Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Ways with a Cliché

This kit will be familiar to many of you. It turns up on just about every layout built in the last few years that features a harbour.

I've been trying very hard to resist it, because it is such a cliche. Like most modelling cliches it is a victim of its own success. It is a nice little kit of an attractive prototype that isn't readily available in other forms. You see it on one layout and think "Yep, that will work for me"

My basic test for a modelling cliche is you look at a layout and think "Oh, that is the (Name of model and manufacturer)"  The moment you recognise the model, the sense of illusion goes, at least for me. 

Which is fine, you can avoid them, until the cliche actually turns out to be just what you need because it matches a prototype.

That is the case here. There are several photos of Fenland rivers that feature boats with a distinct resemblance to this one.

So what to do with it, to make the origin less obvious? Well first of all there is some extra detail to add, it is missing the ribs that are a vital part of the construction. I'm hoping I can use microstrip to replicate them. I can leave out the anachronistic sailing rig as well, though I might one day build one with a more modern one. On the Welland this would have been rowed, or perhaps converted to an inboard engine. But if rowed it would have used removable rowlocks, not the primitive arrangement portrayed by the kit. Finally, the coaming around the helmsmen's position can probably go. Combine that with a painted hull and I hope the base model won't be too obvious.


  1. I'd not seen this kit, perhaps I should get one. Just after I've posed the bus on a bridge and finished my funeral/wedding scene for the church...

  2. I bet you'll start seeing them everywhere now. There are several on Chris O'Donghue's Compass Point which show the potential for modernizing them.