I used reference material of the 1916-1966 Tug Boat Joffre and from the 1931-Present Tug Boat Challenge, and combined elements from both, to construct this model that represents the turn of the century class of steam tug boat.
Due to a limited availability of decent photographic records of the interiors of these boats, the “below decks” architecture is a “best guess” attempt at representing the claustrophobic, tangled environment that the engineer and the “wipers” had to endure.
The entire model is built using only official LEGO elements and took a year from conceptualization to finished model to make.
About this creation
The model measures 25" long and 16" tall, and is approximately 1:50 scale, although the minifigures belie this and they themselves are out of scale.
I wanted to show the crowded, claustrophobic environment below decks, so I did my best, working from limited resource material, to build the various crucial elements that make up the engine, boiler, fuel storage, gear boxes and ballast areas.
Modelling just half of a boat made some of the construction more challenging than if I had modeled the whole thing, but I think that having the cut-away adds a level of interest that would have been missing otherwise.
I enjoyed the challenge of modelling the rudder - the shape is very close to that of the real thing.
There is a lot of things here, packed into a very small space! I was pleased to be able to stay true to the colour scheme and include almost everything that helped represent the wheelhouse and ancillary areas.