Jump to content
Bottled Ship Builder

Landlubber Mike

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Landlubber Mike got a reaction from James w rogers in Hannah Amati - DSiemens   
    Hey Daniel, that's the kit I started with to get into the hobby (I might have a log on here).  It works into a nice kit, but be very careful about the masts and the bowsprit - they are so thin, the bowsprit broke on me a couple of times.  I would consider replacing at least the masts with brass/wood rods - they will be more stable, and be more three dimensional.  Good luck!
  2. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to James w rogers in Happy international ships in bottles day.   
    Happy international ships in bottles day 4th October.

  3. Like
    Landlubber Mike got a reaction from Chasseur in After 32 Years Starting New Projects   
    Very cool - welcome!
  4. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Artur in Constitutionen   

  5. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to MickyK in Hannah, an Amati kit   
    I now have a ship in a bottle!
    Because of the height issue, I removed my clay sea, just soaked it in water, and it eventually came away. The epoxy that held the clay in place took 10 days of soaking it acetone.
    Cutting the bottom of the hull off is an option if it it done before bulwarks and rigging go on, doing it afterwards I think it would be a bit of a pain! 
    Likewise, trimming the top of the masts.
    I really should not have to do either.
    So I glued the ship directly to the glass, and then poured in the ocean.
    All I have to do now is make a base for it, and she can go onto the shelf.

  6. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to DSiemens in Hannah Amati - DSiemens   
    A friend of mine have me this kit and told me make it however I like just bring it back when it's done. So I'm going to kit bash this a bit. At first glance its simple enough. The box is way bigger than the parts inside.  I suspect the bigger box is to protect the bottle. 

    So far so good. The laser precuts makes cutting out the pieces super easy.  I sugest using the keel as a guide when gluing the hull together. The instructions don't say that so I had mine mostly glued before I realised it was a tiny bit off. Sanding should fix it but the keel guide would be helpful. I do like how it's coming together in general. I'm curious about the brass fittings. I've heard others had trouble with them but we'll see. 


  7. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Onni in HMS Terror   
    Fixed the bowsprit in place ,complete with dolphin striker and bobstays  and then threaded the jib ropes through the bowsprit using the cotton loops that I had made earlier (first picture).Glued the jib sails in place and after everything was dry cut off any excess threads and she's done! Turks head knot on the end of the bottle completes the look. Had to photograph her in the last little bit of snow that was left remaining in May!⛄

  8. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to IgorSky in Diorama "The Old Man and The Sea" in bottle. Scale 1/72   
    Many thanks, Bruce!
    One more photo - 

  9. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to exwafoo in Colvic Watson 28   
    A friend asked me to make a SIB of a boat that is owned by one of their friends. The boat is a Colvic Watson 28 ft as shown in Figs 1 and 2.

    Figure 1: The drawings

    Figure 2: the actual boat
    I had a few other photos to work from as well. I drew up some plans, shown in figure 3.

    Figure 3: Working plans
    The hull block was made and shaping started, shown in Figs 4 & 5

    Figure 4: Hull block

    Figure 5: Shaping Started

    Figure 6: Basic outline.
    The hull is split just off centre to port and has an upper, mid (from styrene) and a lower. The aim is to give sharp horizontal paint lines for the boot topping,

    Figure 7: Cabin made, under-coated and the planking.
    I made the planking from watercolour paper, printed on the PC with different weights of line thickness and shade. I used watercolour paint to try different shades of ‘wood’ colour, then picked the one that looked best at this scale.

    Figure 9: Top-coated
    The lower hull sections were painted separately, royal blue for the boot topping and red oxide for below the waterline.

    Figure 8: Sea started.
    The sea was made from plasticine, with a description of the SIB and makers name label under it.

    Figure 10: Starting the woodwork and masts.
    I used a red hardwood veneer for the woodwork, Small pieces were reinforced with thin CA glue before cutting and sanding to shape. Once attached to the SIB I used diluted clear acrylic varnish on them.
    The masts were made from brass tube and rods. This SIB had the luxury of actually having a large hinge at the foot of the mainmast. The main and mizzen sails are of the modern variety that are slotted into rails on the mast and are furled on a rotating assembly on the boom. The foresail is furled around a rotating steel forestay. Cutting the slots in the tubing was ‘fun’. I used a small photo-etched saw from http://www.radubstore.com. Took a while but it worked,

    Figure 11: Main mast

    Figure 12: Most of the woodwork fitted

    Figure 13: Masts and sails
    I used some type of translucent parchment that my wife gave me for the sails. Stitching was simulated using a black pencil, and they were coloured with watercolour, This allowed them to retain the translucent effect, They were a bit waxy, and I had a bit of trouble getting them to stay stuck in the slots on the masts. They held a good shape though.

