Tug Forum

Specialist Types Of Tug Boat => Steam Tugs => : sea monkey March 19, 2018, 14:02:51

: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 19, 2018, 14:02:51
The sad lack of action on the forum has forced me into action. We have a great resource here and if we don't use, we'll lose it.

So I'll try to spark a bit of interest with my new project – the 1905 steam tug Kumea.

There isn't a great deal of information about the Kumea – just one old photo and not much else. Built in Britain in 1905 she spent a lot of time in Wanganui in New Zealand's North Island.

There aren't many navigable rivers in NZ, they are all either to swift, too shallow or don't go inland far enough. The Wangaui is one the few that is navigable for a long way upstream, and has a port a mile or two from the mouth of the river. The entrance to the river can be quite dangerous and the tugs had a busy time. Quite a few ships had a tough time trying to get in there – the Port Bowen being one of the largest to come to grief. The Harbour Board had its own dredge and the entrance was continually being dredged but it didn't prevent regular disasters. The port isn't used much these days but up until the 1960s it was a busy little provincial port.

The Kumea was stationed here and eventually broken up in the 50s. The only photo shows her steaming down the river in the mid 30s. It is from Russell Ward's site: tugboats.co.nz. I can't visit that site without finding another tug that needs to be built.

So… not much to go on. I can sort out the hull based on typical British tug hulls from that era. From the photo, I'm guessing around 85ft LOA, steel hull, wooden wheelhouse.

In fact pretty much everything will be guesswork – even the colours. Wanganui's provincial rugby colours are royal blue and black hoops (the 'butcher boys' win the 2nd division on a regular basis and always turn down promotion) so that's the funnel sorted. The hull is obviously not black and at the moment it's looking very Union Castle lilac, from this angle. What do you reckon, George? Wanganui port is in the suburb of Castlecliff so that's close enough for me.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: model tugman March 20, 2018, 06:21:10
Hi Steve not been on lately as we have been away on holidays, and Insteer clear of the internet if poss.but back now for a while and will be building again , I like the idea of the Union Castle hull colours, they certainly get people asking questions at the lake.  Geo.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA March 20, 2018, 22:31:16
Hi Steve,

Had a message from Russell Ward this afternoon asking if I want to accompany him on a steamboat trip up the Wanganui in his steamer Romany in April.
Going by this it might be a grand plan but might need to take my spares and weapons to fend off the natives up in those parts.

Not sure if I can call it a business trip though.

Hope you can make the lines drawings into something that would take a miniature steam boiler and engine. I have a 5" dia pendle boiler sitting about with no where to go.

Looking forward to the build.

You know much about the Otago tug "Plucky"

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 21, 2018, 12:08:51
Good to see you back George. All rested and ready for another project, after your holiday?

Hayden: Sounds like a fun trip. Beware of the lure of the Arapaho Pub on the city side of the river. That was always the start of a slippery slope in my old rowing days. How far upstream are you planning on going. Should be able to get to Taumarunui in 2-3 days. The old river steamers had the first night at Pipiriki, the second at 'the Houseboat'  and then onto Taumarunui.
Take plenty of the local Tui's because you won't want to drink the water – maybe that my downfall at the Aramaho.

No, I don't know anything about the Plucky, other than it was in Otago around the turn of the century.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 21, 2018, 12:29:05
Hayden: Any info on old tow hooks will be appreciated. There is online reference for 1880 and after 1910 shows  quite a development but I'm not sure if 1900 was different.

Found these drawings for the Mana from Timaru, the other day. Would make a great subject. I have the old Titan on my wish list. I think she preceded the Mana. Do you still have any drawings of the Titan?
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 21, 2018, 15:19:36
OK, time to get started.

Anyone who has seen any of my previous builds will know the drill by now.

I began by adapting a plan of the 1900 steam tug Flying Foam down to the dimensions I figured to be equal to the Kumea.This was then turned into a vector file for a set of ribs, keel, deck and basic superstructure components to be laser cut. The ribs and keel are 3.6mm meranti, and the deck and superstructure parts are 1.5mm birch. The 1.5mm ply in the photo still has the backing paper attached. This holds all of the pieces in place as it is being lasered. It peels of very easily and lives no residue.

After a quick scrub to remove any laser dust/ash, the pieces slot together very simply and quickly. All glued together with CA and plenty of bracing to keep everything square and straight. Used 2 complete 3mL tubes of glue on the hull so far, so none of the pieces are ever going to move. Luckily the CA glue is very inexpensive.

Drawing up the plans and parts takes about 3-4 evenings, assembling the hull carcase takes only a couple of hours.
The bracing might be a bit over the top but I've had hulls warp and twist at this stage so now I over-compensate just to be on the safe side. Plus I'm working in a very sunny room and that doesn't help with any warping.

So far so good. Next step… planking.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA March 21, 2018, 23:31:55
I will look at the tug book tonight and before the sun comes up in the morning.ZZZ

The Titan would be a great subject, it was shared around the port on New Zealand and including Port or Melbourne, Aust. I have some accounts for its voyage out here too.

Just working on my Vic Smeed Moonmist and then the Bustler to get those half started projects out of the way. Did I mention the half built Springer tug and the half built Port of Rotterdam RPA21. Oh dear...forgot the half built Seatow 25 and barge too.


