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Old 06-27-2017, 05:19 AM
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Papierschnitzel Papierschnitzel is offline
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Ships of the Sengoku period (feudal Japan)

After my exploration of Japanese castles I was asked about ships for that period. So I did some research and found the design for the ships very interesting. Very different from the sleek European ships of that time but with a very distinct shape.

I decided to focus on the kobaya, a swift scouting and boarding ship and then the larger sekibune and the mighty atakebune. The latter two look very similar, both a mix of a ship with a big block of a house-like superstructure on top. The one having a pointed bow and the other a flat bow and a little house on top of the house :-)

For details and research you can read up the wiki and I also recommend the Osprey book Fighting ships of the far east 1.

I made some renderings as a starting point.

Here you see the basic types: pointed bow and blunt bow.


And here is an overview of the three ship sizes I plan. In order to have a modular set of ships I decided to go with three sizes (small, medium and large) and the two version (pointed and blunt bow). These types with the superstructures will allow for most ship types I have found during research.

Like all my models sets they will be in scale for 25-30mm minis printed at 100%.

So my first prototype of the basic boat form looked like this.


A good start except that it looked nothing like the Japanese boats! So after further studying and finding a blueprint somewhere on the internet I managed to get this shape, which resembles the typical shape much better.

This image shows the medium size boats.


For the big ship types I have added a rib structure, so that the ships form stays true and also to make it gaming ready (esp when placing loads of metal minis on deck!)



So these are the sizes I got so far.


Next up are the superstructures. For the medium kobaya it's a smaller defense wall and for the sekibune and atakebune I need to make the big houses.
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Old 06-27-2017, 07:58 AM
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Outstanding work on these ancient Japanese ships!

Don
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:25 AM
elliott elliott is offline
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This is proving already to be a fascinating thread. Gonna read the wiki article in a bit.
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Old 06-27-2017, 10:00 AM
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For some exciting views of Japanese and Korean Sengoku era ships in action, I recommend The Admiral: Roaring Currents (The Korean title is Myeongryang - which is the name of the battle depicted in the film, not a literal translation of "roaring currents," which would be something like 갑자기 흐르는 전류 [gapjaki hureuneun jeonryu]).

Here is the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PBIHkKi0wM And a pretty good discussion of the film at Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ad...aring_Currents

Here is a description of the battle of Myeongryang Strait: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Myeongnyang The battle is also described on page 38 of Stephen Turnbull's Fighting Ships of the Far East 2 https://ospreypublishing.com/fighting-ships-of-the-far-east-2This is the second volume of the book mentioned by Papierschnitzel, above.

The Admiral is, of course, Yi Sun Shin, but no turtle ships took part in this particular battle and only one, being destroyed by sabotage, is shown in the film.

My wife and I recently audited a course on Korean cinema at Dickinson College. Roaring Currents was the first of the films we watched as part of the course. Great fun, and a reasonably accurate depiction of the battle, although some of it is rather over the top.

Don
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:06 PM
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Thank you Don, that are some amazing shots even just in the trailer. Have to see if I can get hold of that movie here.

Chris
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Old 06-27-2017, 12:08 PM
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Incidentally, none of the craft on either side was armed with a 20mm Oerlikon.

Don
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:18 PM
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Don, I recently worked on a theme park ride based on the battle and the leadership of Yi Sun Shin. One of the "over the top" incidents in the film (which is, as you say, a lot of fun ) was the -ahem- remarkable sharp shooting ability demonstrated by the Japanese. I think the film is available on one of the streaming services, Hulu or Netflix.

Derek
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Old 06-27-2017, 01:43 PM
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Well done!
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:43 AM
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I have been working on the superstructures for the boats.

For the big boat I have made a quick test just to get a feel for size and potential assembly challenges. Once this gets more thought and good texturing it should make for an impressive sekibune or atakebune (depending on which underboat you use).

Here you have it on the flat bow ...


... and the same on the pointed bow version.


Also later I need to add the little house and the mast to make it complete.

For the medium boat, I have already worked to a more advanced level. These "fortifications" seem to be mounted on a structure that is extending over the sides of the ship. From the pictures I have seen, I am guessing that the rowing oars are put in water through the spaces between the ship wall and the shielding wall.

I have seen a couple of version. I will be doing this low wall version and then - once the unfold is final - another version as shown in the renderings above, where there is a framework of sorts where they would drape cloth to catch arrows being fired at them.

This is the medium boat superstructure on its own ...


... and in place on the boats.


I am still tinkering on the best unfold solution to make for the easy build and tolerating small errors and different paper weight used.

I tried out how many figures I can put in one boat (This is an older prototype without the crossing bars)


I could not try that for the big boat as the structure I have now is very weak. But to give you an impression of scale I put all the boats together. I think the big boat will be a nice centerpiece and could be an eye catcher on a gaming table or display shelf!


Now I need to get serious with the large boat superstructure! The design is quite simple but as it is very large I need to work with parts, larger than one page, so I have to use a similar overlap gluing design approach like I did with the large levels of the Samurai Castle.

In my mind I am dressing my white prototypes with texturing ... and they look great
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Old 06-30-2017, 10:22 AM
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This all looks good. You are definitely capturing the look of the 16th century Japanese watercraft.

The image of the bunch of creatures in the boat with the Gandulf-like wizard and the Lego coxie reminds me of the images of the shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Good Fortune) who are often portrayed in a boat. It also reminds me of a typical sushi boat.

I am looking forward to seeing your development of these historic Japanese ships and craft.

Don
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