Wilhelmshaven 1:200 scale USS Constitution

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

  1. CharlieB

    CharlieB Member

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    Jim:

    You do such nice work! It's hard to believe that it's all made from paper.

    I started the Revell (plastic) Constituion several years ago, but when I came to rigging the cannons on the deck, I found out that the old fingers don't like to do that small work any more. Maybe after I finally retire (again), I'll get back to working on it again.

    Keep up the good work!

    CharlieB
  2. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Hey, Charlie, thanks! :smile:

    Was that the big one, the 1/96 scale model with the interior detail for the Captain's cabin? That is one excellent model and remains a classic. It's a good almost accurate representation of Constitution from 1812, although the rigging plan is a bit off and some of the details are also not entirely right. It's based on the set of plans by George Campbell under commission from a fellow named Chapelle, who was one of the major forces behind getting the early American maritime history, both commercial and military, down on paper and is the author of a number of well respected books on the subject. Trouble with Campbell's plans, although close, is he did them without ever seeing Constitution himself, having drawn them in England, if I recall correctly. It seems he might have been using the rigging plan from another but smaller US warship from about the same time span, the USF Cheasapeake or USF Constellation, one or the other, but I can't recall for sure. Revell also did a few other knockoffs of the same design, but in smaller scale, which was one of the first plastic ship models I did as a kid. Survived my mother's dusting for quite a while before taking a header one day and wound up in the trash.

    I've been working on a few odds and ends and hope to have something to show for it on or before the weekend. As Barry would say, some "fiddly bits." :smile:

    Thanks again, Charlie!

    Cheers!

    Jim
  3. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    I got a bit done this weekend and over the past week, so I figured it's time to post some updates. :smile:

    This is what we have so far:

    [​IMG]

    I added two other hatchways with the brass cages and added the entry boards as well as the hammock netting boards on the quarterdeck. The entry boards I made up from blueprints of the 1929 restoration which I colorized and then reduced to scale...it's got a very faint image of the carvings showing the eagle, not very clear but it I imagine it wouldn't show very sharp details at this scale anyway...at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

    Here's another view:

    [​IMG]
  4. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    I got that darn "too many images" warning again, so I had to break up the post....

    Anyway, hopefully this view, sort of a closeup, shows some of the additions a little better:

    [​IMG]

    I tried to get a nice closeup of the entry boards to show the detail, but I don't think it came out all that well...hopefully you can see the eagle image better in this view.

    [​IMG]

    I still have to touch up a few things on the hatches before I can consider them done, but the bulk of the work on them is completed. That quarterdeck is starting to fill out a bit, isn't it?

    Next, I am going to tackle the capstan, helm and then the sky light before starting the fife rails for the main and mizzen masts. I'm battling a bit of a cold or some other ailment and will probably be home tomorrow...who knows, I might be able to sneak in a few hours here and there.

    I know this update isn't much, but I wanted to keep ya'll posted on where I am with her. Thanks for stopping by!

    Cheers!

    Jim
  5. barry

    barry Active Member

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    conny

    sorry mate run out of superlatives
  6. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Thanks, Barry! :smile: I'm really glad you enjoyed the updates...so, now for a few more.

    I've been a little busy this last week, mostly fiddly bits, but when I put them all together I seem to have ended up with a capstan, helm and a quarterdeck skylight with protective railings. It was quite a bit of squinting, shakey hand blues and the like, but I eventually managed to eke out something that resembles what you'd find on her quarterdeck today...at least I hope it does.

    Here is the overall view so far:

    [​IMG]

    At the risk of seeing all sorts of distortions and mistakes, I tried to get a closer look at the latest additions...honest, it looks pretty good from a distance...must be a factor of my limited eyesight.

    [​IMG]

    continued.....
  7. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Here's another view, closer in, of the capstan, helm with binnacles and the skylight.

    [​IMG]

    Just so you get an idea of what they should look like, here's a photo of the capstan.

    [​IMG]

    And, here's a view of the actual helm.

    [​IMG]

    Maybe from this angle it starts to resemble the real thing...dim the lights, please....

    [​IMG]

    continued....
  8. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Just for a point of reference, here is what the binnacle is supposed to look like...

    [​IMG]

    And a side view of the helm; notice the steering lines leading into the deck...

