Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part V

Continuing on, Step 5 is the last step on the first side of the instruction sheet and deals more with the roof construction.

Step 5 << Assembling the Roof  1>>

This time, I was able to divide up this step into left and right halves, so the above is the left side of the instruction sheet for step 5.

The Japanese text in red says to make 2 sets of this assembly. The other text says to combine the two sets and join them together on the faces of laser-cut part 2C.

The task of assembling these two roof structures isn’t difficult, but you really have to pay attention to the position of the parts. Note that you have two cross members to start with, laser-cut parts 6B and 6C. These are apparently identical, so I just tend to assemble the parts so that the laser-etched part identifiers are towards the middle of the assembly. This helps to assure that the identifiers aren’t visible on the completed model. In this case, it’s not an issue, but I find it’s just a safe practice.

Note that part 5A is on one end of the assembly, but 5B is clear on the other side. Then 5C is back over by 5A, etc. Why Woody Joe just didn’t put them in a row, I’m not sure. It could simply be a way to get you to build the assembly evenly, but on something this small, I don’t think that’s an issue.

After the parts are glued up and the edge pieces 2C and 6A are installed, the two assemblies are glued together on the faces of parts 2C. I made sure to play around with the fit of the two assemblies until I was happy that they would both lay flat on the roof timbers installed in the prior step. The fit probably doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as only a little pressure is required to get the assembly to sit flat on the roof timbers, it should glue into place just fine later on.


The next task deals with the assembly of a feature that I couldn’t find a translation for. There are X-shaped cross pieces at the ends of the building that, to me, are reminiscent of deer antlers, and are called “Chigi”.

The Japanese instructions simply say to assemble the chigi at right angles and install them on the roof. The note in the upper right hand corner of the instructions draws attention to the ends of the chigi, and calls on the builder to pay attention to the orientation of the tips, and this is very important as you could end up with something that might otherwise look really weird to people familiar with the structures. I’ll come back to this later.

The first thing is to add what is described as “go-rudo shi-ru.” Now, this text is written in the katakana alphabet, which generally means it’s a foreign or modern word. Sometimes, you can figure it out, as “go-rudo” is simply a Japanese way of writing “gold.” However, “shi-ru” I can’t figure out. Perhaps “seal?” It doesn’t really matter as I know it refers to the sheet of gold-colored self-adhesive foil, which, now that I’ve worked with it a bit more here, appears to be a laser-cut sheet of gold finish, adhesive-backed vinyl.

Working with this stuff turned out to be a bit tricky, as all those lines are pretty well cut all the way through the vinyl, so the pieces want to come off the backing separately. Also, it’s not obvious when you first look at part A, just how the array of parts is supposed to divide up. Now that I’ve looked it over, it makes perfect sense. But, on first glance, I was a bit confused at what I was looking at.

The vinyl will want to separate at each of these lines, but small “tabs” are there to try to hold them together. It doesn’t really matter and you may end up installing 4 separate pieces instead of 1 full piece.

I started removing the rectangular scrap from the middle of the piece, then tried to lift up the whole piece in one shot. I used the tip of a scalpel blade for the work and got most of it.

I just ended up having to grab the last section to install separately. By the way, the adhesive backing on this stuff is pretty strong and really likes to stick to the metal blade.

Using the scalpel blade for this task is appropriate, as the whole operation felt like some surgical task. The parts are small and delicate and, of course, you want the alignment to be just right.

The “tabs” on the vinyl stand out a bit when you look up close. But, at normal observation distance, they’re hardly noticeable.

The pieces of the Chigi ready for assembly.

The Chigi pieces are glued together at 90-degree angles. The structure is extremely delicate as it’s held together only with simple glue joints. I was a bit worried about the weakness of the structure.

The center of the Chigi needs to fit into this slot, so it’s important that the two pieces of the roof top beams, parts 2C, are correctly aligned when glued together. As it was, the Chigi assembly fit very snugly into the slot. I was as careful as I could, but am still surprised the separate parts didn’t break loose. Once in place, the legs of the Chigi touch the underside of the roof frames and can be glued into place.

After the Chigi were added, the last task was to add laser-cut parts 5G and 5H, which are facing pieces for the ends of the roof framework.

Next time, the roof will be covered and attached to the shrine building.



One thought on “Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part V

  1. catopower Post author

    Reblogged this on Wasen Modeler and commented:

    I’m just about half way through the model of a Japanese shrine. The model construction may not be exactly accurate, but the features of the building are interesting, and I’m thinking about how working on the roof structure may help with some wasen model construction.


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