    Figure 14: Rigging Underway
    I used a silver coloured thread for the rigging to simulate the stainless steel on the real boat. The railings were made from brass rod and painted chrome.

    Figure 15: Almost done. Windows ‘fitted’
    I used DIY water slide decals for the windows and name. This is the first time I’ve tried this and have been pleased with the result. A pack of 5 A4 sheets of decal material cost about £5 and I’ve used half of on sheet. First I printed a couple of different sizes and colours on paper for trialing next to the SIB for size and effect. Then printed out 3 sets of the chosen ones on my ink jet, to allow for slip ups. When dry, a couple of light coats of clear acrylic varnish was sprayed over them. Once dry, the decals are cut out, placed in a saucer of warm water and when they float off of the backing are applied using a wet paintbrush and very gentle use of tweezers, left to dry then varnished over to seal and protect them. They went on very nicely first attempt.

    Figure 16: Ready for bottling

    Figure 17: In the bottle.
    By special request, the lighthouse is an attempt at Walney Island Lighthouse at the north end of Morecambe Bay where the owner sails to sometimes.
    Regards to all
  10. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to John Fox III in James Miller 3 masted schooner   
    Here are some photos of the second James Miller model. It is housed in a 9" diameter clock that was made to look like a pocket watch case. The case is actually cast bronze, quite heavy.

  11. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Bruce Foxworthy in TRIALS AND TRIBULATION WITH A BIGANTINE, OR BEGINNERS PARADISE.   
    First off, I'd like to thank you guys of the forum and most of all Daniel Siemens, for all the wonderful knowledge,help and encouragement I've had the pleasure to receive during the undertaking of this build. My hope with this piece meal presentation is that some other novices out there can benefit fro m my particular experience in some way. So here we go.
    In almost every way this build incorporates techniques and processes I've never tried before and only became aware of through the pages of this forum and discussions with Daniel. Along the way I had to contrive some methods to get things done, some of which I'll share here. As I was going along I also found myself tearing things down and starting over again and again because I did something that wasn't going to work and had to fix that, testing my patients all the while. After a two month period of time working most every day on it, I came up with a, I think, pretty decent generic brigantine that I basically modeled after this silhouette.
    I had never built a SIB model with more than one square sail on it before so I've been itching for years now to get to that place where I could confidently build square riggers. For the most part, the majority of the dozen or so SIBs I built years ago were schooners or sloops of one kind or another.
    I decided earl on after looking at some of the seas in pictures on this forum that I was going to use clay for my sea instead of what I had been using which was blue RTV silicone. Here's a picture of what my seas use to look like.

    I read everything I could find on the forum that addressed sea material, which is quite a lot actually. With some further input from you guys, I finally decided to go with a PLASTALINA type clay made by VAN AKEN. After working with the stuff throughout the course of this adventure I've decided that I love it. I made a really nice sea for my ship. I also found out that it melted easily over my stove burner to fuse well to the bottom and sides of the bottle.
    An incidental discovery with this material was that if you expose the top surface of this clay once it's in the bottle under the close light of two 100 watt shaded trouble lights, the glass will heat up and after a while the surface of the clay takes on a satin like wet look which I think is SWEET. I can't tell you how long that process took for sure or how hot the glass got. I do know that it became apparent to me that the sea was getting shinny around the time I had been working inside the bottle on the rigging for about a couple of hours.
    About the 100 watt trouble lights. I like to work with as much light as close as possible to whatever I'm working on. In this scenario I had a light on the right side and a light on the left side about four inches away from the bottle. I'll certainly be utilizing this characteristic that this clay exhibits when heated from above on my next build, too.
    I made a sampling chart of the five different clay colors that I purchased to come up with the color I chose for this ships sea. I've put all the combinations of clay that I mixed on a stick and numbered them 1 through 11. To this I've attached a print out of the picture of their proportions before mixing for future reference. I'm sure I will want to use a range of sea color possibilities in the future. I know that there are far more combinations I could have mixed but for now these 11 will suffice.

