MOCpages : Share your LEGO® creations
LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Tug-in-a-jugMicro-scale
Welcome to the world's greatest LEGO fan community!
Explore cool creations, share your own, and have lots of fun together.  ~  It's all free!
Tug-in-a-jug
Rate it  12345       Add a comment Add a comment   Zoom in  Zoom in
A microscale ocean-going tugboat built in a bottle found on the kitchen counter.
About this creation
Please feel free to look over the images and skip the verbiage.

In our household, containers to be recycled tend to collect on the kitchen counter next to the sink until I haul them out to the bin in the garage. Last week, something out of the ordinary turned up in that spot -- a rather nice old-fashioned wide-mouth bottle with a big cork.



Surely this can be reused, I thought, but for what? I set the bottle aside, figuring something would come to me. A few days later, something did.

Being a lousy scratch builder, I'd never considered making anything-in-a-bottle before, but building a small LEGOŽ boat or ship in that particular bottle suddenly seemed doable. After my recent run of motorized LEGOŽ boats, the fact that there'd be no possibility of motorizing it sounded kind of appealing. When a 4-wide plate passed through the neck with ~2 mm to spare, the build was on.

But what kind of ship? It would have to be something a little more original than a sailing ship or the Titanic, and I needed a break from speedboats.

The answer came while researching Voith-Schneider propellers (VSPs) online with a view toward refining the working VSPs seen on the test boat below. (Michael "Efferman" Wirth pioneered the underlying Technic adaptation.)



Since VSPs find use mainly in work boats, and especially in tugs, my computer screen was soon crawling with tugs. I got the hint. A tug-in-a-jug it would be.

On this page:


Overview

The next 6 photos show the completed tug in a jug from as many different angles.













The internal length of the jug beyond the neck limited the tug's overall length to 96 mm (12 LU). The tug's length-breadth ratio of 3.0 is about right for an escort tug but too slender for many harbor tugs.





I discovered quite by accident that a variety of sea states from calm to stormy to deadly can be evoked by shaking the jug to redistribute the "water" around the tug. Snapshots of corresponding pitching and rolling motions can be arranged by adjusting the tug's trim relative to the jug and rotating the jug on its base, respectively.

Plan A is to deploy the tug-in-a-jug as a workbench mood indicator. Visitors seeing a capsized tug would be well advised to come back after the storm has cleared.




Assembly inside the jug

The next 2 photos show the fully assembled tug and attached base inside the jug prior to adding the 3L friction pins used to simulate the surrounding ocean. Getting to this point took a lot less cussing than expected.





The intra-jug assembly queue shown below isn't quite right. The hull, main deck, and foredeck easily pass through the neck of the jug as a unit, but not with the forward winch (farther back in the queue) in place. The hull/main deck/foredeck module will also pass through the neck with the lower level of the white deck house attached, as shown, but it then becomes impossible to install the foreward winch.



Hence, the correct sequence is hull/main deck/foredeck module first, then foreward winch, then lower deckhouse level. The rest of the queue is correct as shown. The only tool needed was a long sturdy pair of angled forceps, but holding my mouth right proved to be crucial at several steps.




Design goals

I had only 4 goals for this MOC: (i) Build a passable ocean-going escort tug at microscale, (ii) reassemble it inside the jug, (iii) add simulated water, and (iv) evoke a sense of forward motion through waves.

Going into the project, I had no idea how I'd pull off goal (iv) at such a small scale. The answer came in a BrickLink shipment. One of the clear plastic bags inside the mailer contained a few large parts and a hundred or so loose 3L friction pins. The spontaneous 3D packings formed by pins when shaken in such a confined space provided just the kind of semi-ordered textures I was looking for.









Next?



Shortly after completing this MOC, I found another bottle just like this one in the pantry, and it's almost empty. Hmmm, what else can I build in this thing?




