Tug Forum

Specialist Types Of Tug Boat => Pusher Tugs => : sea monkey May 11, 2008, 14:31:25

: ATB x 2
: sea monkey May 11, 2008, 14:31:25
Have you seen one of these?
It’s the ATB Christian Reinauer from New York. It’s one of 3 sister ships that ferry huge fuel barges up and down the US east coast.
As soon as I saw a photo of the Christian on the net I had to build one. It has a unique really muscular look, conventional propeller/rudder arrangement (easy to make) and no winches (I’m always a little disappointed with my winches especially when I see the work of Stefan and others).
I began searching for information and that’s when the fun began. I could only find about a dozen low resolution images of the tugs. Being in New Zealand I couldn’t just turn up and take a few photos. I wrote to the designers, builders and owners. The designer is an avid model railroader so I thought he might help – no reply from anyone– twice. So I drew up some plans based on the photos I already had and began work on the hull.
Just as I finished installing the motors, etc. I had a great idea – I wrote to the ‘captain of the Christian’ care of the owners. He wrote back, intrigued, and was able to send a heap of photos showing various aspects of the boat.
One of his photos showed the boat in dry dock and it highlighted all of the errors I had made on the hull. None of my original images had shown below the waterline so I had based the hull on similar sized tugs. The new photo showed a deeper, hard chine hull and 5 bladed props. Back to the drawing board for a rebuild.
While I was psyching myself up for the rebuild I contacted the company again to find out who the Christian had been named after. And guess what – Christian Reinauer wrote back. He’s a director of the company and in charge of new boat construction. He was very interested in the project and was able to supply full plans. He even talked me into building a second Christian at the same time. Now the project had doubled.
I had a build log in mind this time and began again.  The model is 1/50 at 740mm (L) x 580mm (H) x 230mm (W). I use a 3.6mm ply keel/rib frame method, 1.8mm ply hull and superstructure. Unfortunately I have managed to delete the photos of the first couple of weeks work making up the hull frames but I’ll take some new shots showing the progress and post them after the weekend.
Don’t expect too much though. Although I love museum quality models mine never quite turn out that way. I’d appreciate any feedback on the build especially regarding the electrics.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 May 11, 2008, 16:14:50
Looking forward to seeing your progress Steve!
Looks like you've got a sale for the second one too! Well done!
Persistance does pay off, huh?

: Re: ATB x 2
: towboatjoe May 12, 2008, 03:46:09
Good choice. i'm familiar with the Christian Reinauer. I'm going to build the Dorothy Ann.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey May 12, 2008, 14:51:07
I wish I'd had that second photo before I started my first hull.
: Re: ATB x 2
: towboatjoe May 13, 2008, 04:26:00
I know what you mean. They're not exactly like a regular tug hull, huh!
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey May 22, 2008, 18:27:07
Well, got the build back on track, although making 2 a once has its good and bad points. The first time I do anything I can usually figure out a better way to do it on the second boat but doing everything a second time is very repetitive.
So far I've packed out the framing with balsa to give the hull plates something to grip on to. Glued on the plates and given the hull a coat of polyester resin inside and out.
When the hull sides are glued onto the frame it is incredibly strong. The polyester is really just to fill any gaps and add another layer of waterproofing.
This time I had used a cheaper grade of 2mm pine ply for the hull as it was much more flexible – and about 25% of the cost of birch. Unfortunately it gave out a lot of splinters (great fun) and one of the hulls warped as the glue dried. It's only a couple of mm so some resin and foamcore should fix it.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey May 22, 2008, 18:30:05
Gluing on the sides of the hull. You can never have too many clamps.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey May 22, 2008, 18:45:39
I make a pattern for the hull plates out of thin card before cutting it out of ply (first pic).
Both hulls used a lot more glue than I had anticipated. Luckily imported Chinese epoxy glues are about the cheapest of all of the materials and work well.
With all the hull plates secured its then ready for a liberal coat of polyester resin inside and out. I prefer polyester as the curing is more reliable and not affected so much by temperature. The resin was done in the basement over 4 evenings and the fumes caused a few problems. I tried to convince the family that the fumes were harmless but they weren't buying it. So now it's been banished to outside and weekends only – or when they're asleep (he he).
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 May 22, 2008, 18:51:13
Great progress :)
Personaly, I like the smell of polyester resin :o, but that's just me! ;D
: Re: ATB x 2
: TugMaster May 23, 2008, 01:32:00
great work there Sea Monkey

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey May 25, 2008, 14:07:39
Slow weekend. Straightened the warped hull with extreme use of clamps and plenty of resin and foam core (pic 4, starboard rear). So now it's a battle between physics and chemistry as to whether the warp will overcome the resin reinforcing. With the amount of resin I put on I'm backing chemistry.
Primed both hulls to highlight any areas that need more filling (plenty) and installed the guide tubes for the prop shafts. It's been quite cold so the drying times have stretched out and haven't been able to make too much progress.
: Re: ATB x 2
: bigford May 25, 2008, 14:14:04
there are about 4 barges docked around the brooklyn navy yard
for the Christian Reinauer. i've only seen her twice and both times
the digicam was home :(
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 May 25, 2008, 19:43:07
There are a couple of good pictures of the 'Nicole Leigh', which I think is a sistership, on flickr.com
Takes a while to find them though.

