JAG 1/350 PT-200








Scott Van Aken


Resin. Two boats included



The PT-200 is a subclass for the Higgins Patrol Torpedo (PT)boats that began with PT 71. A total of 199 of these 78 foot boats were built bythe Andrew Jackson Higgins company of New Orleans. Unlike the Elco boats, theHiggins boats were not as sleek and as a result were about 1 knot slower,however, because of their more boxy design, they were able to turn in a tighterradius than the swoopy Elco PTs. Higgins boats were powered by the samethree1,200hp Packard engines as the Elco boats though they each individuallypowered a shaft, unlike the Elcos that had a large gearbox to provide this. Bothboats carried four torpedoes in similar tubes; two on each side.

Later builds of the Higgins boat from PT 197 until the end ofthe production run were retrofitted with the light weight torpedo racks that didaway with the bulky tubes and the extra weight. Higgins PTs also had the charthouse much further forward than that of the Elco boats and instead of having theexhaust and mufflers at the rear of the boat, these were faired into the sides.The PT-200 class carried twin 20mm and a single 40mm Bofors as armament inaddition to the torpedoes. Some boat crews removed the forward 20mm and replacedit with the 37mm cannon as found on the P-39 Airacobra. Othere modificationswere the addition of 8 tube rocket launchers on each side of the chart house.Several of the later production Higgins boats were transferred to the SovietUnion.

Though the Higgins boats were found in the Pacific, that wasmostly an Elco theatre of operations. Higgins boats were predominately found inthe Mediterranean theatre where they found a great deal of action. Where as theElco boats spent much of their combat career barge busting, the Higgins boatswere often called to task against the well armed F-lighters as well as variousmerchant vessels and the heavily armed Italian MAS boats.


The JAG kit is really quite simple and actuallyquite small. As you can see from the image above, you get a basic hull and allthe other 'stuff' that fits onto the deck. The resin is quite well done withmost of the parts on small resin blocks. These are the later type of Higginsboats with the light weight torpedo mounts in place of the older tubes. It alsoone that is rather heavily armed and comes with mast mounted search radar. Youare given a short length of plastic rod for the mast, but I would replace thiswith a piece of brass or steel rod for more support.

In terms ofinstructions, well, you see it. There is just a two view with no paintinginformation. The kit itself comes in a header bag which is quite adequate andthough  couple of pieces came adrift from the resin block, nothing wasdamages. You will need a reference or two when building and painting the models.A good one is PT Boats in Action, which has a number of photos of Higgins boats.Unfortunately, most of the book is on Elco boats, but that is to be expected asthey built most of the PTs used by the USN and got most of the press. It appearsthat the Higgins boats were all basically painted the same way in an overallmedium grey with a red hull below the waterline. Not very inspiring, but thereit is. I would think that this kit would be most useful for those doing dioramasas you can do a very nice one in a very small space with this kit! 


Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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