Category Archives: Clubs and Organizations

2020 NRG Conference at Channel Islands Maritime Museum

Good news for Nautical Research Guild members in California. Today the NRG just announce that next conference will take place from October 15-17 at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard, CA.

It’s a bit of a small venue for the event, I think. But, the collection of models and marine art is wonderful.

For myself, my earliest years of ship modeling were associated with this museum. As I lived less than an hour away, I made many trips to look over the collection of models, my favorite being those made by the late Ed Marple.

I was even president of the model guild for a short time, but my service was cut short when I went back to school and had a shift in family life. I probably still know 3 or 4 people there, who I will hopefully see again, as I fully intend to go the conference this Fall.

Other details about the conference aren’t available at this time, except that there will be no special hotel arrangements for the conference. Keep an eye on the NRG website for further news. Ω

The Rope News – first issue of 2020

The Rope News is the quarterly newsletter from the Japanese ship model society The Rope, Tokyo. I just received the latest english language version of their newsletter. It is always amazing to see the quality and amount of work that comes out of this and other ship model groups in Japan. They are very active, even holding regular classes for first-time ship modelers using build subjects that are fairly involved, such as Woody Joe’s Charles Royal Yacht, and more recently, for their intermediate class, a 1/48-scale scratch-build of an english cutter.

1/48-scale model of an english cutter being built by Norio Uriu, one of the tutors of their current intermediate model building class.

I am told that this more recent class has 15 students in it. That’s more than all the active, attending members of both of the ship model clubs I belong to!

In any case, you can read this latest issue as it is available to view on the club’s website. I was particularly interested in seeing a build of the Kanrin Maru kit by Woody Joe, which I have. Also, there is a very nice 1/72-scale model of a Japanese whaleboat type called the Senzan-maru, used by the Tokushima clan.

Access the newsletter directly on Google Drive here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DCegymu9zoM-cP1nKzzPTIxokMsEH-yW/view

Or check out this and various back issues on the club’s english language site here: https://theropetokyo-en.jimdofree.com/newsletter/

Ω

NRG Conference in New Bedford, MA Next Week

It’s time for the annual Nautical Research Guild Conference again. This year it’s in New Bedford, Massachusetts (Ha, I passed the spell check!), at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, October 24-26, 2019.

This should be an ideal place to hold a ship modeling conference. I’ve never been there myself, and have always want to visit. However, since I’ve only really attended the conferences for Ages of Sail, and this event has almost no vendors due to Massachusetts sales tax laws, or so I’m told, I’m not going to be there.

A couple members from the South Bay Model Shipwrights club will be going, so I’ll be looking forward to hearing what they have to say about it at next month’s meeting.

One thing I will be missing out on is their collection of Japanese prints and historical information about Japanese whaling, which could aid me in my research of Japanese traditional boats, which includes the Japanese whaleboats, called Kujirabune. I know that the Japanese whaling museum in Taiji, Japan, has some kind of connection, being that both involve the history of whaling.

In any case, if you’re interested in the Conference, there’s still time. Visit the NRG’s webpage for more details: https://www.thenrg.org/nrg-2019-conference.php

Ω

 

 

NRG’s Planked Half Hull Kit

I don’t know how this got past me – I guess I’ve been a bit pre-occupied with other things these last couple months. But the Nautical Research Guild just posted a notice on ModelShipWorld that their Half Hull Planking Project is now available.

The model project, created by Toni Levine, is intended to teach the practice of spiling techniques, which is the method used to shape and fit the planking on a real, full-sized ship. She points out in one of her posts that the project uses some shortcuts and compromises that work well, making it suitable for novice as well as experienced ship modelers.

The availability of the kit for the project was recently announced, and it can be purchased for $65 for MSW members and $52 for full NRG members. Price does not including shipping, which is $10 in the US, $20 to Canada, and $26 to other international destinations. The kit is on the NRG web site at:

https://thenrg.org/the-nrg-store.php#!/Half-Hull-Planking-Kit/c/41410202/offset=0&sort=normal

You can follow Toni Levine’s build on Model Ship World and learn more about the project here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/21980-half-hull-planking-project/

This sounds like a great way to learn planking techniques without having to deal with all the masting, rigging, and deck details of a full ship model. I could use a course on spiling techniques myself, so I may have to give this project a go myself. Ω

New MSW Scratch Build Project Available – HMS Winchelsea

Chuck Passaro, ship modeler and owner/operator of Syren Model Ship Company, recently announced on Model Ship World his plans to change the operational model of his company somewhat, and will no longer be developing new kits. He will be continuing to focus on producing blocks, rigging line, and his existing kits, but has decided to change course for future developments.

In keeping with the new changes, he has teamed up with Model Ship World to make a new online project available to NRG/MSW members. The project, which he has been developing over the course of several years, is the 32-gun British frigate Winchelsea, 1764.

Interested builders will need to be a member of the Model Ship World online forum, but there is no cost to join. As am MSW member (and MSW members are automatically registered as NRG associate members), you can then pay a $15 access fee, and you will receive details on accessing and downloading the drawings and monograph.

Payment is made through the NRG website here: https://www.thenrg.org/plans-and-projects.php#!/HMS-Winchelsea-Plan-Access-MSW/p/146083138/category=13294033

Or just go to https://www.thenrg.organd click on the Plans & Projects tab, and then the HMS Winchelsea Plan Access button. A message will be sent to you on MSW on how to access and download the drawings necessary for this build.

