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Bottled Ship Builder


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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/19/2018 in all areas

  1. 9 points
    Greetings All, Latest work on my James Miller model pair. Finished up all the cabins and deck structures, first two photos show the cabins. Nest two photos show different views of the fife rails that are situated around the 3 masts. This ship had an interesting feature of ratcheting windlasses, they are the black circles just inside the windlass with the small tubes sticking out at 45 degree angle. They would turn the windlass on the down stroke and ratchet freely on the up stroke, wood or metal poles were pushed into the tube ends to operate. Never saw anything like this before and found it an interesting feature to work out in miniature. Fifth photo shows the main anchor barrel windlass, the fore deck capstan for raising the anchor out of the water and the ship's wheel. The last photo shows some of the many attempts I made to manufacture the ship's wheels needed for the two models. The first was made by simply gluing some drawn down bamboo together, then cutting circles from .005" thick styrene plastic, and gluing them to both sides of the "spokes", added a tiny center circle of paper. The second attempt I made using shrink tubing, larger diameter tubing that was shrunk down around a small diameter drill bit shank. The shrinking increased the thickness of the tubing, I then drilled holes and inserted the same bamboo spokes. Both of these methods worked OK, but did not have a decent method to attach to the horizontal "arm" of the entire mechanism. The third and fourth wheels were made by drilling a hole in the end of a piece of apple wood, then sanding the outside to get a thin walled tube. Holes were drilled in the tube near it's end, and the bamboo spokes added. The difference with these was that I made an extremely small diameter tube from apple wood, and glued the spokes to this in the center of the wheel. This gave me the perfect method to mount the wheels. The last wheel shown was made by making up a cross grained plywood from nearly paper thin maple wood, then drilled the holes and adding spokes and center piece. I had tried this earlier, but had difficulty drilling the holes without splitting the wheel. On this final attempt I saturated the inner and outer surface of the wheel before drilling and that seemed to work. Sixth photo shows the 100 apple wood blocks I made for the models. There are 40 double and 60 single blocks, my "guestimate" of the number needed for the two models. The remaining photos show the deck structures on one of the models, non of the structures is permanently mounted at this time, I just placed them as well as I could for the photos. I need to mask off the deck areas to air brush the hull parts, so needed the clear decks to make it easier to tape from cap rail to cap rail for masking. Be happy to answer any questions anyone might have. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  2. 7 points


    Continuation Artur
  3. 2 points


    Thank you very much DSiemens. Firstly I spooled the wire on the drill and created a circle from it. Then I tapped it with a hammer. Artur
  4. 2 points

    HMS Gannet

    Made some cowl ventilators using two different diameters of white styrene tubing.Enlarged the ends using a woodburning iron and then cut them off, and glued back on at an angle. Still have to paint them.
  5. 2 points
    I am one of the lucky recipients of a Wavertree SIB deftly crafted by Jersey City Frankie. I was thrilled to have been honored with one of Frank's creations as well as being grateful for his craftsmanship and jovial personality while we were rigging the full scale 12" to the foot" Wavertree last year in Staten Island. Please stop by and visit Wavertree at her new berth at South Seaport Maritime Museum and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Frank high aloft with ongoing maintenance jobs for a ship is never finished until its sunk. Thanks again Frank for this look into the building process of your gracious and very well received gift of a SIB Wavertree.. Jamie White Master Rigger Wavertree project
  6. 1 point
    Greetings All, Have been working on 2 models of the James Miller at 1:300 scale and thought I would share some progress photos and info. One of the models will be going into an 11" long sodium vapor street light bulb, the other in a wall mounted clock that resembles a pocket watch case, the latter will be static display. I've been working on the models for about 8 months now, on and off. Both hulls are split at the waterline, to allow access to the underside of the upper hull, and to fit through the light bulb opening. I decided to try something different with these models, the hulls are carved from solid maple, instead of the basswood I have used for hulls in the past. It it a bit more difficult to carve to shape, but much stronger. The upper hulls were carved to the decks, then a solid piece was carved to match both the forward and stern decks, the forward longer section was pegged to the deck, the small stern piece was just held in place, then both were carved to the outer shape of the hull. Both pieces were then "hollowed out" to about 1/16" thick. Maple keel was added to the hull pieces, then the interior of the forward bulwarks piece had styrene frame tops added, along with a styrene pin rain added their entire lengths. A 1/32" forecastle deck was then cut to shape, and glued to the tops of the pin rail on either side. A styrene top plate was then cut and glued to the tops of the bulwarks of the entire hull. The bowsprit was made from maple, the jib boom was made from glued maple laminates for strength. The light bulb model had laminated lower masts, to make it easier to add hidden hinges for that model. All the other spars I made from solid apple wood, which is different from my usual techniques. The apple wood is amazingly strong, even when cut and sanded to small diameters, and nearly grain free. Most of the spar attachment points for rigging were cut and filed from various thicknesses of solid brass, thin brass shim material was used to make some of the attachments, like for the bobstays and boom sheet and topping lift attachments. The boom and gaff jaws were cut and filed from 0.20" thick brass, mainly for strength. One of the reasons for the lengthy build of these models is my attempts to try different methods and materials. One of my better "finds" for these models was the use of electrical shrink tubing for the mast hoops. I used a wooden dowel a bit larger than the thickest part of the masts to shrink 1/8" diameter tubing to size, by heating the tubing carefully. A single edged razor blade was then used to cut thin sections of the tubing for the hoops. When I shrank down the upper mast hoops I found the shrunken tubing was too thick, so I used various grades of sandpaper to spin sand the tubing to take the thickness down. I would have preferred to have used brown shrink tubing, but while there are a variety of colors available, brown was not one of them. The cabins for the models were made from maple, started with a core building of 1/32" maple veneer longer sides, with 3/32" maple ends, and a similar thickness maple inner piece for strength. The door and window openings were then cut through the side panels. I then glued 0.010" thick maple "planks" to the outside of the cabin. Very tiny pieces of the thin maple were then cut and glued for the door and window frames. I decided to let one door partially open on each cabin, just to show the hollowness of the cabins, the doors were made similarly to the cabins themselves. All the decks of the model were planked with the same 0.010" thick maple, the maple was hand sanded down from the 1/32" thick veneer that I have a good stock of. The planks were then cut and sanded to size, and a soft lead pencil was rubbed along one long edge and one short edge of each plank. The planks were glued to the decks with thinned white glue.
  7. 1 point
    My Dad got me one of those "kits" for $13.99, when I was 12. I couldn't do it. The frustration. Tried again, 30 yrs later, still couldn't do it. Finally, after 40 yrs, and doing a scratch build, I finished one. Now I'm hooked.
  8. 1 point
    James w rogers

