According to Canney's Sailing Warships of the US Navy, the ship was laid down in June 1816, and was commissioned by 18 December 1824, so 8 years and 6 months before she was put into use. By comparison, mine took from September 2014 to March 2018, or 3 years and 6 months. If we use Canney as a benchmark, I flew through building my version. 😀 According to the Dictionary of American Fighting Ships (DANFS, the online address is: https://www.history.navy.mil/research/histories/ship-histories/danfs.html ), North Carolina was laid down in 1818, launched on 7 September 1820, and got her first captain on 24 June 1824. That's only 6+ years, so even by those real world standards I'm still doing pretty good. That's enough self-congratulations for right now I think, so let's move on to some photos of the new model. First though, a plan of the original ship:
|I saw an online comment that said this ship looks like the Constitution on steroids. Maybe....|
|Remember, this is officially a 74-gun, 2 deck ship of the line.|
|The sails obscure just how flat the ship is. No waist, or|
stacking of decks here. Just one cabin above the spar deck.
|This earlier photo gives a better idea of what I mean.|
|Pretty enough, but in a very practical, almost brutal, way. I think it's|
due to the ship being mostly black and white.
I did have a bit of a problem on deciding how to paint the masts. Paintings and models show a number of different ideas. There are white masts with black hoops:
Or, white masts with white painted mast hoops:
|This model is at the USS North Carolina (BB-55) memorial|
at Wilmington, NC (http://www.battleshipnc.com/)
And in some cases, black masts with white hoops:
The last picture was painted in 1827 and was probably commissioned by one of the ship's officers. So, it's possibly the most correct. However, I didn't think this looked very good on the model (too much black), so went with the white mast/black hoop combo.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, North Carolina wasn't commissioned until 1824, so will never fight under US colors except in some sort of "what if" scenario. Given her paint job and distinctive appearance, it's almost certain that she will be impressed into the Russian navy as a 74 for various scenarios. Either way, the first unicorn is finished, and others will be following