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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/17/2018 in all areas

  1. 13 points
    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.
  2. 12 points
    John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    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
  3. 12 points


    Continuation Artur
  4. 11 points

    My first SIB: Dimond

    Image captures of video of the foremast installation.
  5. 11 points
    So the next part is adding on to the stern bulwarks. I cut out part of the plans to get the sizing that I needed and then cut out a piece of wood to glue in place. I soak the wood for a couple minutes and then glued it to the top of the bulwark. After I send the bulwark down I work on the rail to go on top of the stern bulwark. I cut out another 1.5 mm piece soak it for a a few minutes and then do a grain break at the very end to give that lip between the two rails. Then I glue it in place. I send that piece down to thin it out and then move on to the stern cabin. I start with the front of the cabin that will be on deck cut out a piece that fits in the place where the cabin will be and then sand the top edges to round it out. I decided to cut out the door on this model this is more for my own experimentation it doesn't have to be done as part of the beginners build. For the door typical I'd go out a piece of paper paint it and then glue it in place I wanted to try this out since the cabin is open and I will glue the door hinged open so that it looks like you can walk inside. After the front of the cabin was placed I put in the back of the cabin this is kind of the same thing placing the piece sanding off the top edges to round them out and gluing it on.
  6. 10 points

    HMS Gannet

    Some of the armament that I may use; Nordenfelt machine guns on fo'c'sle,64pdr muzzle loaders on main deck and two Armstrong guns on the poop deck. A lot of the items I may or may not use as a full deck can look a bit cluttered . Added the hammock netting which is on the top of the bulwarks (indicated by the badly drawn arrow!)
  7. 10 points
    For masts I use bamboo. I like it for its durability and because its in expensive. A package of bamboo scewers runs around $3 and holds enough for several ships. I cut my bamboo in section long ways and use a drawplate to get smaller round sections. I then put these pieces in a drill to smooth them out and add a bit of taper. Tapering masts and yards really adds to the realism and doesn't take to much extra time. As a cautionary note, don't spin wood in dremels. They spin way to fast and very often the wood gets off center and becomes a projectile. Drills are slower and safer. Once I have the mast cut down and sanded I measure it up to the plans and cut it to size. The same process applies to the top mast except its cut down even smaller. From here I cut a couple small blocks. And glue then where the mast doublings are on the plans. I then glue the top mast to these blocks. This creates a small space between the masts which is cteated by the cross trees. From here I cut out some strips of paper and stain them with wood stain. The paper is glued on and wrapped around the mast creating the cross trees. This also helps hold the two pieces together. For this ship I'll be using the hinge method. It's a great place to start on ship in bottle building. To make the hing drill a small hole in the base of the mast, insert a piece of wire and bend it down. Drill a couple holes for either side of the hinge where the mast will be placed on deck. Then trim the wire until it hits the bottom of the holes at about the point the bottom of the mast just touches the deck. Glue the wire in place. Test the hinge to make sure it works well. This is a good opportunity to test how well the ship fits in the bottle. The mast works fine but my channels are a bit to wide. Gotta fix that. One more note on masts. I typically don't drill a lot of holes in masts. The holes can easily cause the mast to break. Thinner masts look more realistic but are more fragile. To keep them strong I will be using knots to put on the yards. How ever for this build there is one more hole needed in the mast. It goes where the boom connects to the mast and will help with rigging the boom.
  8. 10 points
    Time to put some cannons in. Going back to the concept of putting together shapes a cannon consists of a cylinder sitting on a rectangle. For the cylinder I opened up an old cell phone charger cable and pulled out the black wire. For the rectangle I found a nice dark veneer and cut strips. I still had to thin it a bit to fit the cannons in the gun ports. Good to be aware of sizing on this part. Here it is with all the carriages glued in. If you can get a hold of or build this tool I highly recomend it. It really helps keep my length cuts consistent. Here it is with cannons. One of the last parts the hull needs is the channelsnfor the rigging. This is the piece chain plates and deadeys attach to on real ships. For this I cut a piece of veneer, drilled four holes and glued it to the side of the hull where the backstays will attach. This piece will be used for those back stays. Starting to get into masts and rigging. More to come.
  9. 10 points


