Revell 1/72 Vosper MTB
Most Americans have never heard of any other Motor Torpedo Boats(MTB) other than the PT boats used in the Pacific, specifically that of Lt. JohnF. Kennedy. Designed along similar lines and using the same Packard 1300 and1500 HP engines of the American PT's, the Vosper boats saw probably more actionas a torpedo boat than did US counterparts.
The British can trace MTB history back to the late 1800's when adesign for a fast, light, torpedo boat was initially developed by Thornycroft.It was Vosper, however, that designed and developed the then modern MTB in thelate 1930s. It was powered by Isotta-Franchini engines that became unavailableonce Italy entered the war on the side of the Axis. It was then that the Packardengines became available from a friendly US and three of these were used topower the Vosper MTB.
Though undergoing several detail changes in armament andequipment, the Vopsers were remarkably similar throughout wartime construction.Unlike US PT boats, the Vosper boats carried but two torpedoes. The tubes werealso firmly mounted, also unlike the US boats, so that a cut-out on the deck hadto be made so the torpedo would be able to clear it. The size and shape of thiscut-out varied from class to class, but is a telling feature of the Vosperboats.
Initially, I had little interest in the Vosper MTBs, however, after reading thereference, my interest was piqued and I just had to get a model of one. Revell'skit is very nicely made with superb detailing, minimal flash and looks to be arelatively quick build. I have no idea of how old the kit really is, though thisone has a 1993 date on the box. The kit comes with four figures and an armamentof two twin .303 machine gun mounts and a single 20mm Oerlikon cannon. Themachine guns are way overscale, having barrels larger in diameter than the 20mm.However, I know of no replacements for them
As you can see, thisis not a waterline kit, having a full hull. Undoubtedly, this will make it mucheasier to be able to play with in the bathtub one the kit is finished, a nicetouch! There is, of course, no below decks detail and therefore, nothing to showthrough the pilot house windows. There are not even transparencies for thewindows, although they should not be difficult to make. As with any model of aship or boat, there are a number of differences from one to another so havingphotos of the one that you plan on doing is really required. The only obviouserror I see is that the forward ends of the torpedo tubes should be at about a45 degree angle instead of squared off. Nothing too hard to fix for most of us.
The instructions are quite welldone, having 17 well drawn construction steps. Color information is given ineach step where needed and references either Revell or Humbrol colors. Severalcolors must be mixed. Decals are for any one of a number of boats. This is wherehaving a good reference comes in handy and I can think of no better one thanthat which is listed at the end of the review. Oddly, the flag is given onpaper. Why this is so, I have no idea. A decal, it would seem to me, would bemuch more appropriate. Anyway, the painting instructions for the overal boat arequite good and show a mid war standard scheme of medium grey decks and light anddark grey hull sides with a nice red hull below the waterline. There is a nicedisplay stand included.
Overall, it looks as if it would be avery nice kit and one that can be built by nearly all skill levels. There isalso an Airfix version of this boat and it would be interesting to know not onlyhow much difference there is, but how accurate each one is as well.
Vosper MTB in Action: Warships#13, by T. GarthConnelly, Squadron-Signal Publications, 2000
Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!
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