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REVIEW
Unboxing Merit's Elco 80' PT Boat
staff_Jim
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KITMAKER NETWORK
#002
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New Hampshire, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 11:42 AM UTC
We give you a peek into the box of this new 1/48 scale kit from Merit, the famed 80'' PT Boat used during the later years of WW2.

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
JPTRR
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RAILROAD MODELING
#051
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 01:21 PM UTC
Wow, I'm salivating! Whoever dreamt of a 1/48 PT that didn't involve fiberglass and lots of carving, and filing cast-metal parts? And with a Bofors and 37mm autocannon - I say again: WOW!
Longshanks8
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Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014 - 08:08 PM UTC
There seems to have been a lot of controversy over this kit already.

I see a welcome addition to the range of models devoted to coastal forces. It seems to be crisply moulded with some fine detail. Is it perfect? I'm no expert but I spotted a couple of minor details that will need tweaking if I were to build it. So its not perfect BUT is there a kit out there that is 100% . . NO!

Will it build into a good representation of an 80' Elco out of the box, I reckon it will. For those that want it I'm sure the aftermarket companies will produce the super detail.

I hope Merit go onto to produce a range of coastal forces boats. I feel that 1/48 might be the ideal scale. 1/35 is great to work on/detail but creates storage problems. 1/72 is a lot harder to work on/detail and the range/quality is poor.

Cheers Kev

PS Does anyone know the cost in the UK
Kornbeef
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Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 04:00 AM UTC
There seems to be good points & bad points, some of the detail is really nicely done, other area's are not so well done. I don't see anything however that would put me off though I'm probably going to hold out for the early version supposedly following along.
Some detail is heavy. But at the scale it's not surprising to me.
The after market guys could have a field day with these two releases. Merit if they are clever could release an update kit covering most the variance of armament & fittings configuration between the early and late models or even Superstructure variations.

Hannants have it priced at £69.99 Kev.

Keith


Weebles
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Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 04:27 PM UTC

Quoted Text

There seems to have been a lot of controversy over this kit already



I had a chance to put eyes on this kit for the first time at IPMS Nationals this past weekend. Any thought about this not being copied from the Italeri kit were put to rest. In fact it was copied in some ways to a fault. The deck edging has been discussed already. But what really struck me was that Merit molded in the wrong shaped deck edging at the stern which included the round screw hole covers exactly wrong like Italeri did. That's amusing because the Merit deck doesn't screw to the hull like Italeri. So there you have it, evidence that this was copied from Italeri kit to a fault.

Yes, there are other issues as shown in the sprue shot photos. But if you want to build this subject in 1/48 go for it. They're not the first company to copy somebody else's work and won't be the last.

Dave
Weebles
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Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 01:34 AM UTC
Just want to add a correction to my post. Tracy found some great photos of the stern of PT-596 and the design of the stern is correct to the prototype. Something I'm sure I had seen and forgotten. That said there are several other Italeri design features incorrectly copied over to this kit. That So.... who cares? As I stated before Trumpeter/Merit aren't the first to use other manufacturers products as reference and they won't be the last. And some of these details are hard to find so if you can't beat em, then joint them. My dad always told me "originality is undetected plagiarism". Many aspects of the kit are uniquely Trumpeter/Merit. This kit looks like it will build into a decent replica of a "late model PT" but it's fairly softly molded. If you want to sharpen it up there's a lot of work to be done. In any event, have fun with it. Dave
dyn990
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Posted: Friday, February 06, 2015 - 06:59 AM UTC
Hello all,

I have both the Italeri and Merit kits of the 'late' Elco. I heard that Italeri completely missed the slight curvature to the hull and deck, so it doesn't have the slightly elevated stern and downturned bow. I was curious to see if the Merit hull had the same issue, so I put both hulls upside-down on a completely flat bench top. The critics were right! The Italeri hull is completely flat and contacts the surface from stem to stern. But the Merit hull does not. Instead, it has a delicate curve, with an elevated stern and nose droop. So the Merit hull is certainly not merely a pantographed copy of the Italeri one. I didn't measure the curve, but at least it has one!
TGarthConnelly
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 01:04 AM UTC
Hi, I just picked my Merit PT from Stan - my builder the other day. He really did a GREAT job. I was/am impressed with both the kit and the build.

Since I am not that savvy about posting photos ... may I ask an admin here to email me at ask@ptboatworld.com and I will send them the photos to post here.

I asked him to jot down a few comments about how he felt about the kit, this is what he wrote, and these are his words, not mine:

By Stan Pienkowski




This is a kit and build review of the new Merit 1:48 scale Late-war eighty-foot Elco PT boat kit. The following are Mr. Pienkowski's own words, verbatim.
Working with this company, I found it quite pleasing and enjoyable. When I first opened the box everything was in plastic packaging and neat. I first looked at the instructions and found them to be in picture form and very clear to follow.
All the steps from 1 to 18 were of sub-components before installing them on the deck. The one they missed was the stand, it should have been in an earlier step so the could be set on it while the other components were worked on.
After Step 18, it was a matter of installing all of the components on to the deck. It does not mention painting at any time but I think painting the hull and deck with some of the deck parts glued on to the deck would work well.
I found the sections went together well, but I took the liberty of opening the attachment points just a bit and trying each section before gluing them in place. The boat did go together quite well. But pre-painting is necessary because of the camouflage pattern.
EDITOR'S NOTE – I WAS NOT ABLE TO GET MR. PIENKOWSKI THE PAINTS FROM MERIT IN TIME FOR THE KIT'S COMPLETION

