This is a 1/32 approx scale model of Thames Sailing Barge PORTLIGHT shown alongside photos of the real thing.
It is built from the HFM Thames Barge kit. I did not build it personally, but purchased it already assembled from a model shop that was closing down.
It had been painted with a few bold non-authentic colours, so I decide to change them and make some alterations.
Because any significant modification the the deck arrangement was likely to give problems, I looked for a barge currently sailing, that has a similar deck plan, and was bowsprit rigged. I also quite liked the idea of turning it into a steel rather than a wooden built barge, since the plastic form of the kit is no disadvantage here.
Having seen Portlight race on several occasions I decided that she would be my model.
She has now got a new set of sails - made of cloth, and with some sail dressing derived from a preparation used on current full size barges. Her performance with these new sails is very encouraging, although I have not had an chanc this year to race her against other HFM models. Perhasp 1999 will give me more oportunity.
She won a trophy at the Elmbridge barge match in September 1997, and also came joint first in the SSA series for the "Littl'uns" trophy 1997.
The photographs of the model show her in the hull colour she had at the time of the photographs. She has since been painted differently, and the model now shows her colours as during 1997/8(not yet photographed).
Pages © David Renouf, email: email@example.com