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Fune by Alexandru - FINISHED - Japanese ship of 1868 - scale 1:50

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Hello,

 

I decided to start another small project as a side summer project to my Victory to break a little bit the monotony of drilling holes and nailing the main deck.

 

As I just returned from a very nice vacation in Paris, from where I bought the three volumes of the book "Souvenirs de marine" by Vice-Admiral A. Paris (reprinted in 1975 by "4 seigneurs") I decide to build one of the small curious ships that he (or his son) measured and made the draughts while voyaging around the world late 19 century.

 

Some of the strange things about this ship I've noticed so far (which I discovered by reading the book, was common practice in Japanese shipbuilding at the time) are:

  • no keel
  • almost no use of nails or anything iron - only wood treenails
  • square, hard wood masts in a single piece
  • ruder that can be brought up on the ship
  • use of very vide and long planks
  • no cannons even if this is a warship
  • different way of rowing - not even rowing in fact they were sculling 

Scale is 1:50 and the plans look quite detailed but there are not complete or very precise in al details - so I'll have to use my imagination sometimes. In fact I'm not even sure the ship is called Fune - might by Bune or Tune - a bit hard to decipher as this re-print is a identical reproduction of the hand written original book. I google it for images and found some with all  names.

 

Here is the progress I've done this weekend.

 

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Indeed... what John said.  I'm going to pull up chair as this should be interesting to watch.

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Hello Alexandru.

Nice choice of model to scratch build :)

Have got my chair and cushion ready for this build.

 

Regards Antony.

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Hello Alexandru,

 

A very interesting build! I've been in contact with someone who is building the Woody Joe kit that appears to be of the same subject. Would love to learn more about the actual ship's construction.

 

By the way, the name Fune is fine as it's just Japanese for "Boat". 

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I'll follow this one.

Interesting.

 

"Fune" is simply "ship", or "boat" in japanese.

 

As for the "bune" bit:

I've forgotten the linguistic term for it, but has to do with a first word of a compound word affecting the pronounciation of the first consonant in the word following it.

In some cases, "fune" becomes "bune" when in compound words. EX. "tsuribune" - a fishing boat.

 

Give me a holler if you need any help with anything Japanese related.

 

 

Sam

 

EDIT:

Sorry catopower!

I didn't notice you had already explained what fune means ...

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I'm a bit late to the party, so I'll just take a seat in the second row to watch this one. Looks like a fascinating project.

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Sorry catopower!

I didn't notice you had already explained what fune means ...

 

No worries, Sam. Good explanation of the spelling changes in compound works. I was going to respond to that, but I figured my explanations would just confuse the matter  :)

 

Clare

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Hello,

 

Here is another update on the Japanese Fune.

 

The progress was slower than I initially imagined. The ship only looks simple but it has a particular shape that proved quit difficult to plank using wide planks. Additionally I had to do some small planking around the ruder as later will be even more difficult. Also added two bulkheads in the hold and the mast step even if I am not decided yet if the hold will be visible in any way or fully closed. There are other few details in the hold that I might not do if I decide to close it.

 

Here are the pictures

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Hello Alexandru.

A very nice build.

An interesting hull shape and construction.

I also like the timber you have chosen for this ship. :)

 

Regards Antony.

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The ship only looks simple but it has a particular shape that proved quit difficult to plank using wide planks.

 

 

That ship was never going to be a 'cakewalk' with that unusual shape, Alexandru, but you're doing a great job of her.

 

John

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Thank you guys for appreciation.

 

Here are some question for you as I hit the first major roadblock in the construction of this model. Maybe someone can shed some light to overcome the missing information in these plans. Probably accurate information is not available (couldn't find anything on Internet) but at least some ideas of what a real shipbuilder could have done at that time.

 

As you can see in the first picture, there is a second mast on this ship and it is positioned just in front of what the plans'author calls the forecastle (gaillard avant in French in text). This mast passes between two stancions (montants) to which the mast is lashed. These stanchions also have a round hole at the top (green arrow) for a roller used the embark the main mast as can be seen in the second picture but also has some squate holes in it to act as a windlass.

Now, if the roller is in place the mast can pass between the stancions in the same position as in figure 1.

 

Then in the third picure showing the longitudinal section and the plan view - the mast is nowere to be seen. Not even the hole through the decks for it. Nor its mast step - there is one for the smaller mast fore. The roller is still there even with a front view detail (green box) described as: roller used as vindlass (rouleau servant de guindeau in French)   

 

Additionally the stancions look quite a distance apart: at the plan scale that will be about 1.5 - 2m which would be fine for the roller/windlass but way to far apart to lash the smaller mast placed between them to both of them.

 

So all this explanation for the first question: should there be a second smaller mast?

 

The solutions I've imagined are as follows:

 

1. There is no mast - I don't really like this option.

2. There is a mast there for which I'll add a mast-step in the hold and holes in the decks above

 

This solution rises several issues:

  • how the roller/windlas is taken out and put back when needed without removing the stanchions?
  • how can a relatively small diameter mast lashed to two stanchions so far apart?
  • how can there be two beams on the ship longitudinal axis to provide suport to the capstan (blue boxes in figure three) as they will be cut by the holes for mast passage?

The best scenario I came up with is as follows:

  • have a mast there
  • have a maststep in the hold and holes in the decks
  • keep the roller in place to be used only when the small mast is not there to embark the bigger one
  • roller won't be used as windlass
  • replace the two beams (one below and one above) holding the capstan by two pairs of beams one pair above and one below with a thicker piece of wood between them for capstan support - this way they won't be cut by the mast passage

Does all this makes any sense?

 

Well I hope so and hope someone will take the time to read this long post and come with some ideas or suggestions.

Thank you,

 

Alexandru

 

 

 

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Well, nobody came with any better idea than mine

 

Lots of expertise on this forum, mate, but not on Japanese sailing ships!! :)

 

You're still making great progress.

 

John

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Hi Alexandru,

this is a quite different construction to what I'am and probably most of us are used to, very impressive, even your speed of building is outstanding.

Looking forward to follow your excellent build!

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Hello Alexandru?

Still following this wonderful build.

You are making a perfect model and your joinery is excellent.

 

Regards Antony.

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Thank you guys for appreciation. 

 

Here are some progress pictures. worked on the ruder and the main mast. They both needed several pulleys which I made from brass. The mast is square in section and assembled from several pieces including a hard wood core. The sides and front are covered with a softer wood pieces with rounded corners.

 

Before finishing the upper deck I have to install the ruder which is kept in place by a system of ropes and pulleys otherwise I won't be able do do it. But before that I have several things to finish on the hull - one of them being the (decorative?) riband you can see in the last two pictures - on one side is done.

 

Thank you for watching.

Alexandru

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I've not seen a mast quite like that before. Thanks for sharing this unusual build with us. Your workmanship is superb!

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