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Bottled Ship Builder

DMC1964

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Everything posted by DMC1964

  1. Quick update. I spent some time last night sanding. I just put the template in place, marked where it touched the model with a pencil and then sanded away the pencil marks. I think the next step is to work on the areas forward and aft of that mark. I want to make sure I don’t overshoot the mark! Dan
  2. A little bit of progress last night. I marked the locations of the frames from which I made the templates on the keel of the model. Then I started carving. You can see the marks and how the templates fit here. I'm planning to work from the middle out. Frame 9 is the widest part of the boat, so that's where I started. And the most extreme curves of the hull are forward and aft of that frame. Dan
  3. Templates made! Now to start carving … again. Dan
  4. I've made some progress, but I'm afraid in the wrong direction! I've tried three times now to get the hull block carved properly. Each time, I've wound up with an asymmetrical hull. I made three hull templates (midships, about midway between midships and the bow and about midway between midships and the stern). The problem I had -- as I've diagnosed it -- is not being able to clearly see where centerline was. Because everything's made of basswood, it all pretty much looked the same when I started sanding on it. On my third attempt, I dipped the "keel" piece in some wood stain. The stain didn't penetrate too far, so you can't see it on the bottom of the hull blank, but it does show up on the sides of the keel piece, which means I can see where it is. So, now that I've gotten to this point again -- and it's amazing how quickly I can make a hull blank now, after doing it three times -- I'm looking for some advice about the best way to go about this and wind up with a symmetrical hull. What tools ought I be using? I'd like to use my bandsaw to cut away the bottom of the hull block. That's fast and easy. From there, should I just sand it away? Use a chisel? Any tips on using the templates more effectively? I was thinking of making, instead of these kinds of templates... ... some that would be "full hull" that I can fit from the bottom up and have both sides of the model on one template? What do you think of that idea? Any other suggestions? Dan
  5. Not much to report tonight. I pulled out my drawings from the Smithsonian. They're way too big to scan on my little scanner. So I think I'll take them over to FedEx and use their large-scale scanner to reduce them to a size I can use to make templates. Dan
  6. Quick update tonight. I've done the rough cutting of the block down to the hull lines. Next step is the most difficult -- I think -- final shaping of the hull. I'm not sure what the right tool is to do that. This model is so small that a rotary tool is probably too aggressive. And I'm thinking about making the kinds of hull templates you use when you're making a larger solid hull model. Without those I don't see how I can keep the hull symmetrical. Dan
  7. Thanks, John! I'd thought I would do that initially, but then cut from the top view. Live and learn. It looks like it's going to work out alright. I traced the waterline on the back of the template so I could position it properly on the other side of the hull block. Then I clamped the template to the hull block. And traced it out... Here you can see the outline and the waterline drawn on the other side of the template. Now it's time to cut down to the cap rail and form the sheer of the hull. Dan
  8. Yesterday, I cut the hull block down to the lines on the plan view. it was a simple enough operation, but I took it slowly to make sure I didn't go too far. Now the hull is about 15/16" wide and 3-15/16" long. Today I'll transfer the side view of the boat to the block and cut the top of the block down to the top of the caprail. Dan
  9. I've crossed the Rubicon. I scaled up the drawings to fit the hull blank I have. (I used the plans redrawn by Howard Chapelle in 1933.) That made the model too wide to fit through the neck of the bottle I have, so I will definitely need a bigger bottle. I marked the outline of the hull, the waterline, the locations of the masts and the locations of the aligning pins on the drawings and then lined all that up on the hull blank. I mounted the drawings on 1/16" basswood, creating templates. Next step: trace the hull lines from the template to the hull blank and then use my razor saw to cut down from the top of the block to the top of the cap rail to form the sheer of the hull. Dan
