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Bottled Ship Builder


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Everything posted by Shipwright1912

  1. Thanks for the comments, everyone, glad you all like it. ----- Well, the Fitz is finally completed and inside the bottle, and I'm rather happy with how it all went, everything went into the bottle nice and smooth, and the paint job makes her look nice and smart. Nice to have one that goes easy for a change, y'know? As for what's next, I think I'm going to be making an SIB of the R.M.S. Carpathia, as that would round off the selection of ships I've made concerning the Titanic and I'm also kicking around the idea of doing another liner, sort of wanting it to be something a little diffe
  2. Welcome to the forum, Tom. As for advice, well I suppose the best I can give if you haven't built your first SIB yet is that there's no time like the present. Pick a vessel that tickles your fancy, get a bottle and some bits of wood, and get to building 'er. As for learning, well you've come to right place, the membership here is very friendly and knowledgeable about making SIB's.
  3. Nice to see somebody taking the time to restore a SIB, I'm sure the original builder would appreciate the effort. As for what the smaller craft is supposed to be, well it might be another schooner, but to me it most resembles a Skipjack, a traditional fishing boat from the Chesapeake Bay. Just my two cents, lads.
  4. I agree, the song is a bit sad, but then again the whole incident is sad, the Edmund Fitzgerald wasn't that far away from making sheltered water and getting out of the storm, and she took her entire crew with her to the bottom when she went. It's also very mysterious in my mind, as whatever happened to make her go down, one minute the Fitz was steaming along fighting the storm, and the next she was gone. It happened so quick that the crew didn't have time to radio in a mayday call or try to abandon ship, and to this day nobody knows the exact cause. Well, as a bit of an update for everyon
  5. Well not really, I'd never really heard of Fuller Brush Co. until you mentioned them. Mostly what peaked my interest in the traveling salesman's miniatures/models was watching Antiques Roadshow and similar programs on PBS and the BBC, every so often they have saleman's miniatures featured getting appraised or just telling a bit about the history of them, and I was always struck with how wonderfully intricate and detailed they were, and the sheer diversity of the kinds of models that were made. That, and as I mentioned, I tend to get asked a lot what I do for a living, and it's not always
  6. Not exactly sure what you mean, bluenoser, I would assume that at least at one time the Fuller Brush Co. may have employed travelling salesmen with samples, as they got started in 1906. Or are you asking if I'm one? That'd be a big "no", I'm afraid.
  7. Hello once again everyone! Along with the Edmund Fitzgerald, I'm also working on making a mini-SIB mode of the RMS Titanic, partly to win an informal wager (i.e. just for bragging rights) about just how small a bottle I can put a ship or a boat in, but also in the spirit of the old-fashioned saleman's sample. Back in the old days, before TV or even radio, nevermind the internet, it was common for traveling salesmen to carry around little models, often highly detailed, of the products they made to show to their customers to give them an idea of what exactly was being sold and how it worked
  8. Hello all! Just thought I'd share some WIP photos and a little backstory on one of my new SIB projects. This time around, I've decided to model the ill-fated S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, a Great Lakes ore carrier that was lost with all 29 hands on November 10th, 1975, during a storm on Lake Superior, and subsequently made famous by the folk-singer Gordon Lightfoot and the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". To this day, the exact cause of the sinking of "The Mighty Fitz" as she was known, is unknown, and the wreck of the Fitzgerald lies in two pieces 15 miles west from Deadman's Cove, O
  9. Jesse, I make the smoke by using cotton balls, usually just cut slivers off of them using scissors, then I tease and fluff the slivers out with my fingers until they look all puffy like drifting smoke. Then I just glue them to the tops of the funnels, and after I get the funnels on the ship inside the bottle, I use a rod or one my homemade tools made from baling wire to re-arrange the smoke so the plumes are angled in the same direction. In Britannic's case, I'm depicting her having the wind blowing across her beam from port to starboard, so the smoke (and the flags) are angled to th
  10. Thanks! I think I've got a ways to go before I'm at the same caliber as some of the other SIB modellers I've seen,though. Have to say I've seen some rather excellent work being done by the membership of the forums here. Still, she ain't a bad model, though, and I'm quite pleased with how she's turned out.
  11. Brings to mind the old adage "Measure twice, cut once." Oh well, as you say it happens, we just have to roll with it. --- Well, after a lot of work and a bit of blasphemy on my part, the Britannic's finished, all sealed up in her bottle and ready to go to a good home where someone will enjoy her. It was a difficult road, as the rigging ended up getting horribly tangled, so I had to remove the Marconi aerial to get it untwisted, and it took a bit of work re-attaching the spars that hold it up, but I managed to sort it out, and I ended up having to make a new gantry davit as one snappe
