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Vosper

Italeri 1/35 Vosper MTB 74 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2011 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Vosper MTB 74 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 5624 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Easy build Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $185.00

First Look

Vosper
Vosper
Vosper
Vosper

On 28 March 1942, the British launched 'Operation Chariot', an amphibious raid on the Normandie dry dock at Saint Nazaire, France. The objective was to put the dry dock out of commission to force the German navy to use its Baltic ports for repairs, putting the damaged German ships in harm's way of the Royal Navy's Home Fleet. The raid consisted of HMS Campbeltown, an obsolete British destroyer loaded with explosives, and a group of smaller vessels carrying British commandos. MTB 77 had been specially modified with mufflers to silence its engines and relocated her torpedo tubes to allow for launching special torpedoes into the alternate entrance doors into the dry docks while HMS Campbell neutralized the Normandie dry dock. The raid was successful and the facilities were put out of action for the rest of the war, though with heavy losses by the British raiders. MTB 74 was also lost in the raid.

Italeri released the standard 70' Vosper MTB kit in 2011 and followed that release with the reconfigured Vosper MTB 74 from Operation Chariot in 2014. Italeri has now reissued the MTB 74 together with its Vosper MTB crew as one kit in this release. The kit comes in a large box (just like its predecessors) and on opening the box, you'll be impressed with the protective packaging of the kit. The hull and main deck are mounted into a tray that has folding retainers that securely hold the unit in place with the lid closed. When you remove the folding retainers and tray, you see that the tray was providing another layer of protection for the rest of the parts trees underneath.

Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on six parts trees plus the hull and main deck. One fret of photo-etched parts and a sheet of dye-cut clear acetate parts round out the kit.

The first thing you'll note in comparison to the other kits that came before this is that the Vosper really liked its port holes. There are 12 in the main hull and another 12 flush-mounted in the deck to illuminate the engine room. While the instructions have you install these at the beginning of the project, the wise modeler will wait and install these at the end of the build and painting to make life much less complicated.

The main deck is very nicely detailed which means that after painting, there will be some nice features to provide contrast for weathering and detail painting. The bow hatches are positionable, but if you do pose either of these open, you won't have any detail inside to show so best to leave these closed.

The recess in the main deck is the lower portion of the pilot house and the kit provides a complete set of controls and instruments as well a support equipment before the pilot house is enclosed. A duplicate set of controls for driving the boat are mounted at the rear of the pilot house for operations outside/standing.

Speaking of torpedo tubes, when you look closely to the support framework of these tubes, you'll see that Italeri has really improved their injection molding technology as the 'C' channels are really nicely done, especially while they are integral to the tube halves without sacrificing detail elsewhere. Very nice indeed. Two torpedoes are also included that will be stuffed into the tubes when completed.

The figure set was originally released separately as kit 5616, and includes seven figures. The poses of the figures do differ a bit from what is presented on the box art, but their roles/duties on the deck are essentially as shown. No color information is provided with the instructions, so you'll need to work from the box art to paint these figures.

A display stand is included in the kit.

This is another really nice kit and should build up as nicely as PT-596 though this kit is a little less complicated. The use of photo-etch is straightforward and doesn't require very many parts to be either folded or shaped. The camouflage carried by MTB 4 provides a distinctive alternative to the overall gray boats seen in their standard Vosper issue.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

Here is a list of colors Italeri identifies for use with this kit:

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
TAM
TES
XTRA
Red
0049
71.269
C003
H003
N003
A276
C276
LC006
MMP003
002
LP07
X07
1705
 
Green
0074
71.329
C006
H006
N006
A093
C093
UA060
MMP004
385
AS13
X05
2029
 
Flat Black
0046
71.057
C033
H012
N012
A041
C041
LC002
 
020
LP03
XF01
1749
 
Orange
0129
71.083
C059
H014
N014
A704
C704
LC005
 
 
TS12
X06
 
 
Steel
0191
71.065
C028
H018
N018
 
 
MMM002
030
X10
1780
X502
Wood Brown
0079
71.293
C043
H037
N037
A213
C213
UA082
MMP130
387
 
1701
 
Gunship Gray
0204
71.097
C305
H305
A031
C031
UA022
MMP084
040
AS27
1723
 
Gray
0211
71.275
C306
H306
A054
C054
UA094
MMP118
039
AS28
XF18:1+
XF53:3
1725
 
White
 
71.279
C316
H316
A049
C049
 
MMP104
099
AS20
XF02
1745
X141
XA1141
Brass
0197
71.067
C219
 
 
MMC002
150
 
1782
 
Rust
0039
71.069
H344
A135
C135
LC032
MMW002
358
 
1785
 
Field Drab
FS 30118
ANA 617 - MERDC FD
 
71.139
 
A209
C209
UA092
 
 
XF52
1702
X101