ENHANCE TRAWLER KIT
Salty old sea dog GEORGE DENT dons his oilskins and grapples with a 1970s-era plastic kit, portraying one of the iconic North Sea fishing fleet.
I’ve always wanted a layout with a maritime flavour. Alas, I’ve yet to get around to it - until now… Well, it’s not a layout as such, rather a diorama. But it’s a start. Furthermore, I haven’t built a model ship for ages, so this past month has given me my fair share of practical challenges! There are numerous sources of model ships from the likes of Artitec and Langley Models. However, these are mostly resin or cast metal but I fancied something in plastic. Revell’s injection-moulded fishing trawler kit fitted the bill. Being styrene, it should be easy to build, detail and modify and, at less than £15, it wouldn’t matter if I made a mess of it. And if the project proved a success, maybe I could add a few more to the fleet. The Revell kit was first released in 1970 and it represents one of the many Grimsby-based trawlers operated by the Ross frozen food company. The original inspiration seems to have been GY123 Ross Kandahar. • Knife • Files • Abrasives • Tweezers • Drill and bits • Scissors • Paintbrushes Featuring a pair of distinctive gallows on the starboard side, for lowering and hauling in the nets, the ships were referred to as ‘Sidewinder’ or ‘Gallows’ types. Ross ordered a number of similar vessels during the 1950s/ early 1960s, sailing from Lincolnshire ports until the virtual demise of the industry in the 1980s. A number have been preserved, including GY398 Ross Tiger at Grimsby Docks and Arctic Corsair at Hull, both now councilowned floating museums. Rendered in 1:142 scale, it’s ideal for ‘N’ gauge layouts and the latest version portrays Grimsby’s GY637 Ross Jackal. The parts are a bit basic, but there’s much potential for superdetailing and, at 370mm long, it doesn’t take up much space. Depending on your desire for fidelity and refinement, much of the deck fittings could be replaced, along with items like the handrails and masts that would look much better rendered in metal wire, rod and tube, rather than bulky plastic. However, for reasons of economy and a lack of off-theshelf replacement parts, I opted to make the best of what was already at hand, adding a minimum of new fittings, crafted from plastic stock. Having set aside a few days to get the kit built and painted, my optimism soon proved misplaced. It actually took over a fortnight to get the ship built and painted, due in part to the need to fettle most components before they could be joined. The other reason was because I needed to create some new parts: not to replace inferior mouldings, but because the originals were missing. The stairways between decks were the main omission. Scratchbuilding the steps proved a fiddly exercise, due to the small nature of the parts and I omitted one of the pairs of steps fitted to the port side on the real thing, judging one set to be enough. I managed to find some nice etched 2mm scale ladders and handrails from the Nbrass