US Coast Guard Cape-Class Patrol Boat
The Cape-class patrol boats were 95-foot (29 m) steel hull patrol boats of the United States Coast Guard with aluminum superstructures. They were unnamed until 1964, when they acquired names of US capes of land. Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), all 36 boats in this class were built at the United States Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland.
The kit is produced by Round 2 Models, a well-known company who bought the Lindberg Line and is re-issuing the kits in very colorful packaging. The box art work in outstanding! The scene depicts the cutter at high speed engaging an enemy submarine on the surface at dusk.
The kit consists of 109 parts and comes on four white sprues and one clear sprue. The parts are nicely molded, but there is a considerable amount of flash. This is to be expected keeping in mind the age of the molds. All panel lines are raised and all the sprues have large gates. The 6-page instruction sheet shows the suggested assembly through 16 steps starting with the 2-piece hull and deck assembly, and progressing through the superstructure to final assembly of the threaded railings. The construction process is the same for all four options. Since the cutters were unarmed until about 1964 you would need to omit the 40mm MK64 grenade launchers and the (2) .50 cal machine guns Type B which were introduced around 1987 to option 1 “95304 (1953-1964)”. There are decals provided for all four options. The clear sprue parts are a little thick but fit with no problems.
This kit is a re-box of the older kit that included an electric motor so you will have interior structure parts left over which would have been used to cradle the electric motor. The kit fits together very nicely but filler was required for the seam gluing the two-piece hull together. When gluing the deck to the hull there is about a 1/8 gap at the stern which required filling. I had no problems with gluing together any of the remaining assemblies and did not have to use any filler at all. But all the pieces did require cleaning up of flash. Again please remember that the molds for this kit are getting old and the flash is to be expected. I built this model as “95304 Cape Gull (1964-1988) so that I could install the grenade launchers and .50 machine guns. I did not use the thread that was provided in the kit for the railings. The thread is very fuzzy and this really would show up after painting. Also, in the older version of this kit the superstructure was designed to be removable (to access the electric motor) so there is a very large gap between it and the deck. See the photo of the superstructure removed and in-situ. The deck also has a square hole remaining where the motor switch would have been. It is located just forward of the superstructure on the port side. I will cover this with a coil of scale rope.
I painted the overall ship with Tamiya White, and the deck with Tamiya TS-32 Haze Grey, then masked and painted the underside of the hull with Tamiya TS-33 Dull Red and Tamiya TS-6 Matt Black for the water line. The funnel was painted Tamiya TS-21 Gold.
The decals are printed in standard black with a decal provided for the red, white and blue chevrons on the bow. There are also decals provided for the US Coast Guard coat of arms. The decals lay down with no silvering. Also thoughtfully supplied is a sheet with signal flags and a US flag.
Overall the kit is a joy to build and builds into a handsome Coast Guard cutter that would look great in a diorama cutting through heavy seas! There is some flash but is easily cleaned up with a sharp X-acto blade and some filler was required.
My thanks to Round 2 and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build this great kit. I look forward to building more Round 2 kits in the future.
I wish these model manufacturers would up date their products to aid the model builder in constructing an accurate model. The "A" class 95 foot patrol boat is a nice (but dated) kit and if the builder is interested in accuracy, they would need to eliminate the Coast Guard red slash on the hull. The model was offered in 1957 and is pretty accurate for this time period. The CG red "stripe" and lettering was introduced service wide in 1967. By then the sonar, mousetraps, depth charges (and in some cases) the twin 20mm gun (40mm Bofors on some boats) were all removed. At that time the patrol boats were armed with a mounted 81mm mortar and a piggyback 50cal machine gun on the deck forward of the bridge. There would be other changes over the following years with new electronics, radio antennas, radar and a Boston whaler stowed on the stern. The mortar would be replaced with two 50cal MG mounted port and starboard on the bow. Also the patrol boats were not named until the early 1960's and only carried the hull number on the stern. There were differences in the "A", "B", and "C" class cutters so if the builder wanted to really build a more accurate model, a little research on the internet would help them. Now if someone at Revell would eliminate the red stripe on the TANEY/CAMPBELL model it would improve the looks of that kit.