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Bottled Ship Builder

Clipper Ship "Sovereign of the Seas " 1852


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  Hi all, cold weather is forcing my "ship in bottle season" to open up. I have a wonderful, albeit large, model of The Sovereign of the Seas. I plan on restoring her in the future as the model is about a hundred years old. I bought it at an auction years ago and was later surprised to find tucked within her was a letter written by the gentleman that built it. I found a wonderfully large bottle on ebay and I decided to utilize the expertise and guidance of the Labistours' book "Making Ships In Bottles", and build this beautiful clipper ship within' it. As a newby I have learned a bit of what not to do via the "hard way". 

I have a collectors model of the Labistour's, that is among my absolute favorites. I found their book and I just love the methods, tips as well as the way it was written. I have fashioned a work stand per instructions and have begun the hull. That being said, I hope I can do the book justice.

 I found a book on how to make clipper models that included deck plans, sheer plans, breadth plans. rigging plans, jibboom plans etc. There is more detail than could be included on a S.I.B. but better too much information than the other way around.









Edited by Donald
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I am deviating slightly from the book, however I want to utilize the techniques within' for the majority of the build. Deviations are primarily for historical accuracy.  I am going to try not to overthink too much, as I sometimes get lost in the tiny details, rather than producing a realistic facsimile of the ship overall. I have misplaced my pin vise and while I wait for a new one's arrival I have fashioned the basic hull shape, shaved some bulwarks, the bowsprit, a capstan, windlass, cats head timbers and a bit of planking in the fore.




I don't know about anyone else, but I am pretty good at consistently creating a huge mess, just to produce a miniscule piece.


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Still waiting a pin vise, however in the meantime I fashioned a cabin with lifeboats fixed on top. The whole cabin is removable at the moment as a mast will be directly in front of it and may obstruct it's lowering. I put a bit-o-planking mid-ship and made a hatch. I'm going for a bit of a weathered look to her. I also ordered some photo etch anchors and the smallest "portholes" I could find, which have not yet arrived either. I know it's an "easy" way out but I was super disappointed in my attempts at those two.




Edited by Donald
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I started rigging her a bit. Since I got a bit prematurely excited and added deck details too early, I've had to remove some in order to rig her. I must have been quite tired last night since, as I look at the masts, the foremast is placed "bass-ackwards". The yards are tied to the rear instead of the front. In this case I am going to allow myself to be human and make mistakes rather than undoing what exists and starting over. I highly doubt anyone besides you folks and myself will ever know. Very frustrating though.


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Since the Sovereign of the Seas was designed and built in Boston Massachusetts, I decided to add the Boston Lighthouse as she, roughly, would have appeared in 1850. I ended up with a couple different types of clay laying around my house so I made the rocks and land from polymer clay in 3 sections, to fit through the neck, then baked them. The Lighthouse as well as the sea bed, I made from plastacine. I managed to get the "scene" in there and am fast approaching ...Bottling day.




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  • 6 months later...

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