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Author Topic: 1854 Sloop of War Constellation  (Read 6630 times)

JerryTodd

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Re: 1854 Sloop of War Constellation
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2024, 06:02:56 pm »

The boats got a coat of primer.  I cleaned up the 1st cutter and launch, and all but the launch got some white and black paint sprayed on.I still don't know what the ship's boat chocks ought to look like, so I made some basic ones based on a some that were on a boat I worked on long ago.  These are easily replaced if I find something more authentic down the road.
I made rudders and tillers for all the boats, but had to install eyes on the stern-posts of the launch and first cutter as gudgeons.  Then I installed lifting-eyes in all the boats.
I have some cleats from an old plastic kit, and a few tiny brass belaying pins to detail the boats a bit more.  I still have oars and their sailing rigs to make, and I intent to put rings on all the lifting eyes.It's going to have to warm up a bit so I can use the air-brush to give them a proper paint job and can call them "finished."

JerryTodd

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Which Pivot Guns?
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2024, 06:34:48 pm »

The pivot guns I made, then 3D modeled and printed for Constellation were based on information I got from the folks restoring the actual ship.  They said they were restoring the ship to her Civil War appearance, and showed me plans for her 30# Parrott pivot gun they got from the National Archives.  That was interesting, but I was modeling the ship when she was new, and mounted different pivots.  Then they showed my a set of plans for a 10 inch shell-gun on a pivot mount for the side-wheel frigate Mississippi, dated June 1855.  They said that was what the ship was originally armed with, so I went to the Archives and got a copy of these plans.  Then I started making them.
 
Years later, I got into 3D printing and finished up a 3D model I started a while back and printed a pair of fully formed, completely detailed 10" pivot guns.


Another project I've been working on is 3D modeling Naval guns from the 1850s ~ 1870s.  I'd just finished a 60# Parrott rifle which the Cumberland carried as her aft pivot when she fought the ironclad Virginia.  Her forward pivot gun was a 10 inch shell-gun on a pivot carriage. Looking into data to model this gun if found an July 1850 drawing from John Dahlgren of his proposed armament for first class frigates.


close-up of the pivot gun.

This proposal called for 6 10 inch pivot guns on the spar deck, and 26 9 inch guns on the gun-deck.  The Navy instead went with a pair of 10 inch pivots, fore-and-aft on the spar deck, and 8 inch shell-guns with 32# shot guns on the gun-deck.  This also happens to be how Constellation was armed.

Constellation's pivot guns were described as; 10 inch shell-guns on pivot carriages, just as they are in his drawing .  Now I'm wondering which 10" shell-gun Constellation actually had.  Dahlgren's drawing was made five years prior to the Mississippi pivot gun plan.  Constellation was launched on August 26 1854, and commissioned on July 28 1855 putting the Mississippi's plan between those dates.  The more I ponder it, the more likely it seems to me that Constellation was armed with 10 inch Dahlgren's, and not 10 inch shell-guns of 86cwt.  I'm trying to find documentation to nail this down, but till then, I've opted to replace Constellation's pivot guns.
I noticedDahlgren's drawing was the same carriage as theTraversing Pivot Gun Carriage and Slide diagram from the 1852 Instructions.  Dahlgren didn't change the breech of the gun in the drawing, but changed the barrel to look like his 10 inch gun.  I couldn't find a Dahlgren anywhere with a Columbiad style breech, even in Dahlgren's patent drawing, though Rodman's gun were similar; but there weren't any Rodman guns in 1850.


In modeling this gun, I kept the normal Dahlgren breech with an elevating screw, as they were right through the war.  Spencer Tucker in Arming the Fleet says the carriage was the same as that for for the Columbiads (the Traversing Carriage shown above), but widened to accommodate the larger Dahlgren gun body; so that's what I modeled.


The slide for this gun is actually a bit shorter than the Mississippi gun slide, so it will be much less cramped on Constellation.
The first gun 3Dprinted lost a roller or would have been perfect, and the second gun came out perfectly.  I printed them in three parts each, instead of trying to pit it all in one piece as I did the first set.
   

Since the slide is shorter, I have to redo the deck tracks to fit...

JerryTodd

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New pivot guns almost done
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2024, 02:25:37 am »

I cleaned off the old tracks from the access hatches, on which the pivot guns sit, sanded and refinished the decking.


The new aft pivot and tracks on the aft access hatch


The new forward pivot and tracks on the forward access hatch


The field carriage for the boat howitzer I made for the launch had iron wheels, and I got to thinking the wooden wheeled version was probably more appropriate for 1856.  Here's the replacement painted and ready
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