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Hannah by cwboland - FINISHED – Amati – Scale 1:300 Ship in Bottle

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Today I received the Amati Hannah Ship in a Bottle. I received this beautiful kit from the Admirals parents for Christmas. Box art looks like it will make a wonderful model. Lets get started.


Here are the obligatory box and unboxing photos:





Started construction of the hull. Went fairly smooth. Hull is all glued together plywood that will be shaped once dry and final assembly of the deck is in place.




Thought I would take this opportunity to do some painting on the PE that the instructions call for. Note that the quarter deck still needs paint. The instructions call for a matte brown painted on both deck surfaces and to sand off the excess off the main deck planks, leaving paint in just the caulk lines. Wondering if I should continue with the brown or switch to black. Time will tell.




As always, questions, comments, criticisms, and concerns are welcome.

Edited by cwboland
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Hello all,


Shaped the hull today. Took a little bit of time and patience to get it right, but I'm still not satisfied with how it turned out. Oh well, maybe next time.





Installed the quarterdeck support and maindeck PE...




… and superstructures.




Amati recommends painting the areas under the superstructures a flat/matte black to give some depth to the openings. I think it looks good.


Until next time

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Thank you for all the views, comments and likes. Now on with the show.


First things first. Fit the quarterdeck after dry fitting the bulwark. Had to file down the quarterdeck base to fit the deck properly as the holes in the bulwark were not visible through. Instructions state that some of the rigging passes through these holes.




After the quarterdeck was fit, it was time to fit the keel properly. I had to carve out a channel in the hull for the keel to fit properly. Hard to do without a jewelers vise as the spring clamp doesn't hold the hull tightly enough to keep it from wobbling.




Had a little boo-boo because of this...




...but it's not really modelling without a little blood. After this incident, I figured it would be easier to cut the slot with a rotary tool and a 1/40” cutoff disk. This seemed to work OK, but its too bad I didn't have an end mill small enough to cut this slot. Once the slot was cut to depth, I got the bulwark and keel dry fit and Hannah really starts to take shape.




Also managed to get the Washington family seal on the bottle cap. The crest is in two parts on the PE sheet and had to be glued together. I did this by scuffing up the back of the seal and gluing the two pieces together with medium CA, then repeating the process to glue the whole crest onto the cap. Looks alright, but it's hard to see the eagle on the top of the crest. Might have to paint it a little darker or lighter than the background of the seal just so it can be seen.




Until next time, comments and questions are always appreciated.

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Yesterday I was able to attach the transom. Again, another difficult job without a jewelers vice, but I was able to get it in place, albeit a little low on the port side and without gluing my fingers to it too badly.





Also was able to get the anchors painted. The instructions called for a matte black or dark metallic paint. I didn't have any dark metallics, so I opted for the black. Very simplistic, but still a challenging task because of the size. I managed to find some scrap from the almighty scrap bin (don't we all have one?) and, using the rings to secure the anchors to the davits, was able to pin the anchors to the scrap and hold it in the handy magnifier to paint them.




Today was the day to paint the deck house and cannons, and build the windlass.






The photos of the deck house and cannons use a toothpick for scale, just to give an idea of the size. The cannons and deck house are cast metal, and painted by hand. I decided to paint the deck house mahogany brown, and the cannons are painted black barrel, red carriage and brown wheels.


After drying, I glued all pieces into place, running the portside cannons out and keeping the starboard side cannons in, as though Hannah were in the midst of battle. As you can see, the bowsprit has been painted a dull white color. I am still debating whether to paint the hull white below the waterline, as is shown on the box photo in the first post, will need to decide this before I start the masting and rigging.




After the installation of the windlass, the anchors had to be tied to the anchor chains, while attached to the davits and rings. Another difficult task with no room for error. Having the fat fingers that I do, I managed to break off both davits while tightening the knots on the anchors. I was able to reconnect them to the bulwark, and they seem to look ok. Time will tell.





The instructions say that if the ship is being placed in the bottle, the windlass should be placed in front of the foremast, as shown in my photos. If I were to leave the ship out of the bottle, the windlass would have gone just behind the foremast, in its proper location. If you look closely, you can see where it would be placed, right in front of the forward cannons.


Still up in the air as to whether I should paint the hull below the waterline. Any thoughts as to which would look better? I would certainly like some input that may make my decision a little easier.





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Thank you all for the likes, comments and visits.


