10:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:30 am - 5:00 pm
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Modeler Resources

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Welcome Modelers! The USS Constitution Museum has a long history of providing ship model builders with the resources they need to create models of “Old Ironsides.” Our most requested resources are listed below.

Interested in Model Building?

Check out the USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild – a community of novice and expert modelers encouraging model ship construction through workshops, exhibits, and online resources.

Explore images of models featured in the 2023 Model Show!

USS Constitution Plans

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The following collection of USS Constitution plans were drawn for the United States Navy between 1794 and 2010 for the ship’s original construction (1794-1797) and/or subsequent restorations during the past 200+ years. As a result, the scale and level of detail varies from plan to plan.

The bulk of the drawings, taken from Constitution‘s 1927-1931 restoration, were drawn by the naval architects of the Charlestown Navy Yard under the supervision of Lieutenant John A. Lord, Superintendant of Restoration (1927-1931). Lt. Lord began his research on the physical history of Constitution in 1925. A number of historic plans of Constitution were unearthed in his research, and new plans were drawn of all sections of the ship affected by the restoration. In the end, the navy acknowledged that approximately 85% of the ship had been “renewed” (i.e. replaced), and the whole of the ship was therefore redrawn. These plans have been used in subsequent restorations, however many of the 1927 plans no longer reflect the ship as it is exhibited today.

These plans are the property of the U.S. Navy and the National Archives & Records Administration and are made available for use by researchers and ship modelers of all ages. The plans are not to be altered in any way.

The deck layouts represent USS Constitution’s deck arrangements after the 1927-1931 restoration. The 1931 arrangements were partly based upon 1849 plans of Constitution and partly on the requirements of the National Cruise the ship would take between 1931-1934. The deck arrangement plans no longer represent Constitution today, as the ship is slowly being restored/rebuilt to its War of 1812 configuration.

  • Spar Deck General Arrangement, September 1931 (Plan #24422)
    Note: The replica small boats and hatch arrangements reflect the display and use of USS Constitution during the National Cruise from 1931-1934.
  • Gun Deck General Arrangement, September 1931 (Plan #24423)
    Note: The captain’s cabins re-created during the 1927-1931 restoration are based on 1849 plans of Constitution and not the 1812-era cabin configurations.
  • Berth Deck General Arrangement, 1927 (Plan #28669)
    Note: The ward room cabins, pantries, steerage, etc. reflect the use of Constitution during the National Cruise from 1931-1934. Modern living equipment was installed for the National Cruise.
  • Orlop Deck General Arrangement, 1928 (Plan #22673)
    Note: The orlop deck and hold arrangements reflect the storage and repair needs anticipated for the 1931-1934 National Cruise.

All boats built for USS Constitution in the 1927-1931 restoration are based on early 20th century U.S. Navy boat plans, not on War of 1812-era small boat designs.

Constitution Close Up: Minutiae for Modelers and Artists

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Originally published in 2003 by Commander Tyrone G. Martin, USN (Ret.), this downloadable PDF provides a compilation of data and illustrations concerning the ship’s appearance during its decades of front-line service from 1798 to 1855. The material is divided into chapters dealing with major portions of the ship or important elements of its equipage.

Museum Blog

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Search the USS Constitution Museum’s Blog for articles on elements of the ship’s design and past restorations.

Anatomy Of The Ship: USS Constitution

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The 44-Gun Frigate USS Constitution: “Old Ironsides” (Anatomy of the Ship) is a book written by internationally-acclaimed draftsman and author Karl Heinz Marquardt and published by the U.S. Naval Institute Press in 2005. This comprehensive guide includes hundreds of drawings, illustrations, diagrams, measurements, and technical information about the ship for builders, artists, model makers, and naval architects.

USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild

The USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild encourages the art of constructing model ships and supports research in nautical history through its workshops, educational activities, and exhibits. Guild members maintain a working model shop at the USS Constitution Museum, complete with an extensive library of modeling books and plans. The Guild's website provides a variety of resources for novice and experienced model builders alike, including a plan inventory, library catalog, membership details, and contact information.

Model Shipwright Guild Website

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?
Submit your question to:
617-426-1812 ext. 137