Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Crowdy Head Lighthouse – A Shipyard Card Model, Part 2

I wrote up this article on the building of one the paper lighthouse kits from the Polish manufacturer, Shipyard. These card models, in this case a laser-cut card model, are really nice kits. The lighthouses in particular are inexpensive and they can be built in a short amount of time. This little Crowdy Head Lighthouse (the real one is on the shore of Australia’s New South Wales) only took about 3 weeks. It would have been done sooner if I hadn’t spread my time out among a couple other projects, including the write-ups.

Honestly, I don’t know why more people in this country haven’t built one of these kits. They are really amazing. Plus, I think they might be a good entry point toward building wooden kits, or toward any model building for younger builders.

Ages of Sail

Welcome to part 2 of the article on building Shipyard’s Crowdy Head Lighthouse card model kit. Ship modeler Clare Hess describes some of his experiences building this Laser Cardboard Kit.

img_2434 1/72-scale Crowdy Head Lighthouse model by Clare Hess

To recap from my previous post, this is my second completed paper model. The first was the British naval cutter HMS Alert, which I build from Shipyard’s line of Paper Model kits. The Crowdy Head Lighthouse kit, I chose from Shipyard’s Laser Cardboard Kit line because it is not all that much more expensive than the other versions of this model, plus it includes paints, brushes, and landscaping material consisting of fake grass and real sand.

The kit provides all the paper parts pre-cut, which is a big time saver, and ideal for people who don’t mind paying a little more money for a simpler project. This model took me about…

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Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Sen, Part 4

Getting pretty far along with the Kamakura period large sea boat. The goal is to have this done in time for my next Japanese boat models display in San Francisco’s Japantown, which will open March 1st.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Kitano Tenmangu Kitano Tenmangu – Shinto Shrine in Kyoto. Photo from Wikipedia.

About a week ago, my ship modeler friend in Japan, Mr. Sekiguchi, explained a little about the Kitano Tenjin scrolls that depict the Kamakura period Umi-sen, and I have since re-read through online information on the subject to get a better understanding.

The scrolls represent the life of Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar and poet in the Heian period (平安時代  794-1185) who rose high in politics in Kyoto, then Japan’s capital. But, he had powerful  rivals in the Fujiwara clan that plotted against him, and he was exiled to Dazaifu on the island of Shikoku, where he died three years later in 903.

Apparently, there was much sympathy for Michizane, and shortly after his death, there were a number of calamities, including a lightning strike within the imperial palace. The emperor’s court fearing that these were caused by the wrath of Michizane’s angry spirit…

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Higaki Kaisen Build Article – Ships in Scale March/April ’17 Issue

Those of you who might be interested in this Woody Joe kit, but are worried about the instructions, might be interested in picking up these upcoming issues of Seaways’ Ships in Scale.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

I hadn’t heard any word at all from the editors of Seaways’ Ships in Scale magazine after submitting my article on the construction of Woody Joe’s Higaki Kaisen kit. I submitted the article in late November, so I figured I’d send them a note to ask what the status was. I got their reply a short time later and it’s good news, the article is scheduled to appear, starting with the March/April issue.

Image Extra 4 - 994A9623

Given the size of the article, I expect it will appear across 3 issues. That’s the what happened with my Mary Taylor model article a few years back, and it was of similar size. This one actually might be a little longer, so maybe it will span a 4th issue. I don’t like super long articles, so I hope it gets limited to 3, but certainly no more than 4.

As a reminder, Zootoyz is selling Woody…

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Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part 3

A couple weeks ago, we had another quarterly meeting of ship modelers at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. This is the group that includes our group build of the Amati Swedish Gunboat kit. We’ve been getting a lot of rain lately, so it’s literally put a damper on ship model meeting attendance over the past couple months. But, one of the other members of the group build showed up, and it was enough to inspire me to press on with this build.

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Friday the 13th of January – A Late Christmas Day

Not meaning to be blasphemous here! Just that Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day for some, but has traditionally been a good day for me. In fact, I got three new goodies in the mail that day, all ship modeling related, of course!

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HSPMS Newsletter for January 2017

The new newsletter is out for one of the ship model groups I belong to – the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights. Here’s the latest post on their blog page. If you happen to notice the similarities to my own blog, it’s no coincidence, as I maintain that one too.

Anyway, read what we’re up to. And, if you’re in the area, stop in and check it out!

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights

The new newsletter has been posted on our Meeting Notes page, which you can always access from the menubar above. But, to make things easy, here’s a link to the pdf document for your reading enjoyment.


Hyde-Street-2017-01-January News

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might be interested in reading it.

Happy ship modeling!

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New BlueJacket Kits

Don’t know if you’ve noticed, as it’s hard to tell from their website, but in the Fall of 2016, BlueJacket Shipcrafters released a few new ship model kits or, more accurately, boat model kits.

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Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Sen, Part 3

The latest update on my Kamakura period sea boat project.

I’m still a bit behind on the writing, and the model is further along than what you see here. The whole thing probably took me about no more than two weeks from the start of construction to get this far. This one was a big departure from other traditional Japanese boat, or wasen, designs that I’ve built because of the early era of the subject, so it took weeks of study before I felt I was ready to start.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型


The largest source of Kamakura period boat information appears to be in 13th century picture scrolls that appear in books and on the Internet, but I really know very little about the scrolls themselves. What they depict includes a lot of boats with hull designs very similar to the ship I’m modeling. These are semi-structured ships or junkozosen (準構造船) with dugout-style hull, which have been built up with hull planks. Most of those depicted are river boats, but some appear to be sea boats.

I recently found a great sketch of a large sea ship on a blog site. I believe this was scanned from one of Professor Ishii’s books, but it’s not one that I have.


This image is very similar to a less detailed drawing I have in my books. The ship depicted here varies only slightly from my model in that this image shows a peaked roof called a kappa…

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Card Model Lighthouse Article for Ages of Sail

The first of my two-part article on building Shipyard’s Crowdy Head Lighthouse kit was just posted on Ages of Sail’s blog site. Check it out if you’re interested in paper models and/or lighthouses. This is a pretty neat kit!

On our blog here, ship modeler Clare Hess will be taking a look at one of the more unique lines of model kits carried by Ages of Sail: Shipyard’s 1/72-scale Laser Cardboard kit of the Crowdy Head Lighthouse. Article by Clare Hess – I’ve completed one paper model sailing ship, but always thought the lighthouse kits […]

via The Crowdy Head Lighthouse – A Shipyard Card Model — Ages of Sail

A Change of Pace for Paul Reck

Sometimes you just need a break. Take a look at ship modeler Paul Reck’s latest side project.

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights

Ship modeler, lead volunteer and club Commodore Paul Reck said he got burned out on his current project, the schooner yacht Mayan. He’s been wrestling with trying to get a a nice weathered look to the model’s teak deck and needed a break.

He had acquired a neat little vintage plastic kit from the old Pyro Plastic Corporation and has been working on it lately. The whole model is only about 9-1/2″ long overall and around 1:170 scale according to one website (no scale is given on the box).


Because the yards were molded as part of the sails, and he didn’t want to put sails on the model, he had to fashion some yardarms from maple.

The thin and “bendy” nature of the plastic masts, it took a very careful touch with the rigging to keep everything straight. But, it was difficult to keep lines from getting too slack.

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