The project is designed as a plank-on-bulkhead model project for first-time scratch builders. The drawings are specifically for a 1/4″ scale (1:48), unrigged model, with a hull measuring about 38″ long.

While this is designed as a first-time scratch modeler’s project, some laser-cut parts will be available for purchase through Syren Ship Model Company’s Winchelsea page for those who so choose. The first chapter of the monograph is also available to download on that page.

More information about the group project can be found on MSW here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/21441-hms-winchelsea-1764-32-gun-frigate-group-project-info/

There are other group projects available to members as well, including the Medway Longboat (kit’s similar to Model Expo’s 18th Century English Longboat, but much nicer materials and detail), an Introduction to Relief Carving, as well as a 28-gun frigate, HMS Triton, build.

This looks to be a nice new ship modeling project, a great way to delve into scratch building, or to just take on a wonderful looking build-as-you-go project. Ω

Ship Modelers Meet-Up, Vallejo

After about a year long hiatus, local ship modelers in the greater SF Bay and Sacramento areas will once again be getting together at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. The date for the gathering is Saturday, May 11th, at 10am.

This group was meeting fairly regularly, about 4 times a year, but with other life issues getting in the way, not much in the way of ship modeling was being accomplished by the bulk of attendees. But, it’s been long enough now that there’s been some interest in getting together again. People have had some time away and, hopefully, have had a chance to either work on a project or they’re ready to get back to one and need some inspiration.

I really like the idea of ship modeling clubs myself, but not as a form of simple entertainment. I really want them to be times to share and learn and to find out what people are working on.

Even if one has no model progress to show, maybe a model is too difficult to transport or nothing has been done since the last time it was brought, one can share by taking part in discussion, or by simply bringing a small assembly, book or tool – maybe an unstarted kit, even.

The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum is a nice little museum located near downtown Vallejo at 41 Marin Avenue. You can find out more about the museum at http://vallejomuseum.net. Ω

 

 

 

 

IPMS Show Follow-Up

The SVSM 2019 Classic was the name of the IPMS show held March 19th, 2019, at San Jose’s Napredak Hall. The South Bay Model Shipwrights and Ages of Sail had adjacent tables at the event and I was manning the Ages of Sail table for the whole day.

SBMS members James Lunt and Jacob Cohn demonstrating ship modeling skills and talking with visitors to the table.

SBMS member Jacob Cohn demonstrating his rigging skills as he adds ratlines to his 3/16″ scale HMS Sultana model.

It was definitely a long day for me, but I sold a lot of tools, a couple kits, and got to talk with a lot of existing and potential customers. 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

Model Boats on Parade – September 16 in San Francisco

Sorry, I know this is a very last minute posting, but I was just reminded that the San Francisco Model Yacht Club is holding its annual model boat event tomorrow, Sunday, September 16, 2018, at Spreckles Lake in Golden Gate Park.

The event setup begins at 9:30am. It’s open to the public and should go on most of the day. The club will have its clubhouse open, so you can view various boats on display that aren’t out in the water. Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to see all kinds of powered RC models, some small, some VERY BIG, plus RC sailboats. There’s even a group that does free sail racing, where the boats, powered only by the wind, are pre-set to guide themselves across the lake.

Here’s the informational flyer from the SFMYC’s website:

Get set for a fun and interesting day in the park! Ω

 

Nautical Research Journal – New Digital Subscriptions!

At least one person I know wouldn’t join the NRG because he didn’t want any more paper subscriptions piling up in his house. Well, those with similar feelings will be happy to know that they can now avoid the slow mailing system and piles of journals stacking up or getting lost by signing up for a digital subscription.

Digital editions are available as either a separate, lower priced, subscription at $40/yr, as opposed to the regular print subscription included with NRG membership of $50/yr, or as an add-on to regular membership and print subscription for an additional $15/yr.

The benefits to the digital edition are many. The subscription appears to be stored on-line, and you access the editions via the web. There is a large array of tools for searching, zooming, and scrolling through your magazine. There is a drop-down table of contents, if you want to jump straight to a particular article. You can mark favorite pages and can even type in your own notes.

There are some downsides that I can see already. A minor issue is that when you are looking at the tool that lets you jump to specific pages, those page numbers don’t correspond to the Journal issue page numbers, as the Journal issues are consecutively numbered for an entire volume, or year. So, if you jump to page 40 in the Autumn issue, the current one, it’s actually Journal page 198. Certainly not a big deal.

Another point you might want to note is that you can’t print off or copy any pages. I can understand the need for copy protection, and for the Journal to put itself out on the digital scene, it’s about the only way to protect it. But, it is annoying to not be able to copy an article that you’re referencing and to store it with other research materials. For that, you’ll need the print edition.

Personally, I found navigating to be a bit funky, but that’s probably because I’m a trackpad user. Using keys to paginate and zoom are pretty easy, and I can imagine that using a mouse is also pretty straight forward.

All in all, it’s a great step forward for the NRG and the Journal. I’m not sure if I’ll migrate completely from the print edition, or maybe just add the digital edition to my membership. But, it’s certainly a good option and one that I’m sure many people will appreciate.

There is a sample issue available along with subscription details on the NRG’s website here: https://www.thenrg.org/digital-edition.php.

Ω