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Glencoe 1/48 US Coast Guard Rescue Boat Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Glencoe
Subject US Coast Guard Rescue Boat Scale 1/48
Kit Number 5301 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build Cons Molded-on markings, no decals
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $9.98

First Look


The US Coast Guard Rescue Boat was designated as a motor life boat (MLB) for the rescue of ships crews in distress. The model TRS version of the MLB entered service in 1937 with a length of 36'10" and a width of 10'9". It had a crew of three and could rescue up to twenty people. Here is where the data gets interesting.

The boat was designed with a lead keel weighing in at two tons. It was planked with cypress frames and powered by a 100 horsepower engine. It could make nine knots and operated with a 200 mile radius.

138 of these boats were built and remained in active service until the last TRS was retired in 1987. These boats could operate in a wide range of weather conditions and were based at Coast Guard Life Boat stations around the country.

The Glencoe 1/48 US Coast Guard Rescue Boat is another timeless mold, originally developed by ITC. It nicely captures the look and shape of the 36 foot TRS and doesn't lack for detail.

Molded in a light blue styrene, this kit remains as originally designed, with US Coast Guard still molded on the hull sides. The main parts like the hull halves, deck, deck houses, etc., are separately molded while the smaller parts are still attached to one of the four parts trees.

The kit includes three figures to represent the three-man crew of the TRS. A stand is also included to look like a wave holding the boat partially out of the water.

Construction is straightforward with the only thing needed being thread to rig the lifelines and the flagstaff. This will provide the basic modeler with a quick and easy build, while offering the more experienced modeler with a chance to apply some nice painting and subtle weathering to bring this kit to life.

You'll probably want to remove the molded-on 'markings' and replace with your own. There are lots of good shots of the TRS in later service, so you have a wide range of paint and marking options to represent the boat at different eras of its operational life.

Glencoe has definitely rescued another interesting piece of history as well as modeling history. It is hard to believe these molds are over 50 years old, but clearly Glencoe has been doing some serious maintenance on the hardware.

My sincere thanks to Glencoe Models for this review sample!