Category Archives: All News

Clare’s Pre-Springtime Update

It’s not officially Spring for another month, but after quite a bit of rainy weather, it’s a sunny day and the birds are happily flitting around the trees in the back yard, and my cat, Sierra, is eying them with glee. While I’m dreading the discovery of feathers all over the house, I thought it was time to provide an update on all the goings on in my ship modeling world.

HMS Victory and Clipper Ship rigging are still dragging along. Actually, these have both been at a standstill for a while due mostly to my work schedule and workspace constraints. But, they do progress a little in small spurts. I expect to be putting more effort into those shortly.

In the meantime, my Japanese boat display has one more week to run at the display window of the Union Bank’s community room in the Japan Center East Mall. I’m not so keen on all those models coming back home as I’ve kind of grown accustomed to having the extra space here.

Since my update last Spring, I’ve completed my Kamakura period trade boat and have partially completed a Kobaya, a small row galley of the Shōgun’s government, and have been developing drawings and models of a Tenma-zukuri chabune, a small cargo lighter. Being a follower of the work of boatbuilder Douglas Brooks, I’ve also tinkered with a 1/10-scale model of a Sado Island “tub boat”. These are all scratch projects. On the kit side of the world of Japanese traditional boats is the Woody Joe kit of the Kitamaebune, which you’ve probably seen posts about recently. Continue reading


Ages of Sail at IPMS Silicon Valley Scale Modelers 2019 Classic

If you happen to be in the area on Saturday, March 16, please stop by the Ages of Sail table at the IPMS show in San Jose, CA. I’ll be manning the table and this year I expect to enter a model or two. Most likely, I’ll enter one of my Japanese boats – probably the Higaki Kaisen, as it’s the most complicated and unusual in appearance. I’ll probably also enter the little paper lighthouse I made, since paper models are still pretty unusual. The Amati Swedish Gunboat may also make a final appearance before I move it to the display case at Ages of Sail.

The Ages of Sail table is always right next to the South Bay Model Shipwrights table, of which I’m a member, so I may bring a display model for their table, like the Mary Taylor.

Chances are that I’ll also have one or two things in-progress. My HMS Mercury is a good candidate for that since Ages of Sail sells the kit (maybe I’ll bring a couple kits) and people are usually intrigued that it’s a paper model.

And, while my Dana fishing boat is a possibility, I think people might be more interested in seeing my Amati “Arrow” American Gunboat. I haven’t really posted anything about that build, as it was intended as something I’d work on only while I was at the model shop at Hyde Street Pier. I’ve since brought it home, so I’ll probably get started with blog posts on that shortly.

In any case, hope to see you at the IPMS show. Please stop by and say hello!

Ages of Sail

The Silicon Valley Scale Modelers will be holding their model show again, the SVSM 2019 Classic on Saturday, March 17th, March 16th, 2019, and Ages of Sail will again be there.

Ages of Sail table at the Silicon Valley 2017 Classic.

The South Bay Model Shipwrights club is also expected to have a table there, and will likely be located right next door again, making for a whole ship modeling section at the event.

South Bay Model Shipwrights members manning their table next to ours at the SV 2017 Classic.

This is officially an IPMS event, which is the International Plastic Modelers Society. However, they include models of all types, including ones of resin, paper, and wood. Expect to see an increasing number of ship models and this and future events, as the South Bay Model Shipwrights takes a more active role of getting out in front of the public…

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Building Woody Joe’s 1/72-scale Kitamaebune Kit – Part 3b

A brief update on my build of the Woody Joe kit of the Edo period northern port coastal transport called a Kitamaebune.

Wasen Modeler

This is just a short update on the Kitamaebune build.

I added a couple pieces to the transom to simulate the plank that seems to show up on every benzaisen model or image I’ve seen.

In the above image, the red arrows point to the plank that I’m referring to. The blue arrow points to the very tip of the side planking at the stern. The piece in the Woody Joe kit is truncated close to where the dashed blue line is, and actually a bit lower than that, really.

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Building Woody Joe’s 1/72-scale Kitamaebune Kit – Part 3

The Woody Joe Kitamaebune project continues, though I hit a little snag with the fit of the hull planks. Here’s the latest update.

Wasen Modeler

Now is the time I find out how I did in the earlier steps of construction. The biggest challenge of kits with laser-cut parts, particularly hull planking, is that if you don’t get it exactly right, you end up with gaps or parts that don’t fit quite right. Even worse, it’s a sign that something else is off and may cause you more problems down the road. You just have to consider it a challenge.

So, the next steps involve adding bulwarks pieces that contains holes for all the beams. These nicely aligns all the beams. There are two pieces for each side of the hull that fit together end-to-end, with a neat, pre-cut scarf joint betweent. The diagram in the instructions, makes it look like you’re supposed to glue the pieces together, so you have one full-length piece for each side, but don’t do it. You’ll have problems fitting…

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Coming Soon!

