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Bottled Ship Builder

Shipwright1912

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  1. S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

    Thanks for the comments, everyone, glad you all like it. ----- Well, the Fitz is finally completed and inside the bottle, and I'm rather happy with how it all went, everything went into the bottle nice and smooth, and the paint job makes her look nice and smart. Nice to have one that goes easy for a change, y'know? As for what's next, I think I'm going to be making an SIB of the R.M.S. Carpathia, as that would round off the selection of ships I've made concerning the Titanic and I'm also kicking around the idea of doing another liner, sort of wanting it to be something a little different from the usual, sort of leaning towards the Orient Line's S.S. Orion, as her interiors were done by a chap named Brian O'Rourke (wonder if he's any relation?). Anyway, without further ado, here's some photos of the finished Edmund Fitzgerald, let me know what you think.
  2. New and ready to learn

    Welcome to the forum, Tom. As for advice, well I suppose the best I can give if you haven't built your first SIB yet is that there's no time like the present. Pick a vessel that tickles your fancy, get a bottle and some bits of wood, and get to building 'er. As for learning, well you've come to right place, the membership here is very friendly and knowledgeable about making SIB's.
  3. Resurrectio ad absurdum

    Nice to see somebody taking the time to restore a SIB, I'm sure the original builder would appreciate the effort. As for what the smaller craft is supposed to be, well it might be another schooner, but to me it most resembles a Skipjack, a traditional fishing boat from the Chesapeake Bay. Just my two cents, lads.
  4. S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

    I agree, the song is a bit sad, but then again the whole incident is sad, the Edmund Fitzgerald wasn't that far away from making sheltered water and getting out of the storm, and she took her entire crew with her to the bottom when she went. It's also very mysterious in my mind, as whatever happened to make her go down, one minute the Fitz was steaming along fighting the storm, and the next she was gone. It happened so quick that the crew didn't have time to radio in a mayday call or try to abandon ship, and to this day nobody knows the exact cause. Well, as a bit of an update for everyone, I've finished putting on all the details and rigging the Fitz, now I'm getting to work painting her and putting on the final touches such as some smoke to come curling up from her squat funnel, and a flag to be flapping in the breeze from her stern-jack, then it'll be time to put a "sea" and a wake inside the bottle and bottle her all up once it's all dry.
  5. Mini SIB "Salesman's Sample"-R.M.S. Titanic

    Well not really, I'd never really heard of Fuller Brush Co. until you mentioned them. Mostly what peaked my interest in the traveling salesman's miniatures/models was watching Antiques Roadshow and similar programs on PBS and the BBC, every so often they have saleman's miniatures featured getting appraised or just telling a bit about the history of them, and I was always struck with how wonderfully intricate and detailed they were, and the sheer diversity of the kinds of models that were made. That, and as I mentioned, I tend to get asked a lot what I do for a living, and it's not always practical to go carting a full-sized SIB around with me. I thought I'd revive the practice of the saleman's miniature in my own small way so I have something to show whenever I get asked that question, and confirm that yes, it is entirely possible to put a ship or a boat in a bottle no matter how big or how small the bottle may be.
  6. Mini SIB "Salesman's Sample"-R.M.S. Titanic

    Not exactly sure what you mean, bluenoser, I would assume that at least at one time the Fuller Brush Co. may have employed travelling salesmen with samples, as they got started in 1906. Or are you asking if I'm one? That'd be a big "no", I'm afraid.
  7. Hello once again everyone! Along with the Edmund Fitzgerald, I'm also working on making a mini-SIB mode of the RMS Titanic, partly to win an informal wager (i.e. just for bragging rights) about just how small a bottle I can put a ship or a boat in, but also in the spirit of the old-fashioned saleman's sample. Back in the old days, before TV or even radio, nevermind the internet, it was common for traveling salesmen to carry around little models, often highly detailed, of the products they made to show to their customers to give them an idea of what exactly was being sold and how it worked. In fact, that's how one of the big names in plastic model kits, Airfix, got its start, by making a salesman's sample of the then-new "little grey Fergie" Ferguson tractor. I've seen examples of virtually every kind of product imaginable made as a sample, from furniture and clothing items such as shoes, appliances such as sewing machines and typewriters small enough to fit in your hand but still able to sew or type, farm machinery, windmills, kit-built full sized buildings, even cutaway livestock (made by a meat packing firm to show both the internal organs and the various cuts of meat), the list goes on, so I got to thinking, why not a sample ship in a bottle? After all, I tend to get asked what I do as a profession on a fairly regular basis (what I'd like to know is why it's so important to know what a person does for a living, after all, we're more than just our jobs), so I got to thinking what if I had a tiny SIB I could whip out of my pocket whenever the subject comes up and say, "I make these, just in bigger bottles"? I think it'd certainly make an impression! As for the subject for my revival of the salesman's sample, I decided to go with a ship I've done several times before, and thus know almost like the back of my hand, the RMS Titanic, which I'll be putting into a minuscule liqueur bottle I literally found lying on the side of the road. It's certainly tiny, I doubt you could a pair of grapes into it, and as such I've had to a do a bit of selective compression in regards to the detail level of the model, though I will be giving it an honest effort to try and put all the usual detail parts on such as smoke, flags, ancors+chains, and the lifeboats and their davits, etc, and be as faithful to the prototype as my other Titanic models have been. At present, it's about 50% complete , and I'm hoping to get the rest of it done as I work on both this model and the model of the Fitz. Not the smallest SIB ever built, but it's the tiniest I've ever made, and I think it'll make a good sample. Regards, Brendan O. (P.S. The pencil is included as a size reference)
  8. S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

    Hello all! Just thought I'd share some WIP photos and a little backstory on one of my new SIB projects. This time around, I've decided to model the ill-fated S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, a Great Lakes ore carrier that was lost with all 29 hands on November 10th, 1975, during a storm on Lake Superior, and subsequently made famous by the folk-singer Gordon Lightfoot and the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". To this day, the exact cause of the sinking of "The Mighty Fitz" as she was known, is unknown, and the wreck of the Fitzgerald lies in two pieces 15 miles west from Deadman's Cove, Ontario, Canada. As for the model, it's still in early stages, but I'm hoping to get it completed and bottled in the coming weeks. Cheers, Brendan O. Brendan O.
  9. H.M.H.S. Britannic

    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.
  10. H.M.H.S. Britannic

    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.
  11. H.M.H.S. Britannic

    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.
  12. H.M.H.S. Britannic

    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.
  13. H.M.H.S. Britannic

    Appreciate the kind words, DSiemens. I try to make 'em as detailed as possible.
  14. H.M.H.S. Britannic

    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.
  15. Reference Photos/Drawings of Merchant Ships?

    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.
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