Method 2. Straws.

I already mentioned that the body of a ship can consist of a few parts. To make a more interesting model you can cut a wide body lengthwise and join them inside the bottle. The traditional method does not allow that, that is why there is another method called “straws” which, being complicated, is widely spread among model makers. You do not need to make a joint and put stays through the bowsprit, neither cut off unnecessary threads. The secret is in something else.

The body is inserted inside a bottle separately, and after that rigging, sails and masts are installed. It is possible because all the threads of the rigging are hard like straws, they do not ru mple and do not need stretching; you should only glue them to the body (pic. 9). People can not touch a ship inside a bottle so they will never discover our secret: all the materials will seem to be made of real soft threads.


Before work you will need to prepare enough amount of hard threads (just soak them in glue and let dry). Then cut off a thread of a necessary length and attach it to a mast or a yard. However, when building your model on the table, you should remember that shrouds, backstays , stays, braces and other rigging should be attached with only one end to the masts, yards etc. All the threads should be glued to the body only inside the bottle. Because they are tough, they will keep the shape you want. After placing the masts into designated space, you will only need to glue all the thread ends to the body, already inside the bottle.

Before putting the model into a bottle , you need to adjust all the details and make sure that they can be put through a bottle neck without being damaged. It will make assembling easier and save you troubles.

A body can consist of a few parts; each of them should go through the bottle neck easily (I will describe below how to make such a body.)

After installing the body onto a stand the masts should be attached one by one and the ends of the rigging glued to the body. Yards and sails are usually already attached to the mast , so they are put into the bottle together.

Although if a model has lots of goosewing s , it can cause difficulties because it might not go through a bottle neck. To fix that problem, you can make them more movable – glue clew of the salis to yard end inside the bottle. The yards and sails tied to the mast with luffing cable can easily come through the bottle neck. There is another method. Glue a tiny hook made of wire (or make little burrs on wooden masts) to the spot where luffing cable is attached. Put the masts into the bottle, install them on the body and hang the sails on the hooks. Step by step you will assemble the whole model.

Of course, it takes more time to assemble the model inside than when you use the first method, but the result justifies the efforts.

Let me assess the advantages of this method. If we compare the first and the second methods, we will see that the second one is much more complicated though it has higher potential. The body can be much wider than a bottle neck which is highly valued by model makers. It became possible because of separated assembling of the masts and sails with rigging: you can assemble the body inside the bottle and then attach the masts and the rest of the rigging.

There are also some disadvantages. Because the entire rigging is attached to the body inside the bottle it is rather hard to imitate such details as chainwales, hounds and deadeye.

This method requires a more complicated instrument though even now you can do without long tweezers. You can mostly use the instrument described in the first method, add only a simple device for installing a mast (pic. 10). It is a long stick with a piece of fishing line inside folded in two. Throw a loop on the mast, push into a bottle, draw the fishing line, and you will be able to install the mast into a desired place. Then pull one end of the fishing line to release the snap.


Of course, if you want to make more complicated models with lots of details, you will need a more complicated instrument which I will describe later.

Read more: Method 3. Without a joint