Kingston Mouldings Kingston Mouldings
Kingston Mouldings
Kingston Mouldings

Tug Hull Length:300mm (12") Beam:125mm (5") Scale:1/24th

Barge Hull Length:510mm (20") Beam:140mm (5.5")

Almost 90 of these little canal tugs were built between 1950 and 1969, and a few are still with us today. They were powered by 40hp air-cooled diesel engines, and although all were broadly similar, there were quite wide variations in length, beam and draught, according to the requirements of the different owners. The largest operator was British Waterways, and Bantams were employed working barges and moving dredgers on canals, and rivers around the UK, and also in sand and gravel pits. A fair amount of licence has been employed with the hull design, mainly to improve stability and increase the amount of room in the hull, and although both the tug and barge have been deepened to increase displacement, as can be seen, they make a very convincing replica of a Bantam tug & barge.

Because the hulls are fairly cramped inside, and only have limited freeboard, they are definitely calm water models, and they aren’t very suitable for beginners, but they don’t present too many problems to modellers with some experience. They are great fun to sail, and are certainly a bit out of the ordinary. If you sail the tug and barge together, and the two are fairly closely coupled, they handle and perform just like any other boat of roughly the same overall length. You can buy the tug hull on its own, or with a barge, and if you buy both mouldings together, there's a useful cost saving.

Although this barge was made specifically to accompany the Bantam tug, several customers have bought the same barge mouldings to tow behind larger tugs, and for this reason, they now appear on the pricelist as a separate item. They wouldn't look out of place towed behind tugs like our Sun XXI, where they'd represent a full size barge about 50 feet or 15 metres long. The standard barge mouldings measure 72mm from flat bottom to the top edge, but they can also be supplied slightly deeper at 80mm on request.