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

    Hi, Erick!

    Well, is the nylon thread made up of many strands or is it a single thread like fishing line? If it is a single thread, that can be a problem if you want to stiffen it. If it is made up of many threads, maybe you could get it to stiffen up by painting it with a light wash of paint the color you eventually want the rigging to be. Just go easy on the wash so as not to add too much thickness to the finished thread. I like to use PVA to lightly saturate the string and get it stiff, which makes it easier to take out the slack and reduce the any fuzz that the string might have. I usually put a little clip on each end of the line so that after I finish saturating it with the glue I can then hang it from the edge of my work area and let it dry using gravity to keep the line straight until the glue or paint dries.

    You can't get that CA on your end? Crazy Glue, or similar products? That's okay, I used white glue (PVA) for most of my modeling as I don't like the way CA leaves a shine after it dries, and the fumes are pretty offensive and harmful if you're not careful to work in a well ventilated area.

    A bit of pre-planning is good for rigging, particularly if you have lines originating from a spot on deck or the funnels where it's going to be a bit difficult to add them...but you can still do it by putting a small hole in the first spot and gluing a length of thread with a knot into the hole. Let it dry very well and then run it to the next point. Here you'll have to try and thread a loop in the string into the hole using a pin, point of a toothpick or the like. I like to put a small dab of PVA in the hole first so the small loop of thread goes into the glue and sticks a bit rather than just fall right out...and be sure to push the loop in so as to take out the slack in your line that goes down to the first glued point. Once you have it as tight as you like, put another dab over the thread in the hole and let it dry. When thoroughly dry CAREFULLY trim the excess end (the part that is not your rigging :D ) as close to the hole as you can...be careful not to slice the other line which you want to leave for the rigging in the process... a very sharp blade or razor works well, just be careful! :wink:

    Just some thoughts which I hope help.


  2. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Well, back to the build.... :D

    I was able to complete the addition of the gun deck cannon barrels tonight on the port side...so now she has a complete battery at least for the gun deck! :wink: The process was the same as with the starboard stubby gun barrels that were added earlier...it just took a bit of time to complete making up the set of stubbies. :D

    I also added the cathead to the port side and then added a little cat face on the end of each (both the port and starboard catheads) like in the original. What I ended up doing was to take a photo of the actual cathead and crop it down to the face only. I then copied one half and super-imposed it on the other side after flipping the image. It took a little shifting but I finally got a full faced cat that looked passable. I then reduced the image with high resolution to about a 2 mm square and copied it a number of times onto a clean sheet, slightly adjusting the copied images a few times since I was not sure how the dimension of the end of the catheads would end up. I then printed a few sheets of the images, picked what I thought were the sizes that matched best and then glued them to the ends of the catheads...and there you have it! At least the end product gives an impression of the cat face, but it's so small it was difficult to get any real sharp images out of them. I just hope you can see the face or at least the suggestion of the cat's face. :?

    On the close-up photos of the catheads you should now be able to see the anchor platforms a bit better too...at least I hope so. :D

    I will do something similar for the head boards and the entry port head boards which are really nicely carved on the original...but we'll have to wait and see how they come out. :wink:

    I'm still working on the carronades and their tackle arrangements but hopefully I will be able to show a few guns on the spar deck before long as well...then she'll really start to look like the beatiful warship she is...hopefully! :lol:

    Well, that's about it for tonight. Hope you enjoy the photos!

  3. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And now a few close-up shots of the catheads...please tell me you can see the cat's face...if you squint REAL hard! :lol:
  4. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Just a little shot showing the actual cathead for comparison.....
  5. silverw

    silverw Member

    Looks like the real cat's meow, Jim. :shock:
  6. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    I thought I saw a putty cat, a crepping up on me. I did I did I did see a putty cat a crepping up on me!

