Cookies used in this website are gluten free, wheat free and dairy free. By using this website you agree to our use of cookies. More Info
Login Below
Join Us On Social Media!
Get The Model Boats App!
Apple App Store
Android app on Google Play

Help Support This Website
or enter custom amount

(Non Contributor)

Help support this free
website and donate.

£285 a year is needed to keep the website and apps online. Please consider donating £5 or more to help towards these fees.
All donations are securely managed through PayPal. Amounts donated are not published online.

Many thanks for your kind support.

Model Boats Website Team

Donation History
July 2018: 5 people
June 2018: 8 people
May 2018: 7 people
April 2018: 24 people
March 2018: 13 people
February 2018: 8 people
January 2018: 25 people
December 2017: 7 people
November 2017: 3 people

Unique Visitors This Month

Website Members

Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy

Model Boats Website
Active Users (20)
Login or Register
To Remove This Ad

Login or Register
To Remove This Ad
>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Constellation
>> Permalink
Constellation Print Booklet
Author: Jerry Todd   Posts: 27   Photos: 428   Subscribers: 3   Views: 3198   Responses: 29   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

Showing page 1 of 3   |   Jump to page: 1   2   3
A tall ship and a wheel to steer her with - Posted: 12th Jul 2018
Making a ship's wheel, specifically the turned spokes of a ship's wheel, and 20 of them all a-like, has been beyond me. So I gave up and got Model Monkey on Shapeways to scale his Constitution wheel up to 1:36 scale, and got 4 of them; 2 for Constellation, and 2 for Macedonian.

The helm is made of mahogany. The curves braces laminated from some strips from an old kit; the uprights from some scrap left from a musical instrument build. The drum is some mahogany dowel, from a kit again, and a brass rod axle.

Some paint and clear-coat and it's just about done. I was going to make it operate when the rudder servo moved, but a spoke handle fell off while painting, and I figure it's a bit fragile to be spinning at "non-scale" speeds, so it'll just get some line wrapped around the drum for show.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Brace yourself! - Posted: 24th Jun 2018
Trying to rig the main tops'l and mizzen tops'l braces, I found the winch servos seemed to rotate more than the 3.5 times I thought they did. Oddly, one rotated 4.5 times and the other 4.25 times.

I plugged in other winch servos and got the same results, but my DX6 transmitter didn't have a servo-travel setting that I could find in the manual. So I made new winch drums - again - based on what the servos were doing.

The fore tops'l brace was fine, but the main seemed to pull one side more than the other side.

I mentioned this oddity on RCGroups and someone suggested the DX6 did have a servo travel setting, and I was sure I had looked for it years ago. My manual isn't where is usually is, so I found a PDF on line. Lo and behold, there's a Servo-Travel setting spelled out on page 42!

So I set about adjusting my TX settings to the new drums and there you go, working as advertised!

In the meantime I installed eyes in the mizzen for brace blocks to mount to, and made a brass wire ring for the main tops'l brace to tie to as noted on the original ship a few posts back in this thread.

I apparently slopped some epoxy on the inside of one of the mizzen tops'l brace thru-deck fairleads and blocked it up. I need to pull it like a bad tooth, and replace it, so the mizzen braces are hooked up yet.

Here's some exciting video of the separate bracing for the fore and main tops'ls.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Fairlead Bar - Posted: 11th Jun 2018
As the braces go on and off the winch drum, the go through a fairlead plate that's attached to, and moves with the winch, and guides the braces onto the correct drum so they don't get crossed. When the braces leave the fairlead they go off in various directions and angles which would actually prevent the winch servo from being able to slide fore-and-aft to maintain tension. A fairlead bar aft of the winches guides the braces straight to the winch fairleads to alleviate that problem.

Originally this bar mounted on two knees and looking like a riding bit (or a hitching post for us horse folks) was wood with screw-eyes on top. These small eyes were to be replaced with larger ones when I found some.

