Introduction: Ship in a Bottle
After finding this instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Building-A-Ship-In-A-Bottle/ , I decided to make my very own ship in a bottle. There are a few differences between not only the types of ships used, but also the construction methods. This step-by-step instructable is a little bit different to most, the first page being the entire construction of the ship and putting it into the bottle, and the following steps the changes from Goaly's original ship in a bottle instructable. I made it like this so that you can easily see what's different and still be able to see how it is made. Goaly's instructable was good enough and easy enough for me to follow that I was able to make a decent first-attempt at one of these, so I suggest you also use the link above to see everything I didn't write about here.
Step 1: The Sails
The sails differ from Goaly's instructable in that there are 13 sails instead of 6. Mine uses 6 "rectangular" sails, 6 "triangular" sails and one irregular quadrilateral. The (")s are there because the actual shapes you will cut have to look like fabric being pulled by ropes while catching the wind. My ship is basically a clipper, but most clippers have 3 masts instead of the 2 here. I didn't want to scale a real ship or add too much detail because this is my first ship in a bottle and I wanted it to be more simple. When attatching the booms to the masts, make them hinge with some thread. this is done in a similar way to a chain. Only use flexible glue for these hinging parts. After you have soaked the paper in coffee and drawn parallel pencil lines on it, look at some pictures of classic sailing ships and take note of how the rope structures within the sails look. bend the sails to their final shape after cutting them out (I recommend using some other paper to make stencils for your sails before this) Glue only the top edges of the sails to the horizontal booms on the masts. This is important for fitting the ship through the bottle neck. The staysails (the ones between the 2 masts) are only glued to a horizontal thread connected between both masts. Dummy threads are glued along the top side's edge. These are NOT glued to anything until the rest of the ship is fully "opened" inside the bottle.
( _~ )_>)\ \
I L ` )_>) \\ \_ _
I \== )_>)_\\\_ _!!I
I L______/` /
( _*_*_*_*_*_*_* /
Step 2: The Bottle/base
The bottle I used was green at first because it was covered in some sort of paint or plastic layer. After a few hours with a scraper, it was clear. Instead of building the entire ship I wanted to build mine only above the waterline and have it on "water". I first just used acrylic paint to paint the ocean into the bottom of the bottle, but later realised that I wouldn't be able to pull the threads through the bowsprit and the ship would be in a concave ocean. To solve this issue I painted the ocean on a piece of foam rubber and glued a few more layers of foam rubber underneath to make it fit into the side of the bottle. A bit of white paint on the edges of the waves adds to the effect of scale. I then rolled the foam rubber into a tube and pushed it through the bottle neck. A blob of glue secures it.
I would also suggest (especially if you used a round bottle) that you shape a block of wood into a base to be glued under the bottle. ___
eg: \ |
(Bottle) - > | |
Step 3: The Shrouds
I made my shrouds in a similar way to Goaly, but instead of making holes through the ship I decided to use a pin to make holes in the sides and glue clipped pins into the holes so that it would better resemble the system used on most ships like this. It also means that you use less thread for the shrouds. One of the key reasons for them on bottle-ships is that they prevent the tops of the masts from moving too far forward.
Step 4: Useful Tips
Practice folding and unfolding the ship before you shove it into the bottle.
To fix the skew sails and glue the bottom-ends to the booms, bend a piece of wire into a long "L" shape.
Using a similar implement, glue some tissue paper around the bent part and dip it into paint for touch-ups.
Plan your rigging carefully before adding glue.
Don't add any glue to the top of the shrouds until the ship is otherwise complete.