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Bottled Ship Builder


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Shipbuilder last won the day on June 23 2018

Shipbuilder had the most liked content!

About Shipbuilder

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    Chief Officer

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    Miniature shipmodelling, vintage radio construction, writing,maritime history (Merchant Navy).

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  1. I only build what I feel like building these days, and I am well-aware that most ship modellers do not really like merchant ships. But I am also building for collectors, of whom a large number prefer miniature merchant ships above anything else, probably because they are scarce. Some people will notice fine detail where they will not notice glaring errors. I often find my models being descrbed as "perfect in every detail," but that is not so, because I am far from being a perectionist. I really haven't the patience to go in for super-detailing such as glazing portholes, or putting doorhandles on. But I do try to stick to scale and have fine masts and rigging rather than thick chunky ones and over-sized rigging. When comparing the two models, you were spot on with these differences. A model of the Bidston Hill (see below) that I completed, and sold in the early 1970s for £16, turned up on Ebay recently with a starting price of 99p with no reserve. I put in a bid for £16 just out of interest. Eventually, it sold to a buyer in the US for just over £400. When I contacted him later telling him when, and where I built it, and sending him a photograph of the Donna Francisca, (above), he said it was no better than the Bidston Hill, that he had just purchased! I have come across a lot of instances like that! Just can't understand it. Bob
  2. They certainly do get easier with practice. I find they also take much longer. In the 1970s, I could build one in a week, but now, it takes me weeks on end to produce one. A lot of the reason for this is that I do not work on them every day, and even when I do move myself to start building, some days I will only do half an hour, and other days maybe up to three hours (1 1/2 in the morning, and 1 1/2 in the afternoon). This is one of the last models I built using wooden masts and spars, and cotton for rigging. I completed it in about 1972. The steel barque Afon Alaw. It does not look very good to me now, but I thought it was great at the time. Sadly, a very large number of people tell me that it is just as good as what I produce now, which make me wonder why I bothered trying to improve for all those years if very few could tell the difference! The colured picture is the Donna Francisca, that a number of people claim is no better than the Afon Alaw! Bob
  3. 272 completed since I started counting in October 1992, but I built a considerable number in the 20 years or so before that. Have only kept a small number, as I sell them. I don't take private commissions, and don't advertise them. Collectors just ask me what is available from time to time. The hobby is self-financing. A few years ago, I was producing 13 or 14 per year! Bob
  4. Pass of Brander - 32 feet to 1 inch (1:384). Bob
  5. Wool clipper Cromartyshire - 32 feet to 1 inch - Scartchbuilt miniatire - Bob
  6. I also think the model has moved round in the bottle! If this is the case, it should be loose, and it may be possible to push it back into position whilst rotating the bottle! Bob
  7. Thanks, The sea above is polystyrene foam of the soft, crumbly type that they use to pack electrical equipment in. It is shaped with a gas blowtorch with the air intake turned off, so that the flame is only as strong as a candle flame. Then, to give it a painting surface, I stick a sheet of crepe paper on top with white wood glue. I use crepe paper because it stretches and can be pushed into the hollows. Then I spray it with grey matt primer from halford's. My wife then paints the sea using Humbrol enamels. Totally unsuitable for ships in bottles. Bob
  8. So would I, but it is unlikely that I will live that long I am not ill, or anything like that, but now almost 74, and at the present rate of build, I would say at least another 25 years. Not trying to be funny, but that is my genuine estimate of how long the Preussen will take to complete, unless things speed up. But, of course, it is up to Jeff to proceed at whatever speed he feels comfortable with - but a lengthy project like that was always beyond my capabilities. Bob
  9. I wouldn't even bother with trying to glaze portholes at that scale, no-one would notice anyway! Extreme detailing simply extends the build into decades rather than years or months, and during that time, the skills of the builder will either get better, or begin to decline, so the end result may not have consistent quality! My own preference is to build lots of models in much shorter time (weeks rather than years), but make each one better than the last. But I have yet to find anyone who agrees with me on this! Bob
  10. I am making good progress now, and have completed all the fore-and-aft sails. The next task is to complete the standing rigging, and fit the running rigging on the mainmast. Then, all that remains, will be to fit and rig the two square sails on the foremast. This model is fitted with the tiny deadeyes described in another thread. Bob
  11. Thanks Alan, I only thought of this method a few days ago, it is easy and quick, and looks good as well! Bob
  12. I have now set and rigged the four jibs. This took about 1 hour 30 minutes, but just as I was putting one of the last blocks on, I accidentally knocked it over. This damaged all the standing rigging under the bowsprit and jibboom. The only solution was to rip it all off, and re-rig it, as wire, once bent, cannot be straightened when it is glued in position on a model. This took a further ten minutes to get the model into the condition shown below. That is enough for today, and I will do a bit of drawing this afternoon. Day off tomorrow, and on Wednesday, I hope to fit the mainmast, then set and rig the mainsail and gaff topsail. Bob
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