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  1. 7 likes
    Moving along slowly, but surely. 18 winches made and fitted, two more warping winches to make and fit, and then onto more deck details - lifeboats, ventilators, ladders, rails, samson posts, mast, derricks, rigging, names, anchors, mooring bits, navigation lights. Bob
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    I have now made the 14 small cargo winches. It took about three hours, spread over three days to do this. They look a bit rough close-up, but on the model, they look fine. I now need to make two large winches, two warping winches and the anchor windlass. Not very difficult, but a bit tedious making all those small parts, and then assembling and painting them. In the image above, I have not yet fitted the winches. Bob
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    The masts and spars vary in thickness depending on the model, but as they are made of metal, I can make then a lot thinner than wooden ones. Real sailing ships would not even stand up if their masts were too thick. A mast with a diameter of 2 feet at the deck level would only be 1/16th of an inch in a 32 feet to 1 inch scale model (1:384). I have no idea where Dave is. Bob
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    Nearly finished now, but I am getting quite tired of it. It has been dragging on since November - far too long! Bob
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    Been working on this fishing boat fro Wm. Sherman's book. Beginner's Guide to Building Ships in Bottles, as the arthritis in my hands and finger allow. It's nearing completion and almost ready to be bottled.
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    Got the ships boat in. Just need sails and she's ready to bottle.
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    Here is a very small model of the Berwick Law under full sail. This was built to the much smaller scale of 50 feet to 1 inch and only took about 24 hours to build, spread over a few days. I didn't bother with ratlines at all, but it is not really noticeable. The upper spars are a bit too thick, but an attractive model nevertheless! I know a lot of you work to much smaller scales than this, but 50 feet to 1 inch (1:600) is about my limit for miniatures. I have tried smaller scales, but without much success! Bob
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    Thanks Gwyl. I might try wire next time I do the cannon rigging. Started work on the rigging.
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    Hi Jersey City Frankie, I saw your post on Model Ship World about the Wavertree. Glad to hear she is being restored properly. I agree that it is very sad that hardly anyone builds models of this type of ship. I have built Wavertree from the plans you posted, but can't lay my hands on a photograph of it at the moment. But here is the sister ship Fulwood that I built some years ago. Bob
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    Greetings, The mast hinge method I use for really tiny models is the one referred to above. In those cases the masts are very small diameter, perhaps 1/16" or a bit more. The actual mast is made from the appropriate sized insect mounting pin pieces. Two pieces are used, an upper mast and lower mast, the lower mast is short and sticks into a hole in the deck and glued. The upper mast piece is much longer, basically just a bit short of the length of the entire rest of the mast, i.e. minus the short lower piece. I then find extremely fine electric wire insulation, i.e. from interior wires of a cable such as an old SCSI computer cable, or sometimes the wires that used to come with computer CD/DVD drives to feed the sound to a sound card in a computer. The hinge is simple enough, just cut the insulation the length of the total mast, glue onto the lower mast piece glued into a hole in the deck, then insert the upper mast piece into the insulation until there is a small gap between the upper mast piece bottom and the top of the lower mast piece. The insulation is flexible, so the mast will lower, and can easily be brought back up into position with the rigging lines inside the bottle/light bulb. I find that there is a limit to the number of times that one can flex the tiny insulation before it cracks or breaks, so I lower the masts as few times as possible. Also, the top of the lower mast piece and the bottom of the upper mast piece must be rounded, or else they will cut into and tear/break the insulation when bending. If you look closely at the first image attached you can just barely see a whiter area lower on each mast, this is the gap between the insect mounting pin pieces, and where the masts will "break" when lowered. Second photo shows a Constitution model collapsed to fit through the opening in a light bulb as an example of how it all works. Hope that helps! John Fox III
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    Then I glued the steering plate. I was thinking of making imitations of fastening loops, but they are built-in on this boat and are unlikely to be visible under water.
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    Then I increased the keel in the stern part of the hull
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    A little more rigging done. The forestays are still temporary. I like to get the back stays done first. Also I discovered a new glue for the ratings that's working pretty well. It's call fray check. It's a glue for keeping cloth from fraying and works well when gluing thread together. I've found it doesn't clump up like superglue does. Dries quiet a bit slower but I need to learn patience with glue any way.
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    I have now found the photograph. I completed this model in 1995. Bob
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    I did mail one SIB that I sold to some pirate rein-actors. It ended up going from Colorado to Michigan to Florida and back to Utah. First by mail and then hand carried or in luggage. As far as sea I used the same Plasticine I usually use. It stay's soft and melts at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. To get it to stick to the glass I held the bottle over a hot burner for three to five seconds. Just long enough to melt the Plasticine touching the glass. I was advised by members of the Facebook group to use epoxy to glue the ship in. Epoxy doesn't fume like some glues and it holds tight. I found some mariners epoxy that dries white so it works as the spray around the ship as well. Once complete I went to UPS and had the ship wrapped in bubble wrap and put in a box with packing peanuts. Then that box was put in another box with packing peanuts. A quick word about Fedex since I used to work there several years ago. There was a common saying among Fedex workers. If you can stand on it, drop kick it or throw it against a wall it's ok to ship Fedex. Not that it happens to every package but I did see each of those things happening fairly often. If you ship FedEx pack accordingly.
