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Author Topic: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug  (Read 4309 times)

Steve Mahoney

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The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« on: November 19, 2018, 08:15:33 am »

I started this build over at Modeltugforum but it may be of interest to some of you here also.

NZ is a small country and we don’t have the variety of tugs that some of your countries do. No navigable rivers – so no tow-boats or barges, no ice – so no icebreakers, only one gas field so no X bows or AHTS, no logging tugs, no salvage tugs, no SDMs, no ATBs – mostly just harbour tugs, big and small.

I usually try to find an interesting and unique local New Zealand tug to build but none of my models are truly unique – someone else has built one too. This subject certainly is unique in NZ but it also may not be a ‘one off’ it has been featured in one of the European model forums (either Polish or Czech – I think) so a model may already exist.

It’s the Tumeke – the only pusher tug in the country – and it’s quite unique in NZ. I have built a pusher tug before – the 132ft Christian Reinauer ATB from NYC – but the Tumeke is very different. For a kick-off, it’s tiny, only 9m long (27ft). That’s smaller than a small truck. It could fit on the New York ATB as deck cargo.

And it’s not pretty – some might even say ugly. Let's just say that it certainly is ‘challenged’ in the looks department.

It was built in 1995 by Northeastern for Benson Brothers (to a Chris Benson design) and is now based out of the major port of Tauranga. It spends most of its time pushing a harbour works barge and dredge around the small provincial ports on the Coromandel Peninsular, making and repairing marinas.

Tumeke means ‘startled’ and I’m sure you would be, in a high sea. It doesn’t look as if it would be very stable without a barge attached.

It has a double chine steel hull, 400HP Caterpillar engine with a kort nozzle, a bollard pull of 4.5t, and a maximum speed of 7knots. All very modest specs.

A few years ago the wheelhouse was extended at the rear but I’ll be making it as it was originally built – with the smaller wheelhouse. The railings have also been altered in the last few years but I’ll stick with the original design for them. As usual, not too much reference to go on, but it should be enough to work with and I can draw up some basic hull lines and profiles. The owner’s are happy for me to get on board and take a few photos so I might plan a weekend in Tauranga when the Tumeke is next back at base.

In the meantime I can start on the hull. As usual it’ll be 1/50 display only.
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Buccaneer

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 08:15:02 pm »

What a smashing little boat! If I was better at scratch building I would love to have a go at it. Might be fun at about 18-24 inches long.
John
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 09:10:50 pm »


Like a challenge do you Steve?!!!

How far have you got now?

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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2018, 07:33:45 pm »

Funny you should ask that Martin...

I am a bit ahead of this thread at the moment, so I'll do a quick catch-up.

I was able to draw up the hull based on various photos and then figured out a simple system of hull profiles and keel. These were laser cut out of 3.6mm ply. The deck was pretty simple as the bow is just a semi-circle, cut out of birch ply.

All frames, keel, construction stand and bracing fitted onto an A4 sheet. The decks and all superstructure components fitted onto another A4 sheet of 1.2mm ply – and that included a few spare parts as well. At least material costs won’t break the bank.


A couple of days later and the parts are back from the laser cutters and all ready to use. The triangle sections that were cut out of the frames will be used as bracing to keep everything square to the keel. I also included some pieces to make a construction cradle – this model is so tiny it doesn't fit into any of my existing ones.

It only took about an hour to assemble the basic carcass. The bracing is probably a bit over the top. The thing is a solid as a rock.

And only another hour or so to attach the decks and pack out the bow. As this one is display only I don't need to worry about space in the hull. – wouldn't be any in there anyway.

It's a strange looking beast!

The hull will be skinned with a layer of 1mm birch. That’ll also work for the bulwarks. They’ll all be hand-cut to fit – hopefully!
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2018, 07:35:54 pm »

I managed to get a few hours in the other day and skinned up the hull in 1mm ply. Quite a straightforward process although the middle chine was a very complex shape.

I wanted a uniform width for the middle chine section so I attached the hull top sides and bottom panels first and then evened out the gap so that the middle section was nice and even looking. Sounds simple but it took several attempts to get the perfect fit. Well, close enough that a little filler will hide any errors.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2018, 07:40:52 pm »

The next step was slotting in the bulwark knees around the stern. Once again, squared up with a trusty piece of Lego.

