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Hosted by Todd Michalak
Builing Italeri's PT 109: The Last Night
TRM5150
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 01:20 AM UTC
Hello Model Shipwrights!!

I figured I would get this blog started as I am not only getting close to actually seeing the top of my bench from some left over items from last year, I am going through some withdrawals as I have not glued any thing together for a while.

First, If you do not know by now, I have just recently finished a video as well as a written review her on Model Shipwrights of this fine kit and I plan on bringing her to the bench now to build her and of course it will be fun to share the build along with you all.

Second, If you wish to check out the review you can follow this link to the video: PT 109 Video Review

or you can follow this link to the written review: PT 109 Box Review

And finally.......

The Box:



Most of us already know the collective story behind the last patrol of the PT 109 commanded by future President of the USA, John F. Kennedy and the sinking of the PT 109 and the death of two US Sailors. This build will focus on the time of the PT 109 and how she looked just prior to that sinking. She was a well used battle hardened Patrol Torpedo Boat. It may seem a bit cliche' to make the 109, understandably, however it is an Iconic boat and have yet to construct one myself......let's see where that leads us.

A few Plastic shots:







As I mention in the review, this is an exceptionally clean kit. As I go through the build, I will make note of any issues I come across that may have not been brought up in both my reviews of this kit.







A little bit of firepower.... two twin .50 Cal. mounts



One 20mm AA gun...



And besides the 4 torpedoes and the depth charges....a 37mm Anti-tank cannon strapped to the bow by the crew....



These are certainly not all the parts within this kit. I do show the complete contents on my reviews if you wish to see. But these are a great representation of what is included.

So, I hope to sit down for a few minutes and start gluing this weekend and moving forward on this project but I will not be rushing things. The whole Idea is to have some fun and build up a nice kit.

As part of the research I have obtained the Squadron/Signal Publications book PT Boats in action Actually from and by the Author and Naval Historian, T. Garth Connelly. After speaking with Mr. Connnelly about the book, I purchased one for the reading enjoyment of course as well as the research and he was kind enough to sign the copy for me too...thank you Garth!!! This book is packed with information on the front to back career of the PT Boats there are loads of great detail shots inside and out of these beauties. I try to gain as much information on a subject prior to the build and this book sum the majority of that up for me. I can only urge anyone interested in this subject or who will be building this kit should look into picking up PT Boats in action.



And that is that for the moment. I will be back soon as I pop the top of the box and toss some glue inside, hoping some of you can follow along with me on this one. Thanks for stopping by!!!
Dangeroo
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 02:09 AM UTC
Todd, I'll be following with interest! Great review by the way.

Only wish I had the room to display one of these beasts...

Cheers!
Stefan
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 02:18 AM UTC
Todd,
I will be also following this post. I am waiting for mine to come in. Are you planning on using any of the aftermarket phto-etched sets?
Tom
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 04:22 AM UTC
Thanks Stefan! Glad to have you along for the ride!! Yeah, not sure if I have the room either, but sure will give it a try in fitting it in!!

Thanks Tom!! Appreciate you hanging out for this one. As for the PE, as far as I know, I won't be. But nothing is off the table yet!!
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 05:30 AM UTC
I see the issue of the planking on the deck is still there
Are you going to sand the deck to get the correct plywood look?
TRM5150
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 06:00 AM UTC
Hi Scot, Yes, the out side course will be sanded down removing the rivets and lowering the outside plank to come close to the smooth look on the 103's. Not sure why this was added as a detail to the kit, but should be easy to remove.
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 08:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I see the issue of the planking on the deck is still there
Are you going to sand the deck to get the correct plywood look?



A review of the origianl ELCO drawings shows that plywood was NOT USED as decking on the 80' ELCOs until the 486 series. Prior to this group, the decking was two layers of mahagony planking sandwiching a layer of aricraft fabric and glue.

Al Ross
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 08:54 AM UTC
Thanks Al! I seem to have found something similar. The decks were Mahogany on the inside course, fabric and then Teak applied to the outer layer. I think this comes down to defining which boat at which time it was created. The 103 class seems to have the wooden deck but the outside rail is flush with the decking not so pronounced with the kit.

As is the kit would build beautiful. To bring it a bit closer to the original, sanding off the rivets is all that one could do. I am actually sanding this down flush to first, show this option and second add a little more to the level of realism.

