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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:34 am 
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Location: EG48
Merit has released their 1/48 "early" PT boat kit and I have an advanced copy. So, let's build this!

Merit's kit isn't molded as any one specific PT boat, just with features of the early PT-103 class boats. It differs visually from the late PT release in having the torpedo launching tubes as opposed to the open roll-off racks and a heck of a lot less deck clutter. The later boats bristled with weapons, but the earlier boats were a cleaner, faster looking design.

PT-157 was launched at the end of 1942 and served throughout the rest of the war in the in the Pacific theater war. At the time I want to depict her, Cdr. Robert Kelly of "They were Expendable" fame was in command of PT Boat Squadron 9 and used her as a flagship or sorts during a mission:

Attachment:
File comment: Aces 'n' Eights June 1943
AcesNEights.jpg
AcesNEights.jpg [ 87.9 KiB | Viewed 4791 times ]


PT-157 was later to rescue one Lieutenant JG John Kennedy, and obscure figure in American history who does not get enough mention. So it seemed like a good build to help bring some light to this forgotten naval officer.

PT-157 is fairly close to the kit in fit, but there are some notable changes that will make this enough to be unique:

* 20mm gun replacing the twin .50 cals in the forward tub
* removal of the aft cockpit bulkhead. Two photos of Kelley on 157 and this one of him on PT-159 in the same squadron are the reason for this.

Some other smaller details I'll cover as the build gets going.

First order of business: the deck. There are two things that make this take longer than one would initially expect and these are because Merit designed their deck to work on both the early and late war boats. So first is the matter of the 56 holes one has to drill for placement of the torpedo tubes, guns, and other gear. Additionally, the later boats had a doubler plank/plate of plywood around teh perimeter of the deck that was not present on the earlier boats. I decided this was worth removing as it was some simple work with a coarse grit sanding stick. I think this took me all of 10-15 minutes to do.

The day cabin and engine room covers were next. The later is a single piece whereas the day cabin has the aft gun tub as three separate pieces but is otherwise a single, slide molded piece. Fit on to the deck was near perfect:

Attachment:
File comment: Deck with Day Cabin
AcesNEights01.jpg
AcesNEights01.jpg [ 58.48 KiB | Viewed 4791 times ]


Attachment:
File comment: Focus on Day Cabin and Engine Room cover
AcesNEights02.jpg
AcesNEights02.jpg [ 66.24 KiB | Viewed 4791 times ]

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:21 pm 
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It would be real interesting to see how that boats crew managed to stuff a 20mm into a gun tub meant to have barely enough room for a single gunner and the breech end of two .50 cal MGs. It also would be nice to know if the 20mm used the standard ammo can or was belt fed like that used on 20mm armed aircraft.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:58 pm 
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Ask and ye shall receive! :big_grin:

This was a feature of most, if not all RON 9 boats in 1943. I just have to figure out where to get a good 20mm Oerlikon in 1/48th.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:22 pm 
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Nice! Looking forward to this. So Robert Kelly = John Wayne's character in "They Were Expendable"?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:27 pm 
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I believe so... I haven't...uhhh ever seen that classic that I really should have.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:42 pm 
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Yep.....Rusty Ryan = Robert Kelly....

Interestingly enough, The real Robert Kelly and the real nurse (don't know her name) sued MGM, John Wayne & Donna Reed for how they were portrayed in the film...they settled out of court.....

How can you have NOT seen They Were Expendable??????

Classic movie....especially when John Wayne spills the drink all over his shirt during the dinner party for Sandy....

Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:05 am 
Hello Gents,

take a look at shapeways and see what the designers can do for you with you single Oerlikon. I think it would be worthwhile contacting them and asking them for scaling and subsequent price. I recommend print thing in Ultra Frosted Detail, which provides most detail in the print.

http://www.shapeways.com/search?q=oerlikon

bis denne

Christian


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 9:40 am 
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Hi Tracy,
So far I'm liking what I'm seeing. The Day Cabin roof connector brackets are a nice touch. I also like the molded in deck lights. I'm not sure what's going on with the molded frame for the anti skid step on the roof next to the turret. That can be easily fixed though. I can't really tell from the photos if they included the deck planking?? Did they happen to include an option for the 20mm turrets? That would be a nice touch.
Thanks for sharing.
Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:59 am 
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MartinJQuinn wrote:
Nice! Looking forward to this.