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 03, 2008, 22:05:06
Once again I've started making some progress.
The basic hulls are completed and the electrics, running gear, motors and steering have been installed. Everything is easily accessed with plenty of room, and can be easily removed. The electronics are raised up out of harm's way.
This part of the build has taken forever. I lost some enthusiasm and things ground to halt. Doing everything at least twice makes it feel like you're making no progress.
I'm up to speed again and the hulls have turned out OK. Even though they are underwater most of the time that they are out of the house I always think any imperfections in the hull really stand out. Especially to another modeller.
The props are 5 bladed Raboesch 65mm onto 2 x 540 motors. And, yes, some of the photos may have 2 right hand props – they are not attached permanently until the hull has been painted. I'll upgrade the motors when I have a sizable barge or can afford to. The steering is a very simple arrangement but it's worked fine for me on some other models. The rudders are  very large so it be very responsive.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 03, 2008, 22:17:17
The rear deck is very close to the waterline so the access hatch will screw down to form a watertight seal. If any water gets in the hull is so deep that it will collect quite a bit of water without showing it, and could quickly reach a tipping point. I've tested the seal and no problems so far.
After smoothing off the decks the side rails went up more easily than I had thought. The frames were super glued in using a jig to keep them at 90º. The side sections were then cut out of 0.8mm ply from a couple of cardboard patterns that were fine tuned to give a good fit. They were clamped while gluing and then the whole thing got a light coat of resin. This adds another level of adhesive between the frames and the siding, helps hold the compound curves and waterproofs and strengthens the rails – which can easily get damaged when transporting or carrying the boat. Then any gaps were filled and any rough areas sanded.
Next step is the the capping rails and the rubbing strips. The rubbing strips have 340 angle brackets on each boat and they are only 3mm x 3mm. I'll definitely need the glasses for that.
: Re: ATB x 2
: towboatjoe August 04, 2008, 03:40:27
Looks absolutely beautiful. Makes me want to start on mine.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Puffin August 04, 2008, 08:29:36
HI STEVE ; real niece work . Is your ply laser cut ,as I noticed that dark line on the edge of the plywood .

: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 August 04, 2008, 08:37:24
Looks mighty fine there!! 8) 8)

Lot's of work, those bulwarks, huh?

Cheers, and WELL DONE :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 04, 2008, 11:56:16
Puffin – they are laser cut – I'm a measure twice, cut 3 times kind of guy so the precision and labour saving really appealed. After I had drawn up the plans I contacted a few laser cutting companies and checked out the comparative costs. Compared to many nights of hand cutting out hundreds of complicated shaped objects it's not a bad alternative. The laser can cut a sheet 800 x 450mm up to 3mm ply. The detail achievable on 0.8mm ply is pretty good. I'm pretty good at the CAD part so drawing up the parts wasn't too hard. The drawing time and cost involved ($40 to cut a sheet, 5 sheets per boat) isn't too bad and it makes the build a lot quicker plus I get quite a few spares as well. And I could never hand cut some the parts as well as the laser.
The hull frames, decks, bulwark frames and most of the superstructure are all laser cut. Once cut the parts need to be washed and lightly sanded and they're ready to use. It goes together like a kitset.
Joe – I'm in Wellington, New Zealand, Google Earth 41º 18' 16.55"  174º 47' 59.23". How's your ATB coming along?
: Re: ATB x 2
: towboatjoe August 04, 2008, 15:53:00
I haven't started the Dorothy Ann as of yet. I just finished a barge for United Barge Lines and got a small crane flat and boat to finish. I'll probably get started on it this Fall. I'll be watching the way you do things since the tugs are a lot alike.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 04, 2009, 17:19:00
I just checked the date on the last post and I've been inactive for about 10 months. however I've recently dusted off the project and got back to work.
First job was to add the fender bracing brackets – 380 per boat. Even with a cutting jig it took several evenings to cut them all and several more to glue them.
The anodising plates are in place and the hulls are primed and ready for their first top coats.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 04, 2009, 17:24:02
All set to paint
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner August 04, 2009, 22:53:38
Welcome back sea monkey  ;)

I have just read all of this thread and am certainly looking forward to seeing your progress  :) :)

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Footski August 04, 2009, 23:17:48
I second Dans thought....Welcome back and keep the photos coming. A great build so far! :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man August 05, 2009, 04:00:35
Great work there. It is difficult to cut so many pieces exactly the same especially when they are side by side and any difference stands out. Yours looks like good little soldiers in parade formation. Nice job.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 August 05, 2009, 08:26:25
First class work  there SM :) :) :)

Looking forward to seeing more.....and it's great to have ya' back!!

: Re: ATB x 2
: Puffin August 05, 2009, 09:42:47
HI SEA MONKEY ; LOOKING GREAT . How expenceive isw it to have your plans laser cut . I does make a great job and does save hundreds of hours of cutting out .   Keep us posted on your progress .          PUFFIN
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 05, 2009, 20:35:54
I drew up the very intricate parts to be etched out of 0.3mm brass sheet: window frames, companionways, vents, louvres, grills, valve handles, etc. Doubled up on the bits I thought might get damaged in the build but I'm pretty pleased with the results – for a first time. I was a bit too ambitious with the air-conditioning unit intakes (blank circles, bottom left) – the aircon fans are in the centre. Two units per boat.
Next time I'll know how much detail the etching can hold. Might even try some double sided stuff like hatch plating and rivets, and thinner brass for the louvres so they fold easier.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Footski August 06, 2009, 00:28:57
Sea Monkey,

