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JohnWS

1/72 USN 80' Elco PT Boat with some mods

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Hello everyone!  Yes, it's another torpedo boat. :yikes:

This time, I'm attempting to scratch build a late model Elco 80' boat, circa 1945.  There is a lot of reference materials for these boats in books & on the 'net, so this should be a fun & relatively easy build (famous last words :winkgrin:).

 

Some of you may recall that the hulls for my previous two torpedo boat builds were carved from a cedar fence post.  But this time, I going to take a shortcut and use the hull from a Revell PT 109 plastic kit.

 

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This is an old kit, that's been reviewed & built many, many times.  I saw this kit at an antique market and I couldn't pass it up for the price.  The quality of kit leaves a little to be desired, and the plastic parts are a little smaller than 1/72 scale.  But, the kit should serve my needs.

 

To begin this build, I made a stand from a 3/4"x4" piece of oak trim, using two finishing nails to attach the hull to the oak stand.

 

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Next, I drilled holes in the bottom of the plastic hull to match the location of the nails.  Two pieces of plastic tubing were glued over the holes to strengthen the hull and to guide & support the nails.

 

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I found layout drawings for the Elco boat on the Internet, and printed them out in 1/72 scale, for reference.

 

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I used the drawings to identify what I will need to change on the 109 kit, to upgrade it to the 1945 model.  The major changes involve modifying the kit deck to remove the Oerlikon gun mount at the stern and the support structures for the torpedo tubes.

 

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Removing those items will require major surgery.  So instead, I decided to make a new deck and will build the superstructure & deck fittings from scratch.

 

I made the new deck by gluing pieces of Evergreen plastic sheet together.  I ended up laminating pieces of .040", .030", and .015" sheets (available at the local hobby store) to give enough thickness so I could contour the deck surface.  The Revell deck was used to trace the shape on the plastic sheet, and the size was checked against the the plan drawings.

 

It was a little bit of a battle to glue the new deck to the plastic hull, as the hull was twisted in the box.  Luckily my new deck is strong enough so I could bend the hull to the proper shape when glueing it to the deck over the course of three days.

 

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After a quick start, the rest of this build will be slowed down over the next few weeks due to Christmas activities & while I wait for a few purchased items.  Hopefully, I'll have some updates soon.

 

Thanks for looking in.

 

Cheers!

 

37778686935_86c0871e85_b.jpg

 

John

 

 

 

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Looking forward to this build as i have always liked the PT Boats. I built a few of these as a kid but not very well. Maybe its time to revisit them.

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13 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

... I built a few of these as a kid but not very well. Maybe its time to revisit them.

I remember building this kit when I was a kid, only in grey.  It's been around for a long time.

 

We'll see if my modelling skills have improved since then. :rolleyes:

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Ohhh... watching with interest! Lots to learn here. Keep up with the high standard of annotated photography - makes following along nice and easy! 👍

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I'm in. :) After seeing & being enthralled by your BPBCo 70' 6" MTB I wouldn't want to miss this for quids. 

Steve.

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Thanks everyone!

 

7 hours ago, stevehnz said:

I'm in. :) After seeing & being enthralled by your BPBCo 70' 6" MTB I wouldn't want to miss this for quids. 

Steve.

The Elco PT boats have strong ties to the British Power Boat MTB's.

 

A little history, for those interested ...

 

Hubert Scott-Paine, the founder of the British Power Boat Co., negotiated contracts to build BPBCo boat types under license with ELCO in the USA.  The first WWII American PT boat squadrons were equipped with boats based on Scott-Paine designs.  Scott-Paine spent the war years in the United States, and stayed there after WWII until he passed away in April 1954.

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I shall enjoy watching this one. Those elco hulls, so like the BPB hulls from which they descend are great and the amount of weaponry they managed to tote... :)

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I have a feeling that the RN had some big Elcos in the Mediterranean?

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3 hours ago, seadog said:

I have a feeling that the RN had some big Elcos in the Mediterranean?

When doing research for my Fairmile D build, I remember seeing mention in Bryan Coopers' book 'The Buccaneers' that the RN 10th MTB Flotilla was made up of older lend-lease Elco PT boats. After seeing your post, I did a quick Internet search about the 10th & found the following site http://www.unithistories.com/units_british/RN_MTBs2.html.  Looks like MTB's 257 - 268 & 307-326 were Elco built boats.  Here's link to a photo of Elco MTB's 309 & 313 moored in Malta - http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/120505101.jpg 

John

 

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I agree 77' Elcos handed over to us in the Med, easy way for the Americans to make some money on their crap...