: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 22, 2018, 02:30:25
Ah ha! You can use the same paint for the Seatow and the Port of Rotterdam tug.
Good thinking, Batman!

Think of them as 'half finished' and you're almost there.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 23, 2018, 02:14:51
Before I get stuck into the planking I needed to pack out the bow and stern with some balsa blocks.

The planking is pretty straightforward and shouldn't cause too many problems but the curves in these areas are quite tight and complex, so the more surface area for the planks to be glued onto, the better.

The packing only needs a rough sand – it'll all be covered eventually.

The timbered sections of the deck were stained as well, and they'll be covered in masking tape for the duration. so I don't spill any glue or paint onto the stained areas. The decking lines are laser etched into the ply. The stain highlights the etched lines, paint would cover and hide them. Not sure about the colour at the moment – might be a little light.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 23, 2018, 02:20:28
And so it begins...
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 30, 2018, 12:47:21
I laid out the first plank and found that one of the frames needed a little remedial work to smooth out the curves. A thin strip of ply to pack it out and then sanded back did the trick. The rest of the frames were sorted out with a light sand to fair them out. Then the first plank could be relaid and both side looked pretty even and symmetrical.

My planking is pretty messy compared to many of the fine examples on the forum. Mine are more swiss cheese than watertight. I tend to see planking as a means to an end, and rely on filling and sanding a little too heavily. I usually use balsa but after seeing some of the fine examples here I might try using Lime/Basswood for my next attempt. Unfortunately it is about 4 times the cost over here so I may need to tidy up my technique.

Anyway, I'll spare you the gory details of my hamfisted planking progress, and skip ahead a few days to something looking more like a hull.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey March 30, 2018, 12:50:25
... and with coat of resin.
Then the prime, sand and filler sessions can begin.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: model tugman March 30, 2018, 22:46:33
Crikey Steve you are quicker than me, very nice job again matey.👍👍👍👍👍☕️☕️
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA March 31, 2018, 01:13:01
Thats nice, really nice!
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 01, 2018, 21:43:07
Not yet, George, although I would have been a lot faster if I hadn't kept glueing my fingers to the planking.

Thanks Hayden.

Early days yet. I usually need to repeat the fill/sand/prime process many times. Hopefully I'll have something I'm happy with in another week or so. Whenever I see a model boat my first instinct is to check out the hull. The detail topside is fine but, for me, the real work is in the hull. Getting rid of any bumps, dips, funny curves or flat spots might take ages but It's something I'm very fussy about. I can spend days on it, I think I had 8 sessions on my last build. Being obsessive is just part of modelling, I guess.  Besides, it beats gardening.

Regular viewers will notice that I've managed my usual trick of snapping of the rudder post. Not such a disaster this time as I couldn't get the prop shaft in with it there. Had not thought that part out too well.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 04, 2018, 12:31:39
Slowly refining and smoothing the hull. Only at the 240 and 400 grit stage at the moment, will work my way up to 800 and finally 1200 for the 'smooth as a baby's bum' finish. Or as our German viewers say: Glatt wie ein Babypopo!

In the meantime, between sanding sessions, I started on the bulwarks. I had pre-planned for this by laser cutting a heap of bulwark knees, and the appropriate sized base slots out of the deck. The knees slot into place very easily although on this particular model they are very narrow and will need delicate handling until the bulwarks are applied. The knees are CA glued in using a few Lego blocks to keep everything square and flush with the shear of the deck
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 04, 2018, 12:33:39
I started the bulwarks at the bow and stern, which have the sharpest and most complex curves. These areas are skinned in 2 layers of 0.5mm ply. Each piece is cut out of the sheet at 90Ί to the other so that the grain/layers are opposite when glued. It's much stronger than it sounds and can take quite a bit of rough handling. The mid sections are relatively straight so they are just a strip of 1mm ply, laid with the 2 outer ply layers going with the grain, along the deck.

Did that all make sense?

When cutting the ply I only worry about getting a good fit with the deck (more or less) . I always leave excess above the knees and just sand it down when everything is solidly in place.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 04, 2018, 12:36:16
Still plenty of work to do yet but now that the bulwarks are on I can start getting the hull to a final 'Babypopo' finish.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA April 04, 2018, 14:59:46
Its quite a fine hull really, long and narrow compared to the usual steam tug we expect. Maybe something to do with it working on the river.

Have you got the model length and beam for the viewers?

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 05, 2018, 12:42:23
Hey Hayden, I see by your post that your checking out the forum during work time – better give yourself a written warning.

The original Kumea was 73.3ft LOA, 16ft beam and 7ft draft. Unfortunately I found that out after I had started. From the only photo I had estimated 80ft, which works out at 1/50 to 488mm x 104mm. So my one is proportionally 6% larger – I can live with that.

I had initially thought that it was built in 1905, can't even remember where that came from however it looks like she was built in 1928 by Scott & Sons, Glascow. Quite a dated looking design for the late 20s –  and only 33hp. First port was Auckland and finally ended up in Greymouth where she replaced the last paddle wheel tug in NZ (the Westland).

