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Bottled Ship Builder

John Fox III

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John Fox III last won the day on November 30

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About John Fox III

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    Third Officer

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  1. John Fox III

    Gypsy Moth IV

    Well done indeed! Love that you are showing the entire hull too!! Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  2. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Thanks Omni and Bernard! It was a struggle, tried various papers and thread colors before I found what worked. Glad you both think the effort was worth it. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  3. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Greetings All, In my attempt to get realism I have been working on some ideas for sails. Rather than printing seam lines on paper, my usual method for making sails, I tried out the idea of using thread sandwiched between layers of very thin paper. It took a number of attempts, using different threads and various papers, until I came up with something I think works quite well. The photos below show first one of the hulls with the stern bulwarks added, with the boat davits, and painted black along with the top of the cap rail. Then for the sails, there are several shots showing my sail jig, with bamboo pins spaced where I want my seam lines to be, then strung with 8/0 white fly tying thread. I kept the thread under some tension, while stringing the jig. Beneath the threads is first a small sheet of .003" thick clear acetate, then a folded sheet of .003" 100% cotton drafting paper, with half the paper under the threads. I found it easier to add threads to the jib after the layer of acetate and paper, rather than slipping them under the threads. I then thinned down PVA white glue with water, and using a soft paint brush I laid down a thin layer of glue over nearly the entire paper, leaving 1/4" unglued near the outside edges. The paper warped a bit, and I had to be careful as the wet threads stretched a little, too much brushing moved them around and out of place. I then folded the other half of the paper over the first half, pressed it down by hand, then added another acetate sheet and finally a couple of "C" clamps to hold it all together. Over several attempts I found that too much clamp pressure flattened it all to the point where the ever so slight height difference over the threads completely disappeared, which ruined the effect. I finally found just the right clamping pressure to get the desired results. The last few photos show some completed sails, not easy to detect the seam lines on those, but the later photos show some of the sails installed, and the running rigging added, and here the seam lines seem just right to me. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox iII
  4. John Fox III

    Lydia Eva Steam Drifter

    Greetings Alan, Great model! You did a magnificent job of detailing and built a wonderful model indeed! Anchor''s A Weigh! John Fox III
  5. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Thanks Gwyl, I do try! I am working on a new method for sail making that I hope to share sometime in the near future, will post when I see if it works out. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  6. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Greetings All, Finally got the hull air brushed, flat black upper hull and copper lower hull. The cap rail is still white as I have to add solid railings and boat davits before painting the rails black. Next we have the ship's boat for one model. There were two made, one for each model, using cigarette papers over a bone mold. The ribs and cap rail are plastic, the floor boards and thwarts are made from light and dark apple wood. The blocks have been added to hang the boat. Then we have the spars with their blocks attached. I try to add all the blocks and tackle to the individual parts before installation as space is restricted once they are installed. Last, but not least, are the four anchors for the two models. They were made by cutting and sanding 0.02" thick brass sheet, then adding apple wood and black thread to finish them off.
  7. John Fox III

    James Miller 3 masted schooner

    Greetings Alan, As far as I am aware it is safe to "open" a sodium vapor bulb. I've opened at least half a dozen of them and taken no real precautions about what vapors might be inside. All of the bulbs I have used have been "used", and probably burned out, that might make some difference I just don't know for sure. My source was a friend who knew someone who's job was replacing burnt out bulbs, and he just kept a few for his friend. Anchor's A Weigh! John Fox III
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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