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Topic review - Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
A few notes about Constitution's guns based on some recent scholarship that may be helpful with your models. There are differing opinions regarding what Constitution actually carried for weapons. Some assert that by the War of 1812, all of Constitution's guns were of American manufacture. Others argue that they remained a mix of manufacture, British and American. Here is a short summary of some of these opinions and what is presently known.

It is generally agreed that Constitution's array of weapons changed frequently, sometimes even during a deployment. When first built, it is believed that Constitution carried American-made Furnace Hope 1794-pattern 24-pounder guns that were 8 feet long (relatively short for 24-pounders) on her gun deck. The Furnace Hope Iron Works was located in Rhode Island. On her spar deck, Constitution at first carried a mix of 18-pounders and 12-pounder long guns obtained from various sources. The 18-pounders may have been "fortification cannons", meant for army use, and sourced from Ft. Independence in Boston Harbor. It is believed that the 18-pounders were soon landed leaving only the 12-pounder long guns on her spar deck. Constitution likely first put to sea with only the short 24-pounders on her gun deck and 12-pounders on her spar deck.

Recent scholarship indicates that the Furnace Hope short 24-pounders, having been found to be inaccurate and having insufficient range, were replaced in 1808 by 9'-6" long 24-pounders produced by the Cecil Iron Works in Maryland. If correct, this means that the 24-pounders Constitution carried on her gun deck during the War of 1812 were all 9'-6" American-made guns. Some historians assert that the new Cecil Iron Works 1808-pattern cannons were close copies of the very successful British Blomefield 1790-pattern 24-pounder cannons.

These Cecil Iron Works-made 24-pounder Blomefield copies were the largest weapons typically fit to heavy frigates. Constitution carried as many as 30 of these guns, all on the gun deck, each firing a 24-pound shot. Here's a replica:
Attachment:
longguny.jpg
longguny.jpg [ 59.76 KiB | Viewed 484 times ]

The 12-pounder long guns on her spar deck were also found to be largely ineffective, less desirable than carronades, perhaps because carronades fired a heavier shot, required a smaller crew, and were lighter and smaller, distinct advantages on a spar deck. It is generally agreed that Captain John Rodgers took 8 carronades aboard in 1804 and mounted them 4 to a side at the waist, forward of the 12-pounders. They were found to be very capable and complimented the 24-pounders on the gun deck very well. These 8 carronades were probably made by Henry Foxall of the Columbia Iron Works at Georgetown, Maryland (now a Washington, DC suburb), but this is not certain.

The carronades proved so popular, that in 1808, the Secretary of the Navy acted on a recommendation by Constitution's captain Hugh Campbell and directed Henry Foxall, owner of the Columbia Iron Works, to produce 24 32-pounder carronades to replace all of the relatively small 12-pounder long guns on Constitution's spar deck (not the 24-pounder long guns on her gun deck). Some historians assert that Foxall delivered all 24 of the 32-pounder carronades ordered, therefore Constitution went to sea with these weapons in 1809. If so, this means that all of Constitution's carronades during the War of 1812 were weapons of Columbia Iron Works manufacture. See: http://www.captainsclerk.info/speaks/book07.html

The replica carronades that appear on the real USS Constitution today are not accurate 1808-pattern carronades. They are 1840-pattern "gunnades", with a trunnion and different carriage (more properly called a "skead"). True carronades do not have a trunnion. True carronades have a block cast on the bottom of the gun through which an iron pin is inserted to hold them to a wooden slide which rests on the skead. True carronades have a screw to adjust elevation. On gunnades, elevation is adjusted by changing the position of a wooden wedge under the breech. Below is a replica 1840-pattern "gunnade" as seen on Constitution today. Note the trunnion and elevation block:
Attachment:
con10.jpg
con10.jpg [ 148.84 KiB | Viewed 484 times ]

Below is a true "carronade", nearly identical to what would have been on Constitution during the War of 1812. Note the block and pin holding the gun to the slide on the skead and the elevation screw:
Attachment:
carronade 15531410239_f890469554_b.jpg
carronade 15531410239_f890469554_b.jpg [ 344.22 KiB | Viewed 484 times ]

Constitution's carronades, if American-made by Columbia Iron Works, would have had a hemispherical cascabel (breech) rather than the stepped cascabel you see on the British-made carronade above.

