Building ships in bottles from scratch

May 15, 2016

Ship in Bottle 3 (part 3)

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This will be a short post as I haven't made too much progress since the last post but I did get the hull numbers on there and I'm pretty happy about how they look so I figured I'd share. USS Lyman K Swenson had hull number 729, so here's what it looks like once I added it.

adding hull number to model ship
Looks pretty cool I think

I had a bunch of ideas for how I was going to do it but eventually settled on printing them, cutting them out, and gluing them on. I'm glad I went with this route because my original thought of painting them by hand was not going to pan out. Too small.

I started by googling "battleship hull font" and found an image of 0-9 written out in the right font, so I just saved the image and printed it out a few times until I had something that seemed like the right size.

miniature modelling magnifier
You can see the 50 of these that I printed in various sizes

Threw on the magnifiers and started cutting with the x-acto knife. Took a few tries, some bad words, and some hours, but I got there. The inside of the 9 was especially difficult. (Protip from a woodworker on Instagram after I mentioned my difficult time: use a tiny drill bit to drill out the center of the 9)


through the lenses
Neat shot through the lenses

Once I had them cut out, I used tweezers and a glue stick to get them on the hull. Then I felt good about myself. I think it looks pretty awesome, but I've still got a long way to go. Creating the guns and towers is probably where I'll go next and that will really start bringing this to life.

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