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Bottled Ship Builder

JerseyCity Frankie

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Everything posted by JerseyCity Frankie

  1. Sorry I’ve never finished this log! Truth to tell I’ve had the ship no the bottle and everything adjusted but I’ve still not nipped off the threads. When I do I’ll photograph it and post it. Meanwhile the model has already been in a few still-life paintings I’ve done.
  2. I got Ramillies into the bottle this morning! Whew. It’s late October. In fact it’s the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar today here in 2018 ! You will recall that HMS Ramillies commander at the Battle of Stonington was a very significant figure at Trafalgar so I’m very pleased I got her into the bottle on this day. I’m too cheap to turn my heat on yet so this means my plasticine sea is not amenable to grabbing onto the models hull. So I’ve not reached the end of the project but this is a good point to stop and photograph and post. Happy Trafalgar Day everyone.
  3. I’ve used the outside curvature of a ceramic bowl, that works pretty good. Let’s be honest: Flat sails look fine, there’s some amazing models with sails that look great but are flat. M other SIB. Model I’m now working on has flat sails! Putting curvature into the sails is a lot of work. But I’m obsessed with curved sails.
  4. I’m doing two SIBs at once. One is HMS Ramillies and I’ve got a build log going for her here on BSB. But the second one has no build log, it’s a three masted barkentine with no name and here is her photo. I’m enjoying doing two ships at the same time since some aspects of the project can be done simultaneously and thus are more efficient- like melting and pouring the plasticine sea material. Otherwise it’s good to be able to turn away from one project as it gets stale and go to the other project the following day, alternating. The square rigged warship is done but not inserted and I’ve got hal
  5. Today was PERFECT for working indoors on a ship model: cold and rainy outside and a Saturday! I was happy as a clam working on the Ramillies. I had all day to rig the rest of the sails but first I did a single test fitting into the bottle with the topsails on. It want in fine, got the masts up, etc, but I do worry that getting it back out could be an issue so I won’t do any further test fittings. The yards are wider than the bottle opening so the yards all have to cockbill up and all the clews swing away from their positions and these can foul on the stays. On my test fitting the Mizzen T
  6. Thanks guys, praise from the praiseworthy is worth all reward! I was unhappy with the rake of the masts so I softened the white glue holding the channels to the hull on the Fore and the Mizzen using rubbing alcohol. I wasn’t sure it would be possible but it litteraly softened the glue faster than it takes to write this paragraph. Then I reglued and I’m much happier now. tonight I put on the topsails. I ALWAYS depict square sails braced hard over, I think it looks more exciting. Even if I was going to build a ship bare-polled, I’d probably still brace up the yards.
  7. Finally bending on sail. The furled courses are tissue paper painted a color close to the other sails. The Spanker is attached only at the point of the gaff jaws to the Mast, the bottom of the sail can flop away from the deck and be drawn in tight later inside the bottle via the sheet and tack. It feels great to be bending the sails on, I’m excited again.
  8. Yards are painted piano wire with wire loop eyes at their arms to take the sheets of the square sails. My intention is to make the Sheets then double as Braces and in this way I hope to uprig inside the bottle. Each yard has a thread parel which I will use to tie each spar to its place on the Mast. I’m debating adding Lifts but feel they just multiply the complexity.
  9. Thread/ Running Rigging. It’s khaki thread stained with a little thin acrylic Raw Ocher. Nearly every thread visible here is a Sheet. In each case I glue the thread along one entire edge of a sail, so it’s as well anchored to the sail as possible, then I fold a tiny piece of tissue paper over the thread at the point where it emerges from the sail. Then I paint the sail at that point to disguise it all and further cement it together. I leave an inch of thread protruding above the heads of the sails too. This portion will be folded over the yard the sail will be glued to, then glued back onto t
  10. Cut out and taped to a card, now you can see the curved shape. I realize there’s a mistake visible in my photos above: the topsails are mislabeled Courses. I intend to have the courses furled and I won’t use the fabric/epoxy methods for that, probably tissue paper.
  11. After curing overnight the epoxy is fully set. I trace the outline of the sail onto the fabric and pop the sails off the forms. The fabric is stiff but has a slight elasticity and flexibility to it, it’s not a brittle shell. But it is now frozen into this 3-D shape and no amount of effort will flatten the fabric again. The side of the fabric facing the form is as shiny as glass and must be roughed up with sandpaper to remove the gloss.
  12. After rough sanding I paint on a second coat of a thinner mixture of the Water Putty, to try to smooth the surface further. When dry I sealed all the sail-forms with nail polish. my technique is to impregnate woven fabric with transparent Five Minute Two Part Epoxy, then stretch the wet fabric over the forms, pin it in place, and allow to harden. I put a piece of Seran-Wrap over each form as a resist. On a sheet of glass I squeegee the transparent epoxy into lengths of the fabric. I flip the fabric over and repeat the process as I want to get the epoxy deep into the fibers of the fabric.
