Orange Hobby 1/350 USN Harbor Tug YTB-782

Reviewed September 2017
by Sean Hert
The Natick-class of District Harbor Tug (Large) was a class of 77 craft at its height. Built during the 1960's and 70's, only 8 of these vessels are still in US Naval service. These tugs were named for Native American tribes, with the exception of the REDWING. Measuring 109' in length and 31' in beam, these tugs displaced up to 356 tons at full load. 
This tug is cast in a solild, full hull fashion, with much detail molded in place, including the large rudder. The hull is mounted to Orange Hobby's typical stout casting sprue, so some work will be needed to free it. 

The hull is well detailed with the bow bumpers and hull strakes molded on. The presence of many of the hull strakes molded in place on the hull would indicate a Natick-class in service during the later stages of its career; to model a late 1960's tug, some of the hull detail would need to be removed. 

The deck of the tug is relatively clean, with a large depression to aid placement of the deckhouse and H-bitts. The round hatch to port of the forward capstan is pretty softly detailed, and might benefit from a scrap handwheel if the modeler prefers.

Some may lament this tug's lack of a waterline option, the hull below the waterline is about 1CM in depth, and a combination of sanding and careful basing should resolve this.

In addition to the full hull, the deckhouse and wheelhouse are also chock full of detail. The wheelhouse and deckhouse fit togehter well, as the deckhouse has assembly locators molded in place for the wheelhouse and funnel.

There are a three "sprues" of resin parts in this kit, primarily dealing with deck fittings- as one would expect with a tug kit, those details are the main attraction. The funnel comes in two parts- funnel and funnel cap, with the cap having the exhaust tips present. The prop, bitts, and fire monitor bases are also present in resin. Some great little parts are in the form of the H-Bitts and roller fairleads, common towing gear, as well as the round fenders.

This kit comes with two small frets of photoetch, and some small detail parts machined from brass. The PE contains no real surprises; the roller fenders mounted to the superstructure are placed in boxes that will require some minor assembly. 

The four machined brass parts are a nice touch over resin; the capstans on tugs are always oversize, given the tasks tugs perform. The two monitors are very well done- the instructions indicate painting them "brass," but leaving them in a bare metal, machined state shold look outstanding

The clear stand is a little loose at first, but a unique solution to displaying this full-hull model.

The decals are difficult to see in the scan below, but this kit includes the markings for 3 members of the Natick class;
  1. YTB-782 MANISTEE 
  2. YTB-783 REDWING 
MANISTEE and KITTANNING served most of their careers at United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Yokosuka, Japan. REDWING served both Naval Station San Diego, and Naval Station Adak. 

The markings include flags and hull numbers, as well as a nameplate for the funnel. 

The instructions four single-sided pages; three pages of instructions and a combined page with a parts list and a section detailing decal placement. 

The Natick-class Harbor tugs have had a long and dependable career serving the interests of the United States Navy. As a result of this, their appearance can vary depending on the timeperiod being represented in your model. has a nice collection of photos of the tugs in this class. 

As is common with Orange Hobby kits, this little tug is well cast and highly detailed. It is a great little kit, and hightly recommended! 

This is kit #N03-056-168 1/350 Natick Class Large District Harbor Tug YTB-782 lists for about $36.95 wherever fine ship accessories are sold. Thanks to Orange Hobby for the review sample.

This is an in-box review showing the kit contents. We welcome your input and comments in the review section of the forum especially if you can share details about fit, ease of assembly and accuracy. Click the logo on the right to join in the discussion.