About catopower

Ship modeling since 1993.

The Return of Seawatch Books

Some very good news for ship modeling book collectors and scratch modelers alike.

Ship Modeler

Good news for scratch modelers! Seawatch Books, which brought us amazing titles by David Antscherl, Rob Napier, Gilbert McArdle, and others is back up and running under new ownership.

The previous owner, Bob Friedman, has been talking about his retirement for some time now, and earlier this year, the store went off-line pending sale to a new owner. Apparently, the early attempts at selling the company didn’t work out. But, then ship modeler Mike Ellison came along and saved the day, and the site just officially went live.

Perhaps one of the best known titles from Seawatch Books is the 4-volume series, The Fully Framed Model, HMN Swan Class Sloops 1767-1780.

To celebrate and to offer my support, I’ll probably pick up a title. Right now, I’m leaning toward either the book on building HMS Sussex, by Gilbert McArdle, or the two-volume series The Ketch Rigged Sloop Speedwell of 1752…

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HSPMS In-Person Meetings Restart

There’s good news for the Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights. With things opening up again in San Francisco, we’re going to start our in-person meetings again!

The bad news is that the gangway on the Eureka has been pulled due to tidal conditions, plus it will be relocated for repair later this year, so we won’t be meeting aboard the Eureka any time soon. Instead we will be meeting at the Bathhouse building, otherwise known as the Maritime Museum building, with our first meeting scheduled for Saturday, March 26th.

Meeting from 2018

The building doesn’t officially open until 10am, but there will be someone to let us in early. Our Commodore, Paul Reck, says we’ll meet up in front of the building between 9am and 9:30am, and we’ll call someone to let us in.

This will be the first in-person meeting we’ve had in over a year. Hopefully, people will bring projects to share and discuss. We’re also hoping that some new people will come to inject some new ship modeling interest into our group.

Please post a comment if you are interested in finding out more about the group or about attending our meeting!

 

Bomb Vessel Granado Cross-Section Plans

This ought to make a nice first plank-on-frame scratch building project. Plans are for a large 1:24 version or a small 1:48 version. How about something in between? Like 1:32? You’ll have to scale them yourself, but that should be easy since these are simply Internet downloads.

Ship Modeler

Recently, I was looking at some offerings from the Chinese kit manufacturer CAF Model. They are one of the few Chinese kit manufacturers that have worked their way off the piracy/do not buy list that’s maintained by the Nautical Research Guild and followed by many ship model clubs. What caught my attention, specifically, was a heavily engineered kit of a 1/48-scale cross-section of the bomb vessel HMS Granado.

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Wye River Models

Have you heard of this American boat model company? I don’t know how long they’ve been around, but their models look really nice and reasonably priced. Might be worth checking out!

Ship Modeler

This weekend, I just ran across a model boat kit manufacturer on the Internet. Their website shows that they have quite a large number of kits of American workboats in large scales of 1/4″=1′ and larger.

Looks like they have 15 different kits, including: Box Stern, Chesapeake Bay Bugeye, Chesapeake Bay Buy Boat, the charter fishing boat Breein Thru, a Hooper Island Drake Tail, a Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe, and many others. The prices are very nice too. Of the 15 kits they offer, only five of them list at over $100.

Wye River Models’ Chesapeake Bay Bugeye, 1/4″=1′ scale (1:48)

Wye River Models’ Smith Island Crabbing Boat, 3/4″=1′ scale (1:16)

Wye Rivers Models’ “Virginia” Round Stern Workboat, 1/2″=1′ scale (1:24)

Never having built, or even seen one of these kits, I can’t vouch for them, but from here, they look really nice. Until I’ve actually seen one of their kits…

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The Return of the SF Maritime Research Library

Ship Modeler

Today, I drove into San Francsico to make use of the recently re-opened Maritime Library of the San Francisco Maritime Research Center. It was really nice to see the place again after more than a year away. And, truthfully, I haven’t made use of the library for a while, even before the Covid shutdown, so it’s been longer than that for me.

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A Day of Display at the SF Asian Art Museum

In October, HSPMS member Clare Hess showed off his Japanese boat models at a one day event at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Sunday, October 17th, was my first display at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and it went pretty well. It was a bit stressful getting everything together in time, but once I had all the models displayed and was talking to people about them, it was pretty relaxing. The event was just a one day showing, and there were many other things taking place as part of the event.

I had 10 of my completed models on display, and I decided to bring several models that I had in early stages of construction, so I could show how I build them. Information cards provided visitors with the basic information about the model and what it represented. There was a lot of information I had to leave out in order to fit the text onto those large index cards.

Behind the models, I displayed what artwork I could find that showed the…

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There’s a New Titanic in Town

The newest wooden ship model kit release from the Spanish manufacturer OcCre isn’t a sailing ship, but the infamous RMS Titanic. Looks like both our local Ages of Sail shop as well as Model Expo are getting ready to carry this kit, as they’re both listing the kits on their sites now.

Ship Modeler

Last month, I learned that there was a new Titanic kit from OcCre. It’s now officially released and soon to appear in your favorite ship model shop. Now, I have to admit my first thought was, do we really need another wooden Titanic kit? We have Mantua, Amati, Billing Boats, Woody Joe… and now OcCre. But, after looking more closely at the published details of this kit, I’m thinking this kit actually looks pretty good, and it’s at a lower price point than others.

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