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Bottled Ship Builder

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  1. Today
  2. Hey Jim, one of my other passions I have decided to take up is painting with water colours. An excellent East Indian artist that I follow had this very thing happen to him. It’s an absolute shame this kind of deception occurs. Jeff
  3. Thanks Jeff, I'm a few lessons past this now...I'll post them one at a time.
  4. Looks good to me! Nice work! On to the next one?!
  5. Yesterday
  6. With my interest renewed in building ship-in-the-bottles I decided to try to further my skills and take a path of self learning. I had only limited instructional materials available as well as some examples from other builders and the instruction sheets from my old kits as guides. I first decided I wanted to re-create the original “Ship’s-A-Sailin’” SIB Kit model line and had already built the “Lively Lady” but I also wanted to work on a more remedial model to help sharpen my skills. I pulled out my old “Modeling Ships in Bottles” by Jack Needham, gave it a thorough read and realized his first “Simple Model for Beginners” was equivalent to the “Skeeter” model in the S-A-S kit line so decided that this would be my next build. I also wanted to experiment with a head-land background and I had a short but fat round bottle I wanted to try. The model is a simple two masted schooner. For being a simple model I had difficulty getting a hull correctly shaped and ended up cracking two before I got one – I don’t recall ever having a problem shaping a hull in the past. On this model I decided to try and make the sails out of paper instead of the using the extra sail cloth I had left over from my 1/8” scale “Elsie”. This went OK but I marked the seams a bit too heavy in pencil and slightly creased one sail during insertion. I also tried to color my “Model Magic” play-clay sea with acrylic paint to get a deeper, warmer blue but the paint didn’t mix into the putty well, it sort of sat on top instead of mixing in, didn’t dry as fast as I would have liked and it made the putty somewhat sticky and soupy. I ended up marking up the model with the colored clay but Jack did suggest getting some putty on the sides of the hull to simulate sea-spray. However my background came out well and I included a little head-land and a lighthouse. Again I attempted a Turk’s Head knot which turned into a “decorative braid”. I even embedded a foreign coin into the melted wax seal on the cork. The ship is a little small for the bottle which has a difficult dimension of being short and stout but the addition of the background and light house helps fill the space. So I had some lessons learned but still came away with a nice model a step above my early kit builds.
  7. It does leave a mark on the inside edge but not the outside edge. I will get some photos and show what this looks like. The advantage of the ship being in the bottle is the inside edge is hard to see so I"m not worried about anyone seeing the marks. Also a little bit of sanding will diminish it slightly.
  8. DSiemens on page 1 of your tutorial, you mention about breaking the grain using a pair of tweezers. Wouldn't this leave a mark on both sides of the bulwarks? Could you possibly post a picture of tis procedure? Thanks...Charlie
  9. Last week
  10. I'm really happy to see other builders trying this build out. If nothing else its a proof of concept. Really you can use the same method that this build uses and build any ship you want. There's a million other methods out there its all about finding what works. This type works for me. As far as the rest of the sails its the same method. Cut them out, draw on the panels and give them a little wind curve. Making sure to follow the same tack. I like to give the jibs some fun looking panels. I'm not sure if its historically accurate but i like the look. Glue the jibs right to the stays. I give a bit of room between the jib and the thread block. The last thing you want is to find you can't pull the line tight because the jib has stopped the line at the block. I didn't put any reefing lines on the square sails. These sails would have been hoisted up in low winds so reefing them would mean just taking them down. Which as mentioned before if you want to simplify this build further leave off the square sails all together. It still looks great with out them. I ended up moving the middle spar a little higher to fit the sails. As far as the square sails go I hive them a curl and glue what would be the top front of the sail to the bottom of the spar. This allows the curl to go out and look like it has some wind. The last lines I glued on were the jib sheets. Theres a trick to these so you don't have to have three more lines coming out of the bottle. First get your jibs set up so they are catching the wind. To do this twist the stay lines and let then losses and tighten them. You'll notice as you do this the jib rotates around the line. This can be done while its in the bottle as well. Get the jibs where you want them then glue a line at the open corner of each jib. Bring the three lines together and glue them all together. Cut off the excess With enough left to tuck behind the bulwark. You can glue them to the bulwark once its in the bottle. Since the jibs naturally pull the line outward it goes right into place once its tucked on the opposite side of the bulwark.
  11. Thanks, it is however 3 times larger so I have a lot more room, and your CPA is your priority right now. Really great thread though. As a newbie, it opens your eyes a bit to how things "should" be done. Hopefully I can get it in the bottle O.K.
  12. I think yours is turning out much better than mine. Absolutely beautiful work. I've got mine in the bottle. Updates on the final process coming soon.
  13. DSiemens, this is a great choice for learning, thoroughly enjoying this build. It really is a beautiful vessel, partly because of it's simplicity.
