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20 Gun Frigate - DSiemens - Bottle - Finished


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It's about time I start a log on this one since it's moving right a long.  This build is another commission for a pirate rein-actor.  The story of his crew is that they found the ship beached and got it back to sea worthy and made it their own pirate vessel.

 

Basically he told me he wanted a sixth rate 20 gun frigate from around 1710.   He also sent me a few photos of what he would like the ship to look like.  

 

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I went to my trusty book the Story of Sail and was able to find a few frigates matching similar years.  They didn't have sail plans though so I photoshopped a similar sail plan on in order to make plans to measure in the bottle.  

 

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I then went to carving.

 

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A note on the deck.  I recently talked to a miniature model builder who showed me some of his techniques.  It's completely changed my approach to ships in bottles.  One of the things he showed me was some extremely thin veneer from a company called Cards of Wood.  They sell veneer at .015 of an inch.  I am now able to use the same planking techniques used in larger builds but at a very small scale.  I'll show more of that later.  The deck planking was done using the veneer coated in nail polish and then I scribed the planks with an exacto knife.  I then coated it with a oak stain which stained the wood in the scribed lines but not the rest of the wood.  

 

The lines on the top deck were tests on the raw wood.  They turned out horrible so I put the lines on the veneer.  It's a lot easier when I can scribe the lines with a ruler guiding then cut out the piece to fit. 

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I then added the bulwarks.  Chuck's Cheerful build gave me the idea.  I measured the plans and cut out each section individually.  This gave me a much more accurate bulwarks then I've gotten in the past with my dremel.  I filed some of the rough edges straight afterwords.  

 

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I then planked the ship with 1 mm planks.  Probably still to bigger then they should be to scale but as close as I could get this time around.  The inside of the bulwarks and outside are planked similarly to how the Cheerful was done.  

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Oh a note on the cannons too.  I figured out a new technique to make them stand out a bit more.  The cannons themselves are wire out of a cell phone charger cable.  I used  draw plate to get a small diameter dowel from a bamboo skewer to use fr the cannon wheels.  I then cut out thin pieces of wood for the carriage.  I ct the dowel in half an laid the pieces parallel  I then glued on the carriages to the dowels.  One that dried I glued on the cannons.  I had a whole line of cannons all connected by the wheels.  I need to do the other side so I may post pictures of this technique later.  Once it was all together I took my exacto knife and cute the cannons off leaving a bit of the wheel sticking out past the carriage.  I then glues the cannon in place on the ship.  I'm also attempting the cannon rigging.  This won't be elaborate just a line running to the bulwarks but I think I'll had some coils on either side too.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've done a lot of work on this ship since my last post.  I'll start with the cannons. 

 

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Here's my method for ships at this scale.  What I did was pulled a bamboo skewer through a draw plate until I had the wheel size.  I then cut it in half and clamped the two pieces together at the right distance apart.  I glued on a block for the gun carriage and then glued on the cannons.  With the wheels being one piece the whole thing was easy to handle despite the parts being small. Once I was ready to put the cannons on the ship I cut out the wheels and glued them into place.  

 

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I then put in the upper deck.  Since I actually have a deck below on this build I decided to do an actual hatch instead of the printing a hatch which I normally do.  I cut a hole in the deck for the hatch and then put one together and placed it.  It was tedious getting all the tiny pieces in place and I think I could have done it better but I guess it's not bad for a first try.  

 

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Work on the cannon rigging continues.  I have a lot of coils to do even if I'm only doing the exposed cannons.  

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Well I've had a bit of a redo. On a periodic test fit I found the ship is to tall for the bottle. I found another bottle but the clarity isn't what I want it to be for a commission build. I'll still bottle the old one but I started over. Here's the new one that is almost to the same point. It is nice doing it over I fixed a lot of mistakes.

 

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New one (and old one actually) look very nice Daniel.  Amazing how you are able to get such detail at such a small scale on a complicated ship.  I've been working on a 1:250 double masted schooner for a SIB which is much simpler, yet still very hard.  Big respect for your skills!  

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Thanks!  I've been learning from another miniature builder in my local club.  His work is incredible.  I did use a really old ship in bottle trick on this updated one though.  I wanted the gold lines on the bulwarks to be thinner but it's impossible to cut the wood any thinner and painting that thins is very hard.  So I painted some thread and glued it to the side.  It creates a very thin and very clean line.  I've seen that done on old clipper ship's in bottles and I think Don Hubbard mentions it in his book.  

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Looks great to me Daniel, the painted thread technique looks to be a good one (I forget where I read about it).  

 

Did you cut a groove for the thread?  Just curious as I have a red pinstripe to add to the side of the hull of my current SIB build.  I'm going to try to cut some very thin redheart using my Byrnes table saw, but if that doesn't work, I've considered the thread technique.

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Thanks CWboland!

 

I forgot to put in what I did for the windows. I used plastic from packaging for the actual windows. I painted the back a dark grey color. When I looked at real photos of ships online the windows seem to be more dark grey then anything. I used wood and string to get the window panes.

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  • 4 months later...

Very nice Daniel!!!

 

Superb work since your last update.  Cannons good.  Deck good.  Catheads good.  Bulwarks good.  Railings good.  Mast good. Bowsprit good.... But, oh my, the curved staircases leading up the quarter deck add an even more magical touch to your little beauty!

 

I reckon this she's gonna be a little masterpiece, once finished, for sure!

 

Cheers

 

Patrick 

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Thanks Patrick.  Those stairs were no joke.  I think I put them in three different versions before I got to this one.  They really do add to the ship though.  

 

Thanks Mark.  I'll let you in on a little secret on this one.  The cannon on deck in the second picture down is actually 3D printed.  That photo was actually for a comparison of my usual method using wire, rectangular pieces of wood and bamboo skewers as compared to what could be done on a printer at this scale.  None of the final cannons will be 3D printed on this ship but I plan to use them on future builds.  I contacted a 3D printer just to see what could be done.  I pushed them to their limits with this job.  They had to use a $20,000 machine and special material to print it.  At one process they need to wash off the wax filler user to keep the shape.  To do that with these cannons they had to wash them in a coffee filter to be sure they didn't lose any.  To paint it I dipped a needle in paint and just tapped the cannon.  Here's a picture of the unpainted cannon.  The measurement shown is millimeters.    

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Omega - have to admit I had to look up chuffed to see what that meant. I've never heard the term before but yes. I'm very chuffed. Shes coming along nicely.

 

Piet - Do it! Miniatures are to much fun. Any excuse to get a ship under glass is a good one. It's funny you say that because you miniature is making me want to build another at that scale.

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