Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 8

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.

Stern structure added to the model. Note that all the doors have been added to the model. I simply taped them into place from the inside at this stage.

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 7

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.

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 6

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…

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 5

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.

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 4

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.

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 3

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.

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 2

I’m taking it easy on getting this new model kit started. Last time I posted, I really only had cut out the initial parts I needed and then dry-fit them together. This week, I glued together the basic hull frames, using machinists squares to check and set alignment. I used Titebond wood glue for this work.

I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I wanted to do with the bow and transom pieces. These pieces have holes in them that alignment tabs in the keel piece will lock into. The thing I don’t like about this, is that they are then visible on the finished model. As far as I can tell, there are 5 tabs total that will be visible on the completed model, as designed.

Since I’m dying the wood, these tabs shouldn’t be as noticeable as on a kit built straight from the box. Still, I’ve considered solutions, and one is to thickness sand the bow and transom pieces down by 1mm, then use 1mm sheet wood to cover them. The covering wood will have no holes in it, so no tabs will be visible. In order that everything still fits together, I will have to file the tabs down by 1mm. Continue reading

Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 1

The Atakebune is the subject of a new kit from the Japanese wooden kit manufacturer Woody Joe. It’s something that I, Kazunori Morikawa of Zootoyz, and a few others were actively petitioning Woody Joe to produce. There was hesitancy on their part as there is actually very little solid information on the construction of these largest of Sengoku Period Japanese warships.

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Atakebune Kit Now Available

Woody Joe has officially announced the release of their new Atakebune kit. This kit is based on the model at the Saga Prefectural Nagoya Castle Museum, which is located near Fukuoka, Japan. That model represents a large Atakebune, which was the largest class of warship used by the Japanese armies during their warring states period.

The 1/100-scale kit sells for ¥38,000, which at the current exchange is about $335. Woody Joe will begin shipping the kits to resellers this coming Sunday, October 31st, but you can place your order now.

Japanse online hobby deal Zootoyz has the kit listed here: https://www.japan-wooden-model-kits-zootoyz.shop/contents/en-us/p25066.html

From the kit photos, the model looks a little on the simple side, but that just leaves room for some good detailing. As posted before, the dimensions of the kit are: Length 490mm Width 230mm Height 310mm (overall, including oars and stand).

I have two kits on order, which will hopefully arrive within a couple weeks. I’ll post a brief out of the box review when I get them. Ω

Atakebune – Japanese Warship Kit in Development

At last, it’s happening. After some enthusiastic petitioning by Kazunori Morikawa, myself, and others to the Japanese wooden model kit maker Woody Joe, it appears the company is actively developing the prototype for an Atakebune.

Museum model of an atakebune

For those who don’t already know, the Atakebune is the largest class of warship used by the Japanese feudal armies of the warring states period. These lumbering ships were effectively floating fortresses. While they were equipped with one large mast and square sail, as well as a  single bank of oars, they were often towed by smaller warships.

Museum model of a large atakebune

I’ve had a number of people ask me about the availability of an Atakebune kit. Up to now, there hasn’t been much  available in the form of a well researched scale model kit. But, yesterday, Woody Joe posted a photo on their Facebook page, announcing that they’ve started working on a prototype model.

The new model is 1/100 scale, and it’s only a prototype, so we won’t know if it’s going to go into production yet. I’m a bit disappointed that the model is not 1/72 scale, as that scale would then match Woody Joe’s Higaki Kaisen and Kitamaebune kits, plus it would then be compatible with 1/72 samurai figures that are currently available.

However, a 1/72 scale model would almost 40% larger than a 1/100 scale model. And, considering these were large ships, that would be a big kit that might be harder for company to manufacture. Also, such a large model may be less appealing in Japan, which is their primary market.

I don’t know any more details yet, but will post them as soon as I learn more. Ω