MW303 1/12 Scale 1927 Diesel Tug Built by A.C. Brown of Tottenville, N.Y.!

A.C. Brown started the shipyard named after him in 1873 in Tottenville, New York, New York State’s southernmost neighborhood. A.C. Brown and Son flourished for a time, building over 300 tug boats, fishing boats and other assorted commercial craft for the local fishing industry and for the various activities supporting the port of New York. With advances in steel ship building, the yard was not able to compete in the changing industry and the yard closed in 1930.

The John W. Van Pelt was built in 1927 and is a prime example of the tug boats plying the New York harbor in the pre-war years. She must have been quite maneuverable with her massive rudder and deep keel. Her lines are fair and she looks contemporary even today. We were pleased when a client sent us the plans and asked us to build a set of frames for her. The frames are obtained from Taubman’s Online and are available by clicking here.

Since our client wanted a model about 50″ long, it was clear that we needed to increase the number of frames from fourteen to about twenty-five or thirty. In order to do that, we created a 3D shape from the original drawings we received, which were in 1/48 scale, or which would result in a model about 12 inches long. This is the drawing pictured at the top of this page.

From this drawing we created a 3D shape of the hull, using dedicated ship-modelling software. The image below shows one view of this process.


As can be seen, the picture above already has the new, larger, number of bulkheads inscribed, since the original number is too small for a 48″ model. These lines are then transferred to a CAD design program where the laser-cut bulkheads are simulated in a complete assembly, as shown below.


Once the simulation has been approved by the client, the parts are separated and inserted in a laser-cutting program. The image below shows all the parts ready for cutting.


Next, the assembly plans are drawn up and printed to go along with the parts. We enjoy drawing the plans so much we think you’ll want to keep them long after you’ve built the model. Apart from printing them for you, we also supply them in digital form so you can print clean ones to put up in your workshop somewhere. This is the first page (smaller, of course) from the document.


Eventually, we receive some pictures from our client, who is completely satisfied with our construction. Here are some pictures of the construction at various stages. From this point, the client will complete the model with his own resources.




A few Months Later



And a few weeks after that
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