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Author Topic: Scale Matters  (Read 11337 times)

Tug Chief

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Scale Matters
« on: January 29, 2016, 08:56:50 AM »

I would hopefully like to initiate a thought provoking conversation on scale and why people prefer to model in certain scales.  Firstly, I think it would be good to have a little watch of this great harbour scene; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7tZHljQh2Q&index=1&list=PLV-RDeC79CD2IE735ZhGr7T5NF0ECAD5G

The above video is all at 1:50 scale which is my preferred scale for marine modeling, there are a number of reasons for this, but mainly size of craft.  Other factors of course are the level of detail and intricacy of the models and the availability of kits, fixtures and fittings at this scale.

With the ever growing size of vessels 1:50 still seems a sensible scale to work too giving both realistic performance possibilities of models and also realities of scale when looking especially at tug towing competitions.  The average size for a sea going cargo ship or tanker is now over 180m in length and at 1:50 this gives a model length of 3.6m which is a manageable size of tow for most clubs.  With more and more ULCC & ULCV in the world, vessel lengths of 400m are becoming quite a normal occurrence.  Indeed the largest vessel ever, the ULCC Seawise Giant had a length of 458.45m, which even at 1:50 would give a model length of 9.17m or over 30 feet!  If you look at a 2m model barge for example this in true terms is giving you a 100m barge which is a reasonable size.

I agree, when you look at a little Damen 1606 tug for example you start to get down to 0.33m or 13 inches things start to get a little fiddly, but I have 4 tugs of this size and under all perfectly capable and all able to tow!  Given an average ship handling tug in a major port is now between 28-40m LOA this @ 1:50 gives a model size of 56cm – 80cm (<22”-31 ½”) which I think gives a little something for everyone.

By keeping to a reasonable scale it limits the size of propellers and nozzles which can be fitted and thus the power you can get into the water.  I have been involved in tugs all of my life and have never seen a tug tow a ship at scale speeds of over 25 knots!  This suggestion would I feel open the tug towing competitions to a far broader base of modelers and allow every boat from a little Garnock right up to an Aziz have a tow on a relatively balanced playing filed and hopefully entice greater participation.

Please do not get me wrong, I have models in 1:12, 1:16, 1:32, 1:48/50 & 1:108 and love them all and they all have their place in the events which I do, for example for a scale steering event scale is not an issue it is more the overall size of the vessel so I often use 1:24 or 1:32, in the bath it is a different matter and I can only use my Lucky XI at 1:108! 

George Boyd builds some absolutely stunning models in 1:24, and 1:32 as well as other scales and they look out of this world on the water especially when towing the big 14’ SD14 cargo ship, but it of course not every day that you can get these massive tows in the water for pure logistic reasons.  My dear friend Ray Malone builds some exquisite models of Canadian tugs which are small and powerful in reality, but he has models of 24” tug so powerful it would easily tow a 50’ canal barge!

These are just my thoughts on how a national competition could ever be rebuilt in a sensible manner which would allow more clubs and participants to be involved.  It is not meant to offend anyone and comments will be most welcome.
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Klunk

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 01:31:30 PM »

Well I for one have to be able to get the model in my car......A Toyota aygo......or the rollerskate. I cannot fit my robbe Atlantis on it now ( previously had a zafira!) So most boats have to be a maximum of 45" length. Hence the reason I have now sold a lot of 48" plus boats! But I will never sell the Atlantis, I borrow a car when I take that boat out!
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2016, 02:12:51 PM »

A few points to add to your thoughts if you want to get participants.

1. Is it scale that matters or model size? Any tug you like but no more than say 500mm(?????) length or length + beam less than say 800mm(??????????????)

2. Which came first the larger models or the courses that could accommodate them?

3. How are you going to deal with the a) hot rod builder with the very overpowered model v b) the "mine only draws one amp & won't pull the skin off a rice pudding" builder.

