Sunday, 12 September 2021

Treasure Junks

I am terrible for leaving projects half-finished for ages. And this is one of them. I started writing this blog post over a year ago when I decided that what my scratch-built ship collection really needed was some massive Chinese treasure junks. As I did each stage of the build process, I took photos and uploaded them to this draft post. And halfway through the project ... I stalled. So this post has sat in draft form since June last year, and three ships have sat half-painted for that time as well.

Today I finished them!

So here we go. This is how I made some Ming Dynasty treasure junks.

I used the larger lolly sticks for these models. I wanted them to be as big as was practical for my table. They are 60mm long and 15mm wide - about twice the dimensions of my other ships. But I used the same layered construction.

The pencil marks were for positioning the masts.

I wasn't quite sure how wild to go with the masts on these ships; some reconstructions show a considerable number, some of them side by side. I opted for six masts in the end, with a pair towards the stern.

Here's one of the ships next to a galley, so you can get an impression of their size.

I added some superstructure made from card. With hindsight I think I should have added more, and that's still a possibility.

Then I undercoated them.

Most reconstructions showed the junks being colourful, so I went with that. This was the start of the painting. And I added some sails made from scored craft-paper.

And that's basically how they sat for over a year. I had painted most of the details, but the sails, final detailing and basing still had to be done.

Today I did that, and here's the finished models.

Again, here they are with one of my European ships so you can get a feel for the size.

Now it's time for them to set sail ...


  1. Fantastic work there KK. I particularly like the dragon you’ve applied to the stern on one of them. Well done.

  2. Always good to complete a project. I do like these and the other ships you have scratch built in your collection.


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