Sunday, January 4, 2015

Super Mini Scale Ship in Bottle

  I've been doing some experimenting with different ideas I've found across the web and developed a method of building ships in bottles in very small scales.  I highly suggest visiting Eddy's Thimble SIB Pier and David Lavoie's Website for information and to see more incredibly small ships in bottles. 

  Let's start with the bottle.  

This is a one inch vile I got from Michael's.  It came in a pack with several other vials.  Measuring the bottle is important at all scales but most importantly at this one since there's not a lot of space to work with.  Tall ships are generally as tall as the are long.  This bottle gives plenty of length in comparison to height so height is important as it also gives about what the length of the ship should be.  To measure it I use one of the most important tools for this scale a paint brush.  

  Sounds weird but this paint brush solved a lot of the problems I had when it came to this scale.  First of all measurement.  I cut off a bristle and used it to measure the inside.  Cutting it down carefully until it just touched both sides.  The ship can be no taller than a half inch.  

  I also measured the bottle neck to see how much width I had.  

Now that I knew I had to build a ship with in a half inch by a quarter inch I was ready to start carving.  There's all sorts of carving methods the only real important one here is to carve the ship on a long piece of wood so that it can be handled through out the build.  I chose a Bermuda sloop to build because of it's relatively simple design.    

  Once the ship is carved I worked on the bulwarks.  I made these out of paper stained with a wood stain.  I carefully cut them to size and glued them on the side of the ship.  I then glue on black thread to act as the channels and a small piece of wood for the stem.  I coated the ship in two coats of clear nail polish to stiffen the paper.     

I drilled through the bulwarks with a small drill and used 30 gauge wire for cannons.  At this scale it's sometimes difficult to decide what to add and what not to.  In one version of this ship I added cut out in the bulwarks.  For the most part they were to hard to see so I opted for just drilling into the bulwarks.  I've also added gun carriages in one version but not others.  At this scale so much is hard to see I try to pay more attention to the sails rigging and overall hull then the finer details. 

  From here I go back to the paint brush.  Cutting off more bristles I made the masts and yards.  The importance of the bristles is that the bend easily with out breaking.  They can easily go into the bottle and pop back up once they are completely in. I managed to get different thickness's by gluing two to four bristles together.  Also gluing them in different spots I was able to add the different portions of the mast.  I drilled a small hole and glued the mast to the hole.  As mentioned the bristles bend easily to no hinges are needed.   


  Some experiments went into the bow.  In one version I used a needle painted black.  In another I used bamboo carved very thin.  I have found that the bristles work just as well.  I then used 0/8 fly tying thread for the rigging.  I tied the back stays to the mast and glued them to the channels.  Chain plates would be to small for this build.  I put on two back stays on.  I contemplated putting on ratlines but I'm not sure how I could make it work with out them seeming too over sized. 

  The fore stays I hardened with super glue so they stay straight.  I then cut them to size before going into the bottle.  Normally I would use the fore stays to pull the masts up but in this case the mast pop up automatically and the opening is to small for knives or scissors to cut anything.  

  From here I used light brown thread for the running lines.  This is the best photo I have of those.    

I used tissue paper for the sails and drew on the details.  Here's a couple photos of finished ships ready to bottle.    

  At this point the ship is cut off from the rest of the wood and is ready to go into the bottle.  As usual I use Plasticine clay for the sea.  A couple seconds over a hot burner makes it stick well to the glass.  I put the ship in and then bottle and glue it to the sea.  I then glue the fore stays to the bow.  

  I then cork the bottle and add a stand and other details.  Below is all the various versions of this build.  It goes pretty quick and makes a great gift.  

That's all for now.  Thanks for reading.  

Saturday, May 24, 2014

20 Questions with Heather Gabrielle Rogers

Time for another round for 20 Questions.  This time I will be featuring Heather Gabrielle Rogers.  First let me apologize sine Heather sent this to me almost a year ago and I'm just now posting it.  Life got a little busy for me.  I am very happy however, that she chose to fill out my questionnaire.  Her work is incredible and she has a way of adding a great sense of realism and emotion to her ships in bottle's.  I highly recommend you visit her website to see more.     

1.  What is your name? 

      Heather Gabrielle Rogers

2.  Where in general are you from?  

I grew up in Mathews, Virginia, which is right on the Chesapeake Bay.  I lived on a boat for a couple years and now I’m enjoying Switzerland.

