Category Archives: Ship Modeling News

Ship modeling related news.

My Projects Update

While I’ve been working on the Japanese shrine model this past week, I’ve hit a minor snag. What I thought was an adhesive backing on some wood veneer turns out to be simply a lining to keep the thin wood from falling apart. I can’t tell what it is, if it’s a shiny, slick kind of paper, or if it’s plastic. I sent a question about it to my contact at Woody Joe and, in the meantime, I’m testing out how well wood glue adheres to it on some scrap material. One way or the other, I should know tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m finishing up the rigging and final details on the Colonial Schooner Independence model. Mostly, I’m dealing with rope coils now. So, it was quite fortuitous that the latest newsletter from the Midwest Model Shipwrights of Chicago, The Forecastle Report, had a nice article on making rope coils by Bob Filipowski.

I’m also trying to push forward with a rigging project for a friend, and of course there is the HMS Victory model I’ve been working on for the past few years.

On top of all that, I managed to land a very good, short term repair job project for the Bear Creek Visitor Center at Pt. Reyes Station, which is part of the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, just north of San Francisco.

The project is to do some basic repair work to a large and rather unusual model of the Gold Hind built by the late Raymond Akers back in the 1950s. The model is a cutaway that has been designed to display up close against a wall. As such, the model is uniquely made so that the width of the ship has been scaled down. It is designed to be only viewed directly from the side.

Raymond Akers’ Golden Hind model.

I’ll be driving up there in about a week to do some preliminary work. The bulk of the work has to be done on-site at the end of the month, and I’ll be spending a couple days there to get it all done. It’s a nice short-term project that involves mostly small rigging repair and a little cleaning. It’s an honor to be able to work on Mr. Akers’ model, and it will be nice to be doing some work for the National Park Service. It’s especially nice that it’s a pretty self-contained project that won’t last beyond this month.

In the meantime, I’ve been missing doing research, which is really my favorite task in ship modeling. I’m just a researcher at heart. So, I’ve been digging up my Japanese boat resources and doing translations and such, trying to figure out what a good model subject will be. It’s difficult to decide since there is some information available about a lot of different kinds of boats, but not a lot on any one in particular.

The exception are boats that are the subject of Douglas Brooks’ work. The thing about those, is that they are fairly simple boat designs, but have some very fine details. So, I can build small versions of those, but they end up a bit too simple to look at. I could build them in a large scale, like 1/10, but then the details are about nail positions, tenons, mortises, etc., and I’m not very good at those things. I’m better at the larger details, like planks, beams, decking, and other structural details.

Two subjects I’m considering now an Amibune, which is a subject that Douglas Brooks had been studying, so I have access to measurements and some photos. The other is to model the Senzanmaru, which is a Kujirabune, a type of fast whale boat. I can make a generic Kujirabune, but it would be interesting to model the Senzanmaru itself and to paint it like the actual boat.

The Senzanmaru (千山丸) at Tokushima Castle Museum.

I’ve been studying the design of this boat through a book and drawings I purchased from a museum shop in Toba, Japan. Some of the small details I’m still not sure I understand. I could do a smaller scale model, which would overlook some of those details, but I’m tempted to do something large enough, maybe as large as 1/10 scale, that would allow me to try to make an impressive looking model, complete with colorful painting and banners.

For the next couple weeks, at least, I’ll probably continue to gather info on the Senzanmaru and Kujirabune and Amibune, until I find I have enough to do a reasonable build.

In the meantime, I got my Japanese boat models back from the last display in Japantown and have some minor repair work to do. I also have my Kamakura period Umibune back now and can continue working on it. I did managed to finish some important detail on the roof of the main deckhouse, but there are a number of other details I’ll be adding. I’ll write more about that on my wasen modeler site.

Finally, I never sent my article in to Ships in Scale on the building of the paper model of the HMS Alert. I’ll give it another read-through, but last time, I thought I should write a section on paper modeling in general. We’ll see how it feels when I re-read it. If it feels okay, I’ll just go ahead and mail it in, and maybe it will show up in the magazine by the end of the year or early next year. Ω

 

AL’s Independence – Swivel Guns

It occurred to me that I haven’t been posting enough about my own traditional western-style model ships what with my Japanese boat models and now the Japanese shrine build. Also, as I’d been in something of a slump due to project overload, I thought it might help me move forward by writing some more project updates.

Though I’ve written plenty about the cannons on my model, I don’t think I’ve said anything about the swivel guns. Clearly, I’ve replaced everything else from the original kit, and the swivel guns are no exception. I’ve being going back and forth on the scale of this model, and for the person I’m building this for, I don’t think the exact scale really matters. For the swivel guns, I ended up going with the 1/48-scale turned brass swivel guns sold by Syren Ship Model Company.

