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Thread: Sloop of War Constellation c.1856 in 1/36 RC

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Severna Park MD USA
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    Default Sloop of War Constellation c.1856 in 1/36 RC

    This project started way back at the beginning of 1999. Some home remodeling, a couple of moves, a really long commute to work, a small horse farm, more moves, and a big bundle of the stuff life tosses at you had the project shelved for a long time. It's on the bench again, and moving along.

    This model is of the Fisrt Class Sloop-of-War Constellation which exists today as a museum ship in the harbor at Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

    The model is based on a copy of 1/36th scale plans drawn by John Lenthall in 1854 and acquired from the National Archives and the builder's half model at the US Naval Academy, also in 1/36 scale. This makes the model about 62 inches on her spar deck.

    The hull is 3/16th luan forms covered in wite pine ribbands or battens. This is covered in wet and stick brown packing tape (BPT). BPT shrinks when it dries and after 10+ years, the hull is still tight as a drum head.


    The plan was that this hull was a sacrificial plug. A glass mold would be made from it and it would basically be destroyed in removing it from the mold. That plan's changed; now it's going to be the finished hull. It will be glassed, inside and out, encasing keel, BTP, and battens in the final hull.


    Obviously the point here is a working, sailing model; albeit one that will be over 10 feet long from the tip of her bowsprit to the end of her spanker boom.

    She will be radio controlled; rudder, foremast sails, main & mizzen sails, and fore-and-aft sails on separate channels.

    sails

    I'll post updates on her construction in this thread. For more details and larger photos, click the signature below.
    Last edited by JerryTodd; 11-11-2014 at 09:44 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    A lot of little things in getting the hull ready to be glassed; cleaning up edges, shaping the head and cutwater; lots of sanding.

    Picked up 50 pounds of lead shot for her ballast.

    And before I take off to buy some fiberglass cloth, a shot of me and the hull for scale.
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  3. #3
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    Default Fiberglass

    Got some 4oz cloth and some polyester resin from the Home Despot and went to work...

    Did the port side and when it was set up, trimmed and sanded it. Then I did the starboard side. The resin has an orange tint to it, but is otherwise clear, as is the glass cloth when it's wet. You can see the battens and where the brown paper tape overlaps (diagonal lines) through the glass. You really have to look close to see the glass. The resin will run and in one place on the starboard side it ran out enough to feel the weave of the cloth - since the idea is to fill the weave, that's not good. After sanding I'll paint on a thin coat of resin over the whole hull.

    Laying the glass over this structure worked fine, I wasn't expecting problems here as the hull was originally intended to be a sacrificial plug. Inside the hull will be more interesting.

    Inside will be cleared of obstacles and made as smooth as I can get it. That includes removing the forms. I'll paint resin in to make sure everything is coated, then a layer or two of matting, and a layer of woven-roving.

    This isn't "laminating resin" which remains tacky after setting up so you can come back a add layers without sanding. This resin contains wax which comes to the surface as it sets to make a hard finish. To add layers without having to sand will require laying up each layer inside before the previous layer has set up so each layer will bond to the one before.

    Well, it's back to the shop.
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    Last edited by JerryTodd; 04-07-2009 at 09:17 AM. Reason: fix a typo

  4. #4
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    Default Sanding sanding sanding

    After sanding the hull, a second coat of resin was rolled on with a yellow foam roller. This went on really nicely. Now it's back to sanding to take off the wax. This is the hardest part of all of it - sanding the finished surface.
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  5. #5
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    State College,PA; LBI, NJ
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Great work so far, I can't wait to see more

  6. #6
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    Default Getting to the wide open spaces.

    All the forms were removed from the hull and the inside cleaned up a bit getting ready to lay up fiberglass matting.
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  7. #7
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    Default Fiberglass mat

    Went and got some mat Thursday after work. Laid in the port side Thursday night, and the starboard side today. Boy am I glad that's done, mat's nasty stuff to work with!
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  8. #8

    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Hello Jerry,

    Your boat is certainly going to be BIG !!.
    You reckon she will need 50 lbs of ballast, will you be able to get the weight low enough in the Hull?, or have you considered an external Keel.
    Real good work, done real fast !!.

    John.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    At this scale, I can see things

    She'll have a removable ballast keel - basically a lead bar attached to the bottom of her keel. That will keep the majority of the ballast as low as it can be gotten. There'll be a little in the hull for trim.

    Being removable will also make handling, transport, and displaying her easier as she'll probably weigh 40-50 pounds without the ballast keel.

    The mats all set up and I've been sanding all afternoon - inside and out. It's time to start fitting out inside for the mast steps, winch deck, and deck beams.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    With the mat in, and more sanding done, it's time to start putting things in it.

    The deck clamps, (built up of several layers of strips to catch the edge of the deck all around the hull) started going in, and the plywood sub-deck was fitted.

    The finished deck will be pine strips laid on this sub-deck.
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