Introduction: Ship in a Bottle. Full Rigged Ship
So, let’s do full rigged three-mast ship. I don’t know if ever this ship was sailing Turkish fleet, but as I am working in Turkey now, I decided to decorate her with Turkish flags :) .
This is not very comprehensive instructable, as I lost most of the progress pictures. But nevertheless I will try explain several points that I used first time in construction of this ship. Other more common steps of ship construction like hull preparation, sketching, ship dimensions, tools and materials that I use are in my other instructables:
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Here are the main principles of mast, stays and shrouds. Few years earlier, once I started with ships in a bottle, I used hinge system to erect mast. However, it’s definitely easier, but not that good looking option, and I like challenges, at the end of the day. I enjoy finding “engineering” solutions for my ships.
So I glue piece of wire to a deck at a center of mast location. Wire must be as low as possible above the deck (1 mm more or less), as installation of mast will be not easy otherwise – it is prepared in place under little tension. Bottom of mast got drilled hole for that wire. Hull is drilled transversally for shroud threads installation for which I use sewing needle.
Once mast is positioned in proper position for all directions, slightly tension stays and shrouds and glue shrouds to the hull. Cut excess of threads. Before inserting to bottle, all masts will be carefully pulled out of wires and folded backwards. Once in a bottle I start erecting masts from the rear one by puling one stay and guiding base of the mast by guiding tool to set it on to wire. Once erected, I just fix stay on to bottle wall outside by simple scotch tape.
When all masts are erected, time for inserting sails. As you can see small wire loop is glued to each end of spars, and top one or two spar also got small loop to fix all sail rigging onto stay rope. Later threads placed for each spar and passed through loops on end of spars. Those thread will be fixed and glued to keep sail in a position. Fixing points are spars of another mast or deck structures (handrails or cleats). Thread I pass to fixing point by help of forceps or hooks, then slightly tensioned by forceps, glued and cut excess when dried.
Sails in between masts have small wire loops on both ends glued directly to paper. This will be fixing point of sail to stays’ rope. I tried to follow rigging plan as per picture I googled as much as possible.
For entire ship I used superglue, which is fine, but I did not like when gluing sail to spar – superglue is staining paper. Is not much visible, but still not good enough. Next time I will try use of PVC glue for this step.
To fix ship to bottom of bottle I use clear two component epoxy glue. Hardening time is varying from several minutes to 24 hours, depend on brand, and this is enough time to adjust ship in all directions.
I used cotton threads for this ship. Cotton thread is bubbling and making mess between many threads. It looks not very good and make work more difficult. So better to use fully synthetic thread.
Superglue is spreading beyond fixing point of thread and then hardens, so when gluing thread make sure that it is positioned in the right direction, otherwise after tensioning it will have some breaking angle. Use superglue gel instead of liquid one. Liquid is very runny and hardening time is instant, which in case of mistake will not give time to fix mistake. Gel is allowing few moments to adjust parts.
When threading thread through small loops inside of bottle, that may be very difficult mission. To make thread easier to control, tip end of the thread with small amount of superglue. It will make thread end hard and it will act as kind of needle.
Never cut threads unless 100% sure that is glued well, and it in right place and right tension.
To help with mess of all threads coming out of bottle neck, group them mast by mast and run through plastic cocktail straws. This will reduce risk of accidentally putting glue on threads, also will simplify movement of tools inside of bottle neck.
Sometimes accidentally glue can touch inner wall of bottle. Not big deal – wait until it is completely dry and scratch with aluminum wire. Scratched particles of dry glue can be removed by cotton swab. I use aluminum wire due to softness of metal; steal wire or cutting blade can scratch also glass surface. Do not use any thinner or water.
I spent 6 weeks to build this ship. Enjoy :)