  13. This mix-it-yourself water based putty-like product is, I think, the least expensive item for sale at the huge American hardware chain Home Depot. Under $4! What else can you buy today for less than $4.? And it’s a terrific product. Its a beige powder you mix with water that dries to a very hard consistency. After which it can be sawn filed or sanded. It’s hardness is the only drawback, I wish it was slightly less hard when cured. Anyway, you can see what I’m doing with it: 3-D forms for the sails.
  14. Templates for sails. I’m scaling down a sail shaping technique I use on bigger not-bottle models. Every other ship in bottle I’ve made has had simple paper sails, sails which I curl slightly to give the appearance of wind bellying the sails out.
  15. Shrouds. I’ve never made them off the model like this befor.
  16. Bowsprit and Jibboom rigging. Visible are the silver wire eyes for the stays to later run through. Bowsprit gammoning is actually two scraps of colored paper. a silly oddity: for the Flying Jibboom I just grabbed a tiny bit of piano wire lying to the side of my workbench. It was already the right diameter and length so I thought it was a happy accident. After it was on the model I realized it’s the broken off end of a very fine fretsaw blade, lol. You can just make out the very fine teeth in the red circle.
  17. I’m the worst at measuring, very seldomly can I fit the model into the neck of the bottle on the first attempt. I always discover my initial hull is too wide or deep and I’ve got to go back and shave off a centimeter here and a millimeter there. And it’s not as if I wasn’t measuring and cutting the wood based on the bottle size, I am! I just suck at it! This happened with Ramillies just now and I had to grind down the waterline and then repaint the edge of the hull. But now she fits. More importantly the masts fit inside the bottle too. Many is the time I’ve had to nip off the tops of the mast
  18. Paint. I’m using Vallejo acrylics and I’m happy with this product. You will notice I paint then paint again, then I add more physical elements and then paint the same surface again, rather than just paint everything once at the end. In my view the paint should be open and ready whenever you’re at work on the model so you can add paint as you go. Acrylic paints make this easier since there’s no solvents or long drying time. current reasearch on actual paint from HMS Victory has recently given us a more true picture of the “yellow” color of the Nelson Checker: it’s actually pink. It shocke
  19. Bulwarks. I laminate a red and a mustard (mustard?) colored pieces of colored paper to represent the inner and outer colors of the bulwarks. Then I cut a rabbit or notch or shelf-whatever- for it to fit snub against the hull. The gap is filled with modeling paste. for the 74, the upper profile of the bulwark is odd, it takes a weird downward slope from the Hances to the Gangways, with fancy curves. And also I had to cut out a bunch of gunports. But, once I got them glued on with Tightbond white glue, I felt happy. Suddenly it looks like a going concern.
  20. Carved the hull, reasonably happy with it? It’s 4 1/4” or 11cm long.my usual method is to use a wood hull then glue bulwarks on made of colored paper. In fact all the details, all the deck furniture is laminated colored paper. my new wrinkle on this project was to make stairs from paper laminated to form each step. I alternated two similar colors to make each step visually distinct from the next but I’m not sure it was necessary. My plan for the quarter galleries is to use two-part transparent epoxy, in a technique I once used many years ago. I cut deep grooves at the stern to repre
  21. The hull I’ve carved from some species of wood that smells a LOT like cedar. Maybe it IS cedar? I had a block lying around. Nice tight grain. Smells good. Masts. I’ve grown impatient with wood for masts in SIBs. To get the wood to scale you wind up with some VERY fragile spars. I got sick of snapping them and now use brass rod and piano wire. This necessitates soldering the components and I’m the WORST at soldering. But the metal masts NEVER break and I can drill through them. You’ll notice a second bottle prepped. I’m building two SIBs at once but this build lib focuses only on the 74.
  22. The base is plywood and covered crudely in fake gold leaf. I got the fake leaf on eBay, very inexpensive. I’ve never used the real stuff but seen it done on YouTube videos. Like the real stuff, the fake stuff is the most fragile insubstantial material you can imagine, a puff of air rips up the tiny 2” square sheets. In this casrpe I painted cheap white glue over the brown painted plywood and just washed pieces of leaf over the glue, not trying to keep the sheets intact. The mottled speckled gold flecks look great. The blue sea is plasticine. I mixed up a “sea” color and melted it in a double b
  23. I haven’t done a SIB in a year or more so it’s time. But what to build? Visiting my sister in Mystic Connecticut we stoped in the adjacent town of Stonington. It just so happened to be the anniversary of a naval bombardment the town had suffered under the British in 1814. When I read on an historic plaque in town that the English commander was Captain Hardy, THE captain Hardy of Trafalgar and Victory and Nelson, “Kiss me, Hardy, THAT Hardy, I knew I wanted to build HMS Ramillies, Hardy’s command. Here’s background on the battle: https://www.stoningtonhistory.org/exhibits/battle-of-stonington/
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