Monthly Archives: April 2018

Milled Wood Sheets at Syren Ship Model Company

Ever since Jeff Hayes closed the doors at Hobby Mill, sources for milled lumber for ship modelers have been a bit spotty. So, the news that Syren Ship Model Company is now selling milled sheets is very weclome in the community.

Chuck Passaro is now offering Boxwood, Swiss Pear, and Alaskan Yellow Cedar in sheets of various thicknesses. He doesn’t have every size on hand at all times, but he only lists those sizes and varieties that he does have. So, there’s no worry about not getting what you’ve ordered.

Prices range from around $4.75 to $13 per sheet, depending on thickness and wood type. The wood available is only available in sheets, so if you need strip woods, you’ll need a table saw to cut your own.

See what’s in stock here: https://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/milled-lumber.php

 

Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 2

It took me a while looking at the instructions to figure out if the deck on this model is supposed to be planked. I’m accustomed to planking a deck that’s free of obstructions, and the pre-molded deck and deck houses seemed like they would be awkward to plank around. Also, the illustrations in the instructions don’t seem to show any indication that you are expected to plank the deck, though the photocopy-quality photos do show a wooden deck. But, the question is answered in a short paragraph in the instruction text, that clearly states that the deck is to be planked. Also, there are sufficient light-colored wood strips for deck planking.

Now, I’ve seen photos of models by people who have laid deck planking right down onto the plastic deck. But if you don’t want to deal with trying to fit the planks in between the deckhouses and such, you might try what I did.

I started by making a copy of the deckplan. Turned out to be pretty close to the molded piece. I cut out the deck and openings for the deckhouses and test fit on the model. It took a little extra trimming around the deck houses.

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A Woody Joe Sir Winston Churchill Build Log on MSW

Good to see someone building this kit on Model Ship World…

This is the 1/75-scale Woody Joe kit of the sail training ship Sir Winston Churchill.

I have one that I started, but it was just to keep me building during a motivational lull. It’s a very nice kit that, interestingly enough, is the exact same scale as the Billing Boats kit, which is pretty similar in price. The Billing Boats kit isn’t as well organized and the instructions are in the simple Billing Boats style, where the Woody Joe kit has the parts very well organized, makes good use of laser-cut parts, has color illustrated step-by-step instructions, but they are only in Japanese.

Still, you might want to check out this ship modeler’s build, as he seems to have been dealing with the language barrier quite well. Bear in mind that this is his first wooden ship model kit: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/17779-sir-winston-churchill-by-marc-l-woody-joe-scale-175-first-wooden-ship-build/

When I am able to devote my full attention to my own build, I’ll start a build log here. But, I did write an out of-the-box review, also on Model Ship World. Here’s a link: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/14594-review-woody-joes-sir-winston-churchill/

I know of at least one other ship modeler in the same forum that is also planning on building this kit. And, if you’re interested in buying this kit, you can get it from the Japanese online shop Zootoyz.jp.

HMS Terror – New Kit from OcCre of Spain

This new kit was just announced on the Ages of Sail website. I don’t really know about their other kits, but this appears to be a step up in authenticity for OcCre, as it’s based on the work of ship modeler Matthew Betts, who put in a lot of time and effort researching the ship, which he details on his own blog: http://buildingterror.blogspot.ca

Anyway, at $149, this 1/65-scale kit (close enough to the popular 1/64 scale, otherwise known as 3/16″=1′) seems like a very good deal.

I just started watching the episodes of The Terror, which are airing now and AMC, and this should generate some interest in this ship and this kit. I hope it does well.

Ages of Sail

We just received our first shipment of the newest kit coming out of the Spanish ship model kit maker OcCre, HMS Terror.

HMS Terror was a Royal Navy Arctic exploration ship which, together with HMS Erebus, set out in 1845 under the command of Sir John Franklin to find the Northwest Passage. This ships never returned, and for 168 years, nothing was known about the fate of the expedition. Then in 2016 the wreck of HMS Terror was finally discovered.

The Terror was the subject of a novel of the same name by author Dan Simmons and a currently running television series on AMC, with the first episode having aired in March 2018.

This authentically scaled model from OcCre is based on the work of the talented ship modeler Matthew Betts, who’s scratch built model of HMS Terror can be seen in detail on his blog site http://buildingterror.blogspot.ca.

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Kitamaebune – Another Kit from Woody Joe

Yes, another Woody Joe kit on the shelf…

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Not sure when I’ll have a chance to start this, but I recently broke down and ordered another kit from Zootoyz.jp, Woody Joe’s Kitamaebune kit.

This is the company’s latest wasen model kit offering, but has actually been out on the market for quite some time. The release date was February of 2016, I believe. But, I’ve been too busy with other projects to pay too much attention. Finally, with all my Japanese models on display for a month, the emptiness at home must have gotten to me (that and some extra money I’ve managed to set aside), and I ordered one from Japan.

The postman is very accustomed to delivering these EMS packages from Japan.

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Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 1

I occasionally field ship modeling questions for the ship model shop Ages of Sail and for Billing Boats USA. Recently, a couple questions came up about the construction of the plastic-hull Billing Boats kits. These kits feature vacuum formed hull and/or deckhouse parts.

Now, I’ve never built one of these kits, but I understand the theory. Up to this point, the only vacuum formed parts I’ve ever dealt with are the sails in some of the plastic sailing ship model kits. So, I felt I should have a little more experience.

There are currently four beginning kits from Billing Boats that feature vacuum formed hulls, and I thought it would be good to do one of these, since this will also give me some perspective on how well suited one of these kits really is for the beginning ship modeler. Two of these available kits are rescue lifeboats and two are fishing boats. It was the Danish, ketch-rigged fishing boat “Dana,” which seemed most appropriate to me.

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Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Final

Yes, I CAN finish a non-Japanese boat model!

Today, I just put the finishing touches on the Swedish Gunboat that I built from an Amati kit. For those interested it’s also called Cannoniera Svedese, and is listed as AM1550. To recap, this is a very inexpensive small model kit that measures about 13.5″ long when complete. It lists for $109 at Ages of Sail, where this one came from. There have been some challenges, but they’ve all been small ones.

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Ed Von Der Porten, 1933-2018

I was shocked to read just a short time ago that my friend and long time ship modeler, historian, author, editor, teacher, Edward Von Der Porten passed away on Sunday, April 8th, 2018, following surgery complications. He was 84 years old.

Ed was a long-time member of the South Bay Model Shipwrights, which is where I met him. He served as co-VP and I know the members there will miss him and his fabulous work and expertise he brought to the group. Many of his ship modeling articles have graced the pages of Ships in Scale magazine, and he read over and critiqued many of my ship modeling articles for me, and guided me toward becoming a better writer. He even helped me get some ship model repair work with the National Park Service. I will always be in his debt for his guidance, kind support, and friendship.

There was an article posted on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website today about the man and his life. I hope you’ll take the time to read it: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Scholar-on-Sir-Francis-Drake-s-North-Bay-12826077.php

Edit: There was another article in the local Press Democrat: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8209238-181/ed-von-der-porten-santa?sba=AAS

Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part 7

The Swedish Gunboat project is the closest I have to completion now, and it’s very nearly done, so I decided to put most of my effort there now. My ideas about using it to practice new sail making techniques or other grand thoughts have been set aside. As I mentioned before, the model is mostly being built straight out of the box, but there are a few minor modifications.

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