I must confess that I haven’t done much on the umibune model itself. I’ve mostly been working out details on how to make or modify figures for it. I’ve been using wire frames, modifying plastic figures, etc., trying to develop some skills that will work for me. More on this later.
I’ve also been testing out a way to make the large square sail for it. It’s a little different from other sails because sails weren’t made from cloth at that time in Japan. Instead, they were made from straw mat. They were heavy and bulky and you certainly didn’t want to get them wet. I’ve been looking at how these have been modeled on museum models and one large scale 1/10-scale model that someone sent me photos of.
I’m still experimenting, but if things work out, I’ll post the results.
What I did manage to complete was a display base for the model. Since I had embedded brass tubing inside the hull, I simply needed to make a stand with a pair of short brass rods which would fit into the tubes to stabilize the displayed model.
I decided to go with a very simple block-style base to contrast against the boat’s long, rounded log hull and structure details. Cherry wood would provide a nice contrast against the light color of the model wood. I had cut a couple blocks that I’ve been using as a temporary stand, and decided to incorporate them into the new base.
I have a large table saw and wood planer and all, but I decided to be lazy about it and just bought a piece of 1/2″ thick pre-milled cherry board 5″ wide at the local Rocker Woodworking store. I did cut this down on my table saw to a nice length of 13″ and put it all together and gave it several coats of semi-gloss spray lacquer.
The stand serves its most important task of raising the model up high enough that there is room for the rudder and oars to hang down.
I recently discovered that there are a few rails where the beams aren’t tied, so that’s probably my next task. Once I’ve worked out the issue with making figures, I’ll get back to working on the sail and the stern structure.