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Bottled Ship Builder

Shipbuilder

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Shipbuilder last won the day on September 3

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About Shipbuilder

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    Chief Officer

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  • Website URL
    http://www.miniatureships.blogspot.co.uk/

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    UK
  • Interests
    Miniature shipmodelling, vintage radio construction, writing,maritime history (Merchant Navy).

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  1. This thirty-page download has been written following requests for plans and photographs of the RMS St. Helena from a number of ship model builders, ex crew members, and passengers who sailed in the ship during her time on the UK – St. Helena – Cape Town between the years 1978 and 1989. The download has 2,398 words, 52 illustrations, including 9 plans. During my time in the vessel, from 1979 to 1989, I took a large number of photographs, and took copious notes that enabled me to draw up an authentic set of plans for the ship. It is only concerned with the ship herself, and does not contain any reference to the many adventures that we had over those eventful years, or life aboard! It contains profile, general arrangement deck plans and a lines plan for the hull. By clicking the link, you can read the synopsis. Then, if you wish to purchase a download, a Paypal button for £2.99 is provided. http://payhip.com/b/hmx2
  2. What else do you model besides SIBs?

    I also do a fair amount of plan drawing. Merchant ships only, so they are not very popular amongst model shipbuilders. Bob
  3. What else do you model besides SIBs?

    Semi Automatic "Bug" Morse Key Feeling like a change from ship models, a few days ago, I decided to try and build a semi-automatic bug key. This type of morse key was first developed in the United States. Conventional morse keys move up and down, and both dots and dashes have to be made manually. When I first went into passenger liners as a junior radio officer in 1965, I found it very hard going sending large numbers of messages, often containing hundreds of words. My wrist was quickly in danger of seizing up, so I obtained a cheap Japanese bug key in Cape Town. The bug key works horizontally, and the side of the palm can be rested on the desk. Pushing the paddle to the right with the thumb, produces a string of dots by vibrating a piece of weighted steel spring with electrical contacts fitted. Pushing it to the left with the forefinger, the dashes have to be made individually. I found this a great help, and was soon able to send for considerable lengths of time without getting tired. In the next twelve years, I got through two Japanese bug keys, the first being accidentally dropped by the third radio officer when it was only a few weeks old. That broke the paddle arm off, and I had to effect a temporary repair until I could replace it again in Cape Town. Despite being quite cheap, I had no complaints about the Japanese keys, they were really good. But I had heard that the American Vibroplex keys were the best of the best. Eventually, I was able to purchase on in Houston, Texas, for about £50. I used that one regularly from 1977 until leaving the sea in late 1992, and still have it today. The key illustrated is purely my own design based on trial and error, and it took almost a week to get it working correctly. I have compared it with my Vibroplex, and although I am a bit "rusty" at morse after 25 years, can still produce perfectly readable code, and cannot tell any difference in handling between mine and the Vibroplex, I incorporated small ball races for the top and bottom bearings that gave a very smooth action. The spring steel is a piece of a junior hacksaw blade with the teeth ground off. The vertical pillars are all old rifle shells cut off to the correct length, and bolted to the acrylic base via holes drilled through ends. The dent caused by the firing pins was a great guide for the drill. The open tops were fitted with home-made caps made from brass, with a fancy brass bolt in the top for purely aesthetic reasons. Solving the spring problem was beyond me, as I could nor find any springs small enough, or of the correct strength. I got round this by using powerful neodymium magnets instead of springs, and they work really smoothly. The tension can be easily adjusted by moving the magnets further apart, or closer together. Neither could I get the dot contacts correct, so I used a small magnetic reed switch. It is actuated by a magnet fixed the vibrating arm. The speed of the dots can be adjusted by moving the brass weight along the vibrating arm. The closer it is moved to the front of the key, the faster the dots. Most of the construction is in brass. The base and paddle are acrylic sheet and the finger knob is a small "button knob" normaly used for glass cabinets. Bob
  4. Finding plans

    A book doesn't take up all that much space, and you can always get one from a library, copy the plan, and take it back. There are plans here, such as this one: http://www.bottledshipbuilder.com/index.php?/topic/262-going-for-gold-build-bessie/#comment-2373 I would recommend something like the above coasting ketch to begin with, as merchant ships are far less complicated than warships, not having guns or much in the way of decoartion. Sadly, they are very unpopular though. Bob
  5. Imperial Star 1948

    Nearly finished now, but I am getting quite tired of it. It has been dragging on since November - far too long! Bob
  6. Steel barque Berwick Law

    Yes, Very much like Polly Woodside, but a lot larger, with same general design and rig. Bob
  7. The question has been answered in full! There is a bottomless pit of plans of merchant ships out there. The books by John Bowen, Waine Research Publications, P N Thomas etc are stuffed full of plans. Numerous other books and journals as well! They can be obtained by searching http://www.bookfinder.com or even Ebay. Here is Politician, buit from a plan from a John Bowen book! Here is a Utube presentation of how I built the model: https://youtu.be/dbKlh_aa9r4 Bob
  8. Tramp steamer Framlington Court. Bob
  9. How to design?

    Just get them from books! A good source of plans for small ships such as ketches and schooners is Schooner Sunset, by Douglas Bennet. More plans in the David R Macgregor series - Merchant Sailing Ships, Tea Clippers, etc. Search for them on http://www.bookfinder.com Bob
  10. Imperial Star 1948

    Moving along slowly, but surely. 18 winches made and fitted, two more warping winches to make and fit, and then onto more deck details - lifeboats, ventilators, ladders, rails, samson posts, mast, derricks, rigging, names, anchors, mooring bits, navigation lights. Bob
  11. Imperial Star 1948

    I have now made the 14 small cargo winches. It took about three hours, spread over three days to do this. They look a bit rough close-up, but on the model, they look fine. I now need to make two large winches, two warping winches and the anchor windlass. Not very difficult, but a bit tedious making all those small parts, and then assembling and painting them. In the image above, I have not yet fitted the winches. Bob
  12. Imperial Star 1948

    The white side plating round the sides is white sytrene sheet stuck on. The accommodation is wood, faced with white styrene sheet so I don't have to paint it. Bob
  13. Imperial Star 1948

    A bit more progress. Bob
  14. Imperial Star 1948

    I have now made more progress with the hatches, deckhouses, and after accommodation fitted. Also fitted the side stanchions on the port side of the after accommodation this morning. This one is taking an age to build - have been at it since November, but didn't do anything at all on it for over three months Bob
  15. Photo Editing

    RMS St. Helena - Bob
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