Category Archives: Woody Joe

News about Japanese wood kit manufacturer Woody Joe and their products.

Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part VIII / Completion

This is the final installment of the building of Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri jinjya or Shinmei-zukuri shrine kit. The final four steps are mostly really simple and quick, though Step 10, which is the construction of the fence, involves more wood cutting than any other step of the kit. Still, I figured I should wrap up the build with one posting.

The appearance of the model, going into the final steps of construction..

Step 9 << Torii Installation>>

Next will be the assembly of the torii, or the gate that, as Wikipedia describes it, marks the transition from the profane to the sacred. The instructions are very simple here. The Japanese text says to build the torii according to the full sized drawing shown, and the Japanese text in red in the box on the left simply identifies the full-sized drawing.

Building the torii requires the ends of the two wood dowel pieces numbered Part 19 be sanded at a slight angle. Part 20, a 1.5mm x 4mm strip also has to be cut to fit. The Japanese text in here simply says to cut Part 20.

There is no order of assembly given in the instructions, but I found that sanding or filing the ends of the dowels first worked best. After that, I glued the dowels into place making sure that they whole thing looked symmetrical. Next, it was a simple matter to cut a short segment of Part 20 to center underneath the cross piece. Finally, the lower cross piece could be cut a little overly long and carefully trimmed and sanded to fit into place.

Step 10 << Assembling the Fence >>

The fence surrounding the shrine grounds is the first and only step in this kit that requires cutting a significant number of pieces of wood.

The Japanese text at the top of the step reads:

(Part) 21 Glue the wallboard and join.
(Part) 22 Cut it according to the plate and bond it at 16 mm intervals.

The first line is referring to Part 21, which are flat pieces of a darker (not hinoki) wood, 90 mm long and 28mm wide, that the instructions are calling fence boards. Part 22 is a set of long 1mm x 2mm strips that have to be cut to length.

There are three fence sections that the plan labels A, B, and C. Section A requires two full size pieces of Part 21, and one Part 21 piece to be cut to a length of 55mm. I glued up each of the fence sections first, then added full lengths of Part 22 as the fence caps.

The Japanese text accompanying the image close-up in the lower left corner says to  “Install centered,” referring the fence cap’s position. I found it necessary to cut the fence cap of section A so that it overhung the fence by about 1mm at each end.

When gluing the fence post strips into place. They only go on one side of the fence, and the post stick out a little beyond the fence cap. In most cases, gluing the posts into place was pretty easy. They are spaced 16mm apart. Note this in not the center-to-center distance, but the distance between the edges of the posts.

I started by placing posts to straddle the seems between adjoining fence boards. Then, it was a simple matter to place the remaining posts, with these as starting points.

With section C, which is only a single fence board, there’s no convenient starting point for the first post, more so because there’s an even number of posts on it, meaning no center post. So, it was necessary to calculate a position for the first post. It wasn’t difficult, because if you work it out, you’d see that the edges of the outer most posts should be exactly 17mm from the edge of the fence board – picture an imaginary 2mm wide fence post straddling the edge, as happens on the other fence sections, and it makes perfect sense.

I glued the ends of the sections B and C to section A, but trimmed 0.5 mm off their fence caps first, to allow for the slight overhang of section A’s fence cap. Makes more sense when you actually go to put them together. In any case, after the glue dried, I cut lengths of Part 16, which is a 2mm x 2mm strip, to fit into the corners of the fence for strength.

Step 11 << Assembling the Decorative Stand >>

Many of the larger Woody Joe architectural models include a simple base, and the Shinmei-zukuri shrine kit is no exception. The base consist of two baseboards and four pre-cut pieces of edge molding. The two baseboard pieces are glued together to form one large board, and this is then covered with what is essentially just a sheet of sandpaper,

The Japanese text here was the hardest I found to translate. The basic gist is to glue the paper on the baseboard pieces, Part 25, and turn the piece over and use a knife to trim away any excess. The decorative frame, made from Part 24, is hinoki (Japanese cypress). When assembling the frame, sand any mismatch.

I glued the frame together and sanded the edges of the baseboard until it fit just right. It didn’t take much sanding to get a perfect fit.

I didn’t clean up the corners, but may do that later, as I don’t intend to glue down the components onto the base at this time.

Step 12 <<Completion>>

With the previous steps complete, the only construction item left is to “fluff” the tree branches a bit. The branches seem to be a thin wire covered by some kind of greenery material . The tree is then inserted into the base. Clearly, these are intended to be decorative trees as there is no attempt by the manufacturer to hid the twisted wire nature of the the trunks. But, that is generally the style of Woody Joe kits.

Finally, the completed components are arranged on the display base. As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t make any attempt to glue the items down. The wide bases of the torii and trees keep them from easily falling over. At some point, I may go ahead and glue them down in some fashion.

