Category Archives: My General Blog

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

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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

 

 

Ed Von Der Porten, 1933-2018

I was shocked to read just a short time ago that my friend and long time ship modeler, historian, author, editor, teacher, Edward Von Der Porten passed away on Sunday, April 8th, 2018, following surgery complications. He was 84 years old.

Ed was a long-time member of the South Bay Model Shipwrights, which is where I met him. He served as co-VP and I know the members there will miss him and his fabulous work and expertise he brought to the group. Many of his ship modeling articles have graced the pages of Ships in Scale magazine, and he read over and critiqued many of my ship modeling articles for me, and guided me toward becoming a better writer. He even helped me get some ship model repair work with the National Park Service. I will always be in his debt for his guidance, kind support, and friendship.

There was an article posted on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website today about the man and his life. I hope you’ll take the time to read it: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Scholar-on-Sir-Francis-Drake-s-North-Bay-12826077.php

Edit: There was another article in the local Press Democrat: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/8209238-181/ed-von-der-porten-santa?sba=AAS

Clare’s Springtime Update

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the weather just cleared up after one more bit of rain this morning; my cat brought in another present in the form of a dead rat; and I finally took a two day break form work. Yes, unfortunately, I find myself working a lot more these days. You know, the regular, non-ship modeling kind of work.

It’s a funny twist of irony that I now am generating more income to buy new kits, tools, and supplies, but find myself with less time to do anything with them. But, I’m sure most readers here are already experiencing this.

The latest delivery from Zootoyz. This is a great source for Woody Joe kits. Unfortunately, I can’t spend much time looking at it yet!

For me, I think I’m finally adjusting, as I managed to set aside time yesterday to get back to some project work that’s been sitting around for a while. I’ve got an HMS Victory to build, a clipper ship to rig and a couple smaller models to finish up, including Amati’s Swedish Gunboat, which I finally managed to get most of the lower deadeyes onto yesterday. This one is really close to completion, so I’ll probably push to get it done.

I’ll be working for Ages of Sail at the IPMS show in San Jose this coming Saturday, right next to a table for the South Bay Model Shipwrights club, so I’m wondering if I can wrap this up and maybe even enter it in the show. After all, the models don’t have to be plastic, and there’s nothing more motivating for getting a model done. So, more on this later.

But, it’s not I haven’t been doing anything the past couple months. I did manage to finish up two of my scratch built Japanese boats, so that they would be available for my Japanese traditional boat models display in Japantown, San Francisco. This display is in its final week, by the way.

My just-completed Japanese seaweed gathering boat, the Urayasu Bekabune.

Hozu river fishing boat completed a few months ago.

One of the models included is my 14th century Kamakura period large trade boat, which I did manage to make a little progress on. Specifically adding the drop-down panels and roll-up blinds last month.

Newly added “fold-down” panels on the Kamakura period trade boat.

Also, I’m working with Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights members on building Corel’s Flattie kit, which is generating some interesting discussion among the builders, some of whom aren’t accustomed to building European kits.

Paul Reck (left) and I, working on Corel’s Flattie kit.

With the Spring weather now, I’ve been straightening up the work spaces in the house and in the garage. So, maybe I can make some better progress again and, hopefully, post more here.

My Next Japanese Boat Models Display Next Month

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/

2018 International Ship Modeling Conference in Rochefort, France

[Updated 1/11/18]

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.

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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.

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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.

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Updates to the Site

For those of you who have are familiar with this site, I want to apologize for messing you up here. I’ve decided to make some changes, as I described on my Welcome page. I’ll repeat a bit of that here.

Basically, I’m looking at increasing my build log posts, but I don’t want those to overwhelm my general news posts. So, I’m trying to separate things a bit more here. That’s required me to work within the specific features of the WordPress site, requiring a bit of creative thinking in order to figure out how to make this work the way I want it. This is not so much a limitation of WordPress, which I love by the way, rather, it’s a bit of a limitation on my knowledge of the WordPress interface and software.

I think I’m getting things figured out, but things may change on you a bit if you are visiting this week. Hopefully, this won’t drive you away from the site. In the long run, I hope you’ll find the changes make sense and that you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for easily, logically.

Please feel free to send comments if you feel it’s harder to find what you’re looking for. Just used the comment box below. Mostly, I don’t publish comments unless they are general unless it’s something I feel that other people really need to read, but I often reply directly to those with questions. Ω

The Passing of a Ship Modeler: Milton DeGroot

Having been an active ship modeler for about 25 years and having been involved in clubs, online forums, and such, it is an unfortunate aspect of being part of the ship modeling community to see so many friends and fellow modelers depart. This is particularly true in ship modeling, since so many of us don’t become extremely active in the hobby until after retirement.

Recently, I learned that fellow ship modeler Milton DeGroot, someone that I had spoken with on the phone a couple years ago but never had a chance to meet, had passed away.  I had heard through my connection with Ages of Sail about his passing, so I volunteered to help collect together some of his collection of wood and fittings to take to a local ship model club meeting. Visiting his home, I had a chance to meet a couple members of his family and to take a few photos his two remaining models, family members having taken the rest of his work.

It seemed only right to share these photos of his works here.

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