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Member postings for Bob Wilson

Here is a list of all the postings Bob Wilson has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: 900-Ton barque
16/04/2020 17:09:30

Yes, I began it as an experiment in hull construction without the use of a saw , and for instructional purposes. It is made from layers of balsa wood all cut with a scalpel. By the time I had finished the bare hull, I decided to push ahead and complete it, Bob

16/04/2020 14:57:30

16th April, 2020

A nine -hundred ton barque of my own design - and I am very pleased at how it is coming along The three cargo hatches and the fife rails round fore and main masts have been fitted. The wheelbox and wheel still need to be made, plus the windlass, forecastle scuttle and various other small deck details.

900 ton barque.jpg

Thread: Scratchbuilding Miniature Steam & Motorships
15/04/2020 10:18:17

Hi Pete,

Cowl ventilators are not much of a problem with the method shown on page 20/21 of the steamers download, but it does require a small handheld battery powered drill to cut the small paper disks. In the example, I used a cocktail stick for the shaft, as it was round to begin with, and maybe easier for some modellers to deal with. But for myself, I always use straightened copper wire or brass rod for the shafts. The clear acrylic I uses is Liquitex Acrylic Gloss Medium and Varnish That is a single product with a long namelaugh Artists use it.


14/04/2020 18:04:37

Hi Pete,

Thanks. I am not all that keen on contact adhsesive myself (too stringy) and I am constantly searching for alternatives. I have had some success lately just using clear acrylic that can be applied by a paint brush. It does stick very well, as acrylic is in itself an adhesive, but it doesn't grip immediately. So I am trying the tiniest spot of contact adhesive to grip it, backed up with liquid acrylic.


Thread: miniature ship models
11/04/2020 20:31:47

I worked for AEI as well between early 1961 until they were taken over by Marconi, when I left. But I was in the marine communications section!


11/04/2020 17:41:48

I have built them at 100 feet to 1 inch, but rather too small for me. But wire is really the only option at that scale. I get it from


Here is a Utube link to me building the barque Gulf Stream, but this is 25 feet to the inch.



11/04/2020 13:54:14


I must have used it all that time ago, as I did mention it in an earlier article, but that was 40 years or more ago. As I said, my decks for the past two decades, have been wood, as shown above.




Edited By Bob Wilson on 11/04/2020 13:54:38

10/04/2020 20:36:04

I see in one of my old articles written over 40 years ago, I did mention using Bristol Board, but I had really forgotten all about it. I have changed my methods so many times over the years, it is difficult to remember all of them - surprise Bob

Thread: Long long ago
08/04/2020 10:33:33

Steam tugs came into use in the early 1800s. Looking at the Lloyds Register for 1804, and selecting a page at random, I find the largest vessel listed was the full-rigged Finnish ship Hoppett, of 340 tons. That is really not very big, and could probably be dragged round the side of the dock by the crew, or horse power. Warships tended to anchor off. By the 1860s and 70s, steam tugs were very common and used by the big square-riggers. Tugs would often go out looking for becalmed sailing ships close to the UK coast and negotiate the price of a tow home. Even in the 1850s, 800 tons would be considered big for a sailing ship, but by the 1890s, they were often in excess of 2,000 tons, and really needed tugs. Small collier brigs actually sailed up the Thames right to their berths, tacking upriver with incredible skills, I doubt if the small coastal schooners even bothered with tugs at all on account of the expense!


07/04/2020 20:24:27

I started doing my own drawing because all the various museums and archives usually wanted fistfulls of £s just to use them in a publications or e-articles. I quickly discovered that it wasn't all that difficult, and the colouring is done at the touch of a button. The lettering font I use is Monotype Corsiva that I find is ideally suited to plans like this. The secret is to do them large scale on card, and when they are shrunk by photography, all the errors shrink as well, and they look much better. I do the deck plans as well, but they are confined to my publications.


potosi flat.jpg

07/04/2020 20:11:00

This is the above drawing completed - Bob

forteviot (large).jpg

07/04/2020 20:09:34

I haven't got CAD - Too expensive and I wouldn't have the patience to learn how to use it. So I use drawing pens, ship curves, rulers, dividers etc. I photgraph the large drawing with a normal digital camera, and colour it in on the computer with paint bucket. But in the above image, I added the reflections under the ship with a free program called Sqirlz.


drawing board (large).jpg

07/04/2020 19:39:19


I always made them at sea, but large ones were too inconvenient, so I moved onto miniatures in the early 70s. When on the liner service from Southampton to South Africa and back, I build one a voyage for 12 years, and the voyages were 5 weeks in length. After they sold all the large passenger liners, I moved into the tiny passenger liner RMS St Helena that was only 300 feet long and carried 76 passengers on the same run as the big ships. But our voyages were then about 8 weeks as we were a lot slower than the old ships, but I still only built one per voyage, because by that time, my wife was was able to accompany me, and we spent more time socialising with the passengers than I did on the big ships. Scottish Maid was built when on leave. This is the St Helena, drawing by myself. My cabin was the single window just behind the bridge and under the bow of the lifeboat - all very pleasant. One twelfth the size of the largest one I was in, RMS Windsor Castle - once famous, now virtually unknown, and forgotten! sad


rms st helena.jpg

Edited By Bob Wilson on 07/04/2020 19:41:18

07/04/2020 16:05:43

Long, long ago, I used to build large models. This was my last plank-on-frame, completed in about 1981. The hull about a foot long. Frames sawed out of common plywood, and planked in 1/16th inch thick obeche - Still rigged with wire though! surprise


scottish maid.jpg

Edited By Bob Wilson on 07/04/2020 16:06:23

Thread: miniature ship models
02/04/2020 17:25:15

Hi Pete,

I don't recall mentioning Bristol Board. I think it is just good quality card, but I don't use it! My decks are all scored wood, in the form of either 1/32nd or 1/64th marine plywood obtained from either Ebay or model shops. Here is an example of my scored decks. Very good down to 32 feet to 1 inch, but don't know about smaller scales.


scored deck (large).jpg

Thread: Scratchbuilding Miniature Steam & Motorships
01/04/2020 09:43:11

Cunard's Arabia -


arabia out of case (large).jpg

01/04/2020 09:39:56

Hi Pete,

Thanks, The rigging on the Carmania was something and nothing, it only took a couple of hours using wire. Even sailing ships are no big deal with the rigging, just a bit tedious. If you look at my photographs, on the left under my name, you will see loads of my models, sail and steam. Yes, I enlarged the Bowen plan of Carmania to 32 feet to 1 inch (1/384).


preussen under full sail 25 ft to 1 in.jpg

31/03/2020 18:11:48

Hi Pete,

His first book was Waterline Ship Models. If you look in **LINK**

You will find a number of them, but most in the USA. The UK listings are too expenisve to consider. They sometimes turn up on Ebay or Amazon though.

I built this one of the Carmania from a John Bowen miniature plan! I photographed it from a low angle and added the reflection via the PC.


carmania with reflections (large).jpg

31/03/2020 10:51:31

Hi Pete,

Thanks. That was a bargain, two year's worth for £1. At that time, I was still at sea, and would be for a further 20 years!laugh I had only just started making miniatures at that time, so they were just average. In later years, John Bowen, the editor of Model Shipwright, contacted me and asked if I would like to become a regular contributer, and I agreed. I produced something for every issue from number 127 through to 144. After that, it became annual rather than quarterly, and I contributed to each issue from 2010 to 2013 inclusive when they ceased publication.

The above download has been my most successful ever, I am pleased to say.

Best wishes


Thread: Glue
29/03/2020 14:28:21

It has just gone back to normal again! - Bob

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