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Bottled Ship Builder

Lubber123

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Everything posted by Lubber123

  1. Finally made some more progress on this. I had used an old watch gear to make a ship's wheel the last time I made this SIB so I reprised that method and also made a capstan out of a gear. Then I found some watches that I think I might be able to repair and got sidetracked repairing all my old watches and bands! Another hobby for another forum I suppose. Well here is my current progress. I have the deck detail done so now it's on to grinding down dowels for the masts, yards and spars. I left the ship's boat loose on deck to see if it doesn't interfere with folding down the foremast once I'
  2. I have long had a fascination for the US Lexington 1776. It is the subject of Charles G. Davis' book "The Built Up Ship Model" that I've had for forty years now. I never imagined that I would ever be able to have the skills let alone find the materials to be able to build a from scratch plank-on-frame ship model. However, after I got the book I used the ship diagram in the book to build a nice from scratch, to scale SIB of the US Lexington 1776. I built it for a gift upon request for a ship-in-a-bottle and after I gave it away I never saw it again. I always thought it was my best made model an
  3. Thanks JesseLee and all you others for your helpful comments. I like to experiment and not just blindly follow formulas which one can do once one understands why the formulas became formulas. And when my experiments go awry (often) they are just lessons in what not to do again!
  4. Once I put the idea in my head to make a cased model, I couldn't stop. I used the kit provided putty for a sea. I found that I could make it more pliable by heating it up a bit so I put it in a saucer surrounded by a bath of hot water. It smoothed-out nicely along the glass bottom of the case and I managed not to break the thin glass bottom while pressing it in. I then used the white putty to make the sea foam and once I placed the ship in I fashioned the foam wake. The kit had some small dolphin figures included and a little lighthouse that looks a bit out of scale. The larg
  5. I'm having a hard time reconciling putting this plastic model into such a nice glass bottle. I have another ship plan that needs this size of a bottle and I would like to re-purpose it for that application - it's hard to find such size bottles. Also I could improve the rigging on this model if I don't have to fold it. So I found this nice 5"x7" case that I had laying about and gave it a coat of cherry satin. The case was made as a top loading case and has a thin veneer bottom. I found a graphic of the Cutty Sark at sea and printed it on a 5X7 page and inserted it into the bot
  6. I finished adding the sails. The model wouldn't look like much without them. The sails were cut out of a pre-printed sheet of glossy coated paper. I can't say that they look very authentic or attractive. I have to admit that this model is not my favorite thing. I hardly think that the ship model rates being put inside such a nice bottle and I'm still battling the thought of abandoning the model for a scratch build of something else to put in the bottle. But then again I already pasted the ship name plate to the bottle stand - but I could cover that. The yards are hard to straighten and I
  7. Finally finished rigging the model. I added the Martindale rigging that wasn't called for in the instructions but that is about the extent of my imbellishments. The rigging instructions involve a convoluted process of tying down one side of the yard while slipping the rigging on the other side with stop blocks applied to the control line on that side made of blobs of glue. So there was a lot of glue set up time involved. I don't have the yards as even as I'd like but they look better on the model than they do in the photo. I'll have to do some adjusting after the model is set in the bottle any
  8. I suppose I could rig the back stays as control lines pulled outside of the bottle, but the model already has eight of them and I don't need six more. I'm having a slow go at this one for a variety of reasons, the biggest of which is that this is suppose to be my rainy day project and we've had very little rain here in Vermont! I've also acquired a slight repetitive strain injury in my left thumb. But I am almost finished rebuilding my modelling workstation. I am also finding inaccuracies in the instructions. Of all the extra materials that were provided, I wasn't given enough thread
  9. I think I need to follow the instructions and not modify the rigging too much. The mast fold forward, not backward, so back stays would prevent the masts from folding forward along the lines of what their actual intention on a real ship would be. The more I go along, the more I'm leaning toward completing the build as it is intented, glass bottle and all. I wish I could find another glass bottle like it which I need for another scratch built model.
  10. I finally made some more progress on this kit. Not that it is very challenging, but I'm trying to follow the step by step instructions exactly so that maybe I can learn something but about all I am learning is how difficult it must be to properly write instructions and to assemble a kit. I'm finding left over parts that aren't called out anywhere. There was suppose to be an exact duplicate of parts for the mast and spars but I'm not finding an exact number of duplicate yardarms. There is suppose to be a "test jig" built into the holding stand but it isn't properly molded in. So right now I hav
  11. Well here's today's progress. Of course it doesn't take long to snap together parts, but I needed to do some painting and I want to take my time. I found the instructions a bit vague and I'm noticing that some things don't match their depiction in the diagrams. The hull is made of white plastic and I was to paint it black but to leave the up-raised parts white. Since this is impossible to do on such a small scale, I applied the supplied black acrylic paint across the whole hull and simply wiped and scraped back the parts that were to be left white. I doubt I would have known how to do th
  12. I love working with wood. I love shaping it, carving it, sanding it and finishing it. I very much enjoy putting miniature wooden ships in bottles. I love recreating the ingenuity of the originators of this craft who worked with whatever materials they had on hand with improvised tools to produce small works of art. This kit is none of that. This kit is a miniature plastic ship model that will be placed into a glass bottle using the somewhat traditional technique of hinging the mast and erecting them via their rigging lines pulled from outside the bottle and then obscuring the lines t
