AL Constellation build

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I'm back in my shipyard after a lengthy battle with the dreaded C word. This is a kit I acquired from ebay cheap. I've done an extensive amount of research on this ship and I'm acquiring materials to build it from plans as POF scratch build. I decided to build this kit in the mean time so here we go.

I needed a build board so I used scrap wood to make that happen.
Ser the false keel and had to do alot of fitting to get the bulkheads to fully seat and align properly I can already tell this isn't a good kit but I'm pressing on. This will most likely be a slower then normal build as I don't have all my energy back yet.

20201104_115753.jpg20201104_115756.jpg20201104_181444.jpg20201104_210219.jpg20201107_141849.jpg
 
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glad you are felling better, and welcome back. i share your thoughts on the quality of the A.L. kit . they wrongly label it as the earlier version when it is clearly the completely rebuilt 1850's version with the rounded stern. i am abut 3/4 finished my build and had to heavily bash it . replaced metal quarter galleries and windows with wood, ordered new blocks in graduated sizes, ect .
will you be showing here with sails or without? Will you be copper plating the hull?
 
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glad you are felling better, and welcome back. i share your thoughts on the quality of the A.L. kit . they wrongly label it as the earlier version when it is clearly the completely rebuilt 1850's version with the rounded stern. i am abut 3/4 finished my build and had to heavily bash it . replaced metal quarter galleries and windows with wood, ordered new blocks in graduated sizes, ect .
will you be showing here with sails or without? Will you be copper plating the hull?
Ty for the kind words. I've built a few AL kits over the past years there is always something wrong. I thought about heavily bashing this kit but IMHO its not worth the effort, I will however be making wood galleries and such omitting as much of the junk metal as possible. As I said I will be building this again POF to the available plans for the original 1798 frigate version. The AL kit will be a proving ground for some of the things I want to put into the better build. I will be making all the blocks for this kit from scratch. I will present it with sails. Furreled and copper bottom. This kit give me the opportunity to make parts and improve some skills for the POF build.
 
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Got the lower deck pieces planked and well as the gun decking, looking at the plans I see I will have to set and rig cannons and any fittings prior to installing the main deck. Placed the decks pieces and checked final fit before gluing them down. Painted visible bulkheads white 20201114_110129.jpg20201114_110138.jpg20201114_110152.jpg
 
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looking good so far. the latina plans show very basic running rigging and even less regarding the sail rigging for a ship of her size. i replaced the heavy sails that came in the kit with some of my own making and installed with proper block sizes. i based the rigging on the ship hms melampus a british frigate of the same age, size and gun complement as the earlier constellation from the book "rigging period model ships" by lennarth petersson. an excellent book for rigging frigates from the late 18th cent. to the early 19th cent. 20201108_120337[469].jpg
 
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looking good so far. the latina plans show very basic running rigging and even less regarding the sail rigging for a ship of her size. i replaced the heavy sails that came in the kit with some of my own making and installed with proper block sizes. i based the rigging on the ship hms melampus a british frigate of the same age, size and gun complement as the earlier constellation from the book "rigging period model ships" by lennarth petersson. an excellent book for rigging frigates from the late 18th cent. to the early 19th cent. View attachment 192695
Very nice looking build. I have the book rigging period ships its a wealth of information. I also live but a couple miles from Constellation so I've taken hundreds of pictures from the deck and air with my DJI drone, little tricky flying amongst the rigging but I got it done. Had to do that in the early morning hours before folks board the ship for tours. I'll rely on books for the POF frigate build. I have pretty much every book on the constellation that has been printed so hopefully that will also be of some help.
 
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Very nice! You said "I will be building this again POF to the available plans for the original 1798 frigate version."
I didn't think there were any plans or paintings of the original version. I'd love to see if you could point me in the right direction.
I started this kit quite a few years ago taking long breaks and moves across country until finishing recently. There were several wrecks along the way. I shipped her to a retired Navy Lt. Commander in Texas but was wrecked again.
Luckily he had a friend who did a fabulous job in repairing her!


