Ed Sexton of Revell sent me the parts for the new 1:72 PT-109 kit, and these are my impressions of it. A disclaimer, these are just my impressions of it, take them in the spirit in which they're offered. This isn’t your father’s or your grandfather’s PT-109 from the 1960s. This is an all new tooled kit. The hull now comes in three pieces, the two sides of the hull and the bottom of the hull, rather than the one-piece hull from the original 1960s-vintage kit. The deck does not have the rather over-done engraved planking which the original kit featured. In fact, the new deck piece is totally smooth. A bit too smooth if one were to ask me. Unlike the original kit, this incarnation does not have the cockpit/charthouse/forward turret section already molded on the deck. I have seen comments on the Internet that the shape of the hull of the model depicted on Revell of Germany’s website looks wrong and looks like the hull which is associated with the old Lindberg PT-109 kit. As soon as the hull halves were removed from the bag, one of the halves was placed on to the side of the hull of my built-up model of PT-174, built by the late Alex Johnson. It was an exact match! Alex always said that the shape of the hull of the old Revell PT-109 kit was accurate, he used that kit to my PT-174. So, modelers should not have an issue with the shape of the hull of the re-tooled kit.
That is because this section of the kit has been reimagined and redone. This time, Revell includes an option for two interiors, one in the charthouse, and the other in the Dayroom cabin, aft of the cockpit. It has been stated on the Internet that the interiors seen in photos on Revell of Germany’s website appear to be chunky/clunky and out of scale. From what I have seen on the sprues of the kit, both interiors are not out of scale, although, I will admit that the charthouse interior does look a bit chunky and clunky, and lacking some detail. But, I am sure that, any modeler worth his salt could enhance that area. The interior of the Dayroom cabin looks to be well-done. And, additionally, on some of the bulkheads, modelers will notice framing which has been engraved on those pieces. I think it is well done.
Regarding the new kit’s torpedo tubes; I do like the new torpedo tubes and their separate bracing and training gear. Although it does appear to be a little simplistic. The webbing on the back-end of the tubes is a nice addition but does appear to be a "bit" thick. The twin .50s are better than the ones from 1960s kit - but still are a little bland in detail. The 20mm Oerlikon gun is a lot better than the one from the 1960s kit. Two Type C, 300-pound depth charges with their corresponding roll-off racks are included as well. We do know that the 109 was fitted with two depth charges, located on each side of her foredeck, near the charthouse. However, Kennedy had a minor collision with an American Destroyer as the 109 was attempting to retrieve a pump for another PT. One depth charge was knocked through the deck and landed on a crewman’s bunk, it is unclear if that depth charge and its rack was replaced at the time of the 109’s loss.
The Carley Float/life raft is marginally better than the one from the 1960s kit and lacks detail. I feel the webbing/floor is too thick. Revell is including the needed parts for the 109’s 37mm M3 anti-tank field piece which Kennedy had mounted on some 4X8s and lashed down on the foredeck, if modelers wish to depict the 109 on the day of her loss. A nice touch.
I like how they now have included the canvas "dodger" for the aft turret. I also the new turret ring mountings. They are way better than the originals. And, I liked how a clear plastic windshield is provided although, once reaching the war zone - they were replaced with armor plates. The mufflers are molded separately this time around, and they look a lot better than the originals, but the corresponding linkages appear to be a bit clunky and simplistic.
Nice job overall though.