The Rope: Photo Gallery of the 42nd Exhibition 2017

The Japanese ship model society, The Rope, has a marvelous website that includes a Gallery of photos of each of their annual exhibitions for the last 8 years and beyond. If you’re a ship modeler, you’ll find some wonderfully inspiring work. But, beware, you might also see some models that will destroy your ego, make you crawl into a corner, and want to take up knitting.

Here’s a link to the 42nd Exhibition held earlier this year: https://www.theropetokyo.org/展示会作品集/第42回展-2017年/第42回展-1-4/#42-03

If you don’t read Japanese, you can find links to other exhibitions, download copies of their newsletter on their English language section here: https://theropetokyo-en.jimdo.com

 

Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Bune, Part 6

A project update for those interested in a large 12th century Japanese boat.

Wasen Modeler

As I mentioned in my last post on this model, I’d been wrestling with the configuration of the roofs. The 1/20-scale museum model that I often see reference on the web, differs from Professor Ishii’s 3-view illustration that I’ve mostly been basing construction on. Those drawings are more of a match to the early scroll paintings. Oddly enough, none of the models I’ve seen match them exactly. Is it possible that the builders had access to more updated information? Or did they just decide that the Ishii-san was wrong? But, then what about the scroll paintings? Are they simply written off as being wrong?

As you can see in the photo below, which was taken at a ship model club meeting, I initially made flat roofs panels. If I could justify them, they would certainly be the simplest to construct.

Flat roof panel initially constructed is seen in foreground.

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Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie

Today, I just received my copy of Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie from Themodelshipwright.com. This book is a paperback reproduction of the the third volume of the series of books from Françoise Edmond Pâris, originally published in the late 1800s. The book is in 8-1/2″ by 11″ format paperback, 126 pages long.

I just browsed through the book, which is described as being a republication of the book in its original form. So, there’s a lot of French text. In fact, this book is much more text heavy than the first book published by Themodelshipwright.com, and then, because it is written in script, it’s kind of hard to read, and forget OCR and computer translation.

For most ship modelers, this is probably too hard to use, though there is clearly some good technical details. But, it’s an interesting find that, for the price of only $6.99, would be nice to have in your library, regardless.

If you don’t have either this or the first book, Selected Plates from Souvenirs de Marine, I recommend getting the first book. It’s a little more money at $9.99, but you’re more likely to find something useful in that book. I know I certainly did with the Japanese watercraft.

But, Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie, is a nice follow-up. And, though I don’t know if I’ll ever really have a use for it, I’m glad to know what I am not missing from the series. You can’t beat the price, and I’m happy to have it on my shelf.

Learn more at themodelshipwright.com.

Seaways’ Ships in Scale Goes Quarterly

If you haven’t looked too closely at you latest copy of Seaways’ Ships in Scale, you might take note that it’s not the expected July/August issue. Instead it’s the Summer issue, as the magazine has officially gone quarterly.

There was some speculation on ship modeling forums as to how this might be a cost cutting measure, or maybe a lack of material to publish. But, according to the Editorial and other sources, it’s simply the publisher, Michael Kosten, has been doing this for many years and is busy with other things. So, this is more of an attempt to reduce work load.

For the ship modeling community, it just means two fewer issues per year, making it like the other major ship modeling magazine, the Nautical Research Journal. The bad news is that you’ll get less ship modeling content per year. But, the good news is, that means the domestic subscription rates have gone down to $26.95 per year instead of $36.95.

So, is the change a big deal? In effect, probably not. More people get their ship modeling information from Internet forums these days, and the magazine serves mostly to spotlight certain works.

New Tool Additions – Mini Block Plane and Carving Chisels

I don’t really write about tools much. I know a lot more about ship models than tools. But, I  acquired a few new tools that I thought I’d share here.

Miniature Block Plane

A few weeks ago, I was looking through a Lee Valley Tools catalog. They’re a Canadian based manufacturer and retailer of woodworking and wood restoration hardware. I get their catalog periodically after a fellow ship modeler recommended one of their products.

One thing that I’ve been trying to do more in ship modeling is using a plane in shaping square stock for masts and spars. But, regular hand planes seem overly large and bulky. There are razor planes made for hobbyists, but they are pretty low quality and I haven’t found them to be very useful in ship modeling work. Then, I spotted some miniature planes in the Lee Valley Tools catalog and decided to order one.


This is a miniature block plane from their own Veritas® line of tools. How miniature is it? Continue reading

Two More New Easy Build Kits from Amati

These are pretty nice kits.

At $79 each, they might seem a bit pricey for kid’s kits, unless you want to get your budding ship modeler a kit that they can actually finish that looks good, has comprehensible instructions, and will be something they’ll really be proud of and will give them a positive introduction to wooden ship modeling.

Ages of Sail

Amati just released two more kits of their 1st Step series of easy to build ship model kits, bringing the series to a total of 6 kits.

