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About catopower

  • Birthday 06/17/1962

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    SF Bay Area

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  1. Hi Bolin, you're doing a great job showing what can be done with a Billing Boats kit. On the spreader, that tube looks awfully thick compared to the plans. As far as drilling it, have you considered just making it out of wood or a styrene strip?
  2. In the Fall of 2019, boatbuilder Douglas Brooks went to Japan, together with Nina Noah from an organization called the Apprenticeshop, and built two boats as part of a research project. The second of these boats was the Himi Tenma or Tenmasen. It is a small workboat use for fishing and ferrying people and things in coastal waters. Larger versions of this boat were often carried aboard the large coastal transports called bezaisen or sengokubune for loading and offloading cargo, passengers, and crew. This particular boat was only about 13 feet long and was built under the guidance of Japanese boatbuilder Mr. Mitsuaki Bansho. I was asked to build this model as a gift for one of the donors to the project. The model is about 15.5" long and made primarily from sugi, or Japanese cedar. The light colored wood used for the beams, half-frames, stem, etc., is hinoki, or Japanese cypress. The model isn't an exact replica, as I was provided with a museum drawing of a similar boat, some dimensions, and photographs. But, the photos didn't explain all the details and the museum drawing differed from the actual boat that was built. So, this model is more of a representative model that is pretty accurate to the type and very close to the one built in 2019. I started construction in mid-April and completed it just about 30 days later.
  3. Beautifully done model. Nicely displayed.
  4. In Japanese, this is a 保津川下り舟 or Hozugawa kudari bune. It is a "downriver" boat, because these boats were traditionally run down the Hozu river and through the rapids to carry goods down from the mountains to the old capital city of Kyōto. In the old days, the nearly 40-foot long boats were then hauled back up the river, manually, by the boatmen wearing cloth harnesses attached to long ropes. They would hike the rocky shores of the river, 3 at a time, while a fourth boatman would stay on the boat or on the shore, pushing the boat away from the rocks with a heavy pole. This is how it was done for centuries on the Hozu river as well as many other rivers. You can see many Japanese woodblock prints where boatmen are depicted walked along a river, hauling on ropes to pull boats upriver. This models is made from Japanese cypress, Hinoki, and is based on some drawings provided by boat builder Douglas Brooks. The last wooden kudari boat was specially built in 2009, the first wooden boat of its type built in 60 years. The boat still exists, but is not in use. Today, the tour boat company that operates on the Hozu river, uses fiberglass boats based on this design. These old wooden boats were particularly interesting in that the planking was not symmetrical. The bottom planks are made relatively short, and the floor planks closer to the bow are tapered. The planking arrangement is said to allow damaged planks to be more easily replaced. My own model is something of a hybrid of old and new. I had to base construction on photos of the wooden boat, but some changes had been made since its construction to make it more easily used as a tour boat. I tried to avoid adding the more modern touches, but I had few references to guide me at the time. I've since found photos of the boat when it was first put in the water in 2009. Plus, I now think I have a better understanding now of what was traditional and what was not. Edit: Just discovered this interesting (soundless) footage on Youtube that shows a boat being hauled up river and run down the river:
  5. Sorry for the lack of progress on the kitamaebune. I've been going back and forth on the method for making of the sails, but I think I'm going to settle on sewing the seams, but making 4 distinct panels, and lacing them together. On the fore sail, or yaho, I'm considering leaving it off the model. I noticed that all of the drawings that depict the yaho, show it in profile, as if it is turned sideways. This works out fine, because the bottom of the sail is shown below the main stay and its tackle. If the sail is facing squarely forward, the stays would be in the way. So, I'm wondering if that sail was really used primarily for beating or reaching, to use sailing terms? Meanwhile, the big delay is due to work on a model of the boat that Douglas Brooks built last years with Nina Noah and Japanese boatbuilder Mr. Mitsuaki Bansho in Toyama prefecture last Fall. The boat is called a tenma, and is a small, general purpose boat about 13 foot long. My model is close to complete, I just have to add a beam across the top of the bow, and two pairs of half-frames, noting that in Japanese boats, frames are usually added after the hull is constructed. I just finished building a sculling oar and adding simulated nails. Like on the kitamaebune, the nails are copper wire that's been blackened with liver of sulfur. This weekend, I think I'm going to do a little sewing...
