Constellation a 1:36 scale RC Sloop-of-War - Page 33 - RC Groups
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Aug 29, 2010, 02:33 PM
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captmsr's Avatar
Saw the Conny today while docking a ship Navy ship next to her at Harbor Place. Took this pic for you.
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Sep 01, 2010, 09:58 PM
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DanL's Avatar

Firing guns

Jerry - latest info on guns. Don't use glo-plugs. The latest generation is using custom nichrome igniter. Simple to make and much more reliable than earlier versions. Also, a flash paper wound cartridge is proving practical, reliable, smoky and loud.
I know this is far off for you and a minor feature, but thought I'd mention it.

Damn - you, yanc and others are setting the bar higher for prototypically detailed, operating square riggers. Really great skills and ingenuity being displayed by all in this forum.
Sep 01, 2010, 10:03 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
Actually, I'm leaning toward making the stern pivot fire as it's the easiest to deal with - but I'm strongly considering a revolving cylinder mechanism under the deck with 15 or 20 preloaded chambers.
Sep 02, 2010, 09:39 AM
The Wegner paper ("Fouled Anchors...") somehow reminded me of the 1940 radio show that started with "The Shadow knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men."
Sep 02, 2010, 10:31 AM
Paratrooper's Avatar
Man does that bring up memories and nostalgia. I remember as a young kid in the 40s listening to this and other radio programs that required you to have an imagination.

I am still testing my new gun firing mechanism and refining them to be very consistant and when the fight is again engaged later this month on some lake in Minnesota, we will see who has holes in their sails. Ahoy lieutenant Dan! Sail on the horizon--this can't be good!
Sep 02, 2010, 11:02 AM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
So, Ray, you guys will be loading airsoft pellets next time around?


No matter how strange and even silly the whole story can seem, I try to remember that without the, well, fanatics, that insist that the ship is and was the frigate - without them, the ship would not exist today. Had she just been the sloop of war Constellation instead of the "First ship of the US Navy" she probably would have been broken up by 1900.

Take the Hartford, Farragut's flagship at the Battle of Mobile Bay. She existed into the 1950's. A combat veteran of that much historical import compared to a ship who's big claim to fame is being the last all-sail warship built by the Navy - yet Constellation was kept and Hartford was broken up.
Sep 03, 2010, 10:12 AM
That is true, and there are several more ships that should be saved. I think, despite the deficit, that the US Govt should be the one to save and maintain several more historic ships. But that would be a hard sell in the present financial situation, and perhaps impossible because of the inability of Congress to rationalize fiscal, tax and foreign policy.
Sep 03, 2010, 07:57 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar
George, there ain't enough money to go around now so preservation may become an indangered pork for these ingenious spenders.

I know of a small steam locomotive that was supposed to be restored and running on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway about two years ago. Our local congressman managed to spend about $800k on this project and it is sitting in the shop about 40% complete. Some of the funds of course went to distribute the funds which an enterprising bureaucrat figured out his take and that for two assistants and of course an accountant. I do not know for sure but I suspect the high priced labor may have sunk that ship as one of the mechanics managed to wiggle out more than he was worth on the project. I cannot even dream of restoring a ship that would require 100 mechanics and tradesmen and a possible decade of work.
Sep 13, 2010, 10:00 AM
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JerryTodd's Avatar

Ship's Boats

I was supposed to do a CW gig in Georgia this weekend past, but the fellas riding with me all bailed for various reasons and well, I didn't go.

I thought I would actually make the ship's launch over this weekend. There's 6 boats to make - each a model in it's own right. The longest is the launch at actual 31' 10" or 10-5/8 inches (27cm) in 1:36 scale. The rest of the boats range from 8 to 9 inches and are the 1st and 2nd cutters, two quarter-boats, and a double-ended stern boat.

Attached is a scan of the actual drawing of Constellation's boats from the National Archives and my tracing of the launch made using Paint Shop Pro 7.

