Building Woody Joe’s “Hobikisen” Mini-Kit

The Hobikisen is a unique type of side trawling fishing boat that operated on Lake Kasumigaura, northwest of Tokyo. As with most mini-kits produced, Woody Joe’s mini-hobikisen isn’t particularly detailed , but it makes for a really nice looking model that’s simple enough to build that you could do it on a weekend, depending on how nicely you finish it.

You can buy one from the online seller Zootoyz here:

If you really like mini-kits, you should also check out Woody Joe’s mini-yakatabune, house boat, and their mini-utasebune, another type of side trawling fishing boat used on Japan’s norther main island of Hokkaido. Both are also available at

Ship Modeler


As a mini-kit, there is not much of a story to tell about building Woody Joe’s Hobikisen kit. I’ve given an out of the box review already and beyond that, it’s just a matter of several hours spent on building the model over the course of about 10 days. As I mentioned before, I got this and the Utasebune kit through Zootoyz as soon as I found out that the kits were released.

Starting the build was easy and I got through the first half of the 12-page instruction book in a just a couple hours. As with my Higaki Kaisen kit build, I chose to treat the beautifully aromatic Hinoki wood with a wood dye mixture using TransTint wood dyes. A bottle of this stuff is pretty pricey, but it goes a long ways. I have three colors I mixed for the Higaki Kaisen and I used a…

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