I did like the colors used on the color chart and found Tamiya Acrylic paints the best match. Most other companies' (paints?) come very close but clean up of the air brush was easy with acrylics. The problem is masking with tape because the pattern is complicated.
The plastic has to be sanded so the paint will adhere and not come off when the tape is removed. As for the rest, size, fit, and ample parts, the finished product was a pleasant project. There were a few situations to take note of and take care of. For example, the kit-supplied flag is a 50-star flag, when a 48-star one would be historically accurate.
No specific boat number was called for, although the decal sheet does supply enough numbers to have the kit depict any boat from which the production series of the subject of the kit is an unit. The twin .50s are in the lowered position only. If you would want them to be in the raised, at rest position, adjustments must be done on the gun cradle. There are pins which will allow them to be raised, but it makes for a little more work, but it is doable.
I would like to see all PT boat kits to be supplied with ropes (lines) in different 'poses' so that they can be attached to different areas of the boat. Crew helmets and life jackets would also be nice to have included with the kit. This would tend to dress up the model. Other things which would be a nice addition would be crew figures, dressed and posed as they would be on the boats. These items could help to create an accurate diorama.
The color chart does show matches for Tamiya paints.



Tim
Robbd01
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 01:14 AM UTC
Any word on a Cracking the Box or review of Merit's 1/48 US Navy Elco 80' Motor Patrol Torpedo Boat Early Type? I want to see what you 'all think before I shell out the $80+ duckets for it.


Cheers
TGarthConnelly
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 02:16 AM UTC
Well, I have one here, I just have to get it to my other builder; Ernie Webber. I don't want to bother Stan too much, he's dealing with family issues right now. I hate to intrude on him. I'm waiting to hear from Ernie now. You'd be pleased with the newer kit though, from what I saw in the box ...

I'm going to have Ernie finish the kit as the 190 "JACK'O'DIAMONDS" in a little different configuration than you'd see normally. Merit was kind enough as to send me some parts from the late-war Elco, namely the MARK XIII torpedoes, extra ready-service lockers, an extra 20mm and an extra Mark X mount and the 37mm gun.


Quoted Text

Any word on a Cracking the Box or review of Merit's 1/48 US Navy Elco 80' Motor Patrol Torpedo Boat Early Type? I want to see what you 'all think before I shell out the $80+ duckets for it.


Cheers

Robbd01
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 03:11 AM UTC
I await the review... If the reviews turn out positive my next task is where can I get a US 37mm AT gun in 1/48 scale ? Bandai ? ha!

Cheers
TGarthConnelly
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 04:04 AM UTC
Well, sir ...

From what I saw in the box, I was impressed - crisp detailing, no injection marks that I saw ... they even included four Mark VII or VIII torpedoes for the tubes, but I have to warn you; as Tracy White noted, they are a little under-sized (too thin) ...

But, other than that, I think it's good kit and if a modeler wants to take it to the next level, it's an excellent starting point ...

But, remember sir, I am no modeler and my impression and opinion of it is based on my "emotional" response to what I saw in the box and from what I saw in the finished product that I picked up from Stan the other day; i.e.: if the model came out that good, straight from the box, then, I think that this newer kit will be just as good.

Tim


Quoted Text

I await the review... If the reviews turn out positive my next task is where can I get a US 37mm AT gun in 1/48 scale ? Bandai ? ha!

Cheers

Grauwolf
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 09:42 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi, I just picked my Merit PT from Stan - my builder the other day. He really did a GREAT job.




Hi,
Did I miss something?

I thought Bob Cicconi build the first kit.

Cheers,
Joe
TGarthConnelly
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Posted: Saturday, February 07, 2015 - 09:02 PM UTC
Hi Joe,

Yeah, he did, and he too did an excellent job. But, the thing is/was just as Stan was starting the build a few months ago, I learned that he was dealing with serious family issues that I deemed to be far more important than a model kit. So, I talked to him, even as I was out of state, facing my own serious family issues and told him to stop work on it and I would, somehow, find another modeler to help me do a review of the kit.

Bob stepped up to the plate and agreed to do it. Merit was kind enough to send him a gratis kit ... After I got home from my dealing with my mother's illness and subsequent death, I learned that Stan had resumed his build. Bob still has the model, since he's from PA and I'm from CT - I think it's a safe assumption that it'll be into Spring before Bob can deliver it to me.

Stan's build is the first time I've seen the kit built up in person. I was simply blown away by it.

Tim Connelly


Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hi, I just picked my Merit PT from Stan - my builder the other day. He really did a GREAT job.




Hi,
Did I miss something?

I thought Bob Cicconi build the first kit.

Cheers,
Joe

Grauwolf
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Posted: Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 01:13 PM UTC
It all makes sense now....I got a little confused as I had seen
the great job Bob did... then Stan's name came up.

Thanks for clarifying.

Condolences on your mother's passing.

Joe
TGarthConnelly
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Posted: Sunday, February 08, 2015 - 08:58 PM UTC
Thank you, Joe.

Jim Starkweather, or any Admin here, please email me at ask@ptboatworld.com, thank you.

Tim


Quoted Text

It all makes sense now....I got a little confused as I had seen
the great job Bob did... then Stan's name came up.

Thanks for clarifying.

Condolences on your mother's passing.

Joe