Ever since I’ve been in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and seen Hercules tug there, I knew I want to build something like it.

Quick research on scalemates.com showed that only reasonable option I had was this ancient Revell kit from 1979, so I had no choice but to build it.

Model quality

As you might expect from a kit designed in 1955, the quality is bad by modern standards. Although the level of details is decent, huge fit problems, ejector marks in really inconvenient places are making proper building of the model a tough challenge.

Build notes

Well, I was feeling like I’m carving the model out of plastic sometimes. I’ve spent numerous evenings just cleaning up the parts, without doing actual assembly or painting.

The building process was basically endless putty application and sanding. But on the bright side, most of the parts are quite big, the number of parts is low, and the level of details on the bridge is quite nice.

Once I was done with assembly I was kind of tired of this endless fixing, so I’ve painted base colors and went off to build I-4 kit.

As I’ve quickly finished I-4 I’ve got back to this kit, fixed minor problems with base paint, covered everything with Humbrol Clear and applied decals. Honestly I was quite relieved at this point, the model looked really nice once painted.

Weathered the lower part of the hull, applied was on the top part, deck and bridge:

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Used EZ-Line for rigging, and 3D-printed two tires to use on the bow of the ship, as the kit part was too ugly.


Overall I’m really happy with the result. Despite build process being tedious, I’ve got myself this beautiful tug that reminds me the one I’ve seen in San Francisco. It looks quite distinct in this bright red color. I wish there was any Photo Etch detail kit to bring better railings and more details, but even without it this kit from 1955 is worth spending time on it.

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