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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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


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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Japanese Boats Diorama Exhibit in Tokyo, April 29 – May 14

A pretty awesome display of models if you happen to be in Tokyo in the next couple of weeks.

Wasen Modeler

I just learned that there is a special exhibit taking place at the Tokyo Museum of Maritime Science of a diorama of late Edo period Japanese boats. The exhibit will be in the museum lobby from April 29th through May 14th, 2017.

The exhibit features 1/70-scale models built by Mr. Yukio Nakayama. You might recall in a prior post that I only discovered his work in December of last year, and he instantly became my wasen modeling hero.

This exhibit, according a report by The Rope, is made up of 200 models of 120 different kinds, and includes some 50 structures such as shrines, temples, warehouses and even a lighthouse from the late Edo period.

When I first learned about Mr. Nakayama, I’d contacted my ship modeling friends in Japan, who investigated on my behalf. Yesterday, they reached out that they went to the opening of the exhibit and met…

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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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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.

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Shipyard Sail and Masting Accessories – Now at Ages of Sail

For those ship modelers who are interested in paper models, Ages of Sail now carries the sail sets and masting sets produced by Shipyard.

I used the sail set for my HMS Alert build and it worked out really well. The color of the cloth is that of natural linen, and the sail sets are laser-cut, so there’s no concern about fraying edges. The details are all lightly laser-etched into the cloth, and at 1/96-scale, drawn or printed sails are probably more scale accurate than sewn sails.

I didn’t use the included line for the bolt ropes as I wanted to match the rigging on my model, which was mostly Morope brand line.

I found the sail cloth pretty stiff, which worked out fine for my model. I don’t know how they would work for furled sails, but I didn’t try washing them to see if they’ll soften up. It would be interesting to find out.

Anyway, it’s nice to know that you can now buy these in the U.S. instead of having to navigate Polish websites and have them ship overseas.

Ages of Sail

If you’re familiar with Shipyard products, you probably recognize the fact that their line of Paper Model ship kits only contain the paper parts necessary to build the model. They kits give you drawings for proper dimensions of the masts and spars and patterns for the sails, but don’t include material needed to build them.

These materials are easily obtainable at fabric stores and hardware stores. But shipyard also produces separate accessory sets so that you don’t have to make the sails or hunt down the proper size dowels and such.

Now, Ages of Sail has made these accessory sets available, and you can find them on our online store: Shipyard Sail and Masting Accessories

These sets are available only for the 1/96-scale Paper Model ship kits. They are the equivalent of what Shipyard already includes in their boxed 1/72-scale Laser Cardboard series kits, but of course, at a different…

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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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Changes to this Site

My apologies to those who follow this blog site or make periodic visits. You’re probably wondering why everything is so screwey. Things keep moving, titles keep changing, menus are all different or missing…

Well, I decided that it’s time to do some reorganizing and Spring cleaning. Part of this was prompted by the need to add a new menu so that I could separate any non-ship model related work, like the Shinmei-zukuri shrine kit I recently started to build. Plus, there are 3 other non-ship model kits in the closet and one completed castle I wrote about a couple years ago.

Also, I discovered that there have been some problems with this site, again brought to light when I started that shrine model kit. For some reason, it was showing up in my ship modeling news, even though I specifically have it categorized as a non-ship model. There are other issues that I’m starting to butt up against with this WordPress site. Though I have to say that this system has really made it relatively easy to manage a website like this.

Obviously, I still have some studying to do to better understand all the functions, but I’m very happy with it. I’ve been using the free version too, but I think that’s going to have to change so I can get some help from the WordPress staff on some issues. They helped me on another site I work on and they were a great help. As a bonus, the occasional unrelated ads that you see here should also disappear.

In any case, please bear with me as I do some reorganizing here. If you want to provide any feedback on the site and its organization, please feel free. Let me know what you think. Just use the comments feature on any page to send your thoughts. They won’t appear on the site, but I’ll get them.

Thank you!