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Bottled Ship Builder

Black Pearl


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All,

I've started on my Black Pearl SIB at last. Its a gift for my daughter when she graduates this coming summer with a MA in Special Effects. There are a number of film series that are very popular with the students and Pirates of the Caribbean is one of them, especially with my daughters group.

I actually started last year with research into plans, not surprisingly there is very little of any use out there. I found a drawing (below) of the prop itself but nothing really helpful. So I set about drafting up my own. I used Powerpoint Draw facility as I know how to use it (and have promised myself to learn CAD this year) based on the prop drawing, sketches from stills and freeze frame of the DVDs. The rigging I put together from research into ships of the time. The actual powerpoint drawing is fairly detailed, but the one shrunk for inclusion below doesn't show this

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It just has to go into a Kracken Rum Bottle. I know its not the first time this has been done, but its still a good idea. This dictates the size of the SIB, the neck internal diameter is 18 mm so the hull will have to be segmented.

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I've got as far as preparing the hull blank. I've used Ramin, its similar to Obeche in use. Its pieces of 12 x 12 mm strip, drilled and pegged for location with a 1 mm strip in the centre for reference and the keel, etc.

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Just waiting for a break in the weather (raining heavily) so I can set up my sander outside and start making dust to take the blank down to size.

This probably won't be a fast build, I want to try and get it as good as I can. There are some bits of the Pearl that stand out and I'll have a go at - the ridiculously large stern lanterns, the figurehead, the capstan centred around the mainmast (who thought of that!!??) and of course one 'Undead Monkey' - that will probably be a blob of paint.

All for now

Alan

Edited by exwafoo
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  • 1 month later...

Dan,

I've done some more work and had a start on the masts. The hull is split, you can see the blocks in the photo above with the elastic bands, and in the enclosed phots. The little stand is only a temporary thing. The masts are 1.5 mm thick at present, although the perspective of the maco shot makes them look thicker.

Alan

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Edited by exwafoo
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  • 2 months later...

All,

Thanks for your interest, kind comments, questions over the SIB and concern over my hand.

I was moving a large patio plant tub by tipping it on edge and rolling it like you do with a barrel and got my hand trapped between it and a wall. Bruised,swollen and stiff for a while. The stiffness lasted, making holding small bits hard, but its just the pinky now, not much use for modeling anyway.

I've uploaded some more phots, one with a ruler to show size. I basically measured the inside of the bottle and shrunk the plans to suit, so I haven't actually got a scale.

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I've started the mainmast, but its only loosely put together to show a general make up, no glue as yet other than the styrene top. 

A trial cannon on deck - it needs to be  a bit higher

I made up a couple of jigs a few years ago for making Hinckley Hinges. There is a mast drilling jig in ‘Ship Models in Glass’ that allows accurate drilling. I adapted this so an off centre hole could be drilled. The male and female halves of the hinge are started in this. A line of holes are centre drilled in one piece (female) and then the offset is used to drill a line of holes, then the mast is rotated through 180 degrees and another line of holes is drilled producing the male half. The second jig is a piece of square section brass with a screw to hold the work piece and the end formed at 45 degrees. A 0.5 mm wide saw blade is used to clear out the female half with the jig guiding the cut to 45 degrees. The sides of the male half are trimmed down and the mitres cut. A bit of fettling to get the fit, I then used the sanding jig to reduce the thickness to 1.mm. If anyone wants the full article I wrote on this for Bottleship, PM me and I'll send it on. 

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The cabin windows were cut from styrene sheet. I crosshatched a piece of thin clear sheet from a bit of packaging with a sharp blade, coated it with black dry marker, let it dry and then wiped off, leaving the scores black. Coloured the other side yellow, and glued to the window frames. The wheel is a watch cog.

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More soon

Alan

 

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Thanks for the likes and comments again. Went to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie as well - a very enjoyable film. Disney used the wrong Union Flag again, but since when has the film industry let historical fact get in the way of a good story. I was noting details of the Pearl. I'll have to have a look for some stills. The SIB was good - it really would be a challenge and a half to put one in a bottle with real water.

Al

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  • 4 months later...

Hi All,

Time for a bit of an update. More or less finished, as far as I want to go anyway. I need to make some guns, anchor, and the figurehead. I've started the rigging, hence it still looking like a limp washing line, might have a rethink on a couple of bits of this - I'll see how it goes. One thing I have found is that working with all black makes for hard work seeing the rigging against the ship and sails. It really does need a bright light. Also hard to get a good phot.

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best to all

Alan

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  • 2 weeks later...

I get it in the local model shop. There is a good selection of packs of sheet. strips, rods and tubes. Its called Evergreen Strip Styrene, although there are other makes and its certainly available on the internet.  I've found it useful for a number of things.  Its good for building up small pieces like window openings, or making tops or cross trees, and adding detail like the wales. Not so good if the small piece requires a bit of strength. Having a length of the right size strip saves a lot of cutting. There are modelers that use it for moulding, eg, making lifeboats. I've never tried this myself. Some fun for the future perhaps.

A few tips from lessons learned from mistakes.

Drill holes or cut openings first, then cut down to the external size or the piece can split. I've got into the habit of drilling (with wood as well) a smaller than required hole and then opening it up with a cutting broach to the size required. I've had a lot less splits that way and it produces a smoother hole, good if thread has to run through it.. 

Think about gluing. Small pieces require a small amount of glue. Polystyrene cement comes in two forms, liquid or gel. The liquid can be applied with a brush or a thin metal tube and dries almost instantaneously;  the gel needs very careful application and takes longer to dry. If you use too much of either on a small piece then all you get is a melted lump pf plastic. CA works, but I've found it will let go if the pieces are knocked later on.

'Break' the edges of the styrene, ie, take the sharp edge off, or paint will not stick well to the edge.

The Discs that John Fox III sells show how he uses styrene on some of his SIBS. I picked up some good tips from him.

Youtube also has some good 'How to' videos on Styrene modelling - search under 'Styrene Modeling'

Hope this helps a bit

Alan

Edited by exwafoo
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  • 2 months later...

A swift update. 

The Pearl went into the bottle before Christmas, but it transpired that the Kracken was lurking and it got the mainmast. Actually, the hinge tenon split, not the hinge pin breaking as one would expect in a break. I couldn't fix it in the bottle, so out it came, incurring a bit more damage as SIBs are designed for one way transit through a bottle neck. 

Anyway, repairs made, SIB relaunched into the bottle and pieces assembled. I'm just having the devils own job getting the port main topmast backstays in place as the lines have developed a twist that is making me scratch my head a bit. I'm also waiting for a nice bright weekend as black rigging on a black hull, masts and yards is hard to see. I'll post again when done. Soon, hopefully.

Best to all

Alan

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Forgot to say, complex styrene shapes can be cut by using a thin nylon thread in place of a sawblade. The friction melts the styrene. Usful for cutting out small gingerbread type pieces. Just keep the thread under tension, eg, replace the blade in a small coping saw or similar with a piece of thread.

Alan

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Beautiful work Alan.  It's funny, I got a book on styrene modeling the other day and was thinking that it might be a good material for SIBs.  Then today I catch up on everything I've missed the past few months and your Black Pearl uses it, and uses it very nicely.   Thanks for sharing all the tips with us.

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