USF Constitution (1797) – in progress

This model of the Constitution was started in about 2003 in 1:64 scale.  Which would make a huge model if fully rigged in all her glory.  I chose that scale because I had made several other models in the same scale, (Raleigh, Essex, Vandalia) and I was interested to show just how much larger and more robust the American “heavy frigates” were than lighter ships of the era.

This difference in ruggedness of construction and heaviness of armament is nicely presented in the movie “Master and Commander” for those interested.

The model had been partially completed with planking down to the wales by about 2004.  Then it was stored away for maybe 8 or 9 years until I decided to complete it as a hull only model, without masts and rigging.  Also, from the start, I had wanted to build it using the Doughty plan from 1794 and some conjectural reconstruction of what she might have looked like at launch, not as she appeared during the war of 1812, when she gained her fame.

Some interim work involved planking the gun deck and trimming the frames in preparation for finishing the hull.

Then, there was another change of plan.  At present, the concept is to present the model finished on one side as the vessel might have looked at launch with the other side incomplete, showing the timbering for decks but not the planking and so forth.  This concept, naturally, got out of hand, and the present plan is to build as planned for the nearly finished side, but the other side will be a shipyard diorama, with about 100+ figures showing the many processes involved in building such a ship.  From pit-sawing, to blacksmithing, through carving, caulking and painting.

So once the Vesuvius was completed, I got the Constitution onto the bench and re-re-re-started this project.

Progress will be presented in a blog.