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Tug Hermes 1/150 - Finished

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I wanted to try a tug, but smaller than the 800mm or so of the kits I could find - I like the look of the Occre Ulises, but not the size!


I found some plans for the Hermes, a German tug of 1923. I've reduced them to 1/150 approx, which gives a length of 285mm. There will be some modifications:


She'll be single-screw not twin, for a couple of reasons: I just think it looks better, and for the machinery space.


Which leads to the second mod: she has two cutouts on deck as you can see, and she'll have lift-off deckhouses to show interior detail. The aft space is for a single reciprocating engine (hence single-screw) and the fore space for boilers; I think the original was diesel, but steam will give more scope for details. Also, the compass platform is to be removable, to show the bridge interior.


Also, I may build more in timber rather than steel plate, which I think may be more in keeping, but this is open to revision.


The attached pictures show the plans; the raw material (a piece of left-over building timber); and the hull as at present, part-way through filling/sanding. The deck openings will be lined, probably in card, so the unfinished interior sides aren't very important although I will tidy them up; the openings are about 5mm larger than the opening in the deck planking will be, to give the impression of depth. Note the German dictionary in the first two pics: I need help identifying the Pilzkopflufter (9 of them) and the single Verspannung Schornstein.





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  • 2 weeks later...

Things got delayed: I didn't have any thin ply for bulwarks, and the model shop was out of stock. I couldn't do the decking until the bulwarks were in; I couldn't finalise engine-room and boiler-room and their deckhouses until the decking was in, I couldn't start on the bridge until the boiler-room deckhouse was set in the decking.


I did a bit on the engine-room, and started on the boiler-room, and now I can check the thickness of the bulwarks ply I can cut a "shelf" to inset the bulwarks into the hull for a few millimetres to give some stability, as I hope you can see (yes, the hull needs cleaning up).


Next is to tidy the hull, and cut and fix bulwarks. I'm not sure about the reverse camber of the poop area, so I'm going to do a section at the stern first, about 40mm long each side probably, then the rest of the bulwarks. There are some complex curves, so probably several attempts with card profiles etc! 


I got some today so we're off again.



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Hi Owen


Your hull's looking really nice! Well done. I also like your engine room....which, couldn't have been easy at only 3 cms in length!


Good luck with the rest of your build and I look forward to following along.





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Bulwarks cut and fitted. I was quite pleased with the sharp end. And I was quite pleased with the blunt end. I'm not pleased with how they join up: somewhere I've got the profile wrong, not absolutely sure, but I think it may have been the "tumblehome" of the rebate I cut for the bulwarks. I ought to redo them, but the error is symetrical and doesn't show too much, and I'm afraid I'll make things worse if I try to repair it.


First two photos show the hull and the problem area towards the stern.


The next two are the near-finished boiler-room components which need pipework which I can't fit until the boiler-room is fitted out; the engine room; and the lower bridge - note the Captain's day-cabin with bed, and books on the desk! The rear compartment is supposed to be a Bo'sun's Store, but it's too small to show the cans of paint in there (only white, buff and green so far, plus some paintbrushes  ;) ).


Next job is to paint the insides of the bulwarks and start the decking, which needs to be integrated with the bridge, boiler-room and engine-room and is likely to be slow going. I'm planning to fit a centre (king) plank first, then carefully cut away to fit, then add side-planks and cut/trim as I go. I'll fit the bridge and boiler- and engine-rooms after the kingplank is down, once the centreline is solid.





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She's progressing slowly; I'm finding it more difficult than I expected to keep things neat at such a small scale. The deck is planked with about 15 foot (scale) lengths, but my skill isn't up to doing scale width, so the planks are 4mm which is about 24 inches scale. There's still a lot of sanding and finishing to do, but I've started on the bridge superstructure.


I'm disappointed that the engineroom is almost invisible under the decking when the deckhouse is removed - for any future work, I would make the deckhouse larger area to show more detail inside. The boilerroom is very stylised, but there's a front-fed boiler with a rear smokebox and exhaust, a safety valve, whistle pipe, and on the starboard side a condenser.


I'm going to complete the bridge next; as it is intended to be removable, I can get it as right as my skills allow, then remove it for safekeeping while I finish first the hull then the deck fittings.




The cut-off exhaust from the boiler and the whistle pipe should line up with the funnel when that's fitted to the deckhouse.






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Hi Owen


I really like what you're doing. It sounds like you're thoroughly enjoying this build, which shows with the details that you're putting into the hull, engine room and superstructure.


I look forward to more updates, so please keep them coming!





Edited by Omega1234
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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I've been doing bits on the bridge superstructure, more dolls-house than marine engineering and slooooow!


The bridge is done; the glazing was a pain. I can't find any glue that holds the acetate securely, so I ended up using glazing bars to hold it in place - and with the windows 4mm high that was time-consuming. I've also added a rubbing strake and surround for the hawse hole, and scuppers.







The bridge interior needs some finishing - I have to make a wheel, for instance.






The boiler and engine appear to be at an angle; I don't understand enough about photography, because they don't look like that in real life!




Next major items are the two ladders from the maindeck to the bridge, with treads 5mm wide and 2mm deep. Then to finish and paint the bridge deck railings and start on the deck furniture. I'm glad I've got a loupe!



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  • 3 months later...

I've been remiss at posting updates, sorry for the lack of continuity - it's been due to a bit of ill-health, several family visits where everything had to be tidied away, holidays (it IS the British summer, or rather it was although it's chilly and pouring with rain today) and generally just pottering.


It's been fiddly towards the end, with many short efforts which never seemed to be worth photographing. I've finished now, I think. As I said, I've adapted the plan to make her steam single screw rather than diesel twinscrew, and I've simplified some bits to allow for the dismantling, notably the rigging and aerials. I'm attaching a strip show!


In the third photo, note the atlas on the chart table, so the captain doesn't get lost.


On the fifth photo, note the captain's sea cabin with dainty red-and-white eiderdown on the bed, and his desk. The room at the aft of this deck is the cabin and bridge stores, for essential items such as maps and the captain's grog.


On the sixth, if you look carefully into the engineroom you can see the control panel on the port side.


I enjoyed the build, working out the mechanics for opening it up, and it was nice and cheap - the only expense was for a propellor and two anchors, everything else was from the scrap box plus a lump of door-frame for the main hull!


My next project is the Constructo Louise, which has been waiting patiently under the bed. I'll try to keep up a log more regularly.




Edit: I've made a mess of the photo order - rats. The chart table and atlas is the 5th not 3rd, sea cabin is 3rd not 5th and engineroom is 2nd not 6th. Oh, well....








Edited by owend
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Hi Owen


I've really enjoyed seeing your tug coming together. I reckon you've done a great job! What I especially like is the fact that you've added heaps of character and individuality to your ship, as witnessed by the atlas, maps, etc, etc. The engine is a nice touch, as well.


You should feel justifiably chuffed!





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