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Fortnite Pirate Ship by Josh44 - FINISHED - 1/750 - BOTTLE

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I needed a few weeks to get clean from my addiction to build logs for MSW.  But now its time to feed the monkey on my back..


I'm going to make another gift - this time for my nephew Max, also for his Bar Mitzvah.  


Like many boys his age, Fortnite is a way of life.  (If any of you dont know what Fortnite is, then I would surmise that you probably dont have a 9-19 year old human boy in your your life's orbit.) I am choosing the Fortnite Pirate Ship for him.


This Ship is rather boxy, with lots of straight lines, and basically no rigging except for shrouds ratlines.  Dont ask me how it is sailed, or even how anyone gets up to the crow's nest: It's a computer game ship, and Fortnite knows best!




Since it is animated and fictional, it is liberated from certain restraints of physics and reality.  This can be a good thing for the SIB builder: fewer rigging lines to tangle, and simpler sails (Yay!!).  But it can also get  a little fanciful and tricky: I mean, look at the railing, and all the detail on the hull; and the octopus on the bow!


thumbnail_IMG_7174.jpg.9d3ee3176719817ef35debe9d59479b2.jpgThis japanes whiskey bottle is just boxy enough!!

thumbnail_IMG_7175.jpg.d7a4538dc4c78d3d4f34b3b5f9d30e1a.jpgThe plans and hull blank from bass wood.


thumbnail_IMG_7176.jpg.80546728b06297f91fe478bb078f118f.jpgWill add the top of the sterncastle later on!



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thumbnail_IMG_7190.jpg.4a4fa5736e58794aa860048ae6275f8e.jpgI keep 1/16" dowels as the masts. Brass eyelets do just fine. No hinges for this baby!

thumbnail_IMG_7191.jpg.7cc8de09fba2819ecce5d1681edc949c.jpgI think these are 3/32" dowels - the smallest I have found. Fine for small yards.

thumbnail_IMG_7192.jpg.5c641f2b91c9987d97f8f795d9099761.jpgI really struggled with the crow's nest. Many botched attempts with bass wood, balsa, and card.  Ship is painted with primer.

thumbnail_IMG_7195.jpg.ab6faca6b51048c21e7ed99e9ea45d79.jpgBurnt Sienna, and scratched / etched on planking.  I figure the planking on the "real" ship is animated, so its ok for me to animate it as well.  1/32" cherry strips will do much of the side ribbing. ANYONE KNOW WHAT THAT SIDE RIBBING ON A SHIP IS PROPERLY CALLED?

Oh yeah -  and that blob of clay will eventually become the octupus on the bow!

thumbnail_IMG_7201.jpg.c338eb2d61a26d56c21ca609df8cc27d.jpgCrow's nest: A hybrid of balsa base, brass rods, and card top. Too thick? It'll do for now.

thumbnail_IMG_7203.jpg.9047f5aad1b6ce9aee1265cdd3cb8dc2.jpgThe sterncastle is made separately.  I will do all the trimmings and decorations as one piece; but fully loaded, this ship won't fit into a bottle which sports only a 17mm aperture. I have a new plan to help me better assemple the ship inside the bottle, without the messy glue.  


Next: Railing, stairs, and sails... maybe  

Edited by josh44
forgot about the clay :)
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  • 2 weeks later...

So for this ship, I needed to figure out how to raise masts without the use of rigging as pulleys; and also how to build a taller and wider ship than the bottle neck of only 17mm. The answer is arriving in the form of tiny magnets!

thumbnail_IMG_7224.jpg.c90ba6fdf440daf26fba9ccef3676ea5.jpg7/16 x 1/10" disc magnets to hold the sterncastle to the quarterdeck!

thumbnail_IMG_7227.jpg.cae787368d5570c3c42313e0cfb86564.jpgsnaps right on!

thumbnail_IMG_7228.jpg.c8c74f0ef257ad759c9806f047328f86.jpgWill make assemly inside the bottle much easier!

thumbnail_IMG_7232.jpg.13ea20fa299563e8c6c50878f154f7e8.jpgMiniature details are not my bag, but it'll have to do.


thumbnail_IMG_7255.jpg.4fec6b539b7663b7a34ee7da9c252ad5.jpgAn initial attempt,  with railing and the octopus at the bow.

thumbnail_IMG_7257.jpg.8656438de44f68e87ffda0b4d3c059ca.jpgI couldnt mimic alls the teensy tiny rails, so I chose instead for the illusion of beautiful rails, by using woodens strips painted with iridescent bronze.  

thumbnail_IMG_7265.jpg.ef486b2a2150265c9999606e9b94fc2f.jpgFor the mizzen shrouds here , I decided to attach them via tiny 1/16 x 1/16" magnets to the quarter deck.

thumbnail_IMG_7273.jpg.c8504fb732d44a6f740cac99424a9a1e.jpgFor the main deck shrouds: the same 1/16" magnets sunk into the main deck.

thumbnail_IMG_7274.jpg.b2d69d6571779ffa8fa4925a7e02c3a2.jpgThese are the corresponding magnet planks that will be attached to the Main Mast Shrouds.

thumbnail_IMG_7277.jpg.8bb85b0ac41a7c967b2253ddc669ed04.jpgHere they are - waiting for another magetic match!

thumbnail_IMG_7275.jpg.c1c297f9db5fd0c4608cb3103e8dd9a9.jpgThey snap right down into place!

thumbnail_IMG_7276.jpg.3cfdc33ad727cc1bb53945f1403c4f37.jpgWhere we are so far.