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    So I was a approached by a member of my ship club to build him a submarine in a bottle. He was a sailor on the US Bonefish. He didn't want a regular submarine though. He wanted just the pariscope sticking out with a big eye looking out. Here's what I came up with. Has anyone else do e a whimsical bottle and what ideas have you had. Here's a few I've talked about with people. Ghost ship in a bottle - bottle with just the sea. The ghost ship is invisable. Ship in fog - Bottle full of cotton balls. Ship wreck - For when you bottling efforts go horibly wrong. Ship trying to get out of bottle - this one's more involved but I thought might be fun. A ship firing broadside into the side of the bottle with cracks apearing in the glass and water spilling out onto the stand. Show off you whimsical bottles and tell us about your ideas.
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    Some one gave me this today. I guess not a sib buy related and whimsical.
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    Hi everyone! So, here you can see some more small updates in this project. First of all, I continued working with deck houses
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    For the most part, I rely on the plans for the original ship itself if I can find copies of them, usually looking for what is called the "General Arrangement Plan", which shows the exterior of the ship from the side and from the top down, which I find useful in translating the 2-D image of the plans into a 3-D model. For sailing ships, there is a similar kind of plan called a "Rigging Plan", but this usually only just shows the side of the ship, but it's helpful seeing how all the sails and spars are rigged when the ship is underway. If I can't find the plans, well the next best thing is to try and find some photographs or drawings/paintings of the ship in question that show the same angles as the General Arrangement Plan, from the sides and from the top down, these can also help determine what colors the ship needs to be and what flags she flew. You can never have too much reference, and besides books, a good place to look is online. Try searching for the name of the ship in question in an image search, you might be surprised as to what you can uncover! As for planning how to put the ship in the bottle, well the bottle itself largely determines the overall size of the model. The diameter of the neck determines how big the hull and other sections can be, and the height inside the bottle determines how high the superstructure, masts, funnels, etc can be, and these can be measured and marked off on a piece of paper you can then hold up to your model to determine whether or not it's going to fit once everything is in place inside the bottle (don't forget to allow for the height of your "sea"!). The usual way I build a model is to start with the hull, I carve it out from a block of wood into the correct shape and sand it down as required until it slips down the neck easily, then as I add features on, I double-check to make sure everything still fits as I go along, trimming or sanding as necessary, then I paint it, collapse it and get it secured in the bottle, then re-erect it and do the final adjustments before sealing it off. You really build a ship in a bottle twice, once outside the bottle and once inside it! It is entirely possible to cheat a little bit and build a ship that's too big to go down the neck of the bottle by building it in sections, each section being able to go down the neck on its own, and that slot into the other sections using little pegs that go into holes drilled in the section below. That's how I've built big liners like the Titanic and the SS United States. The hull is a section, which goes in first, then the superstructure is another section which goes in second and slots into the hull, and then the funnels and the large deck features like cargo cranes slot into their places on the superstructure one by one, then the masts (if there are any) come up and get tied off and glued so they stay up, and then the cork goes into the bottle and it's done. Hope this helps! Brendan O.
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    Well, to date I've never had a problem mailing a ship in a bottle to my customers who buy them from my online shop or to my friends whom I've sent them as special presents, all of them have arrived intact and unbroken so far (knock wood, knock wood). I've always used the plain old U.S. Mail, the flat-rate Priority boxes for all the domestic shipments, and 1st class parcel service for the international ones. I always pack them with plenty of padding, usually bubble wrap, crinkled up newspaper, packing peanuts, even popcorn, and sometimes a combination of media. Whatever i use, I always make sure that the bottle is fully encased in a thick layer of cushioning, and the bottle can't wiggle around inside the box after its closed. As for the sea melting, well for the most part I just paint the sea in using an enamel model paint, which is durable and doesn't run with extremes of temperature,though I am going to try experimenting with air-dry clay (actual clay, not Plasticine) to see about having a seascape with waves in it. Likewise, I try to build the actual ships pretty stout to begin with to keep bits from coming off during shipping, and each one I like to give a bit of "Blizzard Test", to simulate it going through being shipped. I give it a good shaking, turn it upside-down (like a DQ Blizzard), and so on, and if nothing gets messed up, then the model passes the test.
