Monday, August 26, 2013

USS Constitution - Assembling the guns on spar deck

In this post I included the work on bow chaser, preparing the eyebolts and cleats, gluing the guns and their rigging, and final assembly of the bow chaser

The Bow Chaser

Assembling the guns on the spar deck is a delicate operation. Although most of the guns were already prepared, as described here, I needed to take care of the bow chaser.

There are several small parts to be used: the left and right sides, front and rear wheels, and the barrel (which was prepared before):

Putting them together

... then realising that I forgot to paint the pieces, which made me to take some painful detailed painting of the sides, and, once the paint dried, added two eyebolts

The Eyebolts and Cleats

Having all the guns prepared, I payed attention to the deck. First, I glued eyebolts on each side of the places where the guns will be positioned. They are very small (therefore easy to loose)

... and will be used later for rigging the guns.

One of the mistakes I previously made, while painting the hull, hit me at this point. A lot of small holes were filled with paint, and I had to clean them up while the hull was assembled and deck was in place, which made the task much harder

Having the holes cleaned, I started to glue the eyeholes, and make sure they have the same orientation

Since I had enough space before the guns were in place, I glued the cleats

... and the fore pinrails

The Guns on Deck

Next step focused on the guns. There are 16 guns for the stern half of the deck, and 12 guns of a different model for the bow part of the deck:

I applied a drop of glue on the wheels, and, in the case of stern guns, on the pin on the hull where they should be secured.

Rigging the Guns

And here the fun begun. For each of the 38 guns, I need to do the rigging. Basically, knot a thread through side holes and the end of each gun barrel. For this, I made a two step approach: knot one side and the gun end, glue the knots, and wait to dry:

Sometimes, I needed to put some weight, to keep the knot from the gun rear to unfold.

This way, I made sure that the knot on the back of the barrel will not untie. The second step was to make the knot to the other eyehole, and glue it

Final touch, cut the thread remains from the knots. I recommend to use a really sharp blade (I used a surgery blade for this).

The Bow Chaser in Its Final Place

Having the deck eyebolts fixed...

... I glued the assembled bow chaser on its location, and rigged it on the deck using a similar approach:

So finally, the deck with all the guns rigged in place:

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