Constellation.jpegwreck.jpeg
 
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Very nice! You said "I will be building this again POF to the available plans for the original 1798 frigate version."
I didn't think there were any plans or paintings of the original version. I'd love to see if you could point me in the right direction.
I started this kit quite a few years ago taking long breaks and moves across country until finishing recently. There were several wrecks along the way. I shipped her to a retired Navy Lt. Commander in Texas but was wrecked again.
Luckily he had a friend who did a fabulous job in repairing her!
You are correct about the plans the best I can do is based on measurements from writers such as Chapelle, Pollard and McArdle to name a few. I will take the plans I have try and figure out as best I can how to build it I will also use info gathered from the frigates built in that time frame. Unfortunately without the actual plan set it will be impossible to build it exact so ill have to rely on how ships of that period were designed lofted and methods used in construction of that period. I'd really like to render it in CAD but thats a tall task for me. I use CAD for drawing things for my 3D printer but have no clue how to use it for a ship plans set.
 
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It's a pretty good bet the stern was very close to the Constitution's since both were designed by Joshua Humphreys
 

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I would agree being that Constitution is the sister ship to Constellation. just how much alike they were in stern design though is not exactly known however there were 6 ships designed by Humphreys one of which was the Congress. Also In Chapelle's Book The American Sailing Navy he shows a Draught and its Labeled as "Building Draught for the 38 Gun Frigates Constellation and Congress." With that in mind a good look at Congress was in order, But per my luck with this research I came up empty for a plan set of the Congress. I do have the Draught from Chapelle's book, how accurate it is on the 2 vessels is still up for debate. I'll eventually Build Constitution as well and I've amassed a good bit of information on that ship to date but haven't done all I could yet. It's truly a shame we had such poor record keeping and in fact that lack may be Criminal at least in Constellations case. I am happy to find folks who share Interest in The Constellation as I do. Being a Baltimore Resident I saw that ship when I was a small child and have always loved it. Its hard to explain the draw I have to it When I first saw the ship it looked like this in the stern the copper on the bottom was a ruddy red. I managed to score a nice size roll of red Copper still undecided in using it but I have it if I decide later constellation1976.jpg
 
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Very nice start. This is one of the kits I am interested in acquiring and building. I will be following intently.
 
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Very nice start. This is one of the kits I am interested in acquiring and building. I will be following intently.
Oh you lucky guys, Out here in the West (Oregon is not in the West) and eastern side of the Cascades all we see are the beds and wheels of Conestoga wagons and other work wagons of the late 1800s, far from the sea. Rich (PT-2)
 
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Got the small gun deck section trimmed out and started working on the guns for thar deck section painted the carriages white cannons Black hate waiting for paint to dry carriages need one more coat. Building cannons is a drag its my least favorite thing to build on a ship. 20201114_191519.jpg20201114_191532.jpg20201115_215504.jpg20201115_215452.jpg
 
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Got the small gun deck section trimmed out and started working on the guns for thar deck section painted the carriages white cannons Black hate waiting for paint to dry carriages need one more coat. Building cannons is a drag its my least favorite thing to build on a ship. View attachment 192966View attachment 192967View attachment 192968View attachment 192969
Just remember that the cannons and other armament aboard were the means to the destruction, havoc, and dismemberment of men and ships alike. . . without those we only have large floating barges or canoes! ;-) In that regard you are fulfilling the entire purpose of the ship. Just a thought. Rich (PT-2)
 
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Just remember that the cannons and other armament aboard were the means to the destruction, havoc, and dismemberment of men and ships alike. . . without those we only have large floating barges or canoes! ;-) In that regard you are fulfilling the entire purpose of the ship. Just a thought. Rich (PT-2)
Cant argue with that lol
 
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