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Bottled Ship Builder

USS Adams

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Hi Everyone,

My next build is going to be the USS Adams, described as a "screw gunboat and the lead ship of the Adams class, a single screw, wooden-hull, bark-rigged steamer." My great great grandfather was a marine serving aboard the Adams from 1892 - 1894.  He also served aboard two of her sister ships, the USS Enterprise and the USS Pensacola from 1890 - 1892.  

I was wondering if I could ask the help of some of the more knowledgeable modelers on this site.  I've been able to scale the ship from the profile picture included here and other descriptions about her length, beam and draft.  But I haven't been able to find out a lot more about her configuration. The other pictures I've included here are the USS Enterprise, so I'm using these to approximate the Adams.

Some of my questions are as follows (and it's fine with me if you take a guess, I'm not a 100% stickler for historical accuracy)

The armaments are listed as 1 X 11 inch (280mm) gun, 4 X 9 inch (230mm) guns, 1 X 60 pounder Parrott rifle. I assume the 4 X 9inch guns are similar to the 4 guns on the carriages fore and aft of the main mast. 

1) Do you think the Parrott rifle and the 11 inch guns are pivot guns similar to the one pictured? 

2) Where do you think they would be mounted?  Considering the the ship has an open gun deck, would they fire them up and over the gunwales, or would they have to be on the forecastle and the quarter deck?

3) How far would the forecastle and the quarter deck extend?  Should I assume the mizzen mast is on the quarterdeck and the fore mast is on the forecastle? It looks like the forecastle extends almost up to the smoke stack.

4) It appears that the helm is on the main deck, in front of the quarter deck?

4) Have any tips on modeling convincing smoke from a smokestack that will hold up over time?

5) I've searched the web, but does anyone have any clues as to where I might find more details about the layout of the ship, or this class of ship?

If you have any opinions to share, I thank you in advance.









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Apparently theres a book out there too but I'm not sure how hard it is to get a hold of.  Its a great project.  I've thought of doing a screw steamer as well  My family came to the US on one called the Teutonia.  Thought it might be fun to have the ship in a bottle with a copy of the log book where their names are recorded on the stand or in the bottle neck. Its fun to add a little family history to ship in bottle building. I look forward to seeing yours come together. 

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  • 9 months later...

After laying is aside for most of last year, I picked it up again and am making good progress.  After I stepped the mast I realized I made the ship about 4mm too tall for bottle I'd chosen. Luckily I had a few extra Scotch bottle paying around and the Aberlour bottle was just the right size ☺️. With any luck I'll be done in a few days.










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And here we are, just need to finish off the bottle and build a stand!  With every build I learn something.  I still need to be neater with my glue work and find a way to make my spars more graceful, but I like the way the sea came out (I melted the plasticine this time instead of just pushing it in) and the smoke adds an exciting element to this one.  







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