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In-Box Review
Yard Lighter & Small Tug Set
1/700 Waterline Series
  • smtug

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

Clearly one of the most adaptable of subjects, this resin cast duo from Battlefleet Models will add realism and accuracy to your next 1/700 scale dockside diorama.

intro. . .

Lately here at MSW, we have had the pleasure of experiencing the wonderful builds from some of the UK's most talented modeler/artists, using base subject kits from Battlefleet Models. This inbox style review is of one of the company's most popular kits, the "Yard Lighter and Small Tug Set", from the 1/700 scale Waterline series, in full resin.

The kit. . .

Harry Abbott, owner/operator of Battlefleet Models, takes a lot of pride in his work. You can tell by the quality of his castings, and the way that they are presented to the modeler, all at a very reasonable price, considering today’s resin market.

His kits are well thought out, from start to finish, designed, built, and packaged by a modeler. . .so you get what you expect, a good quality product, at what, in my opinion, is a fantastic price. This model arrived at my doorstep packaged in a sturdy, cardboard box, no frills outside, but inside is what really counts. Upon opening the package, I found a series of individual clear plastic bags, 7 total, all hermetically sealed together in a chain, and each one containing the individual castings of this kit. The bundle was again wrapped in plenty of bubble wrap for shipping protection, in which the parts arrived 100% intact. Also contained inside is the kits instruction sheet.

Closer examination reveals good, clear resin casting, with fine details prevalent. All resin castings are well done, with no apparent trouble spots at this time. This kit contains all parts necessary to construct two separate 1/700 scale vessels, which can be used together, alone, or with other like vessels to construct a very convincing dockside style build.

the yard lighter. . .

Beginning with this vessel, the one piece hull is casted with many deck details, bits, winch, and lower superstructure included in the assembly. All details are clear, clean, and very good looking. There is a minimal amount of flash around the waterline which should take moments to clean up. No signs of warp age, air bubbles, or imperfections on this piece.

The one piece casted bridge/lower superstructure roof assembly looks equally as well, with square windows, ports, and doors casted clear upon the bulkheads. There is also a tiny cast raft on the very top of the bridge roof! Again, all details are clean and clear.

The stack casting looks very good, nice, clean detailing, and prominence of design, quite accurate. There are two further casting lugs for this vessel, each holding deck details of the ships boat, and an assortment of vents in multiple shapes and sizes. . .details are good on these tiny parts, and as expected, a bit of flash is present on some of these smaller castings, but the removal is a breeze. (Note~due to my clumsy hand, I dislodged one of the larger vents on the vent/boat casting, which can be seen clearly in the close-ups! )

The photo-etch brass railing (made by Toms Modelworks) and the fine brass rod (used for various masts) are nice additions for super-detailing, and will add to the accuracy, as well as realistic look of the finished vessel.

the tug. . .

BFM's tug castings are wondrous things, and this little workhorse falls right in line! The one piece lower casting is very well detailed, with fine deck details including side bumpers, rope fenders, bits, and detailed rear platform. Again, minimal flash at the waterline, removed in seconds with just a finger-nail scrape! No pesky bubbles or imperfections here at all, a great looking lower tug assembly.

The one piece superstructure/deck house also is a fine casting, with good window, door and port details, as well as the ships stack, well done, and the tiny life raft, waiting at muster. An overall good casting, with minute flash.

Wrapping up the kit is the enclosed instructions, which show black and white reference photos (and some fine action shots, indeed), with line drawings of each vessel kit, denoting parts placement, and paint scheme recommendations. There is also a one page "general instruction" sheet listing basic resin cast modeling tips.

Highs: Clean and clear casting, accurate representation, quality resin.
Lows: None!
Verdict: Overall, a very useful, highly adaptable kit, great quality for the money, and a must have for your next 1/700 scale dockside diorama. Highly recommended from this modelers point of view.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:700
  Mfg. ID: BFM 702
  Suggested Retail: $12.00 USD
  Related Link: Official Company Website
  PUBLISHED: Jun 24, 2007
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Battlefleet Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2020 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Gunny, Good review and a great way to bring to the spot light the hard working lighter. The lighter is a great work horse ship. It was used for cargo, refuse, and even for coastal and river defense. This would be a great kit to add to the stash and it even has a decent price.
JUN 24, 2007 - 03:04 AM
Thanks Frank, my pleasure... Seems like I might just get you to try a 1/700 scale ship soon, eh?
JUN 24, 2007 - 04:32 AM
Another very tempting offering from Battlefleet Model's which may have to find its way into my collection. Ciao Luciano
JUN 24, 2007 - 08:20 AM
I'll tell ya what, mate, this little kit is a beauty...and for 12 bucks! ~Gunny
JUN 24, 2007 - 10:38 AM
I've just finished my first harbour dio, and it includes this same kit together with the YO's, barge, and Hog Islander. I also used all the dock pieces, and BFM buildings - several kits overall. The small ship builds are quick and easy, and putting them all together has been my most interesting modelling task to date - loved every minute of it. All power to BFM for accurate clean castings, imagination, and VALUE FOR MONEY! Cheers, Peter F.
JUL 03, 2007 - 08:11 PM
Ahoy, Mr. Fulgoney! Aye, and we're all looking forward to seeing the dio at a completed state, mate! She is a real beauty!! Cheers, ~Mark
JUL 03, 2007 - 10:42 PM
Thank You, Peter. Very Much Appreciated!!! Well, we are off to see the fireworks here in Estes Park. Great show every year. Had a good day fishing also. Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!!
JUL 04, 2007 - 02:53 PM

What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • Header1
  • The Kit
    The Kit
  • Kit Contents
    Kit Contents
  • Lighter Deck Details
    Lighter Deck Details
  • Lighter casting, Port
    Lighter casting, Port
  • Lighter Hull Casting
    Lighter Hull Casting
  • Lighter Superstructure
    Lighter Superstructure
  • Stack casting
    Stack casting
  • Cowl Vent/Boat Detail
    Cowl Vent/Boat Detail
  • Brass Railing
    Brass Railing
  • Brass Mast Rod
    Brass Mast Rod
  • Yard Lighter
    Yard Lighter
  • Img_2833
  • yo-32
  • Instructions, pg.2
    Instructions, pg.2
  • Small Tug, Lower Hull Casting
    Small Tug, Lower Hull Casting
  • Small Tug, unfinished
    Small Tug, unfinished
  • Img_2831_1_
  • tug1fixed