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 Author  Topic: Yet Another PT Boat Model (Elco 80 103 class)
LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 22, 2022 - 12:12pm
Growing up in Seattle, for several generations our family had a waterfront summer home on the shores of Puget Sound (pew-jet) a few miles from Naval Station Bremerton in Washington state in an area called “Illahee” near Brownsville, Enetai & Gilberton. Our Mom would tell us kids stories of the “PT Boats” that ran in the straight out front of the house in WWII during the summer between the mainland & Bainbridge Island doing “torpedo practice” (?).

She told that frequently the dummy warhead torpedos would run aground on ours & neighbors beachfronts & the her & the local gals would
flirt with the crews & sailors that arrived ashore later to retrieve them in what she described as a "landing craft." There was one crew with two “Petes”, they called them “Pete & Re-Pete”.

On calm mornings she said you could hear the boats approaching from miles away.
Not sure how soon PTs were operating there but safe to say it was summers in early 40’s onto into perhaps ’45. Obviously some of these were boats getting ready to deploy to the Aleutians & elsewhere (?) Washington has one of the biggest car-ferry systems in the world, during the war commuting from Seattle to Bremerton they had to stop the ferries to drop the sub nets when entering Sinclair Inlet where the navy base was & the also ferry dock which landed right there. Passengers also frequently saw the PT’s out in Puget Sound from the ferries between Seattle & Bremerton during that time. I located one photo by Fred Gilmartin from the book “Rescue Boats on Puget Sound” that shows PT 646 passing the goofy art-deco ferry boat “Kalakala” which resembles an upside-down aluminum bathtub.


As small kids we’d always ask Mom when the PT Boats were coming & she had to roll her eyes & say "that was a loooong time ago!”
Its just an old childhood story we remember & gave rise to mine & my brother’s fascination of PT Boats & when were kids we were hot for war movies & of course would get They Were Expendable" & 109 on TV occasionally for Saturday matinée.

Fast forward to now & I've obtained a dilapidated Proboat 1/24th RC PT 109 model which I am re building. The hull shape is fantastic but thats where it ends, the lack of detail & inaccuracies are cringe-worthy. Only two motors with a dummy center shaft which I've removed, adding the third motor. The hull itself while formed well, is so thin you can intent it with a gentle finger poke. I'm adding a couple layers of 4oz cloth for strength. Proboat RC is notoriously cheap & flimsy product. I've elected to not rip the whole thing apart from the deck up but more or less surgically remedy as much as I can adding as much detail & accuracy as possible & make the boat the 103 or 105 instead of the 109.

I may not be able to achieve the museum perfection of say Stuart Hurley or Patrick Matthews & others on here but the end result should be 'quite good', remove any cringe worthiness & be a great runner. I've got decades of RC model building some of it professionally but mostly military land vehicles & unlimited hydroplanes. I'll post progress on this thread in case anyone is interested. But I have to give thanks to Dick & his drawings, Stuart Hurley's build pages, other's models & this forum ---simply priceless resources & I feel blessed to have found them all!

One unfortunate aspect is I'm late to game & while I can obtain a lot of 3D printed parts, I cannot get them all - like Patrick Matthews torpedo tube cradles & parts - I can't seem to reach him after many tries over a long time- I hope he is doing OK. I have to produce those from scratch & it's a long tedious process!


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LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 22, 2022 - 12:28pm
Getting the hang of the photo upload




pfHyS.jpg

pfKDY.jpg

pfn0m.jpg


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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: Oct 23, 2022 - 8:16am
Great childhood story Lk, thanks for sharing it! Have fun with your build, and even more running it!

I was big into R/C everything in the 80's and 90's especially boat racing. Sundays at the lake and weekend races were some of the best times of my life.


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LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 23, 2022 - 2:51pm
One does take into account this was a mass-produced product overseas, where certainly the assemblers likely knew nothing of PT Boats, & the model designers took a lot of liberty & shortcuts in the haste they were made & brought to market. This model was previously by "Midwest" models & Proboat acquired the production.


This shows some promotional pics of the bridge:
pft30.png

pf99c.jpg

You can see it's pretty silly, not sure what they were referencing when designing the model & when I got this one, something didn't look right at all.
First thing was to correct the steep angle of the upper bridge & windshield, & remove material:

pfAI3.jpg

pfcZT.jpg

pfeut.jpg

Another odd thing is the slope of the decking leaving the chart house canted from the rest of the bridge. I'm not going to tear the house & bridge off to correct this, the port forward tube should hide it hopefully:

pfiMw.jpg

Other modifications are the tube foundations that require cutting down--

pfY7s.jpg

pfdBH.jpg

Some other modification will be fabricating reasonably scale rudders - the model came with "clown-sized" rudders. which may not be the greatest under way:

src="http://ptboatforum.com/PhotoGallery/images/pfgY4.jpg" alt="pfgY4.jpg" border="0">


pf10M.jpg

Rather boring stuff really but if anyone else has one of these & is struggling with it's noticeable defects, this is how I'm going about fixing some of it. Will post more as it comes long.

