Wilhelmshaven 1:200 scale USS Constitution

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

  1. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Jim

    Very nice and clean, can't wait for this.
    Love the bands they work well if I used them I would twang the model of in to the middle of next week (always have problems with those things) or crushed it :lol:

    Realy looking forward to the rest as soon as possible :roll:


  2. larrymax

    larrymax Member

    Great Work Jim! I only have ONE question! Does Bob know you're moonlighting on his Connie! LOL!

    Looking forword to more on your connie! Looking forward to more on my Cleo!!!!

    Long Lost Captain, HMS Cleopatra
    Paper Navy of the Bear Flag Republic
  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    OT but what's the crescent wrench used for (adjustable spanner for you Eastern Atlanteans)?

    Best, Gil
  4. Scorpio

    Scorpio Member

    Hi, Jim,
    Very much nice work!
    I have a question: should the windows not be cut out for the Board cannons before the board walls should have stuck on?

    I build at the moment also the Cleo like Larry. I have here no report pure-put has because I do not want to show the identical one two times.
    Your reports are a gold pit for me because I have no notion of sailing ships.
    To hearty greetings
  5. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member


    Thanks, Mate!
    Now I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of the "we what more" posts! :lol: I will try not to disappoint, but there will be some delays in getting to this build now that my daughter is going back to school this week. :roll: Oh, and, yes, those bands can be finicky; I've had more than my share of them snap at the worst possible time. No problems this time, though. As I said, I was lucky! :D


    Geez, I hope Prof. Bob doesn't find out! :lol: Actually, I need to finish another wooden ship model before I even think of cracking open the MS kit. Were you able to repair Cleo and can we expect something new on that thread in the near future? I do miss your thread on Cleo! :D Did you know Scorpio is going full bore on Cleo as well on the Karton-bau Forum? Take a look!


    Believe it or not, but I used that wrench, along with a 25 retractable tape measure, to weigh down the formers as they dried! :lol: I grabbed the closest things to put a little weight on the hull formers that I could find, and this was one of the few items I was able to put my hands on quickly.
    The only other items were some half empty gallon paint cans, but if I tried them Connie would have been a little paper pancake, I fear. :lol:


    Thank you for the kind words, I do value them highly! :D

    Yes, the instructions do call for you to cut the gun ports out before fitting and putting the pieces onto the hull formers, but I had a similar experience once before where a slight difference distorted the gunport placement. There is an inner piece, the inner bulwark, that goes on the inboard side of the hull pieces along the spar or upper gun deck. This inner piece is a forest green, and I figure it will be easier and less noticeable to touch up the black outter hull pieces than to play around with the inner, green piece and risk paint splatter on the deck, etc.

    Besides, I didn't want to install the inner piece until the outter hull was in place and I could see how the deck piece fit against that...I once glued the outer and inner pieces together but there was a fitting problem and a white gap showed between the bottom end of the inner piece and the deck, so waiting to install the inner piece gave me a better chance to correct for this.

    I just figured it would be easier to make any adjustments this way, but you are right, the instructions tell you to glue up the inner pieces to the outter hull piece before fitting them in place.

    I again thank all for your very kind words. :D

    I will try to get a bit more done this week, hopefully getting the inner bulwarks installed, but first I need to finish putting on the transom pieces and fixing that area up a bit....

  6. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    I was able to spend a bit of time today on some of the details before I start cutting and fitting the inner bulwarks. I mentioned I would be modifying this kit a bit and one of the areas I need to change from the kit design is the head rails.

    The kit provides solid rails, no spaces inbetween the actual rails, just one solid piece, probably to make assembly easier...well, easier just won't do. :lol: So, I cut out the void spots of the head rails.

    It took a bit of careful cutting under magnifying help (my eyes are bad enough, needing reading glasses, so with this close work I need all the help I can get). I need to add a bit of thickness in the next step, and will probably need to blacken out the stem piece which would have been covered by the solid head rail.

    The aft most connecting piece between the lower and middle rail also has to be built up as the model has this already printed in place on the hull, so I have to work this connecting piece out. I also need to consider the planked up piece that fits on top of the head rails, which also defines the head rail curve on the upper edge. You can see some of this in the photo of the actual head rails below. I think it's worth these little extra steps, especially since the actual ship has open head rails. At one time it was planked in, but no more, so since I decided to make the current configuration, open it must be! :D

    I also cut out the fiddle head, the fancy carving piece that goes up along side the stem. I am still thinking about how I am going to fit this piece on each side since the actual fiddle head has a nice gradual curve up into the top of the stem, not flat like the kit designers made them. This is going to be the base of the head rail pieces so I think I need to have it flare out a bit as it goes down to meet the hull.

