Jump to content
Bottled Ship Builder

Dave Fellingham

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Dave Fellingham last won the day on May 21 2021

Dave Fellingham had the most liked content!

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Joshua Tree, CA

Contact Methods

  • Yahoo

Recent Profile Visitors

2,593 profile views

Dave Fellingham's Achievements

  1. The Van Shouten book should get you started. For more information look for "Modelling Ships in Bottles" by Jack Needham available used at a good price (the shipping is usually more than the book). Needham guides you through building four or five ships from a simple two masted schooner to a three masted square-rigged ship. Look for a bottle that's about the same dimension in diameter as it is from the base to the shoulder where it narrows to form the neck and opening. You also want a large opening relative to the diameter and a short neck. Many of us have gotten away from using consumer glass (single use throw away bottles) in favor of laboratory glass bottles because the glass is much more uniform in thickness, which reduces visual distortion. Whichever way you go, make it easy on yourself and go large, 1L or more in size. Keep the first one simple and don't get distracted by adding a lot of fine detail. It is basically an exercise in learning the mechanics of getting a ship model in a bottle, so don't invest a lot of time on it outside the bottle. Getting the ship in the bottle is lot like launching a new plane for the first time - everything has to work right or it's back to the bench for a rebuild. You have lots of help here, take advantage of it.
  2. The baseball case works well. Another option I have kept in mind for a similar situation is glass domes used for collectible display and available in a very wide variety of sizes and at very reasonable prices. One advantage of the glass dome is that it closely duplicates the visual impact of the original bottle or light bulb - it just has a much larger opening.
  3. Shonibare's Victory is unique and not likely to be done again - whatever the ship inside. The cost of the bottle itself must have been truly extraordinary! It is a ship in a bottle but it is not a "mystery" or "impossible" bottle, as the in progress photo shows. Four of the five oldest SiBs in existence by Giovanni and Francesco Biondo were rather large and display neck down. Guessing by visual references in the photos of these SiBs (bricks in a wall, a person in the photo, etc.) the bottles appear to be about 15 - 18 inches (38 - 45 cm), horizontally. Giovanni Biondo signed the three on the left, the 1806 bottle is by Francesco who is presumed to have been Giovanni's son. I think that a bottle with a neck large enough to easily reach inside spoils the impossible or mystery aspect. From a practical standpoint, an SiB should not be so large that it can't be easily displayed in a person's home, needs two people to move it or provides an easy answer to the question, "How did he/she do that?"
  4. Temps here in the desert have been steadily over 100F every day since June. Going outside is like stepping into an oven. Air conditioners don't work well in low humidity but evaporative coolers work best in high temperature and low humidity. Even at that I can only get temp inside into low to mid 80's. I don't like doing fine work when sweat gets in my eyes so my work remains steady but slow, just a little most mornings. Temp is 108F, at just after 11am, and forecast is for it to be "much cooler" today. Cooler than what? Hades? Gun deck beams and the three mast steps are in place. Bow is also closed in. Close-up inside the bow. I omitted one beam that should be near the center of that bow knee with a small knee to support those bow ribs. No matter, this gives those ribs more support and won't be seen when the decking is installed. View of the bow ribs. The two little wood spacers closest to the keel are the locations of the hawser holes and copies the original construction Started to make the frame members that form the stern. After cutting out the first one I made a trial fit and found it was about 2x or more too big. Must have made a mistake reducing from my drawings. I have the gun deck waterways - kind of like a corner molding around the deck - ready to install to stabilize the ribs some more. Then I'll start on the the gun port sills and lintels, and the little pieces of ribs to fill in all those gaps above the gun ports. Lots of little fiddly bits to cut, fit and glue - but that will work well with short daily sessions at the bench. When the ribs are stabilized I should be able to remove the hull from the clamp and start sanding all the ribs to get rid of the projecting edges and get the lower hull ready for planking. Temp now, at 12 noon, is 112F outside my door in the shade.
  5. I've seen a variation on this sub in a bottle. The horizontal bottle was completely filled with sea and a tiny periscope was stuck on the outside of the bottle with a little bit of water effect around it.
  6. I think your new figure head is just right. Don't change a thing about her. She's a fair-skinned red-head, of course she's a bit sun and wind burned.
  7. I think it's quite a bit too large, perhaps 2 or 3X too big even considering Jeff's comment. Take another look at the McCaffery figureheads in my Constitution log comparing their size to the decorative trim of the beakhead knees. The trail boards would be between those two light colored trim pieces. A smallish figurehead would fit on the notch behind your figurehead's head, a largish one might have legs or a skirt that flows into the trail boards as you see in some of the McCaffery figureheads. You have a number of bobstays attached to the bowsprit at the doubling with the jib boom down to about where your figurehead's feet are at the lower part of the beakhead. Those bobstays counter the strain of the fore topmast stay that also attaches to the bowsprit at the doubling. Obviously your figurehead is in the way.