-John (Lk Washington - Lake Washington where I grew up)



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LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 23, 2022 - 2:56pm
Duplicate post from edit

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Lew Zee

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Lew Zee   Send Email To Lew Zee Posted on: Oct 24, 2022 - 2:26am
Have you tried https://matthewsmodelmarine.wordpress.com/ ? Go to the About page and there is a contact for you can fill in.
Lew

Lew Zee

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LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 24, 2022 - 6:50am
Thanks Lew - yes, I did that. I'll see how successful I am at fabricating the cradles - almost anything can be modeled from styrene stock if you take a lot of time & allow for a lot of ruined pieces while you prefect the technique lol! If I get a response from Patrick in the mean time that would be great too.


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Jerry Gilmartin

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Jerry Gilmartin   Send Email To Jerry Gilmartin Posted on: Oct 24, 2022 - 8:03pm
Hey John,
Your childhood memories are recounted really well in Chuck Fowler and Dan Withers book, "Patrol Combatants on the Puget Sound". He recounts the story as told to him by John Akin GM1/c (one of our original PT Boat veterans who helped start our group to restore PT658 here in Portland). John was on both PT27 and PT24 (both 77 foot Elco boats of RON1) John met his wife in Seattle while the RON1 boats were there being repaired from the damage done in the Aleutians. John remembered taking practice torpedo runs on the Seattle Ferry Boats, and some other great stories! You may want to check out the book. Also I highly recommend the Bremerton Naval Museum, where they have a display about PT Boats used in the Puget Sound during WW2. (It is upstairs.) Museum is located just outside the Main Gate to the Bremerton PSNS Shipyard, near the Ferry Terminal. I highly recommend it too.

Jerry Gilmartin
PT658 Crewman
Portland OR

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LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 25, 2022 - 7:26am
Thanks Jerry! Yes, growing up in Seattle had a lot of visits at the Bremerton Naval Station m museum - 10 - 15ft aircraft carrier models all in clear plexiglass to show the bulkheads & construction & a lot more great stuff. After a while those big models were removed, who knows where. I think this was back when the museum was downstairs (if it ever was) this was in the 60's & 70's....The USS Missouri was still there & you could tour that as well. We'd go on, take the tour, finish & get right back in line again!

I DO have Patrol Boats on Puget Sound book, it's amazing, very thorough even covers Hydroplane driver Bill Muncy's infamous ramming of the coast guard boat at the 1958 gold cup race on on Lake Washington, as well as the Boeing Hyrdofoils & more, I think this picture of PT 658 with the Ferry Kalakala in the background is from the book. What a great resource.

I hope to get to Portland to visit that PT in the future. The book describes which RONs were active in the sound during the war - would love to read more about John Akin. Great stuff & thank you Jerry.

PT 658 passing the ferry Kalakala in Puget Sound during the war:
pfFEJ.png

PT77 in Sinclair Inlet off the Bremerton Navy Station in 1944. (the massive 500 ton hammer-head crane got cropped out of the scene unfortunately, another great icon that lasted decades before being dismantled):
pfMA7.jpg


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LkWashington

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of LkWashington  Posted on: Oct 29, 2022 - 1:42pm
Taking a break from hacking fiberglass chunks off the deck, I made up a new mast from brass tubing including a swinging mount so the mast could be collapsed for transport. Things like this that stick up are always target #1 for snagging on something & breaking. The tubing also allows for the LED mast light wires, I don't intend to run it in the dark but, might be nice to have it anyway.

I realize its a bit 'chubby" & the tubes are not the correct shape but it will do & a vast improvement over the dilapidated original.

Also required was some new prop struts that originals were also of questionable quality,
one died a sorry death in the removal of the dummy center prop shaft.

Soldering up things like this, one is forced to fabricate elaborate jigs to ensure perfect alignment.
Building jigs takes up a lot of time too! Much testing & fiddling & re-doing to get the parts right & plenty of ruined tries in the trash. But victory always prevails eventually.


pup55.jpg

A little bulky, but functional.
pu4YS.jpg

puQ2Y.jpg

Crazy strut soldering jig:
puhOm.jpg

Concerned crewman scrutinizing the welds & manganese bronze paint color:
puwA0.jpg


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