How about a class in etching? I am certain many of us would love to know how to do it... :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner August 06, 2009, 01:10:16
Sea Monkey,

How about a class in etching? I am certain many of us would love to know how to do it... :) :)

Thats a great idea for a new thread  :) I am certainly interested  :D

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Footski August 06, 2009, 02:24:25
If sea monkey agrees, he can post on this thread and I will split it for him.... :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man August 06, 2009, 03:06:11
WOW!!! that stuff is going to make your tug look great. Would agree that an etching class would be a benefit to just about all of us.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 August 06, 2009, 07:35:28
Now that's a very good idea :) :) :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2009, 21:44:43
Sorry guys, didn't mean to mislead you but I had help with the etching. I only provided the filmwork for this set. Although after watching a guy going through the process I am keen to give it a go, solo, at a later date.
Meanwhile the hulls have been finished, primed, the imperfections filled and smoothed and the rail capping strips and freeing port grills attached.
Some of the vents have also been put in place.
I gave it 3 coats of final colour so I'll only need to spot spray any nicks or scratches that appear while I'm attaching the deck equipment. Underside and deck are red oxide, hull black. The acute angle on the stern gunwales was fun. I'll paint the rubber fenders and white waterline strip last. Usually the painting is one the easiest task in a build but this one took ages to get right. Cold, damp, windy weather and night sight not what it used to be didn't help either. What I had thought was a good effort at night often didn't look so good in the hard light of morning. Eventually had to paint on weekend mornings so it took a couple of weekends to finally finish it.
Having the hull sprayed with the top coats now also ensures that I treat it very carefully.
Now on to the superstructure.

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2009, 21:48:39
I'm pretty happy with the brass grills. Just gave them a light buff before painting and no problems with paint adhesion of filling in.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Puffin September 16, 2009, 22:29:08
I'm pretty happy with the brass grills. Just gave them a light buff before painting and no problems with paint adhesion of filling in.
GREAT detail A+ for that .  puffin
: Re: ATB x 2
: Footski September 16, 2009, 22:38:06
Beautiful work so far...Keep it coming.. :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner September 16, 2009, 22:38:40
Excellent work, the detailing is first class  :)

Looking forward to seeing some more  ;)

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Kieran H October 02, 2009, 05:59:59
very accurate and clean brass work.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey October 05, 2009, 21:45:31
The hull is at the stage where I can now put it aside for a while and begin on the superstructure.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey October 05, 2009, 21:52:44
First job is to assemble the framework for the main deck superstructure and bridge tower .This is all 2mm ply so it's quite strong. The tower fits to the main cabin with a tab and slot system but I managed to get them slightly out of alignment so both have been removed. The rear door on the main deck will be hard to get at when the funnels are in place so I've put it in place now.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey October 05, 2009, 22:05:44
Framing for the curved front of the fire fighting deck.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey October 05, 2009, 22:10:56
Then the frames can be skinned up and primed prior to a couple of sessions of filling, sanding and undercoating.
Still need to sort out the 2/3 size access door on the fire fighting deck. The door fits on a flat section recessed out of the curve of the bulkhead. This deck is not full height – in the real thing all of the deck levels in the tower are different heights and none of the deck are parallel. It's basically just a big stairwell to get the bridge.
I'll put the door handles, access hatches and handrails on now but the glazing and frames will be one of the last tasks.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner October 06, 2009, 00:03:17
You have made an excellent job with the hull, it looks fantastic  :) Looking at your construction of the superstructure, it certainly looks to be very strong, and I am sure it will be finished to the excellent standard that you hull is  :)

Keep us all posted on the build please  :)

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man October 06, 2009, 03:11:00
Amazing work on the hull. It is almost a shame to put it in the water. The superstructure is coming along nicely too. Looking forward to your next post.

: Re: ATB x 2
: Kieran H October 06, 2009, 05:29:04
Looking good. liking the look of that superstructure.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner October 19, 2009, 22:30:20
Now that you have shown us how the real sized tug is constructed ;


Do you have any progress to report on your brilliant looking model ?

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey November 08, 2009, 21:01:58
Finished the tower structure and the basic funnels. The compound curve on the sides of the tower was 2 layers of 0.8mm ply and the radiused corners were balsa strips. Filled, sanded and primed several times. The funnels are not fixed yet as there lots of fiddly bits and painting to go between them.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey November 08, 2009, 21:18:14
A couple of weeks more filling and sanding later.
I've smoothed out the curves and cut the window holes. The windows sit out about 100mm on the real thing so the glazing and frame will go on top of these outlines.
Sprayed the base colour (International/Buff) and couldn't resist adding the red to see how it looked. Very traditional colours. The colours are an exact match to samples from the owner but the buff seemed very dark until I realised that all of my reference photos are in bright sunshine and from a distance.
Now that the base colour is down I can start adding a few details – pipes, air conditioning vents, etc. and then paint the decks.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey November 08, 2009, 21:21:35
Still quite a bit of work to do on the funnel stacks so they don't get attached yet.

