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 Author  Topic: Thunderbolt
Ed B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed B  Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 6:47am
(Responding to Dave Waples' request on the PT109 topic thread)

Dave - PT Boats HQ has a bunch of original Elco blueprints of Thunderbolt design. Not sure how helpful they might be for a modeler.

Here's a picture of my Thunderbolt model. Elco nameplate on the side identifies it as Elcoturret Model C4. Scale unknown, so I added a ruler. The next photo is a juiced up Thunderbolt at 20 deg elevation, as installed on PT160 December 1942.




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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 12:11pm
Ed

Can you contact me at mosquitofleet@comcast.net By the way the model of the Thunderbolt is wonderful. You did a bang up job. With all that fire-power and a power turret, I still can't see why more boats did not have them. Although the 40MM was a more powerful weapon against enemy barges and small surface craft, the way it was manually used was a bit odd. One guy had the contols that operated the gun going left and right, the other the up and down movement. You had to really read each other's mind to get the target. The guy that fired the weapon did not control the up and down movement of the gun, so it must have been a real pain to tell the guy next to you, up, down, no up a little more. The gun was not that good for Planes as well. Being a manual weapon, the plane would be here and gone before you could get the gun trained on the target.

I am sure that the boats 50 caliber weapons and 20mm cannons did most of the damge when it came to planes and other targets. It would seem to me that the Thunderbolt, being a power turret and having one man operate it would be a real gem against certain targets. Against the barges though, maybe not. I would love to know the success rate of this weapon on the small number of boats that did have them.


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  FRANK

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of FRANK  Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 12:49pm
Hey Ed-

Did you build that model of the Thunderbolt! Man!! That is one nice model!
Thanks for sharing!

Frank Ryczek, Jr.
Modeler/Friend Ron 10

HIGH TIDES ALWAYS!

YOUR FRIEND THROUGH SCALE SHIP MODELING AND PT BOAT HISTORY!

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Ed B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed B  Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 4:18pm
Ha! I couldn't build a mousetrap, let alone a better one. The model is an Elco original, made by their premier modeler Don Rosencrantz. Pretty neat. All metal, swivels on its foundation, and elevates freely (you can see one of its pistons on the side), just like the real McCoy.

I'm told one problem with Thunderbolt was its weight. One of the first prototypes, installed on PT138, was ripped from its foundation (or more likely its foundation from the deck) and lost in heavy seas. And that one only had the quad-20mm cannons (like the model). The contraption installed on PT160 must have been even heavier and a lot more difficult to operate, as Frank suggested. I wonder how much it slowed the boat. It would be interesting to hear from anyone out there who had actual experience.

Frank, I'll be in touch, been a while. (No, you can't have my model!).

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 7:14pm
What a wonderful model. I'll check with PT Boats Inc. to see what they can do for me in the way of drawings. I'm sure I could scratch one together given the right information.

I thought I remember reading that the photo of the actual Thunderbolt with the .50 cal's added was a prototype but the actual production version is the model you have.

Thanks for taking the time to post this.
Dave


David Waples

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 8:19pm
Ed,
I found the blueprints on the web site. There are two different sets with different dates. Do you have both sets of drawings? Is there a difference between the two?
Thanks
Dave

David Waples

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Ed B

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Ed B  Posted on: Nov 28, 2007 - 8:27pm
Dave,

You could be right. I had just assumed the quad mount was on the 138, thinking my model was a promotional tool made to market Elco's new product. In retrospect, that may certainly not be fact. What is fact is that the 160 picture was taken Dec 1942. And, according to Bulkeley, the first prototype was put on the 138 in late 1942 (mount configuration not described). Since most of the Thunderbolt operational experience was later, in 1944 and 1945, that would suggest the quad mount C4 model was the actual production model. And lighter too! Hopefully, someone who knows will chime in.

Don't know which version HQ has drawings for, or whether they are complete set. I've seen actual photos of the quad mount, can't remember where. I'll post a top down view of my model in a day or so.

Ed

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David Waples

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of David Waples  Posted on: Nov 29, 2007 - 5:07am
Thanks Ed,
I'll look forwrad to that. It certainly looks like something I could scratch build. But I'll need a good set of drawings as well. I'll call PT Boats today and ask if there is any difference in the drawings. Your photos will help as well.
Thank you!
Dave

David Waples

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Steve Tuhy

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Steve Tuhy   Send Email To Steve Tuhy Posted on: Nov 29, 2007 - 5:52am
ED;
THATS A GREAT LOOKING PRESENTATION MODEL. THE 20 MM.'S LOOK LIKE THEY'RE MADE OF BAKOLITE IR HARD RUBBER AND EXACTLY LIKE THE DRAWINGS FROM ELCO. I HAVE TO BUILD A THUNDERBOLT MOUNT FOR MY MODEL AND HAVE BEEN WORKING ON DRAWINGS FOR THE PATTERNS. LOOKING FORWARD TO BUILDING THE MOUNT. NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO BUILDING THE 20 MM.'S. GREAT MUSEUM PIECE, ED. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD.

Steve Tuhy

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Frank J Andruss Sr

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Post a Reply To This Topic    Reply With Quotes     Edit Message     View Profile of Frank J Andruss Sr   Send Email To Frank J Andruss Sr Posted on: Nov 29, 2007 - 9:30am

Here is my Elco Factory Model also made by the famous Don Rosencrantz, who made Ed's Thunderbolt Model. It too is made all from machined metal pieces. The man in the photo is my good friend Stan Pienkowski, who builds most of my Exhibit boats. He is working on straightening out some of the metal pieces on the boat. Mr. Rosencrantz was some special model maker for Elco no doubt....







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