Product Idea |

UCS Double-Ended Ferry (loaded with vehicles and features!)


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This is a project that I have been waiting a long time to do. I finally found some time, so after a few weeks of frustrating work with LDD, I present to you: a UCS Double-Ended Ferry. This is a model of a typical inland ferry -- a flat-bottomed, low-draught vessel capable of transporting approximately 30 cars. While I can't claim that this model is an exact duplicate of any existing ferry, it was inspired very, very heavily by the ferries Galena and Shelter Bay that operate on Upper Arrow Lake near Revelstoke, BC, Canada (there are some great pictures of them here).

When I originally conceived of this model, I had thought of doing it at minifig scale (roughly 1:40), but I soon realized that it would be unmanageably large at that scale, so I chose the next logical step down in size -- a scale compatible with 4-wide vehicles (roughly 1:75). At this scale the ferry is 35 studs wide (28 cm) and a little over 80 studs long (65 cm).

My goals in designing this model were to create something that looked great, was fun to build, and even more fun to play with. Hopefully, I have succeeded on all three counts. The build includes a number of advanced techniques, including a Technic lattice to support the hull and the deck and large amount of SNOT building. To improve the playability of this set, I have included a large number of 4-wide vehicles, most of which have working features themselves.

Like all double-ended ferries, this one has working ramps at both the bow and stern, to enable vehicles to quickly load and unload. The picture below shows some of the finer details of the wheelhouse and the cabin upper decks, as well as some of the vehicles. You can get a pretty good look at the railing, engineering compartments, navigation electronics, and exhaust stacks here.

Below is a top view of the ferry, with the deck packed almost full of vehicles. You can see the crane and lifeboat in the forefront.

And what would a ferry be without an assortment of interesting vehicles to transport? In the next picture, we have a close-up of some of the vehicles on the ferry:

* A minivan with a working tailgate.
* A low-profile supercar with working scissors-style doors.
* A service truck (with a working dump bed) towing a wood chipper.
* A bucket truck with a working bucket (both arms articulate and the entire assembly can swivel) and working outriggers.
* A jeep towing a boat trailer.

In the final picture, there are several more ferry passengers:

* A heavy dump truck towing a drawbar trailer with a backhoe-loader. On the dump truck, the dump bed tilts and the rear tailgate swings open. The ramps on the trailer can be raised and lowered. The backhoe-loader has a functional loader, backhoe, and stabilizer arms.
* A open-top roadster.
* A pick-up truck hauling a horse trailer (both with a working tailgate).
* A logging truck.
* A flatbed trailer truck with palletized cargo and a piggyback forklift.

Better still, this ferry should be compatible with any properly scaled 4-wide vehicles, including, for instance, the ones in the Tiny Trucks Cuusoo idea.

Higher quality renderings of the ferry can be found here. I have also created high quality renderings of almost all of the individual vehicles here. When I have a little more time, I'll get the complete set of vehicles uploaded, and maybe add a few new ones.

I'd also like to thank GlenBricker for giving this project a nice review and choosing it as the Pick of the Week on his blog.

Thanks again for looking!