Category Archives: Ship Modeling News

Ship modeling related news.

The Rope: Photo Gallery of the 42nd Exhibition 2017

The Japanese ship model society, The Rope, has a marvelous website that includes a Gallery of photos of each of their annual exhibitions for the last 8 years and beyond. If you’re a ship modeler, you’ll find some wonderfully inspiring work. But, beware, you might also see some models that will destroy your ego, make you crawl into a corner, and want to take up knitting.

Here’s a link to the 42nd Exhibition held earlier this year: https://www.theropetokyo.org/展示会作品集/第42回展-2017年/第42回展-1-4/#42-03

If you don’t read Japanese, you can find links to other exhibitions, download copies of their newsletter on their English language section here: https://theropetokyo-en.jimdo.com

 

Building the Kamakura Period Umi-Bune, Part 6

A project update for those interested in a large 12th century Japanese boat.

Wasen Modeler

As I mentioned in my last post on this model, I’d been wrestling with the configuration of the roofs. The 1/20-scale museum model that I often see reference on the web, differs from Professor Ishii’s 3-view illustration that I’ve mostly been basing construction on. Those drawings are more of a match to the early scroll paintings. Oddly enough, none of the models I’ve seen match them exactly. Is it possible that the builders had access to more updated information? Or did they just decide that the Ishii-san was wrong? But, then what about the scroll paintings? Are they simply written off as being wrong?

As you can see in the photo below, which was taken at a ship model club meeting, I initially made flat roofs panels. If I could justify them, they would certainly be the simplest to construct.

Flat roof panel initially constructed is seen in foreground.

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Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie

Today, I just received my copy of Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie from Themodelshipwright.com. This book is a paperback reproduction of the the third volume of the series of books from Françoise Edmond Pâris, originally published in the late 1800s. The book is in 8-1/2″ by 11″ format paperback, 126 pages long.

I just browsed through the book, which is described as being a republication of the book in its original form. So, there’s a lot of French text. In fact, this book is much more text heavy than the first book published by Themodelshipwright.com, and then, because it is written in script, it’s kind of hard to read, and forget OCR and computer translation.

For most ship modelers, this is probably too hard to use, though there is clearly some good technical details. But, it’s an interesting find that, for the price of only $6.99, would be nice to have in your library, regardless.

If you don’t have either this or the first book, Selected Plates from Souvenirs de Marine, I recommend getting the first book. It’s a little more money at $9.99, but you’re more likely to find something useful in that book. I know I certainly did with the Japanese watercraft.

But, Souvenirs de Marine Troisième Partie, is a nice follow-up. And, though I don’t know if I’ll ever really have a use for it, I’m glad to know what I am not missing from the series. You can’t beat the price, and I’m happy to have it on my shelf.

Learn more at themodelshipwright.com.

Seaways’ Ships in Scale Goes Quarterly

If you haven’t looked too closely at you latest copy of Seaways’ Ships in Scale, you might take note that it’s not the expected July/August issue. Instead it’s the Summer issue, as the magazine has officially gone quarterly.

There was some speculation on ship modeling forums as to how this might be a cost cutting measure, or maybe a lack of material to publish. But, according to the Editorial and other sources, it’s simply the publisher, Michael Kosten, has been doing this for many years and is busy with other things. So, this is more of an attempt to reduce work load.

For the ship modeling community, it just means two fewer issues per year, making it like the other major ship modeling magazine, the Nautical Research Journal. The bad news is that you’ll get less ship modeling content per year. But, the good news is, that means the domestic subscription rates have gone down to $26.95 per year instead of $36.95.

So, is the change a big deal? In effect, probably not. More people get their ship modeling information from Internet forums these days, and the magazine serves mostly to spotlight certain works.

Higaki Kaisen Article Final Part and Ships in Scale Going Quarterly

The latest issue of Seaways’ Ships in Scale is out with two major pieces of information. First is the third and final installment of my build of the Higaki Kaisen Japanese coastal transport kit from the Japanese manufacturer Woody Joe.

The second bit of news is that Ships in Scale has now switched to a Quarterly format, down from its bi-monthly distribution. This generally has more to do with the time constraints of running the publication, rather than any issues regarding content or finances.

