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catopower

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About catopower

  • Birthday 06/17/1962

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  1. Thanks friends! Fortunately, I was uninjured, but my car was totaled and the other person was effectively uninsured, so it took a while to resolve. Then, after having to work more hours, dealing with the car rentals, getting paid, finding a new car, dealing with new payments, etc., it took my remaining free time. I still am working more hours, so it has affected my ship modeling time, but at least the other issues are behind me. Mostly... Clare
  2. Hi All, Finally a post! As if my work wasn't coming along slowly enough, a car accident and heavier work load managed to bring my ship modeling of all types to a standstill. After nearly two months of making no progress on anything, I finally found myself in a position to move forward again on the Umibune. I didn't managed to figure out too much regarding the making of scale figures for the model, but I did finish tying the bindings on the rails. I also decided on how I wanted to finish the aft deckhouse, or yakata. I basically returned to the idea of installing only lower panels on the sides of the structure. There seem to be a multitude of ways that artists and model makers have interpreted this design, so I just went with something I recall seeing in a painting. Is it accurate? There really doesn't appear to be any way to know for sure. But, it seems reasonable. In the photos below, you can see the panels before installation, as well as how they look in place on the model. I originally built these slightly oversized, allowing me to adjust them to fit. As you can see from the photos, I also attached the rudder. The rudder on larger Japanese boats are fit through a hole in the back edge of a heavy beam at the stern. The Japanese did not use gudgeon straps and pintles to hold the rudder in place, but instead, rudders were held up by a rope lifting system, like Chinese boats, which allowed the rudder to be raised or lowered as needed. The hole in the large beam provided the necessary lateral support. The lifting rope is attached to a hole in the top of the rudder blade and runs through a block, which is attached to the aft-most roof beam. The design of the block was not described anywhere, so I based it on a block that appeared in Woody Joe's Higakikaisen kit. This is a teardrop shaped block that apparently contains no wheel, unlike a modern-style block. I was motivated to use this based on a comment that was made to me while visiting the Hacchoro fishing boats of Yaizu in 2016. While showing me some of the features of the Hacchoro, Mr. Hiroyuki Kobayashi, one of the people who are responsible for the Hacchoro boats, told me that while the Hacchoro replicas use a standard wooden blocks in their sail gear, the Japanese didn't originally have such blocks. Modern blocks on the modern Hacchoro replica. He didn't elaborate, but seeing the wheel-less blocks on the Higakikaisen model suggested to me that this was the design that the Japanese originally used and is what Mr. Kobayashi was referring to. Unfortunately, I can't find any photos of that type of block, but here's the one that I made. This type of block would most certainly have too much friction with the rope passing through it to be very efficient. But, it's very possible that its function is more to help support the rudder than to lift it up. Possibly, a few strong sailors would physically haul up on the rudder and tiller as someone hauled on the rope to take up slack and to help support the rudder's weight until the rope was tied off to beam at the stern. In any case, I glued the stropping rope around the block and siezed it into place. The ends of the rope were simply run over the top of the beam and tied off underneath a crossbeam. I have no idea how the original was attached. Probably just passed around the beam, the way a block is fastened around the yard arm on a Western sailing ship. The rudder was put into place with a rope seized through the hole in the rudder blade and rigged. To help hold the rudder in place, as it's too light to simply hang from the support rope, a hole was drilled through the rudder post and into the great beam and a pin pass through. This allowed me to keep the lifting rope taught, while keeping the rudder nicely in position. More on oars and the very unusual anchors next time. Clare
  3. catopower

    Review Area Guidelines

    Thanks Mark, James, I think it might be a good way to formally indicate by the admins that the review meets the criteria established above. Some kind of stamp of approval. Clare
  4. catopower

    Review Area Guidelines

    Question: At what point do reviews get a nice red "review" tag? Or is that reserved only for reviews by admins?
  5. Hello Toni, I know some people that will be very happy to hear about this change. Thanks for the announcement! Clare
  6. catopower

    Woody Joe Shinmei-Zukuri Shrine build

    Hello Olavi, Sorry I didn't see your post before. I hope you got your shrine model and have fun and success building it! They have castles, temples, and shrines, but I like this one in particular, because it is such an old style architecture. I also like that it has a little landscaping, so it is about the sacred space and not just the building itself. Gambatte kudasai! Clare
  7. catopower

