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USS Pegasus

White Ensign Models 1/350 USS Pegasus Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2006 Manufacturer White Ensign Models
Subject USS Pegasus Scale 1/350
Kit Number K3551 Primary Media Resin/White Metal/Photo-Etch
Pros Relatively simple multimedia project Cons VERY petite hand railing will require steady hands and little caffeine
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (BP) £25.49 + VAT

First Look

USS Pegasus
USS Pegasus

Boeing developed an interesting design for a high-speed patrol boat, what we would now call a littoral combat vessel. The concept employed a fairly common patrol boat design of 133 feet in length and a 28 foot beam. Boeing added hydrofoils to lift the hull out of the water for reduced drag at high speed - flying on the surface of the ocean. Propulsion was achieved using water jets driven by an 18,000 shp gas turbine engine. Armament included a 76mm gun and twin Harpoon missile launchers.

While the concept provided a military adaptation of similar technologies being used for high-speed ferries in Asia, the military application had some complications and a few operational weaknesses. One of the biggest problems with a military hydrofoil is having your low-tech adversary start dropping logs and other solid floating objects into the water for that relatively thin foil to strike at 48 knots. Not good.

USS Pegasus was commissioned in 1977 and would operate alone for several years before Boeing was given the green light for five more Pegasus-class hydrofoils that were commissioned in 1981-82. All were home-ported at Key West, FL and were all decommissioned in 1993. The Pegasus-class included:

  • PHM-1 USS Pegasus
  • PHM-2 USS Hercules
  • PHM-3 USS Taurus
  • PHM-4 USS Aquila
  • PHM-5 USS Aires
  • PHM-6 USS Gemini

When I saw the announcement from White Ensign Models that they were re-releasing their 1/350 PHM kit, I had to get one. I thought the concept was very cool and would make for a very interesting model. What arrived came in the usual White Ensign Models bullet-proof packaging and contained one resin part (the hull), a small bag of white metal parts, and a small fret of photo-etched parts.

If you do the math, a 133 foot vessel in 1/350 scale works out to be roughly 4.5 inches in length. We won't need much room on the shelf for this one!

The white metal parts provide the fore and aft hydrofoils, main mast, main gun, radar dome, and Harpoon missile launchers.

The photo-etch parts provide the tripod base for the radar and some very petite hand railing. I am definitely going to cut back on my coffee intake when I work on this project!

The kit is relatively simple, but would still not be an ideal first multi-media ship kit due to the delicate railings and tripod mount for the radar dome.

I doubt we're going to see this subject in styrene in my lifetime and this is a shame - this was a great concept for a fast patrol boat that could probably keep up with a Nimitz class running at high speed (if only it had the endurance).

My sincere thanks to White Ensign Models for this review sample!