Here are some photos of the completed Shinmei-zukuri shrine kit.

This was a really fun project, and it really went pretty quickly. I would have finished a lot sooner had I not documented the steps here. If you’re interested in building this or other Woody Joe kits, as I have stated many times, I highly recommend ordering from Zootoyz. Prices are reasonable, shipping charges are fair, and you’ll get great service.

For me, it’s on to the next project (or back to an ongoing one)! Ω

Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part VII

Coming into the last 1/3rd of the build, things are speeding up a bit as steps seem to be getting simpler. As a result, this time, I’m covering both step 7 and step 8.

Step 7 << Katsuogi Installation>>

I haven’t been able to figure out what the word katsuogi means in this context. It translates to bonito, a kind of fish. In this case, it refers to these tapered logs that decorate the top of the shrine. Now, perhaps they represent fish in some way, but according to this Wikipedia entry, they are indeed called katsuogi and are purely decorative.

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Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part VI

The previous step was to assemble the framing for what might be termed the outer roof. Not knowing the details of the actual shrine architecture, I suspect that the real shrine might just be some very thick thatched covering that does not include this framework. I don’t know this for sure, and if anyone has access to information on this detail, I’d love to hear from you.

Step 6 << Assembling the Roof  2>>

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Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part V

Continuing on, Step 5 is the last step on the first side of the instruction sheet and deals more with the roof construction.

Step 5 << Assembling the Roof  1>>

This time, I was able to divide up this step into left and right halves, so the above is the left side of the instruction sheet for step 5.

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Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part IV

Construction is moving right along with step 4. Things are pretty straight forward here and involve the installation of supports under the edge of the floor as well as a railing.

Step 4 << Pillar, Railing Installation>>

The Japanese text begins with a reminder that the side of the building with the door is the front.

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Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part III

Last time, I finished step 2 of Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri shrine kit, which dealt with the basic core structure of the shrine. In Step 3, I’ll start work on the roof and some of the outer details.

The Instructions Again

Reviewing the instructions for the next task, parts 9A, 9B and 9C will be needed, noting again that there are two of parts 9A and 9C, but only one 9B. Again, these are laser-cut piece on sheet number 9. This is in a different bag, but again, the bags are clearly marked and so are the individual sheets as you can see below.

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Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part II

Last time, I started Step I of Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri shrine kit. I tried to cover everything needed to understand the built up to that point. With all the description and explanation, we didn’t get to the end of the first step, so we’ll taking care of that now.

The Instructions Again

Reviewing the instructions for the next task, parts 9A, 9B and 9C will be needed, noting again that there are two of parts 9A and 9C, but only one 9B. Again, these are laser-cut piece on sheet number 9. This is in a different bag, but again, the bags are clearly marked and so are the individual sheets as you can see below.

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Building Woody Joe’s Shinmei-zukuri Shrine – Part I

In my previous post, I went over the contents of the kit and gave some details about it, so I’m just going to dive in here and start Step 1. Progress will probably start a bit slow, since I’m describing some of the features of Woody Joe kits in general as I go.

The Instructions

As I mentioned before, the instructions are very well illustrated and it looks like you should be able to build it without being able to read any of the text. However, since I’m writing this blog, I figure I might as well translate what I can.

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Shinmei-zukuri Shrine from Woody Joe

I’ve recently found myself spinning my wheels on the ship modeling front. This happens from time to time with my projects when I get a bit overwhelmed or stuck. My scratch model of a Japanese rice field boat, the Gifu Tabune, was one kind of distraction to work on. That took only a couple days, but there was a lot of thinking that went into that build, since it was from scratch, and I’m still learning a lot about Japanese traditional boats. The ideal would be a simple kit, where I can just build it and not spend a lot of time on it or have to put a lot of brain power into it, as I’m in short supply these days.

As it turns out, I’d purchased a collection of simple Woody Joe kits from Zootoyz. If you follow my blog at all, you’re already aware that I am always recommending purchasing from the online Japanese hobby dealer for those looking for, among other things, Woody Joe kits, which are not available directly in the U.S.

Shinmei-zukuri Shrine

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New Japanese Models Distraction

This week was like Christmas here, as a shipment of Japanese wooden model kits arrived from Zootoyz, my recommended Japanese online hobby dealer. Four model kits came, and none of them are ship model kits. I decided I needed some nice gift ideas, so I found a number of Woody Joe kits that I can build and present as gifts to my Japanese music teacher, and my family and friends.

I have a lot of ship modeling projects to work on, so I don’t expect to spend a lot of time working on these right away. But, half of these are very simple mini-architectural kits that Woody Joe lists as taking about 8 hours to complete. Perfect for a small weekend distraction!

Teahouse Mini-Architecture Kit

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