Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interesting and modelable workboats

Micks Tug

On my trip to London, I ignored the proper tourist locations for a stroll around Docklands. As I wandered, I snapped some interesting work boats that would make interesting models either for radio control or tucked in a corner of a model railway.

The first is Mick's Tug Services. The normal 7 foot (actually 6 and some inches if I remember right) wide hull with traditional cabin but much shorter than normal - possibly a cut down narrow boat? I think it was around 20-25 feet overall. At the front there is a raised metal fender for pushing. On the sides a couple of winches and at the rear a couple of tiny towing bollards.

Installing Art

Near Canary Wharf, some art was being installed in the water. The boat is a nice rectangular pontoon hull with a cabin at the back and hiab crane on the front.

I didn't get the chance to measure this one but the width appears to be 15-18 feet and I would suggest that the name "JML 39" on the back indicates 39 feet long. As a modelling proposition, it would be a pretty simple scratchbuild, especially if you are working 1:12 scale when Macs Mouldings could sell you the crane as a kit.

Open Workboat

Finally, the simplest of the lot. An open runabout parked up near the skyscrapers and near the Museum of London Docklands, presumably to pull rubbish and bodies out of the water. The front slopes under the box in the bow but apart from that we are looking at a slab sided hull.

6 feet wide and about twice as long, even in 1:12 scale this would be "interesting" as you've nowhere to fit the radio gear and power. Tucked in to the corner on a model railway waterway though, the boat would be quick and easy to build but make a lovely little detail area that would please visitors.

One question though - how do you empty it of rainwater?

Anyway, I have a few more shots of each boat if anyone seriously fancies making a model of any of them. I'd also be interested to know more about each if anyone has more detail.


James Finister said...

I can't offer specific comments on the boats featured, but PaperShipwight, who I believe is alsoresponsible for the Bantam tug card model you mentioned a few years ago, has this small scale version of the second sort of workboat available to download free

The LMS had some very short canal tugs - see towards the end of this page

Phil Parker said...

What a fantastic site. I see there is another Puffer to add to the models list too.

As for the Bantam - well, after Christmas there may be some movement on that and perhaps another research visit to carry out as well.

James Finister said...

Oh, and here are the details of JML 39

It looks rather good at speed!