1/600 Scale USN Patrol Craft (PC) Kit
Review by Felix Bustelo
To counter the successes of German U-Boats in the Battle of the Atlantic, the United States Navy built 361 PCs to act as convoy escorts and anti-submarine ships. These ships, which were 173 feet long and typically had crew of 60 enlisted men and 5 officers, were well designed and very effective. After the U-Boat threat subsided and the Navy built more destroyer escorts and other larger ships for convoy duty, the PCs were deployed to the Pacific, the English Channel and the Mediterrean. There they served again with distinction in a variety of functions, including acting as control ships at the Normandy Invasion.
PT Dockyard, a cottage-firm that manufacturers 1/600 scale resin coastal craft for war gaming, has issued a kit of the most common style of Patrol Craft - the PC 461 class. The kit comes with a waterline one-piece hull casting with some deck details, a lifeboat and depth-charges. Additional parts include a one piece bridge- superstructure and stack assembly, a 3"-50 gun, 5-20mm oerlikons, a 40mm gun, the a piece of thin sprue for the mast. The casting is good but requires clean up and some filling of pinholes and seams. The delicate guns require trimming from their casting sheets and must be handled carefully. You may prefer to subsititue the kits 20mm Oerlikons with photo-etch equivalents. There is a very simple hand-drawn assembly diagram that is simple to follow. No painting instructions are provided.
One must bear in mind that this model was made for war gaming and lacks some of the fine details that some folks are used to seeing. So, if you are expecting the kind of casting that you see from some of the major resin-kit manufacturers, then you will be disappointed. I like this kit and I think that with some photoetch it can be made into a very respectable model of an overlooked ship that served in World War 2. PT Dockyard kits are available via direct mail order, so follow the link above for a price list and ordering instructions.