by Nick Godfrey
I had already built a dock – albeit with concrete painted water – and a canal barge from scratch. But a new extension and dock have since been built, with real water. What was needed now was a barge that would float.
On a whim I bought a Sylvanian Families plastic canal boat. As it turned out, this was a good purchase from eBay, for just six pounds.
As you can see from the photos, all of the body work was removed and put to one side, then most of the interior was removed with a Dremel.
Next a balsa wood floor was fitted, along with a small cabin using a cut down piece of the original roof.
Lastly, three removable bunkers were made, again with balsa, so that coal loads could easily be removed should there be a need for general goods.
The hull was sprayed with Halfords acrylic red primer and a wash of acrylic black to make the hull look old . The top of the hull was painted black with some grey emulsion for the interior and dry brushed with black . Finally a home made ships wheel and an original cut down door were glued on.
The best thing about this barge is that, when in the water, it rocks gently if the wind blows. I think that’s not bad for six quid!