Hear, hear!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:09 am 
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Glad to see you have this started. I need to pick up one of these.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:41 am 
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Hi Dave - no extra parts. We'd discussed a "conversion /detail kit" a while back with extra details such as depth charges & racks and extra guns, but it hasn't happened yet and I don't think it will happen soon even if it does. The deck is the same as the late-war PT, so no planking either. I'm not sure yet how I want to handle this - I don't have a "plank plan" nor the desire to spend a lot of time fixing issues - I'm more just trying to push through and keep it simple. Most of the mods I need to make for PT157 are fairly easy, so that's one of the reasons I decided to go with that.

There are a couple of details that they got wrong (such as the anti-skid frame) that Garth brought to their attention that did not get fixed. I've scribed the inner diameter to mark position and sanded down the raised area since that photo. Went much faster than the main deck edges! :thumbs_up_1:

Guest wrote:
take a look at shapeways and see what the designers can do for you with you single Oerlikon.


Thanks, but I literally just need the gun as I need to scratch build the changes to the tub anyway. Pat already indicated his sets wouldn't go down to 48th scale well. I'd much rather have something from Master Model (and I have thrown a suggestion out there).

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:45 am 
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Plank pattern? I was under the impression that the PT decks were sheet plywood and not planked, always pointed out as being the biggest problem with the Revell 1/72 kit. Is that incorrect? Or something that changed during the war? (I have to admit to thinking the PTs look cool, but I know nothing of them)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:16 pm 
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I'm kinda in the same boat (rimshot!) Devin, but have been learning more as time goes on. Early boats were planked, later boats were sheet, however the planking on the early boats was much more flush and smooth than what we're used to on the larger ships. The Revell planking is very overstated at least.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:31 pm 
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Cool project Tracy! I've got a 1/35 PT in my stash waiting to be built; hope I can get some good info for the future. Good luck on your build!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:58 pm 
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Charthouse and Cockpit assembly major components complete. There was some detail on the starboard cockpit bulkhead of the earlier boats that was missing and I felt quick and easy enough to add that would give some character.

Attachment:
File comment: Charthouse & Cockpit
AcesNEights03.jpg
AcesNEights03.jpg [ 82.41 KiB | Viewed 4483 times ]


It's all just done by eyeball and not exact. Based on the below photo and this video at the 7:50 mark.

Attachment:
File comment: Unknown PT, MOrobe New Guinea 1943
AcesNEights04.jpg
AcesNEights04.jpg [ 16.19 KiB | Viewed 4483 times ]

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:01 am 
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Tracy,
I know you haven't gotten this far yet but I'm wondering if the Day Cabin bow and stern facing walls are 90 degrees to the waterline or if they were slightly raked back towards the stern as Italeri mistakenly did it?

I know you and Jeff got off on the wrong foot but for everyone interested in adding detail to their boat you can't beat the research and CAD work Jeff has done on his web site. I would also encourage everyone to look at Stuart Hurley's PT-109 build. Stu did a wonderful job of pulling the detail out of his build also found on that web site. Now he's working on a second boat!

http://www.pt103.com/Italeri_PT109_Kit.html
Dave


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:55 am 
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There's no question that Jeff is dedicated. I can be an :censored_2: and he was just starting to bring that out in me so I stopped going to the forum because that's not behavior I seek out. It is what it is, and I may go back to participate at some point.

Big storm last night and I'm without power (means that my laptop can get internet through my phone, but I can't good light for a photo). I'll grab my 90-degree square and shoot a picture later today when I'm at the local hobby shop enjoying power.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:13 am 
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Tracy White wrote:

Thanks, but I literally just need the gun as I need to scratch build the changes to the tub anyway.


If you just need replacement barrels there is this from RB: http://www.track48.com/shop/product.php ... t=1&page=1 :wave_1:


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:56 pm 
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Those are my fall back if I can't find the full gun, but I'm about 90% sure that those are what I'm going to be using.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:53 pm 
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OK, got most of the fiddley bits done. Extra exhausts (I'll choose the best six out of 8) and 20mm ready service lockers (same deal but two out of four). PT-157 had a different arrangement than the kit-supplied cowl vents in that they were on top of perhaps foot-tall boxes as opposed to straight to the deck cover. I'll be miter sawing later.

Attachment:
File comment: Fiddley bits
AcesNEights05.jpg
AcesNEights05.jpg [ 79.48 KiB | Viewed 4349 times ]


David - I checked and the day cabin trailing bulkhead is perpendicular to the deck. With the torpedoes in place I don't think it will be that noticeable.

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