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HO scale cargo ships

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HO scale cargo ships
Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Saturday, February 6, 2021 7:28 PM

Hello,

My latest layout design is a freelanced small harbor in South Carolina. If I go with this idea, I'll need a couple of ships in the harbor. It's modern-era, and the layout as a whole is 108" x 78.5". I'm not too familiar with coastal shipping, but I know that larger ships won't work anyway. Could someone more familiar with this kind of thing point me in the right direction?

 

Thanks,

Victoria

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, February 6, 2021 9:18 PM

Sylvan

offers several kits, but most are lake boats rather than coastal steamers.
In the link, the HO scale Lakes Class steamer could, I think, fit into the scheme that you want to create.

Walthers also offers a nicely-done tug boat...I built this one for a friend...

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, February 6, 2021 9:30 PM

Modern is a problem because container ship are truly huge.

Just to get the feel, you might try buying a Revell 1/400 model of an oil tanker, and put some containers on the deck.

This ship is about eight feet long, and even at that it is a compressed model.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Saturday, February 6, 2021 9:31 PM

You may want to check out this book:

https://kalmbachhobbystore.com/product/book/12497

I haven't read it myself, but I once saw him give a talk about the subject. I believe it does cover some of the smaller coastal ships. 

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Posted by DSchmitt on Saturday, February 6, 2021 9:34 PM

Posted by doctorwayne

"Sylvan

offers several kits, but most are lake boats rather than coastal steamers.
In the link, the HO scale Lakes Class steamer could, I think, fit into the scheme that you want to create."

The "Lakers" (Lake Class) were cargo ships built in Great Lakes ship yards.  The were built for service on the oceans and used around the world some  into at least the 1960's.

They are a different design than the bulk cargo ships used on the great lakes and are designed to go through the Seaway to reach the ocean.  The bulk cargo carriers used on the lakes were larger and could not sail to the ocean.

https://www.dallasmodelworks.com/products/productDetail.asp?ItemNumber=SY-1082

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, February 6, 2021 11:11 PM

Thanks for that additional information.  I knew that the lakers weren't appropriate  for coastal work, but wasn't sure of the origin of the name Lake Class, especially since they look somewhat like the ocean-going ships I recall seeing in some movies from the '40s and '50s.  I can't say whether they'd be suitable for a current day layout or not, though.
I live only a mile-or-so from Lake Ontario and about 15 miles from the Welland Canal, so am fairly familiar with the lake boats - many of them also served the steel plant where I worked.

Wayne

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Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Saturday, February 6, 2021 11:38 PM

The entirety of the harbor on this layout design is about 80 inches long and 45 wide. Given the scope of ops on this proposal, a generic or small bulk freighter would be most appropriate, of course given that it could fit. The freight cars would likely be used would include boxcars, hoppers, flatcars, etc. I'm not planning any intermodal ops on this one. I could of course use modeler's license and have an old ship still around. I've heard of old secondhand warships from the WWII period still serving in some places, so I could see something like that happening with a merchant ship.

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Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Saturday, February 6, 2021 11:49 PM

doctorwayne

Sylvan

offers several kits, but most are lake boats rather than coastal steamers.
In the link, the HO scale Lakes Class steamer could, I think, fit into the scheme that you want to create.

Walthers also offers a nicely-done tug boat...I built this one for a friend...

Wayne

 

And I'd also like to say that you did an excellent job on this one.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, February 7, 2021 1:44 AM

doctorwayne
Wasn't sure of the origin of the name Lake Class

What I was told by a person who I believe knows about such things was that ocean going cargo/commodity ships are assigned to one of four classes, Lake Class, Panama Class, Suez Class, and Open Water Port Class.

These are the largest of these canal systems that they will fit through. Thus, a commodity ship that would never leave the Great Lakes could be bigger than Lake Class, because it does not need to navigate the system to reach the ocean.

Open Water Port Class ships can be huge, because they will never go through the Great Lakes, Panama Canal, or Suez Canal.

I do not remember what the exact order is from smallest to largest, but I do know a Suez Class ship is larger than a Panama Class ship.

If I am wrong, sorry.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by trevorsmith3489 on Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:56 AM

I had a space to fill on my Southern Florida based layout and chose a freelanced version of the Miami River area in Miami.

I needed modern ships - this blog shows how I achieved my aim.

https://kaleyyard.wordpress.com/36-miami-river-industrial-estate/

You will need to scroll down to see how I constructed the container ship.

Trevor

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Posted by Pennsy_I1 on Sunday, February 7, 2021 6:52 AM

trevorsmith3489

I had a space to fill on my Southern Florida based layout and chose a freelanced version of the Miami River area in Miami.