Kumea means 'haul away'.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: Kiwinz April 06, 2018, 23:46:25
Haydens boss has already noted his work time internet activity and issued the appropriate warnings on more than one occasion! Not that I'm looking too.. I'm trying to fiqure out the connections between scale tug modelling and small arms ammunition production but yet to come to some concrete conclusions.

I have to say the KUMEA is quickly moving towards another masterpiece. Shes looking great.

Would you do a contract job to complete my RT MAGIC?

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 08, 2018, 13:59:48
The younger generation just has no work ethic these days, Simon. :) I see by you're post that you are still at the desk well after hours.

No way, you're doing a way better job on the RT Magic than I could  – you're woodworking is a masterclass.
Besides you have a bit more time before the 10 years is up. These projects always look daunting at the start but I just look at it as being half an hour's quiet time every day. It's how you eat an elephant – one bite at a time.
I bet you finish the Magic before Hayden finishes his Aorangi (that should get him stirred into action) :)
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 11, 2018, 12:45:06
I've managed to get in a few solid sessions on the hull over the past week.

Added the rubbing strakes/bands/strips (made from basswood), and the capping rail (made from 0.5mm ply). The first attempt at the rubbing strip didn't look right as I had ended it too short of the bow. It goes right around. This has subsequently been fixed without any drama.

In these photos the upward curve of the capping rail at the bow is a bit too steep and abrupt. This has been extended and flattened out.

I have one photo of the real boat and I really need to look at it more often – doh!

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 11, 2018, 12:46:19
I'm almost happy with the surface and shape of the hull however some of the balsa I used for the planking was very soft and even when covered with a good coating of resin the hull has suffered a few pressure dents. Easily fixed but a pain in the proverbial. Handling it with kid gloves now and I've covered the building stand with felt as a precaution. Hopefully only a few more session to go. Still need to fix that rudder post.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 14, 2018, 14:55:58
After few more shaping sessions the hull was about where I wanted to be. Having a few really good layers of primer followed by a fine sand with 400, 600 and finally 1200 grit gets it to the 'smooth as a baby's bum' finish.

For this project I thought that I might have a go at plating – well, more simulated, and just for effect. At 1/50 scale 1/2inch plate is only 0.25mm thick – that's only the thickness of a couple of layers of paint. So I masked up the hull to form plates at 4ft tall. I brushed on several coats of primer and when the tape was removed just lightly buffed the hard edges with some 600 grit paper. This took several days waiting for the layers to dry completely.

The plate lines were marked out in the same way you would do the waterline – a pencil taped to a jig, run around the levelled hull.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 14, 2018, 14:57:54
The final result turned out OK. I won't worry about rivets (that's a whole other story to be covered later) or plate join lines. At this size I'm OK with it as it is.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 14, 2018, 14:59:41
Also managed to repair the rudder post, make the rudder, and add the hawser holes. The hawser hole surrounds are some PE brass that I had etched at PPL in Scotland at the start of the build.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: model tugman April 14, 2018, 22:44:46
Well you seem to be getting the hang of this building lark Steve, another lovely hull.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA April 15, 2018, 11:46:49
This guy seems good, very good infact.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: Kev30 April 16, 2018, 13:19:49
I agree with George that looks like a nicely built hull there Steve and it's also good to see a scratch built hull  made to the proper shape / profile rather than a GRP hull of something similar but not exactly what you want.
I'll be keep an eye on progress with you build, unfortunately no building this end as I'm decorating  ??? ??? ???

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 18, 2018, 14:32:04
Thanks boys! Something very satisfying about building a hull from scratch – a lot of work but there is pleasure in the pain.

The simulated plating turned out OK so the next step was to go to final painting.

The only existing photo of the Kumea is an old B/W so the boat's colours were always going to be pretty much guesswork. I had initially planned to paint the hull in a Union Castle lilac. I've always liked that colour but Wanganui is definitely not a 'lilac' kind of place. I eventually went for a warm grey. The original Kumea was probably light grey and this colour is very close in tone. I used to row on the Wanganui River many years ago and often, after a lot of rain, it was a similar colour to this grey.

So far so good.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 18, 2018, 16:26:12
The hull only has a couple of scuppers/freeing ports, not really much for ocean work but probably OK for a river. Most freeing ports in salt water don't have covers as they can rust shut.

The deck steel colour is some left over paint from my last project, the Parahaki. Looks OK with the grey and red oxide of the hull.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 18, 2018, 16:27:34
Last couple of pictures for today...

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: model tugman April 18, 2018, 22:08:32
A lovely shape hull Steve, looking really good 👍👍👍
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 30, 2018, 15:18:14
Thanks George, looks like you and me are the only ones building any more. Hopefully someone will post something new soon.

The propellor for Kumea arrived from Cornwall Model Boats today (excellent service and prompt delivery as usual), and that was the last item needed to complete the basic hull.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 30, 2018, 15:19:34
I added a timber rubbing rail at the stern gunwale and at the other end, a bow fairlead.

Haven't even thought about the deck equipment yet but it will need a windlass, capstan, towing beam and bow derrick at the minimum.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 30, 2018, 15:23:29
Tugs of this era still had chain steering linkages so while I was waiting for the propeller to arrive I decided to try and make a chain steering system. There are a couple of common ways that the chain systems work.

