Loose Cannon review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Pawnee AT-74 was a Navajo class ocean going fleet tug. She was laid down just before world war two started, and commissioned November 1942. After reporting to Pearl Harbor, Pawnee was assigned to tow the ARD-5 to a Espiritu Santo. Pawnee's first mission was to rescue the USS McCawley that had just been torpedoed at Guadalcanal. However that mission was canceled when she was attacked again and sunk. She continued to operate in the Solomon Isles and worked her way up the slot with the fleet taking on various towing operations. Next the Pacific Fleet started it's march across the Central Pacific and Pawnee was close at hand now reclassified as ATF–74. When the USS Houston CL-81 was torpedoed off Formosa in October 1944. The Pawnee arrived to take over the tow from the USS Boston and maintained that tow even under enemy air attack. Houston took another torpedo hit on the stern and yet they towed on. Thanks to the heroic efforts of her crew the Houston didn't suffer the fate of her namesake the first Houston CA-30. The Houston was repaired and returned to service. Pawnee operated in the Philippines after the war for a time. Later she was placed in reserve until being struck from the Navy list in 1962 and sold for scrap in 1971. 

Displacement 1,675 tons
Length 205 ft
Beam 38 ft 6 in
Draft 15 ft 4 in
Speed 16.5 knots
Armament 1 3"
2 40 mm
Complement 85 officers and enlisted

David Angelo writes:
I've been wanting to do this kit for a long time, ever since I read "We Will Stand By You: Serving in the Pawnee, 1942-1945" the Story of the towing of the USS Houston by the Pawnee.
What a great reason to design a kit. We all like to build ships that are featured in the history we read. But it is nice to see a kit come to market not based on what will sell. This one is now available due to the manufactures own interest in the ship. Now those of you who have read the same book can build a diorama of this kit towing the Pit-Road Cleveland Class Cruiser kit out of harms way. 
The hull is cast in the waterline style. There is a lot of surface detail with well defined deck planking and a large winch on the stern. There is a light film of flash on some of these parts that will clean up easily with a sharp knife. The hull has the distinct ribs running along the hull. There are locator slots for the various other parts cast in. Bracing details makes the side walls stand out.  click images
to enlarge
Detail views
The bridge and gun tubs were cast on a wafer and will need some flat sanding to clean up. The gun tubs have a deck pattern on the floor for a realistic effect. There is a 3" deck gun, a couple of ships boats, and plenty of rafts. 
A photo etch fret provided with all the rest of the parts you will need. It is not relief etched, but provides some nice 20 mm guns, railings, platforms, and all the details to detail the mast. Anchors and other rigging details will allow you to add some really nice detailing to your ship.
The instructions are front and back of a single page. They show subassembly views and overall assembly. One helpful feature is the detail on the mast giving the location of the yardarms and fighting lights. These should provide you will all you need to build this kit. 
Below are photos from the Loose Cannon Website of a built up kit.


Whether you are towing a damaged cruiser or some of the Loose Cannon Floating Drydock sections a Fleet Tug will be a welcome addition to your fleet. This one is Kit #90 - 1/700 USS PAWNEE ATF - LCP EAST $25.00. They are available where ever Loose Cannon products are sold. Check the Loose Cannon page for details on these and other kits.

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