. I built the Artesania Latina version and bought the scratch build book also. In fact, I have many plans and books on historic ship building.... I even have some blueprints of the Constitution from the 1960 Model Shipways reprint of the US Navy's 1932 plans. Somehow, ship plans take me in and entrall me. Perhaps, if we ever have that Card Model convention, I can hear more about this era of ships (always fascinating). One day I hope to build the Victory...:roll: But, enough of hijacking the thread! :oops:
  18. Bluenoser

    Bluenoser Member

    I also suffer from this predicament. I like to collect the plans and drawings of all ship types, but my main interest is in historic sailing ships. Frequently with my first morning coffee on Saturday or Sunday morning, I will pull the drawings out and just go over them in detail. I can build the ship in my mind faster than building it in the workshop. :twisted:
    My wife gets concernd when I bring the box out 'cause she thinks I am gonna start another model.
  19. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Guilty as well, your Honor!:grin:

    I have a number of plan sets for Constitution, not only the Restoration plans Clashter mentioned from the old Model Expo when it was in Fairfield New Jersey, but also prints of the original draughts from the National Archives drawn by Droughty in 1797, some later draughts from 1817, a whole slew of plans that are on a CD published by the NHC center in Charlestown, copies of the log books from her early career on microfiche, digital copies of many paintings done of her over the years, slews of photographs taken by me and others from Charlestown over the years and many plans from various model makers over the years, some now long gone who offered wooden ship model kits of Constitution...I don't understand why my wife says I'm obsessed with this ship.:grin:

  20. Clashster

    Clashster Member

    Hmmm, I don't see anything unusual! :grin: Wives get such crazy ideas... I can never understand it! :confused:


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