Shipwright1912

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Shipwright1912 last won the day on July 8

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About Shipwright1912

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  1. Jesse, I make the smoke by using cotton balls, usually just cut slivers off of them using scissors, then I tease and fluff the slivers out with my fingers until they look all puffy like drifting smoke. Then I just glue them to the tops of the funnels, and after I get the funnels on the ship inside the bottle, I use a rod or one my homemade tools made from baling wire to re-arrange the smoke so the plumes are angled in the same direction. In Britannic's case, I'm depicting her having the wind blowing across her beam from port to starboard, so the smoke (and the flags) are angled to the right. Sometimes I color the smoke black to represent coal smoke, heavy firing conditions in the boiler rooms, bad fuel/improper firing/clogged up flues, etc., in which case I dye the cotton using a marker or some diluted india ink, or spray paint some pillow/teddy bear type stuffing (usually get that at Walmart along with the cotton balls). The trick is not to put too much smoke on, as it can obscure the ship and all the details. Besides funnel smoke, I use the same methods to make muzzle flashes for the guns of warships in battle, I just use less material. Hope all this helps! Brendan O.
  2. Thanks! I think I've got a ways to go before I'm at the same caliber as some of the other SIB modellers I've seen,though. Have to say I've seen some rather excellent work being done by the membership of the forums here. Still, she ain't a bad model, though, and I'm quite pleased with how she's turned out.
  3. Brings to mind the old adage "Measure twice, cut once." Oh well, as you say it happens, we just have to roll with it. --- Well, after a lot of work and a bit of blasphemy on my part, the Britannic's finished, all sealed up in her bottle and ready to go to a good home where someone will enjoy her. It was a difficult road, as the rigging ended up getting horribly tangled, so I had to remove the Marconi aerial to get it untwisted, and it took a bit of work re-attaching the spars that hold it up, but I managed to sort it out, and I ended up having to make a new gantry davit as one snapped when I was struggling to get the #4 funnel attached, but I got that sorted and all the funnels in, so all in all I'm very happy with how she turned out. So, I suppose it's on to the next project after a day or two of rest away from the shop.
  4. Okay, final assembly and painting's done, working on getting it into the bottle as of this writing, it's proved a bit of a tight fit, and I ended up having to almost completely disassemble the rigging in order for both parts of the ship to go in, as the masts on an Olympic-class ship are on different levels, one on the superstructure, one on the hull, so it's not as simple as just lowering the masts and sliding in the hull. I've also had to wait to put on the four red crosses that go onto the superstructure (on the real ship, these lit up at night to show all other vessels that the ship was a hospital ship and thus was a non-combatant) due to clearance reasons, so they aren't in the attached pictures. All in all, I think I'll have to do some thinking and maybe a little bit of a redesign for the next time I do an Olympic-class ship. Been so long since doing the Titanic I've forgotten the tricks I used that time, and even then I remember it being a bit tricky as the Britannic is proving to be as well. Oh well, it'll get done one way or another, and I'll be putting up the pics of the final results when I get to them. Cheers Lads, Brendan O.
  5. Appreciate the kind words, DSiemens. I try to make 'em as detailed as possible.
  6. Ahoy all! Just thought I'd share a few Work-In-Progress shots my latest project, a SIB model of the Britannic, the "forgotten sister" of the famed RMS Titanic, and the third and final member of the Olympic-class, which were built by Harland and Wolff of Northern Ireland at the behest of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company AKA the White Star Line, in response to Cunard's twin giants Lusitania and Mauretania. The Britannic was originally intended to be the ultimate expression of what the Olympic-class ships were supposed to be, thoroughly re-engineered to benefit from the Titanic tragedy, having been modified to have a double hull along the length of the boiler and engine room compartments, and her watertight bulkheads having been significanly raised (one or two going up to the very top of the ship), meaning she could stay afloat with the first six compartments fully flooded, compared to Titanic's design of only four (five ended up being breached by the iceberg. These improvements, along with plenty of lifeboats and new giant gantry davits to lower them, being able to swing over to the opposite side of the ship if necessary, prompted shipbuilding magazines of the time to label her "The most perfect specimen of man's creative power as is possible to conceive". Alas, Britannic was fated never to carry a paying passenger, for she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and completed as a hospital ship for service ferrying wounded and sick military personnel back to Britain during the Gallipoli Campaign of WW1. Britannic was subsequently lost on November 21st, 1916, the now-accepted cause being that she struck a mine laid by the German U-73, with the loss of 30 lives, having sunk in 55 minutes. As for the model, as I've stated elsewhere on the forums, I like to make SIB's that are unusual, and that I favor steam and motor ships as these are relatively under-represented as compared to SIB's of sailing vessels. As I've already made Titanic and her tender Nomadic, it seemed only natural to start "rounding out the family" by making a SIB of the Britannic too. These photos represent the current state of the model, being approximately 70% complete, with the hull and superstructure mostly finished. All that's left to do is apply the final detail parts such as hatches, cargo cranes, the anchors and anchor chains, the crow's nest, rudder, flags, etc., then it'll be time to rig the ship's masts and Marconi aerials with thread, then to do the painting and apply the smoke for the funnels before the final dismantling and re-assembly inside the bottle. I'll be posting up further photos and commentary as the work progresses, please feel free to comment or constructively critique as you see fit. Cheers, Brendan O.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. Well, I haven't read Dan's book, but the method I use for mast hinges is decidedly simple, just a piece of thin-gauge wire run through a hole in the mast, then bent into a "U" shape, then I slot the two points of the U into holes made in the deck of the ship with a little dab of glue in them to hold the hinges in place. Once the ship is in the bottle and the masts erected, I then put a little glue at the bottom of the masts so they stay upright.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. From the album "They Just Builds 'Em, and Chucks 'Em In"

    © Copyright Brendan O'Rouke 2017

  15. From the album "They Just Builds 'Em, and Chucks 'Em In"

    © Copyright Brendan O'Rouke 2017