One runs down the side of the gunwales as a chain from the wheel that crosses the deck, runs through some rollers, connects to a rod that runs the length of the boat before reconnecting to a chain that runs around the steering quadrant. Mirror image port & starboard.

The other common method runs the rods through a box conduit along the centre line of the deck and where it exits the engine room housing it splits at 90Ί into chains that then turn another 90Ί to link to each side of the quadrant. The chains run through square steel channels so you don't see the chain much at all.

All clear as mud? I'm sure most of you know how it works anyway. I know George does – 'cause he showed me!

I went for the first method because the way the system works is more visible – and I didn't want channels running down the timber section of the deck. There's no evidence as to which system was used on the Kumea so either could be correct, although as the tug was quite a dated design even when it was built I'm thinking my choice is probably more likely.

So... here's how it looks.

Pic 2 is the deck plate that covers the chain as it crosses the deck from the bridge.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 30, 2018, 15:25:06
Whoops hit the wrong button.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey April 30, 2018, 15:27:33
In real life the port chain attaches to the starboard side of the quadrant and vice versa. Luckily all this end is hidden by the quadrant cover/duckboard.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: spud May 01, 2018, 13:32:01
Hi sea monkey

Great build log , Very interesting regarding the chain steering , I'm at similar stage on one of my builds ,I will get back on it when time allows.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 03, 2018, 14:10:09
Thanks Spud, I'd be interested to see how yours turns out.

And now... on to the superstructure...

The basic structural parts had been laser cut from 1.5mm ply from the same sheet as the deck and bulwark knees.
They fit together with a simple slot and tab system. The 4 basic components are superstructure, wheelhouse, engine room housing and deck hatch.

The main superstructure unit went together pretty quickly and easily. I used some square basswood section to brace the corners. A baseplate and the boat deck keep everything square and solid.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 03, 2018, 15:12:18
So far so good.

The superstructure went together according to plan. I managed to fill any gaps and sand the corners down to the right radius for the rounded corners. After a coat to primer I was ready to tackle the next step.

I had decided to try and simulate rivet lines and had ordered some decal rivets from Micro mark in the US.They looked pretty good and the instructions were thorough and clear: get the surface as smooth as possible (paint, 1200 wet & dry), apply decals carefully, leave to dry 24 hours and then apply several coats of decal solvent, with 24 hours between coats.

The whole process turned out to be quite a disaster.

The first problem was that USPost considered the decal solvent a 'hazardous substance' and refused to send it. I had to go through a slow process of getting a detailed description of the constituent chemicals and their dangers and submit that to the USPost. After 3 weeks they decide it was safe to send. The bottle was only 1oz so not really a weapon of mass destruction. After it arrived I discovered that the same product is available in NZ at a fraction of the cost. Doh!

So here's how the decals look at the start, before any coats of solvent.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 06, 2018, 14:29:52
After 6 applications of solvent the decals are still not adhering to the paint. They flake off at the merest touch.

Even with 2 light coats of sealer primer they still peel away. I've had to make repairs to or replace the decals almost every time I work on the parts – and I have been handling them extremely gently and not touching the decals directly. The process has been very disappointing – and frustrating.

The instructions show it working on brass, maybe they only work on plastic or brass. I had painted the ply as per instructions and the surface was super smooth and clean – but no joy. Pretty much a total waste of time – and money – all up the decals, solvent and postage to NZ came to about $50. Arrrgh!!
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: des May 06, 2018, 14:33:54
For what it's worth I've found that putting on a coat of gloss clear coat prior to applying the decals works for me - followed by another coat of clear coat (gloss or matt) over the decals to seal them.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 07, 2018, 12:37:21
Thanks Des. I'll give it a go.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 08, 2018, 13:22:19
Well, the rivet decals are an unqualified failure. I followed the instructions but must have done something fundamentally wrong. They flake off as soon as the wind changes. I've had to replace or repair many sections and they are still peeling off.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 08, 2018, 13:26:49
A few more photos. These rivet decals have got me a bit gun-shy now. I'm treating everything with kid gloves. The sooner I get some top coat on them the better.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: tassie48 May 09, 2018, 12:37:06
Great looking build mate your attention to detail is top class and a old home port boat as well tassie48
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 12, 2018, 15:49:18
Thanks Gregg.
Managed to get a couple of top coats onto the superstructure over the past few days.

I've gone for a grey and very dark red hull, dark orange deck and dark brown superstructure. The wheelhouse is teak with an cream roof. The funnel is dark red with a cream stripe and black top. The original names for these colours were: ivory (roof), chocolate (superstructure), whale grey (hull), oxblood (below waterline) and burgundy (funnel). And with the teak, it's a very 'roaring twenties' sounding colour scheme. Sounds horrible but it looks OK.

Here are the first pieces to be painted. My attempt at a decal riveted non slip walkway peeled of during painting. I had to sand that area back, re-seal and re-spray. Several other small bits of the decal strips also flaked off. CBA fixing a few areas.

The decals are great in theory, I'll just have to figure out the correct way to apply them. Or stay away from riveted hulls.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 12, 2018, 15:51:21
Also added the hatch handles and the funnel stay anchor points to the main cabin block.

