Updates on the progress of the Atakebune model are long overdue. The project has been continuing, and I’ve done quite a bit. But, I’ve been quite slow on writing posts. So, I’ll try to get partially caught up here, but I’ll probably need to write another post soon to finish catching up.
Back in August (2021), I discovered Japanese boat builder and artist, Mr. Tomohiko Ogawa, who had written several posts on his own blog about his research of a couple wasen in the Kyōto area. One was a type called a Sanjikokku bune (三十石舟), a famous type of river transport for passengers and cargo between Kyōto and Ōsaka. This type was well known to me, so his post on the subject caught my attention.
However, I soon discovered another subject that he wrote about, and that I wasn’t specifically familiar with. And, it soon became clear that this second boat was of a style that I had been very curious about. The boat was a small boat used for fishing and for lotus viewing on the old Ogura pond in Kyōto. It was of a style called a kensakibune (剣先舟) or sword-tipped boat, so named because the hull planks came directly together at the bow, with no stem in between, forming a sharp tip, shaped like the tip of a Japanese Samurai sword. Continue reading
I got somewhat ambitious this week before Christmas, putting together two new slideshow videos on Youtube, the most recent one being posted just yesterday. The videos show the build processes of the Himi Tenmasen and the Hozugawa Ayubune models. Each also connects the model to the full-sized boatbuilding project that it’s based on, which of course are works involving boatbuilder Douglas Brooks, who provided me with his notes on the construction of the boats.
Yet, another brief progress update, so soon after the last one. It seems I’m having fun and feeling more comfortable with the changes I’ve been making on this new Woody Joe kit. Here, I’ve gone through test fitting the box structure shell and then seeing how well it will mate with the lower hull.
Another brief progress update. I’ve been busy with planking the upper deck and adding add the smaller beams to the lower hull. This has been really nice, because this kind of construction is just a process you follow. Doesn’t really require much thinking, altering or planning. It’s a bit more Zen…
This week, I finally decided to invest a little money into this site, moving it from a free wordpress site to a paid one, so I can make some improvements to it. The first of those you may notice is that the ads should be gone now. I never see them myself, so I have no idea how annoying they might be to visitors.
The next thing I did was that I made a gallery page that has all the wasen models I’ve done, all in one page. This was in connection with a suggestion a friend had about sending out a list of all my wasen models. Now, I can easily do that by just sending a link.
You’ll note that I now have a slightly rearranged menu, with the new Wasen Mokei menu closer to the front of the menus since there are now enough completed models to give more emphasis to the completed models rather than to the build logs and blog posts. They’re all there, it’s just a matter of order, really.
The gallery I initially had for other builder’s models still exists, but now relabeled Models by Others, and can be found under the Wasen Mokei menu, right after Models by Clare. Anyway, I do need to do some self promotion here, and I was thinking about creating a site to show my completed models. But, that seemed too much, hence the modifications to this site.
This is all part of the long range goal of making this more of a resource site for those looking for information on wasen, their history, construction, and models, and less about what wood I’ve glued together this week. The blog entries will continue though. So, if your here just to see wasen models going together, there should still be plenty of that.
I’m still looking to share about any wasen models being built by other people. So, please let me know if you’re working on something. Click here for contact info.
Today’s is a brief update. I’ve started adding the plank onto the main deck. For this kit, Woody Joe has opted to provide 2mm thick planks for the deck. I suppose they are so thick, because the sub-deck they are glued to is pretty thin.
While deck planking mostly runs across the width of the ship, the first pieces to glue into place actually run the length of the ship. To make sure that these run correctly and fit well, I temporarily taped down some of the pieces provided that will have to fit in between them first.
As you may recall from my previous post on this build, I was mentioning the planking of the deck of the “steering well,” for lack of better term, that’s at the rear of the large top deck of the Atakebune. After expanding the slot in the deck for the rudder, I extended the slot into the back wall. I then commenced planking the deck using some 1mm thick wood I have on hand.
Now, you may notice that the upper part of that back wall is missing too. That’s because I want to create an extended wall that rises up through the deck and separates the main deck from the little section aft. This is a feature that appears commonly on larger Japanese watercraft I’ve studied, namely the bezaisen like the Kitamaebune and Higaki Kaisen. The reason for the separation is mostly because is wall is really the “main” wall. The area behind this is more of an add-on extension.
Detailing of the Utasebune model continues. It still doesn’t show much change, but I’ve spent many hours on it. The primary addition are the mortise cover plates that line the hull.
As with other models in this scale, I’ve found that I could use my Silhouette Cameo 3 vinyl cutting machine to produce permanent adhesive backed vinyl to simulate the copper plates that would have covered the nail mortises on the real boat. These would darken and might actually turn a greenish hue. I think these were sometimes painted with coating of lacquer to protect the copper. On my model, I used a dark brown vinyl to simulate the “old copper penny” look. Continue reading
I’ve spent quite a bit of time working out some of the modifications I’m going to be making on this kit. Some things that I might like to do would require some re-engineering and re-fabricating some of the wooden parts, so I don’t know if I’ll go that far here. Of course, I have a second kit, and I make try those ideas there. But, for this model, most of the modifications are going to be fairly simple.