The idea is to make as much assembly inside the bottle as easy as possible, without all the glue and such. Yards (with sails) will be glued to the masts, once the latter are fixed in the bottle.


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After a seven day hiatus - which feels like 18 months for this impatient builder  - I am ready to proceed and approach the launch.


As mentioned, the absence of rigging makes the ships construction simpler, but also challenging in a novel sort of way. 


I planned to make well-designed  prefabricated parts, and hopefully assemble them all convincingly,  once the ship was inside the bottle.  


I was really stuck on how to make the octopus figurehead. I started with clay, but was really struggling with the arms:

thumbnail_IMG_8262.jpg.7539761db9f8d4d85c8bf94d89df3e4f.jpgThis speaks for itself.

thumbnail_IMG_8255.jpg.6536e2668e1e8befa0534555c287bb0f.jpgThen I had the idea  to use small brass rods for the arms.

thumbnail_IMG_8256.jpg.2c323a2d63ae5192d7d59bd4b263d212.jpgI was considering painting the brass arms brown to match the "real" ship from Fortnite.  Instead, I took poetic license - which is often a SIB prerogative - and painted the whole figrehead bronze. 


thumbnail_IMG_8260.jpg.e8e57d9b02309b09ca774c27d97de679.jpgInstead of mounting the always-confounding rods to raise the ship the proper height, I simply plastic welded a block of wood, painted the approximate color of the forthcoming ocean.  


At this point I was very happy with my magnets for the main and mizzen masts and shrouds. But having run out of said magnets, I decided the lightly glue the fore shroud planks for the construction, then lovingly rip them off.  


The ship passed easily through, and was CA'd to the mounting block.


thumbnail_IMG_8265.jpg.0029ee721c493e85abae137068ce1aaf.jpgAnd here she sits, with most pieces at the ready.

Next and Lastly: I will insert the pieces from aft to fore, and attach masts with sails as I go.  Hopefully the figurehead will slide right on...

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The Home Stretch!


So I definitely hit a few snags with the in bottle work - Shocker, I know!!


But first I can show that the little magnets workes just as planned:


First the sterncastle snapping right on!


Then the Mizzen mast with the magnetic shroud planks - also finding their mates.


thumbnail_IMG_8279.jpg.7e83721b629b4808e8322e1b2e0a184d.jpgLooks like this.


What I did not plan well enough was how to attach the yards to the masts. 

I anticipated simple glueing, but the yards didnt really stick to the masts as I had thoughtl and they fell dozens of times.


And since my Silicone Sea was still a bit wet,   the yards, sails, and sometimes masts, kept falling into the liquid rubber ooze, until everything on the ship was coated in a thin patina of goo. It did give it a salt sprayed look I suppose...


Fianlly after far more hours than I cared to spend, I figured out to drill a few small posts to support the yards. I was going for a drill-free buils, but it was not to be.  


thumbnail_IMG_8289.jpg.2d5f2100afcc443dcca4a780040f97e6.jpgI added the pendants.

But - the octopus figurehead didnt go on so easily and eventually after too many attempts, fell apart!!! :(

thumbnail_IMG_8285.jpg.0f20def7f405908c05268777025fbd6e.jpg <Very sad Bitmoji, indeed!>

thumbnail_IMG_8290.jpg.6f17812dfefd2b5894d978c2695d36ec.jpgEventually I figured out to attahc the larger half, and then glue the other.

But my original octopus really did mimic the fortnite ship; now, it resembles a giant, golden meatball with spaghetti!!

thumbnail_IMG_8292.jpg.1dcaddf0628c417410b81c39c4ff2d3b.jpgThe spaghetti and meatball octopus figurehead!! 


My nephew is gonna love it!


Thanks for reading!









Edited by josh44
duplicated pics
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I think he will love it.  Just don't tell him it's spaghetti and meatballs instead of an octopus. ;)

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans - ON HOLD           Triton Cross-Section   

 NRG Hallf Hull Planking Kit                                                                            HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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Awesome !! What a fun build.

Please make sure you upload some photos of when you present it to your nephew. 

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On 4/21/2019 at 4:32 AM, Omega1234 said:

Hi Josh 


I think you’re having too much fun with this ship!  I don’t blame you, either, because it looks great.


Gotta love the octopus.







thanks, Patrick! It was a fun build - until the octopus exploded.

looking forward to more of your builds.

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11 hours ago, CaptainSteve said:

Awesome !! What a fun build.

Please make sure you upload some photos of when you present it to your nephew. 

Thank you, Steve! 


I will try to capture the moment, but as you all may know, we probably shouldn't over estimate how civilians feel about our builds... 

<insert whaddayagonnado emoji here!>

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12 hours ago, mtaylor said:

I think he will love it.  Just don't tell him it's spaghetti and meatballs instead of an octopus. ;)

Thanks Mark,


that's a good call - in the world of fortnite, i think the crazier the better!

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