AL kit barrels in brass. Lumberyard replacements in pewter.

Continue reading

Victory Models Sale at Ages of Sail

If your looking for a great kit for your next project, it’s hard to go wrong with one from Victory Models, Amati’s high-end line of kits developed by ship modeler Chris Watton. And, now is a really good time to buy one if you’re in North America, as Amati’s U.S. distributor, Ages of Sail, is having a rare sale on these kits. Another good reason to buy from them is their free Amati parts replacement policy.

Ages of Sail is offering a special, very rare, limited time discount on them kits from Amati/Victory Models. From now through June 1st, 2017, you can save $50 to $150 on one of these amazing kits. There’s no special coupon code to mess with, just visit our website and see the savings. Check them out now Amati is […]

via Spring Special on Amati Victory Models! — Ages of Sail

Renesans Paint Colors for Shipyard Kits

Those of you familiar with Shipyard paper kits may have come across some color reference numbers and wondered what colors they correspond to. Shipyard references a brand of paint called Renesans, which is an artist’s acrylic line of matte finish colors that work really well with the paper kits. They are included with Shipyard’s boxed edition Laser Cardboard series of kits, but the problem is that you can’t buy the paints here in the U.S.

Continue reading

Shop Notes I is Back in Print

The venerable Ship Modeler’s Shop Notes book is back in print. I bought my first copy of this book in a perfect-bound edition way back around 1993. Heavily used and with many sections pages breaking loose from the binding, I located and purchased a newer used copy. But, I grew so attached to my old copy that I still haven’t gotten rid of it. Now that the book is back in print, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to the old book and pass it along to recycling…

Ages of Sail

The popular Ship Modeler’s Shop Notes (book 1) was first published by the Nautical Research Guild in 1979 and has been out of print for many year, but it is now back in print and copies are In Stock at Ages of Sail!

From the NRG website:

The Nautical Research Guild’s Ship Modeler’s Shop Notes book, first published in 1979 and out of print for several years, is now back in print. This popular and insightful volume discusses the construction of ship models in numerous articles written by marine historians and ship model builders. Edited by Merritt Edson and assisted by Ben Lankford, Edward Mueller and Norman Rubin, the book is a compilation of shop notes and longer articles from out-of-print material contained in Volumes 1 through 25 of the Nautical Research Journal. This book has been a standard for ship model building, and highly acclaimed by professionals and…

View original post 78 more words

Modeling a Gifu Tabune – Adding Details

Wasen Modeler

I added some details to my 1/20-scale rice field boat since my last post, so I took some new photos.

Again, the the bow rises up too much because of the distortion in the drawing I used. The actual amount of rise at the bow should be 250mm at full size, or 17.5mm at this scale. On this model, it ended up being 21mm.

For the nail mortises, I have a tool I made for my 1/50-scale Kamakura Umibune that actually seemed to work okay for this model. At this scale, the tool makes mortises that would be about 20mm wide, or just under an inch. For smaller nails, maybe this is okay.

I just took a guess at the spacing between nails using a higher density of nails at the transome or todate and the bow, which I would normally call the miyoshi, but I don’t know if that term applies…

View original post 219 more words

Amati Swedish Gunboat Build – Part 4

Well, I did not end up finish this model for the IPMS show in San Jose in March. I decided to set it aside to let others in our build group catch-up, though I know that two of the members are at least as far along as I am. Anyway, I had work to do to for my display of Japanese boats, which ran from March 1st through the 31st.

Then, last weekend, we had a ship modelers’ get-together again at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. It’s been the usual 3 months since our last gathering and it was good to see the fellow ship modelers and their projects again.

Continue reading

Modeling a Gifu Tabune

My latest quick project. And, I mean quick – started it Thursday, finished it Friday…

Wasen Modeler

When I was writing my recent post about Douglas Brook’s upcoming work in Gifu, Japan, building an Ukaibune, or cormorant fishing boat, I noticed another boat and some drawings on his blog site. The boat was one of three tabune (田舟), or rice field boats, that boatbuilder Seichi Nasu had just completed.

One of Nasu-san’s tabune built in 2014. Photo courtesy of Douglas Brooks.

Tabune are used for working around the flooded rice patties. These boats are most commonly quite small, and pulled by rope or handle or pushed along by the farmer. Douglas Brooks worked on an 8′ tabune in Himi, Japan in early 2016, that was locally referred to as a Zutta Tenma. In some areas where rice paddies are connected by canals and rivers, larger boats may be used.

I happened to notice on Mr. Brook’s blog a photo of the plans used by Mr. Nasu. So, I…

View original post 1,199 more words