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Bottled Ship Builder

Dave Fellingham

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Everything posted by Dave Fellingham

  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 consume
  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 th
  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 p
  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
  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 it
  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
  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
  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 y
  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
  16. In case you missed the boat on some of these, they can also be found, used, for little more than the cost of shipping on Amazon in most cases. The general ship modeling books are more useful to the ship bottler than you might, at first, think; just a matter of adapting or slightly modifying for use at a smaller scale.
  17. Been busy with ribs since my last report. Installed the 25 ribs forward of the zero rib. I tried a slightly different approach by tipping the work board almost on end and using gravity and the two small squares to provide the clamping force. This method went much quicker. I also detailed and installed the five cant ribs forward of the previously installed 25. These turned into a headache because while detailing them they kept breaking into the two halves requiring another 24 hours for the glue to fully cure before finishing the detailing and installation. Last two cant ribs re
  18. I was referring to previewing a post being written to see how it will look. There's a 'preview' button (in the response box) but it doesn't preview anything -- I don't really understand what it's previewing. The first page of my Constitution build log still has thumbnail photos but the other pages are okay. I assume other multi-page topics are similar but haven't checked. My insanity hard water racing yacht is okay but it's just one page.
  19. I have access to Gallery now. I can't edit my first post in this topic (error code: EX0 [looks like a zero]) but I can edit my second post. It's titled on the browser tab as "A configuration or server error has occurred". I suspect it's a time limit for editing. Btw, I think the new Gallery is an improvement. Upon further investigation I found that there is now what appears to be a time limit to editing the initial post in a topic but not to any others.
  20. I also noticed that signatures have been eliminated, previewing the post is no longer possible and that editing a post is not allowed (perhaps due to a time limit). All very minor compared to photos reduced to thumbnail size. The whole point of this site is the photos. I also find that I can't view the Gallery without a password, my login password won't work.
  21. I noticed today that all the posted photos have been reduced to thumbnail size instead of what we had previously.
  22. Thanks, Mike, part of the inspiration to try this came from seeing it done on MSW at larger scales. This is my first plank and rib hull attempt. Been considering doing one for a couple years and have plans all made up for a Cruizer-class brig of the same time period, figuring that a smaller vessel would be easier with fewer ribs. Turns out the brig would have been more difficult than Constitution. The reason is that Constitution was built with doubled ribs while the much smaller brig has single ribs, therefore many more ribs to build. Also the ribs on the Cruizer are more complex with the
  23. This is a fun and interesting build for me, too. By replicating, or duplicating as closely as is practical, the original construction of Constitution I am encountering many of the same problems and concerns of the original builders. Foremost in their minds, as was in mine as I set the ribs, was that of accumulated error because of the variation in the thickness of the ribs. .001 in./.025 mm at 1:240 scale is very close to 1/4 in./6 mm on the original. My variation in rib thickness was as much as twice that and was probably very close in scale to that of the full size build 220 years ago. The c
  24. Only one card spacer was hard to move -- I think a bit of glue got to it down near the keel. The assembly wasn't clamped tight enough to compress the card stock so they moved fairly easily. I didn't pull any all the way out knowing that it would be a problem getting them back in, and I left one corner of them between the ribs on the photo side so I would not have a problem there. They all have to be back where they were when I start installing the forward ribs. Individually, the ribs are quite fragile but as a group with the spacers are very strong. It will probably be another week before
  25. I've gone as far aft as I intend for now, 44 ribs. The next few ribs aft are the cant frames set at angles other than perpendicular to the center plane. Much more complex and best left until later. A little over 180 hours invested so far. Starboard side view with all the clamps and fixtures removed. The rib spacers have been adjusted to give a better view of the underbody shape. First time I've seen the lower hull. A closer view from forward. Another view from the starboard quarter. When all the ribs are installed and more internal stiffening is added, the square-c
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