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey November 08, 2009, 21:34:01
Starting to all take shape now. There is still the bridge/wheelhouse to add onto the tower but you can get an idea of the size of the thing.
It's pretty light and has a high centre of gravity, those big rudder should make it turn quite sharply. With that big area of superstructure acting like a sail it looks like it will be pretty unstable – hopefully the ballast will keep it steady.
Now it's back to work on the hull decks for the aft bulkhead, vents and bollards – the fiddly bits.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey November 08, 2009, 22:07:40
There are 44 guests reading this at the moment.
Why not join the forum. It's for beginners right up to some of the best modellers around but basically for anyone who enjoys making model tugs.
It's free and full of great builds, photos and some of the members now everything there is to know about tugs and models.
And they're friendly and helpful as well. I've picked up heaps of tips and advice from some the builds.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man November 09, 2009, 04:23:15
She is looking real good Sea monkey. You must have been filling and sanding for an age--but well worth it.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Kieran H November 09, 2009, 13:59:50
husky looking tug you built. like the color scheme sea monkey.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Navy2000 November 09, 2009, 15:01:48
Does any one have a link and a contact at the link to see if I may also be able to get a set of the plans needed to build a model of this tug as well. I built an ATB useing a Mr. Darby tug and now want to build one of the actual ATB's.


: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 November 10, 2009, 07:20:35
Lookin mighty fine there Sea Monkey :) :)

Keep up the good work!
: Re: ATB x 2
: Navy2000 November 27, 2009, 15:21:50
Well today I got a reply back from Chris and I will be getting my set of plans for the tug and the barge as well. I can't wait to get this project started after I get a couple of others done first. The other two projects are Naval models of large size in 1/96 scale. The models are that of a modern carrier and an Iowa class BB as they were during the Gulf War.

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 20, 2010, 15:33:47
It's supposed to be summer here but we are having the worst summer on record, Too windy to sail, too much rain to paint and temperatures half what they should be so the boat took a back seat while I jammed holidays, house maintenance and family into whatever half good days we had.
Now I'm back at work and back on the project again in the evenings 1-2 times a week.
The basic superstructure is complete and I've added the hand rails and the airconditioning ducts and drain piping. I enjoy soldering the rails – just these (port, starboard and fire deck took a night to make, another to fit and painting over 2 more. These photos are before painting. Slow progress.
The white doors at the lower rear are covers for the engine room air intakes. There are louvres behind them but in all of my research photos I've never seen them open.

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 20, 2010, 15:51:48
Also finished the aft deck bulkhead and deck supports. These slide in under the overhanging main deck. The 3 holes along the top of the bulkhead are for the deck lights.
This is where I came unstuck. I had planned to put in all of the deck lighting using 1.5mm/1.5v bulbs and 1.8 LEDs for the floodlights. All the lighting needed to be installed before I could assemble all of the superstructure. I made all of the lights – 14 deck lights and 6 floodlights for each boat. It was a nightmare wiring in the 1.5v lamps, they are tiny and very fragile. They are also quite dim but work better at just over 2v. At the last minute I realised that changing bulbs would be virtually impossible so I set up a couple of lamps for a longevity test. They don't handle variations in voltage too well and only last about 6-10 hours. 3v lamps are too big to work in scale so it was plan B. No deck lights, floods only. That was about 3 evenings work and back to square 1.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner January 20, 2010, 23:44:31
Thats is coming along very nicely Steve  :) Its a shame you will not be able to have deck lights  :( Are you sure there are no alternatives you could use ?

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man January 21, 2010, 05:07:13
Looking good!!! Glad to see you back in the saddle.
: Re: ATB x 2
: chipchase January 21, 2010, 11:35:00
You’re making a great job of that build Steve. 8) 8)
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 January 21, 2010, 19:44:56
Very nice work!!

Keep the info and pictures coming!!

: Re: ATB x 2
: Navy2000 March 03, 2010, 15:55:05
 cool Hey how is the build going? It's been a few days.

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2010, 21:39:39
Finally got back on track. After seeing how fast some you guys work I've given myself a deadline.
After a few months of no progress I've finished the funnels, installed the main deck bulkhead and got the hull, bulwarks & deck paintwork 99% finished.
It has been a real jigsaw puzzle figuring out the order to make and assemble the various parts. I'm always impressed by the guys on the forum that can just about finish a model before they paint it. I need to paint things like funnels, railing etc before I stick them all together.
The emergency ladders that go from main deck to the wheelhouse were easier than I had imagined.
I etched the pattern for the cage and ladders sides then rolled them around a piece of dowel to form the cylinder shape. I had planned it to fit around a 15mm diameter.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2010, 22:39:41
The curved cage forms a cylinder 15mm in diameter but the rungs run across the cylinder (easier if you look at the diagram).
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2010, 22:42:55
The ladder sides are bent out to almost 90º, the cage is rolled around the dowel, aligned and clamped. The spacer is used to keep the ladder sided parallel and as a jig for the rungs to sit against while being soldered. Once the rung is set in place then the spacer moves up the ladder to the next rung position. I had etched the rung holes in place so it was very quick soldering.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2010, 22:48:20
The filing was the most time consuming part. I needed 2 at about 230mm long and 2 at 100mm. Well 3 at 100 as I managed to step on one.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 16, 2010, 22:53:56
Funnels –straight forward.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Umi_Ryuzuki September 17, 2010, 00:34:17
Great work...   cool
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 17, 2010, 20:02:26
... and the ladder in place.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 17, 2010, 20:12:04
I've now started on the wheelhouses, railings, stairs and air conditioning units.
The hole in the wheelhouse floor is for the stairs down. The recesses in the console are for the radar monitors. The rear stbd window is angled in as there is another steering control there.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 17, 2010, 20:18:28
To keep the widows in place I needed a curved facia that runs around the top of the windows.
Glued and clamped 2 x 0.8mm strips of ply onto a simple jig. When dry they retain the shape and are extremely strong. I've dropped one several times and it has bounced.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 17, 2010, 20:22:04
and in place
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 September 18, 2010, 16:01:55
Real nice work :) :)
Good to see yer back at her cool

