Monthly Archives: November 2017

New Colin Archer Kit from Billing Boats Available Now

New stuff in the ship modeling world is always great to see. This particular Billing Boats kit has been around before, but this is a new wooden hull plank-on-bulkhead version.

At 1:15 scale, this makes for a huge 50″ long model. It’s appropriate for build as a display model, but is also suitable for RC operation.

Ages of Sail

Several years ago, Billing Boats’ popular 1:15-scale kit of the salvage ship Colin Archer was discontinued. The kit was very big, at about 50″ long, and featured an ABS plastic hull and was suitable for RC operation.

New, BB728 Colin Archer wooden hulled, expert level ship model kit.

Billing Boats has just released a new version of the Colin Archer kit at the same 1:15 scale. But, now, the kit features a wooden plank-on-bulkhead construction hull. The size, construction, and detail have earned this kit an EXPERT level rating. So, make sure you’re ready to take on a kit of this difficulty level before starting your build.

Ages of Sail and our sister site Billing Boats USA now have this kit available. It is one of Billing Boats largest, and lists for $789.95. But, if you’ve been following this blog or our Facebook posts, you’ll know that we currently have…

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Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 1

So, it begins! I got this kit from Zootoyz.jp earlier in the year, along with some other temple and Edo period architecture kits. One of those kits, the Shinmei-zukuri Shrine, I built and wrote about here. But, I’ve had too many other projects to work on to get to any of these other kits.

Well, it’s been long enough. We’re approaching the end of the year, when I traditionally build some kind of simpler Japanese kits. Since I made a promise to get to this kit, specifically, I’m pulling the kit out of the closet and setting it out to build.

Hōryū-ji 5-Story Pagoda from Woody Joe

This will make a nice size model, measuring about 18.5″ tall on a 10-1/4″ square base when done. There are more than 870 parts, mostly milled wood, though there are some wood strips and smaller laser-cut sheets. The kit is listed by Woody Joe as requiring 50 hours to build. I think this may be a revision of an early figure of 40 hours to build, as that’s what I recall and that’s what Zootoyz.jp states. In any case, it will take a lot less time than a ship model.

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Ages of Sail is having a Black Friday Sale!

This is something new, Ages of Sail is having a Black Friday sale. Check out the savings.

Essentially, you can get any Amati, Billing Boats or Occre kit for 10%. Plus, when you buy one of these kits, you can get free domestic shipping for your entire order.

Because of the way the Ages of Sail online shop software works, it wasn’t possible to make this offer for online orders, so this sale applies only to phone orders or walk-ins.

Meanwhile, Billing Boats USA, which is part of Ages of Sail, is also having a big 10% off sale on all kits. But, in this case, the discounts are shown on their website at http://www.billingboatsusa.com. For some reason, at least at the moment, there’s actually nothing on the site that tells you why the kits are marked down. But, I know it’s for the Black Friday sale, which will only run 24 hours, ending midnight Friday.

Building a Hozugawa Ayubune Model in 1/10 Scale – Part 3

If you’re interested in modeling non-western boats, you might be interested in this 1/10-scale ayubune I’m building from scratch, based on research done by Douglas Brooks. This is a very simple small boat made for fishing and navigating the rapids of the hozu river.

Check out his blog on building one in Japan, back in 2014:
http://blog.douglasbrooksboatbuilding.com/search?q=ayubune

Note that this is not one of the subjects of his book.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Counting up all the major planks, transom, and beams, this Ayubune model will be made up of only 17 pieces:

  • Shiki (bottom) – 3 pieces
  • Omote no tate ita (bow plank)
  • Todate (transom)
  • Tana (hull planks) – 4 pieces, 2 on each side
  • Omoteamaose (bow platform)
  • Tsunatsuke (lit. rope attachment) – Bow beam
  • Omote no funabari (forward beam) – 3 pieces
  • Tomo no funabari (aft beam)
  • Tomoamaose (stern platform)
  • Transom Strake

In addition to these, I made patterns in paper for obtaining the proper angle for the lay of the hull planking. I have yet to decide at this point just how I’m going to fix the hull planks to that angle. But, there’s time before that needs to be deal with.

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Lunch and Models at the St. Francis Yacht Club

Here’s another club’s event that I was happy to take part in this past weekend. Nothing like a free meal in a yacht club with lots of yacht models and camaraderie. I feel bad for people who had something “better to do” than attend our monthly meeting. But, sometimes it can’t be helped. And, I know there was also at least one medical emergency and we hope our fellow member is going to be okay.

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights

This year, the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights club didn’t have the usual annual BBQ due to schedule conflict among members. We put it off a couple times, and next thing you know, the weather isn’t good for it. So, instead, we decided to have a club sponsored lunch. There were a couple possibilities, but since Paul Reck is an associate member of the St. Francis Yacht Club, we decided it would be a nice location for our club lunch, and so we scheduled the lunch to follow our November meeting.

