The 165 foot, “A” class, cutters were based on a 1915 design. They were built using public Works Administration money as an effort to put money into the economy during the Great Depression. The six ships in the class were designed to break ice up to 2 feet thick. This was done by their reinforced hulls and cutaway forefoot. They were also the first cutters to be fitted with geared turbine engines.
The Algonquin was commissioned on October 20, 1934. She was originally home ported in Woods Hole Massachusetts. She remained there until 1940, when her home port was changed to Portland Maine. In July of 1941 she, along with her sisters, was transferred to duty with the US Navy.
She spent World War II assigned to CINCLANT (DESLANT), Commander in Chief Atlantic, Destroyer Command. She spent the war escorting convoys between the US east coast and Greenland. Different times during the war Algonquin was called to rescue survivors from various ship wrecks. While escorting a convoy from Argentina to Halifax her sister cutter Escanada sank. She continued to escort convoys until January 1944.
During the remainder of 1944 she spent time breaking ice in Skov Fjord, training exercises, and even time in the yard waiting for a new propeller. She even spent time on weather station in the North Atlantic. 1945 saw her on weather duty once again. Algonquin ended her service and ended her career as surplus to the needs of the Coast Guard. She was officially decommissioned in 1947 and sold to Patapsco Scrap Corp in 1948.
Builder: Pusey & Jones Company, Wilmington, DE
Draft: 12' 3" mean
Displacement: 1,005 tons
Launched: 25 July 1934
Commissioned: 20 October 1934
Decommissioned: 18 April 1947
Disposition: Sold, 13 July 1948
Complement: 6 officers, 56 men (1934)
1934: 2 x 3"/50; 2 x 6-pounders
1942: 2 x 3"/50; 2 x 20mm/80 (single mount); 2 x depth charge tracks; 4 x "Y" guns;
(carried 14 depth charges total)
Radar: SF (1945)
Sonar: QCL-2 (1945)
CUTTERS IN THIS CLASS WERE:
The kit comes in a heavy duty flip top cardboard box with a color picture of the kit on the top. Inside the parts are bubble wrapped surrounded by the kits instructions. The hull is sealed alone in a plastic bag and smaller resin sections are also inside plastic heat sealed tubes. The PE is held tight between two pieces of heavy cardboard. Small brass barrels are inside their own zip lock baggie as are the decals.
The care with which the kit is packed tells you a good deal about what’s inside.
The resin parts included in the kit are as follows:
1. The hull
2. 3” 50 guns
3. 20mm guns
4. Life rafts and boats
6. Superstructure sections
7. Deck vents
8. Ships mast
All of these pats are molded in a soft grey resin material. The various parts are free from air holes. Some parts do have flash on them, but a nice sharp blade will clean those in no time. The superstructure sections attached to the pour wafer are easy to remove and will require a minimum of clean up.
Now lets look at the details of these parts. As has been mentioned several times before ships from BattleFleet are top notch in details. This kit is no different from the others.
The main deck has six sets of two post bollards, a perfectly done winch, and even the aft capstan. Even in the bow area the walls to the hurricane bow are so thin you can see light through them. The lines of the kits hull match perfectly with those of the real ship. The hull even scales out even with that of the real ship.
The superstructure sections are also done as crisply as the hull. The bridge has its windows deeply recessed, no need to drill. The sides to these sections have some of the thinnest true to scale walls you will see.
The life boats come with their canvass covers and the life rafts have the nice criss-cross pattern in their bottoms. The stack has its center well recessed so, once again, no drilling required.
The PE included is very nicely done. The fret, made by Tom’s, includes railings, anchor chains, inclined ladders, and miscellaneous other parts for your ship. The fret is marked for a DE, but there are common parts between the two classes of ships. Also provided are two brass turned barrels for the 3” guns. A note of warning, make sure to open the bag someplace safe, the carpet monster would love these. Another nice touch is the inclusion of a brass rod for you to replace the resin mast if you wish.
The decals are black and white numbers.
The instructions are printed on 5 sheets. They include both plan and elevation drawings of the ship. Included with the instructions are a pictures of the real ship during World War II and of a completed model. To be honest the instructions are a little rough.
The detail is top notch in the kit. The subject matter is totally different than most builders are used to doing. For a novice builder it will be a challenge. But in the hands of an expert she will be a dream kit.
Escanaba 1935 Article
USS Mohawk WPG-78
(Note the Algonquin page is currently down)
I would also like to draw special attention to a Feature here on Model Shipwrights by our very own Peter Fulgoney. I would also like to thank Peter for taking time to shoot me a couple new pictures of his build, to use in the review as well.