Category Archives: All News

Building a Hozugawa Ayubune Model in 1/10 Scale – Final

My first completed scratch build of a Japanese traditional wooden boat or wasen. This was a simple design that’s ideal for a first scratch build. While I’ve started scratch building other Japanese wasen subjects, this was the most straightforward to take to completion.

The project had it’s beginnings back in May of this year, when I started creating drawings for the building of the model. I started cutting some wood for it in June, but it didn’t really go anywhere until I developed the former for it in mid-October. Then, in mid-November, I got serious with it and decided to take it to completion. Finished December 3rd.

Wasen Modeler

This is the completion of my 1/10-scale model of the 15-shaku ayubune. This began with the cutting of the beams. I made the smallest beam at the bow, called the tsunatsuke, 1.5-sun square. The other two main beams I made 3-sun wide and 2.5-sun thick. I didn’t have any sugi of the necessary thickness, so I had to use two pieces glued together. I put the seam on the side of the beam in hopes that would make it less visible.

I used the beams as a guide to help me size the cutouts in the hull, which I cut with my Japanese Hishika, Super Fine Cut Saw, that I got from Zootoyz. It worked really well for this.

I found a supplier with the exact same saw in the U.S., but the cost for the saw was more than what Zootoyz charges, even when you add…

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Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 2

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.

There was not much to Step 1. In Step 2 I made the supports that will fit under the corners of this base. Again, these are pre-milled pieces with a step cut into the long side. Again, all that’s necessary is gluing them together.

The stairs are also assembled here. There is one set of stairs in the middle of each side of the base. The stair steps are pre-milled, as are the triangular pieces and line their sides. The part that takes the most work so far are some straight strips 

With the triangular side pieces mounted, I trimmed one end of the strips that fit atop those and glued them into place. Kind of hard to tell what I’m talking about here unless you look really closely at the photos.

The top end of those strips have to be trimmed too, but I’m following the instructions and gluing the stairs into place first. I used all the base parts to make sure the stairs were lined up correctly. Note in the photo below how there is a piece under the stairs that push them up to the proper height. They are not glued in place yet, as they need to fit after the corner pieces are properly in place, which they are not, here.

Next, I’ll finish gluing up the base and adding some small details, completing Step 2 of the build.

Trabaccolo Paper Model on Papermodeler.com

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

From papermodelers.com.

From papermodelers.com

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

Building a Hozugawa Ayubune Model in 1/10 Scale – Part 5

The Ayubune model is close to complete. Here’s the hull planking getting details and going on in part 5 of the build. The result is officially a boat!

Wasen Modeler

Progress continues with my 1/10-scale model of the 15-shaku boat used on the Hozu river, northwest of Kyoto. I’m 6 months into the build, but I have certainly not spent a great deal of time in actual construction. Mostly, I’ve been contemplating how I was going to accomplish each task of the build. Things are progressing quickly now.

Ayubune model with former clamped to the baseboard fixture

With the new fixture holding things in place, I taped a piece of cardstock into place to trace the shape of the hull planking. I rough marked the outlines of the bottom, bow plank, and transom on it. The planking will be cut oversized, so getting the exact shape isn’t really necessary, except to make sure that the wood I cut is large enough, but not too wasteful of my limited wood supply.

Next, I cut four straight strips of 3mm sugi

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New Colin Archer Kit from Billing Boats Available Now

New stuff in the ship modeling world is always great to see. This particular Billing Boats kit has been around before, but this is a new wooden hull plank-on-bulkhead version.

At 1:15 scale, this makes for a huge 50″ long model. It’s appropriate for build as a display model, but is also suitable for RC operation.

Ages of Sail

Several years ago, Billing Boats’ popular 1:15-scale kit of the salvage ship Colin Archer was discontinued. The kit was very big, at about 50″ long, and featured an ABS plastic hull and was suitable for RC operation.

New, BB728 Colin Archer wooden hulled, expert level ship model kit.

Billing Boats has just released a new version of the Colin Archer kit at the same 1:15 scale. But, now, the kit features a wooden plank-on-bulkhead construction hull. The size, construction, and detail have earned this kit an EXPERT level rating. So, make sure you’re ready to take on a kit of this difficulty level before starting your build.

Ages of Sail and our sister site Billing Boats USA now have this kit available. It is one of Billing Boats largest, and lists for $789.95. But, if you’ve been following this blog or our Facebook posts, you’ll know that we currently have…

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Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 1

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.

Woody Joe lists the kit for ¥29,000, but Zootoyz’ list price is ¥28,000 yen. That’s about $245 plus shipping, which to the U.S. is about $54 for the cheapest service.

As with all Woody Joe kits, the packaging is well organized, with parts neatly separated into bags, which are then stapled to cardboard inserts so they don’t flop around in the box.

Bags are individually labeled with part number, a description in Japanese, and the quantity of parts. Woody Joe’s quality control is such that in all their kits I’ve built, there are always the number of parts listed on the label. And, as for the Japanese part names, the fact that I can’t read them easily generally doesn’t have any bearing on the construction of the model. The part numbers are what are referenced in the well illustrated instructions.

Clearly, these are of an older era of instructions from Woody Joe, as there are no photos of the actual model kit and the print is all in black ink. But, everything seems clear enough to me. Also, because a pagoda is basically multiple levels of similar construction, this should be a pretty easy to follow build.

Right now, the hard part is trying to decide how I will finish the kit. That is, whether I will just build it straight out of the box, or paint the roofs, or dye the wood so that it more closely resembles the actual weathered structure, which is mostly a dark brown.

I’m considering dying the wood that color, and painting the roofs a greenish gray and wall panels off white.

