New 180′ Coastal Freighter/Tanker/Container Ship

Small Ships that Serve Worldwide


These small ships serve thousands of small harbors all around the world. This model is based on the dimensions of a small freighter based in Juneau, Alaska. It is 180 scale feet (54 m) long, with a beam of 28 feet (8.5 m). The model is thus 13.5 inches (343 mm) long and 2.2 inches (54 mm) wide. Height to the top of the navigation bridge, minus antennae, is 2.8 inches (72 mm).


The three hatches can be modeled open and stacked, or closed. There are two main hydraulic cargo cranes, plus a forward long-reach post and boom. Custom photo-etched brass railings and stairways, custom-made windlass and rear winch, lifeboat, davits, anchors, bitts and other small parts fill out the kit. The gunwhales are raised just as on the prototype.


This is an easy kit to build. Kit prices is US $99.00 plus shipping. A basic built-up model is $450 plus shipping; a superdetailed built-up model is $650.


6 thoughts on “New 180′ Coastal Freighter/Tanker/Container Ship

  1. Hi, Have you ever considered building a medium sized container ship? Say one that is 6′ long x 12″ wide x 12″ tall, full hull, 3 holds holding 768 20′ containers. That’s 8 deep, 4 long and 8 across, times 3. I’ve started building one in HO scale, but just the 3 holds so far. I’m having trouble building the bow and stern of the ship. But I also have in mind to make it an RC model, too. So the motors would fit below the pilot house(super structure) and then the propeller shafts would need to be waterproof, coming out from the
    angled part of the stern.

    • Hi Roy,

      I’ve dropped building HO models because I have no ready source for details in small quantities. I build most of my N and Z scale details from resin casting, photo-etched brass, wood or 3D printing. HO is 6.22X the volume of N. Also, I usually build waterline models. For your described purposes, I’d recommend a fiberglass hull. I believe six footers are available, but I don’t follow that aspect of the hobby. When I built two 8 footers (1300′ tankers) in N scale, I had to commandeer additional space. On special order I have built 6+’ (1000′) in N for bulkers and containers, but as waterline models. I have not yet offered them for sale, as there was much fitting and finishing for these individual orders. I’ve also found that styrene superstructures are perhaps too flexible for HO, and are probably not suited for constant removal/replacement.–Peter

  2. Hi Peter, I’ve never built something like this before, but I’m interested in buying this in kit form, due to your comment that it’s an easy kit to build.

    I’ve also seen comments on other models, describing possibly 24 hours or more of build time.

    I’m aware that actual build time can vary hugely depending on skill, but I’m interested in your thoughts about likely duration, and what elements perhaps are most difficult for beginners?

    • It’s nearly impossible to answer. If you are familiar with the section-stringer-skin technqinue, then the construction takes perhaps an hour or two. Sometime cleaning up the styrene cuts can take a half an hour or so, but usually not in a small ships. The instructions for this ship are step-by-step. If you use a slow-setting cement, then it will take much much than if you se a nearly instant cement. I can knock them together quickly; your results will vary. My best advice is to lay in a supply of masking tape and use it as shown. The superstructure is now 3D printed, so there is no assembly.

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