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USS Constitution

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As far as i can tell the ingame USS Constitution is modeled after the constitution in its current (2014) state not how it was originally built, or during the war of 1812.  The key differences are, the current USS Constitution has higher bulwarks,  different stern decorations, and the bow has weather bulwarks. http://www.ussconstitutionmuseum.org/collections-history/faq/#appearance 


In 1798 she would have looked like this.


note the different stern decorations , lower bulwarks, no weather bulwarks on the bow, and it has a figurehead. 


In 1812 she would have looked like this.


note it no longer has a figurehead but it has different stern decorations , lower bulwarks, no weather bulwarks on the bow.


Changing the ingame Constitution to an earlier state would also fix the current problem of its bow chasers firing thru the weather bulwarks.


I believe most the the changes to the USS Constitution (the bow weather bulwarks, different stern, and higher side bulwarks) where done sometime after 1820.  I hope the devs change the ingame constitution to the 1798 version or the 1812 version because for me it feels odd to be sailing around in a post 1820 ship.


KIngEmu (ingame efalden)

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As far as i can tell the ingame USS Constitution is modeled after the constitution in its current (2014) state 


Thanks for the feedback Captain. As we spend a lot of time on replica models we will respond in detail.


lets start from a simple thing.

1) Please if you can talk to the makers of the models you provided and get their explanation stern golden decoration - because on many historical paintings those decorations are white, and on many they are red. Models you provided have golden plating.. which was not the case. So they are wrong in that regard (but still beautiful)





2) the models you shown have the very first stern variant (that most likely did not see combat). Ours is third. Which definitely saw combat.




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The Constitution saw combat right after being launched, in both the quasi-war with France and the Barbary Wars. Both of those were before any modifications done for the War of 1812.




Also, based on those paintings, the front bits should be white, although there is one where it was painted gold (perhaps after it's first major victory in the war).


The War of 1812 is what the ship is known for, so if possible, I feel like that's the model it should be based on. I haven't found descriptions of the differences, but I'm only a couple of hours away from her so worst case, I can go to the museum and do some research.


E: There is some info here: http://www.history.navy.mil/constitution/documents/ConstitutionRestorationHistory.pdf

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A-ha! I found someone who already did the research, at least as far as colors. Prepare for a large amount of text:


