On 6 Mar 2005 12:44:02 -0000, email@example.com (Andrew Robert Breen)
(Have aber.ac.uk's computer people found the caps lock key? I won't
know it's you :-) )
There might be a card model available which could be used, or copied
to an appropriate scale. There are lots of warships and liners
available, but also freight ships. I've seen a Great Lakes ore ship,
which can be built in a variety of lengths to suit the size of house
you want to keep it in. Some are built up panel-by-panel, but that is
probably taking things too far for a railway model!
OT, but this seems a good excuse to ask people wot might know. I know
what the key feature of a Panamax ship is, I can guess at what a
Suezmax ship might be for, but what is an Aframax, which I saw
All is not lost - as well as the increasingly large deep-sea side of
the container business there is also a local european network, often
using the slightly larger non ISO containers designed for the
euro-pallet. These are carried on much smaller ships and serve
smaller coastal terminals as well as the larger container ports.
Bell Lines used to operate a nice little terminal, well suited for N
Gauge, on the banks of the Tyne, although they then got taken over and
I am not sure of the position there today.
These services use small feeder ships, in N you could get away with
using a Shell Welder tanker kit as the basis, at the very least this
can supply the all important hull, which is the most difficult part to
The deck is a separate moulding, lay it on a sheet of 30 thou and cut
round it to get a replacement. On this add a frame 15-20mm high of 20
thou card, set in from the sides and ends by about 10mm. The sides of
this frame should have a strip of 20x20 thou glued along the top edge
and below this add vertical 10x20 thou strips at 5mm intervals. On top
ad a sheet of 30 thou card. This top along with the 20x20 thou strips
represents the folding hatch covers and should be scribed at either
three point (representing two sets of two folding covers) or just once
in the centre for the more moder two cover type, no containers should
straddle these scribed lines.
The containers sit in guides on the hatch covers, add small triangles
(cut from 2mm squares of 10 thou card cut diagonally) to the bottom
corners of the bottom set of boxes.
The accomodation is a bit low but passable. A more modern accomodation
block can be made fairly easily as they, and the modern funnels, tend
to be flat sided rectangles these days. Sections cut from plastic OO
laddering serves for the windows, glued on and with the centre painted
gloss dark grey.
A radar mast is required in either case with aladder up the back and
two platforms, one to the front with a scanner 12mm long made of a
front of 10x20 thou with a strip of 10x10 thou along the centre of the
rear face, soitting on a gearbox about 4mm long, 3mm wide and 3mm
high, the top scanner should be made from a strip of 20x30 thou with
20x20 thou along the rear face and should be 10mm long, sitting on a
similar gear box.
To cut the hull down to waterline use the supplied display stand and
rest a hacksaw blade on a block of wood, selected to be the right
height to get the waterline, run this round the hull to mark it and
cut with a razor saw.
On the quay you need a crane to get the boxes ashore, these are big
but easily made using Plastruct square and rectangular section tube
and plastic card. They move along the quay on rails and the gantry
hinges upwards out of the way during berting and unberthing ops.
You also need container handling gear on the quay, options include
straddle carriers, mast lift trucks with top or side lift frames and
For more on this see . . .
Go to the Railway Company Goods Facilities index and look at Railway
Company Goods Facilities - Container handling
You need siding at least three feet long for the container trains, so
the whole thing can be perhaps four feet long by six inches deep, this
can form a handy frontage to a fiddle yard. The 'sea' can be a
removable strip of hardboard with rods that fit into holes in the side
of the quay, that needs to be about three inches deep for this job.
You also may see small coasters delivering small numbers of containers
to such a berth, the ShellWelder makes an excellent basis for the
common 'two hatch Dutch coaster' (not allof which are Dutch, thats
just where the design originated, there have been many British ships
to that design). These ships, when fitted with folding hatches as
described above, often have container fixing points on top of the
hatches, although they also have their own cranes.
All of this will be written up for the docks section of the linside
industries part of the above website, as soon as I get some time, but
not this year I suspect.
On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 15:54:25 +0000, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
PS If you are going to build the accomodation block and/or cannot find
a Shell Welder an alternative hull is the Revel light ship, which has
a nice flare to the bows that would suit a modern small container
ship. The back end is bulbous and should be cut away replaced with a
flat plate of card to give it a more modern look. Just a thought.
Thank you everyone who replied. It looks like I'm going to have to at least
heavily customise or even scratch build, I was looking for the easy answer
but I guess there's not much call for what I'm after!
Thanks for all the tips and if I ever get something looking half decent I'll
let you all know how I did it.
Just a thought - following something seen today near Charing Cross. Why not
"unload" the containers from the (not-viewable) ocean-going ship on to a
lighter/barge and have the latter visible alongside the jetty. Advantages
could be (a) easier to scratch build a lighter/barge than a sea-going ship
(b) less complicated/smaller crane would probably be reasonably convincing
(c) less containers needed. The one I saw going up the Thames had about 24
containers on it stacked in two rows of 6 containers, 2 deep. Hope this
helps. David Costigan
Obviously it would be difficult to model a Panamax ship, but there are
thousands of smaller container ships. Try doing a search for 1/144 scale
ships, which is a scale commonly used by marine modellers.
Sylvan Scale Models has a 280' container ship coming out soon in 1/160
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