“Here’s to Swimmin’ with Bow-Legged Women”

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  • Last reply 6 days, 16 hours ago
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  • david leigh-smith said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    Josh, to pick up on that ‘rake’ you are either a fan or just have a real eye for detail. As someone who is a bit of both, I can tell you that I have spent an inordinate amount of time over the degree of cant on the flying bridge. I can tell you that you are 100% correct about the angle. It does rake back a little. But it is a little that most Orca makers don’t see, even in some beautifully made examples, such as below…

    As you can see, the angle of the bridge in the above is 90 degrees and for me, it’s a deal breaker. Yep, geek.

    Now, the movie had a two main Orcas (with other ‘jigsaw’ Orcas), both of which were slightly different in terms of THAT angle.

    On the ‘seaworthy’ Orca (above) you can see the ‘rake’.

    But on the ‘sinking’ Orca, although the boat is angled, it’s clear they’ve made the flying bridge perpendicular to the cabin.

    Now, if anyone’s still awake, on my Orca, I have split the difference and gone with a slight, but definite, angle, below…

    It’s more noticeable sitting on top of the cabin, given the natural slant of the deck.

    And yes, I DO need to get out more.

    On the subject of colo(u)r – don’t get me started, I’ll never get to sleep tonight.

    And when it comes to weathering, this Orca will be a little battered, but not as much as this…

    …which sold on eBay for, ahem, $4,200…

    Even Quint would be tempted to clean that one up.

  • david leigh-smith said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    Sad to say, Michael, that the artwork is not mine. That said, I trained as as a draughtsman on leaving school and was doing my architects degree before I realised I wasn’t quite clever enough to see through six years of hard work (or was that the first marriage?).

    I do have a love of fonts. And as noted, I should try and grt out more.

  • James B Robinson said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    Absolutely splendid David, absolutely splendid. Two thumbs up!

  • Stephen W Towle said 3 months, 1 week ago:


    I see a T-shirt in the works… The words”Swimmin with Bow Legged Women”and a shark motif on the front. Followed by a thumbs up with a little blood on the back. These long strings can get a bit dry but, this one has charm and a little humor. Keep up the good work and humor.

  • Josh Patterson said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    To tell the truth David if it wasn’t for the excellent profile shot of the real Orca at the beginning of your article I probably wouldn’t have noticed it. Once you see it though you can’t unsee it. Funny thing is on the one that is wrong it gives the illusion of leaning forward and would probably seem oppressive if you were standing by the barrels! (Kind of like being in a large room with a low ceiling. Give it a bit of vaulting and everything seems happier! What a big psychological difference a small design choice like that can have on the brain!) As for the color of the lower hull I would have accepted “yes”. I would surmise Cap’n Quint may have traded paint on occasion! Can’t wait to see her done! (Populating the cabin with all the bric a brac is probably going to be the most fun not only for you, but eventual spectators as well!) You should try and get a small speaker to play an MP4 of the gang singing “Show Me The Way to Go Home”!

  • Chaz Sutherland said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    The Orca is looking fantastic., but seeing what’s on your bench… the Orca, the Indianapolis… hmm, I smell a shark fetish. I’d like to make a suggestion for a diorama…

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  • david leigh-smith said 3 months, 1 week ago:

    One led to the other, Chaz. The two builds are very much linked and in many ways the whole ‘Jaws’ movie is about the Indianapolis. It’s the reason why Quint hates sharks, why he does what he does for a living, and why he ends up destroying the radio and pushing the Orca too hard – an in turn destroying himself.

    “Thing about a shark, he’s got black eyes, lifeless eyes, like a doll’s eyes…”

    That is one ‘out of this world’ photo, Chaz!

  • david leigh-smith said 3 months ago:

    “He can’t stay down with three barrels, not with three barrels he can’t…”

  • Louis Gardner said 3 months ago:

    Looking at the last photo you posted reminded me of something…………………I remember watching this show a few years ago on the Discovery Channel. It was during “Shark Week” and was about the prehistoric “Megalodon” shark.

    They showed this picture and claimed it to be photographic evidence that the Megalodon still exists.

    Luckily for us, the photo was later proven to be a hoax.

    Can you imagine ???? That’s a U-boat I wouldn’t want to be in……………. You could post this “On this Day” December 18th……………. or even on April 1st………….. as an April fools joke.

    The Orca is looking good………… 3 barrels and all………….

  • Michel Verschuere said 3 months ago:

    I love this thread, fantastic build David! Jaws is one of my favorite movies of all time. This Ebay sale for over 4k, incredible, you could make a living out of serial producing this one! 🙂

  • david leigh-smith said 3 months ago:

    A lot of bench time today. Nice to get some traction on this build.

    Started by drilling through holes in the mast and embedding the hand rails.

    Did some glazing. Ha, which you can’t see, guess that’s a good thing?

    Some quite intricate work on the ‘crow’s nest’ footrails.

    Managed to find some brass eyelets that very nicely stand in for portholes (ever so slightly big for scale certainly within a margin of error). “Front, bow, back, stern.
    You don’t get it right, Chief, I throw your a*s out the little round window
    on the side!”

    Spent a long time thinking (lying on the sofa) about the crow’s nest rails, from where Chief Brody has his final battle with the beastie.

    I finally cut two thin strips of styrene which I looped and pinned to a dowel that I inserted through the mast. I can finesse this later.

    Not unhappy with the results of today.

    In the original casting of the movie, Charlton Heston was considered for Chief Brody, while Lee Marvin and Sterling Hayden were initially sought for Captain Quint, and Jeff Bridges was in negotiations for Matt Hooper, the marine biologist. There’s only one Quint.

  • david leigh-smith said 3 months ago:

    Thanks, Michel. Appreciate the vote of confidence.

  • david leigh-smith said 3 months ago:

    Now, a German U-Boat against the Megalodon would undoubtedly be a much better movie than the rubbish that ‘Meg’ actually was.

    The iconic barrels are a work in progress. The ones you see are a rudimentary shape crafted from modelers clay, just experimenting. Any ideas welcome; I know some folk sell them as 3D printed items but I really want to scratch build.

    Love those photos, Louis, I have always loved sea monsters and have a ‘kraken’ wall in the den of old prints of monstrous squids attacking boats. Some things you just don’t grow out of…

  • Louis Gardner said 3 months ago:

    The crows nest and rails turned out great !!! Thanks for answering my question about the size of your Orca build. It is going to be a good sized boat. Not too big or small.

    As far as the barrels go, you might be able to find some made on a lathe using wood. There are some companies out there who offer them for sale but you might have to add a little details to them to make them exact. Truth be told most people would not know if your barrels were not 100 percent authentic in shape or size.

    You might be able to scratch your own using a proper diameter wooden dowel and a drill. Place a length of dowel rod into the chuck of the drill and hold sandpaper to round the ends as needed. When one end is done you can flip it over and sand the other end.

    It would be helpful to place the drill in a vice or better yet have a helper hold it stationary on a table for you.

    Or you might consider making a single master barrel and then make a mold using it for a pattern. Then you can make some more using resin.

    You have options.

    Cool picture of the Kraken !!!! I too enjoy the old pictures. They make you want to grab a shovel and head to the beach to look for buried treasure !!!!

    Arrrrrrr matey !!!! ‘Av a grog ……….


  • James B Robinson said 3 months ago:


    Best I can tell is the original barrels were for Water Storage. 50 gallon capacity 23L x 23W x 34H inches. Did a quick search on line but could not find any manufacturer’s here in the states that looked similar.

    Looking really good!

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

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