A modern Patrol Gunboat Littoral

Started by frank2056, May 31, 2008, 05:30:41 PM

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This thread inspired me to do something with an old kit that I started years ago, but lost interest in. About 8 years ago, Squadron had a sale on 1/400 scale Tarantula class Russian missile boats by Innex. The molds have since been put to good use by Mirage. I started on a Tarantul I, but the fit and an accidental spill of Acetone on the deck made me lose interest in fixing and finishing it. Here's the boxtop:

It turns out that if I do a scaleorama to 1/350, the hull of the Tarantul I has about the same dimensions as the old Asheville class Patrol Gunboats.

Cool... so What If instead of the disaster that the current LCS project has turned into, the Navy instead went with updated Asheville style ships.

I started by tracing the original Tarantul deck on some styrene sheet and cutting it out. The superstructure is similar to that of the Asheville, and I made it out of foamed vinyl sheets that are very easy to work with. I glued two sheets together per level. I'll either sand the faces to smooth them out, or just skin them with styrene.

For weapons, I added a MK-45 5" gun. In this scenario, it can fire regular 5" shells or GPS guided shells. The gun is a resin piece from Veteran models - the barrel broke off in the bag.

For protection from speedboats and anti-ship missiles like the Silkworm, I added a Phalanx CIWS. It might not be the latest in self-defense in the 2008-2010 time frame, but good enough for this purpose.

I also added a zodiac style boat for ship inspections.

The mast and small radar are from the Tarantul, and will be modified, and the portholes in the hull will be filled in. I'll also add a minigun or two.

I don't know that much about modern ship weapon systems, so does this seem like a reasonable ship design? Is the 5" too big/heavy for a hull this small? I'll also sand off the deck "wings" that were part of the Tarantul. most of the parts are just tacked together, so it'll be easy to modify the design. I was thinking of adding a UAV launch and handling area replacing or in addition to the zodiac.


More pictures:

Captain Canada

Oh yeah, now that's cool, Frank ! I think the gun would be fine on that ship.

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Dude, that is cool. Let's call this the IRON RULE.... if the iron looks cool hanging off the ship it rules ;D
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An interesting idea. The guns look a bit out of scale to the rest of the design, though. The view from the bridge is obscured by the 5", I expect the ship wouldn't be very stable like this.


Looks like a good start.  I agree that the 5" mount looks a little tall/out of scale, but it would be a good choice as your main armament.  I'd put another aft of the superstructure and stow the RHIB across the deck, it'd give you a lot more deck space to work with. 

I don't know how you'd do it in 1/350, but a few 30mm chain gun-style weapons to supplement the main guns would be cool, too.
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As an alternative, you could use an OTO Melara Super-Rapid 76mm, if you have one available.  It's still bigger than the 57mm guns being fitted to the LCS, and I believe they make smart rounds for that caliber as well.
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.... Or, what about a tank turret?

Maybe a knock off of the MONARC gun project the Germans are/were doing.

So far, so fantastic!!!

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Thanks for the comments so far!

Hobbes, the 5" gun is just resting on the deck; it'll go down another mm or so - just enough to clear the view from the bridge, I think. I can also rase the superstructure by about a mm.

Do you think I should move the gun back a bit, too?

Jason, I can try to make the turret for a Mk-75.

LemmonJello - I have a couple of resin Mk38 chain guns, also from Veteran models (their products are really well made and pretty inexpensive)

I'll start working on some mods for the PGL-1 "Iron Rule"


Jeffry Fontaine

Quote from: frank2056 on June 01, 2008, 11:54:56 AMI have a couple of resin Mk38 chain guns, also from Veteran models (their products are really well made and pretty inexpensive)
Frank, I hope you meant to say EXPENSIVE instead of inexpensive.  A quick look at two sources for the Veterans Models products here in the states shows that your RHIB was one of two boats in the set that sells for $12.00 @ Commander Series Models and the same item is $11.00 @ Pacific Front Hobbies.  There is definitely more detail than I would have expected for a 1/350th scale subject but the prices are not part of that expectation. 

Given the size of that RHIB it might be a good thing to cut a ramp into the stern to create a launching and recovery ramp.  Something similar to what the Coast Guard has for their small cutters or the German Rescue Service boats would be ideal for your LCS and fit in with the real world designs that have a similar feature.  This would allow it to be launched while underway instead of having to reduce speed to haul it aboard from the side.

Definitely more smaller caliber weapons, Mk 38 is a start, too bad the Mk 19 40mm AGL and M2 HMG are too small in 1/350th to show any details.  Guess you could get around that by having them portrayed with a weather shroud over the weapon.
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Love this one!   :wub:  Nothing better than a coastal interdiction boat.
   Well, Angelina J naked, maybe...


A 76mm would be better. I don't think a vessel that size could handle a 5" gun.

A pair of 25mm chain guns would be good.

If you don't put on a boat ramp, you'll need a boat crane.

No matter what, though, I like it!  :thumbsup:

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I like Rafa's idea about using tank turrets....does anyone make small enough tank turrets for such an idea?  I have a swack of naval subjects in the stash but don't know how to Whiff them.

Frank, knowing nothing about naval subjects, I can tell you that I do like your combinations specifically because they ARE different from the norm.
Having no idea how practical or realistic they'd be (if they were 'real')  all I know is they seem cool and intriguing to me.   :thumbsup:
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Vickers trialled a Centurion-based ship turret with a 105mm L7 called the Autonomous Patrol Gun in the late 1960s. It was a crewed, surface-fire system, not an AA one, but it still scored very well agains the FPB targets it was intended for, and did so with good cost-effectiveness, that is, until the Admiralty got hold of it, added an autoloader, doubled the weight, quadrupled the cost and then cancelled it....... :rolleyes:
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OK, after consultation with the naval engineers, (you guys) the bow gun will be replaced with a Mk-75 76mm cannon. I found that the large radar dome in the Tarantul III kit is almost the same diameter. If I put a small ring at the base and vacuform it, I think I can get the distinctive flare at the base of the turret.

I'd use a tank turret, but there are no good modern ones in 1/350 scale; the closest thing are the 1/285 scale GHQ white metal tanks. Maybe for another version ( I bought FOUR of these kits!)

The Phalanx CIWS is moving to the stern and two Mk-38 chain guns will take its place. The final location of the RHIB is still "floating" about, because it may be in the Phalanx's line of fire at some low elevations.

I also added some plastic (cut from junk mail fake credit cards)  to the superstructure; the two levels are now their correct height.

After vacuforming the turret, I'll start working on the photoetch pattern for the bridge windows.

Thanks again for all the comments. I'll try to post pictures of the current version tonight.



I was going to say that the Phalanx in it's original location might be affected by exhaust gas from the stack - at the stern should be fine though. :) Looking good so far.
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