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  1. 10 likes
    Archibald Russell The four mast steel bark Archibald Russell was built in 1905 in Greenock by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., and was one of the last of her type to be built on the Clyde. Built for general trade, she was 291 feet long and had a beam of 43 feet and displaced 2385 tons. She was owned by John Hardie & Son of Glasgow. After years of carrying a variety of bulk cargoes around the world, she was sold to Captain Erikson who operated a fleet of sailing ships, primarily in the grain trade from Australia. Eventually she was broken up in 1949. This ship was unremarkable in design or history, but exceptional as a well -documented and handsome example of her type. Underhill created a very detailed set of plans, including one sail plan with yards lowered and another with sails set. Bjorn Landstrom added a careful drawing of her hull and deck furniture as well as a color sail plan in his popular 1961 book, The Ship. Clive Monk followed Underhill and added her plan to those in the appendix of his 1954 Windjammer Modelling. Best of all, Edward Bowness made the main subject of his thorough 1955 Four Masted Barque. The second edition included information on a number of similar barks, but it grew out of a detailed guide to building an accurate model of the Archibald Russell. She has come down to us as the leading example of this kind of ship near the end of the sailing ship era. She is also well suited to ship in bottle building. Her long shape and complex lofty rig are well suited to a typical wine or whisky bottle, filling the space handsomely. In the early days of the craft it is easy to imagine many of the craftsmen, though perhaps not knowing Archibald Russell specifically, were certainly familiar with a ship or ships just like her. My own model started sometime in the mid-1990s, as a project for one of the ship in bottle classes I was offering those days. It was clearly intended for advanced students and I was not entirely surprised when I got no takers. The plans are my own drawings, taken from the plans in Bowness’ book, and made back in the days when I still believed this extra step was essential for accuracy and developing a familiarity with the ship. Now I am more skeptical about errors possible in this work, especially from careless draftsmanship. But in this case I felt my plans were accurate enough, and the templates were made from copies of these. The model itself starts as a pine core, and bass wood is an excellent alternative. I’ve heard cedar is also good, and I look forward to trying it. The lower hull is hollowed out for the rigging lines, done with some fine chisels and smoothed with files. Although having invested in many fine files over the years, I often return to the files from an inexpensive keyhole set purchased over 30 years ago. For larger scale models I would normally plank the deck with thin strips of wood, but at this scale, approx. 61’ = 1”, there is little point. The bulwarks are added on and eventually I learned working with multiple strips of wood for these makes it easier to effectively get the right sheer. A thin strip is glued horizontally inside the bulwarks to serve as a rigging railing for the shrouds, backstays and sheets. Made of pine, this strip went in very neatly but was later to cause me much woe. As an experiment I went over the outside of the hull with thin strips of paper to represent the hull plating. I liked the results and this did make painting the hull easier, especially the lines along the hull sides. The painting was still time consuming, taking a number of times going back over the strakes and false gun ports to get it as neat as it should be. There are some fine masking tapes out there, particularly the green “frog tape”, but so far I’ve only gotten little results using them at this scale. The deck furniture is varied and involved. There are three houses on the main deck and another, the chart house of the poop. The poop and fo’c’sle are joined by a catwalk that runs over the main deck houses. The hatches have peaked covers. All houses and hatches have brown “booting” around their bases, which was represented by this strips of paper painted the correct color. All portholes are simply simulated by pin holes in the wood. As often before, I lose interest in photography until the rigging starts, although there are a number of things that must be done before it can begin. The railings need to be added to the poop and fo’c’sle. They are made up of nicrome wire, 0.008” for the stanchions and 0.004” for the railings. The former are set into holes at the edges of the decks and the latter superglued to them as they are bet around the stanchions. This is not the best method, I’m sure, but it is the best I’ve managed so far. I’ve tired various jigs to create these railings off the hull but have had two ongoing problems; keeping the tension on the wire even as it is applied to the jig and finding an adhesive that can be depended on. Perhaps those with more experience in this technique can