3.  How long have you been building ships in bottles? 

I have been building ships in bottles for nearly 4 years now….but it seems I started just recently.  I guess each SIB I build is like starting something completely new, filled with different problems to solve and challenges for myself.

4.  What got you into ship in bottle building? 

I saw I man demonstrating the art in Beaufort Maritime Museum in North Carolina.  I needed a craft that took up a small amount of space because, at the time, I lived on a sailboat.  So, after seeing the demonstration, I decided to try….it worked out well.

5.  What was the first ship in bottle you ever built?

A New England Coastal Schooner

6.  What was your favorite build?

Oh that’s not a fare question! I have enjoyed most everyone I have built. It would probably be easier to answer ‘what was my least favorite build.’ Okay I have one favorite… the “Kalmar Nyckel and Fogel Grip” Bottle.

7. What do you think makes your ships in bottles unique?

My ships in bottles are incredibly detailed and are completely hand made in every way.  But what sets them apart from others is that, I try to build a model that is accurate and to scale, but still has an active life within the bottle (unlike the large static models).  I try to capture movement, emotions, a reality of the relationship between the sea and a ship.  And most importantly, put it all together in the proper bottle that suits the overall ship and atmosphere I am trying to capture.  In the end it must be a complete composition where all the pieces are in harmony with one another.

8. What types of ships do you prefer?

I like the classic yachts the most, the beautiful and slick boats, with nicely curved bows and slender sterns that rise out of the water.  You realize once you begin to carve them that, they just begin to appear from the block of wood, and you can understand exactly how they were designed in the past.  Add a wooden mast, a gaffed rig, with full sail, and I think you may have one of the most naturally beautiful sights that have graced our waters.

9.  What is your favorite part of ship in bottle building?

My favorite part is the challenge of coming up with new ways of creating all the details of the ship.  I avoid looking into books too much, because that takes the fun and ingenuity out of it.  

10.  Is there a design or method that you use that you are particularly proud of?

I’m proud that I have tried lots of different methods, but one thing that does set my SIBs apart from others, is the look of the ocean I create.  The overall color, surface appearance, and stability of the plumber’s putty, mixed with oil paints, allows me to create a very realistic sea composition.  I’ve experienced lots of different seas while cruising on our sailboat inshore and offshore.  The sea is normally never bright royal blue, but everything from a beautiful turquoise, dark rich blues, to even greenish brown muddy colors.  Sailing showed me that sometimes waves break, some roll and have large distances in between them, sometimes there are huge amounts of foam, they can be short and choppy, or nearly standing upright in places where current is contrary to wind.  The sea is actually the hardest thing to capture inside of a bottle.
Here’s a Chesapeake Bay scene on a day when the water looks a bit greenish grey.  There are short choppy waves that are irregular, and white caps…a typical 15-20 knot, windy day.

11.  Have you had any instances where a build went horribly wrong?  

Horribly wrong, as in a total loss…no, but I have had lots of things break when under construction and when being inserted into the bottle, masts, bowsprits, lines, shrouds…you name it.  I’ve yet to smash one with my fist, although it’s come close.

12. What are some of your favorite materials to use?

Basswood, is great for carving, making veneers, and small details.  I also like to take tiny watch parts and use them to mimic parts of the ship: a watch gear turns into the wheel, watch hands are used for chainplates and turnbuckles, washers can be used as blocks, etc… 

13. What are some of the most unusual materials you’ve used in a build?

I don’t know…everything has a purpose, so I might not think of it as unusual.

14. What creative tools have you created?

My tool building is pretty limited to mostly wire coat hangers bent to suit. I guess I don’t excel there because I haven’t needed anything very special…I don’t even have a special stand to work on my SIBs like most do. In the end I spend all my time focusing on building the model.

15. What books do you recommend for ship in bottle building?

We all like to recommend Don Hubbard’s…it is a great starter book, but in reality, any books on ship in bottle building can get you started.  For me the most important books are those that keep you going, inspiring you.  I like Gerard Aubry’s book “Marines en Bouteille”, or Peter Hille and Barry Young’s book “Ship Models in Glass.”  Books that aren’t just written to be created, but to share a passion and creativity that an author has in his/her craft…those books are inspiring.

16. What is the most interesting bottle you have found?

The most interesting bottles are always the chemist’s bottles, they can be round, conical, large, tiny, balloon shaped, etc … and they are made of pyrex, which seems very durable, heat resistant, and most of the time quite clear.