Specifications

Overall dimensions:96x32x42 mm (LxWxH, excluding bottle)
Overall mass:0.335 kg (0.74 lb) including jug and base
Hull depth:16 mm at midships
Waterline length:96 mm
Waterline breadth:32 mm
Draft at keel:~8 mm (midships)
Freeboard:~8 mm (midships)
Length-breadth ratio:3.0
Breadth-draft ratio:~1.0





Design features
Scale:~1:250
Construction:Studded
Hull and foredeck:Mostly inverted slopes and wedge plates
Superstructure:Deck house with wheelhouse on top
Winches:Foreward and aft
Water:Loose 3L friction pins
Modified LEGOŽ parts:Antenna segments in fore and aft towline staples
Non-LEGOŽ parts:Jug and cork
Credits:Original MOC

<< Back to top



Comments

 I made it 
  July 6, 2017
Quoting Angelo Filipelli I love this model Jeremy! Looks like they're not getting out of there anytime soon. By the way, here is the video of my motorized tugboat in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-M2zwEpGpc
Thanks, Angelo!
 I like it 
  June 16, 2017
I love this model Jeremy! Looks like they're not getting out of there anytime soon. By the way, here is the video of my motorized tugboat in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-M2zwEpGpc
 I made it 
  June 13, 2017
Quoting Scott Bertaut Always loved the idea of ships in a bottle, and LEGO ones are no exception. Nice work on the Tug, it looks good without even considering it goes into a bottle. Nice work.
Thanks, Scott! A larger version of this bottle has been sitting on my work bench for over a year now. Want to put something =much= less conventional in it, but still waiting for the right idea to strike.
 I like it 
  June 9, 2017
Always loved the idea of ships in a bottle, and LEGO ones are no exception. Nice work on the Tug, it looks good without even considering it goes into a bottle. Nice work.
 I made it 
  January 4, 2017
Quoting Seaman SPb Fantastic work! Excellent tug, Jeremy!
Thanks, Seaman! Coming from you, that's a big compliment.
 I like it 
  January 4, 2017
Fantastic work! Excellent tug, Jeremy!
 I made it 
  December 18, 2016
Quoting Rick S. Nice work! I always liked the look of these things because it looks so impossible.
Thanks, Rick! This one was actually pretty easy -- especially compared to a wooden ship in a whiskey bottle.
 I like it 
  December 18, 2016
Nice work! I always liked the look of these things because it looks so impossible.
 I made it 
  February 27, 2016
Quoting adam thelegofan rutland cool job!:D
Thanks, Adam!
 I like it 
  February 26, 2016
cool job!:D
  February 26, 2016
LOL! ;) Yeah sometimes the sticker work is driving me crazy XD But it's worth it. Thank you for the greets. So your from Colorado, nice :) Have a license plate from Colorado in the back window of my pickup truck. Have a nice day Jeremy. Greets, Sven
 I made it 
  February 25, 2016
Quoting Zachary Baker Awesome! I never understand how people can do these... To tedious for me... Keep on brickin' ;)
Thanks, Zachary! The wide mouth on the jug actually made it pretty easy. Getting the tug to look right at scale was the hard part.
 I like it 
  February 25, 2016
Awesome! I never understand how people can do these... To tedious for me... Keep on brickin' ;)
 I made it 
  February 25, 2016
Quoting Sven Jagdmann Btw, many greets from Germany ;)
And to your from Colorado, USA!
 I made it 
  February 25, 2016
Quoting Sven Jagdmann This is a awesome little creation and I really like it Jeremy. For doing this you need steady hands, a lot of patience and a good eye (The same for me when I'm working ony my tiny sticker work ) :o) Very well done!
Many thanks, Sven. The mere thought of working with those tiny stickers gives me the willies. Stickers and I don't get along -- even big ones!
  February 25, 2016
Btw, many greets from Germany ;)
 I like it 
  February 25, 2016
This is a awesome little creation and I really like it Jeremy. For doing this you need steady hands, a lot of patience and a good eye (The same for me when I'm working ony my tiny sticker work ) :o) Very well done!
 I made it 
  December 21, 2015
Quoting Vibor Cavor This is a very good idea and performance. Very original indeed! :))
Thank you very much, Vibor!
 I like it 
  December 21, 2015
This is a very good idea and performance. Very original indeed! :))
 I made it 
  November 16, 2015