Up to this point, we’ve had the Pirate Ship, the Elizabethan Galleon, the HMS Bounty and the Santa Maria. Amati has just added the Niña and the Mayflower, two famous ships that brought Europeans to the “New World”.

Amati’s 1st Step Mayflower

Amati’s 1st Step Niña

The new products are both about 1:135 scale like most of the 1st Step kits, and include pre-shaped hulls with a unique, self-aligning design that sandwiches a laser-cut board that includes the keel, stem and stern post, between two halves of the hull, making for a perfectly shaped hull.

The kit includes laser-cut parts, a variety of dowels and strip woods, wood and metal fittings, sail cloth, rigging line, a wooden stand and pedestals to display your…

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Tosa Wasen Youtube Video

Following on the heels of my Shinmei-zukiri shrine video is my Tosa wasen video. I hope you like it.

Wasen Modeler

This is my second youtube video, which is again actually a slide show. The first one was of the Shinmei-zukuri shrine model from Woody Joe that I built a few months ago. This time, I went back to my Tosa Wasen model from Thermal Studio.

I’m still learning how to use the Youtube editor, but I just found out that it’s going away on September 20th of this year. That’s actually okay, because it works very similarly to Apple’s iMovie software, which I’ve used before, and will just have to go back and use again. Also, iMovie has more control over audio tracks. With the Youtube editor, I’m mostly trying to fit the video to exact length of the audio, which is kind of a drag.

In any case, you can view the Tosa Wasen video below.

Again, I’m happy to hear from anyone with suggestions. Please check it out.

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Can a Kobaya be Built from Paris Plans?

Those interested in the early ships of the Japanese Shogun, or early Japanese warships might be interested in this.

Wasen Modeler

Kobaya is a term for a type of smaller military style vessel that is fast and maneuverable. Highly ornate versions of these and larger military vessels called Sekibune were used by Daimyo and their clans for ceremonial and other official purposes. I don’t know about the smaller ones, but the larger ones were called Gozabune.

Photo of a 30-oar Kobaya, of small fast-boat, from a display of models built by Yukio Nakayama. Photo is courtesy of The Rope.

Ship modelers building American or European subjects are accustomed to finding detailed drawingsfor the more popular of these vessels. There are even large numbers of plans made specifically for ship modelers. But, unlike with western subjects, there is a dearth of plans of Japanese watercraft. I’ve found plenty of sketches and there are basic line drawings that might be used, but these commonly don’t have the information needed to build a proper model.

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Higaki Kaisen Article Final Part and Ships in Scale Going Quarterly

The latest issue of Seaways’ Ships in Scale is out with two major pieces of information. First is the third and final installment of my build of the Higaki Kaisen Japanese coastal transport kit from the Japanese manufacturer Woody Joe.

The second bit of news is that Ships in Scale has now switched to a Quarterly format, down from its bi-monthly distribution. This generally has more to do with the time constraints of running the publication, rather than any issues regarding content or finances.

For authors of ship modeling articles, like myself, it mostly means that there will be a longer period of time between submission of an article and its appearance.

I still have an article to submit on building the HMS Alert. I suppose the sooner I get that sent along, the sooner it will appear. I’ll be looking at getting that sent off in the next several weeks.

Wasen Modeler

The third and final part of my Higaki Kaisen build article is out with the latest issue of Seaways’ Ships in Scale. While I was actually relieved to see the previous article, so those building the kit would have the information I’m trying to pass along, it’s kind of sad this time around. Though I’ve had other multi-part articles published in the magazine, I’d really like to keep writing about this kit to generate more interest in this and other Woody Joe kits.

Of course, there are other Woody Joe kits to write about. It’s been my plan to write about building the Hacchoro with modifications based on my visit to the replica boats in Yaizu harbor. But, it takes time and I have other projects I need to be working on. So, finding time for that one will be a bit rough.

But, at least all the information on…

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Last of our Mamoli Stock

Ages of Sail still has a stock of Mamoli kits, and they just posted a list of their remaining stock.

If you want one of them, you should take a look and see how many are left of what you’re interested in. You might need to act quick on some of these.

Ages of Sail

Mamoli kits were once a mainstay of the wooden ship modeling community, but after a big fire shut down Mamoli for good, our large stock of Mamoli kits has been shrinking steadily.

The Sao Miguel is one of the most unique kits available anywhere, representing a three-masted carrack from very early 16th century. We have five of these kits left at the moment, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!

Dusek Ship Kits has purchased the rights to produce Mamoli kits again, but it has taken until recently for them to re-release the Mini-Mamoli kits, which are simple designs. Chances are good that we will see a couple of these kits re-released later this year, but we have no information which ones they will be, or even if these will all be re-released.

Mamolis kit of the French Lugger Le Coureur

So, if you’ve been missing Mamoli kits and there is…

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