The PT Boat Forum

Forum Category: PT Boats of WWII

Forum Name: PT Boats - General

Topic: Information needed to help after market company create parts

Greetings all,
Our friends across the water are wanting to create more parts for the 1/35 PT Boat. They are looking for photos and technical drawings for the following...

1) Early SO radar. Are there any high quality drawings of these units?

2) Photos of the life raft. The photos I've seen indicate a fabric or canvas covering on the life raft which looks different than the kits. Does anyone have any good photos?

3) They are looking for photos of crew members wearing baseball caps. Does anyone have any good photos to share?

Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.

David Waples

Posted By: David Waples | Posted on: Nov 21, 2008 - 10:23pm
Total Posts: 1637 | Joined: Jan 2, 2007 - 9:55pm


Good news for builders of the Italeri 1/35th 80' Elco. I'll join this (expensive) club when, and if, they make a 103-class Elco 80-footer kit.

I'd suggest the aftermarket company get a hold of several seminal U.S. PT boat books, such as "At Close Quarters - PT Boats in the United States Navy" by Captain Robert J. Bulkley, Jr. (1962), the official Navy history of the boats, "Knights of the Sea" (1982) the PT Boats, Inc. organization's "50-year" annual, and "United States PT-Boats of World War II In Action" by Frank D. Johnson (1980).

There are numerous photos of the subjects mentioned in all three of those books.

Hopefully, the company won't forget to make the distinctive SCR-517A "beehive" radar, and it's supports, for the Italeri kit -- this early radar setup is often ignored when listing all the types of radars the PTs carried, but was present on the Solomons and New Guinea boats in 1943. PT 159, and possibly one or more of the other three "division leader" boats had SCR-517A radars the night PT 109 was lost.

Also, there seems to be a preponderance of desire by some modelers for "casual" PT crewmen figures -- shirts off, shorts, etc. -- ostensibly for dockside diorama-type builds. With a manufacturer's limited production of such purpose -made pieces, I would hope they'd go the way of making battle-station, or combat-ready crews -- helmets, kapok life jackets, sidearms/canteens, etc. -- at the various crew postions. It's kind of tough to portray a PT on a combat patrol with lounging, shirtless or life jacket-less crew figures!

As far as the life rafts go, there are lots of photos of boats with them around, and a good (partial) color photo of one was seen on one of the late-war boats on that U.S. Navy WWII color photo archive site we've discussed here on the message board in the recent past. The shape, texture, "look," etc. are well-known, or should be, by all the photos of the rafts extant -- the actual color having been somewhat in doubt, due most of the photos being in black & white. To me, the (standard) raft color issue was largely answered by that color archive photo.

As far as baseball caps, there are also plenty of photos of PT crewmen wearing them available. If they're true baseball caps, say, like the navy-blue ones worn in the movie "They Were Expendable" by John Wayne and Marshall Thompson (Wayne's young ensign exec "Snake") , they were pretty standard 1930's-1940's (skull-cap body, short-to-medium-length visors) baseball caps. I've seen some WWII photos of PT crewmen wearing military-issued OD green or khaki baseball-type caps, but many more of PT men, both officers and enlisted men, wearing the standard-issue, light OD green soft Army and Marine Corps fatigue caps -- like JFK is wearing in the famous photos of him in PT 109's cockpit.

Posted By: Drew Cook | Posted on: Nov 22, 2008 - 5:53am
Total Posts: 1285 | Joined: Oct 19, 2006 - 10:44am

I would like to see an aftermarket company do a different scale versions of the Elco Thunderbolt Gun System.

Jeff Curtis

Posted By: JCurtis | Posted on: Apr 18, 2013 - 9:51am
Total Posts: 16 | Joined: Apr 18, 2013 - 7:53am