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With my Vosper (almost) stalled until the forward gun and the crew arrive I began to look for my next project. My primary interest is WW2 coastal forces, and I would prefer to stick to a consistent scale (for now). I wanted to try an aftermarket detailing set for additional challenge and to build skills, and I wanted to spend more money on the model and less on reference materials this time around. This criteria leaves a pretty limited choice, so I was thinking of another Vosper with the Griffin etch set, depicting a later home waters MTB with single Oerlikon forward and twin Oerlikon aft, or perhaps a J S White subcontract built Vosper with the conversion challenge that might bring. While browsing eBay I stumbled upon a Italeri ELCO PT boat kit for a good price. Remembering mention of PT boats in The Battle of the Narrow Seas by Peter Scott I did a little digging. Four PT boat squadrons (RON 2, 30, 34 & 35) served in the English Channel performing various roles at or around the time of D-day, photos are plentiful, and at least two of these squadrons used the type of boat that Italeri offer. To round out my criteria my existing reference books cover the ELCO PT boats. All my wants satisfied I hit buy it now. The kit is the 1/35 Italeri PT596, a late war 80’ ELCO PT Boat. Also included in the sale was a kit and a half of crew There is two of the upper sprue Along with the Eduard etch set, and the Royal Model etch and resin set The Royal Model set looks comprehensive I will need the SO radar too so I also picked up the Italeri PT conversion set Lastly, I ordered the Echelon decal set and metal barrels for the four .50cals and the Oerlikon. The Italeri kit includes metal barrels for the 37mm and the Bofors. I’m still waiting for the decals and the .50 barrels There are a few parts to backdate from the later war configuration that Italeri depict, so there will be some modification and scratch building too, which will stretch my abilities I’m sure. Fortunately Arjan and Tom dK have paved the way building European theatre PT boats, and I have their threads both here and on the PT boat forum to use as a guide Arjan’s threads: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235048521-pt-515-ron-35/ http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?fid=102&cid=101&tid=4771&sc=20&pg=1&x=0 Tom dK: http://www.ptboatforum.com/cgi-bin/MB2/netboardr.cgi?fid=102&cid=101&tid=4774&st=0&nd=10&pg=2&sc=20 Not sure if you need to be a member of the PT boat forum to view the threads, but if you have even a passing interest in US coastal forces then it’s well worth signing up. PT520, along with 514, was one of the first boats of the squadron to join the invasion fleet on D-day+1. She patrolled the Mason line protecting the fleet, took survivors off the mined USS Rich on D-day+2, was shelled by shore batteries, and later joined British coastal forces in some the last of the fierce battles off Cap d'Antifor. Finally along with the rest of the Ron35 boats 520 was transferred to the USSR under the lend lease agreement by the end of 1944. PT520 seems to have been on the scene whenever Ron35 saw action. There are only a few photos of PT520, but there are lots of the other boats and the majority of features are common. Here’s a couple PT513 to give you an idea of the general arrangement The twelve boats of Ron35 changed weapons fits and colours throughout their short service in the channel. They arrived in theatre in Measure 13 camouflage (haze grey vertical surfaces, deck blue horizontals), having been repainted from their Pacific theatre greens whilst aboard transport ships from the states. Later they were repainted in a darker scheme. Measure 13: Showing blue deck and horizontal surfaces: Later darker scheme (Ron34 boat): As built the boats forward armament was a single Oerlikon, later many boats retrofitted a single 37mm autocannon whilst in service, some also remounted the Oerlikon, and later still some boats are seen with 2x 37mm. Single Oerlikon: 37mm and Oerlikon: 2x 37mm: While photos are numerous they are mostly undated, so I cannot say exactly what time period I intend to depict, but the colour scheme will be the earlier Measure 13, and the forward armament will be the 37mm and 20mm setup. I expect this to take me six months or more, and there is a bit of a steep learning curve with the many modifications needing to be scratch built, so progress will be slow Cheers Lewis