    I also fitted the piece that goes below the transom and the hull. It's a little curved piece that needed to be fitted to the sides of the hull. I also added a bit more support for the transom hacking up an extra former number 12, trimmed for the proper fit. This will make installing the transom a lot easier since the kit design has only a tab as part of the central profile former and the hull ends as support, something that could lead to a potential problem, at least for me. :D I also faired up the joints between the hull sides, the after former and the new curved piece, as well as fitted and glued the rudder and rudder stem piece.

    I cut out the transom, added the inner bulwark piece at the transom and cut out the after gun ports. I need to check some of my photos because I think there are two scuttle ports on that curved piece that the kit doesn't show. I want to work that out, as well as add a little more surface detail to the transom decoration because the flat printed version just doesn't do it for me...at least I'll try. But, that's another story for another time.

  7. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Here are some more photos, showing a close up from 1931 from my archives, and some views of the fiddle head on this model. You can see the flare at the base of the fiddle head in the photo from 1931.
  8. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Finally, some more photos of the bow and then the stern area. In the bow view you can see the printed lower head rail piece just outside the hawse pipes on each side...see, compared to the photos of the actual ship, it needs some work, right? :lol:

    I still need to touch up the back edge of the rudder along the coppering area, might even have to thicken it a bit, now that I see how thin it looks in perspective. :? Obviously I've got a long way to go on the hull, but at least I was able to make some progress today. :wink:

  9. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Jim

    She is comeing along great.

    Love the archive photos with the thread to show the detail your putting into this

    Keep at it mate and look forward to the next set, realy looking good


  10. barry

    barry Active Member



    Great write up, when will the book come out I think this will make even Wilhelmshaven look. Love the detail more photos please

  11. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks so much, guys! :D

    I'm glad you're enjoying the write ups. I never know how much to say, and don't want to give a boring diary-like step by step :roll: , but figured I would try to explain what I just went through.

    The photos really help on some of the details, especially since this kit is a bit simplistic in it's design as to certain features. Trouble is I once had a whole lot more photos and a bunch of other great data on Connie, like the rigging specs, block sizes, etc., but my computer acted up and wouldn't boot the OS. When Gateway "fixed" my computer a few months ago the genius tech ignored my request to save the data before doing anything and they re-installed the OS (Windows XP) thereby either erasing or putting into virtual purgatory all my data files. :cry:

    I'm have been trying to reconstruct a lot of the data, have thankfully saved a number of photos, but it's going to take a bit of time. :? So, Barry, the book might have to wait a bit. :D

    I did write a short article a while back, before the computer crash and burn, on Connie's evolution, at least the first part, and can give you the link if you're interested. Not really about modeling, but it goes a bit into her early appearances and changes, sort of what I am dealing with comparing the kit, her 1929 appearance, and her current look.

    But, I digress.... :lol:

    Hopefully I can get a bit more done either tomorrow or over the next few days. I also have to learn how to get this digital camera to take better close-up shots...then you can see all the goofs. :lol:

  12. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Today I worked on the inner bulwark on the port side, forward, and added the starboard inner bulwark. I actually went quite a bit further than these photos show, but I had to stop and didn't get the chance to take more updated photos, but I promise more tomorrow. :wink:

    I decided the bulwarks needed a bit more thickness than the kit provides, since the actual bulwarks are thicker than the two ply card stock of the kit. I added a little laminate on the inner part of the inner bulwark, and fitted it in place with the gun ports thankfully lining up fairly well. One thing the kit does not show is the original caprail that runs along and forms the top of the spar deck gunports. This is important to show as the US Navy in the 1929 restoration added a extension on top of this creating an extra bulwark above the gun stations on the spar deck. This is supposed to represent planked over hammock nettings, but for some unknown reason the Navy also put hammock irons and netting on top of that! The result is a historically incorrect bulwark height, that is if they were trying to replicate her appearance in 1812, which is what they were charged to do under the reconstruction mandate. But I digress.... :lol:

    The net result of all of this is that as she is presently configured she not only has the original caprail along the tops of the gun ports, but another extra bulwark on top and the hammock irons and netting on top of that! This arrangement is in essence missing from the kit configuration, showing one, uninterrupted overheight bulwark over the guns, so I had to add some of this to my build for my own personal satisfaction.

