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Build the Herbert L. Rawdings

- by Frans Dekker

543a.jpgThis sc?ne is of a small harbour at an unidentified coast. Anchored in the harbour is an Atlantic four-master topsail schooner called  “Herbert L. Rawding.” The original ship was made in the year 1919 in Stokton-Springs New England at the shipyard of Crowel & Thurlow. She was built to be loaded with coal. I choose this ship because it is not a difficult one and still a beautiful ship. (I like these ships very much because the have beautiful lines) I had the idea of making a scene instead of just a ship. So the scene is more important than the ship. If you look at the scene you can see that the ship is just a part of it all.
543 (4).jpgI had the idea of making houses and a church with lights in it. For the lights, I did not use small lamps but LED lights instead because they do not get warm. Then, I get the idea of building a lighthouse at the end of the bay. I don’t know anything about electricity so that was going to be a great problem.  Fortunately, my brother-in-law knows a lot about it so I asked him how to do it. Eventually, he did everything for the electricity.
543d.jpgI started with drilling a hole in the glass of the bottle to be able to run the electrical wires through. I had a small drill of 4 mm in shape of a spoon. When you let it turn very slowly it takes about 10/15 minutes to get through the glass.

I started with making the bottom of the sea.  I put some blue clay on the bottom about 1 - 2 mm thick. Over that bottom I put a lot of “half moon” shapes of wood to “fill” the sea. I use wood because it is much cheaper than the clay. Those half moons pieces just fit through the bottleneck.  Between every “half moon” I put some glue. When that was finished I drilled a hole through the wood using the hole in the glass. When that was finished, I had a sea bottom I good work on.

543c.jpgTo build the scene, I started with the hills. After the hills where ready I put the electrical wire through the hole in the glass and ran it where I needed them for the houses.  I put a little clay over the wire so that you could not see it any more.  Then, I finished the beach and sea.  When that all was ready I made the church - single houses (4), and warehouses (2).  I made them in a size that would just pass through the inside of the bottleneck. I made trees 543b.jpgfrom very thin copper, twisted together, and then welded together. I put the branches in some white glue and than I sprinkled green fine stuff over it specially made for train modellers.  It looks very good. Because the trees where planned on the hills I had to put them there already.  I have made the sea from blue and white clay, mixed together. Then, it was time to put the quay with the lighthouse into the bottle. I drilled a hole in the lighthouse and at the place in the quay the lighthouse was planned. Then I put the electrical wire through the hole of the lighthouse so the LED came on top of it. When that was ready, I put the quay with the lighthouse true the bottleneck. Once in the bottle I pulled the lighthouse up into position.

This time, it was possible to let the masts of the ship turn backward (fold down) because the deckhouses were very low. I placed the deck houses on later when the ship was in the bottle. I give the ship a position at the harbour so she is without sails and without cargo. That is why she lays high on the water. At the pier I made some warehouses. At the end of the pier is the lighthouse. At the part where the water comes to shore I have made a small shipyard where they are making a ship. The church and some houses made it complete. The light in the light-house burns on and off: 1 second on, 2 seconds off, 1 second on, 2 seconds off, and so on and so on. 

Bottle holder:I had the desire to make a special stand. So I made two whales to carry the bottle. I made the whales out of Lindewood and I carved them myself.  I stained the wooden whales black using a wood stain and coated them with lacquer. (I am sorry but I do not now the English names for the sort of whales)  I placed the biggest whale at the point where I made the hole in the glass. I drilled a hole in the tale of the wale so the electrical wires came out at the backside under the tail.  Some parts needed for the electricity are so big that I had to make a sea chest to put them in.  I finished the bottle with a Turks Head knot and a wax seal.

Some people say that you should not have anything else in the bottle other than a ship. The bottle should rest on a stand made from a simple wooden standard. Anything else is to much and it takes the attention away from the ship.  But there are many ways to built SIB’s and I like more than just one way.

Information about the actual “Herbert L. Rawding” 

Length overall - 215 feet

Wide - 38.5 feet

Depth - 22 feet

Net tonnage - 1109 

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Information about the bottle: 

Sort of bottle - 3 litre

Length of the bottle - 48 cm

Bottle width - 11 ½ cm 

Information about the stand:

Smallest Whatle - 21 cm

Sea chest - 14 x 9 x 7 ½ cm

Stand for Everything - 31 x 17 x 2 cm

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