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Revell 1/72 PT-109 (20 posts)

  • So, hanging out with those guys in Florida is starting to rub off on me. And, it was time to do something a little different. I’ve always been fascinated by PT boats since watching “McHale’s Navy” and seeing the the movie “PT-109” when I was a kid, so this was the logical choice for a project.

    The Revell PT-109 kit is the oldest in their inventory, having been issued in 1963 (I was five years old then!). This version is molded in dark green. Hull is in one piece, as is the deck, and there are not nearly as many parts as I had thought. The Hasegawa jeep kit will be cannibalized for the 37mm gun that will be mounted on the forward deck. The real boat had this gun installed just before it departed on its last mission.

    So off we go…

    2 attached images. Click to enlarge

    Tags: PT boat

  • I bult that kit (oob), circa 1964 (I was twelve). Not a bad kit for that time, but detail is so-so.

  • I was gonna mention that fact regarding the “sparse sprue” pic, but I see you already have. The jeep kit won’t be compromised, either. The gun’s separate, ain’t it? Where in FL?

  • It’s a pretty simple kit and I plan on keeping it that way. After a little research, I found you could spend five times what the kit is worth on aftermarket stuff! This is just for fun. I’ll get serious if I can ever afford that 1/35 Italeri PT….

    Craig – the gun is separate on the jeep kit, so I’ll have a jeep and a utility trailer to add to the stash. My son is in Gainesville. I was fortunate enough to hook up with Joe and some of the guys from G-Ville and Ocala last time I was out there and they’ve been putting some strange ideas in my head lately… 🙂

  • Got started on the PT. As I expected, it has gone pretty quickly so far. I built the stand first, as it is nice to have something to keep the boat from rolling around on the bench while you’re working on it.

    Deck to hull fit was not great, so I spent a little time with the green putty and some sandpaper. All of the deck bulkheads, the .50 cal turrets and the bridge (is that what they’re called on a boat this size?) were added. Torpedo tubes were assembled, they’re dry fitted to the model in the photo. There’s going to be some seam sanding there as well. I like the look of the earlier Elco boats with the torpedo tubes – they just look more aggressive than the later ones without them.

    A little more cleanup and she’ll be ready for paint…

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • Hi Jaime. I also built this kit as a kid and have seen it on the shelf many times and wondered about picking it up and giving it an “adult” try! Looks good and have fun!

  • Got some paint on her this afternoon. The bottom color is a shade called “copperoyd”, which to me looked remarkably like red automotive primer. So that’s what I used. The upper color is open to some debate, though it is fact that many of the early PT boats in the Solomons were painted green to blend in with island backgrounds and the water color. Exactly what shade of green is open to debate, the common theory being that paint could have been scrounged from Army sources. After seeing a few color photos, I added some white to dark green FS34079 that I had left over from the A-20. Using the TLAR method, it came out looking pretty good to me and is definitely a little different from the gray you would expect these boats to be painted.

    Torpedo tubes were glued in place. There’s not really much left. I am looking to improve the 50 cal guns that came with the kit, which are pretty bad compared to the nice 20mm aft deck gun. Odd the way those things sometimes work out…There’s a little touch up painting yet to be done. This sure isn’t like painting an airplane!

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge

  • The speed you are building this boat ,, you could be sailing on her by the end of next week.
    Looking good Jaime.

  • Great progress being made here.

  • Alan, this is one of those kits I never got around to when I was younger. I needed a change of pace and this fit the bill just fine.

    Simon, I was a little surprised at how fast this thing is coming together, given my usual glacial building pace! It helps that there are not very many parts. About all that’s left is railings, the props and installing the guns. Still have to build the 37mm cannon out of the jeep kit, but that shouldn’t take long. How’s the P-47 coming along?

  • I never got past the remark about hanging out with the guys in Florida ! lol Hey, don’t make it sound so easy, building the PT kit. If you do, even the car guys will give it a try ! lol Keep those pictures coming…..

  • Joe, it sounds like you are issuing a challenge to us car guys to build a water borne craft .

  • One of the shortcomings of the kit is the .50 caliber guns, which are really chunky looking compared to the fairly nice 20mm gun. Photo etch gun barrels or guns would have cost more than the kit, and I’m cheap, so a raid to the spares box came up with the four unused cannon barrels left over from my A-20 build. I trimmed them to what looked like about the right length, and after cutting the old barrels off, superglued them to the receivers. I think it came out pretty good. It may not be totally accurate, but it’s a big improvement over what was there. It adds a little dimension and will look pretty good when painted.

    The photo was taken after the surgery, with one of the original gun barrels there for comparison.

    I didn’t know car guys could build boats…. 🙂

    1 attached image.

  • Got a little more work done tonight. All the guns are assembled, painted and ready to be mounted. The 20mm Oerlikon was really nice right out of the box, and the barrel transplant on the .50 cals made a world of difference. The railings around the machine gun turrets were added. I had to spend a lot of time cleaning those up – lots of flash and nubblies. Railing fit was like everything else – good in places, not so good in others. Ship’s wheel was painted weathered brass and installed, and I picked out a few details on the bridge so it wouldn’t look so bare. Prop shafts and their supports are assembled, they’ll go on last after everything else is done. Masts and ventilators still to go….

    I’m going to get the decals on before there’s too much stuff in the way. These boat things have all sorts of gizmos hanging out in the breeze…

  • There’s a boat in the hangar….

    Seems like I get more done on rainy days than any other. The boat is basically complete apart from the props and rudders, which will go on last. Added all the ventilators, tiedown cleats, lights, masts, railings and all the other stuff that airplanes just don’t seem to have!

    The 37mm gun was assembled, and some scrap wood from an RC model was used for the timbers that the gun was mounted on. I don’t know how accurate that arrangement is. I’ve seen several versions of how this gun was mounted and this is my take on it. Had I been thinking far enough ahead when I started, I would have shaved the the mounting pads for the raft off before I assembled the deck to the hull. I added the shield onto the gun – I don’t know if that was actually installed or not, but I if was trading a captured Japanese flag, two cases of beer and a Rita Hayworth pinup for a used 37mm gun, I’d want the shield! Besides, I’d feel awfully naked up front with nothing to hide behind. Still need to rummage through the paint stash for a suitable Army shade of green for this gun.

    I still need to rig the ropes that were used to secure the forward gun to the deck. I was going to drill some small holes in the railings along the bow and use thread to simulate the rope, but the rails are not tall enough to drill through. Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

    6 attached images. Click to enlarge