Other scholars state that American ships of the time are known to have carried a mix of 24-pounders and some argue that Constitution's guns were possibly of mixed manufacture, at least at first. According to noted naval historian Howard I. Chapelle, British-type and even British-made guns were often employed on American ships because, "There was in addition the old trouble of getting the proper guns manufactured. The 24-pounders of the Federal Navy were not the same in model, weight and dimension in all of the ships carrying them. Some of the guns were on the British model, some were fortification cannon, and some were made on what was intended to be the standard model." American-made guns were often copies of British-made guns. Mr. Chappelle explains, "The long guns and carronades followed the British pattern rather closely but had less windage and fired a slightly heavier shot."*

Hope this helps fire your imagination about the days of wooden ships and iron men.

Shameless plug: Model Monkey produces accurate, 3D-printed model cannons and true carronades of both British and American design in several popular scales. Here's a pair of 3D-printed Columbia Iron Works 1808 true carronades. Note the accurate hemispherical cascabel, elevation screw, and skead:
Attachment:
Model Monkey 1-48 32-pounder Carronades with Carriages Columbia 1808.jpg
Model Monkey 1-48 32-pounder Carronades with Carriages Columbia 1808.jpg [ 50.73 KiB | Viewed 482 times ]

Attachment:
Model Monkey 32-pounder Carronade and Skead.b.jpg
Model Monkey 32-pounder Carronade and Skead.b.jpg [ 112.77 KiB | Viewed 484 times ]


* "The History of the American Sailing Navy" by Howard I. Chappelle, pg. 132.
Post Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:33 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Built an armed launch from the 32' boat in this kit, using one of the carronades.

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Centerline stowage are two crates and two barrels shaved from the deck of a R.E. Lee steamboat. Note that this is built in two subassemblies - the hull & mast, then the 'deck' with gun.
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Hard originally thought to use an oar as a rudder.
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Having primed both subassemblies, I'm now inclined to fit it with a dedicated oar
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Instead of a simple lanteen rig, I'm going for a reverse rig.
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:33 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
aptivaboy wrote:
Her last major reconstruction fixed a lot of those issues. The installation of her diagonal riders also helped. They're in her original plans but its unknown if they were ever actually installed as built in 1797. Now, if they'd only restore her to her War of 1812 appearance like the law actually requires (black and buff paint scheme, new stern and quarter galleries, figurehead, etc.), she'd be even more beautiful!

Bob


I believe that is what her current period of restoration is attempting to acheive.
Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:24 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Her last major reconstruction fixed a lot of those issues. The installation of her diagonal riders also helped. They're in her original plans but its unknown if they were ever actually installed as built in 1797. Now, if they'd only restore her to her War of 1812 appearance like the law actually requires (black and buff paint scheme, new stern and quarter galleries, figurehead, etc.), she'd be even more beautiful!

Bob
Post Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:18 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Awesome! Amazing how little the hull appears hogged in any of the photos.
Post Posted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:02 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Here are some 500 photos of USS Constitution from the early 20th ctry.
http://www.lesliejonesphotography.com/c ... nstitution
Greetings, Richard
Post Posted: Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:59 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Since this thread has resurfaced, I thought I would post this photo as it's a new favorite of mine.


Attachments:
USS Constitution post snowfall.jpg
USS Constitution post snowfall.jpg [ 181.34 KiB | Viewed 3809 times ]
Post Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:14 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Yes, the 1/150 USS United States kit instructions are available in PDF from Revell's website: http://www.revell.de/fileadmin/import/i ... STATES.PDF
Post Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:22 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Goodmorning,

do you still have the building plans of the USS United States in scale 1:150? I seem to have lost mine... :( and, if so, is there any way I can get them? :)
Thanks,
Post Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:57 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Very nice build of Constitution using the classic Revell 1/96 kit, fully detailed and improved.

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/top ... c-196-kit/

Hopefully, we can persuade the modeler to post pics on this site as well.
Post Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 2:17 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
Dan K wrote:
The Facebook page is not coming up fro photos of the ship. Perhaps you should send pix to the gallery for all to see?


