by: Todd Michalak [ ]
From the late 1960’s up to the present, L’Arsenal has been providing the modeling community with resin model kits and accessories covering a variety of scales. With the reinvention of the company into L’Arsenal, they increased accuracy of design and production of their kits through the use of Cad software and prototyping by 3D printing.
The PC-461 class submarine chasers were a class of 343 submarine chasers built mainly for the US Navy built from 1941-1944. The PC-461s were based primarily on two experimental submarine chasers, the PC-451 and PC-452. While PC-461 began the series, the first of the class to enter service was the PC-471. As part of the Lend-Lease program, 46 ships of this class were transferred to allies of the United States. Fifty-nine PC-461s were converted to other types of patrol vessels. Eight vessels of this class were lost, and one vessel was lost after conversion to a PGM-9 class motor gunboat. Only one PC-461, USS PC-566 commanded by Lieutenant Commander (later Captain) Herbert G. Claudius, actually sank a submarine, U-166, during World War II. (Wikipedia)
WWII 173 Patrol River Craft
Recently I received a 1/350 scale WWII 173 Patrol River Craft from L’Arsenal for review. The kit comes supplied in a sturdy flip-top cardboard box. Inside, all of the parts are sealed in a combination of Ziploc baggies and bubble wrap with all of the contents protected by packing peanuts. This kit is a multimedia production in that there is a combination of resin and photo etch parts.
• 57 Crème Colored Resin
• 1 Length Of Brass Wire
• 2 Sheets of Photo Etch Parts
• 1 Sheet Of Decals
• I Instructional Booklet
The bulk of this kit is made up by the combination one-piece solid cast hull and superstructure part. The casting is crisp and free from air bubbles and flash. Other than the casting block, which is attached to the keel of this model, there is relatively no cleanup needed. The level of detail created to this one-piece mold is excellent. This is most evident in the gun well and splinter shields flanking the bridge.
Since most of this boat model is cast in one solid piece, there is a relatively small parts count to work with. With regards to the lower hull, the screws and shafts are molded in one-piece configurations which allow for quick and easy installation if the model is to be built as a static display showing the hull. The remainder of small resin parts are intended to detail the deck and bridge section of the ship. All of these parts are still attached delicately to their casting blocks. There is some flash located on these small parts. Most of this is typical remnants from the casting process and easily removed with you finger if not a sharp #11 blade.
Each of the parts have corresponding mounting points on the model. These parts fit nicely into these points. The small length of bras wire is the main mast to the boat. Included in the kit is two sheets of photo etch parts. One of these two sheets is made up solely of railings for the boat. The second sheet is a combination of 20mm guns, 40mm bases with railings and the main mast yard arm.
As I listed in the contents section above, there is one sheet f decals provided with this kit. This sheet is mostly made up of numbers as the only identification of these ships was the bow numbering designation, besides the ‘W’, ‘PC’ and ‘ P’ letter designations which are provided. There is a five-page set of instructions for building this kit. They are presented in an exploded view format with all of the parts being numbered n the pictures to show their location.
As part of this review, I wanted to try and build the kit and try my hand at working some more water effect. Since the 1/350 scale version of the WWII 173 Patrol River Craft is rather small only makes creating the water base that much easier for me.
For starters, the build is extremely quick as most of the parts needed little to no clean up. I simple only needed to pop them off their casting blocks, a light sanding at the attachment point and the parts were installed. I chose to drill the hole deeper for the mast to allow for more of an internal securement. There is a supplied radar mount that needed to be attached to the mast along with the yard arm. The railing installation was quite simple as well. The parts are a little delicate, but cut easily and attached well through the use of super glue.
One note, while the kit supplied 20mm guns would have worked well for depicting this boat, I chose to use some 20mm’s from Master In addition, and this was my fault, I misplaced the 3 inch gun for the bow of the boat. What is shown in the pictures is a quick scratch build to correct my mistake. In addition, I added some Uschi van der Rosten rigging to finish things off.
Since I was creating a water base for this particular model, the propellers and shafts were not needed. Painting was not too difficult other than the size of this boat. At a little over 3 ½ inches, the painting went quickly. There are a number of different paint schemes used on these sub-chases, I chose to use a neutral grey from Vallejo over a black primer followed by some dusting of light grey for highlighting.
I have to say I am quite impressed by the WWII 173 Patrol River Craft from L’Arsenal 2.0
.The overall casting is excellent and the details are prominent and crisp. There is little in the way of flash which is mostly regulated to the smaller parts. The one-piece cast to the hull and main superstructure was beautifully designed and rendered and ensured quick and easy construction to the model. For lovers of WWII Navy support craft, the WWII 173 Patrol River Craft is a fantastic kit with plenty of detail and the ease of construction only adds to the fun. I highly recommend this kit to anyone interested in this small support crafts and/or WWII US naval subjects.