The Captain's Cabin


"Oil Lamp"

The notes and ideas below are not set in stone and should only be used as a guide, you may even find a better way to produce the same effect.

We will start by taking a look at the "Oil Lamp".

Oil Lamp

Oil Lamp above Captain’s Table (Master and Commander 17:34 minutes)
The oil lamp shown in Figure–D will be replicated to approximately 1:64 scale using ‘scratch build modelling’. The most difficult aspect of replicating this lantern is to achieve the correct scale; one should remember that 1mm in length equates to 64 mm or 2.52 inches.

Using the above picture, a wine glass can be seen on the table; it is estimated that this is approximately 5.5 inches in height, and on the picture it is approximately 8mm high. Using this as a guide, the glass shade of the lantern above the table is estimated to be approximately 20 inches in diameter, or to a 1:64 scale 8.17mm.

The diameter from where the lantern chains are fixed is 24 inches, or to a 1:64 scale 9.52mm. These dimensions are used as a guide only, with an attempt to obtain the correct perspective within the cabin.

Oil Lamp/Lantern

Some of the items used to achieve this:

• Plastic end of an old roller blind
• 7mm clear plastic dress maker “popper”
• Boots expert 0.4mm interdental brush
• No. 80 HSS Twist Drill
• Fortress Special Metals Primer
• Deluxe Difficult Surface Primer
• Super Glue
• Humbrol Enamel No. 16
• 100ml WD-40
• Electric Drill
• 12V Hobby Drill
• Craft knives
• Nail clippers

It is essential to find the correct type of plastic to replicate the glass, and this can only be achieved through experimentation. The plastic has also to be reasonably translucent so the light from the fibre optic cable will illuminate the plastic. It was fortunate that an old roller blind kept in the garage, from which a piece of the mechanism could be adapted. Initially the plastic was approximately 15mm in diameter and 20mm in length.

One end was reduced in diameter so it would fit into the chuck of an electric drill; this had been clamped in a Black & Decker Workmate. Using an old craft knife and a piece of wood as support for the knife, approximately 10mm length of plastic was reduced to a diameter of 3mm, or sufficient so it could fit into a 12V Hobby Drill; in effect the drill was being used as a very rudimentary lathe.

CAUTION: Ideally a proper lathe should be used as this method is not without risk and adequate safety precautions should be taken; for example the wearing of safety goggles, rolling up sleeves etc.

Figure E shows a 6mm lantern glass, which was then drilled with a 1mm hole from from the top so that the 1mm fibre optic cable would fit it.

Lantern Glass
Figure E – Lantern Glass

For the base of the lantern the male half of an 8mm dress makers popper was utilized as shown in Figure F, however the round curve around the circumference was slightly flattened to able it to be drilled.

Male half of a dress makers ‘popper’
Figure F – Male half of a dress makers ‘popper’

The circumference was marked at 3 X 120 degrees points where the chain would be attached, Figure G. Marking the positions with a permanent black marker made it easier to see where the drill had to go.

Drill points marked at 120 degrees
Figure G – Drill points marked at 120 degrees

Drill 3 holes using a Number 80 wire gauge (.343mm) drill, as shown in Figure H.

‘Popper’ drilled with a Number 80 wire gauge drill
Figure H – ‘Popper’ drilled with a Number 80 wire gauge drills

Wire obtained from 3 X 0.4mm interdental brushes were used to replicate chains, and super glued into the ‘popper’, as shown in Figure I; the metal wires rubbed with a fine emery paper.

0.4 interdental brush wires super glued in the ‘popper’
Figure I – 0.4 interdental brush wires super glued in the ‘popper’

Approximately 1mm of plastic was removed from the popper, Figure I, which is representing the oil container; the sharp edge on the circumference was removed with very fine emery paper. The interdental wires were primed with Fortress Special Metals Primer, and the plastic popper was primed with Deluxe Difficult Surface Primer. Humbrol Enamel (16) was painted onto the wire and popper; note, not all the popper was painted as shown in Figure J. The wires were also bent as shown in Figure J.

Wire’s and popper painted
Figure J – Wire’s and popper painted

A hole was drilled in the top of the lid of a Colgate toothpaste dispenser, so the popper could sit securely on top. In reality anything could be used providing the bottom of the popper sits in a recess. The plastic lantern is super glued onto the popper and left for several hours to securely set, Figure K.

Lantern fixed onto popper
Figure K – Lantern fixed onto popper

Use a 1mm drill as support for a spacer; the plastic tube from the WD-40 was used to make a 1mm spacer. Ensure that this is lightly coated with Vaseline or something similar, so that super glue will not adhere to it. The same for the drill, rub a little Vaseline along its length, just enough to provide a surface so the super glues will not adhere, Figure L.

Note: this was found to be an essential operation, otherwise the plastic spacer and drill cannot be removed from the lantern.

Drill and spacer
Figure L – Drill and spacer

A second spacer/collar is put along the drill and this is the one, which the wires will be super glued to. Make sure that no Vaseline gets on the outside surface of the collar; to help make a more secure surface for the glue to adhere to, the surface of the plastic collar was lightly rubbed with emery paper before cutting the1mm collar, Figure M.

Plastic collar fitted onto drill
Figure M – Plastic collar fitted onto drill

The 3 X wires have all been bent so they will make good contact with the collar, when pressed against it, Figure N. A piece of cotton is then tied around the wires to hold then in contact with the collar, Figure N. Super glue is dropped onto a piece of paper, and using a pin, small amounts are gently put onto the wire an collar, and what is found a sort of capillary action takes place and the glue will adhere to both the wires and collar.

Although Vaseline has been put on the spacer and drill, pay careful attention not to put too much on. Allow at least 12 hours for the super glue to completely harden. And it will be found that the wires are really quite securely fixed.

Cotton thread holds the wire onto the collar and super glue applied
Figure N – Cotton thread holds the wire onto the collar and super glue applied

The thread and drill are removed and the wire is carefully cut with a pair of nail clippers above the collar. The top surface of the wires and collar are carefully made smooth on fine emery paper. The spacer has then to be removed; although it was covered with Vaseline, much patience is required to remove it. It was found that using the 80 Wire Gauge twist drill, small gaps could be made in the spacer and then the point of a sharp craft knife can be used to gently coax the spacer out. When removed the collar was painted.

The finished lantern is shown in Figure O & P; note the lantern in Figure P has had the fibre optic cable removed so the light in the cable cannot be seen.

Finished Oil Lantern for Captains Cabin
Figure O – Finished Oil Lantern for Captains Cabin

Figure P – Finished Oil Lantern with Fibre Optic Cable being lit by white LED


Finished Oil Lantern with Fibre Optic Cable being lit by white LED
Figure P – Finished Oil Lantern with Fibre Optic Cable being lit by white LED

Need a PDF Here it is: Oil Lantern PDF

Thank you Lloyd Matthews another great section.

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