Category Archives: Woody Joe

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

Building the Kanrin Maru – Japan’s First Screw Steamer

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.

Woody Joe’s 1/75-scale Kanrin Maru kit.

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

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Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 3

With the construction of the base of the temple completed, I proceeded to paint the completed assembly using smokey beige satin-finish Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover spray paint. I also decided to go forward with construction of the mounting base. This was actually from Step 27 in the instructions, but I had the parts out and didn’t see any reason not to go ahead with this assembly.

The base of the pagoda painted a stoney gray color. If I wanted to get more authentic, I would have painted it earlier in construction and masked off areas to create different shading for the different stone blocks.

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Japanese Diorama Products Now Available from Zootoyz

Just saw that the online Japanese hobby store, Zootoyz.com, has just added Woody Joe diorama products.

[Note: This was announced on Zootoyz’s Facebook page, but there is currently no link on the website itself. Until the site’s navigation is updated, here’s a link to the new products: https://www.japan-wooden-model-kits-zootoyz.shop/contents/en-us/d2045761143_Diorama-products-by-Woody-JOE.html]

This line of products includes sakura, cherry blossom trees, Japanese pines, cypress trees, box trees, cedar trees, generic broadleaf and conifer trees and other vegetation. There are also bags of ground cover for simulating grass, dirt, and gravel.

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King Khufu’s Solar Boat – Woody Joe Kit – Model Built by Don Dressel

Several years ago, Woody Joe came out with a unique wooden model kit of the Solar Barge of Khufu, also known as Cheops, King of Egypt from 2589 B.C. to 2566 B.C. The ship was buried with King Khufu, and intended for use in the afterlife. It measures 143 feet long and is one of the most well preserved, largest and oldest vessel ever discovered.

Woody Joe produces this 1/72-scale kit, making heavy use of laser-cut wooden parts. It’s a beautifully designed kit, with the model measuring around 23″ long when complete.

It’s designed to be fairly easy to build, though of course the instructions are in Japanese. Mr. Dressel reported that he did have some difficulty interpreting some of the instructions until he downloaded the Google Translate app on his iPad.

Zootoyz, an excellent online seller featuring Woody Joe kits, lists the kit as a Level 2 kit on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most difficult. Woody Joe suggests that completion of the kit should take about 25 hours, which makes it one of their quicker builds.

The kit has a list price of ¥22,000, which is around $200. And, with Zootoyz new wooden model online shop and it’s introductory discount extended through the end of June, the price comes down to $184 plus shipping.

For more information about King Khufu, see this Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khufu

Or for info specifically about the solar boat, there is this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khufu_ship

Mr. Dressel says he will be displaying his model at the upcoming 2018 NRG conference in Las Vegas, which is just a few months away.

Zootoyz: All Wooden Kits, Discounts, and Revamped Website

Zootoyz, which is my go-to online shop for all things Woody Joe, has created a new website dedicated to wooden model construction and is currently featuring special discount pricing in celebration.

If you’ve ever visited them before, you may recall seeing a few lines of plastic kits and some various odds-and-ends kits. While the main Zootoyz online shop still exists, to make it easier for those of us interested specifically in wooden models from Japan, they’ve created this specialized site, which you can find here: https://www.japan-wooden-model-kits-zootoyz.shop/index.html 

But something else to note besides a much more organized site, is that they are listing a couple brand new architectural kits from Woody Joes new line of models featuring places from the famous woodblock prints of Hiroshige’s 53 Station of the Tōkaidō . The new kits were only just announced by Woody Joe and are the famous Nihonbashi bridge and the Arai Sekisho, one of the many stations which regulated travel on the major roads. These are mini-kits that sell for around $40 each, plus shipping.

Note that the trees are included, but the figures and grass are not. This one has nifty little boats and a couple 2-D silhouette figures though.

Note that the trees are included, but the figures shown are not. There are, however, a few 2-D silhouette figures inside the building, checking the records of travelers.

Being small, you might as well buy more than one, as I think the shipping will be the same. Also, if  you’re getting one of the bigger kits, these mini-kits are a nice add-on to your order and they make nice quick diversions. Woody Joe lists them as 8-hour kits. So, they should make nice weekend kits.

