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Waker

Revell 1/200 ETV Waker Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2008 Manufacturer Revell/Germany
Subject ETV Waker Scale 1/200
Kit Number 5240 Primary Media Styrene
Pros New twist on a previously released kit Cons  
Skill Level Basic MSRP £15.99 €19.95 ¥6600

First Look

Waker
Waker
Waker
Waker
Waker
Waker
Waker
Waker

The ETV Waker is an Emergency Towing Vessel assigned to the Netherlands Coast Guard to assist ships in trouble in the sector north of the English Channel. Waker (Dutch for 'Watchman') has a rather unique history that brought this ship to her current duties.

Built as the Smit Houston in 1977, this 16,000 horsepower vessel was designed as an ocean-going tug boat that supported the North Sea oil industry. As the demand for oil dropped off at the end of the 1980s, Greenpeace was looking for a suitable ship to operate in the North Sea. A deal was struck between Greenpeace and the owners of Smit Houston and the vessel was renamed 'Solo'.

Solo served Greenpeace for about five years and had been fitted with a helipad above the foredeck to support helicopters weighing 4 tons or less. About three years into the Solo's service with Greenpeace, the tanker Brear wrecked on the Shetland Islands resulting in a huge oil spill. The fallout of this disaster resulted in new design standards for tankers, new tracking standards for international shipping, and the realization by the Netherlands Coast Guard that they had no ability to respond to a tanker in distress in time to avert a similar disaster.

In 1995, arrangements were made with Greenpeace to transfer Solo to the Netherlands Coast Guard, and today she serves to protect the transiting traffic through the Channel and North Sea as the ETV Waker. For more information about this interesting ship, click here.

Revell/Germany turns out some interesting kit subjects to please a wide range of audiences, and this one is no exception. This release represents the ETV Waker in its Netherland Coast Guard service, but this is an updated tooling of this vessel's original configuration, Smit Houston.

Originally released as kit 5239 Smit Houston, this release adds the foredeck helipad and a few other details to kit and becomes kit 5240 ETV Waker. This 1/200 scale kit is molded in white styrene and is presented on six parts trees, plus a separately molded one-piece hull. Clear acetate is also provided to produce the windows on the bridge.

I noticed a number of radio control websites were paying attention to this release, so I am betting that this kit is also being adapted to service in ponds and pools around the world. This kit is nicely detailed and hasn't compromised that detail to support the RC community.

While construction is straightforward, the more experienced modeler will want to pre-paint many of the colors prior to assembly as access to some of the deck areas will be difficult once the helipad and other structures are installed.

If you wonder what the propulsion of a huge sea-going tug looks like, the two shrouded propellers leave no doubt about the ruggedness of this vessel and the shrouds also provide protection for the integral twin rudders as well.

As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of topside details to have fun with as the twin masts, helipad, cranes, and cable support structures all denote the versatility of this huge tug boat.

This is a nice variation of the original Smit Houston release, though I am a bit surprised that this kit is not readily available in the US market. The original Smit Houston is available at a number of online retailers for around $26 USD.

If want to build something different, here is an interesting subject with lots of power and carries the now international Coast Guard colors.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!

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