Sir,

Please accept my sincere apologies for this grievous error and the failure of the previous link.
Perhaps this one will work...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... =3&theater

or this:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 290&type=1
Post Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:42 pm
  Post subject:  What should be near the Fife Rail? - A Fifer of course!  Reply with quote
January 22, 1799

0800 - While in my quarters preparing for my duties, I heard a most pleasant sound coming from the deck. It was the sound of fife music.

But not a simple compositions usually heard during battle. The music I heard was a much more refined piece that I could not identify.

I proceed quickly to the main deck. It was a beautiful morning. Warm with light breezes. Most of the crew were working quietly. But some stood facing the bow, pleasantly entranced.

I followed the sound forward until I discovered our young fifer, Anastacia Buschmann, playing near the foremast fife rail. The piece she was playing was beautiful. Light, airy and very complex.

This was no fifer! This was a musician of great talent!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9z9uYlk3Q

Several officers joined me and listened intently. The Captain arrived, too. He smiled, and I could tell that the music seemed to ease his mind, being so troubled of late. A weight seemed to lift from his shoulders as he listened. The crewmen were quiet as well, refraining from their usual loud banter. Perhaps, civilized by the moment. Many faces were seen poking through the deck hatches and there was a lot of clamoring to get a better view.

I also happen to notice her father, Timothy Buschman (the Boatswain), listening from high above on the main mast fighting top. He had a very, proud look on his face.

In this capacity, the ship’s “musicks,” as the fifers and drummers are typically referred to, are expected to call the crew to dinner… and to battle stations. Above the deafening roar and confusion of battle, the sounds of the fife and drum convey orders to the sailors. The unpredictable nature of life aboard a war ship means that she must be prepared to play at any moment’s notice.

But in this moment she was at peace, happily playing this beautiful melody. No doubt seeking the challenge of a more difficult composition than what she is expected to play during battle. When she was finished, I spoke kindly to her about her talent. She was most humble and very gracious.

I later told her father of my appreciation of her great talent. He humbly agreed, but he quickly laughed and said with a smile that “Great musical talent runs in the family!” He then began to sing very loudly as he quickly climbed up into the shrouds and ascended to the highest elevation of the mainmast, out onto the royal yard arms. His booming voice was heard for most of the morning and into the late afternoon, until he finally stopped to notify the officers on deck, that there were dark clouds on the far horizon and a heavy squall was most likely in our future.

- Isaac Hull
View Isacc Hull's "Ship's Log" and other Age of Sail content at  
http://www.facebook.com/isaac.hull.58
Post Posted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:12 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A message from Captain Isaac Hull - December 12, 1812  Reply with quote
Gentlemen,

It has come to my attention that a few of the videos that I have created were posted as "private" on YouTube.
A vexing dilema to me, for sure. However the problem has been resolved.
My only hope is that you are not tired of them by this point.

Movies that I have created about this ship can be found here:

"Undefeated: The Story of Old Ironsides"
The first video I made. Designed to tease the completion of the model.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzsdscRK9pg

"One by One - The Story of the USS Constitution"
A historical dramatization (overly dramatic perhaps) of the impact the USS Constitution had on the formidable British Navy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SIHTBzupxc

It Had to Be Built"
A video about the inspiration, and subsequent obsession, with the building of a model of the USS Constitution, and my plans to expand the experience online.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXLJca_jGH4

"Four Days Out"
A compilation using images of the completed ship taken by a professional photographer, which also portrays real people who have joined the crew through Isaac Hull's Facebook page.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcX-CaX4JDo

"The Life of a Super Model"
A documentation of the photo shoot itself… but with a fashion spin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykxlN0QlWKw

Thank you again,

Your humble servant, Isaac Hull
Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:43 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
The Facebook page is not coming up fro photos of the ship. Perhaps you should send pix to the gallery for all to see?
Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:55 pm
  Post subject:  Re: A message from Captain Isaac Hull - December 12, 1812  Reply with quote
Hmmm.
Photo link above did not work....

Let's try this one instead:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=249015531894675&set=a.249007595228802.58988.100003586910290&type=1&theater
Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:27 pm
  Post subject:  A Message from Captain Isaac Hull - December, 1812  Reply with quote
November 12, 1812

Gentlemen,

My name is Isaac Hull. I am captain of the U.S.S. Constitution. "Old Ironsides" as many of you may already know it.

