The TID is the first kit from the German based SSN-Modellbau. In 1:350 scale this is a diminutive model with the hull measuring just shy of 2 ¼ inches. The kit is an overall simple affair comprising of 5
resin parts and some photo-etch. Naturally the largest resin part is the one piece waterline hull with all of the desk housing and fittings integrated. The smaller parts include the funnel, mast, vent pipe and
davit. The casting is generally good with only a few pinholes to deal with. There is an adequate amount of detail but based on reference photos it lacks watertight doors and hatches on the sides of the
deck housing. The rope bumpers at the bow and stern are done well and are a nice touch.
The photo-etch provides a length of railing, the tug’s wheel, life rings and what appears to be some kind of window that gets attached to the housing at the back end. The photo-etch is basic with the life
rings having a little bit of relief etching to help with the painting. None of the images I have seen of TID tugs in their original fit have railings along the back edge of the housing so there is really no need for
it. A length of wire is provided to make the tow rope bars.A small decal sheet printed by Peddinghaus Decals is included and provides hull numbers and a White Ensign. The prefix TID 1 is done as one
run and then you have individual digits running from 0 through 9. The TID tugs were numbers TID 1 to TID 183 so having TID 1 together facilitates applying the decals as all you need to add are one
or two digits at most or trimming off the 1 and replacing with 2 through 9 or the lower numbered tugs.
The instructions are provided on a single double-sided sheet of paper. The front page has the assembly steps and painting guide in German with two photos of an assembled model from two perspectives
to show how it all goes together. A diagram is provided with measurements to fashion the four tow rope bars using the wire provided with the kit. The photos provided do the job as this is not a
complicated build. The reserve side has an English translation of the assembly steps and painting guide.
The Medway Maritime Trust website has a section dedicated to the history of TID tugs and is well worth visiting (http://www.medwaymaritimetrust.org.uk/tidtugs/index.html). While browsing there I
came across a photo of TID 132, which had a black band on her funnel in addition to the black top. A web search also yielded good detail photos of the preserved TID 164. So with these references I
decided to build my model as TID 132. A little history about TID 132: she was launched January 3, 1945 and completed in March of that year. On May 22, she was shipped to Bombay along with four
others TIDs as deck cargo on the Empire Byng. She arrived on June 19, 1945 and used as an Admiralty tug there. After the war, she was transferred to the Singapore Harbor Board and renamed
Tentu. In 1964 she was sold to Malaysian buyers but there is no further information.
The first thing to do is to remove the casting block using a razor saw and then doing a little bit of sanding along the hull bottom to make it flush. The hull itself is very clean and required filling in a few
pinholes here and there. Around the running lights there is resin buildup that needs to be removed and cleaned up. I also drilled out openings in the bulwarks which are marked by circular outlines.
Vertical ladders are cast into the side of the deck housing (it is hard to see it but they are there) but looking at the photos of TID 164, the ladders are more like individual steps so I sanded off the cast in
ladders to replace them later with bits of styrene strip. Photos also show watertight doors fitted forward and 2 pairs of access hatches on each side of the deck house below the funnel. I applied photo-
etch doors and hatches from the L’Arsenal set which provides a variety of styles and I also glued that square window on the kit’s photo-etch where the assembly guide places it. Lastly I drilled out
“windows” in the four engine room skylights aft of the funnel.
Now that the hull was prepped, it was time to give it a wash with soap and water and get ready to paint. Having main structures and deck fittings already cast into the hull has its pros and cons. The pro is
that it facilitates construction but the con is that it can complicate painting especially in the narrow gap between the bulwarks and the sides of the deck housing. I masked the housing and brush painted
Testors Model Master Leather for the deck color as suggested by the painting guide. Once that was dry after a couple of days I masked the deck and painted the deck housing and funnel Floquil Depot
Buff which was the closest match I had handy to the photos of TID 164. I then painted the hull, inner bulwarks, cowl vents, tow hook base and funnel bands Floquil Engine Black and the rope bumpers
with a tan color for which I forget the specifics. Once this was nice and dry I applied a coat of Tamiya Gloss to the hull for the decals.