For those of you in the Bay Area in March and interested in models of traditional Japanese watercraft, I’m setting up my first display of 2018 next month. The models will be in the display window of Union Bank’s community room, located inside the Japan Center’s East Mall, from March 1st through March 31st, 2018.
Models will include kit build models from Woody Joe and Thermal Studio, as well as four scratch built models, two of which will be brand new to the display.
Here’s my original post on wasenmodeler.com: https://wasenmodeler.wordpress.com/2018/02/16/my-next-wasen-model-display-march-1st-31st-2018/
Last year around this time, I purchased a few Woody Joe temple and mini architectural kits from none other than Zootoyz, where I buy all my Woody Joe kits. Incidentally, if you haven’t visited in a while, you should check it out. Morikawa-san revamped the site and it looks really nice. If you buy a kit from him and build it, be sure to send him photos. Also, the folks at Woody Joe would love to see them too.
In any case, in early January, I had a weekend to kill, so I started one of the mini-kits. This one is called Sato no chaya, or Sato’s tea house. It’s a very simple kit that costs around $26 plus shipping. My guess is that the scale is somewhere around 1/50.
Teahouse Mini-Architecture Kit
With the Government shutdown over the weekend, and the closing of the National Parks, the January Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights meeting had to be cancelled. The group will meet again at their regularly scheduled February meeting, which is Saturday, February 17th at 9:30am aboard the Eureka.
However, this didn’t affect two other groups that met this month. One of these is the South Bay Model Shipwrights, which normally meets on the third Friday of each month at 7pm at the Los Altos Public Library. This is a great and very social group, with several members meeting for a pre-meeting dinner at Chef Chu’s restaurant, just up the street from the library.
This is one of the early ship modeling groups and was started by Jean Eckert in 1982. While the group is much smaller than it was in its heyday, the members still keep it an interesting and active club.
Here are a few photos from the January meeting…
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.