  6. Hi Chris, Just saw you started your wooden Wütender Hund build. Looking forward to following your progress. I have some other work getting in the way at the moment, so I haven't made any new progress on my Shipyard card model cog, but I hope to be back to it shortly. Nice start!
  7. I think Don Dressel's book is a great addition to any ship modeling library too, but I always thought it was strangely titled. Given that there is so much more beside planking, I always thought it should be called something more like Planked Hull Construction Techniques, though it would be a more awkward title. The book is still in publication from McGraw-Hill Books, only in soft cover.
  8. I used to be in contact with a ship modeler in England who built only in 1/192 scale and swore by it. It's been about 5 years since I was in touch with him. He constantly lamented the fact that more modelers weren't building in this miniature scale, always telling people that it was very easy and quick to build models in such small scales. He had a number of models/articles in Model Shipwright, and self-published a pdf book on the subject. I don't know if he's still around. His name is Robert Wilson. Also, there are a couple books by Phillip Reed on the subject. Very nice stuff.
  9. Hi Chris, you're going to have a crowd of people forming a line, waiting to see your Wütender Hund build...
  10. Thanks Moab. As I mentioned to PD Sergeant, it's been a fun build, but it does have its challenges. Chuck, funny you should ask. The order for both wooden kits, the Wutender Hund and the new Kogge von Kampen, just shipped from Poland this morning. Not sure how long it will take to get to Ages of Sail, but they're on their way now. Probably be 3 or 4 weeks before they show up online. Interesting that the new kit looks identical to the Hanse Kogge kit I'm working on, but has a smaller, simpler stern castle, and has a plain sail.
  11. Hello PD Sergeant, good luck with your build. Most important thing is to take your time, test fit the parts, try out painting and gluing on scraps before you try it out on the real parts. Look ahead in the instruction book, so you know what the future steps are. You'll want to uderstand how the steps you take will affect later steps. Also, it's a good idea to take photos and start a build log here, so you can get help here on MSW. So far, it's been a fun build, but it has it's challenges!
  12. I decided it was time to make some more progress on the Hanse Kogge today. Actually, last week I added the upper planking strake to the hull. In the process, I discovered that my planks were running a bit too low, particularly towards the bow. I'm not sure how this will affect the build in the end. For now, the timber heads look like they will stick up too high. Later on, I may just have to trim them down. That's a bit hard to do with card stock, so I treated each of them with a shot of thin CA to stiffen them up. It wasn't a problem, but I noted that when I hit them with CA, there was some kind of chemical reaction. I know this, because every time I did this, there was a waft of smoke! I watched carefully to make sure my card model didn't burst into flames, but I needed the CA to stiffen the cardboard. The only think I can figure is that it was reacting with either the paint, which I think is unlikely, or the contact cement. Now, I've used CA and contact cement together before and never had this issue. So, I don't know what was going on. Anyway, it's done and I and my model survived. Anyway, today I started adding the deck, beginning with the sub-layers... I finally got wise and started writing the part number on the piece in pencil. Below, you can see how much the timber heads stick up. The instructions show them flush with the upper edge of the planking. I'm not sure how I got this far off. I guess I was worrying too much about covering the black reference lines printed on the hull planks, which serve as alignment guides. I placed the planks so as to cover these lines, but I guess you're supposed to only line the plank to the edge of the line, even though it means the line may be visible. It's in the joint between the clinker laid planks, so I guess it wouldn't be noticeable anyway. Below is the deck after adding the strips of planks. As you can see, the deck planks ended up a little splotchy. As Chuck mentioned, it's a bit hard to paint these pieces that make up groups of planks, side by side, without the splotchiness. The next step has me a little nervous, given the issue I had with the bulwarks height. Next, I have to add all the visible framing, of which there is quite a bit.
  13. Hi Chuck, Yeah, my multi-plank pieces look splotchier. I'm just living with it. What I found was that if you don't get it in one thin coating, you have to wait and let it dry over night before you go over it again. Basically, after it's all dried, you can then go back and apply a very thin wash on selected planks, so you get some kind of variation. When it's all done, I think you'll find it looks better than you think it will.

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