model ships, miniature

26th September 2006, 14:35
I have modelled ships for a long time but a couple of years ago I became interested in making miniature cargo ships. I have admired many models made to the traditional scale of 1" to 100ft (1:1200) and it is very convenient to work to this when picking off dimensions from a drawing but owing to a bit of stiffness etc. in finger ends I adopted a slightly larger scale of 1: 840. Small enough to be miniature but large enough to hold a lifeboat !! ( Takes as long to make as the real thing though).
I have scaled up dimensions from several drawings in John Bowan's very excellent book and taken dimension from other ship plans. It is a long time since I saw a copy of "Shipbuilding and Shipping Record" or "Motorship" but I seem to recall that in one or the other, miniature ship plans were included in each issue. Can anybody verify that?
It would be very interesting to hear if anyone else is running a miniature shipyard.
Peter Graham

Tony Breach
26th September 2006, 20:54
Hi Peter,

At the moment I'm trying to put a 1600:1 banana boat in an Armagnac bottle but so far emptying the bottle was the best part. Thereafter it becomes an enormously small project but I am at least still trying! Causes havoc with the eyesight.


27th September 2006, 09:05
what does,tony? the modelling OR THE ARMAGNAC? he,he.

27th September 2006, 09:36
Hi Tony,
Ah well, you're truly getting something out of your modelling. That's a pretty diminutive scale to work to...perhaps you are using one of those magnifying contraptions that my wife uses for her embroidery.
Thanks for replying.

Tony Breach
27th September 2006, 22:56
Hi Peter & 651,

The little ship looks fine right next to my terminal. Perhaps I should buy a 10 litre bottle next time. As regards the optics it's the normal red lace curtains unless I should try catadioptric bottles - what do you think?

Tony with eyes like you-know-whats in the snow!

28th September 2006, 08:44
well tony,if i knew what catdioptric ment i'd be able to it a new type of waterproof glass that you are using.if so where do you get them from?cheers,hic****neil.will it do for the wind screens in my next lifeboat model?

28th September 2006, 11:39
Like 651, Tony, I don't know what catadioptic means either but actually sounds as if it is something they use in a hospital!
Good idea to use a 10 litre bottle but if you intend to drink the contents first....well, maybe for a while you wouldn't have much interest in modelling : or anything else for that matter.

28th September 2006, 14:15
Mirror or a lens?


28th September 2006, 16:21
ah! now i get means looking through the bottom of the glass,or empty bottle??everything fits into place so to speek,or does it after 10 litres.

7th October 2006, 13:46
I build lots of miniature ships. This one, the steam whaler ESQUIMAUX laid alongside an ice shelf, is a bit bigger than my normal scale. Because she was a small ship, I used 20'=1" which makes the model just under 8 inches on the waterline. I airbrushed out the display case etc to give the picture a more realistic look. Most of my models are steam or motor ships, take a look at my DILWARA, further down the page. That built to my favourite scale of 32'=1". SHIPBUILDING & SHIPPING RECORD is full of small plans, also THE MOTOR SHIP and SHIPBUILDER & MARINE ENGINE BUILDER.

8th October 2006, 00:45
that's beautiful.oh to have fingers as nimble as that.a truely lovely model.

Tony Breach
8th October 2006, 09:39
Hi Bob,

I have admired your work for a long time & I refer often to your excellent advice as given in some magazines some years ago. The ESQUIMAULT is a beauty & a work of great skill: thanks for sharing the photo with us.