For authors of ship modeling articles, like myself, it mostly means that there will be a longer period of time between submission of an article and its appearance.

I still have an article to submit on building the HMS Alert. I suppose the sooner I get that sent along, the sooner it will appear. I’ll be looking at getting that sent off in the next several weeks.

Wasen Modeler

The third and final part of my Higaki Kaisen build article is out with the latest issue of Seaways’ Ships in Scale. While I was actually relieved to see the previous article, so those building the kit would have the information I’m trying to pass along, it’s kind of sad this time around. Though I’ve had other multi-part articles published in the magazine, I’d really like to keep writing about this kit to generate more interest in this and other Woody Joe kits.

Of course, there are other Woody Joe kits to write about. It’s been my plan to write about building the Hacchoro with modifications based on my visit to the replica boats in Yaizu harbor. But, it takes time and I have other projects I need to be working on. So, finding time for that one will be a bit rough.

But, at least all the information on…

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An Intro to Card Models – V108 Torpedo Boat

For those of you looking for nice tutorial on card model building, check out Chris Coyle’s tutorial on The Nautical Research Guild’s Model Ship World. In this tutorial, Chris uses a small, downloadable model of a German WWII V108 Torpedo Boat produced by Digital Navy.

The company produces several card models, that you can download for around $35 to $40. However, they have given Model Ship World permission to host the downloadable files for their tutorial and you can get these for free. You will, of course, need a color printer and some good quality card stock paper to print on.

https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/2701-intro-and-table-of-contents/

 

Completed waterline version of the V108 card model built by Chris Coyle and featured in his tutorial

Since I’ve been working on a couple paper models, I thought it would be a good idea to follow this tutorial and try my hand at building this relatively simple card model myself. The startup cost is hard to beat, and you really need only very basic tools for start modeling in paper.

This is probably a lot more common type of paper modeling than what I’ve been building from Shipyard kits, which is why I want to run though the tutorial.

If you want to give it a try too, I encourage you to register with Model Ship World (it’s free) and start a build log there.

I started mine, which you can visit at: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/16325-v-108-torpedo-boat-by-catopower-digital-navy-1200-scale-card-msw-tutorial-build/

 

Visiting Papermodelers.com

First off, before anyone asks, I AM a wood ship model builder first and foremost. I know that question may come up, because I’ve been posting a lot about paper models.

Well, I just think they’re so darned neat! I can’t help but be intrigued by them. But, they haven’t replaced my love for wooden ship models. So, don’t think I’m changing this site. I just think the paper models should be more popular than they are.

Heck, how many wooden ship models can be built on a card table in your living room without all the dust, wood shavings, splinters, etc. And with the local heat wave we’ve been having here in California, it’s too hot to work in the garage, where I can make a lot of dust and noise, working on my wooden models.

Anyway, as the North American distributor for Shipyard products, Ages of Sail has TONS of Shipyard kits and many of the accessories, so I’m trying to find a way to help get the word out and generate some interest.

So, I found myself registering an account on Papermodelers.com and found some great stuff there. They have a lot of everything being built there, including ships. Most ships are steel navy, and those that are of the sailing variety are often scratch builds. But, there are some Shipyard sailing ship builds here and there.

Here you can see that I stole a copy of their picture of the week. I know nothing about the model, so if you want to know more about it, be sure to visit their site. I think you can read the threads even if you’re not a registered user.

I signed up many months ago, but finally posted some photos of my Crowdy Head Lighthouse and HMS Alert models there. Hope to see some more Shipyard related activity there.

Last night, I had a chat via Facebook with Tomek Kliszynski of Shipyard, discussing ways to help him get more visibility for his products in the North American market, since they’re already doing well in the European market. Don’t know if I can help him much, but I will certainly build some more of their kits!

Building a Hozugawa Ayubune Model in 1/10 Scale

One of two new ship modeling projects of Japanese subjects – A small river fishing boat called an Ayubune that follows the work of boatbuilder Douglas Brooks. The second project will be introduced shortly. Stay tuned!

Wasen Modeler

There are a lot of potential wasen subjects to model, but good plans are difficult to come by. Also, when decent drawings are found, it’s often difficult to find or to understand the details of the subject. I’ve been toying with a lot of different possible model building subjects, but would usually run into some issue that kept me from pursuing it further.

