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Bottled Ship Builder

John Fox III

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John Fox III last won the day on April 3

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About John Fox III

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    Second Officer

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  1. Greetings All, Continuing on with my paper mache hull saga, I removed the planked paper hull from the plug. This was done by carefully slipping the tip of a #11 exacto blade between the plug and paper and tracing around the plug edge. At first I just barely inserted the blade tip, careful to follow the angle of the hull while inserting. Later I made my cuts a little deeper, where possible, the curvature of the hull at the edge near the stern is too sharp to allow much depth. The stern was reinforced with the wooden piece, in that area I used a flat chisel made from a piece of razor blade secured into the end of a piece of 1/8" brass tubing. The chisel was inserted between paper and plug, and pushed down as far as the hull shape would allow. I then used the chisel as a lever to slowly lift the stern area to remove the plug from the hull. The first photo shows the hull at this point. The second photo shows the result of cutting out the drop keel opening in the paper and inserting a piece of 1/32nd maple veneer, this was used to hold the hull during further work. Next step was to make in interior keel piece, made similarly to the method for the outer keel. The next 3 photos show what this looked like, with the caveat that after making the piece I decided to go with one made from pieces of cedar wood, which was the next photo. The interior keel was cut out in the main cockpit area and just after of the bow area, leaving the rest at bulwarks level for the keel well. The cockpit area was cut away to the level of the bottom of the deck and grating level. See how I made the grating in an earlier post in Odds and Ends.The maple piece used to hold the hull was used to align the interior keel piece by inserting the maple holder piece through the hull and interior keel. The interior keel was then glued in place. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  2. Great work, and at a scale only a Lilipution and I can love! <Grin> Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  3. Greetings All, As the paper hull work continues I've made up a keel piece that includes the slot for the drop keel. It was assembled from pieces of 1/32" thick maple veneer that was hand sanded down to 0.020" thick, then glued together as shown. The cutout to match the keel area of the paper hull was then made, and the keel glued to the paper hull itself. Additionally I added a 1/16" thick cedar stern face to the back of the paper hull, it is intentionally made thicker than needed, and will be sanded down to 1/16" later in the work. I then took the same maple veneer sanded down to 0.012"-0.015" thick and cut it into 1/32" wide strips. These were then glued to the hull, starting with two planks at the top of bulwarks and two along the keel, to both sides of the hull. I used cyanoacrylate glue to glue each plank to the paper and the next plank added. I then added two more to each location, and repeated until the hull was completely planked over. At this point the planks are not even and smooth, slight variations in their thickness, so I then sanded the planking even and smooth. I should mention that this planking method is not "normal" in it's method, my only intention was to strengthen the paper hull. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  4. Greetings, Jeff has it right, J. Stockard is where I get my thread as well. And, I finally remember that I use Uni thread. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  5. Fly tying threads are the best if you are building small and to scale, as much as possible anyway. I don't have the URL for a site, but to keep from thread separation purchase waxed thread, but drag it through a tissue or cloth to remove most of the wax, otherwise it will build up when the thread is pulled through a hole or block. I tend to use very fine, 8/0, 10/0 or thinner, i.e. higher number, and look online to find mono thread for the most part. This thread is a single fiber, so there is no separation. Hope that helps! If I run across the site where I got mine I will update and send along the URL. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  6. Thanks! I do try to come up with good ideas! <Grin> At first I put very little detail on my boats, but as my skills improved I just HAD to add more and more as I went along. It is true that sometimes the boats are upside down on chocks or stands, but not always. When I have covered boats on davits and such I do not add all the detail to the inside, I just cover the top with more whetted paper to make as close a simulation as I can of a tarp cover. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  7. Steal away! That is why I put it on the board. Glad you like it, hope you find it useful. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  8. Thanks for the idea! I have tried using thin oil and petroleum jelly, but it makes it more difficult to get the paper to stay in place while smoothing out the wrinkles and overlaps. I never have an easy job removing the boat hulls from the plugs, I just work around the top edges of the paper hull with the tip of a #11 exacto blade several times and then pop them off. Haven't had one tear or break yet. