Wednesday, July 24, 2013

USS Constitution - Assembling the Guns on Gun Deck

Deburring and painting the gunport covers was one of the first activities I performed when I started working on this kit, while waiting for other paints or glues to dry.

Basically, each of the 32 covers need deburring, painting, and then clearing the whole they have on one of the sides.

The clearing of the hole is important, because they require, in a later stage, rigging to the hull. I spent then some time to stick to each hole a  5 cm thread, with one knot, glued to the cover, to be prepared for later stage of assembly them on the hull:

Earlier, I presented the preparation of the guns (the barrels on their carriages). There are two kinds of gun, the larger ones being assembled on the gun deck.

Each of the 32 guns were glued on the deck. You can choose to put the guns in firing position, with the cover open and the barrel outside the hull, or in hold position, with the barrel inside the hull, with cover closed. After assembling the guns, I glued the covers in the desired positions and make sure the rigged threads are loose.

I chose the "aggressive" way, putting all the guns in firing position:

Finally, after the covers glue was completely dry, I took the loose ropes through the holes in the hull above the covers, and glued them inside.

The overview, with gun deck armed and the covers in position:

While waiting for the glued riggs to dry, I took care of the studding sail yards to be assembled on the gun deck. Tying two ropes...

... then gluing the yards on them

Final step, patience and time killer, was to rig the guns. There is a significant problem on the kit I encountered: they provide some sort of eyebolts on the inside of the hull, to knot or glue the rig on it. However, they are not very helpful, because they are not shaped as a ring, but more sticking outside, making it difficult to grip the thread on it. Basically, what I needed to to is to put a drop of glue on the eyebolt, keep the thread sticked there by hand until the glue is half dried and the thread can't loose, then wait for the glue to dry, then start again with the next barrel.

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