17.  What’s the most unique place or way you have found a bottle?

I once saw a large wine shaped, green tinted bottle from afar at a flea market.  I could tell it was clear and just right…a special find, and I was smiling ear to ear as I approached it.  I didn’t notice until I literally picked it up out of the box, that it was a bottle that had been cut in half, vertically, down the middle…you can only imagine my surprise and dismay. I still bought it and want to put a half hull model inside!

18. What is your favorite response to the question, “How did you get it in there?”

I hired a group of tiny fairies, they work at night, I pay them in popcorn, everyone’s happy.  No, really I don’t like answering that question, so I make a poster with pictures when I am at an event and generally point to it with little explanation, otherwise I feel like a broken record.  Having visual information helps people to understand more so than an explanation.

19. What ships are on your to do list?

Pride of Baltimore racing against the Schooner Virginia, Monitor and Merrimack Battle, another Jaws scene, the Martha White (Bluenose type schooner), and I've been thinking about doing more movie scenes and other schooners.

20. What are you currently working on?

I am building a second Jaws Scene in Bottle, while working on the Pride of Baltimore and Schooner Virginia.  Here’s the first Jaws Scene: 

Sunday, February 9, 2014


I recently completed a ship called the Mercury.  This was a fun little build for some pirate reenacters.  The draughts were drawn by William Brand a graphic designer. The full write up and details on how she was built can be found here.

If your into pirates or medical practices at sea this website by Raphael Mission is top notch.  There's a lot of interesting and well researched articles.  Enjoy.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

20 Questions With Christopher Lemke

A few months ago I sent out 20 questions to my fellow ship in bottle builders in order to get to know them better.  This post features Christopher Lemke.

1. What is your name?
Christopher Lemke

2. Where in general are you from?  
Vine Grove KY (just outside Ft. Knox & Louisville)

3. How long have you been building ships in bottles?
I began building SiBs in late 2011.

4. What got you into ship in bottle building?
I’ve been a modeler for YEARS since I was 11, my father and I built model kits side by side and still talk about our projects, when plastic kits began to skyrocket in prices I wanted to look into scratch building, a friend of mine bought me a Ship in a Bottle kit all pre cut and ready to build… from that point I was hooked.

5. What was the first ship in bottle you ever built?
A readymade “Boat in a Bottle” kit that came completer with a glass bottle, cork, pre cut hull & masts, mast hinge wire, sails, rigging line, clay for the sea, and tweezers. I named it Denise after my wife as she’s the one who would be putting up with my new hobby!

6. What was your favorite build? 
My favorite so far was a build I made as a gift for my dad, I scratch built a model of the ship he served on during Viet Nam. The AKA-112 USS Tulare, I even built the LCM-3 He piloted into the bottle’s glass stopper. 

7. What do you think makes your ships in bottles unique? 
Unique? I’m not sure I rate ‘unique’, yet. I do really like building ‘odd’ ships that folks don’t often see, I’ve a project on the table of an 1800’s Ohio River ‘Kentucky Flat Boat’ loaded with bourbon casks. 

8. What types of ships do you prefer? 
I love fully rigged tall ships of the Golden Age of Sail, I also enjoy Medieval Era ships, Civil War Iron Clads, I’ve even built a Viking Longship.

9. What is your favorite part of ship in bottle building? 
I love the research, finding the plans, colors etc… but I really love the building, adding the details, making everything just right.

10. Is there a design or method that you use that you are particularly proud of? 
I use a variable speed Dremel tool as a lathe to turn bamboo skewers down into masts, also I've become pretty accomplished in building ships where the hulls have to be split down the middle to fit into the bottle.

11. Have you had any instances where a build went horribly wrong?  
Oh yes… I built a Great Lakes armed sloop, placed it into the bottle, got it all seated into the sea and glued down and while I was pulling the lines to raise the sails the bottle pulled off its stand and fell, all the weight of the bottle was hanging from the rigging lines, it broke all the masts. 

12. What are some of your favorite materials to use?
 Basswood for the hulls, bamboo skewers for the masts, and acrylic paints 

13. What are some of the most unusual materials you’ve used in a build?
 So far the most unusual material has been driftwood.

14. What creative tools have you created?
 I’ve made all types to graspers, micro picks, and even a hinged paint brush using 1-2mm brass tubing and rods.