With any luck I hope to have some pics later on!
alross2
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 09:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks Al! I seem to have found something similar. The decks were Mahogany on the inside course, fabric and then Teak applied to the outer layer.


Don't know where this info came from, but it's bogus. The original ELCO drawings are very clear that the decking is two layers of mahogany. I can provide a copy for the type section showing this for this group if you like. The margin plank is flush with the top of the deck. Don't understand how Italeri interpreted it as raised.

Al Ross
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 09:34 AM UTC
Thanks again Al! No proof needed. I read on report as it being teak, figured this was correct as it is a standard top planking in most ship building.

I am unaware where they may have some up with the raise outer strake if you will, I was thinking mis-information for starters, but this pics may help:

For discussion purposes only:

Borrowed from the HyperWar Website: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/CloseQuarters/index.html#index You can see the raised detail and the rivets on the outer edge. Add this to a couple other pictures that clearly show there is a board that wraps around in that direction they decided to add it.

Eitherway...LOL...still sand, sand, sanding!!!
TGarthConnelly
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 10:22 AM UTC
No PT boat had teak decking ....... Where did that come from? That's just wrong.

Garth
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 11:07 AM UTC

Quoted Text

No PT boat had teak decking ....... Where did that come from? That's just wrong.

Garth



LOL...I forget Garth. I will try and dig up the piece I read if for nothing else to steer people onto the correct path I guess!
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 02:03 PM UTC
Didn't mean to stir anything up but I am definatley following for the informational purposes. I paimstakingly sanded all of my Revell 1/72 boats to get rid of the planking based on the references I found
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Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 03:20 PM UTC
LOL...no worries Scot, nothing stirred my friend! From what I read (credible publications) the ship was two layered Mahogany. The publication I had read (to which I cannot find now...still looking ) was wrong from what I am understanding.

As for the sanding...well I don't feel so alone any more...LOL!! I sanded the raised decking down as well as completely removing the outside rail. I was tempted to re-apply very mild panel lines, except these would be recessed. Not only as it is plausible from seeing a number of pictures showing the planks clearly, but it may add a bit of continuity and interest to the build. I will cross one bridge before the next though!! Thanks for stopping by!!
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 04:35 AM UTC
Following with interest Todd.

Cheers

Al
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 09:42 AM UTC
You're a modeling animal Todd...are your days like 36 hours long?

Excellent reviews, both video and static, and a great start on the build too!
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 09:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Following with interest Todd.

Cheers

Al



Happy to have you along for this AL!!

James - LOL , I can only wish they were!!! All I can get is 19 waking!! It's not suppose to be this fun, is it? Thanks for the kind words BTW!


OK...a little update on the 'big tub'.

I managed to sand down the entire entire outside deck rib flush to the deck.



The old cordless Dremel helped out a bit to make light work of this. After power sanding there was a little smoothing out to do. Time to Spackle the deck...well, Tamiya White that is.



While waiting for the white stuff to dry a little, I went after drilling out all the mounting holes that are half drilled out from the backside...oh, they are numbered too, so I don't screw up and drill out the wrong ones!



So after some sanding I test fit the deck to the hull. This deck is secured with the provided mounting fasteners. There is a small cap that need to be place on top of the screw. This will be done, but there are a couple of square holes that need cutting out and then filing first.







So back to the bench to finish the square openings and then double check the instructions to make sure I need not keep the deck off and I will move forward and screwing and gluing the deck down!!

Thanks for tuning in!!!
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 02:43 PM UTC
Hey Todd, thanks for the link, close quarters. Just spent the better part of the evening pouring through it. Very helpful for my build of an early elco. And the deck being flush is something I probably would have missed on my own. I am officially on PT overload at the moment, but must admit I am enjoying every bit of it. I wont get to build mine for a bit, too much stuff in the fantazy factory for now, but by the time I get it in place I'll have enough info to do it right. Have swapped out the torpedo tubes with Blaster76 for the roll offs and got a bofors and rocket launchers from Taffy3 (Al) so I'm well on my way to do the barge buster. Great to have all the guys out there sharing info back and forth, makes things allot easier. Thanks to everyone who has steered me in the right direction, without all the help I'd be pretty lost. Will be watching your build as you progress and am enjoying it already. Hope it all comes out the way you want it to. bob d.
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Posted: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 11:08 PM UTC
Your welcome Bob! I'll be looking forward to seeing yours come together! "Great to have all the guys out there sharing info back and forth"...it's what it's all about!! talking shop, building some models and having FUN!!
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 03:10 PM UTC
OK...a bit of an update!! For the past couple day I have been...well let's call it faring the hull. I managed to finish the sanding on the deck...all smooth now. So, moving forward I wanted to set the deck in place. The deck actually has 7 screws. The two in the rear just above the transom had caps that need to be installed.