The engine and boiler room hatch portholes are PE brass frames and brass rod bars and handles.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 12, 2018, 15:56:34
A few more:

The main hatch handles are PE brass. Lining them up was easier than I had imagined. Not sure what colour to paint them, if any. May leave them as weathered brass.

So far, so good... although the chocolate brown colour is a real dust magnet.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: tassie48 May 12, 2018, 17:08:32
WOW great work mate do like the attention to detail lifting eyes on the hatches and skylight protectors even the slider companionway hatch cover just need some crew to finish off tassie48
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: model tugman May 12, 2018, 23:24:12
Brilliant Steve👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 14, 2018, 12:04:30
I've been studying your techniques, mate.

I also have a question: This tug had no anchor well, the anchor was stowed on the deck and a davit dropped it over the side. It had a windlass to wind it back up and then the davit would lift it over the gunwale onto the deck.

What sort of system would the chain run through from the gypsy wheel to the hawse hole? It's a straight line but at an angle.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: tugnut May 14, 2018, 21:43:13
Hi Steve, great build i have come back over here for you.
On the TID tugs the windlass was over to the port side so the chain ran straight.
Hope that helps regards John.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 16, 2018, 12:45:24
Thanks John, it helps but I probably can't put the windlass off centre. Might have to rig up some sort of channeling. We'll see...

Meanwhile... next step was the wheelhouse/bridge.

The laser cut ply parts went together very quickly. Just needed to sand the corners for a bevel fit. I had etched plank lines in the ply and when stained and varnished it gives a reasonable impression of polished wood. Might be a bit extravagant for this old workhorse but it fits with the age of the tug and looks good. The doors are PE brass, the life buoy is laser cut ply with plenty of coats of paint, and the life buoy holder is 0.5mm brass rod

The wheel is a silhouette only for effect. Other than the wheel and a very basic telegraph there will be no interior details – just a coat of dark grey paint.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 16, 2018, 12:46:12
I've picked up plenty of good ideas through following other peoples' threads here, and the awning brackets and tarpaper roof are straight from Longbike's bag of tricks on RCGroups. I'm sure a few of you will recognise a few of your own techniques in here from now on. Thanks.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA May 17, 2018, 23:26:14
That engineroom and boiler room hatch  and housing is brilliant. Absolutly brilliant. 

That detail would look great on the Steam paddle tug Titan Steve. wink..wink!

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 20, 2018, 19:45:28
Funny you should mention that!  My 'to do' list is starting to get of hand. Tika next, then I'll have to start planning for next year. Could be Tumeke (tiny pusher tug), Titan (big paddle tug = daunting), Te Maru, Te Matua (both large) or Maui (small, classic 60s Voith drive). Too many to choose from.

I've ordered some parts from Shapeways so I can't get started on a couple of things yet, but I was able to knock out the railings, rails and ladders.
This tug doesn't have many of these so the whole lot only took a few hour's soldering. The ladders are all brass rod so a simple jig was needed to hold everything in place while soldering. Worked out fine. Strangely enough, I enjoy soldering, it's very satisfying.

The soldering didn't need to much of a clean up, and after a quick undercoat I was able to give it a top coat of the deck colour.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 20, 2018, 19:54:36
The funnel was the next job.

Started out with the basic cylinder. I couldn't get brass or styrene tubing at the right diameter so I padded out some 15mm brass with layers of styrene to take it up to the required diameter. Simple enough nut when I'm using styrene that thin 0.2mm I'm paranoid about getting ripples as it is glued down. Not too bad this time and I just needed to fill and sand the seams.

Before I started the build I had photo etched some brass fitting for the funnel: some seam/join rings and a stack top/flange and grating. One of the rings has eyes for the stays. The whistle is a piece of brass rod. These bits aren't attached yet, only pushed together for this photo.

The flange for the base of the stack is already attached to the boat deck.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: tugnut May 21, 2018, 20:41:07
Very nice love all the brass work.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 23, 2018, 12:49:10
Thanks John, I'm enjoying your latest project.

Well the funnel turned out OK.

Got some paint onto it and it looks alright.

The red of the funnel needs to match the ventilators. These are 3D printed and can't handle enamel paint so I need to do these parts in acrylic.
I have a love/hate relationship with acrylics. Some brands and some colours are OK but there seems to be a great variance between them.
The red that I ended up using is very transparent and took a lot of coats to get a smooth even finish. It ended up darker than I had planned because of all the transparent layers.
I can live with it. At least they dry quickly.

The ivory band is crying out for an emblem or logo of some sort – the K is just to see how something would look, it won't be staying.

The water tank (I think it's a water tank) goes immediately behind the wheelhouse. I assume it is for the galley and head. Or it's an oil tank for the generator?
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 25, 2018, 13:35:28
Once the funnel was completed I could start assembling the final superstructure. I don't usually do this until I have made every component. This time I couldn't resist seeing how it all worked together.

First step was to attach a very basic telegraph to the wheelhouse/bridge deck.