  14. This is a heads up for those that sell their work over the Internet on a personal or your business website. Scammers are targeting artists and craftspeople I typically accept payment card info over the phone though sometimes take a check by mail. This past week I had a situation that just did not feel right and emails from the customer had inconsistencies. I had the sense to go to my bank and see if their check was valid. It was indeed a stolen check from a lawyers firm in Springfield, MA. The person claimed she was moving from Georgia to Canada and would include additional funds for the shippers. The additional amount was $3000. They communicated that they desired $2k to go into a Zelle Payment account. Have not communicated with these scammers since I filed the FBI report. Tis a shame that this occurs.
  15. Thanks! It was a lot of fun to build. I even found an old "Ship's A Sailin'" model kit for sale but it wasn't the "Lively Lady" but it was worth buying just for the nostalgic value. I only have a limited supply of bottles and quite a few aren't suitable for SIBs but I'm busy figuring them out. More to come...
  16. Thanks again! I bought the putty at a craft store similar to Michael's called A C Moore. The stuff I bought is called Model Magic made by Crayola and is not supposed to air harden. I found it a bit messy to work with and I couldn't get it to color well with artist grade acrylic paint. I've switched back to plumbers putty that I color with artist grade water soluble oil paint (Holbein) and enjoyed how that behaved. I'll find out in twenty years how reliable it is (ha!).
  17. Well done Jeff. That's a great looking ship in bottle.
  18. Great work. I think she looks awesome. If your looking for plastaline for your next sib check out hobby lobby or Michael's. Thats where I buy mine. I hope the play putty works out for this one. Sometimes it drys up and cracks. I've had plastaline in bottles that are five or six years old now and look like the day I put it in.
  19. Earlier
  20. I had not built a ship in the bottle model since some time in the early eighties. All my scratch built models were given away as gifts and the only model I had in my possession was the first model I had built, a kit build from the 1970’s. Through a series of circumstances I once again came back to building ship models. I was surprised that my eyes have actually improved for close work with my age and I can take my glasses off to work small. And my hands are still steady enough, hopefully having been practiced from years of fly-tying and art drawing. In a fit of clearing out possessions I found a partially built Model Shipways “Elsie” 1/8” scale Gloucester Fishing Ship model and a box with my old ship in the bottle collection of materials, books and the instruction sheets from my old kits. I sat down and finished the “Elsie” model which probably took me over 150 hrs of work to complete - I even added sails. I learned a lot about modeling and ships by doing this and I also learned the value of having good plans to work from. So now I wanted to reprise my first SIB kit build, “the Lively Lady” that I clumsily cracked the foremast on when mounting the ship in the bottle. I still had the “Ship’s A Sailin’” instruction sheet and the first thing I noticed was that not all the drawings were to scale or even the same scale so I first set up a “canon” to work to. I did a little research and surmised that the “Lively Lady” was not a historical model so without exact plans it’s hard to hold to any degree accuracy or feel too constricted. However, I did apply some of my ship knowledge acquired from building my “Elsie”. I even had some left over kit materials that I could use and I had a large quantity of sail cloth left over from my “Elsie” build but I had to carve the hull from scratch and make all the masts and spars from dowels. I even had a small collection of liquor bottles my dad had saved for me from his bar-tending days and I picked a bottle that is a bit long for the model but I just wanted the practice of doing an SIB again. I remembered from my other builds that I had first made putty seas from some old plumber’s putty colored with some artist grade oil paint but switched over to “Plasticine” which was available in the 1980’s. Now all I could find in the local craft store was a kid’s modeling clay something like “Play –Dough” which is a bit too cool of a blue for a sea but that’s what I could find. The bottled model didn’t photograph as well as I’d like, maybe due to the curvature of the glass playing with the lens elements of my camera. I have to say the model looks more impressive in life. But I did take a “before launch” shot of just the ship. I even attempted a “Turk’s Head” knot on the bottle neck but only accomplished a “decorative braid”. I just had one small mishap which probably only I can detect but I consider that a general hazard of putting a ship in a bottle. Overall, I was encouraged by my attempt and have decided on a course progress to continue building.
  21. That looks great! Nice job with the flag as well.😎
  22. Here's the final product.
  23. I've contemplated the Serenity from Firefly in a bottle but haven't gotten to it. I agree it would have to be in pieces but totally do able. I'd look into how houses in bottles are built. I think it would be very similar. There's a couple builders here who have done buildings in bottles. Look up the Żuraw Gdański by Artur. Thats a great example.
  24. I like the idea, I am a big Star Trek fan. I have wondered about this before but never spoke about it to anyone. I thought I saw a picture of one online one time during one of my endless searches for something and getting sidetracked at other things I see. I sort of skimmed by it because I figured it was photo-shopped or something. I hope you can figure it out because I would love to see this! Jesse
  25. So I have been thinking for some time now, about the starship Enterprise in a bottle. How hard can it be? (Laughing) Obviously it would have to be in pieces. I was thinking fishing line instead of pegs. Put them in loosily, then slide pieces up on the line and position and glue tight. It would probably need a support base for the ship, not the bottle. Clear acrylic, or hang off a fishing line from top of bottle. Could be inverted, hanging off a cork as well. Any thoughts and ideas? Had anyone does this?
  26. Welcome, to our band of Merry Men Hafid! 😀 The other Jeff
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