After redrawing the launch in scale, I decided to draw all the forms individually so I could paste them on the wood and cut them out. Using the layers feature of PSP I loaded the plan as the background image and traced each half of a station onto a layer, mirrored it to get both sides. I also had to put in a base-line for each station above the boat - since it will be built upside down, the forms have to all reach up from the building surface. You see there's 15 stations and a transom in the launch, so it's a bit tedious and my PC was slowing down as the image grew in size with each layer.

I then copied each layer into another image that has all the parts laid out for cutting; profile, plan view, and all 15 station and the transom.

I actually did whole process this for the 1st cutter as well so both sets would fit on 36" wide paper and printed them on the plotter. Did I mention I found an HP450C 36" plotter on Craigs List for $150? and you guys thought Craigs List was just for prostitution.

In the end I only managed to rough cut the keel for the 1st cutter so far - but tracing and setting up the plans is faster now having done two sets with 3 more to do.

(To build these boats I'll basically be using the approach used by this fellow at Model Ship World to build the boats for his 1:32 scale Constitution.)

A much larger version of the 1854 drawing warning - it's a 1.3+ megs file!
Sep 13, 2010, 01:50 PM
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DanL's Avatar

ships boats

Just came home from Erie PA and the Brig Niagara museum. They had a tall ships festival there and had asked me to bring the Syren and sail her as part of the program. That all went well.
But after a visit with the museum model shipwright, I'm also now going to build the ships' boats for the 1/24 scale Niagara model that's currently being built for the museum. So the link you posted and your work will be my guides - perfect timing. I won't be starting until October. They were specific about the sizes, types of boat, etc.
Just beginning the research.
Not an RC model, so I'll have to find another place to post the build.
Sep 13, 2010, 03:37 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar

Niagra's boats

Model Ship World's a good place for that, or, which I think Chuck Passaro runs. I did a thread on Constellation's coppering there.

Hmmm, I think I have a photo of that model:
Last edited by JerryTodd; Sep 13, 2010 at 04:02 PM.
Sep 13, 2010, 04:06 PM
Paratrooper's Avatar
What a magnifient model this is. 1:24 scale as well. I wonder if they would be interested in a gun fight?

As far as Georgia and reenacting goes, been there and done that. This time of year the woolies get very warm and the horses weren't all that happy about the trip either. Kennesaw Mountain was a great fight though, we pulled a limber and gun for the 1st MN with WT Sherman who fired on the confederates at the top of the mountain and the second round from a rifled Parrott exploded 4' over their heads from 2 miles away. Great story and great mental photo of this action sticks in my mind as being incredible.

The crew of Surprise is planning grape and canister when we meet up with the colonialists in a few weeks--yes I know the POME's did not use this shot in their carronades but I have learned from the colonialists so I do use it and the rigging comes down fairly efficiently when properly deployed.
Sep 16, 2010, 12:10 AM
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JerryTodd's Avatar

Starting the 1st Cutter

So I started making the 1st cutter.

The keel, stem, and sternpost were cut from 1/16" basswood. The printed patterns were cut out, pasted to 1/8 balsa and cut out. The plan was used to mark the center and station lines on the building board. The forms were then glued to the building board.

I couldn't find 1/32" thick bass, so I have to sand down some 1/16" to make the 1/8" wide bent frames that will go over the forms.
Sep 16, 2010, 11:29 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar

1st Cutter

Today I got some 1/32" basswood and bent the boats frames onto the forms.

I cut strips just under 1/8" wide off the sheet with a roller cutter which was quick and accurate. I dipped the strip in warm water, but not soaked, and wrapped it around a 1/2 pint paint can to prebend it.

I dipped it again and put it on the form. I put rubber bands at the bottom of the form instead of drilling holes to catch the end of the frame. I also did not glue the frame to the form.

Checked for fit, shaved a little, sanded some, and finally the keel/transom assembly was glued to the frames being careful to not glue anything to the forms. Rubber bands were applied to hold everything tight and in place and after a little adjustment to make sure it was centered and straight, it was left to dry for the night.
Sep 17, 2010, 12:15 AM
Registered User
DanL's Avatar

Ships boats

Thanks for posting the details and pics of every step. I'll be following your procedure when I get to the Niagara boats. Your posts are really appreciated.
The rubber band idea is super - better than holes...

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