Though in fact they served us very well.

 

The 80' Elcos were only used by US forces in the Med.

 

Kev

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I've been spending time researching the 80' Elco's, specifically the differences between the early 1942 PT-103 family and the later boats built in 1944 & 1945.  There are a lot of differences, both big and small.  The more i learned, the more I wanted to continue this build.  So here's a small update of what I've done so far.

 

But first, do you know what a stack of blank DVD's has in common with this build?

 

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A better photo.

 

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Give up?

 

Well, it's the 50 caliber machine gun turrets.  

 

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The scale turrets are approximately 5/8" diameter.  I tried a number of materials to make the turrets - wood dowels, forming plastic sheet, & copper piping, but I wasn't happy with any of the results.  So, I went on a search & recover mission around the house to see what additional material I could find.  That's where the DVD container came in.  The plastic stud running up through the centre of the DVD's is 5/8" O.D. & is hollow. :yahoo:  The PT boats' forward turret on the starboard side has an indent, and it was easy cut out the opening for the indent and to glue in a plastic insert.  The turrets of these later PT's are tilted forward and the plastic stud was easy to cut to get the proper profile.  I glued a layer of .010" styrene sheet around the outside of the turrets for ease of painting & for gluing on attachments.

 

Here's the finished product;

 

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To prepare for making the boat's superstructure, I pieced together sections of the line drawing using Photoshop to make an actual size paper mock-up.

 

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The pattern was cut out, taped together and placed on the boat's deck with the turrets, to verify the size & position.

 

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I'm going to use the PT 103 kit parts the finish off the tops of the turrets;

 

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And finally for reference, here's a photo showing the different turret locations & profiles for the PT boats built in 1942 & those later boats built in 1944 & 45;

 

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That's it for now.

 

Thanks for watching.

 

John

 

 

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Love it! Amazing what you can find when necessity hits! 

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2 hours ago, Courageous said:

Great idea but what do you use those spare dvds for?:coolio:

Not too much, other than being dust collectors.  They've been replaced by SD cards.

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Christmas has come early!

 

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I've received four Mk XIII Torpedos from an eBay vendor, and four .50 caliber machine guns, a 37mm canon, and a 40mm Bofors gun from Atlantic Models.  These & the Revell kit's 20mm Oerikon make up the guns needed for this build.  I still need to scratch build two 5 inch rocket launchers to complete the weapons suite.

 

Bad news!  When I was looking at buying aftermarket weapons, I originally decided to purchase 3D printed Oerlikon & Bofors guns from an American supplier.  I've never used 3D printed parts before & thought this build would be a good chance to try them.  Here's what I received;

 

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I was disappointed to find that the supplier shipped the 3D parts in flat bubble wrap envelopes.  Once I removed the parts from the packaging, I found that the parts had been bent (flattened) and some of the smaller details had broken right off. :crying: Overall the 3D printed detail looked good but the material was very brittle & very easy to break at 1/72 scale, plus the packaging left a lot to be desired.  Live and learn! :shrug: 

 

Now for some good news.  I had ordered the torpedos on eBay (from a California vendor) and 37mm gun from Atlantic Models (UK) at the same time as the 3D parts.  Both were received within a couple of weeks.  I'm very happy with the quality of these parts.   After my 3D fiasco, I contacted Peter at Atlantic Models to order a White Ensign Bofors gun and four .50 cal machine guns.  Peter shipped them the next day & I received them today, 10 days later. Not too shabby, at all.  Thanks Peter!  The parts look great and will be nice additions to the model.

 

John

Edited by JohnWS

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15 hours ago, JohnWS said:

I was disappointed to find that the supplier shipped the 3D parts in flat bubble wrap envelopes.

I feel your pain. I received a resin aircraft kit in the same type of packaging, also from an evilbay vendor, fortunately it was not damaged.

Looking forward to seeing the 'extras' built and painted.

 

Stuart

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I trust that the appropriate response was left on ebay, that's just being thick. :nono:  I'm enjoying watching this come together John, carry on. :)

Steve

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