    I've always liked the Pinch bottle 5th and the way a ship looks in it. It's kinda dreamy looking to me and so I chose it for this build. Besides I had one on hand I've been dragging around for eons. LOL.
    I basically scaled up a drawing of the ship from the silhouette I found on line. I made a hull blank and put it inside the bottle, held that drawing up to the glass to get a good idea of how much of the bottle would fill up with ship.

    Although I didn't know it at the time that I did my sizing process, Daniel has a much more accurate way to do it in his tutorial on, "How to build a Bermuda sloop (for beginners)", which you can find on this forum under the menu selection called, Build Logs. Check it out! A great deal of what I have come to do on this build of mine is a direct reflection of the things I've learned from his tutorial. Anyway somewhere in the beginning of his tutorial he shows how he makes a paper cutout of the ship and puts that cutout inside the bottle. Wish I knew how to put a link to his tutorial right here but I don't so you'll have to look it up. It's a treasure trove of technique and process for sure.
    Yet another first for me is this thing called a thread block. There's a nice video on Daniel's tutorial by a guy named John Fox III, that shows how to make them. I had never known about them before and how useful they are especially in doing the running rigging for square sails. I made some the way John shows in the video and also came up with another way to put them on the end of my yards which was easier for me. I was also introduced to the Cow Hitch that is used on the center of the yard to attach it to the mast allowing the yard to pivot around. Between these two concepts, it dawned on me how I would be able to rotate the sails out of the way to get them through the neck of the bottle and because the running rigging freely passes through both thread block on the ends of the yard I would be able to set the tack of the sails once everything was inside the bottle.Pretty neat.
    Basically I made my thread blocks for the yards by holding a piece of wire in my vice. I secured the yard to the wire with a piece of masking tape being mindful of the correct orientation of where the Cow Hitch was and where the blocks needed to be. I made a mark on the wire where I wanted the block located from the end of the yard. That way I could duplicate the same location on the other side. When one thread block was done I slid it off the wire, flipped the yard 180 then put it back on the wire and tied the other one.

    Okay for the first time I'm using paper sails too. In the past all my builds had cloth sails because I had always had a problem with kinking paper going down the neck. Fabric was much more compliant for me. Another thing that I gleaned from Daniels, process was that the spanker sail has to come way away from the mast in order to get through the neck and unscathed. In my case I made a yolk crutch to wrap around the mast for the end of the boom out of a piece of brass wire. I drilled a hole through the mast at the spot where the boom would be nesting. Then I made two wire blocks and tied them to the boom.The running rigging for the spanker sail's sheeting goes through them and the hole then forward all the way out of the bottle.This configuration worked out perfectly for me as the gaff was able to move way out of the way along with the boom when the time came. So no kinked spanker.

    Incidentally, the travelers you see in my pictures are "Mini Swing Line Stapler", staples. I've used them on almost every ship I've made for that purpose. Sometimes I put a radius on them. On this build I also used four of them to attach my rat lines and back stays onto. Ironically, using the staples this way would later save my ass , as you will shortly come to see.
    These pictures show a couple of things. The first thing that is evident, (to you old salts anyway), is that my ratlines and back stays are too far forward of the center line of the mast to ever lay down flat. When the time came to fold down the masts and I discovered that they wouldn't lay down I almost had a heart attack. Disaster! At one time I must have known about the importance of these elements locations relative to the pivot point of the mast because all my builds were successful in the past in this regard. But over the years I just totally forgot about it. Anyway, after a while of total dismay and a whiny conversation with Daniel, it came to me that I could remove the staples that the ratlines and back stays were attached to and relocate them back and up. That solved the problem and is an example of one of the tear downs I was speaking about in the beginning of this discourse. I wasn't able to get those lines as tight as they were and that's a huge disappointment. Another thing that the pictures show is the way I chose to step the masts. In the past I always used the wire hing method but this time I decided to use clock bearings. These bearings are put in old clocks when the original bearings are worn oval over time. It just so happens that I also restore antique clocks for a hobby too and have these bearings on hand.The one side of the bearing has a counter sink on it to hold oil for a gears pinion shaft. that counter sink was mounted up so the mast with a rounded bottom nested in the countersink just fine. In the future I'm just going to drill a divot on my deck to do this . it's a lot less work.