    The kit also portrays the bow area and bulwarks incorrectly. The kit provides what looks like a two step increase in height as you go forward along the bulwark from the catshead to the area above the bowsprit. You can see this in the last set of photos of the build. Well, the bulwarks on the actual ship in the bow area go up to the original caprail, and then just above the two bow gunports there is the extra bulwark on top of that. The second step on the bow bulwark that the kit shows is actually the fairleads in the bow, one on each side of the bowsprit. The kit shows this as a single extra step straight across the bow area. So, I decided to cut this back down to the single step-up and will add the fairleads as separate parts with the holes for the lines.

    As I mentioned, the kit also portrays the fairleads as a single extra step, when in fact there is an opening, right above the bow pinrails and over the bowsprit, for access by the crew, I believe, to the head area. I worked in correcting this after the photos for today were taken, so the photos show the continuous upper bulwark, when in fact this has been changed. I will show a photo of that in the next installment.

    I also did a little more work on the head rails. I found that it is not simply a matter of cutting out the holes, like I showed in the last installment, but they have a slightly different spacing which I have to account for. The three head rails end up in three different locations on the bow; the middle one goes to the hull and then up under the catshead, the top one to a spot forward of that and then up to the caprail, and the bottom one runs to the bottom edge of the gun stripe. In the kit, all three are shown as merely printed areas on the hull. So, I am trying to add some depth to the head rails, particularly the middle one which flows into the cathead supports.

    Anyway, I didn't get too far on that today when I had to break for the night, but that will be covered further in a future post, I promise...then hopefully all this rambling monologue will make some sense. :D

    Well, that's it for now, until I can get some more photos taken. Meanwhile, sorry there are only two shots, but I hope to make up for it next time. I promise! :lol:

  13. silverw

    silverw Member

    Hi Jim

    I guess two will do for now, and you can owe us the rest! :lol:

    Looking great!

  14. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Well, I did promise some updated photos, so here they are.
    You can see the change in the inner bulwark. I also changed the color of the bulwark, as the original is forrest green, and the kit uses a brighter green coloration. Obviously this is truly a work in progress and there is a substantial amount of touch up I have yet to do.

  15. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And just a pair to show how I am trying to show this bulwark setup on the exterior of the hull.
  16. rkelterer

    rkelterer Member

    hi jim,

    the hull comes out nice. if I had not so much in my active queue I would start this little ship right now 8)

    how do you cut out the gun openings after having the part applied ?

    cheers from cold and sunny austria
  17. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Jim

    Great stuff for the troops :D

    She is looking the part now and all the precise cutting and colouring shows her lines off very well

    Keep at it


  18. barry

    barry Active Member

    Hi Jim

    Very, very impressive attention to detail shows.

  19. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks guys, I do appreciate the very kind words! :D Funny thing about taking photos, I see a number of glitches I missed which I will need to correct in the next session. :?

    Raimund, after I fit the inner bulwarks, in which I have pre-cut out the gun ports, I then use my #11 blade (a new one, of course :D ) and poke the point, blade side facing the corner, into the uncut area from the inside going out. I then carefully slice up to the corner; I then repeat the process for the other side of the corner, and the two slices meet up in the corner. I repeat this for the other three corners and usually, if I do it right, the piece is perforated completely and falls out with the last cut. I then lightly sand the edges using a cut up emery board (the throw away type for doing nails) to finish off the cuts. I then "paint" the inner sills using diluted white glue to fill any uneven areas of the lamination and when it's dry, sand it again before the actual painting.

    At this scale the gunports are only about 3-4mm on each side, so I cut the emery board into slivers to fit the hole. I used the fine side of the board to gently sand the edges, so I wasn't roughing the edges too much.
    Using the diluted glue and letting it dry acts like a combination sealer and strengthener so the final sanding usually comes out fine. I did the same thing for the tops of the bulwarks before putting the cap rail on.

    The original inner bulwark goes all the way up to include the extended bulwark, so I cut the part above the upper sills of the gunports and then glued that piece in place, then added the inner edge of the original caprail along the top of this, and finally added the extra bulwark section on top of that. I tried to just glue a little sliver of paper to represent the edge of the original cap rail but the paper was difficult to apply at this size and came out uneven, so I started over using the piece by piece method. Having the edge of the upper sills there to guide the sliver worked out better than the "free hand" attempt. Isn't it great you can just reprint the parts over and over to cover up these trial and errors (emphasis on the "errors")? :lol:

    I noticed in the photos that the hole for the bowsprit is round, but I think in real life it is squared off just like the upper opening, so I'll have the pleasure of using that "slice in place" method once again! :D

    Hopefully I can get to it again today so maybe I can post a few more updates.

  20. silverw

    silverw Member

    H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y
    J I M !


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