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Ships by Class/Type: Sailing Vessels
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Pyro USS Constellation build
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 - 01:19 PM UTC
Hi Tim -
Just wondering - will there be any hanky-panky going on in the captains cabin ?
Richard
Namabiiru
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 12:07 AM UTC
Haha! At 1/350 scale, it would need to be in the crow's nest to be visible at all...

TimReynaga
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 01:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Tim -
Just wondering - will there be any hanky-panky going on in the captains cabin ?
Richard


In deference to my apparently burgeoning reputation as a pornographer in miniature... definitely!

Unfortunately, not much will be visible through the solid-molded windows.


RedDuster
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2018 - 05:43 AM UTC
Nice work on the cannons Tim,

another simple touch that will pay dividends.

Cheers

Si
TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 03:19 AM UTC
Thanks Si.

The masts are next. Having designed the kit back in the 1960s with young modelers in mind, Pyro simplified each of the complex composite, multi-step masts into single parts.

The moldings are basically accurate and surprisingly convincing – although some details like the molded-in flags were less successful!

The biggest problem with these parts came from the low pressure plastic injection molding technology of the era; the combination of heavy sprue attachment points, knock out pin marks, and mold misalignment on these fragile parts made for some pretty tedious cleanup.

My kids were able to get entirely through the ‘Happytime Murders’ puppet movie before I had the three masts prepped to receive their platforms!
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Once cleaned up and with the platforms attached, though, the test fitted masts don’t look bad at all.
RedDuster
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 07:06 AM UTC
Looks good with the masts test fitted Tim,

They don't seem too bad for sixties moulding.

Cheers

Si
Namabiiru
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
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Posted: Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 11:11 AM UTC
Time well spent, Tim. those masts came out sharp!

TimReynaga
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 06:13 AM UTC
In typical Pyro style, the spars for each mast were molded integrally with the billowing sails. Since I want to depict the ship as she appears today as a museum, these sails won’t be needed.


Rather than try to remove the spars from the sail parts, I opted to construct new ones from brass tube and rod. The tapered yards would be simulated with .8mm brass tubes (Lion Roar LT0018) combined with .019 inch brass wire (Detail Associates 2506) slipped inside and left protruding from the ends.


The first were the gaff and boom for the spanker sail. I began by drilling locator holes in the mizzen to accept the .019 inch brass wire.

After cutting angled gaff and horizontal boom pieces of the appropriate lengths, they were secured to the mast with dabs of cyanoacrylate. The spencer (trysail) mast was then added using lengths of Plastruct .025 inch round white plastic rod.

d6mst0
#453
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Texas, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 10:24 AM UTC
Wow, I can't believe how straight those masts look!
YellowHammer
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Alabama, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 05:40 PM UTC
Love the idea of going bare poles. She's really looking good so far. Nice details you're adding.
RedDuster
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 07:54 PM UTC
agree with John,

The Bare poles will look a better than the "armoured sails" in the kit.

Happy Christmas Tim.

Cheers

Si
surfsup
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2018 - 09:50 PM UTC
Never seen one of these built so watching and enjoying your work my Friend.....Cheers mark
TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 - 03:39 AM UTC
Thanks guys! I hope I can pull off the "bare poles" look - this will be a first for me.

In addition to the gaff and boom I also made six .8mm tube/.019 inch wire yardarms – two for each of the three masts. Although period paintings (and Pyro’s original kit parts) indicate that the Constellation actually shipped up to twelve these spars in service, the present day museum has only this abbreviated rig.

These will be set in place after the masts have been painted and attached to the deck.
TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 24, 2018 - 07:29 PM UTC
Next came the bowsprit. After cleaning up the parts, I test fit it with the kit spritsail yard and twin martingales – not very convincing.

The kit bowsprit was acceptable, but I upgraded the other parts with brass tube and rod. The twin martingales – inaccurate for Constellation anyway – were replaced with a single dolphin striker made from the same .8mm tube with .019 inch brass wire inside it as with the spanker gaff & boom. For the lighter horizontal jib boom stay supports I used smaller .5mm tube with .010 inch rod inserts.

I left a little of the rod protruding from the ends to help attach rigging later.