    I put a trough in the middle of my sea material and found some of that white 5 minute epoxy at Home depot that Daniel had spoken about somewhere on the forum. Can't remember where but anyway it worked out great. There was a little bit of it that oozed up around the hull but I covered that up with white clay to look like the wake of a ship moving through the water.

    I'm sure that there is some way to avoid what I had to do to come to the point of sail I wanted for my ship but as yet I don't know that. Basically I made my sea to reflect a reaching tack which meant that everything had to be adjusted from how it was built outside the bottle for that tack inside the bottle. For the boom and gaff of the spanker sail I used a piece of wood to lean against the top end of the gaff which held it there while the CA glue dried. I pushed the boom out with a wire tool and tightened the sheeting of the sail from outside the bottle. At this point I glued the yolk and sheeting line off with CA. Then I went in with a razor on a wire and cut the sheeting line off at the front of the mast where it came out of the hole.

    To pull the yards over for the reach tack I made a slip knot lasso and used that to grab the outside end of the yard arm and pull it forward careful all the while that the running rigging was moving through the thread blocks on either side of the yard arm without hanging up. Worked like a charm. I then went in and touched the Cow Hitch at the mast with some CA glue to set it. I waited a minute before I let go of the tension on the lasso I was using to hold the yards position.To be doubly sure the sail would stay put I removed the lasso and touched the outside thread block where the running rigging touched it with the CA glue. The only problem with this process aside from being tedious is that it is difficult to get all the yards on both masts to have the same degree of angle when it's all said and done. There's got to be a better way to do this, I mean to have the tack of all the sails predetermined before it goes in the bottle? Perhaps some of you guys can pipe in on this issue?
    One other thing that I learned about CA glue is it will for sure fog up the inside of your bottle if you use a lot of glue like I did inside. So best, if you can turn the bottle up to let the off gasses from the glue escape better. Even so be prepared to spend hours inside with Windex and a piece of cloth scrubbing the glass clean again. Big Pain In The Ass. Better yet plan the build to use a minimal amount of glue inside.

    There are a whole lot of more topics I could have touched on in this discourse but If I go on about it, it's kinda like someone saying , I could write a book. So I'm leaving it here. I sure learned a great deal during this build doing things for the first time was daunting in some respects but I survived the fray.
    I'd also like to say that it sure is nice to have a place like this to share our projects with other like minded nut cases because let's face it no average person on the planet has a clue about the work we do creating these little engineering marvels. There is so much to learn in this wonderful medium and I'm excited about the future builds I'm dreaming of already.
    Great to have my feet wet again. Thanks for reading mate. Best regards Bruce.

  12. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to IgorSky in Captain Jack Sparrow arrives in Port Royal in bottle - 1:72   
    And finally, Jack took his place on the mast.

  13. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Jeff B in Jeff bs build #3.   
    Here's the final product.

  14. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to James w rogers in La nina, caravel.   
  15. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to JerseyCity Frankie in HMS Ramillies, 74   
    Finally bending on sail. The furled courses are tissue paper painted a color close to the other sails. The Spanker  is attached only at the point of the gaff jaws to the Mast, the bottom of the sail can flop away from the deck and be drawn in tight later inside the bottle via the sheet and tack. It feels great to be bending the sails on, I’m excited again.