15. What books do you recommend for ship in bottle building?
 There are SO many! But two of the best How-to books are: Don Hubbard`s book SHIPS-In-BOTTLES and How to Build Historical Bottled ShipsThe best reference: The Story of Sail by Laszlo & Woodman 

16. What is the most interesting bottle you have found? 
I have 2 and both have inspired their own projects, 1 is an antique 2 Gallon Jim Beam bottle, that’s what I’m building the Flat Boat in, the other is an antique glass Bayer aspirin bottle That’s going to have the Firs US Navy Hospital ship built in it. 

17. What’s the most unique place or way you have found a bottle?
 I hunt through flea markets and yard sales. 

18. What is your favorite response to the question, “How did you get it in there?” 
Carefully, very, very carefully” 

19. What ships are on your to do list? 
HMS Bounty (working), Ohio River Kentucky Flat-Boat, USS Red Rover (1st US Navy Hospital Ship), NCC1701 USS Enterprise (Star Trek) 

20. What are you currently working on? 
2 Projects, the HMS Bounty and a commission piece for a retirement gift, a 66 Gun German/Dutch Man ‘O War pirate ship. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Beginners Schooner

When I first started this blog I posted instructions for a simple schooner.  I'll be honest.  I didn't know much about ship bottling then.  I probably still don't in comparison to others I associate with.  Since then though I've come a long way.  I have created a new simple schooner that reflects easier and better techniques then the first.  This one was created for a children's class I taught at a Jefferson County Library.  Download the plans by clicking the link.

 To get the supplies for the schooner you'll need to run to your local craft and grocery store.  Pick up the following.

Bass wood - as close to the dimensions on the plans as you can.
 Sketch Paper
24 gauge wire
Blue Construction Paper
Sauce Bottle
Paint, Crayons, Colored Pencils - what ever you want to use to add some color.
White Glue

If your starting completely from scratch you will need the following tools.

Small Saw
Sand Paper
#60 drill bit
Wire Cutters

Now your ready to begin.  Start by cutting your wood to size.  It doesn't have to be exact but try for a 3/4" x 3/8" x 2 1/5" block.  Then cut out a diagonal line into the bow and stern.  These don't have to be exact either.  You can cut them close to what the plans show or try different angles for some customization.

Next sand it down.  Make the wood nice and smooth and round out the edges a little bit.

Once the sanding is done it's time to add the deck house.  Cut out a 1/8" x 5/8" x 3/8" block and sand it smooth.  Then glue it just in front of the middle of the ship.  See the plans for reference.  Now you can color the ship any way you like.

Get out your drill and #60 drill bit and drill six holes as indicated.  The important thing to remember is to drill the two holes on the left and right side of the ship well behind the holes drilled for the mast.

Now time for the masts.  Get out your toothpicks use one to clean your teach or to look cool and two more for the masts.  Check them out first you want a good thick solid tooth pick.  Cut them to size for the mast and the boom and drill holes in the end of the boom and two holes in the mast according to the plans.

Once the holes are drilled you can set the mast.  Get the 24 gauge wire and cut off piece about an inch long.  Push this piece of wire into the hole in the bottom of the mast.  Center it then fold it down either side of the mast.  This will make the hinge that will allow the mast to fold up and down.

Insert the wire into the holes for the mast.  It will be a bit long but that's okay.  Now cut off small pieces of the wire bit by bit until the mast just touches the ship.  If you go to far that's fine it can still work.  It's just easier to get it just right.  Once your there dip the wire in glue and put it in the holes.

Once the glue dries you can attach the boom.  Put the thread through the hole in the boom around the mast and tie it down.  You'll want to leave a little bit of wiggle room so the boom can fold with the mast.

To tie the back stays push the thread through a hole in one side of the ship and tie it down.  Then push the thread through the hole in the middle of the masts and through the hole in the other side of the ship.  Now the tricky part.  Tie a loose knot around the hole on the side of the ship.  With one hand hold the mast upright and with the other pull the knot tight.  It is very important that when the mast is pulled tight against the back stays that it is straight up and down.

The forward stay is then tied to the top of the mast and threaded through the hole in the bow.  Leave enough of this line so that it can run out of the bottle neck.  You will use it later to pull the mast up once the ships in the bottle.

The boom will need to be tied down so that it it's straight.  Tie a line from the top of the mast to the end of the boom to hold it straight.  Then tie a line from the end of the boom to the hole in the stern so that when the mast is upright the boom is held tight.  Your almost there.  

