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Lindberg's USAF Rescue Boat


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Hi Guys,

Well, after I have had Stan build me a 1:144 F-14 Tomcat from VF-111, The Sundowners, ... we have moved onto "our" next project. I use "our" to mean that - once a week - I go over to his house and watch him build my models for a few hours. It gets me out of the house ...

"Our" next project is an oldie (but certainly not a goodie) ... it's Lindberg's "1:72" USAF Rescue boat.


This particular one actually comes from the 1950s. My brother won it for me on EBay back in 2001 or 2002 from a guy in Portugal.

The model was already started and the sprues in the box are missing quite a few pieces - which is fine - Stan is an excellent scratchbuilder ... So, once the F-14 was done, "we" got going on the boat.

Now, as all of you know - the USAF ASRC of the 1950s were painted in what I refer to as "the Clown Colors" - White, Yellow and Day-Glo Orange. Also, the boats (the USAF had two boats of this type built, the 21-R-1251 and the 21-R-1252) were armed with two Maxim quad-50-caliber machine gun mounts.

But, what most people don't know was that, in the early 1960s - these two boats were handed over to the Navy. From 2001 to now, I've corresponded with a researcher named B.G. "Chip" Marshall. That man is one of the best and most thorough researchers I've ever known. And, he's as nice and respectful (to me) as John Lambert was to me. He certainly knows a lot about these two boats ...

He told me that the Navy used the two boats in BEACH JUMPER UNIT 2 (BJU2) as "Beach Jumper boats". In this role, they were repainted Gray (which made me happy in that I HATE "the Clown Colors") and had the two quad-50 mounts replaced by two twin 20mm guns. Chip says this was done because the Maxim mounts weren't in the Navy's inventory but the twin 20mms were.

Chip also theorized/theorizes that Lindberg decided to have the twin 20mm guns included in the kit and not the quad-50s was because they had seen photos (that he cannot find, ... yet) of the boats with these guns ... And, he also theorizes the kit is NOT 1:72 - as it has been considered and thought to be - he believes Lindberg had worked from photos and not plans - and that caused it to be "off-scale" ...

The other day, he mentioned to me that - if it was a "true 1:72" - the model would have been 2 1/2 inches longer than the Revell PT-109 kit. If the hull and deck weren't already glued together when the kit arrived from Portugal ... I would have Stan put a "plug" to add the required 2 1/2 inches.

That said, I bought two twin 20mm guns and a SP-10 radar unit from SHAPEWAYS to be put on the model. Stan will need to make the props and prop shafts and the rudders though. The kit just provides one prop/shaft and rudder - owing to the kit includes a battery-operated electric motor.

But, ... still - it should be a "fun" build ... and guys? YES, I KNOW IT'S INACCURATE and it's a bad kit - but inasmuch the finished model will never be entered in a show and since it'll be only "displayed" in my room - that's OK by me.


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