The side bulwarks are perpendicular to the deck (not angled inward) so any bracing/knees can be added later. The ransom is 2 layers or .5mm ply cut to fit – after a few attempts to get the pattern right. The whole transom area is surprisingly strong.

Then I could add the steering box housing, the rest of the bulwark knees, and cut out the scuppers/freeing ports.

So far, so good.
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Neil

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2018, 08:17:13 pm »

that is the oddest looking hull I have ever seen in a boat, or ship, model/prototype, but if any one is brave enough to call it cute or sweet, then I'll do so...…….it really is lovely, and I look forward to seeing this develop. :-)) O0
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2018, 08:36:04 pm »


Very nice work Steve!  :-))


( Is it OK if I copy the photo to Mayhem Facebook too?  )
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2018, 03:19:24 am »

Sure, Martin, no problem.


Neil – the strange shape does grow on you. Certainly has 'character'.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2018, 08:18:40 am »

This is where I'm up to at the moment.
[/size]
[/size]Added the rubbing strip, made from basswood. That didn't take too long – basswood is very easy to cut and sand so shaping the parts to fit was not too difficult. The strip is made up from 5 sections: stern/transom area, stern corners x2, bow x2, and 2 mid sections. The bow sections have a slight curved shear so they were glued, pinned and firmly clamped overnight to make sure the maintained their shape.

Also added the capping rail – this will have a hand rail added a bit later on.

Strangely enough this tug doesn't have any anchor wells. Don't know how they handle that when they need to use an anchor.

Didn't need to attach the push knees just yet but I couldn't resist, just to see how they would look.

And also added the bulwark knees/bracing, the freeing port edges and the hawser holes – all styrene strip and tube. The hull is starting to look a bit tidier now and getting to the stage where I'm finding fewer and fewer things to fill – almost ready for some primer...
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Neil

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2018, 03:01:34 pm »

Sure, Martin, no problem.


Neil – the strange shape does grow on you. Certainly has 'character'.





it grew on me within minutes Steve, I like the little beastie very much.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2018, 01:54:49 am »

Thanks Neil.


It has been a couple of weeks since my last post and sadly there isn't much progress to report. Unfortunately other commitments have kept me away from the bench for awhile. Not much respite in the next few weeks either. Still, I have been able to squeeze in 10 minutes here and there, and get a few little things under way.

I assembled the laser cut parts to make up engine room housing and the wheelhouse.

The engine room was pretty simple – the parts fitted together pretty well and the only thing I needed to do was corners the corners down to the right radius. It's a strange shape but it makes sense when it's on the boat.

As you can see from the wheelhouse parts, I had to amend the aft bulkhead. When I get the parts laser cut I usually double up on components so that I have a few spares in case I mess anything up. This time I just clean forgot to include an aft bulkhead. Not a major problem – I used a couple of side spare walls to form a makeshift aft bulkhead. A bit of paint and you'll never know the difference.

The funnel is 4 layers of laser cut 1.5mm ply with the ends sanded to a semi-circle.

The Kort nozzle was a little trickier. The diameter didn't match any available brass or styrene tubing, I tried a few household items like glue sticks, water bottle tops, marker barrels, etc but they were either slightly too small or made from a material that wouldn't sand well. Eventually I resorted to an old standby and wrapped a few layers of 0.3mm styrene sheet around a piece of dowel that had been sanded to the right size (the inside diameter of the Kort nozzle: 17mm).

I'll be making the propellor from PE brass components as I can't get a ready made one in the right size (4 blade/15mm/Kort). The PE parts arrived from Scotland on Friday while I was at work. No-one home to sign for them so now I need to pick them up from a Post Office across town and that in itself is a mission at the moment. Might have to have a long lunch tomorrow.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2018, 01:57:33 am »

I did also get the rudder footing installed.

I usually have this as part of the laser cut keel, and I usually end up snapping them off at some stage of the build.

This time it's made of square brass channelling. I won't be snapping that one any time soon – touch wood.

The boat will have dual rudders. Tiny and fiddly at this size.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2018, 06:36:27 am »

The superstructure for this model is quite simple. It came together without any problems. That's a first!

A few more fill/sand/undercoat sessions later and with the wheelhouse and superstructure loosely fitted in place the boat's starting to look OK.

That's all of the bulky items taken care of – so onto the fiddly bits.


Next step is to install the prop shaft and rudders, and the hull welding seams, and make the propellor.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2018, 06:44:42 am »

Had a few hours at the bench over the weekend and got a few little tasks out of the way.

