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About DSiemens

  • Birthday 04/12/1985

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Denver Co
  • Interests
    Sailing Ships, Ships in Bottles

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  1. A little more progress.... In regards to the windows the book calls for tin foil painted with transparent blue paint. I didn't have any transparent blue and paint didn't seem to stick to the aluminum foil so I just used the foil as is. I had thought I saw the window cross hatch pattern before and found it again in some lace. I ended up cutting the windowsills out of paper and then glueing them onto the foil with the lace inbetween. Once the glue dried I cut the window out of the foil, painted the sills and put it on the ship.
  2. A bit more work done. I decided to go with paint on deck. I could have planked it but I figured id follow the book on this one. I went light so that it still has an aged look. The lighter deck does make the rest of the ship pop out more. Got the head boards redone and in place as well as the cat heads. Interestingly enough the book caled for a touch of silver on the head boards so ibpainted that on. It does give a little more depth. Got all the gun port lids replaced. With the exception of the stern I'm about ready for rigging. I've been cutting off the old rigging here and there saving the dead eyes and blocks, at least those that don't fall apart.
  3. Thank you for the comments. I agree bdb accuracy is not the goal here at all. Ours funny because McCann mentions that in his book. Instead of building cross trees he has the builder use thread to tie the masts together. He called it throwing seaman ship to the wind. He meant it to be simple not accurate. Actually after reading through the book I'm somewhat surprised there aren't any McCann style builds on this forum. For some one wanting to learn scratch building its a great start. I picked up a bit of paint and went to touching up some spots. I want to keep the model looking old so I used a dry brush technique. Wetting the brush the painting on a piece of paper until the paint was almost gone and then painting the model. I need better lighting but you can see how the colors come out but not by to much. I then turned my attention to the stern. I'm not sure what the original artist was going for. I decided to change this up all together. I was given a color photo of a magazine cover for this ship. Here you can see the two lions on top per the book and a pegasus. The book says to get a picture from a cigar box or catholic literature. I looked at some from the 1930s and got some good ideas. I like the pegasus though so I looked up 1930 pegasus. What I found was interesting. This pegasus looks very similar to the one on the magazine cover. So I think that's what I'll use. I went ahead and painted the stern and added the two lions per the book. The stern is somewhat different as built but I think I can mix the book plans in just enough to look good.
  4. DSiemens

