Monthly Archives: September 2019

BIG Price Reductions on Amati Kits at Ages of Sail!

This is a big deal, as Amati makes some of the finest ship model kits available, particularly their Victory Models line.

I think the Lady Nelson kit, in particular, is now a great deal. It seemed like a good starter kit to me. But now, at $118, it really can’t be beat.

I have to say that there are a few kits that I’ve been eyeing over the past few years, but the pricing seemed a bit too high. This now brings them down to a point where I may just have to spring for a new ship model kit or two.

Ages of Sail

Ages of Sail and Amati have just worked out a new pricing agreement, which results in big savings for you the customer. Prices have been cut as much as 30-50% on all Amati kits. This is not a sale price, this is all new pricing.


The new prices include beginner kits, classic ship model kits, ships in bottles, non-ship kits, America’s Cup kits… even their Victory Models line of kits!

Check out this sample of some of the new, lower prices:

AM1711/01 Wells Fargo Stage Coach – was $299.00 now $230.99

AM1410 Pinta – was $179.00 now $105.99

AM1413 Mayflower – was $299.00 now $187.95

AM1300/08 Revenge, 1577 – was $549.00 now $429.95

AM1300/02 Bomb Vessel Granado – was $499.00 now $279.00

AM1606 RMS Titanic – was $799.00 now $411.95

AM1300/04 HMS Vanguard – was $1149 now $731.95

But of course there are…

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2019 Wooden Boat Festival Follow-Up

I recently got back from the Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington, and it was a very long drive, so I’ve been spending some time recovering and not blogging. It was a great experience though, with a very supportive event staff and many, many appreciative visitors. The event took place over three days in September by the Northwest Maritime Center, and has apparently been going on every year since 1977.

I made the long drive up from home, staying overnight at my sister’s home in Shelton, Washington. From the San Francisco Bay Area, it was a 14-hour drive in my car loaded with models of Japanese traditional boats, plus tools and supplies to demonstrate model construction. Luckily, everything arrived safely.

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Building Woody Joe’s 1/72-scale Kitamaebune Kit – Part 5

The latest progress on my Japanese northern port coastal transport called a Kitamaebune. This 1/72-scale model is built from a Woody Joe kit with a few minor detail additions.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Last week, I displayed my collection of Japanese traditional boat models at the big Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend, Washington, and I managed to sell my Higaki kaisen and Gifu tabune models to visitors to the show.

But, that leaves my collection of wasen models without a flagship sengokubune. And, with a Japanese boat models display in Japantown coming up next month, it’s become that much more important for me to finish the Kitamaebune kit. So, now that I’m back home, I’ve been putting greater effort on this model.

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Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival, Sept 6-8, 2019

The Port Townsend Wooden Boat festival is coming up this weekend, and I’m headed up to Washington state tomorrow for a long, long drive, to display a number of models of Japanese traditional boats the whole weekend inside the boat shop.

I’ll also be demoing construction of 1/20 and 1/10 scale models of a rice field boat from the area of Himi, a small town in western Toyama prefecture on the Japan Sea coast. I’ll be working on some other models too, since I’ll be there for three days.

Here’s a link to some of the info on the Himi rice field boat that boatbuilder Douglas Brooks built for the Himi museum:

Mr. Brooks held a workshop in Port Towsend last week in which students spent several days learning to build a Japanese-style river boat using traditional tools and techniques. That boat will be on display at the festival, and there will be a small shinto ceremony followed by a boat launching ceremony on Sunday, preceded by a taiko drum performance by Seatle-based group, School of Taiko.

At the boat launching, your’s truly has been roped into leading a lively mast-raising song (yes, not a sail raising song – we’re talking Japanese here) called Hobashira Okoshi Ondo with some call and answer audience participation. Hopefully, I won’t screw it up, but you never know… 🤨

For details on the festival, check out the following link:

If you’re in the area and have a chance to visit the festival, please stop by and say hello! Ω

Amati Planking Clamp Set

Those who have been following my mosts here may recall my post a few years back on a very simple planking clamp that anyone can make from common spring-steel binder clips that you can buy at any office supply store.

One of my homemade planking clamps

Well, a while back, Amati came up with their own version of this idea that you might be interested in trying out. Their Clamp Set gives you a dozen binder clips and specially designed brass plates together to a set of very nice planking clamps.

The instructions on how to assemble them is printed right on the back of the cardboard cover, so don’t throw it out until you’ve made your set! The package includes a dozen binder clips, the same as you would get at the office supply store, plus a photo-etched sheet with 14 brass plates – I guess they figure you’re likely to screw  up once or twice.

There’s definitely a little bit of assembly required here. First the brass pieces each have to be cut from the sheet. I found you could just twist them in place until they broke loose. In either case, the tabs that hold the parts to the sheet need to be filed down a little. Also, the parts come off a little sharp, so just be careful.

You’ll need some fine pliers to assemble these, as you will need to bend some tiny tabs. The instructions are pretty clear on how to do this, and in a short time, you have a completed planking clamp assembled.

Now, it didn’t take long to figure out that there might be an easier way to assemble these, but it’s kind of hard to describe without going into too much detail. In any case, the first one, but I noticed the brass plate rattles a little when you shake it. This doesn’t affect its use, but I realized that if you just bend the tabs so that are flat on top of the clip, it would make for a tighter fit and not rattle. Again it doesn’t make the clamps any better, just quieter.

So, these clamps do take a few minutes to assemble, but they look like they will work well. Again, it’s about the same as the design I’ve been using, just a little fancier.

If you want to try these out, their available from your Amati dealer as item number 7377. Ages of Sail stocks them here. Ω