Tag Archives: Higaki Kaisen

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…

View original post 46 more words

Advertisements

Wasen Display 6.0

The latest display of Japanese boat models takes place through the end of March. Check it out if you’re in the area and haven’t seen the models yet.

Wasen Modeler

The sixth display of wasen models is now set up at the Japan Center Mall in the window of the Union Bank Community Room inside the East Mall building. The display will be up through the end of March and features the same models as before, but with the addition of my Kamakura Period Sea Boat or Umi-bune. Though the Umi-bune model is not quite complete, I figured it was far enough along for public display as an “in progress” model.

The display then consists of the Hacchoro, Higaki Kaisen, Yakatabune, Tosa wasen, and the Umi-bune. The main change in the display is the use of new folding pedestals I made. This makes transportation easier, as the new pedestals take much less room in my car.

My hope for future displays is to have a model of a Kitamaebune, which is very similar in appearance to the Higaki Kaisen, and to…

View original post 164 more words

Higaki Kaisen Build Article – Ships in Scale March/April ’17 Issue

Those of you who might be interested in this Woody Joe kit, but are worried about the instructions, might be interested in picking up these upcoming issues of Seaways’ Ships in Scale.

Wasen Modeler

I hadn’t heard any word at all from the editors of Seaways’ Ships in Scale magazine after submitting my article on the construction of Woody Joe’s Higaki Kaisen kit. I submitted the article in late November, so I figured I’d send them a note to ask what the status was. I got their reply a short time later and it’s good news, the article is scheduled to appear, starting with the March/April issue.

Image Extra 4 - 994A9623

Given the size of the article, I expect it will appear across 3 issues. That’s the what happened with my Mary Taylor model article a few years back, and it was of similar size. This one actually might be a little longer, so maybe it will span a 4th issue. I don’t like super long articles, so I hope it gets limited to 3, but certainly no more than 4.

As a reminder, Zootoyz is selling Woody…

View original post 193 more words

Higaki Kaisen Build Article Submitted

More writing completed. This time, on building Woody Joe’s Higaki Kaisen kit.

Wasen Modeler

Those of you interested in building Woody Joe’s Higaki Kaisen kit, I just completed the final edits to my article and sent in the 29-page work to Seaways’ Ships in Scale magazine, and is accompanied by a selection of 44 photos and illustrations.

hk-photo-35

I’ve been working on this writing project for a terribly long time, at least 2-1/2 years, if I recall correctly, though the model only took a matter of a few months to complete. The big hold-up has been in trying to develop an accurate and informative background on these coastal Japanese transports.

This will be my sixth article submission to this magazine. And, while the last 4 articles I’ve written have been 3500-word kit reviews, this one is a good 25% larger than my 8500 word, 3-part article on scratch-building the pilot boat Mary Taylor, which probably means it will be a 4-part article. I would have preferred no more…

View original post 92 more words

Japanese Boats Display in Japantown (v 4.0)

Last week, I spent an entire afternoon in San Francisco setting up my latest display of models of Japanese traditional boats in the Japan Center Mall in San Francisco. This is the largest display I’ve done, which is now up to 5 models. It’s probably about as large as it will get as I can’t imagine that I can possibly cram any more into my car. And, given that I live about an hour’s drive outside the city (or two hours in bad traffic), I’m not likely going to be making two trips to set it up. But, the size is actually pretty good now.

Since I’m doing some fundraising to go to Japan this Fall to do some more first-hand research on Japanese watercraft (don’t forget to check out my gofundme page), I’m taking the opportunity to really get some attention for this display. As with those people involved in the fine arts, I’ve made up an announcement card that I’m having printed up that I will be sending to various friends and people that  I think will be interested in it and possibly interested in helping me out (as well as those who have already done so). In addition, I’ve made a simple email announcement photo that I’ve been sending to people.

Announcement Emailer L plus

My email announcement card

If you’re already familiar with the last couple displays, you will see two new models added, a simple Japanese traditional boat shop display and the Tosa wasen model. Both are a nice, big 1/10 scale, so the details are better for a window display like this.

IMG_2398

The 1/10-scale Tosa Wasen is the newest boat model added to the display.

IMG_2382

This is my simple model of an Urayasu boat workshop, showing some of the aspects of traditional Japanese boatbuilding. Under construction is a Bekabune, a seaweed gathering boat that was once used on Tokyo Bay. The model still needs a few additions – a work in progress.