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    Thanks I am kept from building SIBs by the unavoidable nature of the process! I have very little patience, and spending hours fiddling about through the neck of a bottle would not give me any pleasure at all - more like frustration. Wire rigging cannot be made fold down and up again without looking awful, and I doubt if I could ever get a sea into a bottle in a satisfactory manner. Rigging a SIB by conventional means seems to require the masts and spars to be too thick for my liking, probably as they have to have holes drilled through them, and need the added strength. I have made two or three SIB in years gone by, but on each occasion, I cut the bottoms off the bottles, and put them back after the ship was in, disguising the join with fancy ropework. But another annoying thing was the distortion caused by the glass (I used gin bottles). I know you can get really perfect bottles if you pay for them, or use light bulbs, or even old radio valves. But I just prefer the easier option of making them in display cases. But that does not stop me appreciating what ship bottlers achieve. For some time, I have been wondering where Dave Fellingham has gone - as his SIB was most impressive. A major problem with me would be the apparent time required - my patience wears thin very quickly! Bob
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    Not a SIB. It was made for me by my son when he was 8 as a last minute birthday present. Kitchen foil, and a toothpick. kept in a small plastic display box and I wouldn't part with it. Alan .
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    Thanks ever so much for the link, Sapper, pretty well exactly what I was looking for and then some, even found a nifty little article from Popular Mechanics on how to do a submerged submarine in bottle! I've done a sub already, but it was on the surface as I was still puzzling out how to make it look like it was underwater at the time, which the article handily provided. Another resource I've come across on my own is Shipbucket. It's technically a site about making color profile drawings of ships using computer programs like Paint to a set scale and format. Mostly about military ships, but there is a large collection of merchant ships from many nations, and the list keeps getting bigger all the time. On the downside, there's only the side view for most of them, but for most ships I think that'll do, can always supplement the profile with photos and other reference material if I can find it to see what the ship looks like from the top down and from the other angles. I'll be looking into acquiring some of the books that have been mentioned as the ol' budget and time allows, for they sound great and they'd be neat books to have even if I don't get around to making all the ships in them. Thanks again, lads! --- Igor, The Brendan Voyage huh? I suppose that would be about Brendan the Navigator (no relation, more's the pity!) then? Brought a smile to my face all the same, and I certainly appreciate you going to the trouble of looking through your archives, thanks very much! Brendan O.
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    Hello everybody, I was just wondering if anybody knew where I could find visual references of 20th century merchant ships? Usually, for making ships in bottles I like to find what's called a general arrangement plan or drawing, which shows the exterior of the ship in question from the side and from the top down (helpful in translating the 2-D images into a 3D model to put into the bottle), or barring that, photographs or line drawings which show the same or similar angles if the plans for the ship are not available. I don't know if this would exist, but would there be a book, website, whatever, which just has the profile views of a lot of different ships all in one place? I'll admit that my favorite ships to do are passenger liners, but I'd also like to do things like freighters, tankers, and other steam and diesel merchantmen from the pre-container era, from all over the world. Sort of an under-appreciated genre of ship modelling, I suppose since those ships were pretty well taken for granted at the time?
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    The question has been answered in full! There is a bottomless pit of plans of merchant ships out there. The books by John Bowen, Waine Research Publications, P N Thomas etc are stuffed full of plans. Numerous other books and journals as well! They can be obtained by searching http://www.bookfinder.com or even Ebay. Here is Politician, buit from a plan from a John Bowen book! Here is a Utube presentation of how I built the model: https://youtu.be/dbKlh_aa9r4 Bob
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    Well, the one SIB I've made so far that I could really call "whimsical" was one I did depicting a scene from H.G. Wells' sci-fi novel, the War of the Worlds, wherein the fictional Royal Navy torpedo ram, HMS Thunder Child, engages in battle with the Martian tripods. Got inspiration to make it from listening to Jeff Wayne's musical version on the LP record (no substitute for good vinyl, in my humble opinion!), wherein the battle gets a rather awesome music treatment. As for a basis for making the SIB, I chose to stick close to the Thunder Child's real-life basis, the one of a kind torpedo ram HMS Polyphemus, slightly enlarged to have two single-gun turrets fore and aft to more closely match how the Thunder Child was described in the novel. As for the Martian tripod walker war machines? Ordinary corks cut to have a flying-saucer like shape, and then some bits of wire stuck into them to make the legs and the heat-ray laser guns on the top, with a pair of little green beads to make the sensors/eyes. One of the tripods I chose to have its front shot away and billowing black smoke from a direct hit from the Thunder Child's guns (which have little white puffs of smoke to suggest muzzle flashes), with the Thunder Child herself steaming for one of the legs at full whack to finish the job on this crippled tripod with her beaklike ram on her bow under the waterline. For anybody who's read the novel, you'll know that this victory is going to be short-lived, as the other two tripods coming up behind the ship are going to melt it into scrap with their heat-rays, but insofar as the actual scene goes, I wanted to show the Thunder Child in all her glory before her violent death, when she was still kicking Martian butt and taking names Ended up selling it, but it definitely was one of the favorites out of all the one's I've done. I've also done a submarine, the USS Nautilus, but while running on the surface. I'd like to do another running underwater, but I've yet to figure out how to put a layer of water in the bottle, while having the sky and sea below clear so you can see the sub clearly.
