Kingston Mouldings Kingston Mouldings
Kingston Mouldings
Kingston Mouldings

Hull Length:890mm (35") Beam:220mm (9") Scale:1/24th
or
Hull Length:1070mm (42") Beam:270mm (10.5") Scale:1/20th

Almost two hundred of these austere little single-screw coal-burning steam tugs were built during the later years of WW2 for general towing and lighterage work, largely to replace war losses. The design of the double-chine hulls was very simple with only single-curvature plates, so that the tugs could be prefabricated in eight standard sections and assembled, often on in the open on river banks, by relatively unskilled labour. I have a copy of the original specification, which reveals that TID tugs were built to a surprisingly high standard, with ‘good quality hardwood’ used throughout the crew accommodation. As with the rather more sophisticated H.S. tugs from WW1, many vessels that survived were eventually sold to civilian owners, where most TIDs were eventually converted to burn oil fuel rather than coal, and many of them operated well into the 1980's. The straight lines and the small number of very straightforward fittings make this a very simple scale model. There are both 1/24th and 1/20th scale versions of this hull, which is equally suited to steam or electric power. The first and third photos show examples of model TID tugs built with open and enclosed bridges. The second photo shows 890mm and 1170mm hulls together, the difference in size is greater than it appears, as the larger hull is farther away. The last photo shows one of the larger size 1170mm TIDs built by Belgian modeller Jacques Callewaert, and fitted with a steam engine that he designed and constructed himself.