Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why do I love ugly things?

On Monday, Hornby announced their new range of models. Which one do I want?

The Crosti 9F. Easily the ugliest locomotive in the range.

When I wandered abound Limehouse Basin in London, among all the lovely boats, which was my favourite?

This one:

Ugly Barge

20 feet long and with an exterior to maximise interior space, this is like a baby budgerigar - so ugly only it's mother could love it. Its mother and me that is.

The thing is, I don't know what. As I looked around, there were plenty of other beautiful boats but this one stuck out. It probably should be there. The neighbours almost certainly wish it would take its sad, algae-stained carcase away. I'm glad it doesn't.

Ugly Barge 2

Even as I looked at this down-at-heel vessel, I was planning how I could preserve it in miniature. At 1:12 scale it would be 20 inches long - I measured it with my feet at about 20 feet, maybe 25. That's a pretty tiny model in this scale.

The hull doesn't look complicated. There's plenty of space to put all the radio gubbins and not much exterior detail to slow up the build even if it were pretty detailed.

Obviously I want to know more. Any canal buffs reading?


Odds said...

Phil, I think you'll find that called a "Caraboat". The idea being it's a trailable narrowboat. Inside they're surprisingly spacious. Rather Tardis-like. My friend had one and I signwrote it for her as a thankyou for doing us our first boaty Christmas when we bought Heather Bell. Hers had the luxury of an inboard Bukh diesel, but yours will need an outboard. Are such things available any more? I have an old MFA one off an MFA raceboat, with a 380 motor.

Phil Parker said...

Martin - Thanks for this. A quick search found this post:

and a whole lot of interesting links. I fancy building a model even more now.

James Finister said...

Not a Caraboat - that was actually more rounded. Almost definitely a product of Wilderness Boats but not one of their more attractive models. I think it might be a Water Rat.