Those stacks are great!
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 19, 2010, 15:22:41
Now the roof – I want this to be removable so it will fit onto the wheelhouse like a yoghurt pot lit. I taped and glued 3 trips of styrene around the outside of the curved fascia and glued on the roof. Then attached the sun visor supports. When it was all dry and secure it lifted off and with a little sanding, goes on and off quite easily. It's a snug fit so it won't blow off on the water.
The sun visor is a reasonably complex curve. I cut out short strips of lightweight card to the width of the visor and taped them in place around the supports. Then removed them as one piece, traced around them on more card and by trial and error, after a couple of attempts it fit. I cut the final pattern out of styrene with a little excess that can be sanded away to produce a nice clean join.
In theory.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 19, 2010, 15:27:25
so far so good
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 19, 2010, 15:34:38
The wheelhouse interior is quite simple but busy with about 12 computer monitors, 4 steering positions, a large chart table and an internal stairway.
The next few photos are the chart table/companionway/air con shaft.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 19, 2010, 15:38:30
... and more
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey September 19, 2010, 15:44:11
Forgot to include the visor pattern photo.
The bottom of the wheelhouse stairs are a bit rough but they cannot be seen when installed and it was late so I took the fast fix option.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea.mariner September 19, 2010, 23:57:50
Looking really good Steve  :) Isn't styrene a wonderful material to work with (that will probably be a yellow card from the 'wood worshiper' Footski  ;D )

Regards, Dan.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man September 20, 2010, 03:49:09
Beautiful job. :) :)

Keep those pictures coming.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 20, 2011, 14:45:54
Unfortunately work, holidays and day to day life has kept me from making much progress but i have been tinkering away every now and then.
I've made lots of lights, vents, bollards, etc and glazed all of the window frames.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 20, 2011, 14:49:13
There are 38 windows on each boat. That's a lot of glazing. I must have redone half of them because I wasn't happy with the finish. And then when I started gluing them in place I managed to fog a few and had to re-do them too.
Happy days.
This is one boat's worth.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 20, 2011, 14:55:40
The work on the windows wasn't as bad as the railings. I had completed all of the railings – and there's a lot, when I realised I had made a basic error. I had made them all as 4 rails instead of 3. Not paying attention – again. It had taken ages to get that far, I was so p****d off I couldn't even work on it for about 2 weeks.
After calming down I got back onto it. I usually make up jigs to tape the rails to for soldering. Luckily I hadn't binned them so with a little adjustment they could be re-used. Groundhog day.
This is half of the railings for both boats. Still have the 2 tower deck, wheelhouse deck and wheelhouse roof railings to go.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 20, 2011, 15:16:06
One of the jigs in use.
This piece of railing was tricky. The brass strips only come in 300mm lengths and the total length of the lower (shortest) rail was 480mm, so it meant joining the rails - this can often be a weak point in the curve. The large diameter curve also left a lot of spring in the brass making any joins even more suspect. Even when all of the components were soldered firmly in place it still tried to straighten out. Joins still holding so far.
A while ago someone on the forum enlightened me to heat sinks when soldering. I can't remember who it was but it was a genius tip. A few 20c alligator clips give me much more control and time. Especially when the joins are close together or complex. The joins in the pic are for strength, they will all be filed back for better appearance.
I've now finished all of the railings – at last.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 January 20, 2011, 15:20:05
Now that's creative :) :)

Well done man!!

She's gonna be a real eye catcher when you're done!!
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man January 21, 2011, 04:29:24
Perfection comes at a price my friend and your work is a fine example. How much hair ya got left? ;D ;D ;D
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 16:44:58
MTM – Hair still hanging in there – just.
Finished the basic wheelhouse roofs minus radars, mast etc.
Also completed the ceilings for the interiors. The 6 white rectangles are the fluorescent light panels. The hole at the rear is for the air conditioning shaft. the 2 small holes on the side of the centre console are for support pillars. The gauges are photocopies.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 16:58:45
Now I can finish the wheelhouse interiors and seal up the ceilings and roofs. All of the windows are in place and the handrails are undercoated.
The main items in the wheelhouse are the huge chart table/air con shaft, the stairs to the lower decks and the control desk. The real boats seem to have double the number of computer screens you would imagine. Must be quite tight for space in there – and no place to make a coffee. The real interior of the Christian has TV and a couple of pot plants and looks as though it's had a hard life.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 17:41:47
The ceiling drops in over the air con shaft (A) and sits on the rails (B). Any gaps in the windows (C) got filled in with a final paint touch up on the frames.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 17:46:10
More interiors. Handrails undercoated, frames touched up.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 17:49:24
... and with the ceiling and roof in place.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 17:53:08
... and more
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 17:59:02
The navigation lights still need to go in, as well as the mast and radar arrays, etc.
The stairwell fit into a space in the wheelhouse deck.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 25, 2011, 18:16:52
Can't see much of the interior anymore now that the visor is shading it. Hides a multitude of sins.
Well at least I know the details in there somewhere. I could put a light in there... maybe later.
There always seems to be a point in a build when everything stops and is waiting on one little action. For me this has been glazing the main deck access door. I couldn't put its glazing in until everything around it was finished and painted. The stacks couldn't go in until the door was glazed (access issues). Then the stairs and railings could go in, then the air con units, then the deck lights, vents, gratings, etc, etc.
I was dodging doing the doors but they weren't as tricky as I had imagined. Now it's a matter of assembling everything. Fingers crossed.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 January 25, 2011, 18:41:50
Pot Plants :o :o :o

Very nice work!!
Must have been fun getting that great looking curve on the w/house visor. :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: woodbutcher January 25, 2011, 20:29:28
well you put my door knobs to shame, great work, Al
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man January 26, 2011, 05:14:50
WOW :o :o

What a fantastic job. Clearview screen and all.

