My own personal Tin Can Sailors Campaign

Ahoi mates, its me again :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

after a short diversion with an aircraft build I would like to re-acclimatisate within the ship´s atmosphere. Not yet a gigantic build but a small Kriegsfischkutter. As the Kriegsmarine didn´t had enough warships to control all harbours and coastal waters of its zones of control it was decided to require also fishing trawlers and arm them with whatever guns were at hand to create more of the needed outpost boats. There was also a building programme where 42 wharfes produced these armed trawlers. All in all over 600 pieces were build and many survived the war and were used in different more peacefully tasks later. One, the “Tres Hombres”, former Kriegsfischkutter KFK 634 was converted into a plain sailing ship and is sailing since 2009 over the atlantic as the only active climate-neutral cargo sailer.

What do we need to build it? I have the relative new mixed media (3D-printed parts and PE-etched set) from SSN-Modellbau. The Flak guns are from Black Cat Models and are already within the SSN kit included. All parts are very crisp and nicely done. The only thing which may be missed would be a proper Kriegsmarine flag but I think because of the German governmental prohibition it was avoided by SSN to include one. Well and there was an disused tin can needed. I already putted some Styrodur isolation inside to fill the “ocean” inside. In German we also call very small ships “Sardinenbüchse” (sardines tin can), thats why I chose exactly this kind of tin can.

ok lets go :yum:


First I did started with the tin can dio base. I marked the boat´s hull out of the future seascape…

…and carefully shaved it off

I then prepared simply crushed aluminium foil, cutted exactly to fit into the tin can and glued it with white glue onto the base structure

After this I applied white glue on top to smoothen the too starkly surface

As the tin can diobase need to get dry overnight I started to spraypaint the ship´s parts with Gunze Mr. Color 362 Ocean Gray

Thats it for today :yum: :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:


That is a really GREAT IDEA!..looking forward to the final results!
I am waiting for the SPECIAL NAVY release in 1:72 scale but I don’t
think they make a tin can that is big enough to do something similar.
Keep us updated on your progress.

That’s really cool, Thomas - I love the concept! :+1:t3:


sorry for once again jumping in so late - as everybody said, great idea and great concept!

I have one of the KFK’s myself and maybe I’ll be building her while I’m still busy with Gneisenau. Just a lovely kit! You probably know that the ‘NORDWIND’, a cadet training vessel for the German Navy, is a former KFK? I did part of my navigational/nautical training on her as a midshipman in 1993… I’m looking forward to follow your build, as always (even if sometimes silent)!


@ Grauwolf: Is the Special Navy cutter 1:72 scale already released? Would surely be an interesting kit! For this scale one would need a tuna chunks tin can from the restaurant wholesale :yum:

@ Tim: welcome aboard Tim :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

@ Jan: Auch willkommen an Bord Herr KaLeu (don´t know your actual rank within the Bundesmarine) :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed: though this journey will not last for very long time for this miniscule kit. Your fabulous Gneisenau will take much more efforts and time

Today I have some pics of the finished ship´s hull and the progress of the tin can sea. I painted the cutter with MR Color 362 Ocean Gray, the lower hull with LIFECOLOR German navy ship hul red. The decks were painted in Vallejo Old wood and overworked with brown glaze. The outboard sides were also slightly overworked with LIFECOLOR seasalt, fouling green and rust some superstructures were already added:

As the ship was drying I painted the sea with VALLEJO dark seablue and gave it a gloss finish by brush with HUMBROL Clear gloss varnish which worked perfectly already after the first coat.

I inserted the cutter and everything is ready to continue

Thats it for the moment :v:


Hello Thomas…nice progress on your KFK…always nice to see paint on the build.

No as far as the 1:72 release, it is scheduled for 2021 but no specific date yet.

Added a tiny tiny ship´s bell from Alliance Modelworks (NW35084 1:350/700 bells for naval vessels small) at the bridge´s rear FlaK-Platform. Had this upgrade set in stock for my SMS Dresden but the bells fit here, too and gives a nice extra touch

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Well fellow sailers, the journey already ended here with my tiny Kriegsfischkutter build log. Construction and painting was straightforward and a real joy to me. I added the missing Kriegsmarine flag from a captured leadfoil of a whine bottle (burp) and painted her the best way I was able in consideration of the tiny size of it

The armament consisted of somewhere required british 2 pdr. Pom Poms from BlackCat Models as these cutters used whatever weapons were available, also prized ones. Then I used three etched coiled ropes from Alliance on the boat and spend eight volunteers from Northstar´s Kriegsmarine figure set 2 (nice figures but a real PITA to remove them from the fret). What was left was just some foam from the slowly chug along boat and paint the ship´s number at the bridge´s sides. I did chose KFK 411 because of the easiness for paint these numbers. Its name was GERDA and it was build in the german Burmester wharf in Swinemünde. Not more is known about it.

Thanks for watching :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:




Amazing, what a great idea!. Love this so very much.

Alive and well in 2020. (maybe make another as she is now?):

Hey Daniel, this is a nice surprice that my tiny Kutter is still “in duty” :yum: :+1:

Apparently one of only a few that still survive.


what a fine, excellent build! Congratulations to commissioning her, she looks splendid! I really love the level of detail you put into this small gem - and am looking forward to build mine!


Beautiful work, Thomas! Even though the rest of us may not have known the German Sardinenbüchse (sardines tin can) expression, we can all appreciate the clever idea. Well done, sir!

Though not a ship builder at all, to me this is an amazing work of art. Well done! :+1: :+1:

What a great little build! :wave:

Many many thanks again - I am very happy you like my idea :innocent:

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