When I assumed command of the Constitution in December of last year, I saw fit to rebuild this fine ship. A complete overhaul. Everything from the copper plates on the hull... to the upper reaches of the masts. No expense was spared. And nothing was overlooked.

When complete... this fine, old ship will be ready for the high seas and, most certainly, victory in battle. She will have new yards, rigging, decking, long caliber carronades, masts, bowsprit, cutters, ratlines, etc. Even a new head on the bow.

The work has been difficult. Tedious at time, but well worth it.

But now... it is complete.

I present to you three things:
- Photos of the finished ship.
- Links to several moving pictures I have created during the process.
- A link to my Facebook page.


On the Facebook page you will find entries taken from my correspondence with superior officers in the Admiralty. Which contain weekly reports of our progress.

Evidence of each stage are presented visually as well, with dated collections that correspond to each entry. I felt compelled to share our progress to any interested parties. Hence, this page.

In addition to that, I will continue to add historical references relating to this ship and the Age of Sail.
I also intend to post further correspondence in the form of a Captains Log. Where our travels (based on real history) and our crew exploits (based on my imagination and my supporters depicted as crew, portrayed in miniature on this ship) will be posted on a regular basis.

If you wish to join the crew and be portrayed in this manner, simply be-friend me on Facebook and request your preferred position. (Many positions have already been filled so provide a few alternates if you can.)

Please be reminded that this Facebook page is not a sponsored promotional tool or a means to advertise anything. It's just me… and my love of the Age of Sail.

I look forward to future correspondence, and am open to suggestions of matters relating to our fine ship, as you see fit.

Fare thee well, and God bless America.

Captain Isaac Hull
USS Constitution.
Annapolis, MD
1811
https://www.facebook.com/isaac.hull.58

Photos of the completed ship can be found here.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 290&type=3

Movies that I have created about this ship can be found here:

"Undefeated: The Story of Old Ironsides"
The first video I made. Designed to tease the completion of the model.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzsdscRK9pg

"One by One - The Story of the USS Constitution"
A historical dramatization (overly dramatic perhaps) of the impact the USS Constitution had on the formidable British Navy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SIHTBzupxc

It Had to Be Built"
A video about the inspiration, and subsequent obsession, with the building of a model of the USS Constitution, and my plans to expand the experience online.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXLJca_jGH4

"Four Days Out"
A compilation using images of the completed ship taken by a professional photographer, which also portrays real people who have joined the crew through Isaac Hull's Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/isaac.hull.58
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcX-CaX4JDo

"The Life of a Super Model"
A documentation of the photo shoot itself… but with a fashion spin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykxlN0QlWKw

Your humble servant,
Isaac Hull
Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:22 am
  Post subject:  A message from Captain Isaac Hull - December 12, 1812  Reply with quote
Image

November 12, 1812

Gentlemen,

My name is Isaac Hull. I am captain of the U.S.S. Constitution. "Old Ironsides" as many of you may already know it.

When I assumed command of the Constitution in December of last year, I saw fit to rebuild this fine ship. A complete overhaul. Everything from the copper plates on the hull... to the upper reaches of the masts. No expense was spared. And nothing was overlooked.

When complete... this fine, old ship will be ready for the high seas and, most certainly, victory in battle. She will have new yards, rigging, decking, long caliber carronades, masts, bowsprit, cutters, ratlines, etc. Even a new head on the bow.

Being my first assembly, the work has been difficult. Tedious at time, but well worth it.

But now... it is complete. And I am quite proud of it. It is most capital!

I present to you three things:
- Photos of the finished ship.
- Links to several moving pictures I have created during the process.
- A link to my Facebook page.

On the Facebook page you will find entries taken from my correspondence with superior officers in the Admiralty. Which contain weekly reports of our progress.


Evidence of each stage are presented visually as well, with dated collections that correspond to each entry. I felt compelled to share our progress to any interested parties. Hence, the page.


In addition to that, I will continue to add historical references relating to this ship and the Age of Sail.
I also intend to post further correspondence in the form of a Captains Log. Where our travels (based on real history) and our crew exploits (based on my imagination and my supporters depicted as crew, portrayed in miniature on this ship) will be posted on a regular basis.