I think I’m going to want to build this one. The only other wooden kit of this ship, HMS Beagle, is the one that was made by Mamoli way back, and it looks nothing like the real HMS Beagle.

Ages of Sail

I’m sure you can figure out what ship this is.

We don’t have an exact date of delivery, nor do we have pricing. But, this kit from OcCre of Spain is a 1:60-scale wooden ship model kit that will measure a bit over 28″ long and just under 19″ tall. We’re hoping to have them in March sometime.

Figured it out yet? Think ships of exploration…

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Shipyard Paper Block Sets Now Available at Ages of Sail

Here’s some good news for builders of Shipyard’s 1/96-scale paper model kits. Note, only whole blocks sets are available.

Ages of Sail

We’ve actually had these for a while, but just realized they weren’t on our web shop. So, here they are now!

These are the block sets for each of the 1/96-scale paper model ship kits produced by Model-Vessel for their Shipyard model kits and include both blocks and deadeyes.

These are the same style of blocks included in their 1/72-scale Laser Cardboard kits, but made for 1/96-scale. As such, they need to be assembled. Each block is made up of 3 or more layers that need to be glued together. Blocks come in groups on laser-cut sheets – one layer per sheet. This makes alignment easy. After the sheets are glued together, the completed blocks can be cut free. The blocks are then easily cleaned up and painted.

Each set includes more than enough blocks to complete your kit. Find there here:

Note that we only sell the blocks in…

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8th Japanese Boat Models Display, February 2019

Wasen Modeler

My next display of models of Japanese traditional boats will run through the month of February in the display window of the Union Bank community room inside the Japan Center’s East Mall. It’s hard to believe, but this will be my eighth such display.

I made two more tall stands this week, giving me a total of seven stands, which is enough to put all the models I brought last time up on stands, getting them up off the floor of the display window. However, I’d like to put my Kobaya model on display too, even though it’s not yet complete – I did the same thing with my Kamakura period Umi-bune last time, which is done now.

The Kobayabune, though not complete, is my latest addition to the Japanese boats display.

The display includes the following models:

  • Higaki Kaisen – 1/72-scale Woody Joe kit of a coastal transport.
  • Hacchoro –…

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Building Woody Joe’s 1/72-scale Kitamaebune Kit – Part 2

An update on my Japanese northern transport ship. Specifically termed a Kitamaebune, it’s also often referred to as a Bezaisen or, more commonly, a Sengokubune.

Wasen Modeler

Work continues on the Kitamaebune kit from Woody Joe. This 1/72-scale laser-cut kit is the simplified cousin to their earlier Higaki-Kaisen kit. The Kitamaebune is a northern port coastal transport used extensive in the Edo period. Because they sailed on the stormier Sea of Japan, they were a bit beefier than the Higaki-Kaisen, which journeyed along the Pacific coast between Osaka and Edo.

At this stage, the model is shown with a bulwarks sheet test fit into place.

Overall, I’ve found that while this build is less time consuming than the Higaki-Kaisen kit, it has its challenges, even with simplified construction.

While the first 6 steps were pretty simple and straight forward, step 7 takes a bit of work. It involves gluing together three parts making up the miyoshi or stem. This then has to be cut or sanded to a trapezoidal cross-section that’s wider at the tip and sharper…

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New Kit from Amati -1/32 scale Fifie

Nice to see a new wooden ship model kit, particularly one of large scale. And, you can’t beat Amati’s Victory Models line for high quality kits.

Ages of Sail

While Amati has been busy with development work on their fantastic new Orient Express Sleeping Car kit, we haven’t seen a new ship model kit from them for a little while, until now.

Amati’s latest kit represents a type of traditional fishing boat developed on the east coast of Scotland, and mainly engaged in the herring fishery. These boats characteristically featured a plumb stem, a long, straight keel, and wide beam – a configuration that made them very stable sailers.

Amati’s Fifie motor fishing boat is the latest release and, like the rail-bound previous release, this kit is a nice big 1/32 scale. At this large scale, the plank-on-bulkhead wooden model kit measures over 27″ long and just over 17″ high. As part of Amati’s Victory Models Line, it has been extensively researched and carefully designed. The kit features Amati’s highest quality materials and includes color illustrated step-by-step building instructions and…

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1/10-scale Figures – A Brief Update

New “improved” figures just arrived…

Wasen Modeler

Last week, I wrote a post about a pair of articulated 1/10-scale figures I bought made by Bandai of Japan called Body-Kun. The figures are a bit short, but a little long in the legs, so I hope to modify them slightly to make them a little closer to correct height by adding a little filler in their midsections. Ideally, I’d add some filler into the arms too, and make the heads a little larger. But, reasonably, I can only do so much.

In any case, I’m pretty sure I can do something with them, so I went ahead and ordered another pair off of Ebay for just over $30. However, I noticed that there was apparently another version, which had replacement arms and legs, to allow the figure to naturally sit seiza, or “Japanese-style”, and to allow him to have his arms folded across his chest or just his hands…

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