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Bottled Ship Builder

John Fox III

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John Fox III last won the day on July 17

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About John Fox III

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    Third Officer

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  1. John Fox III


    Greetings, Keep in mind that even the most advanced of us all started in the same place you are! And, beware that this kind of hobby can be VERY addictive! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  2. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Thanks Bernard! At the moment I can only imagine what they will look like when completed! <Grin> Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  3. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Thanks for the tip Alan! The block are indeed strip wood drilled, with strop grooves in the non drilled faces. I hope to add grooves to the drilled faces as I install each block. They are made from both light and dark apple wood. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  4. 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
  5. John Fox III

    Diorama "The Old Man and The Sea" in bottle. Scale 1/72

    Greetings Igor, All one can say is WOW! It's all so incredibly realistic looking, one almost expects the old man and shark to start moving. Excellent work my friend! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  6. John Fox III

    Permission to come aboard!

    Greetings Lou, We all start in the same place, and most of us start with the same questions, so ask away and we will help as we can! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  7. John Fox III

    Challenge - Great Lakes Schooner (1852) 1:250

    The only time that the shrouds do not go slack when lowering the mast heads towards the stern is IF the foremost shroud is forward of the center line of the mast itself.
  8. John Fox III

    Pirate type Galleon

    Greetings All, Here is a zipped file of an incomplete rigging primer I started. I only got through most of the standing rigging, but it might be helpful. The article is written as though it were a web page, i.e. you unzip the files into a folder, then use whatever internet browser you normally use to open/view the .html file in that folder. I tried to explain the "why's" for individual lines in general terms that can be applied to most modeling situations. Also, while modeling methods and desires vary by person, the way I look at rigging, and many other ship parts and pieces, is to use a scaled print and photographs or paintings, if available, to look at what you can actually see. If I can see certain items, including rigging, on a scaled drawing or image, then I add it to my models. Running rigging is also useful to maneuver yards/booms/gaffs/etc. into proper final position without reaching inside the bottle with a tool that might cause damage to some other parts of the model. It does add more "control" lines, those operated from outside the bottle, I prefer that method to using tools to do the work inside the bottle. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III Rigging Primer.zip
  9. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Greetings Mike, Thanks for the kind words! Making those cabins was a real pain, somewhat like styrene plastic tiny pieces of wood, such as the frames around the windows and the entire doors, due to static electricity. Sometimes it's nearly impossible to put a tiny piece down, or keep it in place until a tiny amount of CA glue can be applied. I have yet to decide if I will paint the cabins white, except for the roofs, if I do I expect I will try to use just a white wash of paint, so that the actual planks added to the sides can be distinguished. Anchor's A Weigh! John
  10. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Greetings, When I first tried the apple wood I was surprised that it was both strong and stiff enough at very small diameters for the spars. I did a little checking online, and apparently some fruit woods, including apple, have extra membranes that grow across the "normal" grain of other woods, which makes it much less likely to split at even small sized pieces. So far as I can tell, this is true. I've had some apple wood given to me, and some from ebay purchases, the gifted wood was a darker brown color, while all the ebay apple wood was pure white with only tiny imperfections, knots. Thanks to all for the kind words. While progress is slow, I will post when I have accomplished. Anchor's A Weigh! John
  11. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    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.
  12. John Fox III

    Newly addicted

    Greetings Spanky, To be totally honest, my first 3 ship in bottle models went straight into the trash bin, so your's aren't at all bad for first models! Once you have decent materials and a little experience, absolutely the best teacher IMHO, you'll really be hooked. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  13. John Fox III