  16. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to IgorSky in Different Perspective   
    In that video, Volodymyr just talks about his collection
    One more video by Volodimer (It shows here how to make sails out of garlic skins) - 
  17. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to DSiemens in Different Perspective   
    I've always thought ship in bottle building was like painting a picture but in a bottle. I saw thos video on Facebook and it totally blrw my mind with the use of perspective.  Most of the ships in bottles are pretty regular but check out the ships in the up right bottles.  I've never seen anything like them.
  18. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Bruce Foxworthy in INTRIGUING SIB BUILDING FROM FATHER TO SON TO ME   
    Twenty seven years ago there was a Sunday feature article about my SIB's in The Detroit News, our local newspaper. Lots of closeup pictures and such. Within a week of it being published I get a phone call out of nowhere from an old lady asking me if I would be interested in having her husbands sea chest which had unfinished and broken SIBs in it. I asked her what kind of ships and she said mostly clipper ships she thought. Of course I jumped on it and went over to meet her in a near by town. When I got to her home she showed me three or four (can't remember), SIBs her late husband had made. They were All Clippers and in a diorama setting. One had a lighthouse another had a village like scene or maybe it was a port. They were pretty nice. She told me they were all made at sea. We talked for a while and this is what I scribbled down while we were talking.
    Her husband, Anders Christian Henriksen was born in 1904 and was the son of Nils Henriksen both natives of Denmark. Nils taught Anders the art of building ships in bottles. Anders started sailing in 1918 at the age of 14 yrs. old on a Danish training ship called The Joseph Conrad. Anders became a US citizen in the early 1940's. His father Nils sailed on square riggers most of his life. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Henriksen told me that Anders, was a ships carpenter and last worked sailing square riggers on the Great Lakes before he retired. So he too, like his father spent most of his life at sea.
    I googled the Joseph Conrad the other day and found out it still exists and is part of the Mystic Seaport museum here in the states. Go figure. 
    I spend a lot of time reading and learning things from this forum. It just so happened that this past weekend I read back to back two threads about rigging clippers and about evaluating ages of SIBs. Anyway It dawned on me that I still had this guys stuff and maybe this was the time to look through it again. I have always wanted to build clippers and I thought one day I'll figure out how Anders did his and build one. 

    This is a picture of Anders and I'm guessing he's in his early 20's here. So still a citizen of Denmark. Maybe someone might know what the numbers mean? Passport? Crew ID?

    This is a small wooden box from his sea chest that had all the ships in it. There is a ton of tangled up lines in here that I'm going to take the time and unsnarl to see what I got.

    As far as I can tell this is the only identifiable ship in the bunch. It's the Thomas W. Lawson. The only seven masted schooner ever built. Maiden voyage 1902, sank in 1907.
    This model doesn't seem to be damaged at all so my guess is he had maybe broken a string or two when he was trying to raise it in the bottle.
    More to come tomorrow. This gets really interesting.  Stay tuned.
  19. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Alex Bellinger in Rigging   
    Years ago I restored a model of a schooner rigged like this, with mostly a continuous line.  The forwardmost shroud from one mast would continue as the sheet for the sail of the mast ahead, then topping lift, gaff halyard, etc..  Eventually it led to the foremast where a couple more forestays completed the job.  That rig was no where nearly as complex as M. Bardot's restoration, which is most impressive.
    In general, I try to use a variety of weights of thread and line to better represent the variety of line in a ship's rigging.
  20. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to DSiemens in Rigging   
    I was looking at some photo's on line of some very old ship in bottle's and found something interesting.  Below is a photo from Michel Bardet's website.  This is a sib from 1900 to 1915 that he restored.  Does it look like the running rigging is one continuous line?  

    I've seen and used that technique on the back stays and it works very well at keeping the lines equally tight.  I had never seen it used for the running rigging though.  I think it's an interesting idea.      
  21. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Bruce Foxworthy in WIGGLE ROOM IN A PINCH BOTTEL   
    I just recently responded to a non related question that, bluenose, presented me and realized that I had forgot to mention this oops issue I had in my recent builds discourse. There were so many of these that it's just a blur now.
    I'm laughing inside right now cause I know we've all been there. Anyway, hopefully the lesson learned here will save some others from heading into the same disastrous conundrum.
    That issue is, basically, if you are going to build for inside a PINCH bottle, remember there is very little wiggle room inside at the bottle's top. Ordinarily this is never a problem in most bottles, but because the pinch is a pyramid inside your top sails are going to be effected by the narrowness of the glass inside on top. In my scenario as you can see in the picture I had healed my hull too far before the masts were fully erected when I glued the hull in place. Once the epoxy had hardened and I fully erected the masts, my topsails crashed into the glass. POOPS! Needless to say I couldn't have a continuity in my ships trim. I guess most people don't see it but a sailor would for sure.
    Because I wanted a reaching tack set up on my ship, I should have glued my hull down off center on the bottom, a bitt,  in order to have things work out for that point of sail. So basically what I'm saying here, as with any build,  MEASURE MEASURE MEASURE your widths especially inside these critters.