If you wish to join the crew and be portrayed in this manner, simply be-friend me on Facebook and request your preferred position. (Many positions have already been filled so provide a few alternates if you can.)

Please be reminded that this Facebook page is NOT a sponsored promotional tool or a means to advertise anything. It's just me… and my love of the Age of Sail.


I look forward to future correspondence, and am open to suggestions of matters relating to our fine ship, as you see fit.


Fare thee well, and God bless America.

Captain Isaac Hull
USS Constitution.
Annapolis, MD
1811
https://www.facebook.com/isaac.hull.58

Photos of the completed ship can be found here.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a249007595228802.58988.100003586910290&type=3

Movies that I have created about this ship can be found here:

"Undefeated: The Story of Old Ironsides"
The first video I made. Designed to tease the completion of the model.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzsdscRK9pg

"One by One - The Story of the USS Constitution"
A historical dramatization (overly dramatic perhaps) of the impact the USS Constitution had on the formidable British Navy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SIHTBzupxc

It Had to Be Built"
A video about the inspiration, and subsequent obsession, with the building of a model of the USS Constitution, and my plans to expand the experience online.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXLJca_jGH4

"Four Days Out"
A compilation using images of the completed ship taken by a professional photographer, which also portrays real people who have joined the crew through Isaac Hull's Facebook page.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcX-CaX4JDo

"The Life of a Super Model"
A documentation of the photo shoot itself… but with a fashion spin.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykxlN0QlWKw

Thank you again,

Your humble servant, Isaac Hull
Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:20 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
How about this? Check it out on the Flagship Models web site http://www.flagshipmodels.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=115. Lots of optional figures also available sculpted by Alan Ball.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:15 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
The mid-70's vintage Monogram Connie and United States were molded in the USA and appear to be original Monogram offerings and not someone else's kit - ie; not "baby" Imai kits.

It is a nicely molded kit. I would guess it has since been absorbed into Revell of Germany and is offered as their Connie and United States.

They have a 1-pc hull, molded ratlines with nice representations of (out of scale) rope, and vacuform sails. The kit has gun-deck pieces in a single molding for each side, and attach to the inside walls of the hull for the cannon barrels to stick thru. All gun doors are molded fully open and are the "split type".

The hull is post-1812, but the bow has the simple design of the 1812 Connie - as opposed to the Andrew Jackson figure on the 1955-era Revell 1/196th kit.

The main spar deck is similar to the 1955 Revell 1/196th kits in that the main hatch is molded closed. Some molded details of this deck are "soft", and some appear out of scale.

And yes, this kit is indeed smaller than the Revell 1/196th kits; there is NO scale mentioned anywhere on my Monogram boxed Connie - but no way is it 1/150th. Still, I'd have to think its the best "small scale" Connie and United States out there.
Post Posted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:57 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all USF Constitution "Old Ironsides" fans  Reply with quote
fred_sirois wrote:
I see that this thread hasn't been active in a while. I hope somebody can help me out.

I recently purchased the Revell-Germany 1/150 (so they say) USS United States. I know it is not top-of-the-line as far as kits go, but I'd like to make it look good. So, I have several questions:

1) Is it really 1/150 scale? I ask this because if I choose to tart her up with aftermarket fittings, I'd like to know the scale.

2) Are there any plans for the USS United States available? I know that she is a sister of the Constitution, but there were some differences.

3) What would be the proper colors for the ship? Should I go with the instructions?

4) Related to question #1, where can I get 1/150 (or whatever the proper scale is) ship fittings?

5) Am I wasting my time on this kit?


Thanks for your help.


I have been searching for similar info high and low, this is what I found so far;

Your kit in "1/150" scale is - I believe but not 100% sure is - the 1-pce hull kit. This would be smaller than the current 1/196th Revell kit of "Old ironsides" - that was first squirted in 1955. So - not 1/150th in size.

Constitution colors - and likely similar to the United States - are discussed at length in this very long but informative post over at the FSM site:

http://cs.finescale.com/FSMCS/forums/p/ ... spx#373432

I am still awaiting the arrival of my "not 1/150th" scale Connie kit in the mail. I personally do not view it as waste of time, but more as "practice" for building my 1/196th Connie; which itself is training for the big bout with my 1/96th Connie.
Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 12:33 pm

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