|The Cherokee Class was originally referred
to as the Navaho Class but since the first two in the class were lost,
the eldest survivor earned the class title. These little tugs were the
work horses of the auxiliary fleet. The were stationed in both the Atlantic
and the Pacific and were often based in forward areas. They were there
to tow damaged ships back to safety or moving floating dry-dock and dock
sections where needed. These ships were large as far as tugs go, the Cherokee
displaced over 1650 tons on her 205' x 38' 6" hull. She could make 16 knots
allowing her to keep up with most service vessels. Though Cherokee was
just a fleet tug, she had a pretty formidable armament. A single 3" deck
gun was mounted forward with two twin 40 mm mounts aft. Two 20 mm mounts
added to her defensive armament. The Cherokee and her many sisters fought
all over the Atlantic and Pacific theaters and many earned battle stars
for their service.
This new kit from Battlefleet can be used to build most any of those
heroic ships with only minor changes. From what I can tell they all had
a very similar fit. Many of these ships survived the war and went on to
serve as Coast Guard ships so there are even more possibilities.
|The hull on this kit is very cleanly cast with sharp detailing all over. The deck winches looks really nice. with the forward one looking ready to haul the anchors up, and the aft one is even sharper. The hull sides are well detailed as is the superstructure. The latter includes nice open portholes. The only trace of flash on this kit is at the waterline where cleanup is easy.||Click images
|The superstructure parts are cast just as nice as the hull and they look they need only minor cleanup. The bridge has nice porthole detail with a protective awning around the round face. The lower level is also nice. There are two large funnels provided and one smaller one. I am not sure which one goes with which ship. Be sure to consult your references for the ship you are building. The aft boom will need to have the flash cut out of the center, but this should not be a problem.|
|WEAPONS, BOATS, AND MISCELLANEOUS PARTS|
|The weapons include 3", 40 mm and 20 mm guns. If your unhappy with the 3" then you should note that there is a really nice CNC brass gun barrel from BMK included to give it a more realistic appearance. The part is almost too small to see with the naked eye, but it will give the gun mount a scale appearance. The 40 mm guns are not bad but resemble Skywave parts complete with solid walls where the railings should be. I would cut these off and add some of the included railings instead. 20 mm guns are not bad, and if you are not happy with these see the one on the photo etch fret below. The boats all include a nice canvas cover to protect them from the elements. Don't be alarmed by the flash on these parts. It is a light film and most of it falls off when the parts are handled. These resin parts are actually easier to clean up than comparable parts molded in styrene.|
|The photo etch fret is supplied by Tom's Modelworks and is typical of the quality you would expect from his sets. It has all the items you will need for this ship and a few extras for the parts box. A nice bonus for this kit. Brass rod for the masts is also included.|
|The instructions are seven pages with some prototype views
of the real ship as well as stats, a class list, and history. A plan and
elevation with parts location is provided to show you where things go.
I would like to see some 3D views of the assembly to better illustrate
everything. But this is a pretty simple kit and I doubt that most modelers
will have any problems. A camo design sheet is also provided showing late
war camo for some ships in this class.
|Conclusions: Battlefleet Models. continues to produce important auxiliaries ships. This one is typical of the quality of casting found in their other kits. It is small enough to be a good first resin kit, and yet detailed enough to be superdetailed in style. This little kit #BFM-708 ATF Fleet Ocean Tug is listed for $ 25.00. This price is more than fair for a kit of this size with added PE and a CNC brass gun barrel. You can buy online direct via Paypal or wherever Battlefleet kits are sold. See there website for details.|