The question often arises, *How was **Constitution** painted?* The
answers seem to be varied and they seldom seem to match primary
documentation. Here is what is known at this writing to me to be the
best color information for *Constitution* for only some of her
configurations and time periods:
In her early years, *Constitution* was always tarred below the four gun
strakes, probably until the 1906 overhaul. As-built in 1797 through
1811, she had yellow ochre (50:50 with white lead -- still a
brownish-yellow but not as dull) gun strakes, gun tompions, gallery
trim, bowsprit, and lower masts as well as two pin stripes leading aft
along the hull from the head rails. The stern had a lampblack ground
with white lead, vermilion, medium-light blue, and light yellow ochre
trim. The ship-s name is not on the stern in 1812 (see Captain Hull-s
model of September 1812 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem,
Massachusetts). The weather rails were lampblack for all periods. ONLY
the four one-inch recessed gun strakes received the contrasting color --
NEVER a broad band of color that I have ever been able to document. The
gun strakes were white lead from 1811 through 1815 off and on with
yellow ochre (to include a change in the color of the quarter gallery
trim and, likely, the gun tompions) and were yellow ochre again from
1815 until the 1817 overhaul when the US Navy was changing to uniform
white lead gun strakes in almost all its ships, to include white lead
inner bulwarks and waterways from about 1817 as well.
>From July 1844 through 14 May 1845, *Constitution* had a white lead hull
with vermilion gun strakes. In May 1845, she was repainted the white on
black color scheme. Her configuraton at that time was very close to the
*Brandywine* first class frigates, especially her bow treatment.
The gun port lids were always lampblack on all six surfaces (an
exception might have been the vermilion gun strake period, though I
doubt it). The gun deck gun port lids were NOT hinged until about the
American Civil War but, prior to that time, were completely removed and
sent below when exercising the gun deck guns -- no gun port lids were
provided in the spar deck, ever. The gun deck gun port lids were split
in half horizontally in 1804 but were still NOT hinged, with some minor
exceptions to this up forward.
The Bowsprit and lower masts were woolded until 1809 and the woolding
was lampblack (rigging tarred). Until 1809 the fighting tops and the
doublings were lampblack. ALL of the yards were blackened (coal
tarred), just like the bends -- to include the yard arms -- as well as
the lower studding-sail booms, spanker boom, and gaff. After 1809, the
fighting tops (except for their railings and stanchions) and the
doublings were white lead. There was NO white at the mast heads/trucks.
The upper masts were left bright (actually oiled) so that their
remaining strength could be determined from their color. Since upper
masts were replaced often, they would each be a different color from
each of the other upper mast spars. The same is true for the jib boom
and the flying jib boom. Until 1809, *Constitution* had a single
lampblack martingale -- and a white lead double dolphin striker after
1809. The doublings for the jib spars were lampblack until 1809 when
they were painted white lead. The sails were also replaced and patched,
as was the rigging, and none of these items would have been an overall
same color nor exactly match any of their sister components.
The rigging included hemp, hide, and flax cordage (plus horsehair in the
limber) and was one-stranded through six-stranded, plus the
nine-stranded cables and hawsers. Both left-handed and right-handed
rope was used as well as water-laid and plain-laid. Some ropes were
reverse-laid and others were slack-laid -- at least one case combines
both slack/reverse-laid. I know that this opens many rigging questions
but the answers would be about 700 to 1000 pages long with a few hundred
drawings. *Constitution* followed Brady-s *Kedge Anchor*, AMERICAN
rigging practice, and NOT Lever, Steele, Biddlecomb, Lees, Lavry, et
al., which describe BRITISH rigging practice.
The decks exposed to the weather would have been grayed to a depth much
beyond just surface discoloration -- holy stoning would NOT normally
have removed enough wood to make the decks *white*. The idea of holy
stoning was to remove only the dirt and rigging tar from the deck -- not
the wood. The gun and spar decks were longleaf yellow pine, except
under the guns where they were white oak. The two woods weather in
color differently. The tarring of the deck paying was most likely dark
chocolate brown and NOT black.
After 1809, the upper studding-sail booms were lampblack (probably
tar-blackened) from the tip of the yard arm outboard, when housed, and
from the tip of the yardarm inboard, when extended. The in-between
portion was white lead. Prior to 1809, the upper studding-sail booms
appear to have been completely blackened. The spanker boom was white
lead outboard the taffrail and black inboard after 1809 and all black
before 1809 -- the gaff was always black. After about 1809, a mizzen
trysail (or snow) mast was installed, which was white lead.
Gun carriages were *terra cotta* (the brownish boxcar red) except for
1804-1809 when the carriages were *yellow the color of butter* with
lampblack gun tubes, iron fittings, and trucks. After 1845, or so, many
of the gun carriages were lampblack and all were most likely lampblack
upon entering the American Civil War era and afterwards.
Of the 500+ individual guns that have been in *Constitution*, of
fifty-one different types, they were all smooth to the touch except for
one type, which I have yet to see modeled. They had a modified varnish
coating that produced a satin-gloss (satin for a model) that was
pigmented with lampblack. The guns were normally given a fresh water
wash each morning and then rubbed down with an oily rag. Tompions
normally matched the gun strake color and were not embellished with
gawdy stars, etc. *Constitution* was, and is, a warship -- NOT a circus
The spar deck inner bulkhead (only a quarter deck and forecastle with an
open waist until about 1804 or 1809 -- no spar deck, per se, until that
time) arguably was vermilion as well as the waterway (a red-orange
scarlet color, just like the British used -- but NEVER a *red*) as the
gun sills are known to have been vermilion from 1797-1804. 1804-1809
the sills appear to have been lampblack from then on and the inner
bulkhead and waterway butter-yellow. After 1809, the inner bulkhead and
waterway were dark green (about that of Humbrol #149, which needs to be
scaled and weathered) still retaining the lampblack gun port sills.
After 1817, the inner bulkhead and waterway were, most likely, white
lead with lampblack gun port sills.
Deck furniture was likely white lead, with bright pin rails, as-built --
and butter-yellow or dark green to match the changes in the inner
bulwark-s color changes between 1804 and 1817. I have not yet
determined the deck furniture color after the 1817 overhaul from primary
documentation. Belaying pins were iron and, if painted, would likely
have been hot coal tarred.
Ship-s small boats were overall white lead externally, except they were
lampblack between about 1835 and 1845. The black paint did not work
well at all on the ship-s small boats and was replaced with white lead
about 1845 throughout the US Navy. The white boats typically had a
single distinguishing color on the sheer strake. Ship-s small boat
painting is, indeed, a very large subject area by itself.
A good color approximation of the red and the blue in the wool ensigns,
pennants, and flags for *Constitution* is: Humbrol #153 with a slight
amount of Humbrol #73 *wine* added for the *Madder Root Red* and Humbrol
#104 made a little lighter (with a touch of Humbrol #34 *white*) and a
bit grayer for the *Indigo Blue* -- until about World War One when
bright synthetic dyestuffs started being used in US Navy flags. The
white in flags was undyed white wool -- an off-white color (a touch of
Humbrol #71 *linen* in Humbrol #34 seems to work well). Other flag
colors and flags for *Constitution* are much larger subjects.
Try to avoid using straight black and straight white in a model -- they
are too stark for scale work and render a toy-like appearance. Use a
very dark gray and an off-white (antique white), respectively.
Don-t use the present real *Constitution* to determine the
configuration, or painting, of the historic *Constitution* for ANY
historic period, except 1932, 1960, 1976, or 1996, if then. Presently,
the real *Constitution* is NOT in a War of 1812 configuration as federal
law mandates -- she-s slowly on her way towards such a configuration,
assuming she quits stumbling over the non-1812 fantasized overhaul
configuration of 1932.

