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Italeri Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 Model Kit
|Price:||$128.20 + $12.80 shipping|
Usually ships within 2 to 3 days.
- 1/35th scale
- Photo-etched fret, ropes and screws are included for increased realism
- Authentic markings included
- Torpedoes can be assembled with or without protective nose covers and can be positioned in either transportation or launch position
- Paint and glue not included
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|Item Dimensions||7.09 x 27.56 x 8.07 in||7.48 x 11.42 x 1.77 in||5 x 24.84 x 9.66 in||3.55 x 41.88 x 5.13 in||5.29 x 21.73 x 6 in||3.71 x 30.41 x 9.16 in|
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Every historian and American who grew up in the 50's, 60's and 70's can associate PT-109 a WWII torpedo patrol boat and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the President of the United States. On April 23, 1943 Lieutenant Junior Grade John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was given command of PT-109. They took part in the US invasion of Rendova Island/New Georgia. PT-109 was rammed "Cut in half" and left in flames by an enemy destroyer the Amagiri on August 2nd, 1943. Miraculously, only two crewmembers were killed and only two others were badly injured. The seamen reached Plum Pudding Island, 3.5 miles away. Surviving on coconuts and with the help of local islanders, the remaining crew and their Captain were rescued. In 2002, the wreckage of PT-109 was located.
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To build the PT-109 as she appeared at the time of her sinking, you can't follow the assembly instructions or use the box art as a reliable resource. PT-109 did not carry the ship's mast while in the South Pacific. It may have been left in the lowered stowed position, it may have been removed completely, nobody knows for certain. The PT 109 was moved from the Panama Canal zone to New Caledonia on November 11, 1942. It was here that she was painted overall green and equipped to be made "war-ready". What exactly was done to the 109 is unknown. The ships's log offers up no insights into any alterations of modifications done. There is a photo of the 109 crowded with survivors from the USS Northampton the night after the cruiser sank on November 30th. It's obvious that the ship's mast is missing and the aft torpedo tubes are gone. Could this be the "war-ready" mods that were carried out?
So the bottom line is, to build an accurate PT109 in August 1943, remove the mast, replace the aft torpedo tubes with eight depth charges and lash the 37mm anti-tank gun to the forward deck.
PT-109 had can style muzzle flash suppressors on her .50 cal machine guns sometime after her arrival in the war zone. This kit does not have those. The U.S. flag decal has 50 stars on them; not accurate for 1943. There is no mount bracket part for a jack staff at the bow. The deck deadlight locations on either side of the helm are incorrect. In fact there's one too many deadlights on the starboard side. Unfortunately the deck is perfectly flat. The 80' Elco deck had a pronounced crown along it's entire length. The rear of the deck should also flare up to a height of 2mm above the transom and that flaring up began about 10 scale feet from the stern. Lastly with the deck, the bow had a pronounced "dip" of the deck. That started about 15 scale feet back from the hawser. Built straight out of the box it will be difficult for the layperson to spot these errors. However they're there, but very easy to correct. And if you correct the hull shape, it will effect the fit of the Day Cabin and the Chart House to the deck. This will have to be addressed as well. The other error, the torpedo tubes - both forward and aft, are located 5mm too far aft. This represents approximately 2 scale feet. It's an obvious mistake that is also easy to correct.
Since this model kit was issued, Italeri has released a conversion kit for the PT 109. The updates include early and late style radars for the ship's mast, a life raft, a 20mm mount that is identical to the main kit's gun except that it comes with a splinter shield, a 40mm Bofers to replace the 20mm gun, life rings, one each of the early and late war torpedoes and four depth charges with racks. The depth charges are interesting. If you want to build the PT 109 on the fateful night of her sinking, you'll need two sets. Either way, the conversion set opens up the door to model a whole host of other early to mid-war PT Boats. Very nice.
I built this kit as the PT103, the lead boat of the class with all the alterations necessary to accurize the model. It was then donated away. Since then, Italeri has released a set of South Pacific PT Boat crewmen at ease or performing ship chores. And "Shapeways", a 3D printing company now makes replacement parts to correct some of the kit's other short-comings such as missing mooning bits, throttle pushrod deck cases, running lights and helm throttles. Correcting the kit errors was an extensive exercise in due diligence. The Shapeways parts makes it a bit easier and the Italeri figures allow for some cool diorama ideas, so I'm building a second PT Boat, this time the 109 before all of its field modifications. And the second time around is just as fun the as the first.
Page 15 shows 2 boxes with 3 part # 45E on each. 3 won't fit and 2 sets of 45E are missing. You only get 4 sets.
I attempted to contact Italeri about missing/ broken parts. They do respond but their instructions are very confusing and they quote in $$ in Euro's. Very expensive too. 6 Euro's for three rudders.