  22. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Lubber123 in Kit Review - Airfix "Cutty Sark"   
    As I have been posting, I have been collecting ship in the bottle kits lately. Most of these escaped me in my youth since they came during my hiatus from modeling. At a certain age, one’s interests mature and things of youth are left behind. It takes a certain amount of curiosity to become interested in the less superficial aspects of modeling and requires a certain maturity to appreciate historical significance and fine craftsmanship.

    I’ve encountered a variety of different compositions of these kits. All the ones I’ve reported on so far are some variation of materials to be placed inside a glass bottle. The tradition of the activity has been building a model from wood and placing it inside a glass bottle with a sea made of putty since these are the materials that a person at sea may have had available to the them. To make the activity more accessible to the common person, lately more modern materials have been incorporated and some techniques have been improved and modified. Our seafaring predecessors may have appreciated some of these materials, such as CA “super glue” and tools such as small spiral drills and pin vises - not to mention accurate plans. And maybe they would have been repulsed by some other ideas. I like to stay as close to a traditional build as possible, but I do appreciate some modern conveniences such as my tiny drill bits and CA.

    This kit deviates from the tradition in that it is a plastic model of a ship to be placed into a glass bottle. It actually has a very nice glass bottle and a neat little stand for it. The introduction on the instruction sheet states: “In this kit, modern methods and materials have been used to allow you to re-create this fascinating craft and learn age-old skills. None of the original ingenuity has been lost!” But in reality I’m gluing together a pre-fabricated plastic hull and parts to be placed inside a glass bottle. How much ingenuity is that?

    So here I present the kit made by Airfix (Humbrol limited) “Cutty Sark” # 6003. There were also two other kits in this series: the “Mayflower” and “Charles W. Morgan”. These are all well know historical ships with the “Cutty Sark” and the “C.W.Morgan” still preserved for observation so there should be some expectation of detailed accuracy.

    The kit is well presented in very nice packaging and a very elaborate instruction sheet with various language interpretations. But it contains no historical information about the ship. My first impression when I received the box was how large the kit is. The box measures 12”x 14.5”. The kit contains a very nice large rectangular flask type bottle that measures 8.5” x 4.5” (from the tip of the neck). The neck opening is so large I can put my thumb into it. Also included is the only wooden part, a nice stand to place the bottle on complete with plastic whale carvings. A long with the plastic parts for the hull, masts and spars and a sheet of plasticized paper sails are a set of paints with small brush, tubes of glue for paper and plastic, rigging thread and cordage for neck decoration, a metal tool for model insertion and a cork for the neck - and of course the completely hardened by now white and blue modeling clay. There is also a plastic rigging stand that doesn’t look like it could be repurposed for use with a wooden model. Also included are little plastic dolphins and a small light house for embellishments to be placed in the putty sea.

    One of the reasons I bought this kit was for my preparation to build a “Cutty Sark” model which is the final model in the Jack Needham book. I didn’t have a bottle large enough for his dimensions and I wanted a sail plan. So my initial plan is to repurpose the bottle and some materials perhaps to build a wooden model using the dimensions from the plastic one and repurpose the sails. It just seems like a shame to put a plastic ship into such a nice bottle.

    I haven’t built a plastic model since my pre-teen years and I wasn’t that enthusiastic about it then. I think it does require some sophistication to build a convincing plastic model and that it is a legitimate modeling hobby but it strays a bit far from the tradition of putting a ship in a bottle. But the kit is a nice kit for what it is.


  23. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Lubber123 in Kit Review: Shipyard Crafts "Flying Cloud"   
    As I have been posting, I’ve been collecting SIB kits lately. In my last post I reported about a non- traditional build of a paper model placed into a glass bottle. In this post I’m returning to a more traditional model type which is actually my favorite kit I’ve found to date.

    The kit is for a model of the 1851 Boston Clipper “Flying Cloud”, a historical ship which was well documented. The scale size is 1” = 70’ which produces a ship model of 4 ½” long – 10 ¾” overall with bottle. The kit was made by a company called “Shipyard Crafts” located in San Lorenzo, California, copyright 1976 D.R. La Field, Ship Model Kit #100. The kit contains high quality materials, a clear 4/5 Quart bottle (commonly called a “fifth” which is about 750ml), and well written and complete instructions. The only other kit I’ve seen from this company is for an 1889 Essex built fishing schooner “Fredonia” Ship Model #200 which looks of the same quality.