It is late Christmas Eve here in the Western U.S. now, time to put plastic away and settle in for a long winter’s nap; may your masts be straight and your sheer lines graceful... and here’s wishing you all peace and happiness in this most joyous season!
RedDuster
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 12:02 AM UTC
Great upgrade job on the bowsprit Tim,

looks much better than the kit parts.

Cheers

Si
JPTRR
Staff MemberManaging Editor
RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Tennessee, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 05:03 PM UTC
Tim,

Splendid work!

I sent this link to the webmaster at another site and his reply about you is
Quoted Text

I am impressed. Those kits are crude my modern standards, but he always makes them look REALLY good. He inspired my friend to do a few Pyro small ship builds and they came out nice using this guy's tips and techniques.

TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
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Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 08:30 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tim,

Splendid work!

I sent this link to the webmaster at another site and his reply about you is

Quoted Text

I am impressed. Those kits are crude my modern standards, but he always makes them look REALLY good. He inspired my friend to do a few Pyro small ship builds and they came out nice using this guy's tips and techniques.




Thanks for this, Frederick! It is always gratifying to hear when someone finds my efforts useful!

RussellE
#306
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2018 - 10:30 PM UTC
Continuing to amaze Tim!

Those little touches are just magic!
TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 04:35 AM UTC
Thanks Russ!

A last task before painting is to sort out the shrouds/ratlines. While I’m game to accept most of Pyro’s rough and ready moldings, those massive injection molded ratlines are just too much!

No problem, Peter Hall’s Atlantic Models comes to the rescue with some beautiful etched brass replacements. This set (ATEM35001) was not designed to fit any particular ship, but as generic replacement parts to be trimmed to fit individual models. In this case, the parts seem to match the Pyro Constellation’s main shrouds fairly closely right off the sheet.


Test fitted to the ship, they promise to be a massive improvement with little effort!

Namabiiru
#399
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Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 10:27 PM UTC
And here I thought you would be rigging this by hand....

Neat little shroud set. I assume you simply trim off shrouds to get the appropriate number for each mast?

d6mst0
#453
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Posted: Monday, December 31, 2018 - 05:54 PM UTC
Tim,

I have to agree those PE ratlines do look a lot better than the kit supplied ones.

Mark
RedDuster
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England - South East, United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 12:19 AM UTC
Nice work with the etch Tim,

Pete's etched ratlines are very useful.

happy new Year,

Cheers

Si
TimReynaga
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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California, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 04:50 AM UTC
Though generic, the etched shrouds/ratlines fit reasonably closely for the foremast…

...but the main and mizzen mast shrouds don’t quite match the channels (also known as “chain wales” – those little platforms on the hull sides that form the base for the shrouds/ratlines)

What’s going on here?

Actually, this is a common problem among plastic sailing ship kits. Kits very often simply have the shrouds molded symmetrically which requires the channels to be incorrectly aligned with the centers of the masts. In real ships the shrouds/ratlines would begin almost vertical and fan aft, each at an increasing angle moving toward the stern so as to not interfere with the yards and sails attached to the mast fronts.

Here’s a drawing showing this from Model Shipways’ The Neophyte Shipmodeller’s Jackstay:

You can also see it in this aerial photo of the U.S.S. Constellation museum:

Like most plastic sailing ship kits, Pyro’s Constellation model suffers from the “centered shrouds” problem. With the more accurate etched parts, though, the correction shouldn’t be all that difficult.
RedDuster
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 10:00 AM UTC
Good luck with the corrections Tim,

Even if the chain plates were in the right place, the moulded detail does look a bit two dimensional, so in one respect you are killing two birds with one stone.

Cheers

si
TimReynaga
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Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2019 - 05:20 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Good luck with the corrections Tim,

Even if the chain plates were in the right place, the moulded detail does look a bit two dimensional, so in one respect you are killing two birds with one stone.

Cheers

si


Thanks, Si - I hope so. I'm not correcting everything, just trying to make things look a little better!

The mizzen was especially off with a substantial part of the ratlines hanging into space when correctly positioned.

A simple fix was to add new, correctly placed, channels from .010 X .080 plastic strip which bring the shrouds farther aft – much closer to the appearance of the real ship.


The fore and mainmast shrouds received the same treatment.

Now to the tops!