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  9. Go for it! If you have to make many boats the same size it a great way to make them the same. Also, save all the boat plugs you make, one never knows when one will need another of the same size. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  10. Greetings All, The next installment of my paper mache hull project is for a much larger hull. This particular hull is for a sandbagger, roughly 3 times larger than any of the ship's boat hulls I've done in the past, at 3-3/4" long and 1-1/2" wide. The plug was made from basswood, cut to. vertical cross sections spaced at 2' to the 1/8" scale. The wood was carved to shape using templates, then sanded and sealed multiple times to get it smooth and water tight. The first hull I used cigarette papers, but that turned out to be problematic as it took many papers to cover the hull, with lots of overlapping. The second time I decided to use tissue paper, the kind one often finds in gifts and such. It was white, but I used some brown wiping stain to get a color that looked more wood like, as at least some areas of the interior of the hull would be visible on the final model. I used 4 layers of paper, letting it dry for 24 hours between layers. The excess was cut off at the top of bulwarks after each 2 layers, and finally the hull was sanded to smooth out the overlaps at stern and bow. Lastly I put several coats of varnish on the paper hull, sanding lightly in between, to harden the outer surface of the hull. Most to follow. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  11. Greetings All, I had the idea of taking a method for making ship's boats I developed and testing whether it might work for much larger hulls. It was all experimental, so I wasn't taking photos as I worked, but since the idea worked out well I redid all the work covering it with photos to show how. Some of you may have seen my work with ship's boat hulls being made by using a plug of the hull shape, covering that plug with cigarette papers whetted with diluted white (pva} glue. Believe I have a video showing how this is done on Vimeo, do not have the URL for that but you can look it up on their site. Basically, laying the whetted paper over the plug, then using a wet toothpick to smooth it down tight to the entire plug, folding the paper over at bow and stern. After waiting 24 hours for the glue to dry/harden, adding another layer. For most ship's boats I would do 4 layers of paper. I would then cover the paper with either cyanoacrylate glue or varnish to harden it. Excess paper was cut away at the top of the bulwarks, and then the paper hull was popped off of the plug. The biggest problem with repeating for more than a single boat of the same shape and size was that cutting the excess paper sometimes cut the plug top, so I added a piece of shim brass of .005" thick to the top of the plug. Photos below show some views of this work, including finishing the interior of the boats with thin wood or plastic pieces. In some cases I used 0.015" thick maple veneer to plank the outside of the boats. These boats ranged from 1/2" to 1-1/4" long. More to follow in subsequent posts.
  12. Clever idea, well executed! Congratulations on the idea and accomplishment! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  13. Thanks Bernard, I do try! <Grin> Outside of working on my musical endeavors, I have lots of time to experiment with new techniques and methods, always trying to improve on every aspect of my modeling efforts. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  14. Greetings Bruce, Thanks! I spend many hours thinking and experimenting whenever I come up against something that is new to me, or something that I was not totally pleased with results on previous models. Since my modeling scales vary considerably I often have to experiment. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  15. Greetings, Been experimenting with making gratings for my 1:96 scale sandbagger model. Photos sort of explain everything. Started out with some fairly stiff, .010" thick brownish orange card stock. Used red mahogany wiping stain and a kleenex tissue to darken the card stock. The card was then cut into strips 3" long and just under 1/32" wide. I made a jig out of aluminum, gleaned from the spouts of cardboard salt containers, designed to hold the strips about 1/32" apart. Strips were then slid into the jig and extended about 1/4", then another strip was slid under them at 90 degrees from their orientation. I used a metal engineer scale placed over the strips to hold them tightly on top of the cross strip. A small wire was used to apply cyanoacrylic glue to each side of the cross strips to hold it all together. I then cut the jig strips carefully off on each side of the strip that was left. Another strip was then glued on top of the "nubs" by hand, then pairs of strips were glued together. Five of these double assemblies were then glued together to make a single grid piece. For my model it took six of these pieces to complete the grating. The grating pieces were then sanded carefully down as thin as I could sand them without breaking them apart. I used a small block with two 1/32" thick pieces of maple veneer glued near each end to hold the grating pieces against a piece of 320 grit sandpaper and moved them back and forth to get to the thickness I wanted. Final photos show the grating in place on two models. More explanation on the hulls of my sandbagger models in another posting later. The whole process was fiddly and time consuming, but worth it for me anyway. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
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