Here is a short WIP update on my Revell tugboat build. I bought this kit ten years ago, because I loved the picture on the box. After opening the box, I quickly realized that this is a very old kit. However, I started building it, but quickly abandoned the project. Fast-forward to 2018, when I started cleaning up my stash. I gave away many half-ready and unopened kits to friends and their kids, while keeping only a handful kits for myself.
One of them was this tugboat. It is indeed a very old kit, but it is a great practice project. (according to Scalemate´s database, it was released first in 1955!) It is not mentioned anywhere, but after a quick online search I figured out that the ship is a model of the 86-foot army tugboats built around 1944. It is not the most accurate model and many of the details are simplified. The deckhouse is quite long, I think on most of the tugs it was shorter, but I have seen photos of similar tugs with this longer type as well.
I decided to sand down the details molded on the main parts (such as axe, lifebouys, rails etc) and rebuild most of them from scratch. The hawser rack was made from Eduard´s photoetched metal net.
There are two main challenges in the build. The first is the very low quality molded rope parts, for example rope coils on the deck or the bumpers. I decided to make these parts on my own. Luckily, my wife loves knitting and crocheting, so I had the basic tools needed for this kind of job. I made my own, miniature “Strickliesel”, which a tool used to teach kids the basic crochet techniques. It can be used for one basic thing – making long coils. Just as the side bumpers of a tugboat! For the front bumpers I used her small weaving frame and the same model boat rope as for the side bumpers.
The second challenging part is the handrails. These are almost 1 mm thick injection molded parts, with a lot of flash. Basically unusable if you want to build a proper model. I replaced them with Albion Alloy microtubes. It is a very fiddly job and requires proper planning, patience and good templates to prefabricate the parts.
The modular buildup helped a lot, I am able to work on the main parts simultaneously. I decided not to go for the usual red/black paintjob. Some of these boats ended up in Europe after the war, so there are other options than that very common red paint job. I decided to build it based on an existing ship (Cornhill, ex-army ST-767, Newcastle), but in imaginary German colors. So, in my what-if world the tugboat got the name Anna and she was used in Hamburg.
I am almost finished with the projects, and most probably in a few weeks I will be able to share the result with you here.
12 attached images. Click to enlarge.