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Bottle 531 - Preussen & Zwarte Zee
Date Added: 19 March 2007

Making a model of the Preussen is very difficult and takes some time. The hull is made of Lindewood, often used by sculpture makers. The sides above the deck are also made from this wood. These kinds of ships are so called "3 island ships." At the stern, in the middle, and on the front of the ship are 3 higher places. After the hull was ready, I made the small parts for the deck. I like to make as much details as possible on the deck. I made 4 sloops, davits, 2 great winches (from very small parts of an old watch) deck houses, lights, anchors, hatches, blocks (1 x 1 x 1 ½ mm with a hole of 0.3 mm in it and it works) rail, chain plates, and bridges to walk from the stern to de front without climbing a stair. I have made rat-lines on the stags (shrouds) from deck to top, and from top to top, with a very thin wire, we call it fishermen’s line. All of the knots are placed and tied as they are on the original Preussen. I can see what I do with the help of a magnifying glass on my head. Because of the number of stags (shrouds) it was very difficult. The masts are so thin that drilling holes in it to let true the stags makes the masts very breakable. 2 masts did break down when I put them on the deck. It took 8 months to built this model. (I worked on it almost every day). When it was ready and while I was putting it in to the bottle, 3 shroud lines broke. (I heard them breaking and it almost hurts me really). I had to repair them in the bottle. It took 3 whole days to glue the ends to each other. (and now you can not see were the were broken.). I was very lucky to have a book with a drawing of the Preussen. That made it possible to make so many details. The model is 20 cm long. The making of the Zwarte Zee was not so difficult. The hull is also made of Lindewood. The top of the deckhouse and the whale gang is made of what we call aeroplane triplex – a very thin wood made out of 3 lays (0,4 mm). When you make it wet and apply heat you can do almost anything with it. I did not have drawings for the Zwarte Zee but in the bottleship museum in Enkhuizen there was a great model of it. So I took some pictures of it and built it smaller. When I was ready to put the models into the bottles I started with the Preussen. Every mast had a hole in the bottom. I glued a thin wire in it through a small hole in the hull so that I could put them in their places. It was not possible, because of the deckhouses and the bridges to turn the masts backwards (fold them down) with a small iron pin true the mast. When every thing stood as it should, I made a rope on the bolder of the foredeck. I drilled a hole in the glass of the bottle and there I put the rope through. Then the rope was guided into the sea some further on getting out of the sea, (between the two bottles) going through the hole in the second bottle and then under the bottom of the tug. I drilled a hole in the bottom of the tug at the place of the belaying cleat keven. Then I put the tug into the small bottle and keep the rope in my hand. When the tug was on his place I cut of the rope near the belaying cleat keven. On both the bottles a cork and a Turkish knot and it was ready.
Type: Ship pulled by a Tug   Maker's Name: Dekker, Frans
Category: Sailing Ships   Made Where: Beemster, Holland
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