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Bottled Ship Builder

What else do you model besides SIBs?


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  • 5 weeks later...

Some more work done on the 1 to 1 scale Nova SS. We had a set back as of late. The carburetor was full of crap and the heads were cooked. We had no vacuum or compression on all 8 holes so we couldn't get it started. Also the intake and exhaust valves are burnt so we had to pull the top end off. Thank goodness my son found an awesome deal on Kijiji. We got new aftermarket heads complete with valves, push tubes, lifters etc. for $300. We purchased a carb kit/gaskets from a speed shop.



New heads just painted waiting to be put together.


We also got the differential installed, new fuel tank in and hooked up, brake lines installed etc. I have to rebuild the master cylinder as it's pooched. Found a cheap rebuild kit at NAPA.



BTW we put a positrack differential into her with 4:56 gears. She should rock and roll! Also a nice bonus was when we removed the heads we found out the block is 350 cubic inch displacement... not the 307 block we thought it originally was as we ran the numbers and it turns out the internet is wrong! Go figure LOL.

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  • 3 weeks later...

HEADS back on, intake on, carb on, exhaust manifolds on, distributer in etc. Started her up and man does she sound good. We set initial timing on her and adjusted idle mixture etc. We had to order a new reman master cylinder as the kit we ordered to rebuild the old one was the wrong kit.

Once we get the master cylinder on and brakes bled then we can put the back wheels on and get her on the driveway to warm it up and power tune it. :dance:

Edited by Chasseur
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  • 1 month later...
  • 10 months later...

My son got his car into the car show we sponsor at our Church entitled endless summer last weekend.  We also had to buy a triple core aluminum radiator as he makes some horse power and the original rad caused the temperature to climb too quickly for my liking! Car does great burn-outs! I bought him a nice set of wires for Christmas also.

So the 1-1 build is completed.



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Semi Automatic "Bug" Morse Key
Feeling like a change from ship models, a few days ago, I decided to try and build a semi-automatic bug key.      This type of  morse key was first developed in the United States.    Conventional morse keys move up and down, and both dots and dashes have to be made manually.     When I first went into passenger liners as a junior radio officer in 1965, I found it very hard going sending large numbers of messages, often containing hundreds of words.     My wrist was quickly in danger of seizing up, so I obtained a cheap Japanese bug key in Cape Town.     The bug key works horizontally, and the side of the palm can be rested on the desk.   Pushing the paddle to the right with the thumb, produces a string of dots by vibrating a piece of weighted steel spring with electrical contacts fitted.     Pushing it to the left with the forefinger, the dashes have to be made individually.    I found this a great help, and was soon able to send for considerable  lengths of time without getting tired.    In the next twelve years, I got through two Japanese bug keys, the first being accidentally dropped by the third radio officer when it was only a few weeks old.   That broke the paddle arm off, and I had to effect a temporary repair until I could replace it again in Cape Town.    Despite being quite cheap, I had no complaints about the Japanese keys, they were really good.   But I had heard that the American Vibroplex keys were the best of the best.    Eventually, I was able to purchase on in Houston, Texas, for about £50.     I used that one regularly from 1977 until leaving the sea in late 1992, and still have it today.   The key illustrated is purely my own design based on trial and error, and it took almost a week to get it working correctly.    I have compared it with my Vibroplex, and although I am a bit "rusty" at morse after 25 years, can still produce perfectly readable code, and cannot tell any difference in handling between mine and the Vibroplex,
I incorporated small ball races for the top and bottom bearings that gave a very smooth action.    The spring steel is a piece of a junior hacksaw blade with the teeth ground off.     The vertical pillars are all old rifle shells cut off to the correct length, and bolted to the acrylic base via holes drilled through ends.   The dent caused by the firing pins was a great guide for the drill.    The open tops were fitted with home-made caps made from brass, with a fancy brass bolt in the top for purely aesthetic reasons.     Solving the spring problem was beyond me, as I could nor find any springs small enough, or of the correct strength.    I got round this by using powerful neodymium magnets instead of springs, and they work really smoothly.    The tension can be easily adjusted by moving the magnets further apart, or closer together.     Neither could I get the dot contacts correct, so I used a small magnetic reed switch.   It is actuated by a magnet fixed the vibrating arm.    The speed of the dots can be adjusted by moving the brass weight along the vibrating arm.    The closer it is moved to the front of the key, the faster the dots.     Most of the construction is in brass.    The base and paddle are acrylic sheet and the finger knob is a small "button knob" normaly used for glass cabinets.


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Nice to see a drawing been done the good old fashioned way.

Its my preferred method, I've attempted to teach myself CAD a number of times, but have not got there yet. I use PowerPoint Draw for small things, but MS have changed the menu structure such that it now takes 3 clicks to do what one click used to, so I'm going to make another effort on CAD. Still can't beat paper and pencil tho'.



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I thought I'd upload these. My daughter has just graduated from university with a BA (Hons) in Model Design and Special Effects, trying for a career in the film industry.

The first 3 photos are of a 'medieval book' prop she made.




The next ones are of a Tug she made. The brief was; a stop motion child's TV series about a Tug Boat Skipper, the Tug being able to go anywhere in space or another film. It is about 2 feet long, and except for the LEDs, tyres, and rope, is entirely scratch built. The engines and lights were designed in CAD and 3D printed, the hull is glass fibre produced from a carved form. I know I'm her dad, but I'm still impressed.








The next is a 1 quarter scale ships gun made by one of her class friends. Glass fibre barrel, wooden carriage, and elm trucks.


All the best



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  • 2 months later...
20 minutes ago, Shipbuilder said:

Yes, I agree, a perfect image usually means it is a modern reproduction, and you have got the balance exactly correct.     I have seen photographs of the Cariad as well - real schooner!   



Thank you.

‘Cariad’ is ‘Love’ in Welsh. She was one of the fastest schooners owned by my hometown. 

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2 hours ago, DSiemens said:

Love the schrimshaw.  Thats interesting that modern schrimshaw can be to perfect.  I've thought that of folk art in general.  Theres a certain charm to the gritty imperfect look of folk art.  

You are quite right.

in order to keep the work as authentic as possible I use very basic tools, similar to what the old boys would’ve used. Often under the light of the paraffin lamp.


I’ve even made ink using the black from lamp to produce some of the pieces. 

This is my kit. The pen knife was given to me as a kid by an the old local seaman. 


Edited by Capten Madog
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Some models made to 1:96 scale. Front to back:-

German torpedo boat

Victorian destroyer HMS Boxer

HMS Vulpine submarine

HMS Fury 'F' class destroyer

My late father served on the sub and 'F' class destroyer in WW2

HMS Fury took me one year to build . All constructed out of plywood,balsa wood,white plastic and various other items.

Wife did not want them in the house(dust collectors) so they are stored at a friends.


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