    Lively, 1813, Private Armed Schooner

    Sorry, I never saw this. I built it years ago – well before MSW or other ship model forums. I hope you'll post your own build log, or maybe you already are! Clare
  8. LH, I don't know how lighting will affect the aesthetics of the room, given that it's open on both ends, has panels that open up the sides and that the ship can be oriented in any direction with respect to the sun. But, I do agree that the full-width across the entrances is somehow more pleasing. As you point out, this does have to be balanced out against other aesthetics, including the odd shape for a 6-tatami room. The last option I posted actually fixes the issue of both wanting full-width mats at the entrances, plus elimination of the four-corner intersecting point, which, to my understanding, is considered bad luck for a room. I don't consider the arrangement ideal, but it might be the most acceptable. When I built Woody Joe's Yakatabune kit, it had a 4-tatami room, which had much nicer proportions, and much easier to decide upon. That one, I arranged in a layout |=|. Of course, in the case of this trade boat, there's nothing that says it would have even had tatami mats in the cabin, so this is all presumption. But, it would make sense to me, since the only passengers on a large trade boat like this were probably aristocrats. Anyway, the mats are just that. They are complete removable and can be rearranged. So, if someone didn't like an arrangement, I'm sure they could 'fix' it as needed. Clare
  9. Oh, and actually this may be a 3rd possibility: 3. ||=|| By the way, thanks to LH and Carl for mentioning this book. You can still get it on Amazon in paperback and kindle form. I just ordered a copy. I'm sure I'll find it useful.
  10. Thanks for your posts LH. I knew about the kan, but have only run across the measurement in use once and never read anything on its basis in architecture. Very interesting stuff! Does the book say how far back these rules went? It would be easy to apply it to the Edo period, 1600 - 1863, but this would be Kamakura period, 1185-1333. The idea of the "floating" sizes of tatami mats is very helpful in this case. The width of the large yakata would allow for one full 5.8 x 2.9 shaku tatami mat to fit lengthwise across it. I don't know that my structure is perfectly proportioned, but yes, it should fit a 6 tatami layout. Now, I have to think about the configuration, and this brings us to the essence of wabi-sabi in the layout of the mats. I was originally considering the one you listed as the 3rd configuration, but 4-corner joints are to be avoided. In fact regular grid patterns are to be avoided too. On a layout to fit this kind of building, I think there are only two options: 1. =||= 2. =|=| I've only seen the 2nd one listed as a suggestion for this size and shape of space. Well, something more to think about. Clare
  11. My favorite Japanese measure is the Koku. One Koku is supposed to the weight of an amount of rice required to feed one man for one year.
  12. Yes, there were three different standards for Tatami mat sizes that I'm aware of, and I guess they were pretty regional. You may very well be correct about being based on the height of a man, though I've never read anything specifically about that. Shaku, however, is a simple unit measure almost exactly equal to 1 foot. There are other old units however, and one of them may be based on the approximate height of a man at the time. I ran across something like this, but don't recall the specifics. Clare
  13. Thanks Steve, I appreciate that. I'd always figured on some kind of mounting blocks, so I had built the hull with brass tubing glued in for mounting pins. The inside diameter is a nice snug fit for the brass rod that I fit into those blocks. I made one attempt at making the walls for the sides of the aft structure, but am not very satisfied with them, so I'll make another. I'm now thinking that I should probably have a tatami-style mat for the floors of the structures. During the Edo period from the 1600's to about the 1860's, I know that Tatami mats were standardized sizes. But I don't know how far back that goes, so I'm looking into that now. Clare
  14. Minor update that I thought I'd go ahead and report. It's finally time to create a mounting display for it. I wanted something simple, given the unusual detail and shape of the model, so I went with a block-like base made from cherry wood. This mounting will allow the model to sit high enough for me to rig the rudder and the oars, though I'll wait until I finish the last of the cabin structure details. I also discovered that there are a couple beams that don't have ties on them, so I'll finish those up next. Most of my ship modeling delays have been because I've been trying to make/modify figures for my models. I have mostly failures, but I'm learning and working towards having maybe 3 or 4 figures for this model. I just have to double-check on the clothing from 1300 A.D. Japan. Clare
  15. catopower

    1:70 Hannah - Ship Model Okumoto

    Hi James. Thanks for posting these reviews. These look like very nice kits, and it was very nice of them to send you kits to review for free. But, I'm a bit surprised to see your comment that none of the kits have cant frames, when I clearly see cant frames in the plan top-view and in some of the model images. Am I mis-reading something? Clare

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