Daily Archives: August 5, 2014

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery… I Guess.

Russian Website Plagiarism?

I was doing some more research on the Kanrin Maru today. It looks a chance I may be able to get some support for building a model of the ship for a museum in the area. It’s still up in the air and may not happen, but that’s for another discussion.

Today, I was trying to recall certain details of the kit manufactured by Woody Joe. Rather than dig through my notes, I decided to poke around on the Internet. I just happen to run across what appeared to be a kit review… in Russian. It was all in another language, yet something looked REALLY familiar about it. Somehow, it reminded me in overall appearance like something I would have done, only it was in Russian and the photos were clearly not mine. But, the composition of the photos and choice of photos seemed oddly familiar.

Enter Bing Translator, or Google Translator if you prefer. I started going over the translated text. It was definitely different that anything I’d written… sort of. I mean, it talked about how Woody Joe kits weren’t directly marketed to the Russian market and how Russian ship modelers were familiar with Western ship modeling and this was something new and different.

As I went through the article, I realized that it was essentially an article I’d written last year. I had to dig up a copy of the article since I couldn’t be sure at first, but when I pulled it up and read translations, it was clear the Russian website completely plagiarized the work I did for Ships in Scale. It was amazing to me that anyone would do that. It’s just beyond my realm of thinking.

Clearly, the “writer” – wait, does a plagiarist qualify to be referred to as a writer? Perhaps he should be called… well, it doesn’t really matter what he’s called. He did bother to change some of the work to fit his needs and he did emphasize different information on the ship in their kit review, but it was clearly a copy job.

I guess that’s a good sign that my writing and organization is acceptable, if someone likes it enough to use as the core of their own article.

And, it doesn’t make me mad all, it just really surprises me to see that someone would do that. Anyway, I got paid for my article, so what do I care?

If you’re interested, you can check it out here:


I actually love that the author even went so far as to copy the general composition of the photo of my finger pointing through a page of Japanese instructions.

I can’t wait to see my next work in Russian!


3-D Printed Ship’s Wheel for HMS Victory

A while ago, I was directed by a fellow ship modeler to some information on parts that someone had designed for enhancing the Mantua/Panart 1:78-scale HMS Victory kit. The parts were made available through an online 3D printing service.

This new technology is making customized parts creation possible on demand. The specific part I found and became interested in is the Victory’s ship’s wheel. Most Italian kits still include an old bulky wooden wheel, which is grossly out of scale, detracting from what may be an otherwise nice model. Ship’s wheels are particularly an issue because of the complexity of making them look correct.


The new plastic parts printed using 3D technology vs. the wooden part included with the kit

3D printing requires the part be designed using a CAD program, a computer skill that is something a bit beyond that of most ship modelers. However, there are a few tech-minded ship modelers that like to engineer parts on a computer. These completed designs can be printed directly to a 3D printer, but they’re still a bit too expensive for most users. So, the designs are instead uploaded to a 3D printing service. They produce the part for a fee. Some services also allow the designer to make the designs available to others through the service’s website. This is how I found this particular ship’s wheel.

This particular service is called Shapeways and the part, along with others, is easily found on their site. The HMS Victory’s ship’s wheel can be found here. The cost with shipping was under $15 for a pair of wheels, and the parts took just over a week to arrive. The part itself is plastic, as are most 3D printed parts. Metal printing is available, but the output is rough and not ideal for something as small scale and detailed as ship modeling. Parts that need fine details need to be made from plastic and that’s what the ship’s wheel is made of.

I’m satisfied with the results, though the rim actually seems to be grooved and doesn’t have a flat face like the real Victory’s wheel. I’m not sure why that is, because the 3D rendered images show a flat facing on the rim. It’s a pretty tiny detail and should be filled easily enough. As for the fact that it’s plastic, my client has indicated a desire to avoid plastics, sticking with metal and wood, but I think I can get him to make an exception on the wheel due to the nice scale details.

If you want to learn CAD, there is a bit of a learning curve, but many community colleges offer reasonably priced courses. It also requires the software, which can be pricey. For the rest of us, there is hope and other pre-designed parts are available. The same designer of the wheel also made a set of stern and side gallery decorations as well as sets of rigols that fit above the gun ports. In the future, many more after-market parts will become available and eventually the quality will be good enough to get good metal parts as well.