Cape Bover - T-AK 5057

Conversion of P 61x Mariner Class Cargo Ship casting by Terry Holtham 2013

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

For the fourth conversion I was prepared to have a go at a more drastic conversion and chose Cape Bover T-AK 5057 as the subject - a MARAD Cape 'B' Class ship which I noted had smaller twin funnels, a different superstructure and heavy lift Stülcken derricks.

Cape Bover (ex Frederick Lykes) was a Marad C4-S-66a design Break Bulk Cargo Ship, one of 12 sister ships built for Lykes Bros Steamship Co by Avondale Industries in 1967 (MARAD Hull No 179).

Frederick Lykes and four of her sister ships (Dolly Turman, Howell Lykes, Velma Lykes and Mason Lykes) were traded in to MARAD in 1985 and assigned to the Ready Reserve Fleet (RRF) as Cape Bover (T-AK 5057), Cape Breton (T-AK 5056), Cape Borda (T-AK 5058), Cape Bon (T-AK 5059) and Cape Blanco (T-AK 5060) respectively.

As noted in the article introducing my models a little imagination and some artistic license is required when converting the Mariner Class castings. In this case Cape Bover is about 25 ft shorter than the C4-S-1a ships which at 1:1200 scale means the model is about 0.25 in (6 mm) too long but in my view this does not detract from the finished model.


In this case, as the Lykes Lines ships are all fitted with twin funnels, the main funnel was not going to be used so I chose a Maersk livery P612 model, but any of the later models with plastic funnels would suffice, and simply cut the funnel off with a sharp knife.

As with the previous conversions the plastic masts and plastic lifeboats were also removed and the model was disassembled, stripped, cleaned and polished up ready for filing and alterations. The Stülcken derricks were sourced from Wirral Miniatures (Priam – M82) as were the pair of open lifeboats complete with davits.

Modifications & Additions:

The filing comprised two main areas, the first was the aft deck areas. The ships of this type have the aft hatches extended for use as container ships and as I had decided to match the aft mast house with those that were to be fitted forward, the two aft mast houses and the two hatches were filed down to about 1mm height. This had to be done carefully so as not to disturb the very aft hatch. The ships also have plated outriggers outboard of each mast house so the bollards in the way (forward only) also had to be filed off completely. The top of the aft deckhouse was also filed flush so as to accept the awning arrangement.

The second main area of filing was the superstructure. Basically everything above the two ladders on the bridge sides had to be removed and the deck made flush. I found out the hard way, but this is better done with the superstructure fixed to the hull with the screw. In order to accept the deck sections of the new winch decks the forward two mast houses had to be reduced in height by about 1mm. Also the winches and lugs for the masts just forward of the bridge were filed off.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Hull and Superstructure filed down

The deck sections of the acquired Stülcken derrick mast houses were a little wider than the Tri-ang mast houses, so a compromise was made and as can be seen in the photos below, extra width on these two forward was done with cut sections of plasticard, glued in place. Another feature from the photos was the elevated winch deck just forward of the bridge. Thus with the superstructure firmly in place a selection of plasticard slices were secured to the deck and over the aft hatch on the foredeck, again as in the photo below. For the aft deck the container hatches were made from 1.5mm x 1.0mm section as both fore and aft and cross deck supports with cut sections of 0.5mm thick plasticard glued on top. Again as in the photo below, care had to be taken to allow space for the replacement deck house. This had the Stülcken derricks removed and two holes drilled for 0.8mm diameter brass wire - the replacement masts. Finally a section of 2mm x 2mm plasticard was secured on the poop deck in a clear space but close to the cross deck housing to be a support for the awning, again as in the photos below.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Model with additions as described in the text above

The superstructure then had to be altered to take the new fittings, wheelhouse, engine casing, funnels etc. The bridge wings were filled in with sections of 1.0mm x 1.5mm plasticard and Milliput, allowed to set, then trimmed and filed flush with existing parts. A rectangle of very thin plasticard was then glued to the new and existing top deck, and allowed to set well. It was then trimmed around the existing verticals, filed and allowed to settle.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
New bridge deck in place, with new wheelhouse & engine casing outlined in pencil.

