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Posted by Harquebus | Mar 27, 2014 @ 09:30 PM | 2,688 Views
I think the original kit (as were most of the Pyro boat kits) was foremost a simple display model that had a "Fully Assembled Power Unit" included and was also available without it. I've seen this unit up close and it is clearly devised as a modular power pack with motor, shaft, prop and battery clip all in one. It was of course designed for simple on/off operation and could be fitted to many of the models that were deemed suitable for floatation. I've included an early Pyro ad that advertises the Tuna Clipper and shows the power unit which the Diesel Tug also most likely utilized. Other kits like the Coast Guard Tug Boat, Minesweeper and CG Patrol boat had parts included like mini motors, pulleys and motor mounts to provide the basic frills of motorization but strictly as part of the assembly process. But I digress...

Several questions were asked once that I think went unanswered. One was, how many versions of the Diesel Tug were produced? The answer, I think, is two. Two different molds exist for the tug that I've been able to determine.

The original tug had the means for motorization but sometimes served chiefly as a display model. I've got two tugs, one RC (circa 1992+/-) and one made sometime after the introduction of the RC version and the changes made in the molds to better accommodate radio control are apparent in both. Both kits (aside from the RC kit's modified servo drive, nylon prop, brass tubing and rod) have a strange square-molded hole for the...Continue Reading
Posted by Harquebus | Mar 27, 2014 @ 02:01 PM | 2,101 Views
This is a build log/discussion that is inspired by those who have gone before me and made the Lindberg Diesel Tug more than what it is, namely RGinCanada, Aerominded, rlboats2003, der kapitan (who provides a retrofit fiberglass hull for this kit), Lichtbote and anyone else who has undertaken the RC conversion and assembly of this historic kit.

A brief history of the kit is in order I think. The model kit was first produced by Pyro in 1956 and the idea or intellectual property was stolen from the wooden Model Shipways kit of the "Despatch No. 9".. Pyro was nicknamed "Pirate Plastics" during those days for this type of insidious business tactic that they practiced . Despatch No. 9 was the name of an actual tug; a postwar acquisition of a surplus 85' U.S. Army ST tug by Standard Oil company hence the large "S" molded into the smokestack. From Model Expo: "The Diesel harbor tug Despatch #9 was built for the Marine Corps in 1945 at Tampa, FL from a US Army design. Later sold to Standard Oil of California, she worked oil barges in the San Francisco Bay area. Powered by a Busch-Sulzer 6-cylinder engine, she was equipped with practically every modern device of the time, including electric capstan, electric towing machine and watertight doors. Despatch #9 was 85 ft. long with a 23 ft. beam."
Sometime later Pyro folded and Lindberg came into possession of the molds and has been producing the kit and and off ever since with minor changes to the kit (which will be addressed later) and the box art but usually with the same photo on the top.

Some of you will no doubt be familiar with an RC version of the Diesel Tug produced by Lindberg sometime in the early 90's if I recall. This is somewhat unprecedented for a plastic kit maker providing all the necessary supplies to make a model RC except the radio system of course. These are difficult to find nowadays but they occasionally show up on ebay.