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A harbour tug boat (Kibri slightly modified)




Posted 12 Nov 2016, with more pictures added 13 and 15 Nov 2016


I have made myself a tug boat for the harbour. This is a Kibri kit which I have Anglicised with a more subdued paint scheme. This is my first-ever scale model boat and probably my first Kibri kit too.


The kit is of a high quality with the parts cleanly moulded and hardly any flash to be removed. The parts are moulded in colours typical of a Continental boat and they fit together very closely - so after I painted the parts I had to rub down some of the edges to get them to go together properly. The funnel is moulded in three parts (black, green, black) to give the stripe effect so I left this unpainted.


The kit comes with only six tyres for the sides of the hull so I added ten more from a model lorry. I cut the pennant from the package for a strawberry trifle. This was extremely good, but only one pennant per pack so I need to buy another trifle to make the flag double-sided. Having said the parts are well made, the moulding for the railings on the upper deck was missing its end post and top rail, so I added the additional pole to fill the space.


I had a look at some real boats to work out how to paint the lamps and other details. I ended up doing the lamp lenses in a glossy blue (Railmatch 'Electric Blue'), this looks quite good in the photo above, and reasonable in real life.


Looking at the photo reminds me the radar scanner got lost in the vacuum cleaner. I must add another one. Also fix down the railings which seem to have lifted up. Funny how photos show up these things - I guess because they hold your attention to one view of a model.


Kit - Kibri p/n 38520 pushing boat (push beams omitted)
Hull - black from a can of "Mean Machine" automotive matt black (from a pound shop), this dried to a slight gloss
Deck - red oxide - Halfords automotive primer
Cabin and wheelhouse - Tamiya 'Racing White' over Halfords white primer
Flag - food packaging - Morrisons own brand strawberry trifle (family size)


Thanks to Chris at John Dutfield's in Chelmsford for giving me the confidence to do the deck in red oxide. I don't really know anything about boats and this has turned out looking purposeful and better than I expected. I've left the roof of the wheelhouse loose until I can find a suitable 'driver' figure to put inside.


Here is a photo of the box to show how the kit would appear if put together unpainted (the figures aren't included in the kit) ... studying this second picture it looks like Kibri lost their radar scanner too:


Addendum (13 Nov 2016) : I've added the radar scanner and straightened the railings ... two more photos:


Addendum (15 Nov 2016) : I've toned down the finishes with a wash of grey on the deck and a Humbrol weathering powder called 'Smoke' near the exhaust and in some of the nooks and crannies where dirt might collect. I've also found a second copy of the Union Jack and so the boat has the flag the right way up on the port side but upside down on the back.



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  • RMweb Gold

What a brilliant idea for the flag!

Thanks :-)


It would be perfect if it was on the other side of the flag pole ...

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  • RMweb Gold

Just a small point, but the ship would be flying a Red Ensign, not the Union Jack.

We must bear in mind, Shelf Island is a British Crown Dependency. The government of the Island (=me) has considered a formal application for the use of a defaced version of the Red Ensign such as the one for the Isle of Man. The application has not been made due to the high likelihood of rejection, but the Island does wish to show its links to the UK.


Therefore, for the time being I'm looking for a matching trifle on my next trip to Morrisons. But thanks all the same :-)



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  • RMweb Gold

Shouldn't the flag be Red Ensign?

The way I see it, a vessel registered in Shelf Island would have no right to fly the Red Ensign, unless it was an authorised defaced version.


I expect if someone drew up a suitable flag I could glue it on, but at the moment the Island's own flag is undefined so this is really a non-starter. At the moment :-)


This could give me the Union Jack flown from a mast on the top of the wheelhouse (as the flag with highest precedence) and the Island flag on the back of the boat. But no Red Ensign.


- Richard.

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