A friend's father worked at for Wanganui Harbour Board in the 1950s. He remembers going onboard a tug with his dad as a young boy, and particularly remembers that the cast iron step treads had a fish scale pattern on them. I've tried to re-create that pattern on the steps/companionway.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 25, 2018, 13:36:31
He also has some timber that this father 'salvaged' from a tug undergoing repairs around this time – that will be the stand for this Kumea. Yes - he is also a 'magpie' and can't throw anything out – like me. So I now have a 100 year old piece of timber, with history, for the final touches. My friend also has the red glass from a port nav light from a tug from that era. It is the most intense red I've ever seen in glass, it is a very beautiful piece of glass.

The other bits and pieces all fitted together with out any drama. Threading the funnel stays was a delicate wee process, I'll have to be very careful not to snag them.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey May 25, 2018, 13:37:11
So far so good. Now I have to wait for Shapeways to deliver some capstans and winch drums before I can go any further.

I'll have to find something to do while I'm waiting. Mmmm...
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA July 17, 2018, 19:59:04
Hi Steve.

Any activity of late?


: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey July 18, 2018, 21:44:04
Hi Hayden

Not much progress I'm afraid. Recently started a new job and haven't had a lot of spare time lately. Find it too hard to work in the evening in the winter – eyesight isn't as good as it was. Besides I'm too knackered after a day at work to put any time in at the workbench. Hope to get a bit done this weekend.

I see that the Timaru Maritime Museum sold off a lot of their collection – did you pick anything up?
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA July 20, 2018, 18:57:55
Hi Steve.

Ok so back to the daily grind.

Its only a hobby so remember that.

I did not see anything about a Maritime Museum. Was that the old Danish Coaster M/v Jenka?  it is being cut up so there were a few trinkets but nothing worthwhile for me. We do not have a Maritime museum to my knowledge in our town.

The Aoraki tug is up for sale too. Chinese built but not a great vessel in the ocean. A river tug really.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey July 21, 2018, 21:15:31
I saw something on Stuff about it a month ago. After the fact, luckily, as I would probably have bought a load of stuff I don't need. Might have been the South Canterbury Museum getting rid of their maritime collection. Seem to remember an intact captain's cabin was one of the items.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey July 21, 2018, 21:21:47
Not a lot has been posted on the forum recently. Still people reading but not many contributing. Don't feel shy, any comments welcome. We don't want to become a ghost forum.

Finally managed to get back to work on this project.

I started a new job 2 months ago and haven't had any spare time to finish the Kumea. I had forgotten how much time work takes up. Too knackered after work during the week and not enough spare time on the weekends. One of you guys should have warned me!

It's also the middle of winter and I don't enjoy working on the model after dark. Eyesight isn't what it once was.

Anyway, I have made a start on the deck equipment: capstan, samson posts and bollards, life boat and davits, mast, and anchor windlass.

This boat didn't have an anchor well and relied on a davit to lift the raised anchor over the bulwarks for storage on the deck.

There are no photos or reference of the deck or any of the equipment. So my version of the anchor windlass is based on the type used on the TID tugs – only a little bigger. The capstan and davits are simple enough and based on Admiralty drawings from around that period.

It's warm enough and not too windy today so I hoped to be able to get some paint on the finished items. Started badly by dropping a full 2 litre tin of white paint onto the basement floor – from height. It went everywhere: floor, bench, open tool drawer, cabinet doors and me. Wasn't able to salvage any paint (or my jeans and shoes). Used 4 litres of turps and every rag and old towel in the house trying to clean it up as much as possible – and wasted about 2 hours. Not a great success but the neighbours did learn a few new words.

This is what I have so far: a mix of brass, styrene and aluminium. The mast is a piece of teak dowel sanded to a slight taper. The capstan drum was printed at Shapeways – really should learn to use that lathe in the basement that I just cleaned!
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey July 21, 2018, 21:23:16
In hindsight the fittings on the davits would ideally have been easier to make from etched brass, same as the hose reel components.
But then, hindsight is always 20/20.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey August 30, 2018, 22:45:57
I see from my last post that I've been idle for 5 weeks. I've been pretty lax with time spent at the bench lately but have slowly got back into the build as time allows and I'm now pretty close to finishing – if all things go according to plan.

The other day I realised I only had a couple of parts left to make: the towing bow, tow hook, tow hook rail/slide, and the name plates. I can just about see the finish line. I was able to knock these out without too much drama.

The tow hook was made from some left-over brass spare parts from the YTL tug tow hook I made last year. Only needed a little adaption to fit onto the Kumea's tow table.

The rail/slide is brass H rod and styrene endstops.

The name plates are styrene.

The one and only photo of the Kumea (first post) shows the towing bows as not being pipe or angle iron or i beam – just a big section of curved steel. Easy enough.

The tow bow/arches are made up of 3 layers of thin styrene strip laminated together around a profile. I cut and sanded a piece of basswood to form the inside curve of the tow bow shape. I then held a length of styrene strip tightly around the shape and then glued another layer of styrene on top of it. It was then held in position with some balsa blocks and pins to dry. Once this had dried completely I repeated the process.

The outer layers hold the previous layer in shape. Only needed a light sand to remove a little excess glue. It is surprisingly strong and holds its shape well. Works just as well with plywood.