By the way--I meant to ask you about making your visor. Did the plastic try to warp when you installed it due to the curve of the wheelhouse and the downwward angle?
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey January 26, 2011, 14:30:54
Tugs: Should be 'potted plants', they don't look too dangerous. Could be salad for the BBQ they have at the rear of the main deck. Apparently they also hang a fishing line off the stern when cruising down the East Coast – tough job.
MTM: The visor is only 0.3mm styrene so it's pretty flexible. It's held in place with about 20 struts so plenty of grip. The construction was simpler than I had planned for (see page 6). The only issue was I left one in the sun and it sagged between the struts. That's a good thing about using templates and jigs – much quicker second time round.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 January 26, 2011, 17:44:03
Ahhh...it makes sense now :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 16, 2011, 14:59:43
Slow progress. Glued the wheelhouses in place and have started adding the fiddly bits.
Etched the deck mesh out of 0.3mm brass. Only required minor amendments to get it to fit. Looks alright and it's surprisingly strong. Drawing up the mesh with radiating grids took awhile but looks better than a straight square pattern
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 16, 2011, 15:12:17
... and more
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 16, 2011, 15:40:05
At the bottom of this shot you can see the door that much of the assembly, mentioned previously, pivoted around. Looks innocent enough but I couldn't glaze it until everything was painted, then stacks could be attached, deck lights, then the railings, ladders, etc.
Hopefully I'll be able to finish the glazing on the superstructure tower and install some of the railings this weekend.
Seem to be getting fewer places to pick the tower up by. The supports for the deck mesh took a few bumps over months of handling and needed to be repaired several times. I'll have to be extra careful when the railings go in. It would be a nightmare to have to remove some of them.
Next task: the masts. They are quite large and complex so they'll be testing my soldering skills. Fingers crossed.

... and a question: has anyone had dry transfer lettering produced? Not the laser copy based stuff – that has a carrier film. I mean the stuff like Letraset/Meccanorma instant lettering. There's a company in Vancouver – All Out graphics – has anyone used them? or anyone else?
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 February 16, 2011, 16:11:21
Looks Great :) :) :) :)

I've used the Letraset letters and numbers a couple of times, and learnt..in a hurry...to spray some acrylic clear finish over them; as they 'can' wash off.

Thanks for the tip on 'All out Graphics' :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man February 17, 2011, 04:59:44
What an exceptional job! :) :)

Always look forward to your build.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 17, 2011, 12:04:05
Thanks MTM – you sweet talker.
It's hard to show work on the forum when so many fantastic craftsmen are watching. When I see some their beautiful work (yours and tugs' included) I sometimes wonder why I bother. You guys set a very high benchmark.

Tugs – let me know how you get on if you use All Out.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 15, 2011, 20:45:20
No excuses for the the lack of progress. I have been putting in a couple of hours a week but after having so much time away from the bench I ended up remaking a lot of parts after either deciding they weren't good enough or just couldn't find them after such a long break.
So, here's the progress so far:
Made the 8 air-conditioning units. 4 each in 2 sizes, all styrene. Decided to install the fans under the grills.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 15, 2011, 20:53:01
...with a top coat of paint and grills installed. The fans and grill were part of the etching done earlier.
Can hardly see the fans but at least I know they are there.
And – in place – even harder to see the fans. If I didn't take hours over every piece without thinking about how it will ultimately look I would have finished this ages ago.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 15, 2011, 21:07:30
I was also able to finish a couple of areas.
The first was the aft bulkhead on the work deck.
This needed quite a few fuel, water and waste pipes, a gear locker and a fire extinguisher.
The locker was straightforward, so was the fire extinguisher but very fiddly at that size.
The pipes are a mix of styrene and brass rod. I have a small lathe (very small) but I've never used it (don't really know how). It would have been perfect for these. Must figure out how to use it. It's just an expensive paper weight at the moment. Never mind – if I wanted to save money I would never built from scratch.
Now that areas finished I can install the supports, stairs that descend in front of the pipework, and the capstan which sits in front of the gear locker.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 15, 2011, 21:17:26
Spot the difference.
The unpainted stairs are wrong – 4 rails instead of 3. I had finished all of the railings when I noticed it. A basic error. I was furious and sulked for about a week – couldn't even look at it.
Eventually I calmed down and remade them all. I'm a bit gun shy now and triple check everything twice.
This is what they should look like.
They are a combination of soldered brass rod, styrene I beam and etched brass treads.
: Re: ATB x 2
: chipchase August 16, 2011, 02:11:44
Great detail Steve, I will have to try and learn how to do this brass etching. Your fan and grills really look the business.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man August 16, 2011, 03:46:26
Fine details like that really make the model. Very nice work. Glad to see you back in the saddle.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 16, 2011, 12:16:49
Thanks for the encouragement boys.
The secret to etching is: www.ppdltd.com – Great product and service. They have done stuff for me before and most of these etchings are from them. Like my idle lathe, I have the etching chemicals but haven't mastered it yet.
Anyway, on with the show.
Most of the deck equipment – hatches, capstans, etc. is now finished and waiting installation. The hatches, life rafts and capstans are mostly ply, the bitts are styrene (they won't ever be used for towing). Once again – a lathe would be handy for the capstans. Maybe next time.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 16, 2011, 12:20:16
...and painted...
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 16, 2011, 12:38:24
The mast seemed a bit daunting at first but its like the old adage – How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
So I looked at the masts as a series of tasks that would only take a few nights each rather than every evening for 2+ weeks for each mast.
It probably took a bit longer than I had planned as I made the mast light housings initially in styrene, then aluminium and finally brass before I was satisfied.
Nobody mention how useful that bloody lathe would have been. I should have gone to metalwork at school instead of hiding behind the gym with the smokers.

