It’s been a while since I updated the build. I didn’t manage to get the SIBs bottled in time for the Ball Auction, an unexpected life event left me with no time for hobbies for a while. However, the organisers were happy to auction them on the basis of a photograph and I’d bottle them up and deliver them later.
My sincere thanks to the organisers and the winners who bid for them for their patience
I have now finished them, and they will be delivered in a few days. The extra time also let be add the ships boats, and dress the necks with a small lighthouse inside and Turk’s Head outside.
The Photos below switch between either of the two final SIBS or the test piece, depending on the stage I was at when I remembered to photograph it. I’ll also add a bit more detail on the build.
I used half round section styrene strip for the Wales, and painted them a dirty white, as was the hull below the waterline. The hull above the water line was painted black, keeping some of the minor overpaint onto the white as black marks, scuffs, etc to try and get a ‘working ship look’.
The Windlass and the Dolly Winch were made from a combination of pieces of different diameter styrene tubes and rods. The ‘V’ shapes in the capstans were achieved by a bit of careful filing with some small files. The Dolly Winch was engine driven, and the Engine Cowl was made from a piece of basswood, and painted black.
The Forward Companionway Hatch was carved from a piece of square wooden rod.
The Cargo Hold Hatch was built by cutting a piece of basswood to near size, covering in thin sheet styrene to allow the Batons and Brackets (made from styrene) to be joined using liquid styrene glue. I made the Brackets from 1mm slices of ‘L’ section styrene, and the Baton from ½mm square section styrene. The ‘L’ slices were temporarily held on the tacky side of a Post-It, and the Baton glued in place. When dry, the bottoms of the ‘L’ sections were cut flush with the Baton.
The Cargo Hatch Tarpaulin was made from a piece of paper kitchen towel stuck down with PVA glue coloured with a bit of acrylic paint. I was aiming for a faded olive green coloured Tarpaulin – I have to work on my colour mixing skills a bit more! I thought; ‘just mix green and black’, but after not achieving the correct shade, and consulting with artist daughter, apparently its mix orange and blue??!! However, this worked, and a nice shade of olive green obtained, although I deliberately made slightly different shades to get a weathered look.
Once the PVA had dried, the bottom edge of the ‘Tarp’ was cut straight, and the Baton and Brackets glued on with the topside of the Baton level with the cut bottom edge of the ‘Tarp’. The Build method worked OK, although in future I’d undercoat using black before putting the ‘Tarp’ on. It took a lot of coats of paint before the white of the styrene stopped glowing through the paper towel.
The Wheelhouse assembly was built by cutting and shaping a piece of basswood to near size, covering in thin sheet styrene to allow the doors and hatches (made from styrene) to be joined using liquid styrene glue. The Windows were formed in the Wheelhouse front by cutting out square holes in a piece of thin styrene sheet which was then painted brown, and the basswood was painted pale blue to (hopefully) look like glass. The painted styrene ‘front’ was then glued in position with the pale blue showing through the holes; similarly for the doors on the sides. The Skylight was printed on paper and stuck down on a piece of shaped and painted basswood which was then in turn stuck down. The Companionway Hatch and the Beading were formed from styrene. The Navigation Lights are pieces of electrical equipment wire insulation.
The Bowsprit and Masts were made from cocktail sticks, I think the wood is beech, it’s certainly not bamboo. The bowsprit was attached with a spot of PVA and some black thread to represent gammoning. After establishing deck height on the masts I squared off their bottoms to enable them to be stepped in a piece of square section brass tubing glued below the decking so that the masts had a positive lock to prevent swivelling as the rigging was tautened.
The Mast Bands were made from slices of styrene tube drilled out to the correct diameter and painted black, and the Boom Goose Necks were made from thin pieces of wire. The Gaff Yoke was carved from beech barbeque skewers, but I had a devil of a job getting the glue to stick these pieces to the Gaff. In a couple of cases I ended up using epoxy. I’m still trying to find out if the cocktail sticks are impregnated with preserver or something.
The Mast Hoops were made from thin slices of styrene tube painted brown, although I did try John Fox III’s method of making brown paper tubes and cutting them into slices (shown elsewhere on the forum) because this is a very good representation of a varnished wooden hoop, but I found that they delaminated easily when attached to the sail with a bit of thread. Perhaps the brown paper I was using was not up to the task, or the CA was not holding, or just my technique. I’ll try it again in the future though.
I used 80gm coloured craft paper for the Sails to give a buff coloured blotchy background for a weathered effect, the Sails’ outlines and the panel stitching were printed onto the paper. After the signatures were added, the Sails were cut out and the edges were reinforced and pierced. The Sails were then bent on to the Boom, Gaff and Mast Hoops, with the thread being reinforced by diluted PVA after knotting. The Staysails were bent onto a piece of thin brass rod just a little thicker than the thread used for the Standing Rigging, again the knots and the loops of thread being stiffened with diluted PVA. After the PVA set, the brass rod was removed, and the Stays themselves were then fed through the loops that this had formed
I used black thread for the Standing Rigging and brown thread for the Running rigging. The Blocks at the mastheads are of the ‘thread loop’ variety, with running rigging fed through the loop. The Bob Stay was a short piece of thick black thread.
The Ships Boat was made following John Fox III’s method of carving a mould, then moulding a hull blank using laminations of PVA soaked cigarette paper, and then using styrene rod for the ribs, and styrene sheet for the seats, coaming, etc. I’m going to wax the mould next time - it was a bit of fun getting the hull blanks off of it.
The Sea was made from different colours of plasticene, shaped to show the waves and wind from the port quarter (hopefully), not much else to say about it, except that the dye in the modern incarnation of plasticene certainly stains things, including fingers. It actually took a little time to clean up the hull of the first SIB after rigging was complete to remove little smears of plasticene from its sides. I used a piece of tissue paper over the sea before putting anything in the bottle for the second SIB, and removed it after the rigging was complete, then attached the upper hull to the lower hull.