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Bottled Ship Builder

tazam0827

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tazam0827 last won the day on August 21

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  1. tazam0827

    Asgard

    The thread with the painted stripes is meant to represent the gap between the deck and the gunwal that I suppose allows for drainage in heavy seas. See this picture of the actual yacht. Here's my model, almost ready for the bottle.
  2. tazam0827

    Asgard

    The Asgard is a gaff rigged yacht built around 1908 in Norway for Erskine Childers, English MP and Irish Nationalist executed during the Irish Civil War. The ship was used to run guns into Howth, Ireland in response to the arming of Unionists in 1914. I became interested in the ship because it was a local legend in Howth, where I lived for a few years. I drew up some crude plans from photos I found on line.I carved the hull out of Basswood Decking, gunwale and cockpit built with coffee stirrers Bowsprit, cabin, hatches and helm fashioned and painted Mizzen mast rigged. I tried making hinges to attach the gaff and boom, and it worked fairly well so far, but doesn't look particularly authentic Main mast rigged. I used Thread blocks for the first time, and I'm liking them! A little more work on the hull, I'm using painted wire loops as places to attach the shrouds. Not entirely convinced of that yet. As a beginner, I'm always looking for constructive criticism and ways I can improve, so please don't be shy!
  3. Wow, he must be a VERY good friend for you to do this for him. Excellent and innovative work!
  4. Stupendous! Amazing! Outstanding! I've read this before, but I keep coming back to this story to see what's possible with tiny, beautiful detail!
  5. I too like your choice of materials. I try to use things I find around the house as much as possible. I went through the same problem as you did with the gun ports and eventually came up with the same solution. One thing, instead of Popsicle sticks i use coffee stirrers. They are thinner and easy to bend when soaked in water. Luckily, the cafeteria at work stocks 2 different sizes!
  6. Jeff, I wanted to build a ship A) that had an interesting story and history, B) that I could find detailed diagrams of, C) was a three-masted square rigger. I thought it was cool that it was the first to discover and circumnavigate the Antarctic. I originally planned on building an ice shelf or iceberg into the surrounding sea, and in the first bottle I actually had a few quartz stones embedded to simulate sea ice, but I never followed through with that in the second bottle.
  7. A few months ago, I wanted to do another ship but knew I had unfinished business. I glued the wrecked ship to a mount, stripped everything off, re-glued the broken bowsprit, and totally re-rigged the ship. This time I put the main and fore masts on long wire hinges that would clear the cabin and other deck furniture. I still had the problem of a ship slightly too large for a regular whiskey bottle opening. I searched in vain for a few weeks on line and in stores for a corked bottle with a wider neck with no luck. I finally settled for a cheap jug wine bottle (Gallo or something like that?). It had a screw top, which i hated, and the quality of the glass was not great, but I went with it anyway. I used Plasticine clay for the sea, mixing grey, green and blue in varying amounts to give it a slightly uneven color and white clay for whitecaps. I glued two blocks to the glass using Aleen's multi-surface adhesive that I purchased at Michael's craft store. Dried quickly and held fast! Because i no longer had to have the standing rigging mobile, I glued all the shrouds and stays into their respective holes and cut them underneath the hull where they emerged while outside the bottle. I went from something like 67 threads I had to manage down to around 23 or 24 After 2 or 3 weeks' work, ready to launch again I glued the ship to the 2 blocks and built up the sea around the hull. I glued the running rigging in place where it left the foremost yard arm. I used a broken bit of razor blade glued to a wooden dowel and used that to cut off the thread. I unfortunately broke a few threads in the wrong place trying to cut them and had to try to glue 2 ends of a broken thread together while in the bottle and eventually got them so it didn't look two bad...one advantage of a wavy glass bottle. I finally got the process down to slice the threads without ruining the model...I made three different slicing tools with razor blades at different angle and used a sawing motion against the thread, and eventually it cut through cleanly and gently. And finally, I covered up the ugly metal screw cap with sealing wax I bought at Michael's, melted in a double boiler. Inspired by those Maker's Mark commercials And that's it. Not museum quality, but nice enough for the mantle after I build a stand. And I can rest easy at night and start planning my next project! thanks for reading along and all the encouraging comments. Paul (Taz)
  8. Now to launch the ship. Mizzen mast folded down.... Main and Fore masts separated totally from the hull... Hull goes in first...oh oh.... Followed by the other two masts.....I suspect at this point I'm doomed And disaster. A total tangle. After and hour or two tring to untangle my mess, I gave up. Dejected, I broke the bottle with a hammer, put the shipwreck in a box and put it on the shelf for a year and tried to avoid thinking about it
