Monthly Archives: October 2022

Making an American Flag using Adobe Illustrator

I’ve been taking a little time off of work since I’ve been actually pretty productive with ship modeling and other personal tasks. So, today, I finally decided to tackle the issue to making a flag for the American Gunboat model that I’ve been working on.

My Amati American gunboat model, nearly finished, but in need of a flag

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New Book on HMS Terror by Matthew Betts

I was quite surprised yesterday when I saw that there was a new book available on the Arctic (and Antarctic) exploration ship HMS Terror of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition. What’s more this is a book by Matthew Betts whose research, posted in his blog, buildingterror.blogspot.com, has been used in the development of OcCre Model’s wooden ship model kit, in the development of the AMC miniseries The Terror, and more.

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New In Stock – Barking Fish Carrier, Ranger 1864 – Vanguard Models

While this is about the fifth fishing boat kit from Vanguard Models, and they are all kind of similar looking, this is one I really like. As a novice level kit, it looks like it will also make a very good kit for someone who is good with small tools and is interested in trying out a plank-on-bulkhead model kit.

The big plus, to me, is that the 58-pages of instructions are clear and in english, AND you can download them before you even spend any money on the kit. Ages of Sail is in the process of putting all the Vanguard Models kit instructions on their product pages, which is a great way to find out just what you’re getting before you make the purchase.

Ages of Sail

Just in stock is the latest ship model kit from Chris Watton’s Vanguard Models, the Ranger, a Barking Fish Carrier. Replacing the earlier well smacks, the fish carriers transported fish just caught from the fishing fleets and raced them back to the markets, requiring the best speed to assure fresh catch. So, boats like the Ranger were fast and had very fine lines.

Vanguard Models' Ranger - Barking Fish Carrier

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An Upgraded OcCre HMS Beagle Build

A very nice build of HMS Beagle from the OcCre kit, with some reference help from the Anatomy of the Ship series. Very impressive that this is only the builder’s second model since the start of Covid. This is certainly making the best of a bad situation.

Ages of Sail

Like many people these days, Ollie S of Norfolk, UK, discovered wooden ship modeling when the Covid pandemic kept him from his other activities. After building OcCre’s San Juan Felucca kit as his first project, he got hooked on ship modeling and took on OcCre’s kit of the famous exploration ship HMS Beagle. This is, of course, the ship that carried naturalist Charles Darwin on voyages of discovery, leading to his writing of The Origin of Species.

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This Week in Wasen Model Making – October 15, 2022

Having my models on display at the Good Same Miniatures Showcase gave a boost to my model making drive. I’ve been back on my American Gunboat based on the Amati kit, and have been busy with the completion of the rigging.

In addition to that, after many month away from them, I finally pulled out a couple of Japanese boat models and started making some significant progress on those too. I may actually finish up three models this year, though the paint job on one of the Japanese boats is quite elaborate and may take me a while.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Last weekend, I had a number of models on display at the Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures, which consisted mostly of my wasen models. This was the first time I’d had any of my Japanese watercraft models on display since January, and it seems to have spurred me to get back to work on some wasen model projects. While I have the two Woody Joe kits to finish up, those being the Kitamaebune and Atakebune kits, I also have two scratch models I stated long ago, the whaleboat-style Senzanmaru, and the small Nitaribune based on the late Fujiwara-san’s boat Kawasemi.

Small Nitaribune, or cargo boat, based on the boat built by the late Fujiwara-san for Wasen Tomo no Kai.

The Senzanmaru, a whaleboat-type boat use by the Awa clan.

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Displaying Models at the Showcase of Miniatures

This weekend is the annual Good Sam Showcase of Miniatures, an event organized primarily for doll house enthusiasts. But, as the overall theme is “miniatures”, the organizers were happy to include ship models and boat models. The event takes place at the DoubleTree Hotel in San Jose on Saturday and Sunday, October 8th and 9th. Those interested should visit their website at https://goodsamshowcase.org. This year, the South Bay Model Shipwrights club is participating, and I brought some models for display.

For this exhibit, I brought my Mary Taylor model, a 1/72 scale Japanese boats display, a 1/10 scale Japanese fishing boat, and a 1/24 scale Japanese pleasure boat. I also brought in the South Bay Model Shipwrights club’s Drakkar Viking Ship, which was a group build. I didn’t participate in its construction, but the model was on display at Ages of Sail, and I made arrangements to pick it up and bring it to the show.

My 1/64-scale scratch-built Mary Taylor and the club built Drakkar Viking Ship.

I participated one time before, back in 2013, where I brought my 1/64-scale scratch-built Mary Taylor model, along with an under-construction English longboat. This time, I thought the Japanese boat models might be of interest to the visitors, particularly the larger scale ones, which are very close to common dollhouse scales.

The ship and boat models display at the 2013 Showcase

The Yakatabune model, in particular, is in 1/24 scale, a.k.a. 1/2″ scale, which puts it right at a popular dollhouse scale. This model event sports an interior, with a table, floor cushions, and musical instrument laid out inside the tatami-room floor.

The even larger scale Tosa wasen model, is 1/10-scale, which is actually larger than the largest of the common dollhouse scales of 1/12 or 1″ scale. But, the extras and the large details will, I hope, appeal to the dollhouse crowd.

I brought the 1/72-scale models of the Tonegawa Takasebune and the Utasebune as I’ve had them on my shelf together under a single acrylic cover, and they were the first models I thought to bring, due to their easy portability and small display space.

Two other club members are bringing models for the club display. Looking back at my photos, I kind of feel like I’m hogging all the display space. Then again, these are all models that I’ve built myself, and I’ve been itching to get some of my Japanese subjects out on display again, so this was my chance.

This is a short display, and I’ll have to collect them all tomorrow. It’s about an hour drive for me each way to San Jose, plus the hotel charged me $5 just so I could unload my car (and another $5 when I go to pick them up), but it was good to put them out in front of the public again. I hope I get the opportunity to do something similar again soon. Ω

Amati Gunboat “Arrow” Build – The Sails Again

It’s been a while since I posted about the Amati American gunboat “Arrow”. As you can see in the photo below, I have the model mounted on a cherry wood base that I cut and routed the edge.This photo is from a ship model meeting back in March of this year, and shows the sails installed with the final rigging lines going in.

 

Unfortunately, I am not one to leave well enough alone. The kit plans show two reef bands on each sail. Also, the sails turned out a bit small for the lateen yards. Finally, I didn’t like the run of the brails, the ropes used to haul the edge of the sail in and up into the lateen yard.

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