I needed modern ships - this blog shows how I achieved my aim.

https://kaleyyard.wordpress.com/36-miami-river-industrial-estate/

You will need to scroll down to see how I constructed the container ship.

Trevor

 

I like your approach. In addition, I enjoyed the part about the bridge, considering that I would need to scratchbuild or kitbash something to fit on my proposal. 

On another note, I remember those old GE units. They were close to retirement when I was coming of age, and mostly were used in the yards (at least where I was at the time). Seeing an EMD SW1500 with a GE B23-7 switching is one of my most cherished railroad memories.

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, February 7, 2021 9:56 AM

SeeYou190

Modern is a problem because container ship are truly huge.

Just to get the feel, you might try buying a Revell 1/400 model of an oil tanker, and put some containers on the deck.

This ship is about eight feet long, and even at that it is a compressed model.

-Kevin

 

They're not common in US shipping, but the small feeders are about half that size. 

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, February 7, 2021 10:21 AM

Also, there are fairly small barges on specific routes. The Port of Richmond (VA) handles barges that come up from Norfolk. They're a little over 3 feet long in HO, but you could make a convincing model about 2 feet long. 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, February 7, 2021 10:25 AM

You can only model a very short piece of any ship that might interface with a railroad. 

The largest ships are ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carriers) which don't fit through any canal system on Earth as far as I know. 

Crude oil tankers mark out the upper limits of modern shipping. In downward order of size: ULCC, VLCC, Panamax, Aframax and then steadily smaller. Some of the smaller tankers are the ones that serve the Atlantic seaboard of the USA. 

A Liberty ship from WWII would be 7" wide and more than 40" long at 1/87 . That's a very small cargo ship now. 

According to Wikipedia the early container ships were converted from WWII era T2 tankers. About 70' by 600' (say 10" x 70" very roughly) to give you an idea of the scope of the difficulty you face.

Even back to pre container days you're going to find it difficult to model in 1/87. 

Model just a part. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by BATMAN on Sunday, February 7, 2021 11:13 AM

On the B.C. coast, small vessel shipping is plentiful as the coast is full of small communities. Maybe adjust your thinking and go for something a little different.

Image result for british columbia coastal freighters

Image result for british columbia coastal freighters

Image result for british columbia coastal freighters

How about a barge and tug setup?

Image result for british columbia coastal supply boat

How about a small rail ferry? That would allow a loading apron.

Image result for british columbia rail ferry

Image result for british columbia rail ferry

Ferries come in all shapes and sizes.

https://www.google.ca/search?q=bc+ferry+fleet&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiM7vuTotjuAhVVuZ4KHcxQB5kQ_AUoAnoECBgQBA&biw=1536&bih=750#imgrc=8oTLuX-3oZzmFM 

Image result for bc ferry fleet

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/BATTRAIN1/videos 


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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, February 7, 2021 1:16 PM

trevorsmith3489
...this blog shows how I achieved my aim.

Some very nice work there, Trevor, and I especially like the rusted-steel look that you used on the bascule bridge.

Wayne

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, February 7, 2021 1:24 PM

Pennsy_I1
And I'd also like to say that you did an excellent job on this one.

Thanks for your kind words, Victoria.  My friend wanted it lettered for his late sister, but was surprised and pleased that I also used the paint scheme of one of my freelanced railroads...

Wayne

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, February 7, 2021 1:39 PM

Your best bet is to model the loading area and only have water for a tug or two. Then the ships could be any size as they are never seen.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:24 PM

This is just an example of what shippers can do to get into smaller ports:

This is a small container barge unloading.  I think it's only about 6 containers long, maybe 4 wide and 4 deep.  It seems to me this was in Hawaii, and I remember watching and photographing this while eating breakfast on the bow deck of a cruise ship.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, February 7, 2021 5:32 PM

Here's an example of the type of resource you may be looking for:

 

https://www.scseagrant.org/rise-and-fall-and-rise-south-carolinas-maritime-history/

 

Also, isn't South Carolina on the ICW? That can only handle small ships. Maybe research that a little and see if pint size freighters used the ICW.

Googling this topic revealed tgatvCharkeston harbour recently welcomed the largest ship ever to visit that port, a 15,000 TEU container ship from Brazil. Only 1,200' long....