    Root Beer Escapades

    So a friend of mine started brewing beer at work. It seemed like a lot of fun so I thought I'd try it out. Trouble is I dont drink. A ship in bottle builder that doesn't drink!...shocking I know. So I turned to root beer. I didn't want the old McCormick concentrate though I wamted real root beer. So I dove through the web trying to find a good root beer recipe. After seven awful batches I concluded that all of the recipes on line are complete garbage. I tried ones with cinnamon, some with lime juice, raisins, licorice root and winter green. They were all horrible. So I went to the very basics. Sasafrass, sugar and water. What I got was a great tasting very sweet root beer. It was different. It was root beer but sweeter. As I dug around learning about root beer I found some interesting things. First off was the FDA study in the 1960's. Sasafrass root was known to be an ingredient in drugs so to stop the drug problem the FDA loaded up some rats on Sasfarole an oil found in sasafrass. The rats got cancer and they labled it a carcinogen. Never mind to get the equivelent reaction in a human they would need to drink fifty gallons of root beer a day. Root beer companies had to find ways get the sasforole out of sasafrass or go with a different recipe. What I found was the big root beers like Barqs and A&W actually use sasparilla and not sasafrass. Which makes me wonder if sasparilla became the new staple in root beer after the 1960's. Its easier to use than having to refine sasafrass. Thats what made mine unique. I bought sasafrass online which I was surprised they could sell but it provided a slightly different flavor. With quiet a few more tests I found a recipe that really tasts great. 1 quart water 1/4 cup sasafrass 1 tablespoon sasparilla 1 table spoon vanilla 3 cups sugar 2 quarts sparkling water Put quart of water in stove and heat it, add s asafrass, sasparilla and vanilla. When it come to a boil turn the heat down and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Drain it through a strainer to get the root chuncks out. For really clear root beer strain through cheese cloth. While its still hot add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Let it cool in freezer for an hour or so then add the sparkling water for carbination. Other carbonation methods work too. You can boil it in 3 quarts of water if carbenating in another way. I found the sparkling water method works for me. So thats my old school root beer. Let me know if you have a good recipe I'm willing to try them out. Its been a lot of fun and there's nothing like modeling ships with a home made glass of root beer.
  5. Theres a lot of phrases in this book like that. Like belt pins. Captain McCann made a lot of use of belt pins. From what I can tell I think they are called straight pins today. I could be wrong.
  6. That is true. The one commonly attributed to Blackbeard is described as one flown by a Francis Spriggs. Some of the flags did exist in one form or other. It just takes a lot of research to find the historical evidence. The clickbate prone internet makes it very difficult.
  7. There is little historical evidence for a lot of the flags that are attributed to pirates. Historians traced the appearance of the common flags to the 1950's. http://www.piratesurgeon.com/pages/surgeon_pages/memento_mori6.html
  8. I have had an interest for some time in the E. Armitage McCann models and always thought I'd try one someday. I came across a 1927 version of his Pirate fellucca and Spanish Galleon book on Amazon for $11 and decided to make the purchase. It was in great condition for a 91 year old book. It even had the plans in the back sleeve. A friend of mine if the Rocky Mountain Ship wrights happened to be restoring a McCann Constitution so I thought I'd show it to him. He recognized it right away as he has a 1926 copy and he asked how interested I was in building a McCann model. I told him I was very interested. He then told me he had a Spanish Galleon that needed some restoration amd that if I planned on restoring it he would let me have it. I jumped at the chance. I love old ship models. The older the better. I spent a bit of money on a 1915 ship in bottle just to have one from the era when ships in bottles became popular. So owneing an old McCann style model was right up my alley. Admitably I started work on her right away. So this is after some clean up but here she is. Note the receipt. The ship was sold at one point in 1973 so I know it is at least that old. To the best of my knowledge it between 50 to 90 years old. It is incredibly fragile. The rigging about fell apart looking at it. All of the rigging needs to be redone. Its bowsprit was broken and in need of repair. Surprisingly all cannons were present. Some of the stern sections were broken off and needed replacing. I have my work cut out for me. Good news is I have the 91 year old instruction manual. Bad news is I don't think theres such a thing as a notions counter anymore. 😜 I've been pouring through the book getting an idea of what goes where. The original builder stayed pretty close to the book but did do his own thing on some parts. I plan on doing a mix of the two. Bring some parts closer to the book and leave some parts as the builder had them. I started with the rigging. It all has to be removed. I saved what dead eyes I could but they are equally fragile. I may need to buy a celluloid knitting needle to teplace them as recomended by McCann. I then turned my attention to the deck. McCann states it should be a lighter color. The original builder painted it dark. This is where thing got a little funny as the admiral looking over my shoulder said, "The deck isnt right, its to dark." I told her I was thinking that and thought about painting it lighter per the book. She said, "No, you have taught me to much. It won't look right unless you plank it." She is right, theres nothing better than a nicely planked deck but, this is a McCann model. It was supposed to be simple. I fear my club and I have raised the admirals expectations in ship models. I guess thats not all bad. I'm still stuck in the middle on this idea but I purchased some wood to plank it with. (I needed more ship in bottle veneer anyway) From there I investigated the deck. With a little sanding I found,the upper decks are wood. I can sand them down to the wood and call it good. The main deck however is a some sort of composite and doesn't have a wood grain. The main deck will need planking. I purchased some wood from cards of wood that is paper thin. If I do plank it the increased height of the deck will be very minimal. Thats the question though. Do I paint it per the book or plank it because it would look better? I would plan on a weathered look on the planking to keep this ship looking old. There's a lot of charm in an old ship model and I don't want to lose that.
  9. Theres a pirate history podcast that explains the use of the skull and crossbones. I'd have to dig through and find which episode. It was more of a symbol of death and can be found on early 18th century grave stones which leads people to think they are pirate graves, which isn't true. The symbol was used to symbolize death before itbwas used to symbolize pirates. Also if they didn't die at sea pirates were likely burried in mass graves or unmarked graves in criminal grave yards. The skull and cross bones was more a fad of the time. When a sailor died at sea a captain would write the skull and cross bone symbol in the log book along with the name and cause of death. At the time captains could be ruthless. Corporal punishments were very harsh and could cause death. Sailors saw a lot of there friends killed by the hands of their own captains. So when they took to pirating they would fly a black flag. If they had the materials it would have the skull and crossbones symbolizing death is coming but also, in a remeber all our friends you killed? Now its your turn. I'm not aware of any skulls carved on pirate ships. It most likely a modern trope much like earings which weren't in fashion in the early 1700's. A lot of pirate tropes came the on the late 1800s to early 1900s.
  10. DSiemens

    "Heart of Oak"

    Theres a short documentary about a ship in bottle builder named George Fulfit called Steady as She goes. He sang this song a couple of times as he was building his models. https://www.folkartinbottles.com/artists/artists-e-h/28-george-fulfit https://www.nfb.ca/film/steady_as_she_goes/
  11. DSiemens