The first photos show the laminating process for forming the complex curves of the towing arch – pretty simple stuff, and the last photos show the finished product waiting for some undercoat.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey September 06, 2018, 11:07:28
This tug has a pudding fender on the bow and a fender on the stern. Both are the coir/rope type.

I had put off making these until the last part of the build, partly because I had no idea how I was going to make them.
I thought about:
1. Rolling them out of modelling clay (the type you bake in the oven) and stamping some surface detail on them. Couldn't get the death uniform enough.
2. 3D printing them – too easy and they would look too solid.
3. Wrapping a base in some sort of material to give the impression of woven rope. Didn't look realistic

So, in the end I bit the bullet and did it the old fashioned way – hitching around a rope middle but in this case; several pipe cleaners tied together..

I hadn't anticipated how many hitches would be needed or I would have settled for any of the methods above. Using a 1/50 2inch rope (cotton thread) works out to thousands of tiny half hitches – about 1000 for every 10mm of fender. And each 10mm takes about 2 hours. I've finished the stern fender (about 14 hours) and still have the pudding to go.

I've always liked the New York style beard fenders so I'm thing of adding one to the front of the Kumea but at the moment I am pretty much over hitching. I needed a fairly long section of rope fender to complete the Hikurangi which has been languishing in a cupboard almost finished for over 12 months. I'm 15mm into 130mm so it's going to be along slog.

Here is the stern fender before dyeing/staining.

I think my next project will have to be a bit more modern and have rubber fenders or tyres!

Bugger!! Getting the "attachment failed security" message again. Hopefully the moderators will get it sorted soon as I'm sure this has been deterring members from posting in the past.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: des September 06, 2018, 14:10:52
Hi Steve

Try Float-a-Boat in Melbourne - they can supply woven rope fenders for reasonable prices, and saves you all that half-hitching, and all those hours.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey September 08, 2018, 23:47:37
Hi Des. Yes, I have a couple of those fenders from Float-a-boat but they are too big for 1/50.
The Kumea stern fender is 80mm long and only 10mm Diameter at the fattest point.
Still unable to post a photo
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey September 10, 2018, 23:50:58
Finally got the image to load up.

This is the stern fender finished and ready for staining. I'm working on a similar but longer and fatter version to finally finish the Hikurangi.
I also need a smaller pudding fender for the bow and a couple of rope fenders to hang over the bulwarks. That's probably another week of evenings spent hitching. Happy days!
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey September 28, 2018, 12:39:06
Whew! All fenders finished and dyed.
I got a bit cocky with my knotting skills towards the end and decided to add a few side fenders. I'm glad that's all over – it wasn't doing my eyes any good at all.
I need to put some eyes or fairleads onto the capping rail or the bulwarks to tie the fenders to.
Now I can start assembling and attaching the last few bits and pieces. The last piece that needed to be made was a rope cradle for the rear deck.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 05, 2018, 11:36:35
I've pretty much emptied my box of bits and assembled everything, and attached them.
I might have mentioned earlier that this tug didn't have any anchor wells – the anchor was stowed on the deck and lifted over the bulwarks by a davit.
This all turned out OK so the mast stays could be installed, the forward engine room ventilators, and the samson posts and bollards put in place.
The davit is mostly brass, the pulleys are made up from the PE brass parts on my sheet of parts.
The windlass is loosely based on the windlass used on the TID tugs. It's all styrene – same as the fairleads at the bow.
The bollards etc are styrene
The nav lights (always my least enjoyed part of any build) weren't such a hassle this time.
So far so good
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 09, 2018, 22:39:12
The boat davits were also finished and installed. Making up the pulleys and rigging them took a little time – and required the ventilators to be re-positioned and repainted.

The tow hook and tow table gear is fairly basic and went together smoothly. The hose reel has subsequently been moved from the deck to the boat deck. Still need to make up a hydrant for it.

All coming together nicely now. Just about all finished, only the fenders to attach, and a display stand to make.

Am I talking to myself?
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: des October 10, 2018, 03:32:47
No - you're not talking to yourself;  I'm reading your posts, and trying to learn from them, so please keep it up.

I'm a bit surprised that you are making your display stand last - do you make a separate cradle to hold the model during construction?

This is another point of difference I've noticed between your work and mine - you seem to build non-working models for display, whereas I build working RC models - and once they are built I lose interest in them, 'cos the pleasure is in the building, rather than anything else.  Also, you build 'em much quicker than I do;  you build several in a year (often it seems, with several on the go at once), whereas  it takes me a couple of years for each model, one at a time.

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 10, 2018, 20:29:20
Thanks Des, for a minute I thought I was 'last one out, turn off the lights'.

And yes, I have a seperate construction stand. More robust than a display version. Actually I have about 4 of various sizes and one always seems to just fit the project at the time.

I also lose interest in the models once they are built. Usually I'm starting to think of the next project half way through a build. Short attention span probably?
I enjoy making them more than sailing them so now they are display only.

Not having electronics or running gear helps with keeping costs down and makes construction a bit simpler. I tried early semi-retirement last year so was able to knock out a few in quick time. Back at work now so this one is taking longer than usual. I usually only have one on the go at a time but the poor little Hikurangi gets put in the too hard basket on a regular basis and has been hanging around for ages. It's back in there now as I need some replacement rubdowns for the name on the transom and that won't be happening anytime soon.

