Battlefleet Models USCG Tamaroa 1984
Reviewed by Timothy Dike

The Coast Guard Cutter Tamaroa was originally built as the USS Zuni AT-95 (later ATF-95) by Commercial Iron Works, of Portland Oregon in 1943. She was a Navajo class ocean salvage tug.  She operated in the Pacific theater in the thick of the action. Zuni is probably best known for the assistance rendered to the Light Cruiser Reno when she was torpedoed off the Philippines in 1944. She soon headed for Iwo Jima and helped with towing LST's until a broken tow line fouled her running gear and she was severely damaged. To add insult to injury, she had to be towed back to Pearl Harbor and repairs were not completed until after the war. She earned four battle stars for her service during World War II. After the war she was transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in 1946.  Zuni was then decommissioned and transferred to the Coast Guard on June 29, 1946 and renamed Tamaroa. 

Haze gray gave way to the white and black of the early Coast Guard. Her designation was changed to WAT-166 and she began a new career stationed at New York from 1946 through 1985. Over the years her designation changed from WATF to WMEC-166, but her mission remained the same. Tamaroa assisted several stricken ships and intercepted many drug smuggling ships. In the mid 80's she moved to  New Castle, New Hampshire. She remained active enforcing the law and conducting search and rescue missions. She was immortalized in the book and later movie The Perfect Storm for her actions to rescue the three persons from the stricken sailboat Satori off Nantucket Island. She returned to the rough seas to rescue four of five crew members from a downed HH-60 Helicopter that went down in the storm while on their own rescue mission. For her actions that night she was awarded  the Coast Guard Unit Commendation and the prestigious Coast Guard Foundation Award. 

Finally after half a century of service the Tamaroa was worn out and the Coast Guard could not afford to spend the million dollars a refit would cost. She was decommissioned in February 1994 and transferred to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York. Today she is the subject of preservation efforts by the Tamaroa Maritime Foundation, based in Richmond, Virginia. Hopefully she will be preserved for generations to enjoy. 

It's a perfect storm for 700 scale modelers with this release from Battlefleet Models. The kit is presented in her 1984 appearance as she operated with the Coast Guard intercepting drug runners. If your looking for the Perfect Storm version Battlefleet offers this same ship in her 1991 fit

The hull on this kit is very well cast in waterline style. The casting is crisp and clean with detailing some really sharp deck detailing featuring a nice winch. The strakes are well done on the hull and the portholes have a drilled out appearance.  Click images
to enlarge
The bridge and other superstructure parts are cast in the open face mold style. There was no overpour on my samples and cleanup will be a breeze. As with he hull, the casting is clean and sharp. Walls are straight and the features are sharp and distinct. 
The stern derrick and other gear are cast on wafers and blocks. The derrick will require a little cleanup to remove the flash in the center, but otherwise is nicely done. Personally I would use this as a template to fabricate one from the included brass rod shown below. But it is great to have a choice.
The photo etch fret is supplied by Tom's Modelworks. This is a Destroyer Escort set, but it contains plenty of parts to dress this ship up including railings, prop guards, and even crew members. Brass rod is also provided to fabricate the masts and derrick. 
The instructions are five pages with photos, drawings, and a bill of materials. Not great, but adequate to build this kit.
A nice little kit of this famous Cutter. If your wanting a good starting point for an early Tamerao, then this is your kit. It is your best bet for a 1984 or earlier version of this ship.

This is kit Kit# BFM-708D USCGC Tamaroa 1984 with a list price of only $30.00. It is available direct from Battlefleet Models or wherever fine waterline ships are sold.