by: Luciano Satornetti [ ]
The first ‘D’ type was built by Tough Brothers, being laid down on 1st June 1941 and launched 4th October. The ‘D’ was designed to a staff requirement for a long boat to provide a better defence against the E-boat, capable of higher speed and able to carry a better armament than the short boat designs, this was latter expanded to include torpedo armament. The unusual and distinctive hull form was developed, figuratively, by splicing a destroyer type bow on to a fast motor boat stern.
Early boats 601 - 616 were designated MGB’s although many later carried torpedo tubes, 617 - 632 were completed with two 21in tubes. 633 - 696 were built with scallops but not all were rated as MTB’s, 697 - 800 were classed as combined MTB/MGB.
660 was completed 21st April 1943 and served in the Mediterranean, as completed she was armed with twin 0.5in MkV mounting but these were replaced.
As of late 1943
1 x 2pdr Mk XVI mounting
2 x single 20mm Oerlikon Mk IIA in place of the 0.5
2 x twin .303 Vickers mg’s
1 x Twin 20mm Oerlikon Mk V powered mounting
1 x 6pdr Mk VI mounting
4 x depth charges
2 x smoke floats
660 survived the war only to be put up for disposal February 1946
We have a small hinged top plain cardboard box which is very secure, the only indication as to what is inside the box is a small stuck on label at one end but no picture. Inside we find everything packaged in with polystyrene chips to keep it from moving around in transit, the one piece hull is first out together with the small resin items, these have been rolled in bubble wrap an while also being inside a zip-loc bag. Beneath this are the instructions and beneath them are found the PE sheet and another small zip-loc bag containing a small length of brass rod and plastic rod.
Ok the one piece hull has some very finely detailed parts moulded in place and some of it is very thin, although a few air bubbles can be seen just below the surface on the underside of the hull towards the stern. In with the hull but within their own zip-loc bag are the small resin parts these consist of a 2pdr Mk XVI pom-pom, Hotchkiss 6pdr on Mk VI mount, a Mk V twin 20mm Oerlikon powered mount, two carley floats, a dinghy, wheel mount and a binnacle. The gun barrels on both the 2 and 6pdr’s are both bent but could easily be replaced with some brass rod while the rest of the detail is a match for the hull.
Now that short length of brass rod included with the kit is to allow you to fit the emergency steering wheel on the quarter deck and the plastic rod is to replace the pedestals for the single Oerlikon’s if required.
The PE, one of famed Peter Hall’s items dating back to 2000. There are several parts not used in this kit, the PE being generic for the Fairmile ‘D’ range of MGB, MTB and ASRL kits. The instructions list the parts not used but one correction is that the instructions would have you use part 14 the mast but at the same time tell you not to use it, the correct mast for this kit is part 13. With that let’s move on to the instructions.
These consist of four pages of A4 sized single sided sheets with only the first being in colour. Anyone who has built a WEM kit will recognize the instructions but for those that haven’t this is what you get. Page one starts with a brief history of the Fairmile ‘D’ (Dog boat) and a spec list for MGB 660 and at the bottom of the page a colour drawing of 660 with colours listed in WEM’s own colour coats range. Moving on to page two we have a guide to the use of PE and a PE layout, below this are the first steps in constructing the PE, each part is listed by number and name with a written description if the part must be bent, cut or otherwise. Page three continues along the same path until we reach the bottom of the page were we now deal with the resin parts, the part numbers are circled but for some reason the circles are not around the numbers. Page four now brings it all together with three views of the completed boat with parts locations pointed out from above and from the side, a stern view shows the correct alignment for the screws and rudders.
The Paint guide is for one boat MGB 660 which was in AP507B overall, although it is unclear if 660 had the under bow counter shading which if she did would have been either AP507C or white. All automatic weapons were black as was the hull below the waterline, the mast was white above head height.
From this kit you could make several different MGB’s but you’ll need to check your reference as the colour schemes and weapon fits were often different even within the same unit.
No decals are provided for the hull numbers so these will need to be sourced else where just bear in mind the black numbers were outlined in white.
A nicely detailed kit of an often forgotten class of MGB, with care it can be built into a tiny master piece but it’s not for the novice.