IMG_2403

The Hacchoro and the Urayasu boat workshop with their scale boatmen silhouettes. The Hacchoro is one of the boats I will be focussing my attention on while researching in Japan this Fall.

You may notice in that display window photos that I’ve created little silhouette boatmen to provide scale reference for each model. This was a last minute effort, though I’ve been thinking about it for months. I finally sat down and scoured the Internet and found photos of boatmen dressed in traditional outfits on someone’s blog photos. I took the best one and did some Photoshop work to turn him into a silhouette, which I scaled to the needed sizes, printed them, and mounted them on cardboard.

There are, of course, things to do differently next time, which I’ve already noted. The boat workshop display should probably be on some kind of a riser, like the other models, there is enough room to put up another large, hanging photo board, and there’s room for at least one more model, using the tall stand I introduced in this display. I suppose I could consider staggering them a little too.

That tall stand, by the way, is actually a better stand for me to use because it’s simple two boards hinged together. This makes them foldable and they take up a lot less space in my car. I’m seriously thinking about replacing the box pedestals on the other models with short folding stands, which would allow me to carry more stuff in my car. And, actually, if I build models without sails, I might be able to fit one or two more in that car. Of course, that means building more models and I’m pretty far behind on other projects as it is. We’ll see… Ω

 

My Writing Plans – March 2016 Update

Tosa Wasen

IMG_2085For those interested in the Tosa Wasen kit, I’ve basically finished writing my article. I know this wasn’t part of my post back in December when I last wrote about my writing plans. But, now that the model is done and I’ve had a chance to really think about the importance of the kit, I figured it deserved a write up.

In January, I contacted Paul Fontenoy, who is, among other things, the editor of the Nautical Research Journal, so he knows the article is coming. I’ve also had the benefit of getting a read through by Douglas Brooks, who has been a great help to me in better understanding Japanese watercraft.

Now, I just have to take a few better photos of the model and it the article will be ready to send out.

Book Review

book_coverWhen I mentioned the Tosa Wasen article to Paul Fontenoy, he realized that there was no review in the Nautical Research Journal yet of Douglas Brooks’ book Japanese Wooden Boatbuiding. He asked me to write one and I agreed. Having never written a book review or anything of this kind for the Journal, I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out. Also, while I’ve read through various important section of the book, I hadn’t read it cover to cover.

Well, that’s the first thing I had to do, and I’m really glad I did – Not just to be able to write an accurate book review, but also because this is a very interesting book, filled not only with lots of details on building traditional Japanese boats, but with some great narrative of the author’s experiences in Japan, some quite humorous and some quite moving.

I just sent in my draft of the book review. If it doesn’t need revision, it should be appearing in the near future.

Hacchoro

DSC04135About a month ago, I finally reached the end of the instruction book in my translation and notes on this kit from Woody Joe. This isn’t an article to be published, but rather something that I’m making available to anyone who’d like to have it. The notes are now available here as a 17-page downloadable PDF file. I’m also sending copies off to Woody Joe and to Zootoyz and they will see if they want to do anything with it.

For the future, I am considering building a more detailed version of the Hacchoro based on the Woody Joe kit, and I may write that up as an article. I managed to recently make contact with someone in Japan who is connected with the modern Hacchoro boats in Yaizu. He’s been sending me some information and, now that I’m planning to make a research trip to Japan, I’m making arrangements to meet him and to see a Hacchoro first-hand.

Higaki Kaisen

DSC02470I’ve been dragging my feet on this simply because I want to include background information, and I want that to be as accurate and as interesting as possible. With the Tosa Wasen article and the Hacchoro notes done, I think it’s time to push this up to the front and get it finished and in print.

The problem is, every time I turn around, I learn more about bezaisen (the general term for this type of ship), and find challenges to my current understanding of the ships. Sadly, I haven’t had a chance to see one up close. While I’m making arrangements to see the replica ship Hakusan-Maru in the Fall, that won’t really help me with this article, which I’m ready to send off soon.

This will be going to Seaways’ Ships in Scale, though the amount of background detail I’m putting together is probably better suited to the Nautical Research Journal. I’ve seen other authors split up their material between the two publications, but I don’t think I’m going to go that far.

I’m hoping to see this delayed article get published late this year or early next year. It will definitely be a multi-part article.

My Higaki Kaisen Article

Quite some time ago, while I was building my Woody Joe Higaki Kaisen model, I started working on a construction article. It has essentially done for many months, but I’m trying to wrap up the first 1/3 of the article, which essentially talks about the background of the Japanese coastal transports.

