Rencently, the Japanese ship model society The Rope Tokyo, released newsletter number 111. The group seems to be as active as ever, though they have been forced, as have we here in the States, to meet via Zoom. Naturally, this impairs certain activities, but they seem to be doing well. In fact, as of this writing, their 46th annual exhibition is taking place for one week in Tokyo.
Of particular interest in this issue is the second part of a USS Susquehanna build by Mr. Kiyoshi Takanarita, who based his model on the Gilbert McArdle’s book, published by Seawatch Books. Also, an article about Mr. Magnus McLeod of the UK, and his modeling of the HMS Royal Oak.
The book by Gilbert McArdle
You can download the english language edition of The Rope News, No. 111 here.
Or visit the Rope Tokyo’s Newsletter Archive here.
HSPMS member and commodore Paul Reck recently shared some photos of his current project, the Wanderbird. The boat was originally built in Germany as a pilot schooner for the city of Hamburg. The former owner of the boat sailed it around Cape Horn in 1936, then continued around the world. His son commissioned the model.
The hull of the model was constructed from lifts made of Monterey cypress.
Clare Hess is currently building a model of a simple 25-foot long riverboat from Niigata prefecture, Japan. The boat’s hull is built from 5 pieces of wood. The 1/10-scale model is made from Japanese cedar and is based on a boat that was built by Douglas Brooks and Japanese boat builder Mr. Nakaichi Nakagawa in the Fall of 2019.
The latter model build is being documented on the builder’s website here: https://wasenmodeler.wordpress.com/category/wasen-projects/honryou/
Learn the basic techniques of proper hull planking through this kit and instructional blog on the MSW online forum.
From the NRG’s website
This, from the NRG: Whether at a club meeting, at the Nautical Research Guild (NRG) Conference or on Model Ship World (MSW), one of the most frequently asked questions is “how do I plank a hull”. In response, the NRG has developed its first kit: a half-hull of an 18th century merchant ship. The purpose of the kit is to teach the novice model builder how to plank a hull the way it was actually done in the shipyard.This process is known as spiling.
Image from a blog post by Toni Levine, NRG Director, and creator of the project.
The kit created for this project is available direct from the NRG’s website. It includes the necessary materials and a link to a downloadable set of step-by-step instructions.
The kit is available for $65. Members can receive a 20% discount using the discount code NRG20OFF. The price does not include shipping, which is $10 in the US.
More information and a link to the store page can be found here:
Online seller Ages of Sail, which is located just down the Bay from us, recently announced some changes to their Amati kit pricing, with some very welcome price cuts. Many of the Amati kit prices seem to be cut 13-15%, but a lot kits are cut 30-40%, with some, like the cutter Lady Nelson from Amati’s Victory Models line, being cut by more than 48% – nearly half off the old pricing.
Amati is well known for some classic ship model kits, like HMS Bounty, the Robert E. Lee, and Columbus’s ships of exploration, as well as it’s Victory Models line of kits, like HMS Pegasus, HMS Vanguard, and the bomb vessel Granado.
The price cuts make Ages of Sail more competitive with other popular online seller of ship model products, and makes it much easier for those of us interested in building one these beautiful kits. Ω
Member Paul Reck has officially declared his model of the American Revolutionary War gunboat Philadelphia complete. Paul has been working on this scratch built model for about 2 years. The model is built at 1/2″ scale (1:24) and is based on a very detailed 16-sheet set of plans he purchased from the Smithsonian.
The cannon and swivel gun barrels were turned from wood.
Furled sails and awning were make from silkspan.
Philadelphia was one of the boats built by Benedict Arnold on Lake Chaplain, New York. In October of 1776, the Philadelphia and a collection of other newly built boats faced an advancing line of British ships. While the Philadelphia was sunk and the Americans were forced to retreat, the British advance was stopped.
A photo of the early stages of construction taken at the September 2017 club meeting. Paul’s is a plank-on-frame model, but all his framing work is hidden by the hull planking.
Paul points out some of the fine details given in the Smithsonian plans.
For more information about the gunboat Philadelphia, visit the following link to the Smithsonian’s web site: https://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/gunboat-philadelphia Ω
Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member Tom Shea brought in his completed New Bedford Whaleboat model at our meeting last month. Tom completed the model last year, but realized he hadn’t brought it in to a meeting in its completed form.
There were some 60,000 of these boats built by for the American whaling industry. They were sturdy boats, but put to very hard use and had life spans of not much more than three years. Today, maybe two dozen survive in maritime museums.
Tom’s is a 1/16 scale model based on a kit from Model Shipways. The kit is an excellent one, featuring plans and instruction book developed by Erik A. R. Ronnberg, Jr. Tom constructed a special stand that the boat sits upon and displays the all the boats oars, which are each sized differently depending on the rower’s position in the boat.
One of the most difficult parts of this kit, according to Tom, was all the small details of all the hardware carried by these boats, including harpoons, lances, compass, rope tubs, and more. In the last photo shown below, there’s even a knife in its sheath sitting on the stern platform.
Tom chose to give his model a dark, weathered finish, which really gives a feel of an old well used whaleboat – a beautifully done model. We’re all hoping it will end up on display in our ship model display cabinet outside our workshop on the Eureka. Ω
Hyde Street Pier Model Shipwrights member Paul Reck has been going to town on a French bomb ketch he’s been building from a discontinued Amati kit. He’s been building it for a friend of his and has only had the kit since November. So, he’s clearly been really going to town on this model.
The kit, listed as Nave Bombarda, is a 1/75-scale plank-on-bulkhead kit of an 18th-century ketch-rigged bomb vessel. He got the model from member Leo Kane, who hadn’t started the kit yet, and who originally bought it from Ages of Sail. Sadly, the kit is no longer in production and is difficult to find now.
Paul sent these photos along, but we haven’t seen the completed model in person. I’m hoping that we’ll have a chance to get a better look at it at the next meeting of the shipwrights, which is this coming Saturday. I think everyone’s going to be amazed at how Paul did such a beautiful job in what’s probably not more than 6 month’s time!