With only photos to use and no plans, the sizes of the funnels, the new wheelhouse and new engine casing were all estimated. The new wheelhouse with plan view as in the previous photo was made from 2mm thick plasticard cut and shaped – the approx dimensions were 6mm in length and 12mm in width. In the event I reduced the engine casing section to be a separate piece of 1.5mm thick and roughly 6mm wide and 7mm in length. The two funnels were from 2mm dia plastic rod each cut to around 7mm in height. I also placed a couple of vents on the aft deck of the bridge level. All these additional bits are shown in the next few photos. Also arranged in position just for the photos are the two Stülcken derricks.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Added items on bridge and Stülcken derricks in position

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Extra items added to bridge, & Stülcken derricks

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

With the superstructure parts completed, the main hull section had the standard bulkhead across the foredeck added, filled in with Milliput and the holes for the mast also filled in. The holes for the lifeboats were also filled in but the holes for the masts on the aft part of the superstructure were left OPEN. As with all conversions an extra hatch was added to the foredeck, and for this conversion a small deckhouse was added at the aft end of the foredeck – about 2mm in width and height to fit between two uprights as in the photo that follows. The masts were from 1.5mm x 1.0mm plasticard with a thin slice of 0.5mm thick plasticard as the cross member at the tops.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Foremast and cross tree added, holes filled in.

The main hull with forward masts, hatches, aft new masthouse etc were then painted one good coat of Humbrol 128 as the primer coat and left to dry. The superstructure items were assembled and also primed with a coat of Humbrol 128.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Hull and fittings primed with Humbrol 128

Thereafter the hull and the superstructure sections were separately painted up with decks given two coats of Humbrol 125 and the upper works a further coat of Humbrol 128. After the aft mast house had been painted the two vertical masts from 0.8mm diameter brass wire were fitted and then painted up to suit the superstructure. As the main superstructure was completing the two vertical masts were also added, also from 0.8mm diameter brass wire. At the same time the two Stülcken derricks were painted up and the lifeboats painted with orange.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Hull painted up with decks and fittings completed

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Superstructure and derricks painted up

The main hull sides were given two coats of Humbrol 128, the waterline added with Matt black Humbrol 33 and the highlights touched up, funnel tops etc detailed out in black. When all complete the items were stuck on the superstructure, lifeboats added and the whole re-fitted using the screw. The two Stülcken derricks were glued in position and allowed to dry. Two small masts were added onto the bridge made from 1.0mm x 1.0mm plasticard with a slice of 0.5mm thick plasticard as the cross member.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Hull painted up, superstructure complete, Stulcken derricks added

The final steps included marking up the windows, portholes etc with a black pen; fitting the derricks, all of which were made from 0.45mm diameter brass wire each about 13mm in length; and adding a small fore-mast made from plasticard.

In the planning stages I had decided to put containers on the aft hatches. These were sourced from Wirral spares but could just as easily have been Tri-ang ones from the spares pack. These were all painted up in olive green Humbrol 66. These are shown in the photo that follows. The main model was then given a coat of Humbrol Satincote varnish.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham
Model rigged and containers etc on deck

The very last part to do was the fixing of the derrick outriggers. These were made from thin plasticard cut to size, again judged only from photos, but I used 5mm at the base and 2.5mm at the apex in the triangular shaped pieces, six in total made. I added a small extra slice at the base to double the thickness for the first 1mm in height to allow a reasonable surface for gluing. The items were painted up Humbrol 128, varnished etc and then glued in position outboard of each of the six main deck cargo masts to complete the model as shown in the following photos.

