Monthly Archives: August 2017

Wooden Japanese Traditional Boats – The World of Yukio Nakayama

Yes! I managed to stumble across Mr. Yukio Nakayama’s wordpress blog site by pure chance. I’ve know about this man and his work for about a year now. One of my Japanese ship model contacts even sent me some photos of the man’s work at an exhibition several months ago, but he never put me in contact with him.

I wasn’t too worried because my Japanese language skills are not good and I figured it would just be either frustrating or annoying for Mr. Nakayama if I tried to communicate with him, though I did find someone else who offered to put me in touch with him. Now that I’ve found his blog, I may just have to try.

In the meantime, you can visit his site and poke around and see some of his work. You’ll find a few drawings, plus photos of several of his models.

All his models are the same scale, 1/70 I believe.


Source: 木造和船 中山幸雄の世界

The above link will take you to his blog, but here’s the URL:

Dusek Ship Kits Re-Releases Mamoli MV Series

As you may recall, Dusek, a relatively new ship model kit manufacturer from the Czech Republic, licensed the Mamoli line of products some time after a fire shut down the Italian manufacturer’s operations. Last year, Dusek began releasing the line of popular Mini-Mamoli kits. They are now caught up and have the whole line of kits available.

The latest news is that 11 kits of the original Mamoli line are now back in production and available. These are supposedly the same as the originals, just in new packaging. The kits are:

  • MV20 HMS Beagle
  • MV22 Blue Shadow
  • MV33 Gretel
  • MV35 Hunter
  • MV37 Halifax
  • MV39 HMS Bounty
  • MV46 Black Prince
  • MV48 Lexington
  • MV52 HMS Bounty
  • MV82 Blackbeard

Generally speaking, these are some of the smaller, less expensive of the Mamoli kits. I’m looking forwarding to seeing some of the larger kits come back like the Royal Louis, Friesland, and the Flying Cloud. However, those can still be found for sale from sellers like Ages of Sail, which has a stock of the original Mamoli kits.

In fact, except for the Gretel and HMS Bounty, they still have a stock of all the kits that have been re-released by Dusek. Still, it’s good to see these kits actually in production. Apparently, the parts are being produced by the same sources as when the Mamoli company was making the kits, so everything should mostly be the same.

I haven’t seen one of the new Mamoli MV series kits myself yet, so I can’t say. However, I’ve looked over the Mini-Mamoli kits and compared some of the originals with the Dusek releases and they are very much the same, except that the instructions appear to be photocopies of the of the original fold-out sheets. I don’t know if that’s the case with the larger model kit series, but I would doubt it, as you really want plans that you can lay out without having to piece them together.

I did notice one error on the box art, so don’t let that fool you or dissuade you from buying one of the kits. The box art mistakenly identifies the kit as having a “Pre-carved solid hull”. This was an accidental carryover from the Mini-Mamoli box art. These are, in fact, plank-on-bulkhead kits, just like the originals.

You can order these kits direct from Dusek Ship Kits. As I mentioned earlier, some online shops, like Cornwall Model Boats in the UK or Ages of Sail in the USA still have a stock of many Mamoli kits in their original form.

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: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:


Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Bune, Part 6

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

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

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 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, 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

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.