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 Author  Topic: Early Elco 80'--Which Boat to Build?
zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Aug 12, 2014 - 10:20pm
Hello all, I'm about to begin building a 1/72 Elco 80' from the Revell kit. My plan is to make it very detailed but also radio control. I've not built a model in decades but I am confident that this build will be successful.

Currently I'm reading volumes upon volumes of material on PTs, both from books and websites. I've got some books coming (it takes a while, as I live in Bangkok, Thailand).

My preference is to build an early-war boat in the Solomons. I'd initially ruled out the 109 but I hear the Kennedy figure in the kit actually looks a little bit like him, so I may go that route. I'm flexible, though.

I got the White Ensign photo etch kit with it, and a White Ensign Bofors 40mm (on eBay).

This won't be my last PT build, and I might even build more from this kit, but ideally I want to build an early 80', even if I end up building it late war configuration.

So, on to question #1: which boat should I build? I notice there are PT veterans, and people who know PT veterans on here, if someone would like to see me build their boat I'd enjoy that (especially an early war boat in the Solomons, but I'm flexible).

question #2: is it possible to use the 40mm Bofors and keep the Mk 18 torpedo tubes? Every photo I've seen so far has the roll-off racks but I'm just starting my research.

question #3: any PT boat veterans living in Thailand? I'd like to buy you a drink (or twelve) and I'd be very keen on building the boat you served on (if it wasn't an Elco 80, I'll be building more after this, including at some point scratch-building a 77' Elco).

PS, NOTE TO FELLOW MODELLERS: the White Ensign PE for the Revell kit seems to be available again on their website.


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Stuart Hurley

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Stuart Hurley  Posted on: Aug 13, 2014 - 4:28am
Hi,
If you intend to go with the 40mm, you probably need the roll off racks. They are also available from WEM, code PE7221 and you get 2X Mk13 torpedoes with each set.

Best Regards,
Stu.





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Roy Forbes

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Roy Forbes  Posted on: Aug 13, 2014 - 8:09pm
Sounds like you are in for quite a fun project. However I'm not to sure about your plan to make her radio control in 1/72 scale. I don't see how it would be possible to install all the needed electrinic equipment and keep it light enough to remain afloat even if you were able to find, lets say a Park Flyer R/C system small and light enough. Then the water conditions would become critial. The slighest swell could take he under, even in a back yard pool. Maybe you should think about an Italeria 1/35 Elco boat. Even at that much larger scale, it's still quite small but I have seen a few of these done on You-Tube with fairly good results. Keep us posted.


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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Aug 14, 2014 - 5:36am
The R/C option is a bit ambitious, but do-able using micro-mini electronics, like you'd use for indoor/tiny park flyers. By using RC aircraft electronics the boat should be light enough. My main concern, however, is that the plastic model by itself will already be too heavy to have a realistically shallow draft. if that turns out to be the case then I'll probably have a go at vacu-forming or using the hull as a template for a fiberglass hull.

Eventually I'll build in a bigger scale but I've also bought a Flower class corvette, an S-boat and will be getting a sub (probably Gato class) in 1/72. I like constant scale. I will enjoy seeing how an 80' elco will look next to a Dauntless... and the Millennium Falcon, absurd as it sounds (the Dauntless and the Millennium Falcon will *not* be RC).

I've seen build logs for RC Revell S-boat, but it's a bit longer and deeper draft. There will be a way, though.

As for the bofors, I'll probably build an early boat and either put it on e-bay or save it for a future build.


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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Aug 14, 2014 - 5:39am
PS water conditions tend to be very, very placid in the little lakes near my house so I'm not too worried about that. I'll do a build log that will include taking her to sea.


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Jeff D

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jeff D   Send Email To Jeff D Posted on: Aug 14, 2014 - 7:29am
Hey, I'm picturing a drone based Millennium Falcon!

John Sullivan was on the 107, Pat Rogers the 154, and Jack Duncan the 103. They seem like really decent men as do all the veterans that post here.



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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Aug 22, 2014 - 12:31am
Got the kit, and the PE. The White Ensign PE stuff is really gorgeous and will really improve the model. I'll probably leave the Bofors off and build an early-war boat because its' made of white metal and will likely be too heavy for a radio control model this small.