I’ve been having some trouble, as there is some conflicting information regarding possible imposed restrictions on Japanese ship building during the Edo period. Most sources indicate the existence of restrictions, but a few scholarly sources say that there’s been no evidence of any restrictions at all. Yet, even in the 1850s report from Perry’s expedition, there is mention of restrictions on the construction of Japanese ships.

Image Extra 3 - 994A9592

Still, not being an academic, it’s hard to get in the middle of this discussion. I don’t want to alienate myself by possibly insulting people who have studied the subject, and some of whom have helped me out. So, what to do?

I sent the article to a Mr. Toshihiko Shibafuji, who was involved in sailing the Naniwa Maru during sea trials conducted before it was placed in the museum in Osaka (now closed). He has been very helpful regarding Japanese traditional boats and is a friend of Douglas Brooks. Shibafuji-san sent his comments back to me along with some technical data on the sailing characteristics of the Naniwa Maru. He also pointed out that the discussion of shipbuilding restrictions is one that even scholars in Japan have disagreements over.

Image courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Research Center

Image courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Research Center

So, I’m going to look over that part of my article and probably do a few rewrites. Perhaps the best thing to write is about the disagreement over this issue.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading a number of articles on JSTOR, which is a digital library of academic journals and books. A free account is available, which provides access to the collection. But, downloading articles requires a paid pass. This is generally available through academic institutions and some libraries, but can also be purchased by individuals. I signed up for a one-month pass for just under $20 that allows me to download up to 10 articles.

Using this system has actually been quite helpful. I’ve found some information on shipping during Tokugawa Era Japan, and other articles where references to sengokubune appear and specific information about Higaki Kaisen and Kitamaesen.

I’m not sure how much of this additional information I’ll use in this article. I’ve already been delaying this article for the last year. It’s time to wrap it up! Ω

My Writing Plans

Those of you who are interested in Woody Joe kits in particular, you might like to know that I’m working on a few writing projects now.

 

Higaki Kaisen

DSC02470For quite some time, I’ve had an article in the works on building Woody Joe’s Higaki Kaisen. The big hang up for me has been detailing the background of the vessel and making sure that my Japanese history is correct. Nothing worse than invalidating your work with shoddy research. Fortunately, I have some great human resources that have been extremely helpful. In addition, I’ve been piecing together many pieces from the Internet to create for myself a better understanding of Japanese coastal transports.

The target is Seaways’ Ships in Scale magazine, which published my kit review of the Higaki Kaisen, among other things. So, this will be a good follow-up to that article. From the size of this article, I expect it would come out in 3-4 parts.

The article is basically done, but I need to review and do some fine tuning. Then, it’s off for review. Probably, this will be submitted to the editors at Ships in Scale sometime in January. After that, it’s usually many months before it sees print. Maybe Summer time.

 

Sir Winston Churchill

SWchurchill

Woody Joe recently released an update to their British sail training schooner kit and it’s a beautiful kit that looks to be both detailed and quite buildable. I received the kit from Woody Joe and started writing about it immediately. However, I’m considering that the article this time would be much more interesting to readers as an article about building the kit, not just reviewing it.

I’m not quite sure yet. I’ve written three out-of-the-box review articles in Ships in Scale on Woody Joe kits. I’ve tried to make each article a little different in flavor, focusing on reading Japanese characters in one article, discussing the Japanese ship model society The Rope in another, and historical information and construction issues to watch out for in the third.

I don’t know what kind of “extra” I could give the new article, so maybe it should be about building it. There might be some other ideas that I’m going to have to bat around for a bit. For one, Billing Boats makes a kit of the same ship in exactly the same scale, and it would be nice to see how the two compare. But, there are two problems I run into with that. First, I need the Billing Boats kit, and second, being that I’m doing some work for the U.S. importer of Billing Boats products, there then comes a conflict of interests. Especially if the Woody Joe kit puts the Billing Boats kit to shame.

But, the problem with making this a build article is that, I then have yet another project to build, with no article possible until the model is complete. And, I know I have too many projects already and putting off other projects that I want to get to, or need to get back to.

 

Hacchoro Build Notes

DSC04135If you recall, I built Woody Joe’s kit of the 8-oared fishing boat some time back. As I went along, I translated the instructions as best I could and recorded them. They’re not complete, but I’m now shoring up the missing translation parts. In addition, I’ve written up my own introduction on the kit and adding some of my own personal notes.