This is the goal.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man August 17, 2011, 05:46:09
What were you smoking? :o
: Re: ATB x 2
: zeevaart1 August 17, 2011, 08:50:11
Wow sea monkey.
i really like this ship.
nicly build, great on the details.
Keep up the good work.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 17, 2011, 13:53:45
Never smoked, MTM, but standing outside in the cold with the other skivers seemed a better idea than 40 minutes with Mr Bradley. He was an extremely miserable old bastard who used to whack a length of 1/2inch dowel across your legs to get your attention. Very distracting when you're using industrial equipment. Hence my ignorance of lathe use.
Anyway, back to the build. I began by forming the mast ladder rungs out of 0.3mm brass rod.
The boat I'm building (Christian Reinauer) is one of 3 built for Reinauer. They all differ slightly and unfortunately the plans I have are not 'as built'. The Christian mast has ladder rungs shaped like half a hexagon with the longest side being the footstep. One of the other boats had triangular shaped rungs. I preferred the triangular shape so my boat gets them and the second boat got the other.
I made a jig for the drilling the holes for the rungs out off offcut wood. Basically a channel where the brass tube of the mast sits about half in/half out of the channel. I clamped the tube in place and used piece of styrene to drill position the drill and stop the drill slipping. I know a drill press would be easier but mine won't hold such a small drill bit (0.5mm). I have since discovered small bit with big shafts which work fine and don't break so easily.
I used the same jig to solder in the rungs.
These are the 'half hexagon' shaped rungs.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 17, 2011, 14:04:23
Both sets of rungs got a bit bent during the soldering and filing process but being such thin brass I was able to bend them back into shape easily with some small pliers.
I did miss a few holes – for some of the light struts but was able to drill the mast with the rungs attached by using a styrene collar around the mast to position the drill. Needed clamps to hold the mast in place as one hand held the collar in place and the other the drill.
Got to the halfway stage without too much drama.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 17, 2011, 14:31:44
There are 11 lights on each boat: 3 red, 2 yellow, 6 white. They all have the same housing.
I made them all out of styrene tubing – too thick, then out aluminium – just not right. Finally out of brass.
You know how it is – if it's not right now, you always notice it later.
The lenses are acrylic rod in red, yellow and clear.
I've attached the horns but I'm not happy with them so It's the first project for the lathe (maybe this weekend if I can track down Mr bradley for a refresher course. Better hide any dowel).
The mast is held in place by dropping onto a footing shaft. The 2 mast support struts slide into hollow feet so that I have some movement to square up the mast when it is finally glued in place.
I tried a few options for the flag halyard and settled on 6lb nylon fishing line. It's smooth, taut, won't stretch or break easily and doesn't collect dust. It also doesn't glue easily so it's knotted at the base to one of the rungs – as on the real thing.
The whole thing is stronger than it looks but I'm still paranoid about knocking it. I won't attach it until the final stage.
Only a small transmitter, wind speed indicator and the revised horns to go.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man August 18, 2011, 03:17:21
Always taking the easy way out, right ;D ;D ;D
One of the most difficult parts of modeling is getting several parts exactly the same and the exact distance between. Don't forget straight and level. You did a fine job. Mr. Bradley would be proud. :) :) :)
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 12:18:32
Almost forgot this bit – the aft mast.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 12:29:18
Managed to finish several other components as well.
The life rafts:
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 12:33:02
...and the wheelhouse roof equipment.
The searchlight reflectors are the plastic casings from a pack of asprins, painted silver.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 12:41:44
Some of the boats have had the supports of this equipment black at some stage and buff at others. Some have Northstar and some Furuno. One boat has the searchlights mounted further back. Some have had the access ladders all black at some stage. They all have different aerial set ups and add ons on the mast. As I mention earlier, none of my plans are as built. Executive decision time. I prefer the buff anyway.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 12:58:42
The upper deck has a white capping strip running around the inside of the hand rail. I used 0.7mm half round styrene which was just about perfect for the 0.8mm top of the bulwark. The styrene was flexible enough to bend and hold around the curves. Easier than I thought.
Then the bow bitts can go in, and a start on installing the railings.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 13:19:56
The full capping rail.
I usually make putting the name on the boat the very last job. Don't know why – habit, superstition, logic? It's like a sign off on the project.
For the name plates on this one I had some rub down lettering produced by All Out Graphics in Vancouver. They work on the same principle as Letraset. This type of lettering used to be very popular until about 20 years ago. We even had a machine at work that could make them. The letters are all individual – no carrier film, and a gentle rub releases them from their backing sheet. Once down they are there for good, so you need to position them very carefully.
I like them because there is no carrier film. Other transfers have a glossy carrier or discolour after time. Rubdowns don't change, the colour (what ever you specify) is permanent. However you do need to spray them with a light varnish or fixative. Test the varnish prior to use as some types of thinners can dissolve the rub downs instantly.
Here's an example of them at work. I couldn't resist trying it out. This nameplate is going back into the box until the boats are finished.
You might be able to guess what my next projects are from the other names on the sheet.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey August 18, 2011, 13:44:02
..and now a question.
I want to get some vinyl hazard tape at about 3/16inch/5mm wide – like the ones below.
Line o tape advertise it online but I've had no reply to email, fax or phone.
Doe anyone know of any other suppliers?
Tugs: The tape you used on the winch is exactly what I'm after, where did you get it?
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 07, 2012, 18:38:59
Still haven't come up with a good excuse for the slow progress.
As summer hasn't turned up this year I've managed to finish making all of the components for the build.
I had thought that these last pieces would be quite complicated but they went quite smoothly and surprisingly quickly.
The cranes (1 per boat) were very straightforward – all styrene. No cables attached yet.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 07, 2012, 18:55:55
The fire monitors were a little tricky. The piping is a very complex series of curves and at 1/50 I couldn't bend the brass rod into the right radius so close together. No two 'U' bends turned out the same. Next I tried copper rod (much more malleable) but the same result.
Finally I went back to Styrene and formed a series of uniform 'U' shapes with a combination of pre-soaking the rod in boiling water, bending it around a former, then holding it above the kitchen toaster until the curve 'set'. We are talking nanoseconds before failure.
After a bit of trial and error (and setting off the smoke alarms several times) it worked although the toast didn't taste so good for a few days.
I then cut the 'U' shapes into uniform 90º sections and glued them together. On the real things the weld seams are quite noticeable so the glue seams look fine. Much easier than brass and solder and they are tucked away in an unexposed area so they won't get any rough treatment.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 07, 2012, 19:03:35
The ATB locking pins won't function and as I needed 4 of them I carved them out of styrene.
I know brass would have been better but I was enjoying the styrene – it's so quick.
The pin assembly is attached to a section of 13mm brass tubing that slides into a piece of 15mm tubing recessed into the hull. The whole thing is black so it's a a bit difficult to pick out any detail in the photos. Looks OK on the model.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Sudbury II February 07, 2012, 19:40:15
Fine work Sir