When you do this sort of analysis you can see how the Springer model with its restricted hull spec arose.

I agree that many of the models used in national tug competitions are well over scale for the tows but the guys doing it are enjoying themselves and are often very skilful. It is their hobby & I would not wish to criticize them. Most of the club towing competition that I have seen are small very light tows which hold no interest for me.
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irons01

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2016, 02:20:01 PM »

For me it's model size that is the driving factor, having a Cladercraft Northlight, and Deans Marine HMS Cossack in build they are ideal sizes for putting the car and carrying to the lake, the obvious exception is my 1/72 HMS Dreadnought, but then that I have wanted to build that ship in that scale since I was 11 years old.... However I now wish that I'd bought the Deans kit in 1/96...... That would have been much easier to transport!


Ian

Edit: having seen that this is in Tugs and Towing, none of my models fit the topic!
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Brian60

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2016, 02:44:29 PM »

Interesting discussion.

I personally prefer 1/72. It allows reasonable size models of larger tugs (anchor handlers) and their detailing without being too large to move and handle easily. Trouble is tugs and their offspring in the modern world are now usually in excess of 100mtrs and the latest offerings to come out of yards like Ulstein are close to 150mtrs. That's 10ft in your chosen scale, even at 1/72 its near enough 7ft. No way is your average modeller going to build or even be able to accommodate models of this size.

So you will see that its not a simple case of one size fits all.

Returning to the video, while the ships look good I think the handlers need a little tuition in scale driving! Some of those tugs were practically planing like a hydrofoil. I can't understand why they build such good looking models, then put them on the water and drive them like a 5 year old with a new toy. You build a realistic looking craft, at least make them look realistic on the water.

warspite

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2016, 03:38:05 PM »

Although I don't have a "working" tug, I do have a small plastic formed hull for a tug with the prop and rudder fitted (but its fallen behind some boxes in the loft and I can't be a@@ed retrieving it), I fitted the deck and built a superstructure based on 1/72 - all because every model I have built that has gone on the water is 1/72 (not strictly true as I just remembered royal sovereign whose is at 1:180), so that they can be crewed and all match in scale, that and they are plastic fantastics (airfix etc).

I would assume the scales selected are based on what 'equipment' is available to create detail for those who are not as proficient as some of those more gifted than us meer mortals.  %) %)
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Tug Chief

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2016, 08:58:11 PM »

Hi Klunk; Very valid point.  I thing that 40” is big enough for any model, bigger than that it just gets into backache territory!  I like tugs about 28-32”………….in my view that is tug size!

Hi Tug Fanatic; (1) Of course scale matters, as mentioned with the Canadian tugs, you can have a tug of 24” and 10” beam with twin 100mm nozzles pulling 20lb……………………..Using a scale and not a size (LOA) limits this and also does not lake the lake look like there is a pedalo towing a supertanker around the lake! (2) Always a bone of contention, I would always enter a boat in each size category at Southend which (off the top of my head was <28”, 28-40”, >40”).  Absolute piece of "xxxxx", if I can get a 42” model round the course then I could do it with a 13” logging tug, backwards, sideways or upside-down!  Again you can’t keep all the people happy all of the time!  (c) The scaling would close all the issues with the ‘boy racers’.  At a scale of 1:50 the biggest nozzle you are going to see on a tug +/-70mm, you can go two ways, have it geared and have a tug that pulls well and is super controllable, or you can go direct and have a tug that will not tow well statically………………..this would be one of the beauties where motor and prop actually matter! (ci) you can go on and on wit this and subdivide into bollard pull classes but what I am suggesting with the 1:50 scale negates all that and if you can get 100lb pull out of a 1:50 scale tug and you feel you need it then great, on you go!

Irons01: Size is always a factor, my wife is forever telling me that! 

Brian60; Points noted and absolutely agreed with.  For bigger ships and AHTS’s I agree that 1:72 is a great scale, but I have sausage fingers so 1:48-50 is about as fine as I want to go! 