This was replaced with a metal bar with holes instead of eyes. This worked fine, but I was worried that it would unduly wear the brace lines over time and added too much friction to the system.

Today I replaced the metal bar with a strip of plastic cut from a cutting board. This stuff looks like Teflon, but I don't think it actually is. My concern now is the line with saw into this thing. I think I will make one with sheaves instead of just holes that will cut the friction and ease my concerns about it damaging the lines or the lines damaging it. First I'll see how this one works out, and any wear that appears will tell me at what angle to install the sheaves in the new bar.

If you're wondering why the new bar has so many fewer holes than the old one, it's because I reduced the braces from 5 pairs to 3 pairs. Only the tops'l yards are actively braced now.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Brace Blocks - Posted: 5th Jun 2018
I've been using some 6mm brass framed blocks (shown with some other brass items in one of the pics below) for brace blocks on the yards, they aren't the correct style for the ship, but I needed functional blocks on the braces. I also only have so many of them, so to free a few up for duty below deck, I made up 6 functional wood-shell blocks for the braces. They're ok, and they work, but I don't care for how they turned out. I used some white cedar for the shell, which is too soft and open-grained. I have some branches from a fruit tree, though I don't know what fruit, and I'm going to try and mill some of it to use for blocks. Till then, these will do.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
More trusses - Posted: 2nd Jun 2018
Made the parrel to go with the truss for the mizzen, which makes all three done, but for painting the fore and main.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Yard Trusses - Posted: 29th May 2018
I spent a couple of hours making a yoke or bow, for the fore tops'l yard. This is the thing that attaches to the yard and connects to the parrell. The main tops'l yard's and all three lower's were made from aluminum, but the last one took three tries to get and came out, well meh.

I tried a different idea in their construction this time, since my soldering has gotten better. I cut some brass rod and hammered it square, or mostly square; then bent it to the right shape as my pattern. I hammered the ends a bit more to widen them and used files to shape them. I cut a notch down the middle of some rod about double the diameter of the first one, then cut off about an 1/8" giving me two half-round pieces. These got soldiered top and bottom to the center of the bow, forming the swell that the parrell pin goes through. After some filing and cleaning up, I drilled the hole in the swell and 1/16" holes in the ends.
Then something happened with the drill press that startled me, I jumped, and the part flew off somewhere. I spent the day "cleaning" the shop trying to find it with no luck.

So tonight I did it all again, but with some hope of finding the errant part eventually, I went about making the mizzen bow instead. when it came time to drill, I dug out the 2-direction sliding vice thing for the drill press, instead of holding it by hand with pliers, and everything came out fine with no unscheduled flights.

The parrell shown is for the fore tops'l yard which is why I was making that bow, I haven't made the mizzen tops'l yard parrell yet. I do need to enlarge the hole slightly because the bow is supposed to go all the way on the post more than shown.

Mounted on it's yard, the chain is the tye for the tops;l halyard, and the bit of line is the end of one of the main tops'l yard braces. The little nuts and bolts are 0-80 x 1" hex head bolts I bought 100 of years ago with some matching nuts, and some "scale nuts."

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by kmbcsecretary on the 29th May 2018
Stunning craftsmanship there Jerry excellent.
Capstan - Posted: 26th May 2018
I got tired of looking at that stump of a dowel sticking out of the deck and decided to put a proper capstan there.
It's built on a 3/4" maple dowel drum, and the base, drum-head, and whelps are from scrap mahogany from that used to make the restored ship's hatch combings.

The pawls, bar holes, and base plate are done.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
All work and no sail - Posted: 22nd May 2018
A week of rain made CBMM cancel their outdoor activities and though I'm not adverse to sailing in a drizzle, it was forecast to pour off-and-on all day Saturday and it did. So I cancelled the trailer rental and didn't go to St Michaels.

