USS Constitution / WHV / 1:250

  • Greetings, my friends! :)

    I was able to do a little bit more this weekend, adding the tie downs for the Captain's boat stowed on the main hatch and putting in the final deck fittings for the mizzen deck area, including the mizzen fife rails.

    Here's what the Captain's boat now looks like with the tie downs added:
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    I used my fly tying silk attached to card battens that span across the top of the boat's gunwale, and the ends are tied to eyebolts along the main hatch coamings. I'm glad to finally get that part done!

    Next, here is the mizzen fife rail now installed to the deck. I added the base of the mizzen mast, which is called a mast boot, to the opening in the deck where the mizzen mast will eventually go because it would be difficult to add this later on. The mizzen has an interesting set up, which will be seen later in the construction, in that it is fitted with a spanker mast abaft the mast rather than having the gaff and boom rigged directly to the mizzen mast.

    First, a view of the installed mizzen fife rail:

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    Here is another view of the mizzen fife rail, in which you can see the mast boot which as a step leading aft for the spanker boom (it's that white thing glued to the deck in between the fife rail stanchions):

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    You might also be able to see the boom traveler which is the fitting just before the transom, running athwartships, with the cleat just forward of that for securing the boom sheet.

    Next on the list is to add the hammock nettings along both sides of the quarter deck bulwarks; this will entail mounting the hammock netting irons, then the netting itself, just like I did along the forecastle bulwarks earlier. I hope to be able to at least start that this weekend, but I will post another update once that is done. Pretty soon I'll be making up the masts and spars, the channel (those platforms along the ship's sides where the lower shroud deadeyes are attached) and beginning the rigging...but that's still a ways off.

    Well, that's about it for now. I know the progress has been slow, but it is moving along. Thanks for stopping by again and taking a look!


  • Quote

    Thanks for stopping by again and taking a look!

    Anytime, and every time, Jim! - L.

    Dankbar für die Gelegenheit auf Englisch schreiben zu dürfen, kann aber Antworten problemlos auf Deutsch lesen.

  • Dear Jim,

    your model is beyond beleave!!! I would love to see the real thing once, so keep us posted.

    With best regards,


  • Jim,

    this build is getting more and more amazing. I own the WHV model that you use as a basis and so I can judge just how small the things are that you show use here.

    I had the priviledge to visit "Old Ironsides" some years ago, so I have a special interest in this model.

    best regards,

  • Thank you so very much for your very kind words, my friends! I do very much appreciate the interest in this little lady. Of course, one sees mistakes in ones own works, as you all know, but overall I figure it is coming out fairly well given the limits of my abilities.

    One of my limits is, regretably, my old eyes have required me to use help by reading glasses since I turned 40 years old, and even then I find I need some extra help to see some of the little thing I have added to this model. This is what I use to compensate for that problem, two different sets of magnifies that clip onto my reading glasses. Since I have misplaced my reading glasses from time to time, I have a few spares which I use at my work station.

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    The one on the left usings a clip-on magnifier that says it's 400 power. I have another that is 200 power, which is easier for general use since at 400 power you have to be a bit closer to have things in focus. The one on the right uses a 3x magnifier (whatever that means) for really close work...this is what I used to put the belaying pins into the fife rails and to thread the boat tie downs on the main is a very strong magnifier but requires you to practically put the work right up to your nose to put it into focus! 8o Of course, good lighting is essential for any of this work and I use two lamps, one that is a full spectrum unit that gives me good true lighting, and the other is a desk mounted magnifier with a fluorescent tube that I can move around for better lighting when needed.

    Matthias and Michael, here are a few pictures I have of the real thing...hopefully this model will end up looking something similar to this when I'm done. :D Still undecided whether to add sails or not, because unless done right it just doesn't look very good. I might settle upon furled sails, like in the bottom photo....

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    Thanks again for stopping by and having a look!

    Cheers! :prost:

  • Hi Jim,
    just say: Whow!!!
    Incredible what you make out of a simple cardboard- model!
    Amazing how somebody can use different materials and tools to create such a beauty.


    Hans Gerd

  • Thank you so very much, Hans! I'm so glad you are enjoying this build!

    Another update....

    I started work on the starboard quarterdeck hammock nettings and was able to complete them tonight.

    Just as with the forecastle hammock nettings, first I made a bunch of hammock netting irons using small nicron wire. They are all formed in a "U" shape, with as flat a bottom as I can manage with my sausage fingers. Then I mark their appropriate positions on the top of the bulwarks...there are fifteen irons between the gangway and hammock boards (those little brown colored pieces, one at the gangway and the other further aft on top of the bulwark) with one iron each at each board, on the inside surface. I painted them flat black to replicate the actual oxidized finish they have. This is how they looked once installed:

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    Next, I made up the hammock nettings using that scarf I bought from a street vendor, mentioned in an earlier posting. Same construction sequence was used, gluing lines at the top and bottom edges, and then they are trimmed to shape to remove the excess netting outside the lines. This is how they looked when done and trimmed for length:

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    Then, they are installed on the irons and bulwarks. I like to do the inboard side first, seems easier to get to doing it this way. Here is how the inboard netting looked once installed:

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    Then, the outboard netting is installed, in the same way. Here's the finished hammock netting for the starboard quarterdeck:

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    I should mention that I used PVA glue through out the construction, and it works out very well. I find it dries nice and flat, and I can dilute it and it still adheres very well; this is very helpful with the netting since if you used the glue straight it would clog up the gaps in the weave or leave hideous clumps of dried glue everywhere. I apply it with a thin sable brush and then go over all the glued edges before it fully sets to thin down and dilute the glue spots that might crop up during the process. This is particularly useful when gluing the lines on the netting at top and bottom since I found if I run a damp brush over the glue spots that invariably show up when gluing the lines it dilutes the glue fairly well and removes the "blemishes." This works very well when done with the netting on top of a piece of paper towel that soaks up the excess water and glue, removing it from the netting...just a trick I came across in this part of the build.:twisted:

    Well, that's it so far! I didn't have to use any of those fancy magnifiers on this part of the build, just my reading glasses (remember, I'm fairly blind without them for close work!:grin: ).

    That's it for this installment...I might start a bit on the port quarterdeck hammock nettings, but won't have that done tonight but I'll post an update once that's finished. I already started on the channels, cut the basic parts out for the mizzen mast channels, but nothing worth seeing yet...that's for a future update.

    Thanks again for stopping by and having a look, mates!


  • I was able to work in the port hammock nettings and now they are all done! Same drill as with the starboard side, installed the hammock irons, then the inboard nets and finally the outboard nets.

    So this is how it all came out:

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    And a close up view:

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    Here's a view from the port quarter:

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    So, this is what she now looks like, from the starboard quarter:

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    And, finally, a closer view from the after port quarter:

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    So, a pretty productive weekend! I realized after going over the model and plans I still have to install the stern davits before I get to work on the channels. The quarterdeck davits will be installed once the mizzen mast channels are in place since they go on top of them. I will also have to put in a few other items, like the bumpkins, which are small spars that extend from the hull and are used for rigging some of the sailing lines, and perhaps I'll get the anchors installed, but then it's on to the masts, yards, etc., and the rigging will begin. Thought I'd never get to this point, huh? Well, it's still going to be a bit slow going, but at least the hull is just about finished.

    Till next time, take are everyone!


  • I'm glad you're making good progress on Old Ironsides, Jim!

    If you need it, I'll be happy to take a few detail picture of the original in the Spring...seeing as she lies about 5 miles from my house...