Monthly Archives: November 2018

Building the Kanrin Maru – Japan’s First Screw Steamer

It’s been just about three years since I last wrote about researching the Kanrin Maru, and I really haven’t done much about it lately, but I did start construction of the 1/75-scale model based on the kit from the Japanese wooden model kit manufacturer, Woody Joe. The model is being constructed with modifications based on my research.

I started construction long ago on this model, but set it aside for other, higher priority projects. Recently, I realized that I don’t have any models on permanent display anywhere. My only models on display are my Japanese traditional wooden boat models that I put on display in San Francisco’s Japantown a couple times a year.

There is a possibility that I could build this model and have it on display at the Mare Island Museum, where they have an existing display dedicated to the Kanrin Maru’s 1860 diplomatic mission to San Francisco.

Woody Joe’s 1/75-scale Kanrin Maru kit.

The Build Plan

The hull of the Woody Joe kit is very close to the line drawings I acquired of the ship, so it’s an excellent start to building what should be a pretty accurate model. There are a few details of the kit that I will change or am considering changing:

  • The planking and shape of the hull at the bulwarks
  • The presence of a winch above the propeller well in the kit
  • The shape of the hawse pipes from the kit
  • The location of the hawse pipes on the deck of the kit
  • The armament
  • The location and configuration of the ship’s wheel
  • The size of the turnbuckles provided in the kit
  • The configuration of the fore-and-aft sails
  • The presence of mast wooldings in the kit
  • The presence of a mizzen mast top in the kit
  • The absence of coal loading ports in the kit
  • Miscellaneous small details

I’ll deal with these as the build progresses. Continue reading

Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Bune – Final

A completed model, but an ongoing project. Don’t think you’ve seen the last of this model.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

I brought my Kamakura period sea boat to the Nautical Research Guild Conference, which was held this past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had some last minute work to complete, but finished in time for the model display.

Kamakura Period Sea Boat (鎌倉時代の海船) at the 2018 Nautical Research Guild Conference.

Preparing it for the display took a bit of last minute work. I hadn’t put the remaining oars on until I was actually in the hotel the night before. The reason for the delay was mostly due to my taking the model to the October meeting of the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights. Carrying around of model of this nature, or any nature I suppose, has certain hazzards associated with it. I had taken the model to the meeting of the South Bay Model Shipwrights the night before with no problems whatsoever.

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Building a Gozabune (Kobaya) from Paris Plans – Part 9

The latest update on the Japanese boat model that should be the next to see completion, hopefully by the time of my next traditional Japanese boat models display in Japantown in February. The 1/32-scale model is structurally pretty close to completion, but there’s a lot of decorative work to do.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

A couple weeks ago, I reached a dilemma about the kobaya’s paint scheme. I’m trying to stay as true as I can to the 1868 notes by Armand Paris. He describes the lower hull, hanging beams and rail stanchions as painted in red lacquer. He then describes the interior deck area as being all painted a “blood red”.
This suggests two different shades of red, and there’s only one model I’ve seen that displays two shades. It is a model of the large gozabune Tenchi-maru, which was kept in use right up to the beginning of the Meiji restoration, 1868. From what I can tell, the model was part of the Tokyo Maritime Science Museum. Since the main museum is closed, I don’t know what the status is of this model.
But, since my kobaya also was apparently in use up until the start of the Meiji restoration, it…

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ALL NEW Ages of Sail Site

Ages of Sail just upgraded their website and is currently offering up to $40 off of standard shipping charges on orders of $200 or more.

The new site is supposed to offer better support for phone and tablet users.

Ages of Sail

Ages of Sail has finally sailed into the modern age with a newly designed website. The site’s new modern look is all part of a push to make it more accessible to customers who are increasingly using tablets and phones to do their online shopping.

With the new site, you get a cleaner look, but retain access all of the great products we carry, including wooden ship model kits, multimedia kits, RC models, tools, fittings, books, plans, paints and more!

To celebrate the grand opening of our new site, we are offering free standard shipping (* up to $40 credit) on any order of $200 or more. The discount credit will appear automatically during checkout.

Things get busy as we get closer to the holidays, so make sure to buy early to avoid the rush and to make sure what you want will be in stock!

SHOP NOW

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