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Yakatabune by RichardG - FINISHED - Woody Joe - Small

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The Admiral and my younger daughter have no real interest in this hobby but my teenage daughter thinks it's cool. She asked me recently to make her a model. She doesn't want to wait the years for me to make anything very big so I'd been looking for something small.


I'd seen the Woody Joe builds from Clare Hess and Bob Riddoch and liked the look of the boats. Then in one of Clare's posts he showed the mini version of the Yakatabune he is building. It looked perfect for my daughter. I checked with my daughter and she really liked it as well. I also mentioned as an added bonus, the wood would smell good - that sealed it for her.




I ordered the model from ZooToyz.jp, with shipping it was $48. It took less than a week to arrive from Japan. Clare had recommended ZooToyz and I would agree with him that the service is excellent and the owner is very helpful (I also purchased a saw from there last month). Here is the link to the kit - http://zootoyz.jp/contents/en-us/d67_Woody_JOE_Wooden_Sailing_Ship_Model_02.html#p1685


The model is small; 210mm long, 49mm wide, and 57mm high. The wood is Japanese Cypress and does smell really good (my daughter spent a couple of minutes just inhaling the scent!).  The kit is multiple sheets about 1mm x 30mm x 210mm. The laser cutting is very clean with minimal char. It also comes with a stand, brass nameplate, paper screens and lanterns, and a single length of brass rod. As with other Woody Joe models, the instructions are in Japanese and very well illustrated. There are only 21 steps on 12 pages.  It is supposed to take about 8 hours to build. I expect it to take me 2-3 weeks. I will be using Clare's and Bob's build logs for guidance.




I've already started thinking about some minor bashing - I can't seem to help myself doing that.




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Welcome everyone and thanks for your support.


I'll try and make the log interesting  :).


This will be my first build of a laser cut kit (other than Chuck's Serv-o-matic), my other build was die-cut - this is much better. The char is very light and the picture on the box looks like none of it was removed. I think I'm going to take it off very carefully where necessary. 


I still haven't decided whether to put this in a case, it would help keep off the dust and would be a very small case to make. 


A couple of changes I'm considering are new screens (these are printed paper in the kit) and maybe an interior light (I think my daughter would like that).


Thanks again,



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Steps 1-3


Added the stem extension and sides plus the counter at the stern. I used a couple of Lego blocks to keep it square (the blocks again give an idea of size).






This is I think the easiest part of the build.


I've been doing this in between bathroom painting, grocery shopping, and burgers on the grill  :).


Now it's 8pm where I am and time to see if I can do a bit more tonight.



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Step 4


My first problem. I managed to break the small tab on the keel post-12980-0-91696300-1439173695.png three times. Twice when dry fitting and once gluing the bottom of the boat on.


My hands are a bit clumsy; when pressing down on the keel, I flipped it to one side and broke the tab. After the third time, I gave up and added some 1/8" square basswood to the sides of the keel for support. This made fitting the bottom easy. Someone a little less ham-fisted should have no problems.


Step 4 is now complete  :)








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Step 6


The lower deck is complete.




Step 7


The main upper deck is also in two parts. The planks are defined by laser etching. Too avoid any problems with the planks separating, I glued some paper on the reverse side.





To provide extra support, I also added some small blocks to the bulkheads.


post-12980-0-82804500-1439343938.png (this is before final shaping)


Step 8


There are 3 pieces (1 aft, 2 forward) to complete the deck.





Now comes the tricky part, the hull planking. The are only 4 planks but they will require some bending. Clare suggests soaking since the cypress can be brittle when dry. I'll probably leave this until the weekend.



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Steps 9 through 12


I've managed to get some work done.


The planking is pre-cut to shape and laser scored at the bow to help with the moderate bend.





I soaked these for about 20 mins then fixed them in place with elastics bands and a clamp until dry.





The top planks are glued first. I fixed each set at the same time to avoid any warping.




It's beginning to look like a real boat  :)  :)




I've also ordered some miniature LED lighting for the interior. I'm not sure if this will work - we'll see later.



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Thanks Bob, not up to the level of your Higaki Kaisen but not too shabby :)


And thank you Patrick. I am enjoying this build and it's going a lot faster than my other one!


I received the LED lighting stuff today. 




It contains a 3V lithium battery holder and switch along with 2 very small LED's (I've circled one of them). This is small enough to fit inside the deck cabin, although I'll have to build some scaffolding. These came from http://www.true2scale.com/battery-holder-and-switch-for-3v-led-lights/


Only a little bit done so far this week. This is back school time for my wife and daughters so "real life" has interfered a little.






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Hi Richard, sorry I'm late showing up here. Didn't see your blog until today and you're already so close to being done! 


The lights are going to look great on this kit. I have one of the mini-yakatabune kits on the shelf and I'll have to check out that source for the LEDs you posted. Looks like a perfect solution.


Your model is coming along beautifully – I think your daughter is going to be very happy with it. 



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Thanks Clare. I would never have found this without you  :) .


I'm not so sure about being close to done though! I'm still working out the lights, the cabin screens, and the base. I'm thinking about putting the battery and switch in/on the base to avoid damage to the model during use.



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I managed to get some stuff done over the weekend.


Step 13

Just some sanding of edges ready for -


Step 14


The - I don't know what you call it - rudder support? and the - other piece? - at the bow  :)




These have the first metalwork. A single length of brass wire is supplied. The pieces were cut to length and the ends sanded flat.




Steps 15 and 16


Then carefully (!) added the rails. Thank goodness for laser cutting!






I really pleased with the results so far.





See you next time.




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Thanks Patrick, Grant, and George and for the likes.


Patrick, I'm just going to add 2-3 coats of wipe-on poly. I think that'll be best.


Step 17


Is the stand. I'm going to be replacing this but will use it for now. It's needed because the rudder is deeper than the bottom of the boat.




Step 18 (part 1)


The rudder.




After making this I noticed there was a small hole at the top. There is nothing in the instructions showing this being used. So went to Clare's "Big Build", and the hole is there as well and is used for a rope (to raise and lower the rudder). You can see this here http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10860-yakatabune-by-catopower-woody-joe-124-scale-small/page-3#entry333749


If I can find some suitable thread, I'll add this as well.


The oar, cabin, and outside lanterns are the only items left in the kit. I'm still working out the scaffolding for the lighting. 


So not too much more to do :) .



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  • 2 weeks later...
I didn't do much last week but with the extra day this week I managed to make some progress.


Step 19


The cabin. This is 4 wall pieces with printed paper screens.


post-12980-0-72291800-1441681338_thumb.png post-12980-0-69362200-1441681337.png


I reinforced this for two reasons; I knew I might have difficulty gluing it without breaking something, also the cabin will be removed to control the lighting.




Step 20a


The cabin roof. This is a laser cut lattice on a thin sheet.post-12980-0-67419600-1441681693.png


Step 21


The cabin is supposed to be glued into the deck opening. I added a couple of supports to the deck to set the cabin to the right level. So this is how it looks now.








I was going to use a couple of coats of wipe-on poly but having broken one of the cabin windows doing this, I've decided to use a brushed on matt poly instead. The laser-cut edges are a caramel color, this I initially planned to remove but decided this was impossible given the delicacy of the pieces. I've used a Varathane touch-up marker to cover up the where the "sprues" have been removed.  


What's next


The only remaining item from the kit are the lanterns (Step 20b).





I have (just about!) started a new base and the lighting support. 





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