Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ship in a Bottle

The club has had a number of meetings where the art of building a model ship in a bottle has been discussed. We have had it in mind to do a ship in a bottle as a club project but that has yet to happen.

One of the reasons for this is that building a ship in a bottle is a very personal project. Another may be that not everyone enjoys the same type or brand of booze. Everyone I know who has given instruction on building a ship in a bottle has said the first step is to drink the contents of the bottle.

Actually what is really being done with a ship in a bottle is that the modeller is building a small diorama or scene in a bottle that has a ship in it. As you can see from the ship in a bottle shown here, there is a small island with a light house and the ship sails safely on the ocean nearby.

Building a ship in a bottle requires a set of skills very specific to the task. One must be able to sculpt and paint an ocean setting. The modeller needs to build all the necessary tools, as no manufacturer makes them. To finish off the model one also needs to be able to tie that fancy knot that goes around the neck of the bottle.

The other essential quality needed to build a ship in a bottle is a great deal of patience. There is a great deal of deserved satisfaction that goes with completing one of these and every one of them becomes a family heirloom.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fairmile Hull

This is a hull for a Fairmile 'B' in 1:24 scale (½" to 1 foot). The sheet of paper under the model is part of the set of plans being used for the model's construction. The hull is fiberglass and would be very suitable for a radio control model. In this case I believe the finished model is destined for a display case and not the pond. Hopefully there will be more to report on this model at a later time.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Conversion of a WWII “Big Gun” Cruiser to a Guided Missile Cruiser

In 1952 the US Navy converted two WWII heavy cruisers to carry the Terrier I missiles. USS Boston was the first one to emerge in 1955 with new bridge, superstructure, mast, funnel, missile launchers and fire control gears.
USS Boston CAG 1

There is no plastic kit available for this ship in 1:700 scale. Revell makes one from the 50’s in a larger scale. A 1:700 scale model of the Boston was built by modifying a Trumpeter kit of the USS Baltimore.

Baltimore Class Heavy Cruiser

The hull, the main deck and some of the fittings were used. The rest was scratch built from styrene sheets and shapes.

The conversion as shown is not quite completed. The model is now at the stage shown here. There is more to be done and you can see some of the work involved in the process.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Plans for HMCS Haida

One of our members has produced some very good plans for a number of ships. Shown here is a plan he has drawn for HMCS Haida.He has produced plans for Haida as she appeared in 1944 and in 1963. The plans are in 1:96 scale and include general arrangement profile, plan and hull lines. The plans are available for purchase from The Hobby Centre.

This may seem like a commercial plug, but it isn't. We are just proud of our members' accomplishments and their contribution to the hobby, which we wish to share with others.

1:700 Waterline Ships

One member specializes in building 1:700 scale waterline ships. Another way to put 1:700 scale is to say that 1 inch in scale is equivalent to 58 feet 4 inches. At most meetings we will often see three or four of these ship models. Although most of these models are built from plastic kits there are exceptions to this.
Some of the model kits are very limited production run resin models. Resin is a cast material that requires much patience and quite a bit of experience in order to get good results.
Other models start out as die cast metal toys. In most cases these require quite a bit of work to make into accurate scale models.
1:700 scale waterline model ships have their advantages. There are many model kits in this scale. The models do not take up much room. There are many after market detailing products available.

Their small size and wealth of detail always attract attention wherever they are displayed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Radio Control Sail Boat

The first picture here was in an earlier post. I am showing it again along with some detailed views of the boat. I think I will just let the photographs speak for themselves. I think the builder did a beautiful job.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Impressionist Model Building

This tug boat model was built very quickly with spare parts and bits and pieces of this and that lying around.
The builder did not use any plans, although he may have looked at some photos for reference.
The goal of the builder was to convey his impression of a tug boat as a working boat.
I think he did a very good job at conveying that impression.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


This waterline model clipper ship looks very good in its display case. When a model is in the planning stages, among the things that should be taken into account are where the model will be displayed and what kind of a case will be built for it.Every ship model should be put in a case. A case acts like a picture frame in that it sets the model off and makes it look its best. A case keeps curious and destructive fingers from poking the delicate rigging that has taken many hours of painstaking work to achieve. A case keeps dust off a model, which would become very fluffy in very little time without a case. About the only negative thing that can be said for cases is that they make photographing the model inside very difficult.

Just to speak briefly on where a model should be placed, there is one major no-no. A model should not be displayed anywhere where any sunlight can get at it. A model that has taken three to five years to build can be completely ruined in less than six months by displaying it in a place where direct sunlight can get at it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ship's Boats

These are a couple of ship's boats. I think they were built to go with Confederacy but I am not sure about that. They are each about four inches long.If you have a very close look at them, I think you will agree that the detail is amazing.
Although practices varied, I think that when the ship model that these will be part of is completed these boats will be stowed on the deck with their tops down. Since the ship will be in a case the detail you see here will not be visible.

Continental Ship Confederacy - Under Construction

The United States Continental Congress around 1785 had a number of ships of war. Among them was one called Confederacy. One of our members is building a model of this ship. While searching for some information on this ship I found a page with a model of this ship under construction by another modeller. The construction method for building the hull was so similar that for a moment I thought the pictures were of our member's model.
This model is being built with a complete interior. Some of the planking will be left off so that the interior detail can be seen. Building a ship model in this way calls for a great deal of thought and judgment. While making the interior visible one wants to also convey a pleasing overall look to the model. I believe the builder is very much achieving a good balance with this.
The photographs shown here were taken almost a year ago. I hope the builder will bring this model to a future meeting so that we can see his progress with it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bluenose II

This model of Bluenose II was built from a kit. As far as I know the builder built the model from the kit without changing anything. Kits can be extremely rewarding. They can usually be completed in a relatively short time (18 to 24 months). They are a great way to get started with the hobby. By building ship models from kits a whole range of building techniques can be developed. The model shown here turned out extremely well.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Card Stock and Styrene

This model is the result of an experiment. It started out as a card stock model that was downloaded from a web site and printed on paper. The paper was then either used as a template for parts made from very thin styrene sheet stock or glued onto very thin styrene sheet stock and used as parts for the model. The result turned out pretty well I think.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sail Boat

Some of the club members build and operate radio controlled sail boats. The hull shown here was designed by one of the members so that he could have a relatively small light sail boat that was easy to remove from the water by grabbing the top of the mast and lifting the boat with one hand.The first step in making the hull was to carve a master hull from wood. This was coated with wax and a fiberglass mold was laid up on the master hull. This mold can be seen on the right under the hull in the stand. Once the mold has been made many hulls can be produced from it.
Here is the sail boat completed with its radio control receiver, servos and batteries installed and ready to sail.
Several members of the club have availed themselves of this hull and built their own boats. The hull design has proved to be extremely successful and seaworthy. Each builder has put his own special touches to the boat. One of the main variations is the type of mast and rigging that has been used. This is all good fun.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

HMS Bounty - under construction

The builder of this model of HMS Bounty has been working on it for many years. Every aspect of building a ship model can take a great deal of pondering coupled with trial and error.
As you can see from the above view, this model has an interior. How much of that will show once the main deck is planked is up to the builder's discretion.
In the two views here you can see the ship developing.
The white strips are in place to act as guidelines to aid in the construction. They will be removed when they are no longer needed. Note the ship's boat, which was dealt with in an earlier entry.