Monthly Archives: June 2021

Building Shipyard’s Dutch Fluit Schwarzer Rabe, 1627 – Part 3

As you may have noticed, I’ve now officially elevated this build of Shipyard’s 1/96-scale paper model kit of the Dutch fluit Schwarzer Rabe to a full fledged project, with its own place in my Ship Model Build Logs menu.

It seems that after completing the 1/72-scale Hanse Kogge Bremen laser-cut paper model, for which I did not maintain a build log here, I was itching to keep up with the paper models. I wasn’t really sure if I had been doing a good enough job with my Dutch fluit Schwarzer Rabe, but I thought I should give it a chance. So, I continued the build this weekend, adding more details to the hull, and starting a blog on papermodelers.com, which I will basically echo here, or vice versa.

As we last left this build…

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New Milled Wood Source: Modeler’s Sawmill

With the closing down of Hobbymill, and the scaling back of wood production at Syren Ship Model Company, we’re left with few options for purchasing high end strip woods. There was a an operation called Crown Timberyard that offered the service for about 4 years, but that’s closed in 2019. Now, a new company called Modeler’s Sawmill has just opened up, offering boxwood, cherry, and Alaskan yellow cedar sheets and strips.

Most of these operations are one man shops. That’s usually not an issue. But, lately, it seems that people doing these things are doing them as a hobby, and continue to have a primary job. The problem with that is that the operators get tired of the additional job, which probably pays very little for their efforts. And, sooner or later, they close right back up again. Hopefully, this will be a consistent source that will be around for a while.

So, if you’re in need some nice quality woods, here’s a new option for you. For more information go to http://www.modelerssawmill.com.

 

The Making of a Man (in 1/20 Scale)

Working with my Japanese boat models, after the tenth or twelfth model, I’ve felt that there’s now something missing. I enjoy modeling traditional Japanese boats, but up to now, there hasn’t been much context. So, I started experimenting with making cargo, which is a relatively easy, if not somewhat tedious, task. But, I’ve always felt that the cargo was just one step towards giving the models a better sense of what they were and how they were used. What the boats really needed were one or more figures, to give them a sense sense of scale, and a sense of the place and time when they were in their heyday.

Kawasaki: The Rokugō Ferry, from Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō

Mitsuke: The Tenryū River, from Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tōkaidō

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Atakebune – Japanese Warship Kit in Development

Here’s hoping that Woody Joe will release this as a new kit. I for one will buy it in an instant. Hopefully, by the time it’s available, international shipping from Japan to the US will be back to normal.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

At last, it’s happening. After some enthusiastic petitioning by Kazunori Morikawa, myself, and others to the Japanese wooden model kit maker Woody Joe, it appears the company is actively developing the prototype for an Atakebune.

Museum model of an atakebune

For those who don’t already know, the Atakebune is the largest class of warship used by the Japanese feudal armies of the warring states period. These lumbering ships were effectively floating fortresses. While they were equipped with one large mast and square sail, as well as a  single bank of oars, they were often towed by smaller warships.

Museum model of a large atakebune

I’ve had a number of people ask me about the availability of an Atakebune kit. Up to now, there hasn’t been much  available in the form of a well researched scale model kit. But, yesterday, Woody Joe posted a photo on their Facebook page, announcing that…

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Building A Master Korabel Ship’s Boat Kit

Master Korabel is a Russian wooden ship model kit manufacturer that have been sold in the U.S. for a couple years now. They’re kits are all in a scale of 1:72 and they’re developed using Computer Aided Design, or CAD.

They have a fairly limited offering at this time with seven wooden kits of ships , none with more than two masts. But they also have three ship’s boat kits ranging from a 4-oared yawl, 2-3/4″ long, to a 10-oared ship’s boat, 3-1/2″ long. I picked up the larger of the ship’s boats kits to get an idea of how these kits go together

 

The largest ship’s boat kit, MK0101, is 95mm long, or about 3-1/2″. About the first thing I did after opening up the kit and laying everything out was to put it all right back in the box. I was just too taken aback by how thin the wood was, and how delicate and complex the build looked. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I took another look at the kit in detail and really read through the instructions. Once I did this, I was able to mentally break down the vast assortment of parts and start to make sense of it all. Continue reading