  8. The only 1/700 scale figures I had seen were unpainted brass which could be bent a bit to make them more 3-dimensional and natural. Actually, a human male figure at an average height of 5' -9" (175 cm) at 1/700 scale would be .098" (2.5 mm), about twice the height you stated. I didn't realize you bought them finished or that finished figures in that scale were even available. A visual reference in one of the photos, as I suggested, would have given us an idea of the actual size of these miniatures. It seems to me that the purpose of a waterline model is to show the ship as it looked in its natural element and that putting one on a block of stained wood defeats that purpose and detracts from the model. Just my opinion and observation to use as you choose, but in no way intended as anything but constructive and for your benefit and consideration. We do operate here in an open environment of discussion and exchange of information and knowledge. Personally, I learn much more from someone who openly and honestly tells me what they don't like about any part of my work and why, or makes a suggestion towards a better result, than I do from the effusive, often empty, praise of a thousand other observers. I also have been building ship models for a long time -- almost 60 years -- and gave up on the limitations, inaccuracies and compromises inherent in all kits for the freedom of scratch building 40 years ago. The most important thing I've learned in all that time is that there is always more to be learned. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work, especially the Hannah, which I hope you do as a build log so we can watch as you progress. I'm curious to see what improvements you make to the kit..
  9. These are 1/700 scale? Try to include a common object (such as a pen or hobby knife) for visual size reference in at least one of the photos. The detailing is marvelous, as are the weathering effects. I also like the use of figures on Idaho, they bring some life to what can be a very dead presentation. Are they the PE figures I've seen advertised? Try bending the arms and legs into more active poses, like walking or climbing a ladder or looking through binoculars so they look less like cut-out silhouettes, even just a few would work. Good tip on the wire you mentioned, we might find it useful for details, but on ships in bottles wire would be a disaster for rigging. Did you use the wire on the railings as well as the rigging? I don't think the wood grain sea works very well, perhaps detracting from the overall effect. Even a minimalist approach with dark blue paint and an overcoat of one of the water effect materials to suggest the slight ripples in essentially still water would be better. See some of Robert Wilson's waterline miniatures in the build logs, under the name 'Shipbuilder', for how a realistic sea adds to the presentation. I look forward to seeing more of your work -- even if it isn't in a bottle.
  10. Yes, they do, especially when working on a project for an average of over 4 1/2 hours every day. I didn't work on it one day this month.
  11. Worked on the aft cant frames. closed in the lower hull, installed the keelson and a couple gun deck beams and started laying out the mast steps. Installed the aft cant frames and framing to close in the hull up to the top of the stern post. Removed all the large rib spacers and replaced them with smaller ones. Finally can show what the inside of the hull looks like with the smaller spacers. You can see the pear wood keelson set into the ribs. This keelson traps all the ribs between it and the keel greatly stabilizing the ribs. It's in four sections, about one day per section to get the slot in the upper side of the ribs sanded to final dimensions to accept the keelson sections. Also installed the beam just aft of the main mast (the one with a black mark near its center) and the approximate location of the mast step (black dot on the keelson). Need to do the same for fore mast and mizzen. Close-up of the inside of the stern. You'll notice small assembly marks showing which way the rib goes; didn't need them on the cants. Close-up of the stern and how it closes in up to the top of the stern post. The framing for the counter, transom and stern gallery rest on that top beam/frame. For size reference that top beam is .068 in./1.7 mm thick and the ones below are .055 in./1.4 mm. Fabrication of the transom frames has started, similar to the hull ribs, but no photos yet. I also need to get the bow closed in. Just over 317 hours since March 25.
  12. Sorry, I can't help being precise, I guess it's in my nature. The scale of your cannon is closer to 1:533, so it can be used as a 4 pounder at about 1:266, 6 pounder at 1:311, 9 pounder at 1:356, 12 pounder at 1:401, 18 pounder at 1:445, or 24 pounder at 1:489. Works out that your hypothetical pirate ship will have 12 pounders.
  13. What pound cannons? It's important because all the dimensions on a cannon and carriage were based on multiples of the cannon ball diameter. A 4 pounder cannon (3 inch ball) is half the size, in all dimensions, of a 32 pounder (6 inch ball). If your example at 1:600 is a 9 pounder (4 inch ball) it could also be used as a 4 pounder at 1:450, a 6 pounder (3.5 inch) at 1:525, a 12 pounder (4.5 inch) at 1:675, an 18 pounder (5 inch) at 1:750, a 24 pounder (5.5 inch) at 1:825 or a 32 pounder at 1:900. I assumed your example might be a 9 pounder because it seems likely to be the largest gun used on your small pirate frigate, but sixes are also a possibility.
  14. Excellent work, Artur. Looking forward to more. Suggest including something we are all familiar with as a size reference occasionally in your photos, such as a pen, hobby knife or blade. We can't relate well to the coins used in Poland.
  15. I've used Castello boxwood in all the ribs. We talked about the wood from Constitution in the keel and the deadwood aft and I'm using pear (the reddish wood) in the stem and beakhead and for the deck beams. I have holly on hand for the deck planking. White oak was used for the decks up through the War of 1812 and I will lightly stain the gun deck and leave the spar deck nearly white to replicate the sun bleaching there. I really like working with the boxwood even though it is hard and tough. It forces me to take my time but it takes detail very well regardless of the grain. It is going to be my choice for spars from now on. I think I mentioned in one of my posts that I tried to find some degama for the spars but decided on the Castello boxwood because they are in the same genus and have very similar physical and working properties. The boxwood is very strong and much stiffer than bamboo without the working faults inherent to bamboo. The pear wood is also a dream to work with although not as hard as boxwood. I've only used a small amount and look forward to making most of my deck details. The scroll saw is from MicroMark and I'm using the finest, narrowest kerf blade that came with it. MicroLux Scroll Saw It's on sale! Wish I had bought one of these years ago and it is now an indispensable tool in my shop.
  • Create New...