    And what a nice ship that putty cat is stuck to :shock:

    Love each and every post, well done mate.
    I hope you get a lot of build time in over the holidays we can see more then :lol: :lol:


    PS I like the heads, but I don't see the roll holder :lol:
  7. barry

    barry Active Member

    Don't know how you manage such small details Jim looks fantastic !!! Look forward to more as usual.

    King of the Heads maybe

  8. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks, Bill! :D I just thought it was a bit too indistinct unless you could compare it to the real deal, but it at least gives you the impression of the cat head. :roll:

    Thanks, Rob, I do hope to do a bit more here and there over the holiday period. I've got a few blocks to build and carronades and long guns to work on. :shock: I figure it'll be like the gun port lids, just do what I can with each session and see how it all comes together when it's time to install them...and I'll post whatever I can when I can. :D

    Thanks, Barry a/k/a "King of Canopies", but I think I will pass on the "King of Heads" thing. :lol: Actually, I was quite surprised and intrigued by what one can do with the Photoshop programs, learning more and more with each venture. My biggest problem is figuring out the right size to make the finished print so it fits the model scale. So far it's been trial and error, but I noticed a grid feature with the last attempt so I might have missed something that could be very helpful in getting the size right, once I know what the scaled size should be. The biggest problem was working out the right resolution so something resembling what I was building was produced in the small part. The first few attempts gave me an indiscernable blob of color, the resolution was so low. :oops: Still not happy with the lack of crisp definition in the cat face, but I've got to move one with this model.

    Thanks again to all for the great feedback! :D


  9. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Today I learned another lesson in double checking the scale size before making any rash conclusions about a scratch built fitting. :oops:

    Seems the block I was all set to go with was too big :shock: in comparison with the real thing! I placed it against the long gun I built today and...it was pretty obvious how large it was...way out of scale. :roll: I think using the paper disc, hardening with CA and then painting them added way too much size to the block. Oh, well, plan B! :lol:

    It all started with building one of the long guns today. As I mentioned earlier, there are two long guns as bow chasers (one on each side at the forwardmost gun port on the spar deck) and then twenty carronades, ten to a side. I rolled the barrel from bond paper because I find the thinner paper rolls into a tighter tube better than the heavier stuff...at least for me. :D I added a few of the reinforcing rings using that thin fly tying silk and increased the barrel thickness using a narrow sliver of bond paper at the touch hole end (the end where the fuse is touched to the cannon to make the big boom!). The trunnion (the shortish rod that sticks out the sides of the barrel and upon which the barrel pivots in the carriage) was made with a piece of fine wire that was stuck through a hole I drilled through the barrel. I then installed the cabascle (that bulbous part on the inboard end) using a short piece of fine wire to which I put gobs of white glue until the bulb was formed. Finally, I added the discs to the muzzle end to give it the proper shape and the last part was the red tampion. I built up the carriage using the kit parts, but cut an arc in the bottom of the carriage sides like the original, added the wheels and finally the quoin (the wedge used to adjust the angle of the barrel on the carriage). I also added the rings on the carriage sides through which the breech rope passes (see the photo of the actual long gun).

    After I realized the blocks were oversized, I re-did the blocks using just small rings of wire which were painted brown. After the gun was installed on the spar deck (in the starboard bow chaser position) I put a bit of glue into the wire ring blocks and when dry dabbed a bit of brown paint to give the impression of a block. Does this work? Well, you tell me. :D It is not a block, obviously, in close scrutiny, but it is the right size and seems to look like a block from normal viewing distance. I do think this is the best I can manage in this scale. Hope it looks okay to you folks. :)

    Installing the long gun using this new method wasn't too bad, it took a bit of a steady hand and patience to thread the silk line through the "blocks" installed to the waterway. I did do something right, however, by having the line spliced to the "blocks" on the carriage before putting the gun on the deck and soaking the end slightly to stiffen the end of the thread so I could use it like a needle in passing the line through the "blocks". I also kept the breech ropes (which merely pass into the bulwarks on each side of the gunport) loose until the training tackles (those ring block set ups) were roven through the blocks and tightened up, which gave me some room to work in. After the tackles were all set, I pulled out most of the slack in the breech ropes and glued everything in place. After the glue dried, I trimmed the excess from all lines and it was finally done! Took about a half hour or more to do the actual rigging in place, so that's not too bad.