  9. Jeff, Yea, I had to go back to my archives and old phones to find the pictures to recreate the build! There's a hinge on the mizzen. After my first failed attempt, I put longer hinges on the main and fore masts to get them above the cabin. On my next build, I'll definitely put the cabins on inside the bottle. Live and learn! Paul
  10. To attach the jibs and still let them slide on the jib stays, I pre-punctured small holes on the luff edge of the jib with a pin and sewed them onto the jib stays with sewing thread. Flags were again typing paper folded around the main truck or the stay. I had a hard time keeping track of all the lines, so I numbered and lettered them and wedged them into slots cut into paperboard which was tacked to my stand, each slot labeled with the line number/letter. Later I resorted to taping little paper flags to the end of each line with the proper letter/number, but this made it very hard to untangle the lines once the got crossed up. I'll have to find a better method, or more likely, not have more than 10 or 20 lines!
  11. I was concerned that with the placement of the lifeboats, capstan, hatches and the cabin, and with the mast tops and cross trees, I wouldn't be able to fold the masts down flat to get it through the bottle neck if I used a wire hinge for the masts. I made the mistake of on the main mast and fore mast, trying to use the method of making a divot in the deck and a line from the bottom of the mast through a hole in the center of the divot to pull the mast into place. I planned to completely separate those 2 masts completely from the hull and putting them in the bottle separately, after inserting the hull with the mizzenmast. This meant that all the standing rigging like the shrouds and the backstays had to be moveable. I ended up with around 67 separate threads that had to come out the bottle neck and be managed. It looked great while on the work stand. For the sails I used regular typing paper stained in tea. I made the lines representing the stitch lines by scoring the paper with the point of a needle and a ruler. I made the reefing lines again with regular sewing thread. I wet the paper and bent it around a dowel to give is a little curve.
  12. Ordered the book online for $7.88
  13. Jeff, I haven't looked at Modeling Ships in Bottles. I'll go look for that now. Thanks for the tip! Paul
  14. I then stained the deck with normal household wood stain and painted the hull with regular Testers model paint. Added a toothpick Bowsprit, a dolphin spanker made from a straight pin, and a toothpick spritsail yard. I let the spritsail yard pivot on the dolphin spanker for placement in the bottle. I drilled holes in the side rail for the 20 deck cannons, but found I cold not make the cannons small enough to fit through the holes, so I cut them into notches. I made the deck cannons out of little chips of bass wood and brass wire, but I had a heck of a time gluing them together and getting the paint to look decent. I know there are a few other methods on this site to make better looking cannons that I'll try next time. I made the other deck furniture from small bits of wood and wire and glued them to the deck. I made the golden eagle figurehead from the foil from a wine bottle. I added the martingale stays and the other lines on the bowsprit for which I used regular sewing thread, which I used for all my lines. I added the chainplates out of strips of coffee stirrers, which was the start of my downfall, because by now the width of my ship was almost 20mm, and my bottle neck was 19.5mm. more on that later. My masts and yards were all toothpicks. I think I tried using bamboo skewers towards the end. Straight pins for the trucks on top of the masts. I used various methods to attach the yards to the masts, but none of them gave me the movement I needed to pivot the yards parallel to the masts for insertion, mostly because I insisted on building the tops and cross trees on the masts. The method that seemed to work the best for attaching the yards was to use thread and make a cow hitch in the middle of the yard, then pass both ends of the thread through a hole drilled in the mast and wrap both thread ends around the mast and knot them, then hit it all of it with a drop of glue to secure everything. I saw a method of making thread blocks on another post that I'm anxious to try, but for this one I just drilled holes with my pin vise in the yard ends for the running rigging to pass through. I drilled the holes before I tapered the ends of the yards. I had a heck of a time getting all the holes to face the same direction on each yard, (some ending up parallel to the water line, some parallel to the masts) which caused me some problems during rigging. I'll need to come up with some sort of jig in the future. I had a hard time getting the ratlines attached to the shrouds in an even way. I ended up stiffening some thread with glue and letting the dry, then cutting the thread into short lengths, gluing them to the shrouds with super glue while the shrouds were on the masts, and clipping the ends with cuticle clippers. I'd be happy to hear any hints on a better way of doing that.
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