Still figuring this forum out. But thought I'd pos a few shots of my current project. It's been a simple but fun build. For any one trying out ship in bottle building for the first time I would suggest this ship.
I'll tell you the secrets but you have to promise not to tell any one else. JK it's no secret. This model is an experimentation of a technique I saw another SIB builder using. The hull is carved out of a block of wood with the bottom left uncarved. It creates a stand with which you can work with the model. I cut off the bottom for a test fit in the bottle before the masts and rigging started. You'll notice the last picture the base is no longer included. The bottle will be a syrup bottle from the grocery store the neck is a typical 1/2". I think she'll clear with plenty of room. She is a waterline model and the sea is already in the bottle waiting for her.
I'm not sure about who sells the dimple bottles but I know the type. I have a few variations. they are good but can be difficult with square rigged ships because of the wider use yard arms. I guess even they would be fine if set on a tight brace. What I see a lot of from the real master builders is light bulbs. This is because of the clarity. If the bottle is too distorted the details so carefully added will not be seen. This is why the dimple bottle was so popular the flat glass had great clarity.
I have no problemwith your questions I think it adds to the build log. So ask away. I'm happy to answer them.
J - I actually finished this ship a little while ago and got to busy to post it. The pictures are below.
As far as tools I mainly use bent coat hanger wires. Occasionally I'll also use long tweezers and an ear polypus. I especially like the ear polypus to adjust rigging inside the bottle. Medical tools in general are great. I also attached an exacto knife on the end of a long stick to cut the lines. I would say all ship in bottle builders build their own tools which is why you don't see them advertised. I would check out some books on ship on bottle building many of them will explain the tools used and how to make them. Don Hubbard's Ships in s is especially good.
SIB...the Ghost ship is spectacular, great idea hiding all the electronics in the stopper, your other build on the shelf look really nice as well. I'll check out your build log on MSW as well. Thanks for sharing, your work is very impressive.