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

T-AK 5057 Cape Bover by Terry Holtham

Paints Colour Description
Humbrol 128 "US Compass Grey" (Satin) "Haze Grey" Hull / Vertical Surfaces / Cranes / Masts etc
Humbrol 125 "US Gull Grey" (Satin) Dark Grey Deck Surfaces
Humbrol 33 Black (Matt) Black Waterline / Boot Topping, Funnel Cap, Highlights
Humbrol 82 "Orange Lining" (Matt) Orange Lifeboats
Humbrol 22 White (Gloss) White Radar "Golfball" Dome
Humbrol 66 Olive Green Olive Green Containers
Humbrol Satin Cote Varnish Overall finish
Pilot DR Ink Pen (Size 0.1 & 0.2) Black Ink Windows and other markings

(For comparative paint colours please have a look at the "Paints / Colours" page)

Material Description
Paint Stripper Blackfriars Paint & Varnish Remover
(but Nitromors or Polycell should work as well)
Filler Milliput Epoxy Putty
Plastic Sheet / Section / Rod Plasticard / Styrene -

0.25mm & 0.5mm - Sheet
3.0mm / 4.0mm - Square Section
1.0mm x 1.5mm - Rectangular Section
Metal Rod 0.45mm & 0.8mm diameter brass wire

Click on any thumbnail image to view the original photograph in a "popup" gallery

(Use the arrow buttons at the bottom of the window OR the left / right arrow keys on your keyboard
to move backwards / forwards through the photographs)

T-AK 2056 Cape Breton

Cape Girardeau T-AK 2039 courtesy US Navy
(Photograph courtesy of the US Navy)


Name: SS Frederick Lykes - IMO 6610077 / Cape Bover (T-AK 5057)
Sister Ships: Dolly Turman - IMO 6620589 / Cape Breton (T-AK 5056)
Elizabeth Lykes - IMO 6504761
Genevieve Lykes - IMO 6707129
Howell Lykes - IMO 6610560 / Cape Borda (T-AK 5058)
Letitia Lykes - IMO 6707155
Louise Lykes - IMO 6504797
Mallory Lykes - IMO 6602214
Mason Lykes - IMO 6523808 / Cape Blanco (T-AK 5060)
Ruth Lykes IMO - 6523810
Stella Lykes - IMO 6610106
Velma Lykes - IMO 6621662 / Cape Bon (T-AK 5059)
Owner: Lykes Bros Steamship CO
Builders: Avondale Industries, Avondale, Louisiana - Yard No. 1066
Design: C4-S-66a - MARAD Hull no. 179
Launched: 1967
Displacement: 10,723 tons / 14,662 deadweight tons
Length (OA): 540 ft ( 164.6 m )
Beam: 76 ft ( 23.2 m )
Draft: 26 ft ( 7.9 m )
Propulsion: Two (2) Babcock & Wilcox D-Type boilers, two (2) cross-compund steam turbines, single shaft / screw, 15,500 HP
Maximum Speed: 20 knots
Cargo Capacity: 749,900 Cubic Feet / 21,237 Cubic Metres
Crew: 32 Civilian Mariners (Full Operational Status)
9 Civilian Mariners (Reduced Operational Status)
History: 1985 acquired by MARAD - renamed Cape Bover and assigned to Ready Reserve Fleet (RRF)
1990 activated for Operation Desert Storm
1991 returned to MARAD in Sept and laid up in the RRF at Suisan Bay, California
2004 downgraded to NDRF on retention status tp provide spares for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy training ship USTS Kennedy (ex Cape Bon)
Status / Disposal: NDRF on retention status tp provide spares for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy training ship USTS Kennedy (ex Cape Bon)

Further details can be obtained from the following links -
The Navsource Web Site
MARAD Web Site

Download this article in PDF format - note the file is 340 kb and may take some time to download.

Details of my other conversions can be accessed from the "Resources" menu - "Upgrades & Conversions" sub-menu OR from the links below.

Introduction Cape 'A' Class Cape 'B' Class Cape 'G' Class Cape 'J' Class Crane Ship