It was still pretty short notice for people, and many already had other plans rather than attend the November meeting anyway, so we had a small turnout, but a really great lunch and great time. The place was very busy, but the food was great and the view right next to Crissy Field was hard to beat. The faire that we…

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South Bay Model Shipwrights November Meeting

I made it to the meeting of the South Bay Model Shipwrights, which is a very long-standing and respected ship model club that was started by Jean Eckert back in 1982 and has operated continuously ever since. Some current and past distinguished members include Jerry Blair, Dr. Clayton Feldman, of course Jean Eckert, Ed Von Der Porten, the late Charles Parsons, and many more.

The club currently meets at the Los Altos Public Library in Los Altos, California, at 6:00 pm, generally on the third Friday of every month. The club, though much smaller than in the past, is  currently headed by Jim Rhetta, who recently completed the rigging of a model of the 3-masted schooner Fannie Gorham for a couple who’s father had passed away after completing most of the hardware.

Jim brought the model, which was in a case built by member and past-president Walt Hlavecek, and presented it to the couple at the meeting this past Friday. Jim did a nice job, and they seemed very happy with it.

Meanwhile, here are some photos from the meeting:

George Sloup talks about the WWI German battlecruiser Goeben, which he has been building from a paper model kit. Here he’s showing some info from a book on German WWI ships.

Jacob Cohn’s 1/64-scale model of the Baltic schooner Scotland sits in the foreground.

An elevated bow view of Jacob Cohn’s Baltic schooner model showing some more of the rigging detail.

Another view of Jacob’s nicely done Baltic schooner.

The group’s newest member Lou Cierra brought in his 3rd wooden ship model, the paddlewheel steamer Gulnara, built from a kit by the German manufacturer Krick.

Another view of the Gulnara with my own wasen models visible in the background. Ken Lum’s detailing of shields for the Drakkar Viking ship are visible in the left foreground.


Lou describes some of the work and issues he faced on this 1/50-scale model, which he started only last month.

The South Bay meetings are usually preceded by a dinner at a local landmark, Chef Chu’s Chinese restaurant. The meetings generally last until 9pm or so. I always enjoy these meetings, particularly with our regular gatherings at Chef Chu’s. Only a few of us attend the pre-meeting dinner, but it’s always a nice way to start the evening.

The meetings, and dinner for that matter, are always open to guests and new members. If you’re interested in joining the group, best thing to do is to contact the president, Jim Rhetta, at jmrhetta@yahoo.com.

Next month, the club will be meeting for a holiday dinner instead of the regular meeting, but will be meeting again as usual in January.

In the meantime, if you want to see a bit of the happenings of the club, you can find information on their website at sbmodelships.com. Ω

Woody Joe’s Old Sengokubune and Kitamaebune Kits Now Collectors’ Items

When the kits you want to build become “collectibles”… Such is now the case with these two kits from Japan’s wooden model kit manufacturer Woody Joe.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Before the advent of laser cutting, Woody Joe made two bezaisen kits, the Sengokubune and the Kitamaebune. Both were described as 1/30 scale models, but were in actuality about 1/60 scale. These kits were supplied with milled wood parts, wooden sheets, strips and dowels. Construction was more what one would expect from a wooden model kit.

Woody Joe’s old Kitamaebune kit.

Woody Joe’s new 1/72-scale laser-cut Kitamaebune kit.

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Feature Kit: Artesania Latina’s French Privateer Cutter Le Renard, 1813

I’ve always like the look of the cutter rig. After building my model of the HMS Alert paper model by Shipyard, I became enamored with them. There are several kits of this type available, but this is a really nice looking, good sized model. I think Artesania Latina has come a long way in improving the scale appearance and details of their kits, while still keeping a nice, relatively low price point.

Ages of Sail

Looking for a beautiful ship model subject that’s big enough to display, easy enough to build, won’t takes years to complete, and at an affordable price? Take a look at the French privateer cutter, Le Rendard, 1813. 

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Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part 6

Following our meeting in October, it was clear it was time to finish up the Swedish Gunboat build. We’re down to three active builders of this model from the five that started, which isn’t too bad. One of our  builders decided to finish his up as a gift for someone, and the other is a beginning ship modeler who is anxious to get to his next project. I’m also ready to have a project actually reach completion.

Rigging and Sails

I shaped the masts and the two lugsail yards some time back. I originally added a ball to the tops of the masts as shown on the kit plans, but replaced them with a thinner pole after looking at the photos of the museum model. The presence of the pole creates a shoulder at the top of the mast, that helps secure the shrouds and stays. While modifying the masts, I also added a pair of cleats at the bottom end of each mast, again based on the photos of the museum model (see earlier posts).

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New Ancre Books Title – N.S. del Rosario Feluca 1759

I just got a notice from Ancre Books of France of a new Monograph on the Nostra Signora del Rosario, a typical sardine-fishing felucca of Sanremo, built in 1759.

The monograph, written by Franco Fissoro and translated by Francois Fougerat, is 200 pages of detailed information, with 130 of those pages are on the construction of the model. The book appears to be loaded with photos, includes 8 full-color pages, and includes 20 plates in 1/36 scale detailing the frames. The cost is 110 Euros plus shipping.

You can see more details about this new volume on Ancre’s site here: https://ancre.fr/en/monographies-en/87-ns-del-rosario-feluca-1759.html