    Mast hinges

    Greetings, The mast hinge method I use for really tiny models is the one referred to above. In those cases the masts are very small diameter, perhaps 1/16" or a bit more. The actual mast is made from the appropriate sized insect mounting pin pieces. Two pieces are used, an upper mast and lower mast, the lower mast is short and sticks into a hole in the deck and glued. The upper mast piece is much longer, basically just a bit short of the length of the entire rest of the mast, i.e. minus the short lower piece. I then find extremely fine electric wire insulation, i.e. from interior wires of a cable such as an old SCSI computer cable, or sometimes the wires that used to come with computer CD/DVD drives to feed the sound to a sound card in a computer. The hinge is simple enough, just cut the insulation the length of the total mast, glue onto the lower mast piece glued into a hole in the deck, then insert the upper mast piece into the insulation until there is a small gap between the upper mast piece bottom and the top of the lower mast piece. The insulation is flexible, so the mast will lower, and can easily be brought back up into position with the rigging lines inside the bottle/light bulb. I find that there is a limit to the number of times that one can flex the tiny insulation before it cracks or breaks, so I lower the masts as few times as possible. Also, the top of the lower mast piece and the bottom of the upper mast piece must be rounded, or else they will cut into and tear/break the insulation when bending. If you look closely at the first image attached you can just barely see a whiter area lower on each mast, this is the gap between the insect mounting pin pieces, and where the masts will "break" when lowered. Second photo shows a Constitution model collapsed to fit through the opening in a light bulb as an example of how it all works. Hope that helps! John Fox III
  14. John Fox III

    Fly tying thread for rigging

    Greetings, Keep in mind that fly tying thread is meant for a different purpose. Although I use it all the time, thing is it is not round in diameter like sewing thread, has very little twist overall. Any size smaller than 8/0 is just thinner in cross section one way, but just about the same width, if you get my meaning, because it is flat. Fly tying threads are designed that way to have a wide footprint for holding hackle and body material, without adding a lot of thickness to the fly body with multiple wraps to add in additional material. Still, about the thinnest threads you can find for SIB building. I tend to use threads that are single fiber when working on the smallest sizes, believe they are known as mono threads. Hope that helps! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  15. John Fox III

    Deadeye Method

    Greetings, I am finishing up a static display model of Goja at 1:192 scale, and noticed this post. Dug around a bit and found some photos to show some of the ways I make blocks and deadeyes. First image below shows the materials I generally use. I start by saturating a piece of construction paper of the color I want, well the color after saturation is the desired color. Takes a bit of practice to saturate the paper just right, too little and it will fall apart later, too much and it goes all white and useless. I use punches made from brass tubing, or in this case the sharpened needle of a vet hypo. Shown together in the photo with the wire or drill bits used to force the punched circles out of the end of the punch. Second image show the jigs used to drill holes in the exact center of each punched circle. They are made from thin styrene plastic with a hole drilled to match the diameter of each block/deadye circle. This is in turn glued to a small piece of aluminum, in my case parts of the little pour spout taken from a cylindrical salt container, i.e. the cardboard ones I get my kitchen salt in at the grocery store. The aluminum has a small hole drilled, then the styrene is glued on top so that the hole in the aluminum is centered in the one drilled in the styrene. I simply place a punched circle in the hole in the styrene, flip the jig over so the aluminum is on top, press down hard with a tweezers around the small hole to hold the punched circle tightly in place, then drill a hole through the circle. Occasionally the circle do slip around and the drill doesn't actually drill a hole, but it leaves a very clear mark where one can finish outside the jig. Third image shows some completed blocks made from the work so far. Single, double, or triple blocks can be made quite easily. I simply tie a loop in the middle of a piece of thread for a purchase on the block, then feed the opposite ends of the thread through holes in the larger, then smaller, then larger punched circles, threads fed through from opposite sides. I then take the thread ends and pull until the purchase loop is centered properly, then apply a tiny amount of cyano glue to each thread to hold them to the outer sides of the block, being very carful not to get any glue in the hole. I then re-thread in the same manner, but from the end of the block opposite the purchase loop, then repeat the threading back towards the loop, and finally tie a knot around the bottom of the purchase block, glue and cut off the excess. They are definitely not perfect blocks, but they can be made easily in numbers, and come close enough in many cases. The fourth photo shows some of my finished deadeyes. They were made in a similar fashion to the blocks, with the exception of using a brass plate with the proper hole spacing for the smaller holes. I use brass here because it will last longer, i.e. the aluminum block jigs would wear the center hole after enough uses. After drilling the holes in the deadeyes, I lightly sand the edges to round them out in profile. The last photo shows some of the fully rigged deadeyes on my Goja model. Hope all that is of some help to someone! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III