enlighten me. There is also a light railing along the catwalk but I did not seriously consider attempting this. Even the finest materials I have would still be too large for this feature and it would be a considerable challenge to make it without the results looking out of proportion. Furthermore, this railing would be so light a delicate it would probably not survive the rigors of rigging the model, let alone the bottling. Even the more robust fo’c’sle and poop railings took enough of a beating through the completion of the model as to make me wonder whether I shouldn’t have figured out a way to add them later in the process. Among the other things necessary to get done before starting rigging is, of course, making the masts and spars. At first I was going to use hinged “Hinkley” masts because I was afraid masts without hinges would not come back up among all the deck furniture. Unhappy with how my hinges were turning out, I decided to chance unhinged masts, and that turned out to be just fine. As usual, all masts, spars, tops and booms are of bamboo. Again as a concession to the scale, I did not attempt the topgallant spreaders. I find it is easier to rig in topmast and topgallant shrouds before starting any rigging to the hull. All rigging was a combination of fine thread and fly tying silk. The lower shrouds and stays are of the thread and the upper rigging is all fly tying silk. All running rigging is a light brown fly tying silk. It seems simplest to start from the foremast and head aft. Lines rigged in separately, of brown fly tying silk, are rigged in below the stays to support the staysails, and I usually tie these in first to help keep the mast in place and because these would usually be rigged in below the shrouds. Next come the lower shrouds themselves. The thread for these is always waxed. After years of doing this I finally realized the line used to rig the lower fore shrouds can be run after through the hollow underneath the hull to become the main shrouds, and on the become the mizzen and finally jigger shrouds. Similarly, the fore back stays, of black fly tying silk, can become the main, mizzen and finally jigger backstays. Therefore, all standing rigging running abaft the masts can be rigged in using just two lines, one of thread and the other of fly tying silk, making it much easier to make adjustments as needed. One of the difficulties arising from this is having to spend an extended period working with exceptionally long lines. Beading needles are an enormous help in this work with one major exception. I found these needles in three sizes, #s 10, 12 and 13. As most folks know, the higher the number, the finer the needle. In spite of being told a number of times these needles will pass through a hole drilled by a #80 drill, experimenting with these needles I found the hole for a #13 had to be drilled by a drill at least as big as a number #78. Both #s 10 and 12 needed holes at least as large as a #74 (!). Unfortunately my delicate railing inside bulwarks could not take much of the punishment of being drilled by bits this large. I had to repair sections of it a number of times. A further complication is the thinness of the #13 needle eye. Only with great difficulty can any line larger fly tying silk be threaded through this eye, and if you do succeed, that eye with the doubled thread will require a hole larger than the #78 to get through it. So much of the threading of these shrouds and backstays was done without the benefit of these needles and took a good amount of time and patience. Having to do this again, I would try to build a sturdier inboard railing. There is also a braided beading needle which is an alternative. My testing found it needed a hole drilled by a #76 drill. Once the standing rigging is all in I usually added in all fore and aft sails. These are easier to set before the braces go it. All staysails have sheets which are threaded through holes in the rail inside the bulwarks but are not secured until near the end of the entire rigging process. This is because the positions of all the masts shift and I was reluctant to commit a stays’l sheet until I felt more certain all was where it should be. This is the beginning of a time consuming and subtle process as the lifts and braces get tied in. Ships like this bark look best if all the mast rake alike and there is a clear uniformity throughout the rig. The braces have slightly more leverage between the masts than the shrouds, backstays and stays so they tend to draw the masts together. This is what I think of as a “corset” effect and can easily wind up with a fore mast raking conspicuously too far aft and a jigger raking too far forward. To try to maintain control and adjust as needed, I glued the braces on the lee side of the yards and only tied them on the weather side, leaving them free to be loosened or tightened. It also left them free to slip off the end of the yard from time to time, It took a number of days of carefully retying to finally get the balance I was after. This is why the nearly completed model is a chaos of loose ends for so long.