    Well, that's about it for today, folks. :D Next up is the other long gun, then I can start installing some of the carronades (O boy, those have four tackles each, not two like the long guns :lol: ). Hopefully I will be able to get to some of the carronades tomorrow, but each of those should take a bit longer than the long guns because of the extra tackles to rig, so I expect the carronades will take a while to get them all in place. I will keep you all posted! :wink:


  10. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Here's a photo of the actual gun for comparison, and some more views of the installed long gun...enjoy! :D
  11. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Jim

    Amazing stuff Jim, its a shame about the block as it looked so good.

    When you look at the real thing it makes you think of the skill involved in loading and fireing one of these hunks of metal, never mind hitting anything :shock:
    No wounder the gun captains were some of the oldest in any ships crew and treated with great respect, even by the boss!!

    Said it before great thread Jim

    More when you can

  12. barry

    barry Active Member

    Jim you amaze me


  13. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks so much, Rob! :D
    I agree, when you see these bad boys up close, you just wonder at the sheer muscle used to haul them in and out, load them, aim and fire, all while under fire from the other ship or shore batteries! :shock: Also keep in mind the living conditions under which the crew survived day to day below decks, sharing barely enough space to breathe with their mates.... Boggles the mind, it does!

    Actually, using the wire blocks alone is working quite well! Not only is it quicker to just make the wire rings, knocking out about five steps compared with the first version, but it's a heck of a lot easier to thread the line through them. I hope to have some of the carronades in place and rigged before long. 8)

    Thank you too, Barry, but it is you and your models that amaze me, sir! We have some very talented folk on this list, and I find myself spending quite a bit of time surfing the forum threads to see all that is going on...you've build some extraordinary and impressive models over the last month or so, and so very quickly! :D I don't know how you manage all of that, and with Fuso still on the ways but getting close to completion.

    I don't imagine this little project is going to be finished soon, I've taken a few detours along the way, but it's still just a blast working on it, and I imagine you, and others find the same with your many projects as well. I'm just happy you all are enjoying this trip with me, however boring and slow the process is at times.

    Well, back to twisting some wire blocks! :wink:


  14. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Well it's been slow going...twisting the ring blocks aren't too bad, just tedious. :roll: After about the first twenty I've got it down to a fairly efficient process of taking the wire, wrapping it around the pin used to form the eye, making the initial twist to bind the eye slightly to the pin, rough trimming the ends, twisting the two ends tightly together, forming the tight eye and a stem, trimming the stem. I need about eight for each carronade, four for the carriage blocks and four for the blocks mounted on the bulwarks. It now takes on an average about three and a half minutes to make one. :lol:

    I mounted four rings to the carriage, two on the lower rack towards the back end and two others on the slide, one on each side in each instance. I used a sharp pin tool to start the holes and then I used a small drill to form the hole into the carriage. After the rings were glued in place, I tied a nice length (about six inches) of small fly tying silk thread to the rings for the tackle line. I put a dab of glue on the knot to hopefully keep it from untying and trimmed the excess when dry. While drying, I put the holes in the bulwarks for the rings mounted there. The set up for the carronades is two outter tackles for the rack, and two inner tackles for the slide. There is also the breech rope which fastens to the bulwarks between the two tackles...hopefully in looking at the photos it will be clearer. :lol:

    I wrapped the breech rope, which is slightly thicker than the string used for the tackles, around and through the rings on the back end of the barrel. I stiffened the rope using PVA to make it easier to handle and to remove any fuzziness in the line. I put a dab of glue where the line crosses under the barrel to hole that in place. I did a bit of touch-up painting of the carriage and barrel and when this was all dry, the fun began! :lol:

