My Woody Joe Update for February 2015

The news doesn’t seem to stop here when it comes to Woody Joe and me. I just posted my update on building the Iwakuni Castle kit, which is very close to being done. And, regarding that build, I can honestly say that I’m a ship modeler! By that, I mean that I’m not so good at castle building. It’s turning out okay, and it’s a great kit, but I know that I’d be doing a much better job if I were building a ship.

Speaking of ships, Woody Joe seems to be constantly releasing products. A few weeks ago, I noticed something new on their website. Apparently, they’ve just released a kit of the Japanese built Spanish Galleon San Juan Bautista. I don’t know a whole lot about the history of the ship, but that there is a full-sized replica, and this kit is based on that replica. This is a 1/80-scale plank-on-bulkhead kit that measures just about 28″ long when complete and lists for ¥38,000, which is about $320. Sant Juan Bautista (2)The image here is right off of Woody Joe’s website. But you can find more detailed photos elsewhere on the web. And, that brings me to the next development, Woody Joe has just established a presence on Facebook. So, if you like Woody Joe, go visit their page and give them a Like: Woody Joe on Facebook.

Back to my end of things, I just made arrangements to display my Higaki Kaisen model at the window display of Union Bank’s community room in San Francisco’s Japantown. The display faces into the mall there, so visitors to the mall will be able to see it. The display will run from Friday, February 13th, to probably no than Wednesday, April 1st. I’d like to leave it on display longer, but there are other displays scheduled, particularly for the Cherry Blossom Festival, which takes place mid-April. Once it is seen there, I’m hoping the bank manager or mall manager will like it enough to want to display it somewhere more long term. We’ll see how things go in a month or so.

The location isn’t the most ideal, as the mall in split into 2 parts, and the part where the model will be has far fewer attraction. Still, it’s a nice location in that there is another large display case across the courtyard from where the model will be that usually has some traditional Japanese things that the model kind of fits into. Today, I went over to TAP Plastics to pick up some literature display holders and I created a simple one-page write up to accompany the model. I also made a copy of the cover the Nautical Research Journal issue where the model appears. So, I’m hoping to create a nice informational display. I’ll post more once the display is actually up.

On another note, I just finished up a kit review article on Woody Joe’s Charles Royal Yacht kit. The kit has been in production for nearly 7 years now, but it’s still not well known here in the U.S., and it’s a really nice looking kit. I’m also using the article to draw more attention to the Japanese ship model society called The Rope, which uses the kit to teach beginning ship modelers. To this end, I’ve gotten some help from Don Dressel of the Ship Modelers Association (Fullerton, CA) who has in turn put me in touch with Mr. Norio Uriu of The Rope. That group was kind enough to provide some photos of completed models of the Charles Yacht built by their club members.

The Rope is particularly significant to this kit because one of their long time members, now deceased, helped Woody Joe design the kit, and another member created the original carvings used to create the kit’s decorative castings. You’ll just have to read the details when the article is published. An email exchange with the Ships in Scale editors indicated that it might be a relatively quick turn-around from submission to publication this time. So, we’ll see how that goes. I’m sending the article to a couple people to review for me, and then it’s off to the SIS editors.

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