This is a picture taken from the "corrections page" Anyone who seen my review may remember seeing this page. Some parts on Sprue(s) E were incorrectly marked. These two caps are just two.

Since I sanded off the raised detail around the deck...and these two caps are to be installed into that raised detail, I needed to thin the caps out. I used a needle file and finished off with sandpaper on the bottom side of the plug.



You can see this still is above the deck after gluing. Again with the file...taking my time I was able to bring most of it down then finishing it off with increasingly finer grade of sandpaper til it was smooth.



Next came another step that requires the use of the corrections page. The Spray Rail pieces that run fore to aft were incorrectly labeled as well. These are slightly different in thickness and will require a little sanding to smooth out. The front miter on the rails was not lining up to well, but after some prodding and a touch of Tamiya white it went together. You can see the installed rail boards in the last picture in this post.

This brings me to running the hull demarcation line. I found more often than not, if you take the time to set the ship/boat in the correct angle it will be sitting in the water, here I placed it on the supplied display stand, then you can easily mark the line with a couple of cheap tools.



I happen to have one of the magnifying glass/alligator clip second hand thing (that I don't use for anything but this any more) and attach a pencil to one side of the arm. You can easily make one from a block of wood with a hole drilled for the pencil at the correct height. I have a rotor laser too....used it...it works but it's just as easy to do this. Keen eyed individuals will see I am using a pen....because round one (thinking I should try something different when this works) failed.



The instructions call for a 25mm space between the keel and the demarcation line. The easiest place to start your line is on the transom. Then simply transfer the line around. This is what you set the height of you magical-pencil-holding waterline marking tool to.



Simply slide the tool with your hand along the bench and the line is transfer to the boat. Since these PT's sit nose up and the water is level the line stays straight. The PT is just a little different from other ship that I have done. The curve to the bow comes out almost flat to the Spray rail. From the side the line will look straight but from underneath, it's not.



I placed the tape here for a visual as this will need to be primed first and then taped off to paint the Copperoyd ...redish-brown color of the hull.

That its that for the moment other than a couple of add-on fixtures to the hull which you can just about make out in the pictures above and I have begun cleaning the mufflers and the linkage up. To ease the painting, the mufflers will not go on until the hull is painted.

Hope to have some more soon...thanks for tuning in!!
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 03:49 PM UTC
Todd,
Looking good and you are providing a great amout of information of what to do and not do. By the way I lkie your paint racks. Ehat are they made from? Keep up the great work.
Tom
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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 - 11:21 PM UTC
Hi Tom!! Thank you!! Sometimes though, I might talk too much though!! LOL...at least that's what the wife might say!! The paint racks are just cut from come pine I had lying around at work with a luan backing.
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 03:26 PM UTC
After working for a bit on a project to help out a good friend...yes, model related too!! I did finally sit with the Big Girls here. My problem was the brackets that held the mufflers off the transom. There is one on the kit and this is "post" style. I needed to make up some U-shaped brackets from what I seen a picture.

With some leftover PE I made an attempt.



My apologies for the table shot...too late to run down and snap something clean.



You can see a small silver washer type item up at the top of these.....well, it's a washer...LOL!! Where the exhaust pipe connect to the Transom, there appeared to be a cover plate around the pipe...think this will work out!

Thanks for having a peek!!!
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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 04:39 AM UTC
Todd, just found this thread, and I have to say you are making this look too easy. I assume the end of the great planked/ smooth deck controversy was smooth deck? and no toe rail?
Anyway, I will be following along with great interest...now to go watch your vid.
Later
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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 - 08:19 AM UTC
Going on the one PT-style hull I have ever seen in the flesh the deck on that one was good ole varnished plywood. Teak would have been way too heavy for this application. There must be one or two PT boats preserved elsewhere surely. The one I saw caught fire and burned to the water line many years ago so that is no help.
Cheers
Warren