    After my experience with the bow chasers (both are now rigged) I figured it would be easier to rig the tackles with the gun loose while rigging the tackles and then glue it in place before attaching the breech rope ends to the bulwarks...that way I could maneuver the gun and carriage around to get the line into the ring blocks easier...it was hard enough trying to thread the line into the rings attached to the bulwark which was very close to the deck! :shock:

    So, the first step is to position the gun on the deck and spread out all four of the tackle lines before starting to avoid any fouling and confusion...I'm confused enough as it is. :lol: I rigged the inner tackle lines first because it was easier than doing it last when it would be hidden in all the lines. :D After the inner tackles were rigged, I then rigged the outter lines...so far so good! I then positioned the gun into place and glued it to the deck; note of caution: make sure the tackle lines are not stuck under the carriage in this step...I found out the hard way! :(

    So, the tackles are then hauled in to remove the slack and I used little clips hanging over the opposite rail to keep them relatively tight. I then glued the breech ropes into their little holes in the bulwark and while the were drying, I pulled the inner tackles tight and ran the free ends under the carriage rings and put a little dab of glue to hold them in place. I also put a dab of glue into the holes of the rings both at the carriage and the bulwark. After the glue set, I trimmed the excess. I repeated this for the outter tackles, again gluing the rings and trimming the excess. When all was dry, I then put a little brown paint on the rings/"blocks"...and I was done! With the first carronade.... :wink:

    This procedure took all of an hour and fifteen minutes, give or take a few frustrating moments when one of the bulwark rings pulled free and I glued the carriage down on one of the tackle lines. :oops:

    Well, the two long guns and one carronade are down...only nineteen carronades to go! :lol: Barry, at this rate I should be done by Christmas...2006! :D

    I included a photo of one of the actual carronades from Constitution. This one is a bit different from the other nineteen she has as it is the only one fitted with a screw-like device used to adjust the angle of the barrel...the others use a quoin arrangement similar to the long guns (which I understand is not the correct setup, but it is what they use on the actual ship, so I used that set up).

    I doubt if I will get to do much until the weekend, since we are having a little family get together for Christmas Eve tomorrow night, but by the end of the weekend, if I'm lucky, I might get to install another carronade. :lol:

    Well, that's about it for tonight, folks! :D

    I wish each and everyone of you a Happy Holiday!! :D


  15. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And more of the installation photos....
  16. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And the last lot...I know by now you folk are sick of this rigging sequence. :lol:

    The middle photo is an actual carronade to show how it's supposed to look (like you couldnt' tell?). :D


  17. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Can you spot the bloopers in the last photo? :lol:

    I've fixed one but the other, well let's just say I have no idea how that happened or why... :oops: I'll have to figure out how to correct it. :?
    If you find more than two, well, that's just poor modeling on my part. :roll:

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good weekend of modeling! :D


  18. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Spending a very late Christmas Eve - way past children & grandchildren & inlaws, and even past attending midnight mass, my partner in life reading just a little bit longer - trying to understand how the multitude of ropes & riggings to a single gun is supposed to work - and the intricate way you managed to replicate them.

    Once upon a time, some forty-five years ago, I started on a Revell plastic Constitution. Don't seem to remember a single rigging rope around those plastic guns. I am amazed to see the length to which you go on a paper model, not larger than the Revell plastic one, and much more intricate in both structure and texture.

    Great work, Jim, and a treat to watch it grow, step by step.

  19. barry

    barry Active Member

    well unless you have a long gun in place of a carronade I can't see it Jim.

  20. larrymax

    larrymax Member

    Leif,....not only are Jim's guns rigged beautifully......think on this....His Consititution is about 1/2 the size of the Revell model!!!! :shock: I built the Revell model many years ago, too. When she finally sucomed to too many years of abuse from moving, I was inspired by Jim and a few others to try my hand at the Model Shipways wooden model of her!!! Thank goodness that one is 4' long!!!! Absolutely HUGE compared to what Jim's working on!

    Fantastic Stuff Jim!

    Merry Christmas everyone!


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