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Harbor Tug by CDW - Revell - Box Scale - Plastic

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This will be a build thread for the venerable old Revell Harbor Tug injection molded plastic kit. My copy of the kit is from 1979. I am uncertain when was the last time Revell released this kit. Mine was found on Ebay a couple of months ago for a very small cost, around/about $10 plus shipping, so less than $20 total.

 

The model has all the shortcomings of vintage plastic kits...a lack of good detail, lots of flash, ejector pin marks, and other minor deficiencies. Having said that, the kit was/is a fun build and I can recall building the model long before 1979 so it is definitely long in the tooth. As I go along in this build, I may decide to scratch build or otherwise improve on glaring deficiencies, but as much as possible I plan to build it box stock and not make a long drawn out project of it, keeping it fun and not like work.

 

Way back in the day, plastic model kits were often "box scale", not designed to any particular popular scale but more pragmatic, just to fit inside a specific size box. I am pretty sure that is the case with this model. When you look at the parts laying on my build mat, you can see the crew figures are about 1/2" tall and that the grid on my build mat is 1" square, so I guess the model is approximately HO scale.

 

Lets get on with looking at the kit box, the parts inside the box, the instructions, and the little decal sheet. First the box:DSCN2045.thumb.jpg.b630942e323e1db22b16e6e33b534d13.jpgDSCN2047.thumb.jpg.9ffa25676f9bd2e3e78f965e5e194d77.jpgDSCN2048.thumb.jpg.4689a6201ca0d0ea94f5a95228dfc2d0.jpg

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Nice to see you taking on this kit.

 

The last time I built it was about twenty five or so years ago as a 2 channel RC boat. Had a lot of fun with it for a couple of years pushing larger models around on the pond and towing small barges. Then one day a guy was hot rodding around the pond and ran right over it and down it went in about fifteen feet of very murky water! :( Bought another kit to make a replacement but never got around to building it.

 

I do think that the new decals are way wrong though. This tug design is VERY American, even possibly very east coast American and I don't think there would be much chance of seeing that design in London. Someone from the other side of the pond may have better information than I do though.

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1 hour ago, lmagna said:

Nice to see you taking on this kit.

 

The last time I built it was about twenty five or so years ago as a 2 channel RC boat. Had a lot of fun with it for a couple of years pushing larger models around on the pond and towing small barges. Then one day a guy was hot rodding around the pond and ran right over it and down it went in about fifteen feet of very murky water! :( Bought another kit to make a replacement but never got around to building it.

 

I do think that the new decals are way wrong though. This tug design is VERY American, even possibly very east coast American and I don't think there would be much chance of seeing that design in London. Someone from the other side of the pond may have better information than I do though.

With the micro servos and RC equipment available today, making this a working model like that would be cheap to do. A very small lipo battery and brushless motor could power it.

 

Way back when you and I first built this model, it looked like this:

s-l1600.thumb.jpg.6d0b0c65d84a2d13742cc7d331b549ad.jpg 

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That's the one. The Long Beach! Itt had been so long I forgot what the name was!

 

I didn't do much more than replace the rudder with a Kort nozzle made from a slice of white plastic plumbing. That made it manuver better than it would have with a rudder. I even kept the plastic prop, but I did glue it to a piece of brass rod for a shaft. Then I disassembled one servo and used the motor as the drive motor and the remainder of the servo electronics as the speed controller. The other servo was just a standard servo and four AA batteries for power. It was pretty simple really. Oh I did make a plastic combing around the inside of the opening where the cabin sat as there wasn't much freeboard as is typical of tugs.   

 

You are right, using micro servos for at least the rudder would make things a little easier weight wise.

 

Either way you need to replace the bow bumper with something other than that plastic thing in the kit! 

