The PT Boat Forum

» Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

» Forum Name: PT Boats - General

» Topic: skeleton model?

sup guys.
just wundering if anyone here has ever attempted a skeleton model of an 80'er ?
its been a while since I was into this hobby (like25 years ago) I see a lots changed, and some more infos been made available.
so lets talk tech.

Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Jan 26, 2010 - 1:10pm
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

Hi there.

I've never contemplated doing a skeleton model. However, after geting Dick's fantastic Pt boat calender with the many illustrations in it, I did consider doing an interior for my Italeri lkit.

That kit is on the shelf. All I've done was look at a few of the parts.

Cheers from Peter

"Give me a faster PT boat for I'd like to get out of harm's way!"

Posted By: PeterTareBuilder | Posted on: Jan 26, 2010 - 11:18pm
Total Posts: 494 | Joined: Jun 24, 2008 - 5:59pm

Hello and Welcome:

I had always wanted to have a 4 or 5 foot Elco Boat made for my Exhibit that was a cutaway. A complete boat, with one side open so that visitors could see the many spaces below decks. A real challenge to the Expert model builder, but one that I have never seen before........

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jan 27, 2010 - 1:39am
Total Posts: 3304 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Instead of the side of the boat being cut away, what about a model where the deck comes off to show the details, within.

It seems like I've seen something this, online, actually. I forget where.

Posted By: Carl M | Posted on: Jan 27, 2010 - 9:06am
Total Posts: 79 | Joined: Jan 12, 2010 - 1:15pm

well I started one back in the mid 80"s but gave up becouse I couldent get enough information.
I'm hoping the new microfilm scans will answer enough questions ,
about the engine room framing and engine / V-drive mounting, that the project can move forward.
Drawing up a "frame book" is a perty tedious indevor. as an old school
T-Square draftsman having to translate each frame from the top and bottom view is a real B- .
I had always hoped that somehow after you scanned the microfilm.
you get it into a CAD program and manipulate it, clean it up, and print it out to any scale you wanted.
as far as construction goes, it has a tendancy to turn into a chinese jigsaw puzzle / ship in a bottle thing. trying to build the interior through all the ribs with every thing attached to every thing else is a real challenge.
that I'm still not sure how to overcome.
my first prototype had a solid deck. to help with structural integrety.
but that kinda interferes with access.
I like the 1/2 inch scale its not big and not to small. but the older I get the more my eyesight and moter skills go down the tube. and I start thinking maybe 3/4 would be more better.

Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Jan 27, 2010 - 9:20am
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

I met a gentleman named Denny (sp) at our ship club meeting here in Denver last week. He's building the Italeri kit with a full interior. Brian,
I would imagine you two would have a lot to talk about.

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 27, 2010 - 8:11pm
Total Posts: 1637 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm

wow denver has a ship club?
where do thay hang out?

Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Jan 28, 2010 - 8:22am
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

MILE HIGH STADIUM with the rest of the Football players. Hey they have nothing else to do, might as well do some modeling, Ha, Ha.............

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jan 28, 2010 - 8:58am
Total Posts: 3304 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

We have at least 3 very active ship clubs - we have one for 350-700 scale resin stuff - Dave and I both belong to that one but I have trouble with anyone that builds as LESS THAN 1/35 scale, but they usually have good donuts at the meetings. We have a large club of wooden ship modelers that has some amazing artisans and then we have a large and very active RC ship club. There may be more but I am familiar with those 3 - We are fortunate in that we are allowed to meet in the big class room area at the Rockler Woodworking store on South Colorado Blvd. Rockler also provides space for model exibitions at no cost.

You can emial me at and I will give you Denny's email - what we suggested to his was that if he wants to interior clearly shown to follow the form Dick has used on his posters and build the base so that the deck is mounted up and to the side of the open hull - that was you can see the hull interior, the deck is flat and you can clearly see that detail and positioned that way it will still show the profile of the boat.

Jerry Beasley

Posted By: Jerry Beasley | Posted on: Jan 28, 2010 - 10:35am
Total Posts: 89 | Joined: Jan 9, 2008 - 4:27pm

My name is Denny of whom David and Jerry spoke of earlier in this posting.

I am indeed working on creating an interior for the 80' Elco boat.

I am new to both ships and forums but have modeled numerous aircraft and space ships.

When I told someone at the ship club that I was going to build an interior for the PT boat. they told me I was going to jump in with both feet and drown. But then Jerry and David came to my rescue and encouraged me and have been sending me more info than I can read at one time.

I want to do honor to those who served on these boats and show the conditions they fought under.

Any and all help gratefully accepted. Denny

Posted By: djwhite | Posted on: Jan 28, 2010 - 12:32pm
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

wow I havent been in the rockler store in ages. surprised there still around.
I'll shoot you an e-mail

Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Jan 28, 2010 - 12:45pm
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

Hi Brian,
We meet once per month on the 4th Saturday of the month at 10:00. There are no fees. The group is headed by Hugh Letterly who is one of the owners of Loose Cannon Models, a company that specializes in 1/700 resin ship models. You can find them on the web.

