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Thread: Italeri's PT-109 to an RC model....

  1. #1

    Default Italeri's PT-109 to an RC model....

    A few months back one of my reps brought in the instruction booklet for the new 1/35 Italeris' PT-109. The guy is a WWII aficionado. To the point he has a complete mini museum under his house and after reading through the 36 page instruction book and little reference book that came with the kit I knew I had to get one and I knew I had to have a crack at making it a working RC model...

    I've always liked the history behind the boat and JFK and I loved watching the McHales Navy as a kid, for me the star of the show was the boat. But in my early teens I glibly tossed aside my love of the WWII era and dove at full warp into Sci-fi and so gave away dozens of tanks, aircraft boats and hundreds of soldiers all of which was 1/72 and predominantly from airfix that I had built painted and collected for around 3-4 years. However in the last couple of years I find that my interest in things other than Sci-fi bubbling to the surface. Though to be frank a lot is based on the WWII era which I put it down to researching my Grandfathers war time history and service in New Guinea. None of which was ever openly discussed as I grew up. Also there is the modeling desire to have replicas from the heroic childhood films I enjoyed countless times at the cinema. Indeed many of those grace my DVD collection. Hmm perhaps there really is something to this 'arrested development' theory :wink:

    Anyway moving on... For my recent birthday last week Sandy gave me a voucher from one of the local hobby stores I frequent so I thought why not put her money where my mouth is and get the PT-109 and convert it, although the Dragon 1/72 scale Saturn V kit was whispering to me and converting the PT-109 I reckon will be one mother of a learning curve...

    Apart from the model I asked one of the blokes at the shop what he had that could help me on my way and what motors he'd suggest. I had already decided that two motors running from one speed controller was the how I was going to go. But I am considering that three props off three 340 motors might yet be the way to go as long as I can get the three rudders to work as one of the one servo?? More on that later. As a first foray into a working target I figured the Italeri version was pretty good as it's a decent size, a good scale and one of the better representations of the Elco boats that has been done and the box art is impressive too.

    On opening the box I was pretty impressed with the workmanship and molding I could find virtually no flash and any injection artifacts are few and far between and those that are there will be easy fixes. The hull is molded in one piece. However I still plan to add some bracing in there just to be sure.

    The detail on the main deck is pretty good too. In past kits I have either seen no planking or it was sadly over stated. Italeri seem to have got that part right as there is just enough planking detail visible to really show how it should have looked. Well for me anyway.

    It comes with some extras as well, such as a PE fret, clear inserts for the deck sky lights and windows and finally somebody included the 37mm canon the crew mounted and roped to the forward deck.

    The sprue trees show just how clean these parts are and thee are enough parts to keep me happy tinkering, sanding and sniffing glue.

    As I mentioned above the instruction book is 36 pages of well drawn and large instructional images and they have included an amendment sheet to correct some errors from the instructions. There are some areas that could have done with some written explanations on things but on the whole following the instructions shouldn't prove a daunting task for anyone.

    the decals look nice and clean and they have the main deck held down with screws. I can't remember if the original runs had screws to hold down the deck but you would almost think that they had RC in mind. The only disappointing thing is no figures are included so I may have to do some web searching for some. The little glossy reference book they also have in the box is good but I am going to need to google some stuff to get a better handle on weathering etc as they were mostly a ply construction I will need to pay extra heed to any rust/water stains. It would be an interesting experiment to put some lights in it to for future dusk/night runs. Italeri do an enhancement kit but as the 109 didn't have any radar nor the smaller torpedoes all this kit would do is turn it into a generic squadron boat where as I want to have it look just like it did before she was rammed by the Japanese destroyer.
    Cheers,
    Alec.


    Reality is but a dream...
    But to dream is a reality


  2. #2
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    Make sure to crame plenty of foam within the hull -- these things invariably take on water. And make the two outboard screws counter-rotating as these little boats suffer terribly from 'walking' if they all swing in the same direction.

    David

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    Good Stuff Alec! I've got a DVD of a group of volunteers who bought a derelict PT boat and completely restored it. I think it was in Washington state. At any rate you'd probably like to see it. When I get home Ill check out the name and post it here come Monday.
    IT TAKES GREAT INTELLIGENCE TO FAKE SUCH STUPIDITY!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenman407 View Post
    Good Stuff Alec! I've got a DVD of a group of volunteers who bought a derelict PT boat and completely restored it. I think it was in Washington state. At any rate you'd probably like to see it. When I get home Ill check out the name and post it here come Monday.
    Higgin's or Elco?

    M

  5. #5
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    Only this week I read for the third time since purchased back in the 1990's, "Devil Boats" The PT war against Japan by William Breuer.

    As a kid working at a boatyard on the Anacostia River in D.C., we had a 85' crash boat (ASR). It had 2 Packards instead of the 3 in the PT's, hence top speed if I remember was down to only 36knots! To me, this boat had the best lines of any boat I've ever seen. She was bronze fastened below the water line and galvinized above. The rust bleed through from these was a never ending headache.

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    PT 109 Was an 80' Elco

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    Dave, I dont remember. Ill check it out. It was PT- 4hundredansumpin
    IT TAKES GREAT INTELLIGENCE TO FAKE SUCH STUPIDITY!

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    I see the torpedo launchers. Does it come with any torpedos?

  9. #9
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    Back in the mid 50's when I was a young'n my father had a friend who had a friend who had a PT boat he had bought from some naval yard - I seem to recall Boston but I'm not sure. The boat had two engines in it as I recall. The Navy had stripped all the guns off of it much to my young disappointment. We would go out on the west end of Lake Erie and blast around for a few hours. I recall it clearly. The look on people's faces as we went by them - and we went BY them - was priceless.

    Dan

    P.S. DM, if you read this, please check your email. Thanks
    Last edited by roedj; 06-29-2013 at 07:41 PM. Reason: message to DM
    Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by He Who Shall Not Be Named View Post
    Make sure to crame plenty of foam within the hull -- these things invariably take on water. And make the two outboard screws counter-rotating as these little boats suffer terribly from 'walking' if they all swing in the same direction.

    David
    Oh don't worry foam was defiantly in my list of to do's and mount the servo up from the hull as a precaution too. The speed controller they have put aside for me at the shop I don't think is a waterproof one so I reckon I will go for one of the Mtronick ones. A question on the counter rotating props. I understand that if I run just the two outboards that counter rotating would be the better option but how does this work if I choose to run all three props? Maybe using an ADF2 set up to keep the rudders centered would help stop the walking?

    Sorry Scott no torpedoes, just the tubes.

    Thanks for the DVD tip Mark but unless it is region free or comes in a region 4 code it won't work down under... It will be a couple of weeks before I gather all the extras I need so that gives me plenty of time to do some web research before I kick off on the project.
    Cheers,
    Alec.


    Reality is but a dream...
    But to dream is a reality


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