    Continuation Artur
  10. 10 points
    Now for some deck furniture. Before I start I'd like to point out that the technique I use I learned from John Fox III. He told me to break down the objects into their individual shapes. For instance when you look at a cannon the main shapes are a cylinder that sits on a rectangular box. By breaking down the shapes of objects it makes them easier to model at a small scale. One other note. One thing I do starting out with deck furniture is mark where the mast is going. You don't want to put a hatch or a deck house right where the mast is supposed to be. So I put a small pencil mark where the mast will be. The first piece I'll work on for this ship is the helm. Breaking down the shapes for this helm, it will have a rectangular box that holds the helm and a circular object that is the helm. The box is easy enough I cut a piece of wood into a tiny box that fits the size I want and glue it in place. The circular piece it harder. It's hard to get circles small enough to fit the scale. One of the great techniques of ship in bottle building though is to use found objects that fit the pieces you need. Just as old sailors used bottles and wood scraps that were otherwise garbage on the ship, there is often objects lying around that can work for ships in bottles. One technique I like a lot for helms is going down to the watch repair store and asking for spare gears. Watch gears make very good helms. We'll cover found objects more when I get to the cannons. If you don't have access to a watch store there is another method that can be done with string. Take a piece of string and tie loose knot. Then slowly tighten that knot into a loop that is the size of the helm. Glue it down and trim off the edges. Any left over edges glue into the circle so you have a nice round piece of string. Then the piece of string is glued on to the rectangular box that holds up the helm. One thing to keep in mind is you don't need a perfect helm. With the location and size chances are no one will even notice how the helm is modeled. When it comes to modeling ships this size the details can be left out. Often I find the mind has a way of recognizing the shapes and filling in the details. So how far you take those details is up to you. Personally I like the challenge. In reality you could glue in the rectangular box with no helm and chances are no one would know the difference. Moving forward I modeled a small deck house. It's more of a raised hatch on this ship. The picture below is a good example of what this looks like and the Bermuda sloop deck in general. The hatch just forward of the helm is made up of a box with a tilted top. This top stick out over the edges slightly. So to model it I cut a piece of wood into a box, sand the top down and glue on some paper strips on top. Then with a pencil I made a mark for the hinges. Looking at this photo know I think I have the helm in the wrong place. All well it's already glued in. Another important tip. You are the captain of this ship and things go where you want them to go. You can follow my instructions or do it your own way. What ever makes you the captain the happiest with your work. After the deck house I put in a couple hatches. I can't remember if this is a Jim Goodwin technique or a Greg Alvey technique. I learned it from one of them. Any way, first I find some plans for hatches. I googled it and found some that I pasted into word and copied and resized the photo to a lot of various sizes. With the varied sizes I can makes hatches for a variety of ships by printing one page of hatches. The word file I used for this ship is attached. Once I have the hatches printed I turn the page over and lightly stain the back of the page. That way the ink doesn't run. The wood stain gives it a wood color and the ink makes it look like a hatch. Then I cut out the hatch and glue it on the hull. For this I use white glue. This allows me plenty of time to put the hatch in position. If you use super glue and the hatch goes down crooked it becomes a big mess. hatch.docx
  11. 10 points
    Finally, I set up on places the Old Man himself, the paddles and the basket with a pair of fish.
  12. 10 points


    Hi guys! Believe or not, first idea to make a SIB came to me about 30-35 years ago when bought a book in Polish: Flota butelkowa. Means A Bottle Fleet. And started to do a three mast schooner at that time. Finished it two years ago. It nice and quite hobby which demands a lot of skills. I believe that you agree with me, don’t you? Well… few weeks ago finished my second model (see pic) and going to do next. Hope that you will give advices along my job and we will have fun together. New project is a stage of crystallisation. ?
  13. 10 points

