Two steps forward, one step back. Or is that one step forward, two steps back?

July 20, 2009

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”Vince Lombardi

“Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.”Voltaire

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over”F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

July 15, 2009

When I started this blog, it was my intention to share all of my experiences so that anyone else who is doing the same type of work might learn from my mistakes.  As you’ll see a little later, I get the chance to do that today.

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The Scrollwork Initial Carve

July 15, 2009

The next step for the scrollwork was to cut the wood according to the pattern. The sequence of steps is similar to any other carving – rough it out, refine it and finish it.

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Modeling the Scrollwork

July 13, 2009

The scrollwork that came with the kit was laser cut and although I guess it looked ok, I decided to carve my own.

First, I needed to make some patterns from the large plans. IMG_1445-Edit I did this by scanning the section of the plans I needed and scanning it using our HP Photosmart C4280 printer (I would typically link to HP from here, but they don’t make it any more.  It’s only about a year old!)

After scanning the portion of the plans that you see to the right, I took the TIFF file into Photoshop and got rid of the bits I didn’t need.

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Fiddlehead Scrollwork

July 12, 2009

Onwards and upwards! Well, at least upwards and forward. 🙂

The Constitution originally sailed with a “Herculean figure” as her figurehead, however that was torn away in an 1804 collision with the USS President.  She was repaired with a billethead and carried this until she was refitted in 1809.  There is a story of her getting a figure of Neptune during this period, but there is no documentation found to support this.

Either way, she got a new billethead and trailboards which she carried for the war of 1812. When she went into drydock for restoration, Captain Jesse Duncan Elliot had just been appointed the Commandant of the Boston Naval Yard and decided to honor his personal hero Andrew Jackson with a figurehead.  The people of Boston were outraged. Jackson was very unpopular in Boston at that time due and the life of Captain Elliot was threatened. After the figurehead was installed, a merchantman rowed out during a thunderstorm and cut the head off.  It was eventually returned and replaced on the figurehead. A new figurehead of Jackson was put on in 1848 and this is the figurehead she wore when she went in for restoration work in 1871 to prepare for the centennial.

When she came out of drydock, the figurehead was gone and a “fiddlehead” was in its place.  This is essentially the look she carries today.

Source for some of the figurehead timelines


more later…..

Take care – happy modeling!

Close but no cigar

July 10, 2009

Last night and this morning was meant to be finishing the stern by replacing the stern draft marks that were misaligned. Of course, I ran out of numbers (1s specifically) so it will have to wait until the new set comes next week.

On the subject of draft marks, I am not completely happy with how mine are lining up.  It is very tight spacing getting them in there and though I try to be very careful there is still some misalignment (at least to my eye).

I thought I had come up with a solution – MicroMark sells decal film for making your own decals.  You print them from your computer.  Perfect!!! Well not quite.  Printers don’t print white :cry:. This is not a problem for most people because they print on white paper.  An Micromark sells a white based decal film – but that would mean I would have to cut out tiny little decals and then still have to align them.  Sigh.  Guess I’ll just keep putting the dry transfer numbers on and scraping them off until I’m happy.

Take care – happy modeling.

Hanging the Chain

July 9, 2009

I’m finally ready to hand the rudder chain.  While there is no real difficulty in doing so, it did bring up the question of whether I was going to follow the model plans or the original ship’s plan.

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Clench Bolts

July 9, 2009

We’re on the home stretch of the rudder assembly :smile:.  I have previously made the gudgeons and pintles, so the last thing left to do is to make the bolts to hold it all together.

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Top Netting

July 4, 2009

On occasion when I’m doing a task that is repetitive (like making rudder straps) I will pick a task that is fairly stand alone and work on that to break up the monotony.  I started the foretop when I started doing the center heavy deck planking and finished it up today while taking a break from the rudder straps.

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Rudder Chain

July 3, 2009

Cutting BrassI had completed most of the rudder straps but needed to replace the top one because I broke off the arm that holds the rudder chain  😦 I took the existing one off of the rudder and it still looked serviceable so I decided to go ahead and try to use it.

The first step was to cut a piece of brass strip to the proper width. I have found that the way to get the cleanest cut is to score the brass with a blade many times and then break it by bending it back and forth. If it’s not as smooth as you like, you can file the edge.

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