Warspite; My conversation is not going >1:50, but it is the Tug fraternity that seem to want to go the other way and build beautify boats that look great on the lake but cannot be in a towage situation with anything in scale as it looks similar to a speedboat towing a banana on a beach in Benidorm at 1:32 or less.  What i am saying is to open this area of interest to the masses it should be limited to 1:50 scale boats or tugs of 1000mm or less. (Maybe exceptions if the scale fits such as the Aziz, Happy Hunter, Envoy etc).
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RAAArtyGunner

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2016, 05:29:12 AM »

Scale doesn't matter.

What is relevant and already agreed/mentioned, is the size of the boat due to transporting or other limitations. Whether it be a tug or an other model.

To say the "tug" is too big for towing competitions, misses the point.

There are "specific" clubs for that sort of thing which lay down guidelines etc.

One example being "Task Force 72", they build all their boats (warships) to 1/72 scale only.

At the end of the day, scale is irrelevant and does not matter, enjoying the hobby is the name of the game.
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Brian60

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2016, 08:28:48 AM »

Another point to consider when/if a specific scale is decreed is the limitation it introduces. Think along the lines of how many shapes/types/specific (real)ships would fit to that scale. Once you lay down a rule like this, then you end up with a lake full of springers, or tids or aziz. No variation at all in the models on the lake.

 People would fixate on the best hull shape to fit and win that class and then build and fill the lake with them. Another way to attack this perveived problem would be a lot easier to implement.....

The towed ship is built to 1/35, you specify that no  towing ship can be greater than 1/50, so 1/50, 1/60, 1/72 etc could be used. Towed ship is built to 1/50, specify no towing ship can be greater than 1/72 - you get the idea. That may even promote  half a dozen small tugs fussing about the towed ship just like real life rather than just one or two models almost the same size as the towed craft.

I could go on and say limit motor/pulling power as this is what is also needed, but there is no easy way to actually police this at the pond side so is not really viable.

Shipmate60

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2016, 12:09:31 PM »

Tug towing as round a course would be carried out by small powerful harbor tugs.
If these were built at 1/50 scale or above they would be small to tiny.
Ocean Going/Salvage tugs are by design large sea going vessels but when getting near harbor they hand over to harbor tugs.
My pet hate in tug towing is the massively overpowered tugs which can spin the tow 360 degrees in a few seconds.
The excess power for me takes away any scale reality.


Bob
(Tug engineer for a few years)
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2016, 01:35:25 PM »

Be careful what you wish for.

A standard modern harbour tug - say a Damen ASD3212 as supplied to Felixstowe  & Thames Gateway - is around 32.7 metres and has a bollard pull of around 60-70 tonnes.

A standard modern freighter that needs to use tugs might be a Panmax size of 295 metres & displaces around 150000 tonnes loaded.

1:50 is easy for basic measured dimensions (length) but for most everything else it is 1:50 of the length x 1:50 of the beam x 1:50 of the height = 125000:1

1:50 would give you a tug of approximately 600mm - 24 ins - with a bollard pull of around one pound (0.5kg) and a tow of nearly 20 feet (6 metres) with a weight of around 1.2 tonnes.

Unfortunately I cannot scale the water or the wind.

This I have to see although I think that towing competitions might be very protracted and really exciting if it is breasy!
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Norseman

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2016, 08:11:30 PM »

I remember my first visit to Ellesmere Port's model boat show. I knew zilch about tugs but was enthralled by all the many tugs moving around. Then a barge (with passenges aboard?) appeared and about six tugs of varying scale berthed her. Children were clapping, the tug members were loving it, and the sun was shining. Scale never entered my mind that day,  and though now I can agree that competions need rules I still think that participation is the thing to be most encouraged.

