Monthly Archives: February 2020

Building Woody Joe’s Nihonbashi Bridge Kit

Earlier this year, I decided to take a short break from ship modeling projects and spend a week or so on something fun, but a little different. I have several small kits in my stockpile (what’s in yours?) of miscellaneous Woody Joe kits, including one of the famed Nihonbashi Bridge.

The bridge was originally built in the early Edo period, around 1603. Built in the heart of Edo itself, It was extremely significant, as it was officially the starting point of Japan’s 5 major roads. Yes, all roads lead to Nihonbashi, and the bridge appears in many Japanese woodblock prints.

So, I decided to start the kit, which I purchased from where else but Zootoyz.jp, for about $41 plus shipping. One of the driving factors in building this kit is that it would allow me to exercise some of my basic diorama building skills. After all, there are trees, the bridge itself, the canal, a couple boats, and tiny people. Also, I knew that my 95 year-old mother would love to have it on display in her living room, and her birthday was coming up quickly. So, I needed to get it done.

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Hanse Kogge, Bremen 1390 – Shipyard Laser Cut Model Kit

I just finished writing this first-hand look at Shipyard’s Hanse Kogge laser-cut card model kit for Ages of Sail.

This is a really nice looking kit that doesn’t suffer from the classic paper model kit’s requirement of having to cut out vast numbers of tiny, complex parts. Everything is pre-cut, except for the small tabs holding the parts to the sheets. It looks very detailed and well designed.

I’m looking forward to building this model, and hope others will try it out and tell me what they think. Would love to hear from you!

Ages of Sail

Over the holidays, Ages of Sail received a new shipment of kits from the Polish manufacturer of paper ship model and structures kits, Shipyard. Among these were two kits released in 2019. Both are cogs,  sea-going cargo ships that were widely used in medieval Europe from the 12th through the 14th centuries.

Modern cog reconstruction.

Cogs were of lapstraked construction, with a broad and flat-bottomed hull, and commonly built of oak. The carried a single mast mounting a square sail, and were up to about 80 feet in length, with the largest carrying up to 200 tons.

We’ll be looking specifically at Shipyard’s Hanse Kogge kit, which is apparently based on a late 14th century Bremen cog of the Hanseatic League. The league formed as a confedration of trade guilds to promote commerce and mutual protection. It was formed in the late 12th century and grew to dominate Baltic trade…

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2020 NRG Conference at Channel Islands Maritime Museum

Good news for Nautical Research Guild members in California. Today the NRG just announce that next conference will take place from October 15-17 at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard, CA.

It’s a bit of a small venue for the event, I think. But, the collection of models and marine art is wonderful.

For myself, my earliest years of ship modeling were associated with this museum. As I lived less than an hour away, I made many trips to look over the collection of models, my favorite being those made by the late Ed Marple.

I was even president of the model guild for a short time, but my service was cut short when I went back to school and had a shift in family life. I probably still know 3 or 4 people there, who I will hopefully see again, as I fully intend to go the conference this Fall.

Other details about the conference aren’t available at this time, except that there will be no special hotel arrangements for the conference. Keep an eye on the NRG website for further news. Ω