I planned on going to Baltimore, rain or shine, because I didn't plan to sail the model there anyway. Sunday turned out very nice and the White Rocks boys ran their boats, one of which got some special attention.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
A little video - Posted: 12th May 2018
I put this together to try to demo how I'll reduce sail on the model, and the act of taking off and putting the model on it's ballast.
Getting ready - Posted: 29th Apr 2018
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum moved their Model Boat Expo back to May and I'm getting Constellation ready to sail.
It's a tradition now that I have some progress to show each time she sails, so this time I want to set the courses. Since her last sail the aft bulwark was added and new winch drums made, and a wedge added to the cart to keep her from sliding back.
Putting her on and off her ballast was a pain by myself, so I ground off the threads on the rods for about a centimeter so they act like pins and hold the boat in place while I thread in the other rod. That little hack was much simpler than figuring out some sort of cradle to fit on the cart.

I looked at all sorts of ways to control the courses, and the simplest method was sort of a yard at the bottom, but one that wasn't obvious. I used a length of vinyl coated clothes hanger and sew pocket onto the clews on the backside of the sails. In the center of the foot, I sewed a sleeve. The rod goes through the sleeve and onto the pockets. If I need to reduce sail, I can easily pull out the rods and bunt up the sail.
I also figured I'll set the two gaff-headed Spencer sails. So far I sewed hoops on the forward one. Their a line on it to brail it up if I need to lose it.
The t'gallants and royals will get hooks on the halyards, and some sort of easy release on their sheets, so I can take them off, yard and all, if it's too windy. If need be, I should be able to brail up the spencers, bunt up the courses, and remove the t'gallants and royals all in just a few minutes, and have her down to just tops'ls, spanker, and jibs. If THAT's too much sail, well, then it's just too windy to sail.
Hopefully I'll get to sail her with all 17 sails set!
The other bit of "progress" for this sail will be to use both winches. Previously I used one winch to control the main corse yard, and the fore and mizzen were slaved to it. Last time I controlled the fore tops'l yard and slaved the main and mizzen to the fore. This time the main and mizzen tops'l yard will be controlled together on their own winch, and the fore tops'l yard will be controlled separately on it's own winch. This way, when I come-about or tack, I can back the fore against the wind to push the bow across.
So, I was looking at images of the real ship to refresh my memory of how the main and mizzen brace were led when I noticed the main tops'l brace was anchored in the rig in one place when sail was set, and another place without sails.
Looking around I found there was some sort of ring or band that slide up and down the mizzen topmast pushed by the tops'l yard parrel when it was raised and lowered to set or take in sail.
I'd never noticed that sort of thing before, but looking at images of ship contemporary to Constellation, I found it was actually pretty common place, and I even saw it done on a few British ships of the 1850's and later. Always learning something new.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 29th Apr 2018
Wonderful! Only understood the half of it 😲 but was fascinated none the less. Super job 👍
Many years ago I renovated a 15" model of the Parmir for a friend, his Grandad had built it. Even with dozens of photos (pre-digital!🤔) it was a nightmare for me to get all the rigging back on in the right place.
Bravo Zulu that man! cheers Doug 😎
Response by Jerry Todd on the 30th Apr 2018
I've done a lot of renovation, reconstruction, and repair work on models for antique shops and such, and much of that experience went into Constellation and other models. As a working model, thing wear, need to be adjusted, repaired, and replaced much more often than a static model, and she's built with that in mind from access to how things are put together. The parrell bands from a post or two ago are a prime example. The real ones are hinged, but mine needed to also hinge not only to be authentic, but at some point I might need them to come off, and unless they hinge, I'd need to take half the rig apart to get them off.

That ring-thing I mention in the last post is much the same, It won't really be a closed ring, but may be more like a hinged key-ring, like in this picture.

For me, making a working model is 40% "how will I get it there and back," and 70% "how will I fix that if it breaks?"
Response by RNinMunich on the 30th Apr 2018
Agree 110% 👍😉

Showing page 1 of 3   |   Jump to page: 1   2   3