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Thanks for all the responses :) . Ill try and get in to contact with the model makers about the stern and Ill email the museum about it too.  


the thing that bothers me most about the in game constitution and the current real life one is the weather board on the bow.




interesting read about the figurehead



Robert Danforth that was a good read http://www.history.navy.mil/constitution/documents/ConstitutionRestorationHistory.pdf


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By far the biggest problem with Constitution is the placement of her fore and main yards. Compare them to any photograph or other ship in the game and you will instantly see that they are far too high, creating serious clipping issues.

And the headrail bulwarks that block the chasers really must go. Along with the spritsail.

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The headrails on the NA constitution are the mid-19th century monstrosity that is still on the real ship, her originals are far more elegant-and also don't block bow chasers- But that is the fault of the maker of the plans much more than the devs. They picked a set that got as much else as possible fairly close to how she looked during her prime, based on what record survived and conjecture. There are no plans of the transom for her building or anytime while she was a frontline warship, the only primary source ones being of the mid-19th century experiment in dullness still on the ship. The plans the devs picked have a transom that is based off the corne series of paintings made right after her victory over guerriere, so bear more historical weight than those which resort to the current stern. The bulwarks on the NA model appear to be low, just like the real ship(the planked in hammock nettings were removed a few years ago, she is much cleaner for it.) https://bremolympicnlus.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/130704-n-hn195-204.jpg

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After doing some more research and after everyone's comments that the current stern is correct to 1812 (whether it was white or golden could easily change on how wealthy the captain was).  But the headrail bulwarks are not accurate to the 1812 version.  Not sure about her rigging I don not know enough about it to make any comments (I will leave that to the more knowledgeable) . Am I missing anything else?


What do the devs need to eventually put a corrected 1812 Constitution ingame?     

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Not that it bothered me any, but I read somewhere, those circular cutouts in the gun ports were from a later date.   Do any historical buffs know what for and how those round holes were used?  What was their purpose?


The circle holes were there on the gunports so that when the gunports are closed, the cannon still sticks out. I find it useless though, you`ll still need to open the gunports

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This plan shows Constitution's sister ship President as she was when captured in 1814, note the appearance of the headrails and bow...


There were some difference between the ships (perhaps Captain Armstrong could elaborate on this), but the bow at least is I believe much closer to Constitution's appearance during the war of 1812 than the one on the real ship at present or the model in game.

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  • 1 month later...

The headrails on the NA constitution are the mid-19th century monstrosity...

With that in mind, wouldn't the same be true for the Lynx?? Do we have any indication of what she looked like at launch?? Or do her plans again date from the mid 19th-century???

Edited by Zakota
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The sides of the ingame Constitution also seem too straight to be honest, looking at pictures the real lady seems to have more curvature to her:

I'm glad someone else has noticed this. It really bothers me.


I really don't like the look of the in-game Connie. She has no tumblehome. There is nothing uglier than a wall-sided square rigger, at least with this sort of hullform.

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With that in mind, wouldn't the same be true for the Lynx?? Do we have any indication of what she looked like at launch?? Or do her plans again date from the mid 19th-century???

Modern lynx


Historical lynx


Not familiar enough with Ingame one to know which was built, but quite different vessels

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Modern lynx


Historical lynx


Not familiar enough with Ingame one to know which was built, but quite different vessels


Wow, that's quite a difference. So the modern lynx can only be called a historically inspired schooner, not a replica nor period correct.



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