Also, if you place an order from the new site, there’s currently an introductory sale going on through June 24th – Just remember Japan is a day ahead of us in the U.S.  So now is a good time to get your new Woody Joe kit! Ω

 

A Woody Joe Sir Winston Churchill Build Log on MSW

Good to see someone building this kit on Model Ship World…

This is the 1/75-scale Woody Joe kit of the sail training ship Sir Winston Churchill.

I have one that I started, but it was just to keep me building during a motivational lull. It’s a very nice kit that, interestingly enough, is the exact same scale as the Billing Boats kit, which is pretty similar in price. The Billing Boats kit isn’t as well organized and the instructions are in the simple Billing Boats style, where the Woody Joe kit has the parts very well organized, makes good use of laser-cut parts, has color illustrated step-by-step instructions, but they are only in Japanese.

Still, you might want to check out this ship modeler’s build, as he seems to have been dealing with the language barrier quite well. Bear in mind that this is his first wooden ship model kit: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/17779-sir-winston-churchill-by-marc-l-woody-joe-scale-175-first-wooden-ship-build/

When I am able to devote my full attention to my own build, I’ll start a build log here. But, I did write an out of-the-box review, also on Model Ship World. Here’s a link: https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/14594-review-woody-joes-sir-winston-churchill/

I know of at least one other ship modeler in the same forum that is also planning on building this kit. And, if you’re interested in buying this kit, you can get it from the Japanese online shop Zootoyz.jp.

Building an Old-Style Japanese Roadside Teahouse

Last year around this time, I purchased a few Woody Joe temple and mini architectural kits from none other than Zootoyz, where I buy all my Woody Joe kits.  Incidentally, if you haven’t visited in a while, you should check it out. Morikawa-san revamped the site and it looks really nice. If you buy a kit from him and build it, be sure to send him photos. Also, the folks at Woody Joe would love to see them too.

In any case, in early January, I had a weekend to kill, so I started one of the mini-kits. This one is called Sato no chaya, or Sato’s tea house. It’s a very simple kit that costs around $26 plus shipping. My guess is that the scale is somewhere around 1/50.

Teahouse Mini-Architecture Kit

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Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 2

The first stage of construction is the stone base of the structure. Being a wooden kit, this is of course made from wood. The parts are perfectly milled, so there’s no cutting or sanding involved, just aligning and gluing.

I didn’t glue the Square insert into place yet, as it’s not added until Step 2, but I dropped it into place to help with the alignment. As it turns out, it’s not helpful, as it fits a bit loosely, and my cutting pad has a printed grid that allows me to check the corner angles.

By the way, I really like the ModelCraft cutting mats. The one I’m using here is an A4 size. That’s roughly 12″ x 8″, which I bought from the ModelCraft Tools USA, which is run by Ages of Sail. In fact you can just buy it from their website too.  I really like these cutting mats. This one was only $13.99 plus tax and shipping.

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Building Woody Joe’s Horyu-ji Temple Five-Story Pagoda – Part 1

So, it begins! I got this kit from Zootoyz.jp earlier in the year, along with some other temple and Edo period architecture kits. One of those kits, the Shinmei-zukuri Shrine, I built and wrote about here. But, I’ve had too many other projects to work on to get to any of these other kits.

Well, it’s been long enough. We’re approaching the end of the year, when I traditionally build some kind of simpler Japanese kits. Since I made a promise to get to this kit, specifically, I’m pulling the kit out of the closet and setting it out to build.

Hōryū-ji 5-Story Pagoda from Woody Joe

This will make a nice size model, measuring about 18.5″ tall on a 10-1/4″ square base when done. There are more than 870 parts, mostly milled wood, though there are some wood strips and smaller laser-cut sheets. The kit is listed by Woody Joe as requiring 50 hours to build. I think this may be a revision of an early figure of 40 hours to build, as that’s what I recall and that’s what Zootoyz.jp states. In any case, it will take a lot less time than a ship model.

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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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