The real pagoda is accepted to be one of the oldest existing structures in the world. The tree that forms its core has been dated to have been felled in 594 A.D.

The Wikipedia Entry has a lot more info on the design and history of this Buddhist structure.

 

Ages of Sail is having a Black Friday Sale!

This is something new, Ages of Sail is having a Black Friday sale. Check out the savings.

Essentially, you can get any Amati, Billing Boats or Occre kit for 10%. Plus, when you buy one of these kits, you can get free domestic shipping for your entire order.

Because of the way the Ages of Sail online shop software works, it wasn’t possible to make this offer for online orders, so this sale applies only to phone orders or walk-ins.

Meanwhile, Billing Boats USA, which is part of Ages of Sail, is also having a big 10% off sale on all kits. But, in this case, the discounts are shown on their website at http://www.billingboatsusa.com. For some reason, at least at the moment, there’s actually nothing on the site that tells you why the kits are marked down. But, I know it’s for the Black Friday sale, which will only run 24 hours, ending midnight Friday.

Building a Hozugawa Ayubune Model in 1/10 Scale – Part 3

If you’re interested in modeling non-western boats, you might be interested in this 1/10-scale ayubune I’m building from scratch, based on research done by Douglas Brooks. This is a very simple small boat made for fishing and navigating the rapids of the hozu river.

Check out his blog on building one in Japan, back in 2014:
http://blog.douglasbrooksboatbuilding.com/search?q=ayubune

Note that this is not one of the subjects of his book.

Wasen Modeler

Counting up all the major planks, transom, and beams, this Ayubune model will be made up of only 17 pieces:

  • Shiki (bottom) – 3 pieces
  • Omote no tate ita (bow plank)
  • Todate (transom)
  • Tana (hull planks) – 4 pieces, 2 on each side
  • Omoteamaose (bow platform)
  • Tsunatsuke (lit. rope attachment) – Bow beam
  • Omote no funabari (forward beam) – 3 pieces
  • Tomo no funabari (aft beam)
  • Tomoamaose (stern platform)
  • Transom Strake

In addition to these, I made patterns in paper for obtaining the proper angle for the lay of the hull planking. I have yet to decide at this point just how I’m going to fix the hull planks to that angle. But, there’s time before that needs to be deal with.

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Lunch and Models at the St. Francis Yacht Club

Here’s another club’s event that I was happy to take part in this past weekend. Nothing like a free meal in a yacht club with lots of yacht models and camaraderie. I feel bad for people who had something “better to do” than attend our monthly meeting. But, sometimes it can’t be helped. And, I know there was also at least one medical emergency and we hope our fellow member is going to be okay.

Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights

This year, the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights club didn’t have the usual annual BBQ due to schedule conflict among members. We put it off a couple times, and next thing you know, the weather isn’t good for it. So, instead, we decided to have a club sponsored lunch. There were a couple possibilities, but since Paul Reck is an associate member of the St. Francis Yacht Club, we decided it would be a nice location for our club lunch, and so we scheduled the lunch to follow our November meeting.

It was still pretty short notice for people, and many already had other plans rather than attend the November meeting anyway, so we had a small turnout, but a really great lunch and great time. The place was very busy, but the food was great and the view right next to Crissy Field was hard to beat. The faire that we…

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South Bay Model Shipwrights November Meeting

I made it to the meeting of the South Bay Model Shipwrights, which is a very long-standing and respected ship model club that was started by Jean Eckert back in 1982 and has operated continuously ever since. Some current and past distinguished members include Jerry Blair, Dr. Clayton Feldman, of course Jean Eckert, Ed Von Der Porten, the late Charles Parsons, and many more.

The club currently meets at the Los Altos Public Library in Los Altos, California, at 6:00 pm, generally on the third Friday of every month. The club, though much smaller than in the past, is  currently headed by Jim Rhetta, who recently completed the rigging of a model of the 3-masted schooner Fannie Gorham for a couple who’s father had passed away after completing most of the hardware.

Jim brought the model, which was in a case built by member and past-president Walt Hlavecek, and presented it to the couple at the meeting this past Friday. Jim did a nice job, and they seemed very happy with it.

Meanwhile, here are some photos from the meeting:

George Sloup talks about the WWI German battlecruiser Goeben, which he has been building from a paper model kit. Here he’s showing some info from a book on German WWI ships.

Jacob Cohn’s 1/64-scale model of the Baltic schooner Scotland sits in the foreground.

An elevated bow view of Jacob Cohn’s Baltic schooner model showing some more of the rigging detail.

Another view of Jacob’s nicely done Baltic schooner.

The group’s newest member Lou Cierra brought in his 3rd wooden ship model, the paddlewheel steamer Gulnara, built from a kit by the German manufacturer Krick.

Another view of the Gulnara with my own wasen models visible in the background. Ken Lum’s detailing of shields for the Drakkar Viking ship are visible in the left foreground.


Lou describes some of the work and issues he faced on this 1/50-scale model, which he started only last month.

The South Bay meetings are usually preceded by a dinner at a local landmark, Chef Chu’s Chinese restaurant. The meetings generally last until 9pm or so. I always enjoy these meetings, particularly with our regular gatherings at Chef Chu’s. Only a few of us attend the pre-meeting dinner, but it’s always a nice way to start the evening.

The meetings, and dinner for that matter, are always open to guests and new members. If you’re interested in joining the group, best thing to do is to contact the president, Jim Rhetta, at jmrhetta@yahoo.com.

Next month, the club will be meeting for a holiday dinner instead of the regular meeting, but will be meeting again as usual in January.

In the meantime, if you want to see a bit of the happenings of the club, you can find information on their website at sbmodelships.com. Ω