Dave
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Tug Chief

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2016, 01:54:33 PM »

Really interesting discussing and it is interesting to note the support for some sort of rules for competitions, this is something which is new, as about 10 years ago when I raised this point previously it was very much the reverse.

Bob sums it up really with his statement of;  "My pet hate in tug towing is the massively overpowered tugs which can spin the tow 360 degrees in a few seconds.
The excess power for me takes away any scale reality"

The points made in regards to the scaling of models is also very interesting and the issue of bollard pull.  This is something else which I have often thought about but I think that sometimes too much power can be as much as a hindrance as a benefit, and as stated very difficult to control.

I would however love to see the 20ft, 1.2 tonne tow! :-)

Darren.


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Arrow5

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2016, 03:43:06 PM »

Chief , to your exact specifications !  I might bring her back down south again one day OR you could take it off my hands :D  It is a bit of a grey white effelant just sitting in a shed.
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2016, 06:54:22 PM »

Just to remind all the scale buffs this is what a large harbour tug looks like when attached to a large container ship. The tug looks tiny and is acting as a brake & to help steerage.

One thing that nobody has mentioned is that modern tugs deliver pretty well equal thrust throughout the 360 degrees. Forwards, backwards or sideways makes little difference to bollard pull. The nearest that you can easily get to this with a model is a very overscale bow thruster.

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Brian60

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2016, 07:26:50 PM »

You can actually get Voith Schneider units that would do that manouvre, I'm not sure of the thrust ratio though, but the unit would easily fit a tug of your size.


By the way Tug Chief, have you found a boating location in the vicinity of Sax yet?

Tug Chief

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2016, 08:10:26 PM »

Hi Arrow 5.  I was at Elsmere Port on the day that your brought the Aircraft Carrier down, that was a wonderful tow and it looks like the late John Hughes 'Cock' Tug on the bow.  That must have been about 2003 or 2004?

I would love to buy her, I just can't get my head round the logistics of such a monster, but I think she had her own trailer if I remember correctly and she was craned into the water?

Hi Tug Fanatic.  A Voith will develop the same bollard pull ahead and astern but not twart ships as the two units (which most modern Voith tugs have) interact with each other and you loose between 15-20% thrust.  This is the same for ATD.  With ASD you will generally have a 5% reduction in bollard pull when towing over the bow as opposed to the stern, and for the same reasons as above you will not generate anywhere as much thrust transversely.

The only tugs which will give a higher bollard pull transversely are those with the propulsion units fore and aft such as SDM, Eddy, Giano & RAve tugs.  These vessels have a linear water flow to the units when operating transversely, they will actually slightly lose thrust when operating ahead/astern due to the interaction occurring.

Hi Brian60.  No nothing as of yet, back to work this week but when I get home in March I will have another hunt around.
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Buccaneer

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2016, 09:33:53 PM »

I have some simple rules when deciding what to make next, and they all revolve around me - surprise surprise. Firstly I have to lift it and get it in the car. this limits it to about 10Kg and 1200mm or 20 lbs and 4 ft. At too small a scale I can no longer cope with the small pieces and detail - so 1:48 is an absolute limit with 1:32 preferred. I need to be able to see it when it is out on the pond and it must be good in a slight chop as one of my local ponds is invariably a bit rough.

I like Tugs and old coasters so building things down at 1:50 or1:96 is not really on. At the end of the day build what you want to, it is your boat for you to enjoy. Don't get too hung up about purists who argue scale, relative performance, it doesn't look right or it's the wrong colour.

John
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RAAArtyGunner

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2016, 11:33:07 PM »

. At the end of the day build what you want to, it is your boat for you to enjoy. Don't get too hung up about purists who argue scale, relative performance, it doesn't look right or it's the wrong colour.