Hugh works at Colpar Hobbies part time on Sunday and Monday. I highly suggest going down there and introducing yourself to Hugh. Be prepared to stay for a while because Hugh is a very friendly guy who likes to share his knowledge.

The group is focused around 1/700 modeling. But we have members who are building 1/35, 1/72, 1/96 and more. The value you will get from this group is anything to do with ship modeling and construction. That said the focus really is around 1/700 and Hugh will try and suck you into that world. I've been there now and you'll hear no complaints from me. :-)

Hugh is also opening his shop to club members to teach us how to make masters and cast resin and such. He has taught me a great deal.

Good luck with your project.

PS. Denny, welcome to the club.

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 29, 2010 - 5:52am
Total Posts: 1637 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm

sheet styrine wouldent be to hard. I wouldent bother with ribs/frames, or deck braces in a plastic hull. the engine room machinery and framing has been my big hang up. id kill for a drawing of frame 55 .
I'm guessing the triple layer girder you see them making in the movie Giant killers. are the outboard girders in the engine room.
the center engine mounting has always been a big question since the inboard girders are wider than the engine.
I'm hopeing the new microfilm will answer some of those questions.

Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Jan 29, 2010 - 9:00am
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

I BELIEVE that, back in the 1990s, there was a modeler who was a DEA agent, who transformed the Revell PT-109 kit before the advent of after-market detail sets into a late-war boat and he went to the trouble of detailing it with an engine room. Was that Jerry Wells?

I met a gentleman named Denny (sp) at our ship club meeting here in Denver last week. He's building the Italeri kit with a full interior. Brian,
I would imagine you two would have a lot to talk about.

David Waples

Posted By: TGConnelly | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 7:41am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Hi Brian, here's some of the microfilm plans dealing with engine room construction. There's a bunch of others showing part details, muffler pipes, etc., but these should get you started:

Frame 55 is shown on this plan, Hull Construction In Engine Room:
ELCO_Roll_5535-1_72SCAN_00283.pdf & 284

Some other engine room construction plans:

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 8:10am
Total Posts: 2066 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

Mostly part drawings:

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 8:14am
Total Posts: 2066 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

wow sounds like I got my work cut out this month, as soon as i get the DVD. it also sounds like Im going to have to dig out the old drafting table and set it up again.

Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 10:56am
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

Thanks for the welcome David.

I look forward to learning from both you and Jerry.

I do need to have one question answered quickly if I can.

I have conflicting information about the width of the planking that would be viewable from the interior of the boat.

One source stated they were 1 foot wide boards and another stated they were only 6 inches. As you saw from the hull I brought to the club meeting David, I had started putting the styrene in place with scribed lines to represent the planking as I wish to show all of the girders and bracing.

If it is 6 inces I need to remove what I have done before I get to far to correct this. Or

Should I wait until I can afford to get the ELCO CD's?

I really need all of the help I could possibly get in this.

Posted By: djwhite | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 11:40am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

Here's what you would see from inside the boat. The thin diagonals under the 6" planking were let into the frames:

Note the bottom steps, this plan is from an ELCO experiment with them.

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 2:37pm
Total Posts: 2066 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

Jeff to the rescue! From that drawing the planks look to be 6". I looked through my copy of Building the PT Boats by Frank J. Andruss, Sr. and they look like 6" planks to me.

I'm going to order a set of discs from Dick as well. Based on Jeff's post they're a must have for the collection.


David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Jan 30, 2010 - 8:46pm
Total Posts: 1637 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm

Actually that's a scan from a plan bought from HQ. A similar plan minus the Elcoplane parts can be found on the DVD as ELCO_Roll_5535-1_72SCAN_00177.pdf & 78. But you're right Dave, the plan collection is a "must have".

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Jan 31, 2010 - 1:53am
Total Posts: 2066 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

I have an original Repair Training Unit book for the Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons Training Center, which lists the many types of wood used on the ELCO BOATS and the many different measurements. Planking was 6 inches according to this training Manual. The Manual deals with the Keel, Stern, Knee, Frames, sawn frame, laminated frames, gusset plates, intermediate frames, chine, inner chine guard, outer chine guard, gunnel, clamp, inner gunnel guard, outer gunnel guard on beading, the shelf, covering board, stringers and battens, diagonal struts, girders, the strongback, transom, tank room and lazerette planking, interior framing, towing eye, hatches and watertight doors,canopy and gun turrets and compatments. It even has the information of the HIGGINS PT BOATS as well............

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Jan 31, 2010 - 9:09am
Total Posts: 3304 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Jeff . . .

You're really putting the DVD microfilm drawing to great use by constantly referencing the various drawings to questions and comments. Keep up the great work, I do mean work, because it is no small task.

Dick . . . .

Posted By: Dick | Posted on: Jan 31, 2010 - 11:56pm
Total Posts: 1313 | Joined: Aug 27, 2006 - 6:36pm


I can't thank you guys enough for all youhave already helped me with.