    The model seems to be accurately proportioned and not modified to fit a bottle. Instructions for building with or without sails are included. There are also materials and instructions for making a “carved sea” instead of messing with putty. This is something I have not tried to do yet although I have a fondness for putty seas which I believe to be more traditional.

    The wooden materials are of sugar pine, birch, spruce and mahogany for the stand. A press board rigging stand is included. The materials look generous and provide a duplicate hull in case one blunders the first try. The kit even has a nice spool of ATCO CS-33 “G” size nylon thread.

    The kit came to me in what looks like completely unused condition. The only thing I don’t see included in the kit is a cork stopper which is easily obtained. The kit also contains a somewhat hokey gold braid facsimile of a “Turk’s Head” knot which I am ambivalent about.

    This kit looks like a fun build and I’m eager to try my hand at the carved sea. I think this kit will help build my skills and fits all my requirements for a first rate build.


  24. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to Lubber123 in Kit Review: Paper Ship - USS Constitution   
    As I last reported, I’ve been collecting ship in the bottle kits. I reviewed a nice kit from Authentic Models that I found to be of high quality and worth building in the traditional sense. In this review I’d like to present a kit that gives opportunity to all, but just not in a traditional building method.
    At first I wanted to be unkind and snarky about this kit, but I reflected and found some merits to it. I had to realize that I have been blessed with average manual dexterity and my hands are still fairly steady and my eyesight is good for my age. I am also good at problem solving and sequencing tasks. I would assume that most readers of this website are also similarly blessed. However, I am personally acquainted with people who aren’t so blessed and who would find the construction of this kit to be challenging and who would be quite please with this accomplishment.
    Now a description of what this kit is: This kit is of a ship model of the USS Constitution constructed totally of folded paper, to be glued to a paper sea inside a glass bottle which is mounted on a stand made of paper with a real cork inserted in its neck which is decorated with a paper image of a cord and seal. The only wood included in the kit is a tapered stick provided as an insertion tool (which may as well end up in my gadget box). There is also a small spool of thread provided for the ersatz rigging which consist of one stay for erecting the masts. The glass bottle is a nicely shaped “Dutch Flask” design but isn’t of the highest of quality glass. Even the cork looks cheap. At least it is a real glass bottle and not plastic.
    However, the kit does include a very nice reference booklet containing the description and history of various tall ships. And I like the packaging which I may reuse for a more authentic build. I was hoping that at least I could use the sail pattern or cut the sails out and reuse them but I doubt their authenticity. They aren’t individual sails; they are actually part of the paper masts.
    I think this kit might be mildly entertaining for an averagely intelligent eight year old. Of course there are people who are not able to or who should not be using sharp implements like razor blades and woodworking tools and none are required here. I believe scissors are only required to cut the thread for the rigging since the paper pieces are pre-cut and pop out. The rigging is cut outside the bottle after being trapped by the cork so there is no need for a razor blade.
    So now there is no excuse why anyone should not be able to build a ship in a real glass bottle. We live in an age of inclusivity and now that extends to ship in the bottle building.

  25. Like
    Landlubber Mike reacted to RAThomas in After 32 Years Starting New Projects   
    While I'm not new to building ships in bottles I stopped 32 years ago with the birth of my first son. It was difficult in a small home to raise a family and participate in the hobby.  From 1977 - 1987 I built about 15 models of various ships but fell in love with the Baltimore Clipper and built several examples which included crew members on the deck.  During that time I was a member of SIBAA and still have many of the paper newsletter volumes I received as a member along with cards from some of those early members.  The highlight of that time was sending two ships to the 2nd Japanese International Ships In Bottles Exhibition.
    Recently some friends who knew I once built ships in bottles asked if I would consider building a few more as they were interested in having one.  So I'm coming out of the retirement to build at least three maybe 4 more.  Wish me luck as I now have the time to try this again even if my hands are not as steady as they once were. I moved on to furniture and box making after those days and have a shop where I can set up my projects which wasn't the case the 1970s and 80s.

  • Create New...