I'd like to get this classic to give as a gift. IIRC there were two versions, one larger and more detailed, even including a detailed captain's quarters. I checked at Squadron and saw there were two offered. One from Revell/Monogram USA and one from Revell Germany. The USA version is substantially cheaper. I can't tell, however, if it's because it's domestic rather than an import, or if it's a simpler kit. Can anyone help me out on this?
I built the smaller version while stationed in San Diego in 1970 in the USN. Turned out really nice. I still have it, though it needs a little TLC now.
I now have two of the 1/96 kits from a year ago. The hull halves are together so far.
I need help in two areas.
The bottom seams needed sanding and so along the bottom seams I no longer have copper plate detail. Are there copper plates of the correct size I can use to cover the sanded seams without needing to copper plate the entire hull to make it look uniformly plated? Is there a simpler approach to the problem that I am too dumb to visualize? Many times there is. :-)
As modeled by Revell, what are the correct colors? Can I trust the instuctions? Did USF Constitution have RED interior gun decks as did some of HMS ships? I've hunted around and found no mention of color schemes, even in the plans from Model Shipways.
All help will be most appreciated.
I'm building one of these to keep and one to sell and I want to build them both correctly to as high a quality as is possile for a plastic ship so that the person who hopefully buys the one that I will sell gets their money's worth and a ship they can be prowd of.
Tape and Evercoat polyester putty.........mask with tape, skim coat with putty, let cure, peel off tape, repeat. If done right you can replicate the effect without too much hassle. Practice on a junker first!
Try the official USN website for her and there were a couple books a few years ago at Borders specifically on her restoration. Lots of color notes.
This advice is probably too late for you, but what I do when a bottom seam on a copper-plated hull needs truing up is to use a jeweler's file instead of sandpaper. That way, the plate detail can be preserved as much as possible. Actually, you might even now use a small file to replicate the plating details (provided you didn't remove too much plastic in the sanding).
But looking at my built-up Revell model, I notice that there isn't much plating detail along the keelson anyway, and it isn't going to be seen when the ship is on display. The most important things on the keelson of the model are the three studs used to locate the bases.
Some of the earlier issues of the Revell Constitution came with the copper plating pre-painted, but the current ones don't. You're going to have to paint the bottom of the hull copper anyway, and the paint will cover a multitude of sins.
The paint scheme of the Constitution varied greatly over time. The first thing you need to do is pick a specific time frame, and then research that. For example, when the ship first entered service, the hull had a natural wood (oiled) finish. By the time of the War of
1812, the hull was black, with a stripe along the row of gunports. But the color of the stripe was periodically changed from yellow ocher to white, and vice versa. (Since British ships of the time typically had yellow ocher stripes, having a stripe of that color was a deceptive measure.)
Take a look at these websites:
Speaking of gunports, the Revell model has simple gunports hinged at the top. But there's historical evidence that, during the War of 1812, the Constitution's gunports weren't hinged, but were removed entirely when clearing for action. At other times, the ship had split gunports (hinged at the top and the bottom) that allowed the guns to be run out with the ports closed.
Maybe the interior buwarks were painted red, but it's highly unlikely that the decks themselves were. It was a routine while at sea for the "idlers" in the crew to spend their days polishing the decks with holystones. No paint would have held up to that for very long...
There's a recent Osprey book on American heavy frigates, with a cover and centerfold cutaway. The colors are as good a surmise as any other's. Only remember that the paints are historical and not Testors. You might need to go to the dollhouse section of the craft store to get the right 1800's colors.
I've posted this before, but it bears repeating, (I hope!)
Check out the web page of Seaways Ships in Scale magazine-- it is a great resource for the builder of wooden ships. The colors of the Constitution and the man changes over time have been discussed there, including posts by people who have done primary source research.
There are some things that you may want to consider to improve the kit, especially if you want to build one to sell:
Replace the plastic eyebolts in high stress areas with metal ones- you can get them from Model Expo.
Consider replacing the upper masts with wooden parts. The problem is the thin plastic is so flexible, it is hard to keep it straight when tensioning the rigging.
Make your own ratlines.
The footropes on the yards may be easier to fashinon out of fine wire- it is hard to get the ones made of thread to hang properly.
Get Les Wilkens' book on Plastic Ship Modeling, published by Kalmbach. (Now OOP, unfortunately.) There's a lot of good info on buiulding plastic sailign ship kits, and the big Revell Constitution is featured.
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On the gundeck You can see some details perpared but not elaborated in the molds: The hulls are 1 mm thick molded, but would be 5mm thick if You take the scale as a reference. And in fact there is a line molded on the gundeck indicating this.
So I thickened the interior and made truely thick "iron sides" ... with paperboard; supering can be easy sometimes ... And there is no bulk head part for the anchor area, as indicated on the gun deck mold. It is easy to reproduce this by scratch modelling.
I would be most happy if I could find more figures in about 1:100 to populate the decks ... that would be fun. They should be about 200 figures, but I only have 20 ...
The upper masts still await me, but so far the tension should be just as "hard" as necessary only, a model has not to fear hard winds ... but it is true, one has to be *very* careful with these fine parts.
Definitely. And make Your own refinements of the Running Rigging also, it has many different thicknesses of the ropes in reality, and in the instruction there are many details "simplyfied" = falsed for easier assembly, for the intermediate modeller maybe ...
I think this can be done with glued threads also. Or take paint, it can also make threads stiff.
I also think about to make my own sails, that is harden it using hair style spray :) to get some true windy forms in them :)
Mine came out pretty well using a 50/50 mixture of elmers white glue and water. Stiffened up the thread nicely when it dried. I did use copper wire and painted it for the stirrups for the footropes. Something as short as they are is almost impossible to tie.