If you’ve been following my blog, you might have read this one about the Hozugawa downriver boats: Wasen Models in Miniature – A Hozugawa Downriver Boat
I’ve since added a few details to the model, modernizing it slightly, with the addition of iron reinforcement brackets and a full complement of poles and oars.
I also added the loops to the hull which hold the paddles and steering oars in place when running down the river.
I wasn’t able to get official measurements on these, so I had to rely on photos and estimate the sizes. These are the sizes I came up with:
Sao (pole) – 18 shaku
Paddle (2) – 9 shaku, 7 sun wide blade
Steering Oar – 20 shaku, 7 sun wide blade
Pushing Pole – 9 shaku
Recently, I got myself a miniature shaku square about 3 sun long, so I didn’t actually need to convert to metric, like I sometimes do. Scaling down to 1/40, these come out as:
Sao – 4.5 sun
Paddle – 2.25 sun, 1.75 bu wide blade
Steering Oar – 5 sun, 1.75 bu wide blade
Pushing Pole – 2.25 sun
Since the poles are very thin, less than 1mm diameter at scale, I had to resort to using brass rod, which I sprayed with Tamiya Surface Primer, then finished off with a mix of acrylic paints.
At one time, before the arrival of motor vehicles, the boats ran down river and were manually hauled back up the river by the boatmen, who wore harnesses attached to long ropes. I’ve considered adding rope coils, but my model, with it’s iron fittings and fittings for seating clearly suggests it’s from a later period. So, it probably wouldn’t make sense to add them.
Earlier boats had removable beams to make storage easier. These had a more unfinished, rounded look, and did not have iron fastenings. Douglas Brooks suggested to me that the iron fastenings were likely added to the beams so that they could be used to more easily lift the boats onto trucks for their return journeys.
So, short of adding a platform to the inside bottom of the boat, which would be removable anyway, the model is done. The path is now clear to move on to finish another project in the wasen mokei boat shop!