Alyth Yard

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, February 7, 2021 6:21 PM

Charleston tends to handle pretty big ships. They're planning on starting barge service to a satellite terminal in the next couple of years. But, right now, they're mainly fairly large to extremely large ships. 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Monday, February 8, 2021 4:16 AM

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by HairBear on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 1:51 PM

Hi,

Love the fact that other people are modeling small harbors.  I've had a good experience using the cardstock models from scalescenes.com.  The site has a fishing trawler, an older coastal cargo freighter and a newer cargo "container" ship that you can detail very well.  The site is actually for the British HO (1:76) BUT since the parts are designed for European A4 paper, printing them out on our American paper makes the scale roughly 1:84.  That's close enough for me!  This is a cheap alternative to the high-priced resin/styrene/wood kits out there and once you detail a ship to the hilt, you've spent maybe $35-$40.  Also, all you have to do if you want more ships, is plug in the files to Paint or Adobe Photoshop and change the color, names, etc.  Additionally, the site has docks, an office building, parking garages, factories, churches, houses, etc. Sorry this sounds like an ad but I really love the model kits put out by this site.  Good Luck with your harbor!

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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, May 6, 2021 12:17 PM

Scalescenes of England offeres two small ocean going ships in OO Scale.  They are cardmodels.  Download, print and build.  The OO (4mm=1ft) models can be printed in HO (3.5mm=1ft) which is shightly smaller. They are inexpensive, very well designed models with excellent instructions.

https://scalescenes.com/dockscenes/

Don't overlook their other models, many of which although British prototypes, could be useful on an US layout. 

 

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, May 6, 2021 12:23 PM

HairBear
Hi, Love the fact that other people are modeling small harbors.

HairBear (love the name!), and Welcome to the Model Railroader magazine discussion forums. We are glad you have found us. Your first few posts will be delayed by moderation, but this will ends soon enough, usually after just a few posts. Please stick around through the delays and become part of the crowd.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by 7j43k on Thursday, May 6, 2021 2:17 PM

If you're looking for small container ships, an image search turns up several.

 

This one is about 360 feet long, or 4' in HO:

 

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/container-ship-small-boat-big-blue-ocean-161399989.jpg

 

Here's one a bit smaller:

 

https://c8.alamy.com/comp/K3RRHP/the-small-feeder-vessel-jena-enters-the-port-of-rotterdam-K3RRHP.jpg

 

If you don't need a self-loader:

 

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/small-container-ship-28999960.jpg

 

And if you REALLY don't have a lot of room:

 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/ab/9f/71/ab9f7175f6f188d2f031d66fce53fce9.jpg

 

If you want to build your own, I'm sure there's plenty to choose from to model.

 

Ed

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Posted by Lakeshore Sub on Friday, May 7, 2021 8:35 AM

Just a clarification about the largest bulk carriers on the Great Lakes.  I believe that anything traveling on the Great Lakes is designed to fit through the locks at Sault St. Marie or it wouldn't be able to get into Lake Superior.  So there is a size limit even to the largest of the lake boats.

Scott Sonntag

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Posted by cv_acr on Friday, May 7, 2021 10:14 AM

Lakeshore Sub

Just a clarification about the largest bulk carriers on the Great Lakes.  I believe that anything traveling on the Great Lakes is designed to fit through the locks at Sault St. Marie or it wouldn't be able to get into Lake Superior.  So there is a size limit even to the largest of the lake boats.

Scott Sonntag

The largest ship on the Great Lakes is the Paul R Tregurtha. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MV_Paul_R._Tregurtha

1013' long and 105' wide. One of 13 "thousand footers" on the lakes.

Of course the OP is talking about ocean ships calling along the Carolina coast, and these big "lakers" are restricted to Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan, as the locks on the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence River restrict passing ships (either domestic lake boats or international "salties") to a maximum size of 740'. Large international container ships cannot come any further than Montreal. There is no container traffic on the lakes, even in smaller vessels. Just bulk cargo ships.

Everyone seems pretty focuses on container shipping in this thread, when a smaller bulk ship would probably be more ideal that could handle grains, ores, etc. at an appropriate port facility, or a heavy-left ship with cranes that can unload heavy industrial cargoes at an open dock for transfer to flatbed truck or railcar.

"Break-bulk" cargo shipping from ship to truck/boxcar/etc. isn't much of a thing anymore, but if you're modeling an earlier era before standardized containerization, it would very much be a thing at active harbours, with goods being transferred to warehouses.

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, May 7, 2021 11:50 AM

Bernard Kempinski's article on backdrops in the 2021 issue of Model Railroad Planning makes a good case for a backdrop with something like an ocean going freighter -- perhaps a photo backdrop and reduced in size to represent distance from the modeled portion of the layout.  

In N scale Monroe Stewart has including some marvelous ships on his enormous layout - scratchbuilt.

Dave Nelson

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Posted by ROBERT PETRICK on Friday, May 7, 2021 1:50 PM

dknelson

In N scale Monroe Stewart has including some marvelous ships on his enormous layout - scratchbuilt.

Dave Nelson

Hey Dave -

Do you have photos or a link to photos of these scratch-built ships? I'd be curious to take a look see.

Thanks.

Robert 

LINK to SNSR Blog


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