I did some tests in the bathtub and it'll be difficult to make it light enough to keep the correct waterline. I'm going to try thinning the hull and the deck a bit, and use small, lightweight RC mini aircraft components. One company, Dean's Marine, is packaging sets of components for small rc boats, stuff like this:

http://www.deansmarine.co.uk/shop/product_info.php/products_id/2864

I've got quite a ways to go, skills-wise, before I can make a drone-based Millennium Falcon. Possibly it could be done; vacuform it or build it out of foam, then figure out how to conceal the blades. Ducted fans could work, possibly, but they're kinda inefficient. Might have to get an engineer involved to have a shot at making it work...


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  Wayne Traxel

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Wayne Traxel   Send Email To Wayne Traxel Posted on: Aug 22, 2014 - 5:25pm
Hi There, Just a suggestion. Why not model PT-157 nicknamed "aces n Eights'. This boat rescued JFK and crew almost a week following the PT-109 ramming, Pretty much the only major changes to this model would be a Mk-12 20mm mount in the forward turret and the change to the port side bridge armor. Bridge Carney the author of two publications concerning this greatly overlooked craft, PT-157 A scale Model Builders notebook and the Historical account of this craft "First-Up" chronicles of the PT-157. I've been running RC PT's for over 30 year's at 1/24th scale. I have no idea where you plan to run your 1/72nd scale model, but a 13 5/16" length model seems a bit vulnerable for the local ponds especially if a breeze should pick up.

Respectfully,


Wayne Traxel

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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Aug 29, 2014 - 5:12pm
The 157 is an interesting suggestion. it's a front-runner right now along with 103. 107 and 154 definitely still in play.

There's still a chance I may build 109. The tiny skipper does look a bit like Kennedy (haven't looked at him with the loupe yet though).

I'm also looking into RON 6 boats, but that Bridgeman Carney book about building the 157 looks very tempting; his build being based on interviews with crew members and all.

When I was a kid I really liked the 'zebra' adaptor scheme, so the Ron 10 boats are in play. My understanding is that they didn't see action in that paint scheme, but Higgins boats in the Mediterranean did. Is this true?

I found this guy, Christian Sheppard-Capurro, who makes 1/72 and 1/35 Higgins, Elco 77' Huckins, and a lot of other coastal craft hulls: http://www.mtbhulls.co.uk/the-hulls

This pushes the Higgins and the 77' further up the queue. I may use his hull rather than Revell's to reduce weight, but the Revelll hull is really impressive when you consider how old the kit is.

I'll post a pic of the 'lakes' near my house. They're smooth as glass unless there's a flat out storm. It's hardly ever very windy here. Main hazards will be a) sudden heavy rains could swamp the boat (2 months a year it's a real concern) and b) a large monitor lizard might decide she looks like food. I should be able to outrun the lizard, and I want to make a gasket to seal the deck, but a heavy rain could bend or break small details (it really pours).

I'll post a pic of one of the lakes when I get a chance.

That said the purpose of making this boat RC is practice with challenging RC conversions and to run it next to bigger boats (when my RC kung fu is strong enough I'm going to build a static-diving Gato class sub; the pt could then rendezvous to transfer downed pilots).


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zeusbheld

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of zeusbheld  Posted on: Aug 29, 2014 - 7:08pm
PT-174's also interesting. I'd get to use the bofors--it came out of the factory with a bofors on the foredeck--and adaptor scheme.

My understanding is that the 174 had the bofors removed before shipping, but the skipper, knowing the foredeck was reinforced, put one back on.

Also, 174 was one of the boats that shipped in the adaptor 'zebra stripes.' I'm lukewarm on the idea of a straight up adaptor scheme because as far as I know these boats were repainted before action, and also it works too well (and might give me a headache to look at).

That said, 174's now rising in the list: I could use the bofors, torpedo tubes, and paint over the adaptor scheme with a green wash so that it shows through a bit. It would be a lot of work but might look interesting, and I've read that the adaptor scheme showed through a bit on some boats.


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