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Just recently started this kit after finally finishing Heller 1/100 Victory. What a change from 18th century rig and cannons. Long narrow all iron hull with midship bridge. Five iron masts. The decks are crammed with machinery such as manual brace & halyard winches and several capstans.. Kit Summary: Hull halves were crammed across the kit box diagonal; I think they must have wanted to use the same box size as the Passat kit. The stem and lowermost rudder mount were bent because the diagonal really is slightly too small. Kit includes thermoplastic sails. Kit does not include blocks, or any representation of turnbuckles for shrouds and backstays. Aside from sprues holding the 5 decks (foc'sle deck, fwd well deck, bridge deck, aft well deck, poop deck) and some hatch covers, there are only six parts sprues four of which are identical - a very tiny pile compared to the ~21 unique sprues for Victory. The instructions are good for assembly, with many fine diagrams showing what goes where, but rigging details are sparse. The good news is that Heller did not scatter the rigging instructions all through the assembly drawings but instead devote several drawings at the end to rigging: stays; shrouds and backstays; lifts and braces; buntlines and halyards. The bad news is that belaying points are in Heller's patented microprint. Also the proper connection of Jarvis brace winches is not shown i.e. leading blocks. At this point I must mention that Heller's engravers depicted the steel hull plates nicely, but they mysteriously disappear below the waterline. It bothered me enough that I bought Evergreen 0.005" sheet and cut it into plates which I glued on individually, in a double layer every 2nd row to simulate the riveting overlaps. It looked like hell at first, but after some caulking (acrylic painter's caulk squeezed out of the tube via a very small hole drilled in the cap end to provide a very small bead) and painting it actually turned out pretty well. I have joined the hull halves and painted the black/white/red colour scheme. I have painted and washed and varnished the decks and I am busy painting various bits of deck machinery and steel bulkheads. I need to attach it to a stand before gluing in the decks, though. One question for anyone who may have built this kit: there is a little auxiliary bridge on the after storm gangway with a second binnacle. Around two sides of this bridge there are rows of something similar to plant pots (?!) outside the railings. They are hollowed out. They do not appear to be for something to glue into as far as I can see in the instructions. Anyone know what they might be? The only thing I can think of is, possibly, fire buckets? I will try to figure out how to attach some pictures later; it's late now.
Preussen Clipper - Ship in Bottle - 1:857 scale Background For about six or seven years I have wanted to get into modelling ships in bottles. The last few years I have been tied up with miniature wargaming, editing a Naval Wargaming journal, and writing for another journal. There is a season for everything in life and the latter chapter needed to end. For the last 7 months I conducted extensive research into the hobby and read quit a few books on modelling ships, reviewed a few books in my current library, and read articles on the Internet. Books reviewed or purchased are; Ship models in miniature – Donald McNarry How to make a clipper ship model – E.A. McCann The ship model builder assistant – Charles G. Davis The Nitrate Clippers – Basil Lubbock – courtesy of ‘Davyboy’ from MSW Ships in bottles – Guy DeMarco How to make a ship in a bottle – Clive Monk Ships in miniature (a new manual for model makers) - Lloyd McCaffery Sailing ship rigs and rigging – Harold A. Underhill Ships-In-Bottles: A Step-By-Step Guide to a Venerable Nautical Craft Paperback - Don Hubbard Internet Articles read are; Preussen German 5 masted full-rigged ship 25’=1” – Robert A. Wilson The Five Masters – Nev Wade Recommended tools and equipment for scale modeling – Mike Ashey The Esmerelda build on MSW - Dave Fellingham BonHomme Richard as a ship in a light bulb model – John Fox III Heather Gabriel Rogers – Facebook Page Three masted ship in bottle – Michel Bardet Numerous other sites and activities concerning ships in bottles The Build What I have come to realize is everyone is different when it comes to modelling ships in bottles. There are 3 basic techniques however there are different styles of building and displaying ship models in bottles. My motto for my build is; “Go big or go home.” I have always wanted to model the Preussen in a bottle and to display the vessel in a carved wooden sea with painted waves and wake. The clipper is a sailing machine and the German Preussen is no exception. She is built for speed and everything about her is designed to haul cargo. The biggest issue I debated over with her initially was how much detail was I willing to model and … at a scale of 1:857 this was going to get dicey in a big way! Specifications Seas will be carved from Douglas Fir Hull will be carved from Western Red Cedar Masts, & bow sprit from aluminum, brass and steel Yards and spars from cherry wood veneer laminated and turned All running rigging, rat lines etc. from fly tying thread Sails from expensive paper hand drawn pen and ink Bottle is to be a 1.5 Liter wine bottle for display One of the biggest errors I see, and please this is my own opinion is … some modellers “get stuck on too much detail.” At a scale of 1:857 how much detail is really necessary to get onto a model to get it believable? I looked at a lot of pictures of the Preussen on the internet whether by; B & W photos, paintings, and various models of her. It’s all about perspective and what the eye sees. The real ship has 1260 blocks and 248 rigging screws so there was no way on this earth I am going even to try to represent the aforementioned. I’ll put some detail into it where appropriate and skip the rest. A bottle stand I knew I needed to build myself a bottle stand so my bottle wouldn’t roll off of my work bench. I built the following stand from some left over balsa wood and made it to fit 2 common sizes of bottles for now. Bottle in Position, note elastic band to secure it Some wood to carve, Western Red Cedar on top, Douglas Fir flooring plank on the bottom My home made stand to mount the hull on to work and keep all the running rigging from tangling up. A close up In my next post I talk about the plans, cutting the wood up and the carving details … Jeff