  10. I've made some progress on my America. Using John Fox's article from 1988 in Model Ship Builder, I made the hull blank. I sandwiched a thin piece of basswood between two others, establishing a keel line for the hull below the waterline. I used 0.010" styrene to establish a waterline. And then I cut another piece of basswood for the upperworks. I turned a couple of toothpicks down to 1/16" to pin them all together. I've made two templates, mounting them on basswood. Here's the side view. So now my question. I decided on the size of the ship based on the internal dimensions of the bottle. Is that the right way to think about this? I made the blank per the article: 3/4" thick, 1-1/8" wide, about 4" long. That'll make a model the same size as John's Bluenose. Bluenose's hull lines are similar to America's, but the yacht carried a lot more sail area. so the model would be taller than the inside the bottle if I built it to the same dimensions as Bluenose. So, do I build it a little bigger and find a bottle that will fit later? Or build it small and fit it into the bottle I have? Dan
  11. Great looking model! And I really like the little "grabber" tool you've built. Dan
  12. To misquote The Most Interesting Man in the World, "I don't often post build logs, but when I do, I usually do it after I've finished the model..." I'm breaking that rule with this build. We'll just see how it goes. I've decided to build the yacht America in a bottle. First, the boat is lovely. Second, I have no end of research materials available, so I should use it. Several years ago, I bought the Chappelle plans from the Smithsonian. I have the book The Low Black Schooner, which, even if you don't want to build a model, is a great book. And I have a great set of rigging diagrams and plans, so, at least from that perspective, I have what I need. I had a couple of bottles to choose from and I cleaned off the labels. I scanned an image of America from Chappelle's The Search for Speed Under Sail and scaled it to fit in the smaller bottle. Rather than monkey around with the "sea" as I did on my first ship in a bottle, I'm going for the full hull on this one. The hull lines of America are so striking that it would be a shame to just show her from the waterline up. So, off to carving a hull and seeing what's going to be needed to get it into the bottle. Dan
  13. Just got back from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum's 2022 Model Ships & Boats Contest and Show. As usually, it was a wonderful time with lots of great modelers, models and discussions. I want to publicly thank John Fox. We had a chance to talk and he gave me some great ideas -- and motivation -- for my next ship in a bottle. AND he gave me two Dimple Pinch bottles! That was really generous and I will definitely make use of those in the future. Thanks, John! Dan
  14. That's the plan, John! I've been working over the past week or so to figure out the "sea." I wanted to use an epoxy resin for the base, then silicone for the waves. I haven't been able to make resin that looks good. The first 0.5 oz batch I made was really dark. I used acrylic paint as a colorant. So, last night, I got some actual acrylic resin tinting agent and tried that. Looks alright this morning, but it's still not set up completely, so we'll see. I'm starting to think just using the silicone might be the right way to go. There's really not much room for the sea in the bottle, so I can probably just add small amounts of tinted caulk and then paint the whitecaps on the waves. Once that's done, I'll need to make a more attractive cradle. I bought a nice piece of mahogany a while back that will look really good. Dan
  15. Thanks, John! Really looking forward to your talk in Manitowoc this year! I think I've solved the problem: file size. When I reduced the size, everything went fine. Dan
  16. Hello, everyone. I'm just starting my Ships in Bottles journey. I've built quite a few ship models over the years and decided to give this a try. I was organizing some books one day and my son saw this one. "You should make one of those," he said. And I said, "I think I might." I started with Victorine, which is the first model in the book (Ships in Bottles by Guy De Marco). I made the hull based on the plans in the book. The plans aren't symmetrical athwartships, which I didn't discover until I'd finished making it, so off I went to find some proper plans. Once I'd done that I found the actual vessel had much less sheer and a wider beam than the plans in the book, so I corrected those things and built the model. Along the way, I built a cradle for the bottle, an erecting trestle and a bunch of lances. The ship's in the bottle now and I need to add the resin sea and the silicone waves, build a display cradle and plunk a nameplate on it. I'd post pictures, but I seem to be having trouble uploading them... I'm glad I found this forum and look forward to seeing all the impressive models here. Dan
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