Category Archives: My General Blog

Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 4

Being primarily a ship modeler, I set this project aside for a while. Part of the problem was that I’d discovered that I was missing one small set 4 parts, all the same. There are a lot of parts in this kit and they are well packaged and labeled, but it took a while to go through and check and re-check and then to figure out exactly how the part was shaped and how it fit on the model.

The pieces are parts of the lower roof and cover the corner joints. Outwardly, they just look like simple wood strips, but they need to be groved on the underside in order to sit down on those corner joints. Also, they need to be thicker than the other roof boards to allow for the groove.

Continue reading

Advertisements

My Latest Tool Addition – Cameo 3 Vinyl Cutter

Last week, I received a new addition to my ship modeling tools. This one is a little more specialized that many that I have. It’s a Silhouette Cameo 3 vinyl cutting machine.

The unit is software controlled, and connects to a computer, in my case, a Mac. The software is a free download from the maker’s website and it’s actually a bit more sophisticated than I expected. Upgraded versions of the software, called Silhouette Studio, provide more specialized features, including the ability to import files from other programs, such as Adobe Illustrator and others.

These desktop vinyl cutters are basically the size of a computer printer and are essentially glorified plotters (if you remember those), with a blade mounted instead of a pen. It is capable of cutting vinyl, paper, cardboard, and various other similar materials.

Continue reading

Preventing Glue Spills

Last week, I got fed up with knocking over little bottles of CA glue and finally tried to do something about it.

I’ve been using these small 1/2 oz. bottles of BSI brand cyanoacrylate glue (i.e. super glue), and I’ve found that they are very easy to knock over. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that I find the vapor inside the bottles seem to be very sensitive to heat, and expand easily when warmed. If left open, the resulting pressure increase manages to push the glue out and into a puddle on the workbench.

One thing I started to do was to keep the glues in the base of a small compartmentalized parts box. This works, but you have to keep the parts box nearby at all times when using the glue.

Recently, I left a bottle out on the bench and didn’t realize that I’d knocked it over. When I noticed it, it was too late and there was a hard puddle of thick CA glue on the bench top. So, I thought I’d try something different. I cut some small rectangles of some acrylic I had on hand and used some 3M double-sided tape to stick them onto the bottoms of the glue bottles.

You can see in the above photo that I can tip by the bottle a ways now without it knocking over. Of course, if I do manage to knock it over, the bottle will be tipped down at an angle, so that might empty the bottle completely. Still, I’m willing to risk that, as any glue spills are bad and I’m hoping this will help in eliminating them.

If you have any better ideas, please let me know. Ω

 

Sailing Bark Uniòn in San Francisco, April 26-28

The Peruvian 4-masted bark Uniòn will be sailing into San Francisco harbor early Friday morning to dock at Pier 17 where it will be open to visitors all weekend. The steel-hulled ship measures 378-feet overall and is reportedly the largest sailing ship in Latin America. It’s a relatively new vessel, having been commissioned just over 3 years ago.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the ship will be open for visitors on Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can read the Chronicle’s article on the ship here. There are some great photos from the ship’s San Diego visit in a blog here. For facts about the ship, check out the Wikipedia entry. Ω

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

At the 2018 NRG Conference

The 2018 Nautical Research Guild Conference is in progress and I’ve been here manning a vendor table for Ages of Sail. I’m not thrilled with being in Las Vegas, just not my thing, but I’ve managed to get by. The event is being held at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino, and located on the second floor.

The event is lightly attended, but the those here seem to be enjoying the talks and workshop round tables. There are only two other vendors here besides Ages of Sail, so the table gets extra attention. Makes time pass more quickly.

Sherline lathe demonstration

Continue reading

Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 3

With the construction of the base of the temple completed, I proceeded to paint the completed assembly using smokey beige satin-finish Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover spray paint. I also decided to go forward with construction of the mounting base. This was actually from Step 27 in the instructions, but I had the parts out and didn’t see any reason not to go ahead with this assembly.

The base of the pagoda painted a stoney gray color. If I wanted to get more authentic, I would have painted it earlier in construction and masked off areas to create different shading for the different stone blocks.

Continue reading

C.A. Thayer: The Last of the Lumber Schooners

If you’ve ever visited the San Francisco waterfront, you may have see a three masted lumber schooner at Hyde Street Pier. The C.A. Thayer was built in 1895 at the Bendixen Shipyards near Eureka, California, and is the last surviving lumber schooner.

Recently restored, a Youtube video about her was put together by the San Francisco National Historic Park. It’s posted on the Current Projects page of the San Francisco National Maritime Park Association’s website.

I’ve also posted it below, in case their page changes. It’s a wonderfully done video. Please consider visiting the Park Associations website to become a member or to make a donation to future projects and educational programs.

Ω

Website Dedicated to La Renommée, 1744

Ship modeler David Stockman sent me a link to a really beautifully done website he maintains about the French frigate La Renommée of 1744.

Image of a model by Luigi Balestrieri.

Lots of great information there! And, if you’re thinking about building the Euromodel kit, make sure to check out his comments on the kit.

In any case, you should check out his website, which is at: http://larenommeeship.com. Ω

New Titles from Ancre Books

Just heard from Ancre.fr announcing their latest releases. It’s nice to see new titles, even after Mr. Hubert Berti’s passing. Of course, most of the books are non-english titles. These include a 478-page French directory of French Merchant Ships from 1848 to 1871; a couple books in Italian/French on nautical nomenclature; a book on building and maneuvering lateen rigged ships and boats – that will be nice to see in English, but is currently only in French and Italian; and a Spanish version of the monograph on the Hermione (already available in English).

The one that stands out most, is a new English language version of the monograph of the French light frigate Aurore of 1697 by Jean-Claude LEMINEUR.

This work includes 31 plates, which I assume means 31 sheets of plans, in 1/48 scale, with a price of 115 €. A 20-sheet set of plans are available separately in 1/36 scale for 90 €.

This is a beautiful looking ship, and it’s nice to see a detailed monograph on small ship of this period. Ω