    [​IMG]

    Not sure if it's clear from this extreme close-up view, but I tried to include those fairleads for the steering line...try not to look to harshly at the skylight attempt to install brass glass protection rods...boy does that look spooky...just in time for halloween! And, yes, the railing looks like crap! Too much glue...showed up real good AFTER I painted it, of course...ARGH! I'll have to try and fix that....

    [​IMG]

    And here's what the skylight SHOULD look like....

    [​IMG]

    continued...if you dare....
  9. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    And here's a final view...

    [​IMG]

    Well, that's it for tonight...still got a few things to work on (besides that skylight railing) but the hull is getting close to being done. I have to build the fife rails for the main and mizzen mast and add a few things that will be used in the rigging that won't be easily dealt with once I start adding the rigging.

    Okay, I just had to rework a part of that railing around the skylight a bit...so after I posted this update I got to it and this is the result...at least it's a start....

    [​IMG]

    Hope you enjoyed this update. Thanks again for stopping by!

    Cheers!

    Jim
  10. CharlieB

    CharlieB Member

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    Hi Jim:

    I was rooting through some stuff on top of the entertainment center in the basement this weekend and found the Wihelmshaven 1:200 USS Constituion that I bought about 10 years ago. It's still in the bag they provided when I bought it at a hobby show in Phila.

    I've been following your threads and am trying to work up enough courage to actually start this model. I was thinking about only completing it up to the fighting tops on all masts. That way I won't have to worry about tieing too many knots when the rigging starts.

    Do you recommend laminating all the parts or just the bottom, center spine and formers and what type of glue to you use?

    Where did you manage to get a CD of this model.

    Keep up the excellent work. I'm really envious of what you're doing.

    CharlieB
  11. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Thanks, Charlie! :smile: It's really a great little model, although a bit simplified in it's approach in some respects and wrong compared to the actual ship in other areas. Nonetheless, if you follow the instructions to the letter it still comes out as a very nice model. One thing to keep in mind is this model is apparently based on the 1929 restoration version of Constitution, not the way she presently looks after a number of changes had been incorporated over the years. Also, the scale is actually 1/250, as with most WHV kits, I got that wrong when I first started this thread...no, I didn't upscale the size any, just a bone-head move when I typed up the title way back when.

    The CD I bought from Monduni a few years ago, and they still offer it. Believe me, I needed the ability to reprint the templates to get to this point. I also have been using the ship plans available from the NHC-Detachment Boston, which sells a CD of the "engineering drawings", which is essentially all of the drawings they have in Boston of this ship, particularly the 1929 restoration plans and the subsequent modifications. I have long loved this ship, have built a wooden version (well, still building, but now on the back burners) but have studied her history and evolution for a good number of years, so I have a lot of information about her configuration over the years. Unless you are crazy like me and feel the urge to modify the kit a lot, you probably don't need any of that. It also helps to have a good set of photos of the kit for the configuration you are building for some of the finer points.

    I do, indeed, recommend reinforcing the formers and even the main deck with some lamination as it provides a good deal of support that proved helpful later on; the original instructions that comes as part of the CD (not sure if the printed version also has them) doesn't, as I recall, suggest lamination, but I always like to do that to give a bit of strength to the hull formers.

    I use PVA glue almost exclusively for all aspects of the build, with CA only for some smaller details when I needed a quick set. I prefer PVA, even though it causes some problems because it is water based, as I find it easier to apply and control. I use a small brush which I keep in a pan filled with water to apply the glue. I squeeze a little bit on a piece of foam board I've had for many years now (you should see the build up of dried PVA on it, it looks like a tiny mountain scape!) and just dip the tip of the brush into the glue, then apply it to whatever part I am working on. I find this gives me lots of control over the glue placement which other methods have not permitted. I always keep it in the pan of water when not being used to keep the brush hairs from setting, and use a piece of paper towel to dry off the brush before use.

    My modifications involved a lot of trial and error, and trying different things to get the look I wanted for some of the add-ons, but there is probably a better way of doing most of it. After last night I decided to totally redo the railing around the skylight, it just looked to God awful messy, so hopefully I can post another update once that is re-built later this week, time permitting.

