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Shipwright1912
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Ahoy all!

Just thought I'd share a few Work-In-Progress shots my latest project, a SIB model of the Britannic, the "forgotten sister" of the famed RMS Titanic, and the third and final member of the Olympic-class, which were built by Harland and Wolff of Northern Ireland at the behest of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company AKA the White Star Line, in response to Cunard's twin giants Lusitania and Mauretania. 

The Britannic was originally intended to be the ultimate expression of what the Olympic-class ships were supposed to be, thoroughly re-engineered to benefit from the Titanic tragedy, having been modified to have a double hull along the length of the boiler and engine room compartments, and her watertight bulkheads having been significanly raised (one or two going up to the very top of the ship), meaning she could stay afloat with the first six compartments fully flooded, compared to Titanic's design of only four (five ended up being breached by the iceberg. These improvements, along with plenty of lifeboats and new giant gantry davits to lower them, being able to swing over to the opposite side of the ship if necessary, prompted shipbuilding magazines of the time to label her "The most perfect specimen of man's creative power as is possible to conceive".

Alas, Britannic was fated never to carry a paying passenger, for she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and completed as a hospital ship for service ferrying wounded and sick military personnel back to Britain during the Gallipoli Campaign of WW1. Britannic was subsequently lost on November 21st, 1916, the now-accepted cause being that she struck a mine laid by the German U-73, with the loss of 30 lives, having sunk in 55 minutes. 

 

As for the model, as I've stated elsewhere on the forums, I like to make SIB's that are unusual, and that I favor steam and motor ships as these are relatively under-represented as compared to SIB's of sailing vessels. As I've already made Titanic and her tender Nomadic, it seemed only natural to start "rounding out the family" by making a SIB of the Britannic too.

These photos represent the current state of the model, being approximately 70% complete, with the hull and superstructure mostly finished. All that's left to do is apply the final detail parts such as hatches, cargo cranes,  the anchors and anchor chains, the crow's nest, rudder, flags, etc., then it'll be time to rig the ship's masts and Marconi aerials with thread, then to do the painting and apply the smoke for the funnels before the final dismantling and re-assembly inside the bottle.

I'll be posting up further photos and commentary as the work progresses, please feel free to comment or constructively critique as you see fit.

 

Cheers,

Brendan O.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, final assembly and painting's done, working on getting it into the bottle as of this writing, it's proved a bit of a tight fit, and I ended up having to almost completely disassemble the rigging in order for both parts of the ship to go in, as the masts on an Olympic-class ship are on different levels, one on the superstructure, one on the hull, so it's not as simple as just lowering the masts and sliding in the hull. I've also had to wait to put on the four red crosses that go onto the superstructure (on the real ship, these lit up at night to show all other vessels that the ship was a hospital ship and thus was a non-combatant) due to clearance reasons, so they aren't in the attached pictures.

All in all, I think I'll have to do some thinking and maybe a little bit of a redesign for the next time I do an Olympic-class ship. Been so long since doing the Titanic I've forgotten the tricks I used that time, and even then I remember it being a bit tricky as the Britannic is proving to be as well. Oh well, it'll get done one way or another, and I'll be putting up the pics of the final results when I get to them.

Cheers Lads,

Brendan O.

 

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Brings to mind the old adage "Measure twice, cut once." Oh well, as you say it happens, we just have to roll with it.

---

Well, after a lot of work and a bit of blasphemy on my part, the Britannic's finished, all sealed up in her bottle and ready to go to a good home where someone will enjoy her. It was a difficult road, as the rigging ended up getting horribly tangled, so I had to remove the Marconi aerial to get it untwisted, and it took a bit of work re-attaching the spars that hold it up, but I managed to sort it out, and I ended up having to make a new gantry davit as one snapped when I was struggling to get the #4 funnel attached, but I got that sorted and all the funnels in, so all in all I'm very happy with how she turned out.

So, I suppose it's on to the next project after a day or two of rest away from the shop.

 

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Thanks! I think I've got a ways to go before I'm at the same caliber as some of the other SIB modellers I've seen,though. Have to say I've seen some rather excellent work being done by the membership of the forums here.

Still, she ain't a bad model, though, and I'm quite pleased with how she's turned out.

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She's great.  I've learned it can be better not to compare my work to others.  Absolutely learn from others and try to emulate what I like about others work but, every one is on their own path.  If your ship is better then the last then your doing great.  Even the greatest modelers are critical of their own work and hope the next will be better.  In that way we're all the same.  

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Jesse,

I make the smoke by using cotton balls, usually just cut slivers off of them using scissors, then I tease and fluff the slivers out with my fingers until they look all puffy like drifting smoke. Then I just glue them to the tops of the funnels, and after I get the funnels on the ship inside the bottle, I use a rod or one my homemade tools made from baling wire to re-arrange the smoke so the plumes are angled in the same direction.

In Britannic's case, I'm depicting her having the wind blowing across her beam from port to starboard, so the smoke (and the flags) are angled to the right.

 

Sometimes I color the smoke black to represent coal smoke, heavy firing conditions in the boiler rooms, bad fuel/improper firing/clogged up flues, etc., in which case I dye the cotton using a marker or some diluted india ink, or spray paint some pillow/teddy bear type stuffing (usually get that at Walmart along with the cotton balls).

The trick is not to put too much smoke on, as it can obscure the ship and all the details. Besides funnel smoke, I use the same methods to make muzzle flashes for the guns of warships in battle, I just use less material.

Hope all this helps!

Brendan O.

 

 

Edited by Shipwright1912
typos
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