  13. One reason I've been hesitant to build scale ship models in the past is that I know that they really should be displayed in a case least they get full of dust or become the victims of unfortunate collisions. For the first model that I ever built, I purchased a somewhat expensive oak fame kit that I finished myself and had glass cut for it at a glazier. This case is a thing of beauty and I was so happy with how my model turned out that I didn't mind the expense of the case kit. Well my "Harvey" model is a bit of a different situation. Although I am happy with how it came out and I put a si
  14. After two months of part time work, I put the finishing touches on "The Harvey" today. Finished the jib sails and rigged them and the crowning touch of topping the mast with pendants flying in the wind. Now I have to resist the temptation of tinkering with it more. And of course after all this work I may as well make a case for it. I'll have to find a safe place for her to sail before I can finish a case. Thanks all for your comments and suggestions!
  15. I've finally finished the main mast and rigging. The small scale of the model forced me to approach the build from the bottom to up; from the front to the back and from the inside to out, so not everything gets put in place the way a real ship would be built. I would normally leave details to the end but something like the ensign was easier to apply while the main mast was off the model. The ensign is a 30 star US flag (circa 1850), something I wanted to add to balance the made-in-China stigma of the kit. Some of the tensioning in the rigging might also have been tighter if I didn't need to bu
  16. Working without plans or proper procedures is a bit of a chore. I had to manufacture some of my own parts like dead-eyes, braces and mast hoops. I rigged the yardarms onto hoops so that they are adjustable instead of gluing them directly to the masts as I think was the intention - which would have been hard since I don't have plans that tell me where they should be glued. So I'm either making things up as I go along or researching other models to figure out what things should look like. I've used parts left over from some other kits I've built and I borrowed the mast, gaff and boom rigging sc
  17. Thanks Micky, my sentiments exactly! Along those lines, I spoke with my helmsman and he said he was tired of getting splinters in his hands and a sore back from horsing around that old-fashion tiller, so I upgraded the helm to a more convenient to operate ship's wheel - although it only has five spokes. (I fashioned it out of an old watch gear I had in my box-o-junk and some brass wire for handles). I suppose the original Harvey could have had a tiller and the "desk" in front of it seems consistent with a tiller arrangement but I had to turn the "desk" around and make a wheel box out of it.
  18. Thanks Jim! I would have preferred that I knew what ship it was supposed to be before I started building it. However, now that I know I'm seeing so many variations on other models I don't know what is supposed to be accurate. I'm using the model as a practice exercise. I have had to manufacture many of my own parts which I haven't done before so that's slow going with a lot of trial and error. The model won't look as polished as an accurate scale kit build will but as I progress it is kind of endearing its self in me.
  19. I'm just about done with the deck details. I included as many upgrades, embellishments, improvements and details (also mistakes) as I dared. I had some materials left over from two other models that I put to use. I early abandoned all hope of historical accuracy and the scale of the model is too small for true accuracy so I decided to make the model "my own": I upgraded the cannon barrels and carriages and lashed them down; I included two swivel guns in the aft; I fashioned cannon balls from pin heads and mounted them into the ball racks; I made belaying pins from brass wire (I also had some l
  20. Thanks, she's at the armory now getting fitted for guns.
  21. I began this tread under the title "Cheap-O Plank on Frame Brig" hoping that someone might help me identify exactly what this kit might be. Well I figured it out by researching riggings for sloops, which led me to schooners which led me to Baltimore Clippers which led me to the Harvey (The Pride of Baltimore is a different ship) which has the exact deck plan as this model. True to modern day fashion, there is a You Tube Video of someone who experienced exactly my same plight and bought one of these kits and then figured it out. Of course by now I have made various blunders trying to do t
  22. After a fashion I managed to plank the hull, which wasn't an easy task without a sheer line plan. Also the ribs on the bulkheads weren't quite precise and I had no plan to fair them up to. The transom didn't make much sense to me and I was sure I was missing a part for it so I ended up fashioning a piece and had to change the lines of the hull somewhat. It worked better on the starboard side than on the port side. I don't think the model would win any prizes if closely examined by experts but then again it isn't a "museum quality" model kit; it's another generic "Privateer" - a merchant ship
  23. I misspoke about the scale, the scale of the model is stated as 1:130. Also, it isn't a brig, it's more of a sloop. The closest model I've seen it resemble is "The Black Prince" which almost matches except for the number of guns.
  24. The model is marked at 1:300 but accuracy is probably not its strong point. While writing this I realized that the kit doesn't contain any blocks, pulleys, deadeyes or any wire or metal parts. All the cordage it contains is a small skein of blue sewing thread. It's a mystery wrapped in an enigma surrounded by a headache.
  25. While I was searching eBay for SIB kits, I came across this plank-on-frame brig kit for sale for $15 (USD). It is a made-in-China set of laser cut wood parts, not too much different from my Model Shipways plank-on-frame 18th Century Long Boat kit except my MS kit had an excellent instruction booklet and well labeled parts. In typical made-in-China cheap-o fashion, this kit has a double sided sheet of a poorly labeled diagram for construction instructions, some of the parts aren't labeled, there is no (English) alphabetic order to the sequence of construction, or a color photo of what the final
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