    Pirate type Galleon

    I done exactly the same with my last build, don’t be put off, just remember, a bit of glue as good as new!👍
  9. 1 point


    Continuation Artur
  10. 1 point

    Second SIB - S.S Rebecca

    Great work. Love the scrimshaw label.
  11. 1 point
    Capten Madog

    Schooner Edwin - my first SIB

    I’ve taken in a lot from this forum but haven't contributed anything since I introduced myself months ago. Deep down I feel a little guilty about this. Especially after reading a thread the other day about the possibility of the forum closing down. This is a very special forum and I’m glad it exists therefore I felt the need to contribute. This is not an actual build log I’m afraid but here are some pictures of my first SIB. The model is of the Pwllheli built schooner Edwin. My aunt revealed that my great great uncle was a seaman aboard this ship. Sadly there were no photographs to follow but there was some useful information on the book Porthmadog Ships. With the help of the Porthmadog Maritime Museum I was able to figure out what she looked like. The lighthouse in the bottle is a small model of the Penmon Lighthouse on Penmon Point.
  12. 1 point
    Capten Madog

    Schooner Edwin - my first SIB

    I tested the acrylic paint with putty last year and let it dry & it was ok. I know that oil paint is asvised but I didnt have any at hand. I think the greenish would’ve suited this better, since I put a lighthouse in the bottle as well.
  13. 1 point

    War Gaming Miniature Models

    I almost forgot I got a lot done on my HMS Revenge. We've actually run it through a few games. Its my boys pirate ship at this point thus the black pennants. Those are removeable though. As far as printing in finer scale it depends in the quality of the printer. I have had cannons printed that about 2 mm long and they are pretty good. They were printed on a $20,000 printer though.
  14. 1 point

    Western River

    Congratulations! You have a very fine SIB!!! The 'Belle of Louisville' is not too far from where I live and I met the calliope player many years ago! The Howard Steamboat Museum is just across the river, too.
  15. 1 point


    Continuation Artur
  16. 1 point

    USS Constitution 1:1800

    This was a quick build I did for a friend if mine. He had been building a Blue Jacket Constitution for the past 30 years and recently completed it. He asked for a mini sib to present to his wife at his unveiling party. The ship is 2 inches long.
  17. 1 point

    Gun Station

    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. A work colleague suggested I name the pieces, so from left to right Salt Box - wooden box with leather hinges to hold a couple of cartridges - the salt soaked up any moisture Cartridge container - lidded wooden container used to carry the cartridges up from the magazine - usually by the ships boys, the Powder Monkeys Handspikes - resting against the cannon - substantial shaped levers used to train the gun carriage around Sponge Tub - filled with water - used to sponge out the barrel after a shot to make sure no burning debris before putting in the next cartrige Match Tub - conical, half filled with water. A fire precaution on ships. The burning ends of the match were fed through holes in the top. If knocked over the water put out the match. The match was used if the flintlock on the gun failed. Rammer, Sponge, Worm and Powder Scoop Happy modeling Alan
  18. 1 point


