Things are progressing slowly here. I’m working on projects, but not making a huge amount of progress. To boost my productivity, I built another one of those Woody Joe mini-architecture kits, which I’ll post something about later. It didn’t distract me for long, but hoping it will give me a little more model building momentum. We shall see.
Technically, this model is not quite done, as I’m going to paint a few figures to add to it and give it some life. My 95 year-old mother loves these dioramas with little people in them, so I’m going to give it to her when it’s done. That is, if we can find a place to put it – it’ll the the fourth such model I’ve given her.
The Gift of Gifting
Because I can’t display my Japanese boat models anywhere with this Covid crisis going on, and no one would be out and about much to see them, I’m finding my models are getting a bit crowded here. So, I’m finding homes for a couple of the simpler ones, making nice, personal gifts for a few people who’ve been particularly generous and supportive.
So, I’m in the process of making a couple simple display bases and realizing that I need to make a few small accessories for the models – things to put inside the boats, to make them more fun to look inside, like bailers, paddles, poles, adding mooring lines, and so forth.
I’ve also decided that I’m going to send my small, 1/40-scale Hozugawa tour boat model to mycontact at Woody Joe in Japan. She’s been really helpful to me in the past, but I’ve been somewhat out of touch for the past couple years and have been mostly neglecting my Woody Joe kit building(!). The model has nothing to do with Woody Joe, but it’s a neat little model that would look great on a desk. I hope she likes it, but it’s okay if it gets re-gifted. I won’t be offended.
I wasn’t going to try to ship anything to Japan, particularly during the Covid crisis, because of the cost of shipping. But, I recently discovered that the Japanese delivery service Yamato (think yellow logo with black cats) now operates in the US as Yamato America. For very small packages, shipping to Japan isn’t so bad. But, only for VERY small packages.
Fortunately, the model is small and light and I’m pretty sure it will survive the jostling of an international delivery. It’ll be a 14 x 4 x 4 box, which will cost me $22 to ship to Japan for a 6-10 day delivery. What’s more, there is a shipping agent at the Japanese market in Berkeley, CA, which is just about 25-minutes from my home, so I don’t have to drive into San Francisco or somewhere way down in the South Bay.
In addition, I have a diorama in an 8″ cube display case that I was going to ship to the Hozu river boat tour company, but Priority Mail International was going to cost me $70 to ship it. With the Covid-19 outbreak, and the abysmal US response to the crisis, no USPS shipments are going in or out of Japan, so that’s not even a possibility. But Yamato can ship it for me for $40, if I can squeeze it into a 10″ cube box. Doesn’t leave much room for padding. But, I’m less worried about the display case, and more about the jostling of the model diorama itself. I may risk it and just send it off. It if arrives intact, maybe I’ll get free boat rides on the Hozu river when I visit?
While that diorama is all from scratch, and has nothing to do with Woody Joe at all, There is another Woody Joe kit that I’ve been neglecting. That’s this beautiful, 5-story Pagoda kit that was given to me a few years ago. I got it from the Japanese online hobby dealer Zootoyz, and I started a non-ship model blog about it here on this site. It’s not a difficult model, but there are a lot (LOT) of parts in the box.
It’s going to take me a while to finish the model, as there are other projects I really want to get done. But, it’s good to make a little progress on this model, here and there. Anyway, I don’t know where I’m going to put it when it’s done! My mom will probably love it, so that’s a definite possibility. Only thing is that it’s 1/75 scale, and given how much my mom likes little people in these model displays, finding little Edo period figures in that scale only seems to be possible if I build it as a place being attacked by fully armor-clad Samurai.
Ship Modeling at Last
As for ship modeling, I did add the sails to the Billing Boats Dana kit that I was blogging about, and just have to get caught up with my writing, so I can finish up that model. The finished model, I’m thinking, will end up on display either at Ages of Sail, or in the display case outside the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights’ model workshop aboard the Eureka in San Francisco.
The Dana model actually suffered a little bit of stay rigging damage, which I did manage to repair. It’s back on track and I’ll be writing about it again soon. And, it’s very close to done, which will allow me to move on to another priority, which is to rig a clipper ship model for a friend of mine.
The model is Model Shipways’ Flying Fish. Clipper ships have a LOT of rigging. So, it’s going to keep me busy for a while. But, I’m going to have to really get organized and spend some time on it. The problem is, there are two other projects I want to get wrapped up soon, or at least get some significant progress made.
Shipyard, the Polish company that produces some amazing paper models, gave me a Bremen Cog kit to build and evaluate. I have the hull mostly complete, and the model has very simple rigging. So, in theory, it should take too much from my other project tasks. I started a blog on it on Model Ship World, and I’d like to get that wrapped up, as I have a habit of creating unfinished blogs there.
Then, there is the Kitamaebune kit, which is so very close to completion. This is part of my attempt to get moving on Woody Joe projects that I mention above. This is another Japanese coastal transport kit. But, if you’ve been following my blog posts, you’ve seen this model in progress. I essentially just have to make the sails and add the small amount of rigging, and the model will be done.
Writing this post helps me put everything in perspective, allowing me to develop a better sense of priorities for my projects. So, this one is one of the highest. Unfortunately, it shares that spot with three other things. But, all of them seem to be very close to completion. So, I will look forward to a burst of project completions. At least in theory… Ω
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