Monthly Archives: March 2020

Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 13: Blocks and Sails

The simplest way to mount a block onto the sheet horse is to first tie the stropping line around the metal horse, then wrap it around the block and tie it off around the block. Remember that the sheave hole should be closest to the horse.

I took a slightly more complicated route, which is to take a line and loop it around the horse. Then, I made a simplified seizing, by using thread and tying a simple overhand double-knot. The knot is then slid down close to the horse to tighten the loup. A tiny dab of glue is applied to the knot to hold it in place. When dry, I can take the loose ends and make a loop, insert the block, and tie a simple overhand knot around the block. Below shows an example using a piece of wire to attach the block to.

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Shipmodeling during the COVID-19 crisis

When I started to compose this post, people in my area were voluntarily staying home and practicing social distancing. Events across the Bay Area were being canceled, and, being part of a Japanese music and dance performing group, we were particularly affected by this, as we are quickly approaching Cherry Blossom season, our busiest time of the year.

But that was a whole week ago, before the Bay Area shelter in place order was given and then more recently, the statewide order. The cancelation of all these events seems trivial now as everyone is forced to mostly stay at home. Other states are also issuing similar orders, so we’re almost all facing the same situation.

I hope everyone out there stays safe and healthy and, if you’re getting bored at home, there’s always ship modeling.

I see that Model Expo is closed down due to the coronavirus now. But, Ages of Sail has a huge inventory of ship model kits, fittings, and supplies, and is still shipping, but they’ve closed their show room in San Lorenzo, CA, so orders are only by mail. For those looking for specific kits, particularly the more popular ones, I understand that they will become increasingly difficult to find, as shipments out of Europe are heavily affected.

For me, I have a backlog of projects, that I hope to be able to work on, now that work is so slow. For the blog here, I’m going to finish up the Dana next. Also, there is Woody Joe’s Kitamaebune model that I’ve been posting on the companion site that is pretty far along now, and some other loose ends that need attending to, which I’d like to deal with before long.

Hopefully, we’ll all get through these times and get back to work, but why not have a little fun with some ship modeling in the meantime?


Master Korabel Kits Now at Ages of Sail

A few months ago, I spoke with the owner of Ages of Sail. With the demise of Mamoli and then more recently Artesania Latina, I mentioned the Master Korable line after having seen some details about their kits on Model Ship World.

When I have more time, I’d really like to take on the cutter rigged tender Avos, or maybe the simpler Double Boat. By the looks of these kits, they’ll all look really good when completed.

Ages of Sail

We’ve recently added a relatively new line of wooden ship model kits from Russia called Master Korabel. This company produces some amazingly well designed kits that make ship modeling easier than ever, using state of the art design and manufacturing.

Most builders are accustomed to seeing laser-cut bulkheads in their kits, but Master Korabel kits go well beyond that, using some clever engineering to give your model very sturdy construction, while making it easier to build a properly shaped hull. These kits even go so far as to provide laser-cut decks and hull planks, so that you model not only looks beautiful, but with authentically shaped hull planks as well.

Double Boat.

Some of their kits come with various options, but for now, we’ve opted to carry just the high-end options. One of their most recent kits, the cutter-rigged tender Avos that we carry is the “Special Edition” version (PSX)…

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Building a Beginning Billing Boats Kit, Dana Fishing Boat – Part 12: Railing and Block Choice

Topmast Backstays

If you look carefully at the plans you will see a line that runs from the top of the mainmast, down to the rail, aft of the three shrouds. This is the topmast backstay.

I’m using the next smaller size rigging line for this – as a general rule, the higher up you go on the model, the smaller the rigging line gets, at least for the standing rigging. Below is a scan of the rigging diagram. I marked the line with a red arrow.

The green arrow shows the attachment point of the stay to the rail. I believe the kit would just have you simply drill a hole here and run the line through it and glue it into place. That’s perfectly fine, but I have been adding eyebolts to the model, so that’s what I’m doing here.

The rail was drilled through, the eyebolt inserted and glued into place. The excess stick through the bottom of the rail was trimmed off. All set to add the backstay itself.

I didn’t take any photos of the backstay at this point, as it’s such a simple operation. I just took a single piece of thin rigging line, made an overhand knot in the center, passing the loop over the top of the mast, then tightened the knot. The stays, port and starboard, were then tied off to their respective eyebolts.

When doing this, you want the stay to be taught, but not so much that you cause the mast to lean one way or the other. This may take a little practice. Fortunately, the stays attaching the topmast to the bowsprit will keep you from bending the topmast backwards. It’s mostly the left and right lean you want to watch out for.

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South Bay Model Shipwrights – No March Meeting

It seems that the coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting events in the Bay Area, and the monthly meeting of the South Bay Model Shipwrights has been canceled for the month of March. The next scheduled meeting is on Friday, April 10th.

The club is expected to have a table set up again at this years IPMS show in San Jose, which takes place on Saturday, April 18th.

Club meetings normally take place at 7pm on the 3rd Friday of every month, but this is subject to room availability at Los Altos Public Library.

South Bay Model Shipwrights Meeting
Los Altos Public Library
13 S. San Antonio Road
Los Altos, CA

For more information about the group, visit or email club president Jim Retta here.


Building Woody Joe’s 1/72-scale Kitamaebune Kit – Part 8

The Woody Joe Kitamaebune project continues…

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

More and More Copper Details…

This project stalled a bit while I was adding the copper coverings detail, which I’ve actually been making using brown permanent adhesive vinyl that I laid out and cut using my Silhouette Cameo 3 machine. The slow down is simply due to the amount of small details I’ve been feeling I need to make.

As I’ve written earlier, I reproduced the kit-provided shiny copper pieces with vinyl ones using the Cameo’s feature called PixScan, which allows me to use a specially marked mat on which the parts are placed and to take a photo of the them. This gets imported into the Silhouette Studio software and I am able to recreate the parts from the photo.

Part of the process is automated, but it works much better for larger objects. The small parts in this kit require that I do a lot of editing to…

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Kolderstok kits at Ages of Sail

Ages of Sail just posted an announcement on MSW and on their blog site that they are now carrying kits from the Dutch ship model kit maker Kolderstok. I’ve only recently heard of this company, but their kits look interesting.

The Statenyacht. At 50cm (19.6″), this 1/50-scale kit is Koldercraft’s smallest ship model offering.

Kolderstok appears to be a one-man production, kind of like Vanguard Models and Syren Ship Model Company. For this reason, I’m rather surprised to see that Ages of Sail was able to carry the line. These companies usually offer little or no discounts to resellers due to their production costs.

The kits appear to feature single-planked hull construction, which is also a bit unusual these days, but not unheard of. It just means that you have to more careful or more creative in the hull construction techniques to keep the hull planking smooth. This alone is probably a good reason for the kits to be recommended for experienced ship modelers.

The flagship of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, De Zeven Provincien, is Kolderstok’s largest and most complex kit – A 1/72-scale kit, 90cm long (35″).

Anyway, the kits look interesting and fairly unique subject matter. Here’s the link to Ages of Sail’s blog post:

And, a direct link to their Kolderstok kit listings: