Italeri 1:35 Vosper MTB 77
KIT #: 5610
PRICE: £99.99
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Richard Reynolds
NOTES: Injection moulded, 395 parts (86 photo-etched, 9 screws and string), decals, instruction booklet and photographic reference manual.    


The origins of the Vosper motor torpedo boat during World War II can be traced to a 1910 racing yacht. Thorneycroft designed the Miranda IV for the British International Trophy for Motorboats, the craft was capable of reaching 40 knots and the hull design was developed into the 55’ Coastal Motor Boat series which were used by the Royal Navy during World War I.

The Royal Navy ordered four of the first production MTBs in 1938 (MTB 20 – 23), which were followed by two more craft of an improved design (MTB 29 and 30). By 1939 ten more had been ordered (MTB 31 to 40). The 1938-9 models were armed with two 21” torpedo tubes and two .5” Vickers machine guns.

Due to wartime restrictions on the Fraschini engine, the heavy and less powerful Hall-Scott engine was adopted beginning with MTB-34. This engine was used until the arrival of the definitive Packard engines which were introduced in the construction of MTB-73. In addition, all previous models of MTB were upgraded with this power-plant.

Vosper received its first order for ten boats in 1940 (MTB 57 – 66). These were supplemented by six more vessels (MTB 67 – 72), including an additional two craft diverted from the Greek order and a further two from the Norwegian order. These craft received hull numbers 73 to 99.

Samuel J. White built twenty more 1940 Vosper design MTBs in the U.K. in Cowes, these being MTB 201 to 212, 218 to 221 and 242 to 245. The 1940 boats were similarly armed to the previous models with the addition of two .303” Vickers machine guns added to the wheelhouse sides and a 20mm gun added to the foredeck later in the war. Provisions for dropping depth charges were also added.

Vosper MTBs saw action throughout WWII in the English Channel, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Black Sea. They served in a variety of roles including: coastal patrol, anti-shipping attacks, convoy escort and support of commando operations.


The kit is supplied in a large box adorned with a reassuringly un-pc action scene. A look inside the box reveals a card bridge with folding retainers over the deck and hull which are semi-recessed into a card tray and are cleanly moulded in a crisp, grey plastic. The deck planking and general detail is subtle and effective, however my first impressions were that the kit contained few parts.

Five parts trees are presented with one etched fret and a sheet of die-cut clear parts for the high volume of port-holes. A photographic reference manual is included which I found to be a valuable resource especially in light of the Vosper MTB series tending toward each craft being individualised by its crew and therefore careful research is required in recreating an accurate representation of a specific craft.

The instruction booklet is clear, concise and well laid out, with each step easy to follow. My only criticism would be that in rigging the aerial wires and rope toward the end of construction, I had to refer to my own reference material as the rigging instructions were not clear. In addition, the rope and wire supplied by Italeri should be replaced by after-market items to be faithful to scale, my kit was supplied by Spot-on models and hobbies of Swindon, United Kingdom and it was required that the subject be made straight from the box.


Construction was straight forward and stress-free, which came as no surprise as I had already built Italeri’s excellent ELCO 80 and MAS 568 series of boats. The only departure that I made from following the instructions as suggested was to dispense with the die-cut clear parts and fill the port-holes with Micro Krystal clear once the hull and upper-works had been completed.

The hull and deck are constructed first, take care to refer to the drilling diagram when drilling the locating holes in the deck. After pre-assembling the upper-works the completed hull and sub-assemblies were primed in grey primer and left to dry over-night. The cabin was constructed and deck-fittings mounted before the model was pre-shaded in matt black. All deck accessories were painted prior to fitting.


Markings are provided for MTB 77, 73 and 79. The colour options are limited to grey which presents an opportunity to post-shade and weather the boat. I used a combination of humbrol 64 light grey and 165 medium sea grey for the upper hull and deck and humbrol 125 for the hull below the waterline and humbrol 123 for post-shading. A combination wash of burnt umber and black oils were used to weather the Vosper MTB. Once the painting and detailing were complete the kit was rigged and the decals applied. Finally, the kit was given a coat of Johnson’s Klear.


Whilst not as complex as the ELCO 80 or the MAS 568, this is a beautifully crafted kit which provides the modeller with the opportunity to build a nice example of the Vosper 72’6” and the subject provides scope for building a stimulating and evocative piece of British naval history, Highly recommended.


1) British Motor Torpedo Boat 1939-45 (New Vanguard).
2) Vosper MTBs in Action, Warships No. 13, Squadron Signal Publications, T. Garth Connelley.
3) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, Motor Torpedo Boat.

Richard Reynolds

June 2012

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