The tugboat Rowangarth was launched on October 24, 1981 at the McTay Marine Ltd yards in Bromborough, England and completed on December 12 of that year. This steel tug measures about 112 feet
long, 33 feet in the beam and with a draft of 10.6 feet (34.24 x 10.04 x 3.23 meters) and displaces 352 GRT. She is powered by two 8 cylinder engines made by Niigata Engineering Co Ltd in Japan and
propulsion comes from 2 stern mounted azimuthing multi-directional propellers.
Rowangarth was originally built for the Irish towing firm SJ Murphy & Co Ltd and was registered in the Republic of
Ireland. In 1994 she was transferred to British registry and changed hands several times but in2001was sold to Svitzer Marine Ltd. She is currently under Russian registry but I am not certain if she is still
named
Rowangarth.

The Orange Hobby 1/350 scale kit of the
Rowangarth is bagged multimedia kit comprising of resin, photo-etch brass and turned brass parts. This is a waterline model so you do not have the option of
building a full hull model showing off the multi-directional propellers which are found on modern tugboats. Orange Hobby has built a reputation of producing detailed well cast kits for a reasonable price.
This tug is no exception but I do have a couple of little quibbles.

The resin parts for this kit are comprised of the hull, bridge, some smaller structural parts and bumper tires. What is interesting to see is how most of the resin parts are presented – they come on sprues
that make them look like they are from an injection-molded kit. There is a reason for this as the sprues act as a buffer to protect the resin parts. Naturally the hull is the largest part which has a good amount
of detail cast into it. Looking at the bow and stern to you will the rubber bumpers common to tugs. Some deck fittings are also integral to the casting as well as the footprints of the bridge and aft control
housing, which are done with a raised outline. I have not done any dry fitting so I am not sure if the parts fit within the outlines or rest on top.
Looking at photos of the Rowangarth, there are a few things I have to point out. The first of my little quibbles are the Zodiac raft and the life raft canisters. I think that these should have been cast as
separate parts, in particular the Zodiac. Looking at the casting, the Zodiac just doesn’t look right; it’s crude by comparison to the rest of the parts and it appears as if it is fused to the deck. The raft
canisters shouldn’t be flush on the deck but instead stowed in some kind of cradle. The next set of quibbles is the towing bitts on the foc’sle and main decks - they too do not like quite right. These
should really look like essentially two round posts sticking up from the deck with a round cross beam across the face. Instead the kit has solid “walls” rather than open bitts. These should be removed
and some replacements scratch built from plastic rod.  

Removing the hull from the sprue will require some carefully cutting and some clean up. Also a block of resin on the bottom aft of the hull will need to be removed or sanded down. There are bits of
resin along the edge of the bumpers on the bow that need to be attended to.
The next largest part is the bridge housing which has a nice amount of detail. The bridge windows are well done and recessed which well making painting them easier. There are some casting blocks
along the bottom which need to be removed with a razor saw and some general clean-up is required. The next set of parts is the mast, the aft control housing and the funnel. These are also done well but
require removing them from the casting sprues and cleaning up wisps of extra resin. The upper mast lights will need to have some resin removed so that they don’t appear solid against the mast.

The photo-etch for this kit is quite extensive, providing standard fittings like railings and ladders as well as bases and spool ends for the towing winches, raft crane, tow rope beam, radars and various
other fittings. The railings are pre-measured which is helpful and some come with sections of bulkheads. The photo-etch is well done, has relief-etching and comes sandwiched between a protective film
of static wrap for protection. What is interesting with this little kit are the pair of turned brass towing winches, which are well done and look better than a resin part would.
Decals are provided with markings for the Rowangarth with the boat’s name and home port, draft markings, registry number and funnel band with Svitzer Marine markings. There are several sister
tugs to the
Rowangarth so if for some reason you wish to model one of them you will need to find an alternative source for some of the markings.

A two-sided instruction sheet is included with the first side containing several blow-up illustrations showing where the various resin and photo-etch parts go. Smaller illustrations focus on the
assembly of the two towing winches. The flip-side provides a painting and decal placement guide. The colors called for here are for the Svitzer Marine livery of navy blue hull and white housings but I
have seen photos of Svitzer livery with a black hull and light tan housings. There are many photos of
Rowangarth to use as references.
In my opinion this kit is meant to be part of diorama and I can picture it alongside one of the modern Royal Navy ships produced in this scale by White Ensign Models, Airfix or Trumpeter.
However, despite my quibbles this little kit will build into such a well detailed model of a modern working tug that it would also look fine by itself without a larger subject distracting the eye from this
little gem. Whatever your plans this kit is worthwhile getting and is a relative bargain for the price. You can purchase it from
Free Time Hobbies or White Ensign Models.
Felix Bustelo
Pride of the Yankees
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