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Bottled Ship Builder
Lubber123

Kit Review: Paper Ship - USS Constitution

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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.

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