It’s been just about three years since I last wrote about researching the Kanrin Maru, and I really haven’t done much about it lately, but I did start construction of the 1/75-scale model based on the kit from the Japanese wooden model kit manufacturer, Woody Joe. The model is being constructed with modifications based on my research.
I started construction long ago on this model, but set it aside for other, higher priority projects. Recently, I realized that I don’t have any models on permanent display anywhere. My only models on display are my Japanese traditional wooden boat models that I put on display in San Francisco’s Japantown a couple times a year.
There is a possibility that I could build this model and have it on display at the Mare Island Museum, where they have an existing display dedicated to the Kanrin Maru’s 1860 diplomatic mission to San Francisco.
The Build Plan
The hull of the Woody Joe kit is very close to the line drawings I acquired of the ship, so it’s an excellent start to building what should be a pretty accurate model. There are a few details of the kit that I will change or am considering changing:
- The planking and shape of the hull at the bulwarks
- The presence of a winch above the propeller well in the kit
- The shape of the hawse pipes from the kit
- The location of the hawse pipes on the deck of the kit
- The armament
- The location and configuration of the ship’s wheel
- The size of the turnbuckles provided in the kit
- The configuration of the fore-and-aft sails
- The presence of mast wooldings in the kit
- The presence of a mizzen mast top in the kit
- The absence of coal loading ports in the kit
- Miscellaneous small details
I’ll deal with these as the build progresses. Continue reading