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    Buddelschiff Ausflugschiffe in Ulm an der Donau Schiffswerft in Hamburg um 1870
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    Here are some build photos of both Scharnhorst and Kongō. It's hard to see the details without the paint, black plastic and all. Few views of Kongō from my other thread:
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    Hey, all. Here’s a tool for putting masts on our SIB’s. It lets you guide a mast through the neck of a bottle horizontally and then rotates the mast to vertical to its place on the hull and then releases it. Basically, it’s a small diameter brass tube with a steel wire in it that is attached to a link that pivots. I don’t intend to write a novel and I don’t think anyone wants to read one here so I’ll try my best to explain. It’s probably obvious that moving the wire causes the link (wood material) to pivot. The pivot is a straight pin that was bent to a 90 and epoxied to the brass tube. The two barbs on the link are clipped ends of pins. The sticky backed foam is stuck to the barbs and the blue tape helps. The foam has a slot for the mast. An important part is what I would call the release wire. It creates tension with the foam until removed. An important part is after the mast is guided in and the wire is pulled slightly to rotate the mast to vertical and then placed in the hull, the tool needs to be released. This is a critical time because the mast is somewhat attached to the hull and positively to the tool at the same time. A careless movement could cause breakage. Here’s what to do: attach a thread to the loop on the release wire to pull the wire out. The tool will immediately disconnect from the mast. In the pics, note the range of the rotation that be had; only 90 deg. is basically needed. The first pic shows both sides of the link and the opposite end. If you make one for yourself, I would stick with the small brass tube simply to avoid putting weight on a delicate mast after it’s placed. The release wire does the holding so the foam needs to be soft. I'd be glad to answer any inquires and thanks for taking a look. David
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    Finally the square sails could be added. The material for the sails is much like what I have been using for years, a light weight paper colored with a warm gray magic marker. Instead of using the point of a pin to scribe the seams or “clothes” of the sails I returned to an older idea and used a hard pencil. Seams made with the pin tend to crack and split, and at this scale that could be quite a problem. In spite of using a #9 pencil, the seams, only on the weather side, look a little too heavy to me. The final details are the boats and anchors, and I almost always put these off until the last. Good miniature boats can be nicely made of paper but I’ve had no success with that technique at this scale. There are carved out of pine and have paper thwarts. Like the catwalk railing, these details may be more a challenge at this scale than they are really worth. But not having them no would look worse, I think, so the attempt is always made. The bottle that renewed my interest in this project is a hand blown bottle by Michael Magyar from Cape Cod. It is obviously intended to recall the classic pinch bottle, but happily is slightly longer and better accommodates a long ship like this bark. My friend and fellow ship bottler Gerry Ross knows Michael and sent one of these bottles as thanks for getting John Guley to complete a prototype of a kit Gerry was trying to develop John and I decided to give it to Charlie Ryan, another ship in bottler, but John got in touch with Michael about ordering more. After some back and forth we ordered 10 and split the order between us. For the first of my five I bottled the 5 mast two topsail schooner Carl Vinnen. The glass clarity is wonderful but the inside shape creates a couple of problems. The narrow corners inside are a little difficult to fill with putty and then get a smooth sea surface. It takes going back over a number of times. The corner on top, above the ship, is so narrow I was concerned whether the upper yards would have been braced around far enough for them to fit in this limited space. The indent on the side of bottle underneath the ship protrudes so far into the bottle the putty base above it is very shallow. But with the deep corners, the bottle takes a surprising amount of putty. But there was an unexpected bonus. Two air bubbles on the port side wound up acting as miniature magnifiers The bottling took about a week between getting her in and feeling all was well enough finished. Most of the difficulty was not having a secure enough bond with the putty sea, so that as I increased the tension on the stays, the model tended to head back towards the neck. I got over this by fashioning a section of coat hanger wire bent to hold the hull in place and taped to the outside of the bottle neck with duct tape. It is the first time I ever tried this, and I wonder if I’d recommend it. But in this case, it worked. The putty was put in the bottle months before. Because of the effects of oil staining sails, I have greatly increased the lead time between setting the putty in and finally bottling the ship. In spite of this lead time, the slight contact with the putty surface when bottling this ship immediately doused lower starboard sails with oil. This may eventually become lighter, but the effected area will always be more translucent than the rest of the sails. It may also spread, though I have rarely seen this with square rigged sails. I first encountered this problem years ago when the late George Pinter from Halifax, Mass, recommended I use plumber’s putty instead of the glazing putty I had been using. It took color well and was easy to shape into the bottle. Unfortunately, the heavy oil content of the plumber’s putty began to stain the sails like this. It also is supposed to never harden completely, and when the putty sea in a bottle I shipped to a gentleman in Texas became detached en route, that was it for me, and I returned to glazing putty. Sadly, this oil staining has returned in the past couple of years, and I need to solve this. Otherwise, this particular model was especially satisfying. We all have early dreams and visions that inspired us to take on this kind of work. For many of us, these are now many years old. This model does not succeed in many ways, and has a number of details that could have been, and should have been better. But it also succeeds enough in fulfilling early inspirations of mine to be encouraging, and give me hope there may well be similarly rewarding models in the future.
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    Then me just was need to install the cork and this SIB has been completed
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    Here you can see all phases of the making of the stand
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    Greetings, I recently finished the German battleship Scharnhorst 1943 in 1/1800 scale. Upper hull is 3d printed, lower hull and the rest of the details scratch built. The base is just temporary since the custom case was still on order. I will take some updated photos as she's now full mounted. Next up is a full hull ocean liner, NDL Europa, my favorite of the 30s greyhounds. Simultaneously I'm going to be working on the Japanese heavy cruiser IJN Maya. Maya will be 1/1800 scale and Europa around 1/2000.
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    With the build process complete I have dis-assembled Thermopylae and doing a preliminary fit of her inside the bottle before I add the transparent ocean to the bottle February 17, 2017 Thermopylae and her newly poured ocean inside the bottle.