Patrol Torpedo Boat PT-579 / PT-588 (05165) 1:72 Revell PT Boats by their very name are Patrol Torpedo Boats. They are smaller fast attack craft designed primarily to launch torpedoes at enemy vessels using their fast speed as a their primary advantage. Elco were the makers of the longest, and most produced of these PT Boats made for the US Navy. Even though the main armament was four torpedoes later towards the end of the war some boats received two eight cell Mark 50 rocket launchers. These launched 5" spin stabilised Mark 7 and Mark 10 rockets. These had a range of upto 11,000 yards. These were equivalent to a 5" shell from a destroyer and the PT Boats carried 16 in their tubes with 16 reloads. This gave these Boats quite a punch. The Kit This is re-issue of Revell's new tool kit from 2018 with new parts to reflect the different armament of these boats, namely the rocket launchers and the 37mm M4/M9 autocannon which was not in the previous kit. In addition this kit features the lightweight 22.5" Mark 13 torpedoes on lightweight roll-off type racks, over the Mark 8 21" torpedoes in Mark 18 tubes which again were on the earlier release. As well as the main hull parts there are a further 11 sprues of grey plastic and a clear sprue. Construction begins with the hull. The left and right parts are joined with a centre bulkhead being added to stiffen things up. A small insert is added into the bow. The lower hull part at the back is separate and this needs to be added in. The transom will need to be added in, though or some reason this is not mentioned in the instructions! its not there in step 3 but appears in place in step 7? The inside parts of the deck houses must be added to the main deck and this can then be joined to the lower hull. The upperdeck is then fitted out with a myriad of deck fittings, hatches and other parts. Moving to the bottom of the hull the prop shafts and rudder are added. The stand for the boat can then be made up and used if need. Finally on the transom the exhausts are added. Moving to the top the model the superstructure is made up along with its internal parts. The side gun mountings are also made up and added at this time. For the aft deck the 40m Bofors and its mount are built up and added on. On the foredeck both the 37mm auto cannon and 20mm Oerlikon are completed and mounted. Next up the main armament of the 22.5" Mark 13 torpedoes are added along with their roll off racks. The radar mast is made up and mounted to the main deckhouse roof which can then be added to the model. The double machine gun units can then be added to the mounts previously installed. Last up the 5" rocket launchers are made up and mounted to the deck. Markings The decal sheet has markings for PT-588 & PT-579 from Engine Torpedo Boat Squadron THIRTY NINE (PTRon 39), Pacific Fleet, Samar, P.I., July 1945. Conclusion Its good to see this out representing the later model of the PT boat with the increased firepower. Highly recommended. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit or
Here is PT495. It was an 80' Elco MTB and it is configured as it looked during the Battle of Surigao Strait in Oct of 1944. It was part of MTB Squadron 33 (RON33). She was named "Gentleman Jim" after a crewman who was KIA in July of '44. Later, on the night of Nov 19/20 '44, while transport a group of Alamo Scouts to a landing behind Japanese lines, the 495 boat survived a near miss from a bomb dropped by a Japanese float plane. One crewman died and all the rest were wounded, including my friend. With the help of one of the Scouts, he survived and returned to the States for a lengthy recovery.The kit is the 1/35th Italeri PT596 that was backdated using information and photos provided, in part, by a crewman who was aboard that night that I got to know as a result of my research. This was built not long after the 596 kit was released so most backdating items were built from scratch or made from molds I made. The colors are WEM. Please excuse the odd backgrounds. All lettering and markings were painted using custom stencils. These photos were used to strip away the backgrounds while generating some posters I made for my crewman friend and his family. Comments welcome.
With the build of the Land Wasser Schlepper drawing to a close it's time to pull something out of the stash. Going from a tracked floaty thing it would appear to be time for a "Full Floaty". What is lurking on the horizon: Model? check Eduard PE? check Italeri munchkin crew? check Brass barrels for the gun tubs and the Oerlikon? check ready to roll.......................................................