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The kit is a model of a DPC Tug built during WWII.  They were built on a rush basis due to the number of tankers being sunk off the east coast of the US early in WWII.  The tankers being sunk created severe shortages of fuel oil for heating in the NE so these tugs were designed so that barges could be pulled closer to shore or in the intercoastal waterways where the U Boats couldn’t get to them

The Office of Defense Transportation planned 100 Diesel tugs of 85’ x 24’ x 8’ and 500 barges and turned over the designing and superintending the construction of this fleet to the Philadelphia district office of the Engineer Corps, US Army.  The plans called for 100 identical tugs in order to facilitate the construction as ordering 100 of each component would simplify the manufacturing and later the servicing of the boats.  This also shortened procurement time as it was critical to get the tugs into service as soon as possible.

In October of 1943 the Defense Plant Corporation placed an order for the Engineer Corps, US Army for the Defense Plant Corporation (DPC) for 100 diesel tug boats.  The order for the 100 tugs was divided into contracts to six shipyards with individual contracts from a low of 4 tugs to a high of 42. 

The Long Beach shown on the kit box was based in LA and was a DPC tug as indicated by the pilothouse being squared up rather than round for the ease of production.  There was also the Los Angeles another DPC Tug that was essentially identical to the Long Beach - only the name boards were different.

The photos are of DPC tugs - The Becky E is shown under conversion to a live aboard in Lemont, IL.  The head on of the pilot house at dawn is Miss Laura in Duluth and the Tipperary is also in Duluth.  The Long Beach is shown following the Los Angeles.

Kurt

 

IMG_1122.JPG

Miss Laura - pilothouse front-fixed.jpg

Tipperary DPC 86 w-Kinsale inBufalo.JPG

Los Angeles w-Long Beach behind.JPG

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22 minutes ago, kurtvd19 said:

The kit is a model of a DPC Tug built during WWII.  They were built on a rush basis due to the number of tankers being sunk off the east coast of the US early in WWII.  The tankers being sunk created severe shortages of fuel oil for heating in the NE so these tugs were designed so that barges could be pulled closer to shore or in the intercoastal waterways where the U Boats couldn’t get to them

 

The Office of Defense Transportation planned 100 Diesel tugs of 85’ x 24’ x 8’ and 500 barges and turned over the designing and superintending the construction of this fleet to the Philadelphia district office of the Engineer Corps, US Army.  The plans called for 100 identical tugs in order to facilitate the construction as ordering 100 of each component would simplify the manufacturing and later the servicing of the boats.  This also shortened procurement time as it was critical to get the tugs into service as soon as possible.

 

In October of 1943 the Defense Plant Corporation placed an order for the Engineer Corps, US Army for the Defense Plant Corporation (DPC) for 100 diesel tug boats.  The order for the 100 tugs was divided into contracts to six shipyards with individual contracts from a low of 4 tugs to a high of 42. 

 

The Long Beach shown on the kit box was based in LA and was a DPC tug as indicated by the pilothouse being squared up rather than round for the ease of production.  There was also the Los Angeles another DPC Tug that was essentially identical to the Long Beach - only the name boards were different.

The photos are of DPC tugs - The Becky E is shown under conversion to a live aboard in Lemont, IL.  The head on of the pilot house at dawn is Miss Laura in Duluth and the Tipperary is also in Duluth.  The Long Beach is shown following the Los Angeles.

Kurt

 

 

 

IMG_1122.JPG

Miss Laura - pilothouse front-fixed.jpg

Tipperary DPC 86 w-Kinsale inBufalo.JPG

Los Angeles w-Long Beach behind.JPG

Love the photos Kurt.

 

OC.

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1 hour ago, CDW said:

With the micro servos and RC equipment available today, making this a working model like that would be cheap to do. A very small lipo battery and brushless motor could power it.

 

Way back when you and I first built this model, it looked like this:

s-l1600.thumb.jpg.6d0b0c65d84a2d13742cc7d331b549ad.jpg 

Another very interesting build to watch  - I will of course bring a chair  and the food requirements.

 

Oc.

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Thank you Kurt. The history and particularly the photos help me a lot! Seems I remember reading a little about this long ago but had forgotten.

Being nautically challenged, please tell me what these are called (see highlighted items in the photo)?1278802232_itemid.thumb.jpg.d0c66afa4ea7ba43bdd613341c46cfe7.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Old Collingwood said:

Another very interesting build to watch  - I will of course bring a chair  and the food requirements.

