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!