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First Look Review
Video Review included
148
U.S. Navy Elco 80' PT Boat
U.S. Navy Elco 80' Motor Patrol Torpedo Boat Late Version
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by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]


Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

SUMMARY
Highs: Well molded kit with crisp detail. Equal to anything put out by the major kit makers.
Lows: Would have liked to see more historical options as there were many different configurations of this boat.
Verdict: Merit has released a great kit that looks to build into a very nice model of this famous makers PT boats.
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 64801
  Suggested Retail: $90
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jul 11, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.91%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 80.00%

Our Thanks to Merit International!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright 2017 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
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Comments

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
FEB 07, 2015 - 08:04 AM
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
FEB 07, 2015 - 08:14 AM
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.
FEB 07, 2015 - 09:16 AM
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
FEB 07, 2015 - 10:11 AM
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
FEB 07, 2015 - 11:04 AM
Hi, Did I miss something? I thought Bob Cicconi build the first kit. Cheers, Joe
FEB 07, 2015 - 04:42 PM
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 Hi, Did I miss something? I thought Bob Cicconi build the first kit. Cheers, Joe [/quote]
FEB 08, 2015 - 04:02 AM
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
FEB 08, 2015 - 08:13 PM
Thank you, Joe. Jim Starkweather, or any Admin here, please email me at ask@ptboatworld.com, thank you. Tim
FEB 09, 2015 - 03:58 AM
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