Looking forward to finishing the Kumea so that I can get started on the next project – the Tika, a 1971 harbour tug.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: Capt.Towline October 11, 2018, 00:25:39
Nice work Steve. I really like your Hull work and attention to detail. In fact I admire your techniques to balance build time overall: laser cut sections slottting together for speedy assembly but then taking the time on the detailing, which is fantastic btw. I think I’ll follow this example on future projects. Are you lucky enough to have your own laser cutter?

Interesting comment that models get left on the shelf as soon as they’re finished. Having never finished I can’t really comment but I’m really looking forward to playing on the pond. How long that lasts will be due to how she handles; if it’s unrealistic she’ll only see occasional outings and I’ll move on to one of the many projects I’ve wanted to start!

What’s your next project?
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 11, 2018, 22:37:17
Thanks Capt T. No I don't have a laser, luckily or the house would be filled with half built projects. There are a few laser cutting firms in my town _ some are purely a laser cutting service some are sign makers that offer cutting as an extra service. Some are very reasonably priced. I'm sure that it's the same in your neck of the woods. I wouldn't build without laser cut parts now.

I had planned to build the 1971 Auckland tug TIKA and have everything I need to get started however I might try and knock out in a tiny little tug before I start on the TIKA. I might try building the TUMEKE – it's a 9m pusher tug and is very unusual looking. A bit fugly really but quite unique in NZ.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: Capt.Towline October 11, 2018, 23:05:41
Aye, that TUMEKE is fugly indeed....you’ll be the only person in the world with that model😀
The TIKA’s a tidy looking tug, both of them both with narrow beam for their length though...a vast difference to modern towage!
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:16:57
Hi Capt T,

Sorry about the slow response – been busy trying to get the Kumea finished – finally.

Yes, the Tumeke is a bit challenged in the looks department but it does have a bit of character compared to some of the modern cookie cutter designs which are as dull as ditchwater. I'm warming to it.

The Tika, for me, is the typical design of tug that was all around New Zealand when I was growing up. They came in all sizes but were all variations on the same design. They were all exceptionally well built and handled very well. Apparently they were great to be in out in the open sea as well – solid. I guess that's why many have lasted this long.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:24:56
So back to the Kumea...

Well, finally managed to finish everything .

I've tried to make it as close as possible to the only existing photo. It wasn't much to go on but I'm happy the way it turned out – even down to the fenders still over the rails while steaming – always a no-no to have lines over the side when you're moving.

I made a couple of concession: the ship's boat is not lying on the deck (as in the photo) and I've had to guess at the deck equipment and colours but we'll never know for sure. I went for a selection of traditional 1920's colours and they work well together.

The boat has nice lines and looks like a real greyhound. I'm happy with the way the hull turned out. I seem to have more success with complex curves than with straight line hard chine hulls.

I'll have to load these photos in separate posts – I have a few.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:25:55
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:27:11
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:28:12
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:29:29
bear with me...
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:30:47
Not bored yet?
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:32:06
not long now...
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 21, 2018, 13:34:02
Last few...

The final touches on this build took longer than anticipated and I had already started planning for my next project so the last 2% seemed to drag on. I hadn't made a tug from this era before and it was more enjoyable than imagined – they sure have more character than the modern tugs. The big funnel and ventilators works for me. The extra effort and hassle of the rivets, fenders and chain link steering has all been worthwhile although it sure didn't feel that way at the time.

Thanks for following and all comments have been greatly appreciated.

I see that this thread has had 10,000 views so forum traffic is good but not many viewers are contributing. Right now 3 members and 11 guests are reading this. Perhaps you guests might like to sign in and join the conversation. Everyone is welcome. You don't have build anything – just an interest in tugs is all you need.

Now, what's next... Tika or Tumeke?

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: tugboyben October 21, 2018, 23:16:36
Morning Steve
Awesome job whats your next model

: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: Capt.Towline October 22, 2018, 08:27:37
Nicely done Steve, lovely model.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: Kiwinz October 22, 2018, 23:44:51
You have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Perfection! Love it Steve. We are all watching you..
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: sea monkey October 23, 2018, 20:45:44
Thanks Tugboy and Capt T.

Thanks Simon. You'll have to get that rotor tug back on the bench – you've done the hard yards already. Or how about the Ohau, not many of them around.

Next up was going o be the Tika but I thought that I might try and knock out a quickie before then. I'll have ago at making the Tumeke from the Bay of Plenty. At 1/50 it's tiny – only 180mm LOA, and has very little in the way of equipment/gear so hopefully it shouldn't take too long. I have a feeling the Tika will take longer than I imagine.
: Re: Wanganui River Steam Tug: Kumea
: VANYA October 25, 2018, 00:35:49
Yes well done Steve.

Just in Whanganui today so will take a look,at its maritime history. Never been here before. Might see if the paddlesteamer is going too.

For the oldies there is the Titan paddle tug. It begins with "T" like the Tika, Tumeke...Te Maru.......Titan

Do you work in central Wellington?  On ferry Tuesday afternoon.