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Bottled Ship Builder

Alex Bellinger

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Alex Bellinger last won the day on July 21 2019

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About Alex Bellinger

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  1. Very handsome bark, good to see someone's finally getting around to bottling her. Looks like a great start.
  2. Compared to my rate of work, that is almost lightning speed. I hope you can keep it and produce many more fine examples.
  3. Very nice, and your pictures tell the story of how you made this model very eloquently. How long did it all take?
  4. Thanks Alan. I think of these as "test clips", and it's the slight weight keeping tension on the line I value most. Sometimes they do help me keep the lines straight too. I am indebted to Rob Napier for this idea.
  5. Finally the square sails could be added. The material for the sails is much like what I have been using for years, a light weight paper colored with a warm gray magic marker. Instead of using the point of a pin to scribe the seams or “clothes” of the sails I returned to an older idea and used a hard pencil. Seams made with the pin tend to crack and split, and at this scale that could be quite a problem. In spite of using a #9 pencil, the seams, only on the weather side, look a little too heavy to me. The final details are the boats and anchors, and I almost always put t
  6. Archibald Russell The four mast steel bark Archibald Russell was built in 1905 in Greenock by Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., and was one of the last of her type to be built on the Clyde. Built for general trade, she was 291 feet long and had a beam of 43 feet and displaced 2385 tons. She was owned by John Hardie & Son of Glasgow. After years of carrying a variety of bulk cargoes around the world, she was sold to Captain Erikson who operated a fleet of sailing ships, primarily in the grain trade from Australia. Eventually she was broken up
  7. My desk has been tied up with an "out of the bottle" experience, my 4th and presumably my last, model of Flying Cloud. At 1/24" = 1', the idea was to get the same quality of detail as you'd see on a typical 1/8" = 1' model of a clipper in about 1/3 of the space. As with anything, some things worked out all right, others could have been better. But it's good to have her done and in her case, and to get on my usual sort of work
  8. Good old spackle seems to work well, though not so well for large gaps. Once the hull is well sanded I follow with a number of thin coats of acrylic gesso, allowing each overnight to dry. Since I paint with acrylics this provides an ideal base, but it might not work as well with oils or enamels. With anything that might ever get near water I try to finish just like I would a car body - bondo, red lead filler, all well sanded and sealed with a lacquer or dependable polyurethane. Years ago a hobby store manager suggested airplane dope mixed with a teaspoon or so of baby talcum powder for a sa
  9. Since I have trouble painting I have been trying to use a variety of woods to avoid it. For this yawl I used aspen, a kind of white poplar, for the hull topsides and cabin roof and redwood for the lower hull. Boxwood makes up the boot topping, bowsprit, blocks and prop. The deck planking is pine and the cabin sides and cap rail are also pine, from a piece sitting around long enough to weather into that deep warm red. That wood also makes up the skylights, hand rails, etc. The masts and spars are bamboo. The stand is oak, which has a nice contrasting grain. This is all a little smaller t
  10. Thank you Mike. The ship herself has lots to offer and I hope your Morgan will delight you as well. Post some pictures sometime. I'm sure we'll learn from them.
  11. This is a wonderful resource. For years it has been popular to criticize H. I. Chappelle because of limited or erroneous attention paid to a particular subject, and because of the wide range of history he covered, it is always a good idea to look a little deeper. But none of his critics have contributed anything like the volume of material he made accessible through his work, and most of it is at a very high standard. Sure there's a lot to be learned about the American sailing navy beyond this work, but a re-reading this book is always of value. Earlier Norton editions of this book has fol
  12. To get back to USS Constitution, I thought I’d post these. Someone suggested getting pictures of SIBS along with the vessel they were intended to represent. I thought I’d try with my latest model of the great frigate. Approaching security at the ship, it got complicated. I was referred to the Navy, and the ensign who met me at the gate had to call his immediate superior. That officer called the OOD. Finally, the Commandant was called. Once permission was granted they couldn’t have been nicer. The ensign who escorted me to the ship kindly offered to take this picture alongside. (I can’
  13. I like pine because there's so much of it and it works so well. I only recently learned how important the differing varieties are. I was told pine currently for sale at most lumber outlets was grown very quickly and has much less substance than older, more slowly grown lumber. About a year ago I got a few scraps from the woodshop that worked very well and remained crisp when cut to fine dimensions. One of the guys there said it was "Pacific Pine" and thought some of it may come from New Zealand. Jim mentions long leaf pine, which was used it large quantity for decking and sometimes planki
  14. This is a very interesting site Bob posted at the beginning of this and he's right, the work is very good. Can anyone who is better at languages than I am give more of an idea about where the site is and the craftsman (craftsperson, to be PC) who created these models?
  15. I found it in Christopher Buckley's "Steaming to Bamboola". a good read about modern merchant marine. The not too hasty bark is in the chapter on ships' names.
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