The hull on the real boat has quite pronounced welding seams (as you can see on the out of the water photos at the beginning of this thread). To recreate this look I used the smallest diameter half-round styrene I could get . It's a little out of scale but once I get some paint on it you won't notice it.

Still a wee bit of work to do on the hull but it's almost ready for some paint.

Also soldered up the rail that goes on top of the bulwarks, and attached it. These little jobs always seem to take more time than I allow for.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2018, 03:08:29 am »

Had one more session of fill/sand/prime the other day and decided that I was happy with the basic hull – so far.

So now I could add a few hull details such as: anodising plates, fender eyes, steering box access plate – and, most importantly – the propellor shaft housing and its supports struts, and the rudder mounts. All small jobs but they all seem to take ages. The shaft mounts went in very easily – more by good luck than good management.

The brass rods are used to align the rudder shafts.


The fender eyes aren't glued in yet, they'll need to thread onto some chain to hold the tyre fenders, before they can be glued in permanently.

Now for some paint.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2018, 09:51:35 pm »

It is summer holiday time down here at the moment so I've been able to get a few hours at the bench and make a little bit of progress over the past few days.

I'm happy with the hull – it's all primed and undercoated, and had a good session with the wet&dry sand paper. It has already had a first of several top coats.

While I'm waiting for the hull paint to dry I can get on with the engine room housing and the propellor.

No commercially available props are available at the size I need (15mm 4 bladed Kort). I'm sure I could have had one custom made but I can't really afford that, so I thought that I'd try making one myself. I had the basic shape photo etched and Hey presto! a prop.


A little filing and it'll be fine – it is housed in a Kort nozzle behind 2 rudders so you'll hardly see it at all.

I'm happy with the result – it is for display model only and looks fine when in place.

I took a punt and also etched some props for a couple of future projects that require unique shaped props.

The engine room housing/superstructure is quite small and needed a few PE parts attached.

The doors turned out quite well.

And yes, I still need to attach the lifebuoy hooks.
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Big Ada

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2018, 05:29:38 pm »

This is turning out very nice and easy to watch it grow.

len.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2018, 07:54:54 pm »

Thanks Len.

The weather over this Christmas break hasn't been great, so between trying to finish off the giant Christmas ham and the humungous trifle I made on Boxing Day I've been able to put some time into the little Tumeke.

The weather has been warm, cloudy and windy – perfect painting weather, so I managed to get the hull completed and painted. I haven't worked on anything this small for a long time and it is a very confined area to work with. I have a better respect for you guys working in 1/96.

The smell of thinners wafting through the house hasn't been widely appreciated.

The propellor and rudders are not permanently attached yet – just there for show at the moment.

At this stage of any build I usually think that I'm at the half way mark – hull completed –  superstructure and deck equipment to go. However, the little Tumeke has hardly any superstructure and virtually no deck gear. The mast and lights are very simple. Hopefully the railings don't causes too many problems.
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derekwarner

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2018, 10:09:44 pm »

This is a rather amazing transformation Steve.....not just the time frame but also the format & concept of construction...... :-)) ......... Derek
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2018, 08:41:00 pm »

Thanks Derek. It's coming together quite quickly now. Just a few detail parts to make: mast, nav lights, radar, rails, capstan, bitts and fenders. And glaze the windows. And make a stand.
Looks like a long list but not too many items in total. Might get the soldering iron fired up this morning.
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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2019, 03:47:42 am »

A little more progress to report.

The wheelhouse window frames have been attached. They won't be glazed until after painting.
There will only be minimal interior detail on this model, similar to what I did on the steam tug Kumea: wheel and speed controller only.

The soldering of the railings went without any drama – something that always gives me a sense of surprise – and great relief.
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mermod

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2019, 07:02:50 am »

Wow, that is the ugliest full size tug I have ever seen :) , having said that you are doing a beautiful job of the model.


Phill



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Steve Mahoney

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2019, 03:10:16 am »

Thanks Phill. You not wrong about the looks – it sure is function over form for this one.
Having said that… it is quite tightly designed. Chris Benson (the designer) has managed to fit everything into a very small area, there's not a centimetre of wasted space.
What are you working on at the moment?
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mermod

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Re: The Tiny Tumeke – a 9m pusher tug
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2019, 11:47:10 pm »

Just finishing a few older projects https://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,62342.0.html as well as working on my 14foot mini tug :)


Phill

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