Color the sails before gluing them onto the boat.  To get a nice wind filled look pull the sails between a pen and your thumb.  This will give them a nice curve and make the sails look like they are full of wind.  Glue the main sail onto the mast and then glue the other end to the boom.  Fold the jib sail over and glue it to the forward stay.  Be careful that the line is not glued down to the boat yet.  You want the sails to be able to fold back to get the ship in the bottle.

Color a larger piece of paper blue to represent the sea.  This will have to be measured carefully against the bottle you are using.  If your bottles round make sure it' thin so it doesn't obstruct the view of the hull once in the bottle.  Now she's ready to go inside.

Funny anecdote on this part.  When I did this project for one of the Jefferson County Libraries I helped ten kids put these in bottles.  Some parents dropped the kids off and then left to do other things.  When they got back they asked their kids how they got the ship into the bottle.  Their kids told them,  "We can't tell you it's a secret."

Well here is the big secret.  Carefully fold the mast back against the hull.  You will have to take care not to crinkle the sail.  Push the ship though the bottle neck and into the bottle.  Once inside use a stiff wire like a coat hanger to hold the ship still while you pull the line running out the bottle to pull the mast up.  Once you get the mast up and looking correct let it loosen a little and put a dab of glue onto the line just above the hole in the bow.  Then pull that line tight.  This will pull the glue into the hole and glue down the line.  Hold it tight until the glue dries then cut the line with a long thin pair of scissors.  Try to gut it as close to the bottom of the bow as you can.  If you use super glue wait five minutes before putting the cap on the bottle.  The vapors from the glue can cause fogging.  

You've done it!  The ship is in the bottle.  

 This little ship is actually my wife's first (and only so far) ship in bottle.  She did all the coloring and knot tying.  I had her help me in preparation for the kids class at the library.  For those that would like to try a similar project I'll throw in a few words of advice.

Don't worry about whether or not the kids can tie these little knots.  They will surprise you with what their little fingers can do.  Most tied knots better then I can.

If your doing this for a group of kids teach the adults helping how the entire process works before hand.  This is a craft that will easily descend into chaos if you don't have enough help.  The more that know how it works the smoother things will go.

If you want to get pictures of the kids to post on a website or other media bring consent forms.  This is a rule I didn't think about with the class I did so I don't have any pictures of it.

That's it.  Thanks for reading and good luck on your next Ship in Bottle.      


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

20 Questions with David Fellingham

Over the past year or so I've found that we ship in bottle builders are quite a unique group.  I thought it would be fun to get to know my fellow builders a little better and decided on a good old game of twenty questions.  So first off we have 20 questions with David Fellingham.

1.      What is your name?  
David Fellingham

2.      Where in general are you from?  
I grew up in Iowa and presently live in California

3.      How long have you been building ships in bottles?
I’m not sure, at least 30 years. I have been interested in sailing ships, ship models and nautical history for over 50 years – my first scratch build was at age 9 from a scrap piece of 1 x 4, a tin can and two short pieces of small diameter pipe – the Civil War Monitor.

4.      What got you into ship in bottle building?
My initial interest in sailing ships, nautical history and ship models began with reading C. S. Forester’s Hornblower series when I was 8 years old.. Later, work had me moving quite frequently, which is not very conducive to building ship models. I came across a book in a bookstore about building ships in bottles; seemed to be a perfect way to continue my interest in ship models while remaining mobile – all my tools, supplies and the current project could be packed and transported in a medium size tackle box.

5.      What was the first ship in bottle you ever built?
A generic late 19th century two-masted schooner from the SIB book I bought.

6.      What was your favorite build?
My favorite build has always been the one I had just completed until I start a new one, then the current project would become my favorite. I gave away almost all my SIBs (or lost them during moves). I completely lose interest in finished projects when I am working on a new one. That’s why I still don’t have any of my own. The most fun SIB was a submarine in a bottle – a sea with a very small periscope. Almost everyone who saw it picked up the bottle and turned it over and over looking for the rest of the sub.

7.      What do you think makes your ships in bottles unique?
Perhaps my attention to detail. I think the sea for my waterline models (the only kind of SIB I do) is more accurate to reality than almost any I have seen. For several years, my work was on offshore oil platforms off the southern California coast in deep water far from shore, which is the kind of sea where sailing ships spent 99.99% of their time. Most of that work included a journey by boat of as much as two hours, one way, to and from the platform every day. I had the opportunity to study and memorize the ocean’s appearance under just about all conditions from calm and flat to 40 mph winds and 30 foot waves (from trough to peak) which was just about the limit of what the crew boats could handle. Most people think deep-water seas look like the surf at a beach – but the only similarity between the two is that they are both salty and wet.