I have requested the information to order the DVD's. Looks like I will be pulling the styrene I have on the hull off and be replacing it. Better now than when I have bulkheads and battens in place.

These PT's were amazing feats of engineering! Light, manuverable and fast.

Mr. Andruss, could you contact me at I have some questions concerning information I might be able to get through your organization. As I said I am very new to this forum thing and don't know if this is even the right way to ask this question. I really could you some advice so that I don't step on anyones toes here.

Denny White

Posted By: djwhite | Posted on: Feb 1, 2010 - 6:56am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

heres some pics of my first prototype



(I think this forum format is in severe need of an up grade, to the G503 type.)


Posted By: brian in denver | Posted on: Feb 1, 2010 - 12:21pm
Total Posts: 7 | Joined: Jan 22, 2010 - 2:54pm

If you don't like this message board you don't have to visit it. Most all members are happy with it ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Sorry for any inconvenience it has given you. It is also simpler to use for those many on this website that aren’t as proficient using computers and surfing the net as yourself may be.

Oh yes, I corrected your links above, they are now clickable. The first link goes to a "Moved Page" error note. The second link works.

Dick Washichek
Webmaster . . . .

Posted By: Dick | Posted on: Feb 1, 2010 - 1:17pm
Total Posts: 1313 | Joined: Aug 27, 2006 - 6:36pm

After dealing with all the overwhelming chinese spam this site suffered a few short years ago, (has it been that long?) I think this site is among the easiest to use and user friendly that I have ever seen, while also preventing the server numbing overload that the spammers live for. I would like to thank Dick W for doing such a fantastic job of keepoing this message board open to everyone, including a few real WW2 PT Boat veterans. Great job Dick! Keep up the good work! and Thanks again. Jerry PT658 Portland OR

Jerry Gilmartin

Posted By: Jerry Gilmartin | Posted on: Feb 1, 2010 - 7:02pm
Total Posts: 1307 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 11:16pm

Dick: I am pretty illiterate computer wise. About all I know is how to turn it on and off. I have no idea what G503 means. I came up from the slide rule era. However I do know that I enjoy very much reading the posts you guys put on the board concerning PT's and it is very easy for me to post a message if I want to add my 2 cents. Dick I thank you for providing this website. It's a pleasure for me to check in on everyday.

C. J. Willis

Posted By: CJ Willis | Posted on: Feb 2, 2010 - 7:00am
Total Posts: 464 | Joined: Nov 5, 2006 - 5:02pm

I would also like to thank you for keeping the site running well.

I have gained a great deal of knowledge and even more respect for the people who put it all on the line for our country in these boats.

Thank you all for your passing on info here to us who were not out there.

Denny White

Posted By: djwhite | Posted on: Feb 2, 2010 - 8:51am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered


Seruiously, we all (or I guess most of us) appreciate your time, effort and talent...


Posted By: Will Day | Posted on: Feb 2, 2010 - 12:24pm
Total Posts: 1954 | Joined: Oct 8, 2006 - 4:19pm

I have said it before. Dick is the driving force behind this message board, and I appreciate what he has given us. THANKS DICK..........

Posted By: Frank J Andruss Sr | Posted on: Feb 2, 2010 - 1:19pm
Total Posts: 3304 | Joined: Oct 9, 2006 - 6:09am

Thank you Dick, and thank you for the tools to work with!

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Feb 2, 2010 - 7:12pm
Total Posts: 2066 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am

Jeff D

That incredible list you have of the Elco information, is that some thing you put together your self? Did you go through each frame?

I have to wait a week before I can order the Elco DVD's. The amount of information on them seems staggering.

Thank you very much for the drawing showing the 6 inch planking, while it did require that I tear off all of the styrene that I had already in place I really would like this to be as accurate as I can.

While I am waiting (impatiently) for the time to pass until I can order the DVD's, I am working on the underside of the deck structure.

I am following the drawings from Allied Coastal Forces Vol 2 that Hugh from Loose Cannons was kind enough to loan me. I am following the drawing at the bottom of page 147. I removed all of the surface detail and raised ridges so the bracing will all stand out. Since I plan on displaying the deck up and to the side of the hull I don't need the two parts to align.

It all matches fairly close to Victor Chun's American PT Boat book on page 111, so hopefully I won't have to remove it if I find an error when I get the Elco DVD.

I was reading some of the older postings last night and the listing of what was stored where on the boat is facinating. I may try to make the PT doughnuts myself and surprise my wife.

Again to all on this forum, Thank you so much for adding to the veritable treasure of information in these posting.

Posted By: djwhite | Posted on: Feb 4, 2010 - 11:01am
Total Posts: | Joined: Unregistered

You're welcome for posting the drawing, sorry you have to redo your work. I've been there myself way too often.

I've gone over about 70 percent of the 80' boat drawings on the DVD and sorted them roughly. My main interest at the moment is the exterior parts so I didn't break down interior categories too much. That's the reason the second list is so long.

Posted By: Jeff D | Posted on: Feb 4, 2010 - 3:39pm
Total Posts: 2066 | Joined: Dec 21, 2006 - 1:30am