John

And that's it in a nutshell  O0 O0 O0 O0 enjoy yourself it's later than you think
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2016, 08:26:08 AM »


Hi Tug Fanatic.  A Voith will develop the same bollard pull ahead and astern but not twart ships as the two units (which most modern Voith tugs have) interact with each other and you loose between 15-20% thrust.  This is the same for ATD.  With ASD you will generally have a 5% reduction in bollard pull when towing over the bow as opposed to the stern, and for the same reasons as above you will not generate anywhere as much thrust transversely.

The only tugs which will give a higher bollard pull transversely are those with the propulsion units fore and aft such as SDM, Eddy, Giano & RAve tugs.  These vessels have a linear water flow to the units when operating transversely, they will actually slightly lose thrust when operating ahead/astern due to the interaction occurring.


Thank you for that. Whilst I was aware that tugs did not produce equal thrust in all directions I have never been sure of exactly what that meant. The numbers are interesting and there are some initials that I need to look up.

The point that I was making was that a couple of props - even in steerable kort nozzles - give nowhere near the flexibility of power that a modern tug enjoys.
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Brian60

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2016, 06:13:44 PM »

Tug Fanatic you make it sound like V/S drives are the be all of modern tug useage and development.

You are overlooking the obvious flaws they possess. That is depth below hull. By inference to manhandle tonnage that is in confined waterways the shallower the draught of a tug the better. If your depth of tug hull below the waterline is in the region of 5-10feet the blades of the V/S will add another 10feet to that, giving a possible depth of anywhere from 15 feet or more depending on length of V/S blade.

That could be perilous to hitting bottom if in shallow water or around docking piers. Many of the tugs (harbour tugs) would be too small to have retractable units that the big sea going craft have. So while they may have some benefits, they do have drawbacks as well. Nothing wrong with a steerable korts and a bow & stern thruster - unless of course you want the vessel to pirouette 360 degrees. For the complexity involved with V/S units, I think the easier way is to have a single 360° kort nozzle mounted at the front. A lot of tugs seem to be sporting this set up now, albeit having one mounted at the bow and one mounted at the stern.

dodes

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2016, 08:17:59 PM »

I thought I should mention that a twin Vs tug when acting as a stern drag tug,  when used to steer a large tow actually uses indirect tow method, which means if you want the stern go to port you thrust to the ships port, the turning action is caused by the tugs keel not the engines pulling the ship as the tug starts to lay across the ships wake. this causes no extra  strain on the ahead towing tugs towing gear. Have witnessed it used several times in the past and it works very well.
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Tug Fanatic

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2016, 08:43:54 PM »


..................You are overlooking the obvious flaws they possess. That is depth below hull. By inference to manhandle tonnage that is in confined waterways the shallower the draught of a tug the better. If your depth of tug hull below the waterline is in the region of 5-10feet the blades of the V/S will add another 10feet to that, giving a possible depth of anywhere from 15 feet or more depending on length of V/S blade................


I recognise that tugs are used in a variety of situations & that different propulsion systems suit them. The original post referred to tugs being scale to the tow. I was merely suggesting that large modern ships are vast compare to the tugs that assist them and have sufficient depth that the drive system of the tug is of no great importance. As I understand it tug size & type is often dictated by insurers & they like the modern drive systems. I am not sure what their attitude would be to a traditional tug and a modern supership. I would be very interested to know the answer if anyone knows it.

Are there any larger traditional drive tugs still being built or in use for harbour assist of larger heavier ships?

Dodes
Indirect towing is now standard practice around the bend at Felixstowe which I have watched take place. It really is worth seeing. Sorry not my video as I don't do movies but Stanford looking her usual handsome best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Uub8lQtTYQ

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poll

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2016, 09:45:32 PM »


  Hi Folks have we lost the plot here I thought it was about model size not full size shipping, I'm sure a modeller can build a model to 
  suit him/her. talking about indirect towing this is my carrousel tug and I love it.

  John
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Big Ada

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Re: Scale Matters..............................
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2016, 07:34:56 PM »

How do you keep that Watertight?.
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