    Cunk on Britain

    This video was making people in the pirate living history forums cringe. Thought I'd share the fun here. She goes over Francis Drake and Nelson. Also its in shore leave because its anything but accurate.
  12. DSiemens


    Saw this on the home page and thought why did some one post a picture of a real ship I thought the gallery was just for models.....waaaaiiitt. Excellent work. Your model is perfect.
  13. I'm coming very late to this build log but I have to say great job! I love Statenjachts they are beautiful little ships. Yours is a perfect example of their beautiful design. I bottled one some years ago and gave it away at a charity auction. One of these days I'll have to build me another one.
  14. Mark out where you want the gun ports. I eyeballed it. Probably not the best method but it was a quick way of doing it. The good news for those starting scratch building is you don't have to be 100% perfect all the time. After that its time to make the bulwark. I used a 1mm or 1/8th inch piece of bass wood for the bulwarks. Hold them up to the plans and mark the width. At this point the cuts are straight even though the bulwark will be curved. Cut the pice to be a little longer than the ship. Remember the length of the bulwarks curves around the ship so its a little longer than the length on the plans. From here place the piece in a cup of hot water and let it soak for five minutes. This will help the wood bend. From here cut out the sections of the bulwark in between the gun ports. This way you don't have to bend the wood vertically just horizontally along the edge of the deck. It also makes nice square gun ports. For bending I use a technique called breaking the grain. You soak the wood then bend it with tweezers until you get a crease on the inside of the bulwark. Do this along the bulwark piece and it will bend where you want it. The crease will be on the inside edge so no one will see it. Also glue oneside of the wood and let that dry then apply glue and bend the wood around gluing down the other side. The already glued edge will help it stay in place. Give the bulwark a good sanding then it's time for the cap rail. I cut this piece to be a little longer than the bulwarks are wide. In this case 1.5 mm. I soaked it and used the same bending techniques only this time going along the top of the bulwarks. Also note I didn't go all the way to the front. The bow bulwark have the tightest bend so I did a separate piece for this section. Also note the 1mm high bulwark are big for the plans. This falls into one of my rules for building. Cut big then sand small. Now that the rail is on the bulwarks it can be sanded thinner. I cut another 1mm pice to act as a channel amd used the same technique to glue it right along the line where the bulwark meet the hull. This does a great job hiding the lines between the bulwarks and the hull. Its now starting to look like a Bermuda sloop.
  15. Now I get into carving out the hull. First I start with the wood. I always talk about how inexpensive this craft is and this instance is no different. I went to hobby lobby and picked up some bass wood. In case you are wondering I am not sponsored by hobby lobby and this isn't ads for them. They just happen to be the closest hobby store to my location. Although if some one from hobby lobby reads this and feels like sponsoring a cool website that promotes ships in bottles....message me. Any way here's the prices for what I got. Honestly for $6 I can build twenty Bermuda sloops. Supplies go a long way in ship in bottle building. Part of the reason I show the prices is to show how inexpensive this hobby is. You can probably do this build for under $30. From here it's cutting out the size block I need. I compare the wood to the plans and make a cut. Then I cut the deck angle. This is something I think I do a little different. A lot of builders will carve the hull from a solid block. I actually love that method because it's a lot of fun. I do find this method to be a little easier though so I'm including it in the beginners build. First I cut out the plans at the water line and the deck line. For the deck line I use the bottom of the gun ports. Carving out the deck this way helps keep that nice curve the ship has. The cut out plans will be used to carve this out. The bulwarks will be glued on later. The hull will actually be pretty thin so I cut the wood down and then wen to my dremel for the curved cut of the deck. I've included the two tools I use. One is fast and the other smooths it out I then follow it up with hand sanding. I left a little under the water line since the ship will be embedded in the clay sea. Note. I made my length cut a bit long. Better to long than to short. From here I cut out the over head plans. I drew out the center line then drew out the hull shape based on the plans and made my cut. Something to note here. For ships that have a big tumble home you will need to account for it before you cut out the overhead plan. The deck may not be as wide as the hull itself. The Bermuda Sloop doesn't really have a tumble home so this isn't a problem. We will need to account for some slight tapering in the stern section but this will be done with the bulwarks and deck house later. Then comes the more intricate sanding out of the hull. Compare the hull to the plans and sand it out accordingly. Note the way the stern and bow tapers inward as you go down the plans. This needs to be replicated in the hull. The hull in this photo appears long for some reason. Weird angle I guess. Also note how the stern tapers inward when facing the back of the ship. Sand those corners in. I had a hard time getting a picture to show this. I hope this is good enough. Once the hull was done I drew in the deck planking. There's a lot of methods to this too. For this ship I drew it in with a pencil. I did it kind of quick so it isn't amazing I went back later and filled in a few more lines.

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