Looks great, Ernest! Really excited by your model. And a wonderful tribute to your father.
Your workmanship is superb. This is one of Revell's best efforts of the time.
Love the yellow ochre gun deck stripe, perfect for her fight with HMS Guerriere. You are also correct about the replica weapons on Constitution today: they are a mix of true "carronades" and 1840s "gunnades", not quite right for 1812. You've done your homework!
Revell did their homework, too. Their kit's transom and forepeak decorations are based on the "Hull Model", a very historically significant model made not long after Constitution's battle with HMS Guerriere (more on that below).
As you have probably learned, Constitution's transom's true 1812 appearance is very tough to pin down. Part of the problem is lack of surviving documentation, part is that Constitution's appearance changed frequently including throughout the war, and part of the problem is that the transom was nearly destroyed in her battle with HMS Java. Java was able to stern rake Constitution during the battle - twice. Since the transom damage was severe, and initial repairs were made at sea, her post-battle, rebuilt transom probably looked different than her pre-Java battle transom. What changed and how much changed is not known with any certainty. Some have suggested that the number of windows changed during repairs either at sea or in repairs in port following this battle.
The best references for her War of 1812 fight with Guerriere appearance are most likely the "Hull Model" and a set of 4 paintings made by an artist named Corne - photos of each below. Constitution's pre- and post-Java battle appearance was probably a bit different than painted by Corne for reasons stated above.
1. The Corne paintings were made by artist Michel Felice Corne, commissioned to create a series of 4 paintings to commemorate her battle with Guerriere shortly after Constitution reached her home port. The artist was given considerable access to the ship and his work was supervised by the ship's purser, Thomas Chew. Corne made detailed notes in preparation for making the paintings. Thus, Corne's paintings may be the best references for the ship's coloring and appearance during and shortly after that fight. Note that at that time, Corne recorded that she had a yellow ochre gun stripe, not white, just as you have chosen. He also painted the lower masts yellow orchre, not white Corne recorded that some of the decorations were indeed white, but not the stripe or lower masts. Corne painted the ship's transom's window framing and side gallery window frames red. He also painted the inner sides of the gun ports red. Corne depicts the ship with 5 transom windows. He painted the ship's boats at the stern green. All 4 paintings are today located at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.
Corne, or a student of his, made another painting of Constitution a short while later. The latter painting is the first image shown below. That painting was featured on a US postage stamp. Again, we see a yellow ochre gun stripe and yellow ochre lower masts, not white, and red window framing. Unlike the earlier paintings, in this latter painting, the gun deck stripe extends below the lower edge of the gun ports. In both early and late paintings, the forward edge of the gun deck stripe ends in a curve, aft of the anchor rope hawsepipes.
Although the 15-star, 15-stripe US flag was the official US flag at the time, lasting until 1818, Corne's Guerriere paintings show the ship with an unofficial 16-star, 15-stripe flag with stars in three rows, 5-6-5. The latter Corne painting shows an unofficial 17-star, 15-stripe flag, with stars in three rows, 5-7-5. (Tennessee became the 16th state in 1796, Ohio became the 17th state in 1803, Louisiana the 18th state in 1818.)
Here are some details of Corne's post-Guerriere battle paintings.
2. The famous "Hull Model", shown below, was either built by members of Constitution's crew, or commissioned by them, and presented to Captain Isaac Hull as a gift after he left the ship to command Portsmouth Navy Yard at Kittery, Maine. Her crew and captain obviously knew what the ship looked like and the model was built according to that knowledge. The model survives and is preserved at the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts. The model differs from the Corne paintings a bit. The gun deck stripe, lower masts and fighting tops are white and the model depicts the ship with 6 transom windows with what appears to be French blue framing. The other decorations are very similar to what Corne painted. The model is significant enough to be used by the Navy as a source to determine Constitution's rigging configuration during a recent refit. Source:
Note that neither the "Hull Model" nor the Corne paintings show Constitution's name on her transom. Also note that the "Hull Model" shows green inner bulkheads, fife rails, and hatch and capstan trim, probably the same green color Corne chose to paint the ship's boats at the stern.
Neither the "Hull Model" nor the Corne paintings show any gun ports cut through the transom. That modification came later, under Bainbridge. Also note that the only hinged gun port lids are the 4 lids at the bow. It is believed that Constitution's gun port covers were removable at the time, not hinged, and were stowed below during battle. Hinged gun port lids came later.
The classic Revell 1/96 scale kit's transom is based on the "Hull Model".
Hope these references will help.