Been about a week since my last update, and very little progress has been made in this past week. Having had to go back to work this week has left little to no time to do much. So here goes with probably the smallest update for this log.


Decided to paint below the waterline, just to add a little more color to the build. I think it looks better with the white below the waterline than just having left it bare wood.




Also painted the masts, gaffs, and booms as per the instructions.




Now, just to wait for the paint to dry, maybe apply a second or third coat if necessary, and put it all together and into the bottle.

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Wow, I have never seen this kit before.  Really interesting and nice job!


You need to share with me how you have been able to do what you have done without snapping the bowsprit / jib boom.  I am like 0 for 4 in that department (with much bigger scales).



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I found the kit on Ages of Sail and my in-laws got it for me for Christmas. As for the bowsprit, it is all one piece with the keel and rudder from PE brass about 0.5mm thick. Although it has been bent a few times by my fat fingers, it seems to be fairly resilient in the breakage department.

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 Hi Carl:


Just stumbled across your log - it's great to see this kit underway here on MSW - I followed a build of this same boat on Dry Dock Models when that forum was still running and I have this kit on the shelf (excited and intimidated to get to it at some point)....thanks for paving the way - your build looks great and I'm glad you opted for the finished hull! Wonderful work


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Hey Carl, just stumbled across your log too.  Last year I started on the same kit and am at about the same stage you are.  I'm planning to put "sea" into the bottle, which has been a little challenging to say the least.


It's a fun kit, though I had issues trying to get the wrap-around photo etch around the hull.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been a while since my last update, so here goes.


I managed to assemble both masts. Took a little bit of fiddling with the tiny thread that Amati provides, but my fat fingers finally tied all the knots to hold the yards, gaffs and boom to the appropriate locations. The instructions suggest that mast assembly would be easier if the fore and main masts were not installed, so I took this to heart and did just that. After the masts were assembled, they were installed in the mast holders that fold up out from the deck.





Not sure if you can see, but the masts are installed with small copper eye rings, similar to how the anchors are secured to the davits. Rather than cutting the shaft on the rings too short, I opted to bend them back on themselves. Not sure if I like this idea and will have to decide shortly if I will cut them shorter and just bend back towards the mast holder.


Now for the fun part of the build...the rigging. The rigging plan is fairly straight forward. Tie off a small knot in the thread, solder (aka cauterize) the end right to the knot, insert into point one starboard side, tie at point two, insert at point one port side, tie off and cauterize the end. Fairly simple, right? Not really. Cauterizing the tailing end when the line is in place is somewhat of a pain as most of the tie points are right next to the hull with little room to tie the knot before cauterizing. That said, I managed to get both the fore mast and main mast stays in place as well as the first bit of running rigging.




So far, so good. Should be interesting to see how the remainder of the rigging goes, and how she fits into the bottle. All said, this is a very interesting build at a scale I'm not used to building in.


Questions, comments, suggestions? Feel free to chime in.

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Looking great Carl.  I'm at the rigging and attaching sails stage myself.  I'm not a big fan of the included sails, as I would have preferred material that was pure white rather than material with lines.  I might try substituting silkspan or modelspan, but I'm wondering if they will look really wrinkled when folded for insertion into the bottle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for all the wonderful words of encouragement, as well as the likes.


Finally another update. Life and work have just gotten in the way of build time. Moreso work than life, but I digress. Anyways, on with the update.


As I had mentioned before, the rigging plan is fairly straight forward to follow in theory, but putting it into practice is a little more difficult. My last update had the two jib sails installed with the running ends of the mast pulls. This is followed by installing the fore sail behind the foremast...




...then the main and foremast shrouds (no small feat in itself, pardon the pun)...





...followed by the square sails in front of the foremast.




Seems a little backwards compared to the larger scales, but I had to re-run the fore sail rigging after installing the shrouds, and it was easier to run the sail rigging before the shrouds were in place.


Almost finished. One more sail to rig, then fold the masts and sails down, and put it all in the bottle. Should be fun trying to get all the masts up and the square rigging all straight. We'll see how that goes in future updates.

Edited by cwboland
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Looks great Carl.  I've been working on my Hannah the last few nights as well, and finally finished the rigging last night.  I have to touch up some of the painted areas, but otherwise the ship itself is good to go.  I still need to wait for the "sea" in the bottle to dry and harden, at which time I'm hoping to paint some highlights for the water and the foam around the ship.


