Russian Invasion

Continuing with the nautical theme from the experimental waves, I’ve been building a few kits from the Russian manufacturer, Zvezda.  Namely, three of their medieval lifeboat kits.

These have featured in several magazines as being an excellent basis to bash some good quality small sailing vessels from the kit. Exactly what I needed to represent the smaller vessels shown in the image below of Portree, courtesy of Neil King.

Macbrayne’s S.S. Lochbroom arriving at Portree. The Zvezda kits are meant to represent similar vessels to the smaller ones in this photo.

The medieval lifeboat sounds rather inappropriate for model railway use, but actually provides a really simple solution for a Scottish-ish looking fishing vessel, or indeed anywhere else around the UK if you’re not too fussy.

The three I’ve been building are going to find a home moored on the beach between the harbour office (left) and the quay (right).

In trying to provide a slight variation in the style to each vessel, I’ve bashed all of them slightly.  Each has had at least some of the rollocks for the oars removed, the kit comes with several pairs of oars.  I only left rollocks on one of mine, and one set at that.  Perhaps two would have been better, but I’ve done it now…

Blutac was pressed into service to hold various bits and bobs in place whilst the liquid poly hardened enough to become self supporting. This time it’s holding up the boom and the sail.

The shot above shows another element of bashing, the movement of the sail from the position shown on the box, higher up the mast, to the base of the mast.  This was simply a case of turning the boom and sail upside down, and glueing the end of it in the hole for fixing another component to the mast.  In doing this the mast then looked too short, so I cut the blade off an oar, and used the straight section to extend the mast vertically.  The same was then done to the bowsprit to balance out the overall appearance.  The variation in designs between the three is shown by the shot below.

All three have had extended masts, the centre one using the bowsprit for the extension rather than an oar. The one on the right has the original bowsprit fitted, whereas the others both have chopped oars for this. Finally the rudders were set to lean to one side as the boats rest on the beach at an angle.

Now to decide what colour to paint them.  I’m thinking of trying to represent varnished wood on one or two of them, with the other being white and carrying accent colours on parts of the woodwork.  Sails will be creamy white or deep red.

Well worth considering if you need a small sailing boat for your layout as it’s quite easy to tailor to your needs.

Apologies for any nautical terminology clangers in this post…

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