 Did tugs53 send you the link for that yellow and black tape? 

I've heard of guys using 'curling irons' on low heat for bending plastic :o
: Re: ATB x 2
: islander February 07, 2012, 21:18:59
Like the fire monitors.

Well done...all around.
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man February 08, 2012, 05:11:38
Am happy to see you back in the saddle. Always look forward to your posts. Excellent work.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey February 08, 2012, 17:25:39
Suds – Yes, I got the tape from Mack's. I got 3 different sizes (2 for the future). Looks great
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugnut February 09, 2012, 12:56:42
What a cracking build lots of detail.

regards John
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 25, 2012, 15:26:36
We've had one of the worst summers on record so I managed to finally finish the last little tasks on both boats.
Retouched some of the paintwork, apply names and marks, and fix all of the deck equipment, lights, speakers, etc in place.
Been too windy to test drive my one so that will have to wait a while.
The packing case has been made and the other one will soon be heading to its namesake in New York.
The bench has only been clear for 2 weeks and I'm already planning the next build.
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 25, 2012, 15:28:28
The results:
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 25, 2012, 15:30:35
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 25, 2012, 15:32:33
and more
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 25, 2012, 15:34:39
almost done
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 25, 2012, 15:38:42
last one.
The bell is my first attempt with the lathe. Harder than some of you boys make it look.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 March 25, 2012, 15:51:10
Awesome job!!

You built it for the folks in NY

(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-signs107.gif) (http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys.php)
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugnut March 25, 2012, 23:32:06
Great job Sea Monky, your detailing looks great realy neet build.

regards John B
: Re: ATB x 2
: Model Tug Man March 26, 2012, 03:51:13
A beautiful example of the tug modeler's art. Well done, sir!!!
: Re: ATB x 2
: Sudbury II March 26, 2012, 09:38:40
You have done a wonderful job of this build.
: Re: ATB x 2
: bourricot March 26, 2012, 10:37:59
Perfect job - just an example of what I have to do on my own build

Loading your pics for my folder "pictures of perfect tug models" I've seen that there is a missing "final 7"  :D

: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey March 26, 2012, 12:44:08
Thanks for the compliments guys but I've learnt it all from following your builds.
Hopefully I'll be able to get my one wet this weekend – weather permitting.
: Re: ATB x 2
: chipchase March 26, 2012, 14:31:59
You have made a great job of her Steve; cool you must be really pleased with her, looking forward to seeing her on the water.
: Re: ATB x 2
: tugs53 December 10, 2013, 15:17:04
Any 'on the water' pictures sea monkey?
: Re: ATB x 2
: sea monkey December 18, 2013, 20:02:00
Been very windy lately and it's very unstable. Also, I've been preoccupied with my SDM build. I'll see if I can get some over the Christmas break.