    Good choice, Artur! Some time ago I was looking for drawings of this ship, but I found only the photos of the model from the museum in Bergen.
  19. 1 point

    Schooner AMERICA Scale ̴ 1/800

    Igor, you do beautiful work. I enjoy following your builds and pictures.
  20. 1 point

    Lifeboat COLIN ARCHER RS1 Scale 1/230

    Hi Mike! Thank you for your feedback! No, no, I do not use this method. There are the holes in the deck. I move the masts apart from the hull and then I just put the masts in the holes and pull the rigging.
  21. 1 point

    Lifeboat COLIN ARCHER RS1 Scale 1/230

    Here you can see all phases of the making of the stand
  22. 1 point

    Lifeboat COLIN ARCHER RS1 Scale 1/230

    Then I made the guys and even some small things
  23. 1 point
    Well I got the masts in and sails up. Once again the inside dimensions of the necks of the bottles necessitated some minor surgery on the parts entering the bottle. I had gone to some lengths to assure a tiny bit of yard arm protruded past the edge of the sails but I had to snip most of these edges flush, removing a scale two or three feet from the mast stacks to get them in. It proved fairly easy to swing the masts around and into position and into their holes. I used Weldbond white glue which is swiftly becoming my favorite glue. It grabs quickly and the bond is strong and I know its good to have a range of glues, all with different properties but if I had to pick just one white glue it would be Weldbond. In a post above I show myself using a paper punch to give me the curve at the bottom of the staysails bt this turned out to be one of those ideas that looked good on paper but was really just preventing me from getting the sail shape I really wanted so I wound up cutting new staysails individually with cuticle scissors since there was no "one size fits all" way to make staysails in a batch that would fit all the rigs. All the models differ in size and proportion to one another. Looks like the final count on the number of SIBs built is nine and this will allow me to hang onto a couple of them for future gifts. I suppose there must be a source online for obtaining a supply of small corks but I did not go to the trouble and I'm just using some dowel stock cut to length.
  24. 1 point
    My favorite part, Masting and Rigging. Spars are all made of wire which I painted with the enamel. Again, this could work with water based acrylic artist paint but it would take two coats and still not be as consistent. Titanium white pigment is not expensive but for whatever reason the makers of artist paint are always too stingy with it. My intent is to put the hulls in the bottles then put the masts in individually by popping them into holes in the deck using tweezers. SO I want all the masts to be fully rigged and free standing off the model first. But I test fitted and photographed the first attempt. I THINK I can reach in and glue staysails one at a time with no stays to set them on, simply gluing them at their peak and tack to the mast and deck. I made the sails of ordinary white printer paper which I first stained with a light wash of brownish grey. For this I DID use artist acrylic which is the perfect medium for a wash on paper. In my view one should NEVER use pure white material for sails, any kind of sails. Actual real world sails are nominally white but they are never pure bright white they are always a cream color with dirt. In my case my spars ARE white and as on the real ship the sails must show a visual contrast, they are less white and more ivory and there is a distinct visual difference. I will say it again: Don't use pure white for sails. One POSSIBLE exception to the rule would be dacron sails on a modern vessel which really ARE a bright white. I cut the sail material into long strips then cut them to the proper width for the spars they will go on then cut the arc at the bottom of the sails to indicate the foot being curved. This is a good time to talk about oversimplification in Ships In Bottles. Lets face it, in this hobby the bar is low for accuracy. We can get away with toylike models that would make people howl if these were three foot long free standing static models. (Although there are plenty of Ship In Bottle models that ARE very very accurate I think most examples are off in scale in most respects) In the case of my Wavertree the length to beam ratio is all wrong and the height of the bullwarks are way overscale. At the scale I am working in a bulwark that is 1 mm too high would translate to an inaccuracy of six or eight feet on the actual ship. But I can live with all this since its difficult to improve on it and I'm achieving the effect I'm after within the parameters I am willing to meet. If I had wanted to achieve a higher degree of proportional accuracy this projects time budget would balloon extravagantly. Maybe if I was building only a single model I would strive harder. This is a long way of getting to the point where I am going to admit that I'm leaving off the Royal yards. Getting them to fit on the masts, then getting the masts to fit inside the upper part of the bottle without touching the glass is a struggle I am willing to avoid even if it means I'm putting up a rig that is not accurate. Te overall effect will please my eye enough without them.
  25. 1 point
    The ships are carved from basswood. I can't decide just how many of these I am going to make. As usual when you make a whole bunch of the identical part, you are always going to have a bunch of good ones then there will be two or three bad ones that are flawed. Keeping this in mind I am not thinking too much about the exact number of these I am going to make. Less then eleven? Anyway. I sanded the hulls then painted them with a water based sanding sealer product then sanded them again. Putting the sanding sealer on transforms the nature of basswood and turns it into a nicer wood to work with. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you all try the sanding sealer. You will be glad you did.