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    I've counted as many as eight or more different methods. An incredible ship in bottle builder and the only ship in bottle restorer I've seen Michel Bardet of France put together this image. The first one I believe is for detached rigging. One would put the channels holding the back stays on after the ship is in the bottle. It allows for piece by piece insertion which allows for better fitting but can be tedious reconstructing the model in the bottle. The second method is pulling the mast in place with a line. This allows for masts to be more seperated from the hull than the hing method making them lay flatter to the hull when inserting. The line helps pull them into place. The only draw back I've seen is it creates a lot of extra lines coming out of the bottle which can be hard to handle. Three is the divot method. It's my preferred method. The mast is set in a shallow divot held in place by the rigging. Again since the mast is separate from the hull it allows the masts to lay more flat for easier insertion into the bottle. Once in the mast is mover to the divot while the lines are pulled tight. It is tedious but I like it because the ship looks more real with out the hinge and it's easier to do then the Hinkley hinge. Fourth is the hinge method. Probably the most common ship in bottle method. I highly recommend it for beginners. It keeps the mast in place on the hull which is one less thing to worry about moving around when setting the ship up. When the lines are pulled the mast rotates on the hinge right into place. It allows for quick set up. Con's would be the ship doesn't look as realistic with a hing through the mast and masts don't lay as flat to the hull. Both not a really big problem. Fifth is the Hinkley hinge. So named as it was the preferred method of Jack Hinkley one of the founders of the Ship in Bottle Association of America or SIBAA. Also note Ship in bottle day is October 4th which is his birthday. This method is vary similar to the hing method but the hing is hidden in the mast. The biggest con is that is takes some amount of work to set up since you have to create grooves in the masts. Like the hinge method the masts don't lay as flat but it does keep the mast in place on the hull so setting up the masts is easier with this method. A sixth method I use for miniatures is using flexible material for masts like paint brush bristles. The bristles bend and pop back up once in the bottle. Con's is this method can really only be used on miniature ships and occasionally the mast may bend or get a kink in it and not pop straight back up. I want to say Jon Fox III has done a similar method using wire insulation. He get's on occasionally maybe he can explain that process. A seventh method I've heard of is similar to method two only an elastic string is used to pull the mast back into place. This eliminates a few extra lines coming out of the bottle. Eight was probably John Fox III's method. I'm sure there's more I haven't listed too. There's no limit to what you can do just got to find a way you like. I swear by number 3 Jack Hinkley preferred number five. I've known others that swear by number two. It doesn't matter really. Try them all out and find a method your comfortable with.
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    Then I needed only to fix the rigging with glue and to cut the ends of the threads, to install the bottle on the stand and to close the cork.
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    32 feet to 1 inch (1:384) - Scratchbuilt - Bob
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    Absolutely beautiful work. I wish I lived closer I'd take your advanced class in a heart beat. Regarding the oil on the sails there is one technique I've found and used which I find works well. In the old video of George Fulfits ship in bottle building he used saranwrap to cover the sea while putting the ship in the bottle. He also put some between the sails to keep the lines from snagging on the yards. The only trouble with it is you wouldn't be able to get the ship secured to the sea until the masts were erected. This is my preferred method any way so it works for me. Using your wire and duct tape idea would also work with the saranwrap method. Since the plastic is so thin it's easy to remove and protects the sails well.
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    Very nice! Complicated build for a bottle. Here is my much larger Archibald Russell at 25 feet to 1 inch (1:300). One valuable tip that will work for a SIB regards the painted ports and the black stripe underneath. The white band was cut from a sheet of good quality paper and the black stripe ruled on with black ink. The painted ports were small squares of black carbon paper cut out and stuck on with the black uppermost. The band, complete with painted ports and black stripe was then stuck on the hull. It makes a very neat job and is OK for all scales. Bob
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    Finally I made the stopper and inserted it into the neck of the bottle. This project was completed.
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    I appreciate the kind remarks, everyone! I’m adding a photo of three channels (new term for me!) that I made out of plastic. They are 2 mm wide and not glued in yet. Used plastic so I could carve a peg for a solid connection. If you notice the group of holes in the hull at the mid and aft points, how the last ones on the right are up higher… a line drawing I’m referencing for this model depicts that. This thing looks like it’s been in a few battles and it’s only a merchant ship! I want to add that the seam will not be noticed when this completed. Thank you! David
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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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    Hello guys, I just joined the forums today and would like to share my sib build. Now please hold back any rude and unnecessary comments, this is my very first ship in a bottle build. I am a novice wood carver, I first started carving faces in trees about 8 years ago. From what I seen so far from sib builders is that their level of detail and craftsman"ship" far exceeds the skills needed to carve faces in trees. I would love to be a part of this group. I took some pictures of my project so far and I came across a hiccup. I would like to shape the ship to represent a real ship. With faces, I'm allowed to wing it. And I started doing that with this, trying to make sure the hull fills up a good portion of the bottle. The hull fits snugly in the bottle neck and there should be enough room to add railing and hinged masts on top of the deck. What I would like to hear is some suggests of ships that I should attemp to build and which one best represent the shape and style of the hull I got semi completed. Also which one would fill the bottle up nicely.