8.      What types of ships do you prefer?
In general, I prefer pure sailing ships. At present, I find myself most interested in the smaller warships of the early 1800s up to the time just before the introduction of steam. My favorite ships are topsail schooners (aka Baltimore Clippers) with a very radical mast rake that makes them look like they’re doing 10 knots even at anchor.

9.      What is your favorite part of ship in bottle building?
I enjoy solving the unique problems presented by each build. I also enjoy the rigging when I get to see the results of all the different pieces coming together into a whole.

10.   Is there a design or method that you use that you are particularly proud of?
I am very pleased with the box joint mast hinges I developed that are invisible when the mast is erected unless the viewer knows what to look for.

11.   Have you had any instances where a build went horribly wrong? 
Of course! Maybe not “horribly” wrong but I have had difficult problems crop up more frequently than I care to remember getting a ship in the bottle or setting up the masts. Each time the problems occurred because I failed to plan ahead well enough or to do a trial fit with the hull, bare masts and minimum rigging to check that everything fits and test  the mast erection. On one occasion, I omitted the test and later found that the main mast was too tall after the fore mast was set and glued. I had a lot of rigging and several spars to replace by the time I got the ship out of the bottle. I ALWAYS make a trial fit since that disaster.

12.   What are some of your favorite materials to use?
I fabricate many things from wire as fine as 45 gauge. I am also very pleased with a brand of fly tying thread I found. On my current build, I found that the fly tying thread can be taken apart into the twisted yarns that were twisted together to make the thread and I will use those yarns for ratlines when I get to that point on my current build. The yarns, at less than .001 inch diameter, work out to be the right size for 5/8 inch rope at 1/640 scale. I also like paper stiffened with ca glue in a variety of detail applications.

13.   What are some of the most unusual materials you’ve used in a build?
I once used human hair to rig a SIB in a glass airline-size liquor bottle. I will never do that again because hair is very difficult to work with in almost every regard.

14.   What creative tools have you created?
I make many special purpose tools for working inside the bottles as the need arises.

15.   What books do you recommend for ship in bottle building?
Just about any book on building SIBs covers the basics well enough for a beginner and provide a foundation for the rest of the learning process, which will never end. I have learned more in the last year after meeting other SIB builders through the internet than in the previous thirty. Shipbuilding in Miniature by Donald McNarry, although not about SIBs, has a wealth of information about miniature ship modeling techniques that are adaptable to SIBs.

16.   What is the most interesting bottle you have found?
A bottle is analogous to a painter’s canvas or a picture frame as far as I am concerned. I feel that complex, ornate or extremely unusual bottles distract the viewer from what is important – the ship inside the bottle. I feel the same way about display stands and exterior decoration. I believe strongly in the KISS principle – “Keep It Simple, Stupid.” The only criteria I have for bottles are clarity, uniform thickness for minimal distortion, usable interior space and the inside diameter and length of the neck. I found sources for laboratory glass which is what I intend to use from now on. The only exception I would consider is a classic Pinch bottle.

17.    What’s the most unique place or way you have found a bottle?
not applicable, see #16

18.   What is your favorite response to the question, “How did you get it in there?”
I thought of several smart-ass responses over the years but never use them. I explain the basics simply and concisely.

19.   What ships are on your to do list?
I don’t have a “to do” list as such. I have a mental list of ships that intrigue me for any number of reasons as possible future builds. At some point during a build in progress, I find myself thinking about what to build next – usually while working on some of the boring, repetitious details that occupy only a part of my attention. Eventually one or two of the “possibles” rises to the surface, so to speak, and I start the necessary research. My next build is going to be a conventional wood ship model from a kit – Caldercraft’s Cruizer, a British brig of war from the Napoleonic Wars modified slightly into one of the other 105 brigs built from the same plans in that period. It will be an interesting change to work on a relatively huge 1/64 scale model after working at 1/640 scale on my current project. I’m considering building the same brig from scratch in a large bottle concurrently.

20.   What are you currently working on?

I am currently building the Chilean Navy School Ship Esmeralda at 1/640 scale. Esmeralda is a four masted barquentine and the second longest and tallest conventional sailing ship in the world. Photo albums of progress photos are posted on the Ship in Bottle Builders and my personal facebook pages. I also have a comprehensive build log for Esmeralda on the Model Ship World website.