  12. Okay, final assembly and painting's done, working on getting it into the bottle as of this writing, it's proved a bit of a tight fit, and I ended up having to almost completely disassemble the rigging in order for both parts of the ship to go in, as the masts on an Olympic-class ship are on different levels, one on the superstructure, one on the hull, so it's not as simple as just lowering the masts and sliding in the hull. I've also had to wait to put on the four red crosses that go onto the superstructure (on the real ship, these lit up at night to show all other vessels that the ship was a
  13. Appreciate the kind words, DSiemens. I try to make 'em as detailed as possible.
  14. Ahoy all! Just thought I'd share a few Work-In-Progress shots my latest project, a SIB model of the Britannic, the "forgotten sister" of the famed RMS Titanic, and the third and final member of the Olympic-class, which were built by Harland and Wolff of Northern Ireland at the behest of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company AKA the White Star Line, in response to Cunard's twin giants Lusitania and Mauretania. The Britannic was originally intended to be the ultimate expression of what the Olympic-class ships were supposed to be, thoroughly re-engineered to benefit from the Titanic tra
  15. Thanks ever so much for the link, Sapper, pretty well exactly what I was looking for and then some, even found a nifty little article from Popular Mechanics on how to do a submerged submarine in bottle! I've done a sub already, but it was on the surface as I was still puzzling out how to make it look like it was underwater at the time, which the article handily provided. Another resource I've come across on my own is Shipbucket. It's technically a site about making color profile drawings of ships using computer programs like Paint to a set scale and format. Mostly about military ships, bu
  16. Hello Igor, Really I'm into all types, so any plans/drawings I could get to work off of would be great! I confess my absolute favorites to make are liners, but in general I find it's very much a "all Titanic, all the time" sort of market. Nothing wrong with that, per se, the Titanic is one of my favorites, and I've done several SIBs of her, but it gets a little boring doing the same ship over and over again, and I'd like to have a diverse selection of ships available to choose from to put up in my shop on Etsy.com, and I find that the humble steam or diesel merchantmen just don't seem to
  17. For the most part, I rely on the plans for the original ship itself if I can find copies of them, usually looking for what is called the "General Arrangement Plan", which shows the exterior of the ship from the side and from the top down, which I find useful in translating the 2-D image of the plans into a 3-D model. For sailing ships, there is a similar kind of plan called a "Rigging Plan", but this usually only just shows the side of the ship, but it's helpful seeing how all the sails and spars are rigged when the ship is underway. If I can't find the plans, well the next best thing is
  18. Hello everybody, I was just wondering if anybody knew where I could find visual references of 20th century merchant ships? Usually, for making ships in bottles I like to find what's called a general arrangement plan or drawing, which shows the exterior of the ship in question from the side and from the top down (helpful in translating the 2-D images into a 3D model to put into the bottle), or barring that, photographs or line drawings which show the same or similar angles if the plans for the ship are not available. I don't know if this would exist, but would there be a book, website
  19. Well, I haven't read Dan's book, but the method I use for mast hinges is decidedly simple, just a piece of thin-gauge wire run through a hole in the mast, then bent into a "U" shape, then I slot the two points of the U into holes made in the deck of the ship with a little dab of glue in them to hold the hinges in place. Once the ship is in the bottle and the masts erected, I then put a little glue at the bottom of the masts so they stay upright.
  20. Well, to date I've never had a problem mailing a ship in a bottle to my customers who buy them from my online shop or to my friends whom I've sent them as special presents, all of them have arrived intact and unbroken so far (knock wood, knock wood). I've always used the plain old U.S. Mail, the flat-rate Priority boxes for all the domestic shipments, and 1st class parcel service for the international ones. I always pack them with plenty of padding, usually bubble wrap, crinkled up newspaper, packing peanuts, even popcorn, and sometimes a combination of media. Whatever i use, I always make sur
  21. Well, the one SIB I've made so far that I could really call "whimsical" was one I did depicting a scene from H.G. Wells' sci-fi novel, the War of the Worlds, wherein the fictional Royal Navy torpedo ram, HMS Thunder Child, engages in battle with the Martian tripods. Got inspiration to make it from listening to Jeff Wayne's musical version on the LP record (no substitute for good vinyl, in my humble opinion!), wherein the battle gets a rather awesome music treatment. As for a basis for making the SIB, I chose to stick close to the Thunder Child's real-life basis, the one of a kind torpedo
  22. From the album: "They Just Builds 'Em, and Chucks 'Em In"

    © Copyright Brendan O'Rouke 2017

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