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Bottled Ship Builder

Small Carvings On SIB's

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Over the weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time reading.  As I was reading Lloyd McCaffery's book, I was intrigued by his small carvings that he had done on many of his ships, as well as some of his stand alone carvings.  Has anyone attempted such small and intricate carvings on SIB's?  Here are some examples of his carvings. 




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Greetings Gwyl,


I guess there is not much real comparison to those artists, however, they are working at considerably larger scales than most of us normally use for our modeling efforts. Don't get me wrong, there carvings are things of beauty in themselves, let alone to adorn a model ship. Over the years I've found it difficult, at best, to carve decent figure heads out of wood at small scales.


What i have turned to is sort of half carving, and half layering. The photos below show the making of one of the figureheads for my BonHomme Richard models.


This first photo show all the tiny parts I cut out of sheet styrene to form the base of the figure head. I made templates out of prints glued to styrene, then used a fine pin to trace many copies onto another sheet, and carefully cut and sanded them to the flat shapes shown. To get the exact shapes I am afraid to mention I used my CAD software to draw what I wanted in basic outline from the plan's more detailed drawings. I then basically sliced through my drawing to form the shapes shown as cut.



This photo shows the two halves of the base figurehead. Each is made up by gluing the pieces together, not seen is the bottom piece on each side, which is the lion's main, just the main. The inner pieces are the inside of the head, with snout, and a rounded cut out that fit exactly over the beakhead end. Once the assembly was glued onto a model, I then did a little sanding to round things out a bit.



This last photo shows the figurehead as finished. I added the scroll between the lion's paws and the beakhead by using .005" styrene sheet and forming it like a scroll to fit. The little gem in the center of the fold was simply carved styrene, painted a nice shiney blue color.


I've done pretty much the same on several other models in the past, just don't have decent enough photos of those to share.


If I thought I could carve them from scratch, and from wood, I would probably do so, but this system works fairly well and is quite a bit easier once you get the hang of it.


Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III

Ladysmith, WI

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I was also wondering if anyone had access to a dentist type drill and those tiny painful drill bits they use.  I'm not sure how that would sculpt but would like  to hear thoughts on this as well.



Hi Gwyl,

I have some of them




Но я использовал их только один раз для гравировки надписей



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