If you don't mind me asking, did you use the cauterize technique to attach the lines?  I was really skeptical of the holding power of doing that, so I went with knots and glue.  


Also, have you tried the insertion tool yet?  It's very fiddly.  I'm a bit nervous about getting it into the bottle, especially with the sea that I inserted.  I'm also wondering how easy it's going to be to get the masts upright and spars straight, and then tie off the two running ends.  To say that the bottle opening is tight is a big understatement.

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Hi Mike,


I used a combination of knots and the cauterize technique. After tying the knot, I cut off the running end with a hot knife (x-acto #3 heated over a candle to be precise). It seems to have worked so far. Might have to add a little bit of dilute PVA to some of the knots on the masts just so they don't come undone though.


I have not tried the insertion tool yet, but it does look like it might be kind of difficult to use effectively. I'll give it a try outside the bottle first.  I might have to design something that's a little more useful, especially if I keep doing bottle boats. I'm concerned about tying off the running ends as well. Thinking I might have to improvise with some crochet hooks (ie. borrow them from the Admiral) and maybe do a clove hitch on the end of the bowsprit, painted with a little bit of PVA.

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Thank you all again for the visits, comments and likes.


Another, smaller, update for today.


Fit the mainsail and finished all the rigging. Now to put the stand in the bottle, or create a seascape to place her on. Then to drop her in the bottle and pull up the masts and sails. I am seriously considering making a seascape, but not sure how to do this. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I've heard of people using sculpy clay or painters silicone, but I'm unfamiliar with using either of these products for this purpose.



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Hi Carl, looks great.  I forgot about the flag - I need to add that to my build as well.


I've seen people use painters silicone caulk, clay and other similar materials.  I think they make a snake of it, put it in the bottle, heat it, and then push a plug into the "sea" to leave a depression for the model.  I ended up taking a different route because I didn't have the foresight to build a similar plug early in the build.  So instead, I am using "Water Effects" from Vallejo - Atlantic Blue:




I glued the base in the bottle, then using a tiny putty knife with an extended handle, I dropped scoops of the Water Effects into the bottle, which has the consistency more of a thick paint than anything.  It was pretty easy to work into waves.  The big pain of it was then cleaning up the sides of the bottle where some of the material got on it.  The whole process took me hours.  I built up the sea around the base, and when it dries, I'm going to dry brush some green on it as well as some white for the spray coming off the boat.  


I'm not sure how it's all going to come out.  Hopefully I built the sea around the base enough that when I seat the model on the stand, it looks like the water is against the boat.  What I may do is drop some more right onto the base when I'm about to put the ship in the bottle, but at that point, I really will only have one shot to get the boat in and on the base properly. 


I found that the Water Effects takes a while to dry inside the bottle.  I might use a hair dryer or something to speed things up, as it's still pretty viscous a week after putting it in.  I'll let you know how it all goes.

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Hi Carl,

I congratulate you on successful continuation of progress! It is very nice!


My advice to you would be to consider another ship in the bottle kit - you seem to have a knack for it!


I saw some sets for building of the ships in a bottle. They are Golden Yacht and Hannah from Amati and Nippon Maru, Santa Maria and Catalan Ship from Woody Joe. I met some more sets on the Internet, but they weren't pleasant to me at all. Besides, earlier some more sets were issued in Japan, such as Sir Winston Churchill, Santa Maria (old edition),Thermopylae, Cutty Sark, Golden Hind.

Sets from Amati are convenient because that are delivered together with a bottle. But their masts, yards and gafel leave much to be desired. It can be corrected if on a metal mast to paste on the one hand a thin interline, then to drill bores, and then to paste a thin interline on the other hand. Then can give easily the mast or the yard round form and to paint it.

As simpler option - you can make masts and yards of a bamboo toothpick, but it is previously necessary to drill bores.

Best Regards!


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Igor, your Atlantic looks fantastic.  Very impressive.


Carl, I tend to agree with Igor that if I did a ship in a bottle again, I would try scratching it.  The Amati kit is nice in that the photo etch pieces are easy to work with, but I think the masts and spars are one area where having custom pieces that are more 3-dimensional without the big holes would make for a nicer model.  I thought about replacing them, but figured that I wanted the experience to see how the whole process of inserting the model into the bottle worked first before tinkering with such critical parts.

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