Recently, I sort of re-discovered a subject that I seem to have overlooked before. It is a boat that Douglas Brooks wrote about in past blogs from about 3 years ago, when he was building a boat in Kameoka, Japan, which is about 16 miles west of Kyoto. There, he built a Hozugawa Ayubune, a type of simple fishing boat that was used on the Hozu river.

15 shaku Ayubune built by Douglas Brooks in Kameoka, Japan, in 2014. Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks.

The boat is a…

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Photos from the Golden Hind Repair

I was just sent some photos taken last Friday during the final stages of my repair work on Raymond Aker’s Golden Hind model. The model is on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore.

The repair work is done – yes, I finally finished a ship model related project – and the model is back in its display, with a new, more colorful backdrop.

All photos are courtesy of the National Park Service.

Repairing the Golden Hind

A couple months ago, fellow ship modeler Ed Von Der Porten (you might have read his articles in Seaways’ Ships in Scale magazine), got me lined up with some work for the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. The job entailed doing some light repair work to the large Golden Hind model on display at the Bear Valley Visitor Center at Pt. Reyes Station. I’ve done some various repair work before, but this is the first work done at the a museum level. We worked out the details and the work too place over the past couple weeks, with the bulk of the work done on-site.

The model is one of the Golden Hind, built by Raymond Aker back in the 1950s. The model is HUGE, built at 1:12 scale. I don’t know the specifics of how long it took him to build the model, but it’s not an ordinary model, it’s a cut-away, showing all the interior and structural details.

 

Raymond Aker was an artist and there are many signs of that in this model. The first thing that’s noticeable is the use of forced perspective to make the viewer feel a lot closer to the model, almost as if one was on the deck. It’s quite a visual experience and must have required an enormous amount of planning.

While the mainmast is normal in all respects, the features of the fore and mizzen masts are purposely distorted. Below is a photo of the mizzen crow’s nest. You can see that the mast cap is skewed and also the tenon. Not only that, but if you could see the squared sections of the mast, like the heel of the mizzen topmast, you’d see that was distorted too. Even the positions of the shrouds are slightly moved.

You can also tell that the builder was an artist when you look at some of the painted details inside the ship, like the stern chaser, which is a painted cardboard cutout. All of the figures on the model are made the same way, and clearly painted using watercolors with very nice shading and highlighting.

When you look at the ladders, you’ll notice false shadows painted below each step. Also, in the above photo, you can see how the upper deck shows bright red bulwarks, which are much more subdued in the shadows of the deck below.

There is, of course, much more to see about this model, and if you’re in the area, I highly recommend taking a drive out to Pt. Reyes Station. It’s a nice drive, and there lovely scenery and hiking out there. The model itself is in the Bear Valley Visitor Center inside the theater.

As for the repair work, it’s all done, mostly some small rigging repairs, such as the spritsail sling, fore lower yard starboard lift, the fore topsail bowlines, mizzen parrals, etc. Also, the thread holding the bolt ropes to the sails is very fragile and has come off in many places, so I did some work on those.

Working on a model for a museum presented some new challenges for me. First, was doing all the work on-site, second, was that the model was so large, it had to sit on the floor, and I did most all of the work standing, lastly, due to strict standards of preservation, I had to do all the work wearing gloves. That’s something I’ve never done before, and it took some getting used to.

As it turns out, it wasn’t all that bad. Working with small parts in particular, I discovered that I never dropped any small parts while wearing gloves. And, as any ship modeler out there knows,  dropping parts is one of the most frustrating occurrences in ship modeling, as parts dropped are often never found again. I may just have to try using gloves more often.

The only problem with these surgical gloves is that my hands get sweaty. Fortunately, I had some very thin cotton gloves I could wear inside these, and that helped out a lot.

The model is very narrow. It’s designed to be viewed directly from the side, and forced perspective is used to give it the illusion of depth.

 

The model is now done, and around 4pm yesterday, we lifted her back onto her display cabinet, and the acrylic panels were put back into place. There is also a new backdrop that seems to really bring out the color on the model and really makes it pop. This is a neat model. Go see it if you can. Ω