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    Very handsome bark, good to see someone's finally getting around to bottling her. Looks like a great start.
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    Wow!!!!!!!!! I really like this one Bob! Jesse
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    Bob! You have been holding out on us! You can put them in Bottles of the rectilinear type Beautiful, clean model andrew
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    It is good news to hear that plasticine has a probable good chance of survival if I ever ship a SIB. Thanks, builders, for sharing. I had a model I gave as a gift break, but not during shipping. It was one I had given to my sister and Brother In Law. She and her husband heard glass break in their bedroom and on investigating found the bottle of the SIB broken at the neck. No obvious cause could be found. It was on its shelf, nothing had fallen on it. I have a theory of how this came to be. The bottle was a thin cheap bottle. I had epoxied two brackets onto it, which were in turn screwed to a wooden base. My theory is that the wooden base expanded or contracted due to atmospheric conditions, and the rigidity of the epoxy caused this slight pressure to break the bottle at a weak point. Now I try to always use plywood for a base and am reluctant to use epoxy on BOTH brackets.
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    Very Impressive. Especially those detailed shrouds and rat lines. I'm going to copy your technique.
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    Hello Igor, Really I'm into all types, so any plans/drawings I could get to work off of would be great! I confess my absolute favorites to make are liners, but in general I find it's very much a "all Titanic, all the time" sort of market. Nothing wrong with that, per se, the Titanic is one of my favorites, and I've done several SIBs of her, but it gets a little boring doing the same ship over and over again, and I'd like to have a diverse selection of ships available to choose from to put up in my shop on Etsy.com, and I find that the humble steam or diesel merchantmen just don't seem to get a lot of love in regards to making SIB's. That's why I've shied away from doing sailing ships to a degree, it's not that I can't do them, it's just that's what everyone else who makes SIB's seems to primarily be doing, and I'd just like to do something different. As I mentioned above, I'm open to anything from the dawn of the steam era right up until containerization started coming into play and the ships started getting to looking like big identical breadboxes, for I'd like to shine a bit of a light onto the "working joes" of the sea-lanes and the rivers who did the lions' share of the work back in the 20th century before jet aircraft came into the picture, with special attention going to "oddballs" like the lightships and the N.S. Savannah . Big ships, little ships, work-boats, river craft, it doesn't matter. If there's a plan or some good profile views, I'd like to take a crack at making it. Cheers, Brendan O. P.S. I'd also like to say thank-you to everybody who's answered this posting so far, you guys are awesome! Keep 'em coming!
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    Hi, I'm completely new to this. I'm very interested in this hobby for a few reasons. I come from a Navy family, I'm fascinated by everything nautical and historical, and I'm looking for the kind of hobby that takes time, attention to detail, and produces a final product I can be proud of. I decided to first do research on the subject before I dive into the work. I ordered a book which describes the history of the hobby, the technique, and a few example designs. I also was looking for a site just like this one! I hope I can find some help and maybe a few friends through this.
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    Have a look at some of the Models Shipbuilder shows on the site. I'm sure he has mentioned some books etc, plus his own website and publications have a wealth of information in them. John Bowen's books Miniature Merchant Ships (ISBN 0-85177-659-0) and More Miniature Merchant Ships ((ISBN 0-85177-936-0) have a lot of plans in them, plus details and techniques for building them. Alan
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    I am new to this art. Just got Dan Berg's book. Are there other good books for beginners? Firs question: are there other "hinge" methods for the masts than he describes?
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    Welcome aboard, J! The best way to learn to do something is to start doing something Good luck in your first project!
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    You can cut the wire off at the edge of the mast instead of have it stick out and bend down to the deck. I have even made tiny wood hinges this way. I have also used thread strung through the hinge hole in the mast. Make a shallow hole in the deck that the mast bottom will fit into. In the bottom of this hole make 2 tiny holes and string the thread through these tying off at the underside of the ship that will be glued down to the sea. They should hold the mast up when raised but springy enough that you can pull up just enough to lay the mast down for putting in the bottle. The thread is tight enough that when you raise the masts it kind of pulls it into the hole when you raise the masts. Glue holds them permanently after that. I like cutting a pin off at the edge of the mast the most. It doesn't hardly show- looks better in the end. You have to carefully put a very small amount of glue on the edge without it bleeding into the joint ( need to keep that hinge moveable!) Hope this helps some. Jesse