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Bottle 691 - Theodore Tugboat
Date Added: 03 February 2009

The following information was provided by the artist, Terry Butler. "Here's what's been keeping me WAYYYY too busy these days. These little guys were lots more work than I thought they'd be. I ended up doing 5 of the larger size (which fit into older small aspirin bottles) and 8 of the tiny ones that fit into pocket watch ships or insulin bottles. Enlarged photos tend to show up paint and varnish flaws that don't really show up to the naked eye. Someday may invest in a airbrush system but not for now. I'm guessing these took about 50 hours each to do. Smaller ones actually can take longer to do than the larger ones. Theodore Tugboat was featured years ago on TV in a cartoon series out of Canada I believe. They had books and VCR tapes that are still available on eBay if you look. There also is a working Theodore Tugboat in Halifax, Nova Scotia. (see photo). I didn't try to be super accurate so if you start counting portholes and such the numbers won't match. I was working very small and did the best I could to give the look of Theodore. They're sort of a cross between the cartoon and the working tug. To get them into the bottle the tugs were in 7 or 8 parts. The lowest section had to be split down the middle and reassembled inside the bottles, next section on top of that - Canadian flag added - next layer with face but no antenna or hat and finally the hat and antenna pieces. Doing that in the tiny insulin bottles just about did me in today. NEVER plan to do any more of these. But this was an interesting project nonetheless. I have 7 or the 13 in bottles now. Need to do one more larger one in a bottle tomorrow, will put 4 small ones into pocket watch casings and have one little one that needs repairs from an insulin bottle attempt gone bad. Had to smash the bottle to retrieve the ship. Will do those repairs another time. No rush on it. By the way, the hats were formed from fimo clay, thread and light cardboard. After baking to harden I had to use Dremel tools to rout the under side to make those fit each Theo head. Then there were many coats of red paint and finish coats. Some of the details like railing, face, flags, ladders and such, I printed on my computer onto photo quality labels and peeled away most layers to create decals of sorts which were glued on and carefully coated over. No way to paint those on that small. Noses are tiny pin heads. The inner tubes are also fimo clay formed and baked. On the smaller boats those are just tiny punched circles using the smallest of punches and a black plastic from a lid I had."
Type: Animated Tugboat   Maker's Name: Butler, Terry
Category: Liners   Made Where: Eastern Tennessee
Bottle Size: Various   Year Made: 2009
Bottle Type: Aspirin, Insulin, and Airline Bottles