    My first SIB: Dimond

    Thank you, Arup! Thank you, Mr. S., taking a look at what I'm doing here. I'm quite honored to read your opinion of what I've accomplished. I have a cork for the bottle but it needs to be sized to fit. However, I'm not going to let that get in the way of posting this!
  14. 10 points
    Capten Madog

    Second SIB - S.S Rebecca

    So, as promised I said that my second ship im a bottle attempt would be the Porthmadog built S.S Rebecca. She was the first steamer in the port, loved by the young & hated by the elders. She made weekly visits to liverpool from the port with supplies. The ship model is made from wood painted with acrylic paint. The steam, some strands of wire wool. The stand I constructed entirely from driftwood found in the local bay. The white plaque on the stand is polished bone with the name & date scrimeshawed onto it. I am fairly happy with the result. But as soon as I corked the bottle she was there to stay the way she was. atb Capten M
  15. 10 points

    Pirate type Galleon

    Heres one of my very early pirate ship builds. You can see the split at the channel. Once in it looks like a solid piece. This is what makes ships in bottles magical. Your on the right track with it. Keep it up.
  16. 9 points

    SS First Attempt

    I don't have any plans to go by I just used the illustrations in the books I've found, I realize this needs quite a bit of work but i'm thrilled with th way it's turning out so far, and i'm hooked on this the learning curve is pretty steep but i'm working my way up, everyone here has been great
  17. 9 points


    Continuation Artur
  18. 9 points


    Continuation Artur
  19. 9 points


    Continuation Artur
  20. 9 points

    Pirate type Galleon

    She's been a brain bruiser up until now. I actually expect more trouble with the rigging when trying to pack her through the bottle opening. Its like a series of puzzles all wrapped up into a ship in a bottle. The work you guys do is really inspiring, awesome tips and tricks and I appreciate you freely sharing with us newbies.
  21. 9 points
    James w rogers

    Started build no.2

    So far it is officially the largest ship I’ve ever built!? next to the smallest. long ways to go yet. Not looking forward to carving the figurehead.
  22. 9 points
    And, finally, I moved the crew to the boat
  23. 9 points

    What's on your workbench?

    In progress... On the slipway...
  24. 9 points

    My first SIB: Dimond

    All of the deck elements are installed. Touched up the hull seam with paint and it turned out beautifully. Started above deck line threading and doing what I can there before the foremast goes in because the yards on it will hinder rearward access.
  25. 9 points
    A few more photos and steps. Mark out where you want the gun ports. I eyeballed it. Probably not the best method but it was a quick way of doing it. After that its time to make the bulwark. I used a 1mm or 1/8th inch piece of bass wood for the bulwarks. Hold them up to the plans and mark the width. At this point the cuts are straight even though the bulwark will be curved. Cut the pice to be a little longer than the ship. Remember the length of the bulwarks curves around the ship so its a little longer than the length on the plans. From here place the piece in a cup of hot water and let it soak for five minutes. This will help the wood bend. From here cut out the sections of the bulwark in between the gun ports. This way you don't have to bend the wood vertically just horizontially along the edge of the deck. It also makes nice square gun ports. For bending I use a technique called breaking the grain. You soak the wood then bend it with tweezers until you get a crease on the inside of the bulwark. Do this along the bulwark piece and it will bend where you want it. The crease will be on the inside edge so no one will see it. Also glue oneside of the wood and let that dry then apply glue and bend the wood around gluing down the other side. The already glued edge will help it stay in place. Give the bulwark a good sanding then it's time for the cap rail. I cut this piece to be a little longer than the bulwarks are wide. In this case 1.5 mm. I soaked it and used the same bending techniques only this time going along the top of the bulwarks. Also note I didn't go all the way to the front. The bow bulwark have the tightest bend so I did a separate piece for this section. Also note the 1mm high bulwark are big for the plans. This falls into one of my rules for building. Cut big then sand small. Now that the rail is on the bulwarks it can be sanded thinner. I cut another 1mm pice to act as a channel amd used the same technique to glue it right along the line where the bulwark meet the hull. This does a great job hiding the lines between the bulwarks and the hull. Its now starting to look like a bermuda sloop.