Model harbour features world’s smallest Rubb halls

Rubb buildings are known to come in many shapes and sizes, but we haven’t made any quite this small…

Nils Arvid Totland, a passionate model boat builder from Haugesund, Norway has spent years working on ‘Totlandshavn’—a 1:50 scale model harbour diorama, featuring several miniaturised Rubb structures. From forklifts to shipping containers, the harbour is rendered in painstaking detail. We sat down with Nils to learn more about this impressive project.

When did you start making the models?

I started building ship models when I was young. There was a period of about 10 years where I worked as a truck driver, driving all over Europe, so I had to put this hobby on hold. I took it up again when I got a more ‘normal’ job at home.

What inspired you to make these models?

 I am fascinated by ships and ship design, and like to work creatively with my hands. The harbour came after I found inspiration from German and Dutch model boat clubs that have some fantastic harbours to sail the models in. I wanted to create something more detailed, and make it look as realistic as possible for diorama pictures of the boats.

 

 

 

Is this project based on any particular harbour?

The ‘Totlandshavn’ harbour isn’t a copy of any harbour, but a fantasy creation that has grown over many years. It started with a small quay, and I have expanded it one piece at a time. The name ‘Totlandshavn’ is what my friends have started calling it—my last name is Totland, and ‘havn’ means harbour in Norwegian.

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When did you start making the models?

I started building ship models when I was young. There was a period of about 10 years where I worked as a truck driver, driving all over Europe, so I had to put this hobby on hold. I took it up again when I got a more ‘normal’ job at home.

What inspired you to make these models?

I am fascinated by ships and ship design, and like to work creatively with my hands. The harbour came after I found inspiration from German and Dutch model boat clubs that have some fantastic harbours to sail the models in. I wanted to create something more detailed, and make it look as realistic as possible for diorama pictures of the boats.

Why did you choose Rubb for these models?

I used Rubb structures because it’s important to make buildings that people know and can instantly relate to the harbour industry. Rubb buildings are found everywhere, so that was a must-have on the harbour quay.

What is the most challenging aspect of making the model harbour?

The most challenging aspect was finding a good way to get the sections held in place without it showing from the topside. Also, to make it in a lightweight material that was not affected by being submerged in water.

Do you have any plans to expand the model?

It has already grown out of the first trailer I used to store and transport it in, so I had to buy a new bigger trailer as it grew larger. There are no plans for a bigger expansion of the harbour at this point. There are some small plans for extra details, but nothing big.

What’s a highlight from your time of making these models?

The highlight has to be when I was allowed to build a model of a new ship before they even started building the actual ship. I was honoured that the ship designer would give me the opportunity. It was fun to sail the model around before the original was put to sea. The model also got a lot of public interest.

It really is fantastic to see Rubb capture the imagination of marine enthusiasts and be considered a quintessential part of the industry. Thank you, Nils! To see more of Nils’ work, follow him on Instagram: @rc_harbour.