Quoting Oliver Becker Gorgeous! You've made in real bricks what I made in LDD in a bigger LEGO bottle with a sailing ship (http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/414287)! That's so nice, because this "hobby" is also "rare" but still popular in Northern Germany! Kudos, Jeremy! :))
Thanks, Oliver! Like your LDD version. That couldn't have been easy, either. I can't begin to imagine how people who build intricate wood and cloth and string sailing ship models in narrow-necked bottles do it. This MOC is nothing compared to that.
 I like it 
  November 16, 2015
Gorgeous! You've made in real bricks what I made in LDD in a bigger LEGO bottle with a sailing ship (http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/414287)! That's so nice, because this "hobby" is also "rare" but still popular in Northern Germany! Kudos, Jeremy! :))
 I made it 
  October 4, 2015
Quoting Lo var Lachland Wow! I've seen model ships in a bottle, but you've captured the "ship in a bottle" in Lego!!! Great job my friend! 5/5!!
Many thanks, Lo var!
 I like it 
  October 3, 2015
Wow! I've seen model ships in a bottle, but you've captured the "ship in a bottle" in Lego!!! Great job my friend! 5/5!!
 I made it 
  September 1, 2015
Quoting moTT 10 Never seen that before, interesting and well done.
Belated thanks for your like and comment. Missed it somehow.
 I like it 
  July 9, 2015
Never seen that before, interesting and well done.
 I made it 
  July 8, 2015
Quoting The Royal Brick You never cease to inspire, Jeremy! Great work!
Many thanks! Kind words like that are doubly appreciated when an MOC's "gone cold", as this one's been for months now.
 I like it 
  July 7, 2015
You never cease to inspire, Jeremy! Great work!
 I like it 
  April 14, 2015
Brilliant just brilliant
 I like it 
  January 30, 2015
Very cool! Excellent micro scale building and a cool idea to place it into a jug. Great job! :-)) And now try it with a bottle ;-)) (I know what that means...)
 I made it 
  January 25, 2015
Quoting Turbo Charger Truly, this is an art piece out of Legos. Fabulous work!
Thanks for the kind words and the like, Turbo Charger.
 I like it 
  January 24, 2015
Truly, this is an art piece out of Legos. Fabulous work!
 I made it 
  December 30, 2014
Yann, Kayla, and manthanboeing MAD: Thanks for the kind words. Rendering a decent tug at microscale turned out to be a lot harder than getting it into the bottle, thanks to the neck's 4-wide bore. It was painless enough that finding another of these bottles almost empty in the pantry led immediately to thinking about my next something-in-a-bottle. Label reads "Olde Thompson Himalayan Pink Salt".
 I like it 
  December 26, 2014
AMazing creation! You need a lot of patience for these, but the result is worth it!
 I like it 
  December 25, 2014
Wow, great job!
 I like it 
  December 25, 2014
Ah!! very good tug! love the 'water'.
 I made it 
  December 25, 2014
Matt and Gene, Thanks for the kind words. I fully expected this build to be a major pain in the stern, but the bottle's short length and 4-wide neck ID kept the frustration tolerable. By far, the most fiddly parts to install inside the bottle were the brackets used to simulate tire fenders along the sides. Must've tried 10 different kinds of forceps, but there just wasn't enough room to deliver them to their locations and press them into place in a single move. If I didn't hold my mouth just right, they'd fall off as soon as I let go of them to come back around and seat them. Still have no idea how anyone could make a ship inside the usual whiskey-like bottle with a long, narrow neck.
 I like it 
  December 25, 2014
Nice and very innovative!
 I like it 
  December 25, 2014
Ha! That's adorable! Well, first off, tugs rule. Second, even at this scale, it looks properly powerful. And third, TUGS RULE! Cool little challenge, looks highly frustrating but ultimately satisfying. Excellent!
 
By Jeremy McCreary
Add to my favorite builders

32
people like this. See who.

2,322 visitors
38 comments
Added December 25, 2014
 


LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Tug-in-a-jugMicro-scale


You Your home page | LEGO creations | Favorite builders
Activity Activity | Comments | Creations
Explore Explore | Recent | Groups
MOCpages is an unofficial, fan-created website. LEGO® and the brick configuration are property of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, own, or endorse this site.
©2002-2018 Sean Kenney Design Inc | Privacy policy | Terms of use