I just found out recently that the polish paper model company Shipyard, is changing its product lineup a little, in order to make room for their new line of HO scale railroad accessories. Basically, the name of the company is now VESSEL, and they now have two separate product brands: Shipyard and Railway Miniatures.
Basically, all HO scale products are now sold only under the Railway Miniatures brand. This includes all HO scale lighthouses, dockyard accessories and some new buildings. I think it’s a great idea, but there are some oddities, particularly for American model railroad enthusiasts, in that the products are a mix of 17th through 19th century dockyard equipment and European buildings. Some new stuff is modern era, but still has a European flavor.
So, there’s probably not a lot in this product line that will appear here in the U.S., but I still think it’s good for VESSEL to expand its product lineup.
Another brick and mortar hobby dealer has fallen asunder! Just received a letter that the Hobbytown store in Concord, California is going out of business. They have some big sales starting today, so it’s a good opportunity to stock on some supplies.
This leaves the San Francisco East Bay with few real hobby dealers. The biggest ones that come to mind are Hobbies Unlimited and the Ages of Sail shop, both of which are in San Lorenzo, CA, just a few miles north of the Dumbarton Bridge.
In all honesty, as far as ship modelers, or even plastic model builders, the Hobbytown didn’t offer much. They focussed so much on RC planes and cars that it was mostly a big empty store with absolutely nothing to offer ship modelers, except for maybe glue, paints, and some basswood. So, I doubt the store closing will have much impact on us model builders. It mostly now leaves more business for the other local shops.
Approaching the end of the year, I find that my brain is just beginning to start functioning normally again (normal, for me) after having been down with an exhausting cold that struck just before Christmas. It wiped out my holidays, but I’m happy to be feeling mostly better again.
The first thing to deal with after coming out of this mental haze, is some information I just received on a new international ship modeler’s conference, which is being put together to take place in Rochefort, France from October 18th through October 21st.
The first stage of construction is the stone base of the structure. Being a wooden kit, this is of course made from wood. The parts are perfectly milled, so there’s no cutting or sanding involved, just aligning and gluing.
I didn’t glue the Square insert into place yet, as it’s not added until Step 2, but I dropped it into place to help with the alignment. As it turns out, it’s not helpful, as it fits a bit loosely, and my cutting pad has a printed grid that allows me to check the corner angles.
By the way, I really like the ModelCraft cutting mats. The one I’m using here is an A4 size. That’s roughly 12″ x 8″, which I bought from the ModelCraft Tools USA, which is run by Ages of Sail. In fact you can just buy it from their website too. I really like these cutting mats. This one was only $13.99 plus tax and shipping.
A ship modeler on the website Papermodeler.com recently finished this beautiful model of a Trabaccolo, a type of Adriatic Sea coasting ship. The model was built from a kit by WAK, a Polish company. I don’t know the details of the kit, but I found 1/100 scale WAK kit in the online shop at gpm.pl: https://sklep.gpm.pl/modele-kartonowe/zaglowce/1/100/trabaccolo-wak-9-10/2015
This is a beautifully built model, done using the printed parts mostly untouched except to clean up the part edges. You can see a lot more on the build log of this model by the member named Seahorse: Trabaccolo [WAK] – just for some practice – PaperModelers.com
Having completed a couple paper model kits myself from the Polish manufacturer Shipyard (now officially goes by the name Vessel Company), I’m a bit intrigued by kits from this and other manufacturers. I don’t know about other kits from WAK, but this one gives you printed individual planks for planking the hull and deck. I’m really curious to try one out. Given that this particular kit is only 39 PLN, or about $11 plus shipping, it’s an easy purchase. Ω
So, it begins! I got this kit from Zootoyz.jp earlier in the year, along with some other temple and Edo period architecture kits. One of those kits, the Shinmei-zukuri Shrine, I built and wrote about here. But, I’ve had too many other projects to work on to get to any of these other kits.
Well, it’s been long enough. We’re approaching the end of the year, when I traditionally build some kind of simpler Japanese kits. Since I made a promise to get to this kit, specifically, I’m pulling the kit out of the closet and setting it out to build.
Hōryū-ji 5-Story Pagoda from Woody Joe
This will make a nice size model, measuring about 18.5″ tall on a 10-1/4″ square base when done. There are more than 870 parts, mostly milled wood, though there are some wood strips and smaller laser-cut sheets. The kit is listed by Woody Joe as requiring 50 hours to build. I think this may be a revision of an early figure of 40 hours to build, as that’s what I recall and that’s what Zootoyz.jp states. In any case, it will take a lot less time than a ship model.