I’m not sure where the Hacchoro document is going, but I did promise I would send my own translations to Woody Joe and to Zootoyz. They may use them in some way. My goal is to make a complete document that could potentially be made available to builders of the kit, either directly by Woody Joe and Zootoyz, or as a download from this site.

This one is pretty close to being done, depending on how much time I set aside from model building. But, I have a couple friends building the kit now who I’m sure would like to see the notes done in time for them to use. We’ll see how it goes. Ω

Japanese Wasen Model Display in San Francisco v3.0

This week, I installed my latest display of models of traditional style Japanese boats at the Japan Center in San Francisco. If you haven’t seen it before and are in the area, this is a good display to check out. This time around, I added a third model to the collection, my Yakatabune model. So now, there is the Higaki Kaisen (1/72-scale), Hacchoro and Yakatabune models (both 1/24-scale). All three models were built from kits by Woody Joe of Japan.

The display will run from now through all of November and December in the window of the Union Bank community room, which is in the East Mall building.

 


UPDATE 12/20/15: Wasen Display extended through January, 2016. Take-down date has been moved to January 29th.


 

IMG_1856

One thing I discovered while setting up the new display is that this is a much better time of year to display the models. Because of the lower angle of the sun, the there is far less glare from the skylight above, making the models much easier to view. I’ll have to keep that in mind in the future, though I’ll probably just try to display them at every opportunity I get.

The one addition I have yet to make to the display is a photo board, that I’ll be setting up in the fourth window panel, which is just barely in view in the above photo. But, I have a couple ideas for the display of a fourth model in the future. You’ll have to check back in the Spring for more details on that.

In any case, the new display is a far cry from the very first display, which was only about 9 months ago. Please check it out! Ω

 

Japanese Wasen Model Display in San Francisco

This week has been a kind of crazy week of dealing with the display of ship models. I now have 4 models out on display. Two of them are part of a display at the San Mateo County Fair headed up by the South Bay Model Shipwrights club. The other two are part of my own display that I’ve put together in the big window of Union Bank’s community room in Japantown, San Francisco.

The models are my Higaki Kaisen and Hacchoro models that I built from Woody Joe kits. The display is my second now, and I’ve learned a lot from my first display that I put up earlier in the year. That display was small for the window area and the models were hard to see and the display was not very attention grabbing.

This time around, I’ve had posters printed up using some new photos I’ve taken. I mounted these on foam core poster boards and also set up a large display board with 8″x10″ photos showing details of the models. To make the models easier to see, I removed them from their cases and raised them up closer to eye level by placing them on some pedestals I made from MDF board.

At the last minute this morning, I cut some acrylic sheet into strips and made some plastic clips to hang the posters from. The strips were cut to size and drilled and then heat bent to shape using a small torch. They aren’t perfect, but they work.

Late this morning, I crammed everything into my car and drove to San Francisco to set it all up.

IMG_1091

Models set up and ready to put on display.

IMG_1088

Homemade clips for hanging the posters.

This time, with all the display elements, it took me a lot longer to set up than I’d expected. I could imagine what it’s like to work setting up displays in department store windows. Overall, it was a good 45 minutes to bring everything up from the parking garage and to set it all up. The posters and the hangar clips took the most time to set up so that the posters hung at the right heights.

I felt I was kind of rushing the layout. It would definitely be helpful to get a second person to help with this so that one person can look at it and recommend adjustments while the other put the display elements into place.

In the end, I think it all worked pretty well and I’ve definitely got thoughts of Wasen Display 3.0 starting to develop. Having the third model will be good, which will most likely be Woody Joe’s Yakatabune as that’s a nice looking model and a quick build.

IMG_1093

Higaki Kaisen model.

IMG_1092

Photo Board and Hacchoro model. Note the hanging posters.

One thing I realized was that every time I’m in the mall where I have time to take photos, it’s roughly noonish and the sun comes streaming straight down through the skylights in the mall. So, I mostly get a lot of glare in these photos. I think at other times of the display, it is much easier to see the models and photos. I’m going to have to check out that theory and take some photos maybe late in the day or evening early evening. Maybe I can get some decent photos of the display then.

IMG_1096

A much improved display over the last one.

Wasen Display 2.0 will run from Friday, June 5th through Friday, July 10th. I hope you will stop by to see it and let me know what you think!