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    I then wrapped the cork with string and put the stamp. All were done. FINAL!
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    Everard's coaster. Austerity. Bob
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    Then I made some manipulations inside the bottle, fixed the ends of rigging and cut off the excess parts.
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    But in the meantime, I continued to work. One of the most exciting moments - moving of the model into the bottle.
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    Welcome to the forum. It's looking great so far. Great choice in bottle. I've built a few ships in that exact type of bottle and they've turned out great. As far as winging it and detail don't worry at all. We've had many advanced builders on here that do beautiful work and are very detailed but that is only one side of the art. The other side is folk art which is more like you're tree faces. It doesn't have to be precise. Ships can be characatures that show a feeling rather than a precise model. Here's an example. The ship isn't precise to anything. I made it up as I went along. It is simply a pirate ship because I wanted to make a pirate ship. On a precise basis the mizzen is to short the cannons are practically at the water line and they are way to big but who cares. It looks like a ship that's all that matters. Have fun with this hobby. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. And don't worry about precision unless you want to. It's your ship in bottle do it you're way. I look forward to seeing how she turns out.
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    Got a chance to do a little work so here is an update. The first photograph shows what the endgame will look like. I am trying to stuff as much detail into the forecastle area as humanly possible. I have the two marker light reflectors built and installed and working on the marker lights. Two chicken coups are built as well. I turned the domes from 1.5mm solid brass and they are glued to 1.5mm brass pipe. "GS Hypo Cement works wonders here." Next shot is my lathe set up turning a dome. Next two shots are the reflectors built and installed respectively port and starboard. I built a special tool for sanding and profiling out of an old hacksaw. Works good and I can super glue any type of grit onto it as my heart desires. Next shot shows a dome glued onto a pipe. I also filed a notch into it which will later show the glass part that covers the marker light on the real ship. Next two shots shows a ring fabricated out of Extra Fine copper wire. A bit of fiddling here! Last shot shows the ring glued onto the lower part of dome. Notice the notch below the ring? I have to build the light bezel and cover next. Slow going here but its enjoying just the same. Just like watchmaking almost! LOL..... Jeff
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    That worked. Follow masts.
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    Some progress photos of S/Y Endurance as she appeared on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. By far one of my favorite ships. Im stopped right now as I'm waiting on my rigging wire to continue
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    No, Jesse! First, I am adding the pigmet in the resin and mixing thoroughly. Then I am adding the hardener and again thoroughly mixing. Then I am slowly pouring the mixture into a bottle using a syringe with a long tube.
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    Then I have set the rest parts of the model and have fixed them with adhesive.
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    After the epoxy has dried, I added a waves, using clear acrylic gel. I also fixed the elements of standing rigging with glue.
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    From time to time I had to check compliance with the size of the upper part of the hull to the throat diameter.
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    Then I started to make the parts of the mast. I also made the anchor and the gunwales.
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    As usual, I made the hull of the boat from two parts.
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    Bravo, Daniel! Well done! Congrats! Best Regards! Igor. P.S. One of my recent mini-SIB with the lighthouse - Jolie Brise
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    Another one almost done. Not sure that you can see it but I found a technique to do thread anchors. I used some surgical clamps that lock and locked the thread in to that it looped around. I put a little glue on it and let it dry so the rounded part would stay. Once that was done in glue on a straight piece of thread and cut the round parts back as needed. I'll have to get some pictures.
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    Then I made part of the rock inside the bottle.
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    Then I have gathered all together to check
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    I have glued the deckhouses to the deck and began to make the mast and boom.
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    The next stage I make handrails for other side of the hull
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    The next stage - making of handrails I could not to glue the stanchions from the wire of 0.15 mm to the handrails, so again I made them out of wood. First, I make handrails for one side of the hull
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    I tend to work in chaos. I just build them on flat desk with some narrow shelves behind. I tidy it up every so often when it becomes too cluttered. Haven't done anything for weeks though, have lost interest to a great extent. Will probably start again when the weather improves. Don't like it when it gets dark at 4pm, but the situation is improving now with sunset at 4.36 pm. Bob