 

Oc.

Pack a small lunch or snack, OC. I plan to make this one as short and sweet as possible. Don't want to get OCD'd or otherwise carried away with it. Will try to make it look presentable, but not go overboard.

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10 minutes ago, lmagna said:

I am of course not Kurt, (He is better looking and obviously smarter than me) but the part you are pointing out in your picture is a vent I believe.

Oh yeah, a vent makes sense. The model has several of these molded onto the superstructure. I will sand away the molded ones and scratch build those. Some of the molded on details look pretty crappy on this kit to be honest about it. It's gotta go.

 

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The hull had the typical raised letters used by Revell and others in that era to indicate their copyright date.

The main deck had raised details that needed to be removed along with some other extraneous and unsightly irregularities. After cutting those away, I had some gouge marks that needed a quick swipe of Tamiya White Putty then a sanding after the putty dried.

The deck was then attached to the hull with Tamiya thin liquid cement and held in place to dry with rubber bands.

 

I believe those removed raised details (mostly coils of rope) will be easy to recreate with appropriate sized thread and will look much better at the end of the build.

DSCN2057.thumb.jpg.e48d118e305b151614ecd2e1bb9f2705.jpgDSCN2058.thumb.jpg.0eefb15f0bb7689728e33cd7d9dfad51.jpgDSCN2060.thumb.jpg.f883672404a3bf8c0e7c86346cec70de.jpgDSCN2061.thumb.jpg.5102fb189da641475cadcfc92baef1a1.jpgDSCN2062.thumb.jpg.f9acebdf82724ba32b94c498fbc2d88c.jpg

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I shot some flat white Tamiya paint reduced with alcohol as a primer on the hull and deck, and on the bulwarks.

The halves on the bulwarks were glued together before they were primed and will be installed after the main deck has been painted red. The bulwarks will be black. This will help avoid a tricky masking job on the bulwarks.DSCN2082.thumb.jpg.dfbd572deb6d684e4f359fbadaf5cbe5.jpgDSCN2083.thumb.jpg.9bde32f3a0a4f6289eed222284277c84.jpg

DSCN2084.jpg

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After the Tamiya White primer, the hull bottom got 2 coats of Tamiya Hull Red reduced with Mr. Color Leveling Thinner. Above the water line will be black.

Prior, the rudder support was glued to the hull before adding the rudder and prop shaft bearing. Some Tamiya fill and sanding was needed on the hull-rudder support join. To be expected on an old kit like this. Fit is often sloppy.

I will look through my spares box to try and find a replacement prop. The prop supplied with the kit looks horrible.DSCN2087.thumb.jpg.dee9b5912baca6e5e162736865ed5742.jpgDSCN2088.thumb.jpg.c476d1244bf0bc389ede189e2cf93e9c.jpg

 

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My color scheme for the tug will be a black hull and bulwarks, red upper deck and lower main deck, white main superstructure, red bottom and white top upper superstructure, red railings, yellow and black funnel.

Everything will be weathered and detailed to look like a well worn tug. Will probably use a fictitious name of my own choosing for the boat with waterslide decals of my own making. 

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DSCN2090.thumb.jpg.60cbad92e1fc0f79c1c4cad6863fbd77.jpgDSCN2091.thumb.jpg.78efa70a9df4087f78e19d463796cc34.jpgDeck is Mr Color Acrysion red + Mr Color Leveling Thinner, bulwarks are Tamiya rubber black + Mr Color Leveling Thinner. Bulwarks are just sitting on deck, not cemented in place yet. 

DSCN2092.jpg

Edited by CDW

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Great work Craig

 

Just a couple of notes if I may. The normal prop for most tugs of this type would be a four blade prop not a three like supplied in the kit if I remember correctly.

 

Also while the main deck and sides/bulwark are often worn and even dented in the case of the bulwarks especially around the stern where they are quite often very close to ships and barges and such. The upper works on virtually all tugs are kept pretty pristine as a matter of company pride.  

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