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PG 95

Revell 1/131 USS Defiance PG 95 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2007 Manufacturer Revell/Germany
Subject USS Defiance PG 95 Scale 1/131
Kit Number 5008 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice to see this classic on the shelf again Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $21.99

First Look

PG 95
PG 95
PG 95
PG 95

The USS Defiance was a member of the Asheville class patrol gunboat - the littoral combat ship of the Vietnam era. These gunboats were capable of operating in very shallow waters (the brown water Navy) and was powered by twin diesel engines for cruising up to 17 knots, and a gas turbine powerplant that will move the gunboat up to 35 knots.

The gas turbine powerplant was a new capability within the US Navy and these vessels were the guinea pigs. Like turbo-prop aircraft, marine gas turbines need to remain within a narrow RPM range for operation, so speed is managed using variable pitch propellers. The engines were so reliable that the next generation of destoyers, the Spruance class, would also adopt the gas turbines. Eventually, the Arleigh Burke class destroyers and Ticonderoga class cruisers would also adopt the gas turbine for power.

The Asheville class gunboats were armed with a 3"/50 gun mount forward, 40mm gun mount aft, and two twin 50 caliber machine gun positions aft of the pilot house.

While these gunboats were build in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, they served in river patrols in Southeast Asia, and would eventually be handed over to allied navies. In the case of the USS Defiance, it was transfered to the Turkish Navy in 1973 and destoyed by fire in 1985.

Here is another re-issued classic from Revell - the USS Defiance. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only styrene kit of the Asheville class that has been produced to date.

Released in the 1960s as kit number H435, these molds have been around for quite a few decades, but as you can see here, they are still in very good shape. I'm not certain what color styrene was used in the previous boxings, but there is not doubt about this release!

One of the legacies of plastic modeling was the term 'box scale'. In ancient times, model companies would produce a standardized retail box for their kits and the kits themselves would be scaled up or down to fit inside that box. It wasn't until more modern times that models were produced in standard scales so that the aircraft carrier you were building wasn't the same length as your tug boat. Nevertheless, this kit hails from ancient times, hence the 1/131 scale.

As you can see in the photos, there are fewer than 100 parts to this kit, but it is impressively detailed. In the hands of an AMS modeler, you could have a field day and be safe in knowing that you can't get too carried away with this sized kit. Just take your time, dry fit the parts before gluing, and keep your eyes open for any molding flash, which is common with older molds.

Even if you build the kit straight from the box, a modeler with good painting skills can really make this model very nice.

In this release, markings are provided PG 95 USS Defiance.