Being primarily a ship modeler, I set this project aside for a while. Part of the problem was that I’d discovered that I was missing one small set 4 parts, all the same. There are a lot of parts in this kit and they are well packaged and labeled, but it took a while to go through and check and re-check and then to figure out exactly how the part was shaped and how it fit on the model.
The pieces are parts of the lower roof and cover the corner joints. Outwardly, they just look like simple wood strips, but they need to be groved on the underside in order to sit down on those corner joints. Also, they need to be thicker than the other roof boards to allow for the groove.
Since I have some hinoki strips on hand, I just milled one down to the proper size, which I also determined using the picture of the completed model on the box art.
Fitting all those wood boards took some time and I wanted to get them spaced nice and evenly and have things look more or less symmetrical. To aid in this, I simply photocopied that layout diagram shown above as it’s essentially in the correct scale. I cut it out and laid it on the work area to get the right positioning and then moved it to glue the board into place. I started placing them at the middle and worked outward. This allowed me to end up with the ends pretty much even.
This job took a while to complete. Also, because of some unevenness when I put the roof pieces together, the boards on one side were a little too long and had to be trimmed and sanded. Afterwards, I gave the whole roof a wash of dye to darken and even out the color.
Finally, I was able to move on to the next step, which involved assembling and attaching 24 pieces which fit under the roof and look like little 3-stem candelabras supporting the roof. I these pieces are called Hiramitsu (平ミツ) in the instructions. I don’t know if they actually help to support the roof or if they are just decorative.
Cutting these free from the laser-cut sheets was a bit tricky due to the tiny cutouts in them. I split more than one before I was through freeing them all. The other thing I had trouble with was seeing that one side of the 3-pronged pieces was actually laser scribed with some small lines. This side needs to face outward and some of mine were glued into place backwards. The detail is so small that nobody will ever notice, but after the discovery, I made sure the rest were all glued together correctly.
These pieces are the first of the small details which really stand apart from the basic structure.
The next step will be to construct the walls of each of the five levels of the main pagoda itself. It took me a while to realize that what I completed really is an outer wall that surrounds the first level of the pagoda itself.