    I noticed the photos that went with the earlier part of this thread are no longer part of the post. I kept copies of all the photos posted so I will have to see about editing the earlier messages that were transferred from the old site to add the pics, if I am able to, but that's going to be a long process which might not be worth it if no one really needs them. If I do I will have the pics hosted so as to avoid taking up a lot of the space in this forum. If anyone, including you, Charlie, have any questions about the earlier posts and need to see some of the pics, just let me know.

    Well, thanks again, Charlie, I appreciate the very kind words. I think you'll enjoy building this model, but I would recommend you go all the way and rig the masts, etc., since that's a very distinctive part of this type of ship...it would be like making a tank without any treads! ;-)

    Cheers!

    Jim
  12. CharlieB

    CharlieB Member

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    Jim:

    Thanks for all the info. Do you have a link for Monduni?

    Thanks again...CharlieB
  13. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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  14. CharlieB

    CharlieB Member

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    Jim:

    Thanks for the links. I just ordered the Constitution CD from Lighthouse.

    Disregard the PM is sent earlier re the CD.

    CharlieB
  15. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    That's okay, Charlie...I already responded to the PM too.
    Let me know if you need any help or clarification when you start this model.

    Cheers!
    Jim
  16. CharlieB

    CharlieB Member

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    Jim:

    Have you ever thought about making this entire thread available on a CD as a builder's guide to making this model?

    As a first time paper modeller who has yet to finish anything ( I get frustrated and give up) would you recommend trying this?

    I did have some luck with a building kit from Fiddlersgreen though. I just have to put the finishing touches on it.

    It's getting too cold to work on and fly kites (one of my other hobbies), so I'm looking into something to do to pass the winter.

    Charlie
  17. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Hi, Charlie:

    No, I hadn't thought of that, but it might be a nice idea...as always it's a matter of free time. I'm pretty busy at work and family life takes most of what's left. I end up working whenever time permits, hence the very slow progress on this thread. At times I know I pushed the envelope a bit and poor results show for it. I've tried to take my time on this one, getting it as close to the original as the scale and my slight talents permit...and poor eyesight allows. :smile: I might have mentioned this earlier in the thread but I started this ship a few years ago right out of the box and got to the point where looking at the hull I just didn't think I was doing the old girl justice. That first build still sits in a box in my garage but I'd like to think I learned a few things from the first run. That's the great thing about the CD kits, you can always start over by re-printing the templates. I did that a few times with this build too, when a part just didn't look right to me.

    Please, by all means start this kit and ask away when you get to a point that you're not sure about. I can't promise any sage words, but I might be able to address some problems you encounter and make some suggestions.

    I'll have to give the idea about the CD some further thought, if folks think it might be worth the effort. A few of the additions I came up with and tricks I stumbled across might be used on other models as well, I imagine...but you can find that in many of the build threads on this forum. I find lots of gems in other threads, not just ships, that get my juices flowing and have come in handy in this build as well as others I have made.

    Cheers!

    Jim
  18. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Well, I mentioned I needed to rework that skylight and railing, so I worked on it a bit tonight. I worked up a better way of putting in the brass protection bars so they look crisper and aligned better than the free-handed way I did it the first time. I also ended up pulling up the entire railing and started over, this time trying to avoid applying too much glue and paint.

    [​IMG]

    At the risk of exposing a lot of mistakes again, here's a close up view to show the re-worked brass bars and railing. I hope when you compare it to the actual skylight from the real Constitution you feel this is an improvement over the original mess I tortured everyone with yesterday.

    [​IMG]

    This is a view from the port side, just for the heck of it.

    [​IMG]

    So, that being done, it's now on to the fiferails for the main and mizzen masts. I also finally got around to adding the rest of the gun tool brackets to the last seven carronades on the starboard side...not sure if they show up in the last photo or not. Anyway, that's it for tonight...again.

    Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

    Cheers!

    Jim
  19. CharlieB

    CharlieB Member

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    Hi Jim:

    I'm glad you mentioned about the CD that available for the Connie. I finally opened the kit and was surprised that it was printed on such thin (seems about 24#) and long paper (11 x 16). At least with the CD I can print my own pages.

    CharlieB
  20. Tirta

    Tirta Member

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    Hi Jim,

    Very nice work with the brass bars and railing !!
    Your Connie turns out very nice and very detailed.
    You keep amazed me with your "little" improvements : )

    Keep up the good work.

    Regards,

    Tirta