My modelling interests tend to lie elsewhere as a rule. I’m not a ship builder but have had a go at the 1/35 Scale Landing Craft that are available and got fairly excited about the prospect of the planned Italeri 1/35 scale Vosper MTB.
However, in life sometimes a change is as good as a rest and I bought the kit thinking of a nice simple OOB build, something for a change and as a prelude to the coming Vosper.
All events after that I blame on Al Ross, well Al and some open hatches and large empty spaces that said ”put something in here!” and the rest as they say is history.
Al Ross kindly provided a wealth of information and plans for the interior of the boat and I thought that might be fun and if it all goes wrong well I can always cover it up and so the project was born.
It is not my intention to go through all the steps involved in the build, most of you who where interested will have followed the blog which can be found here on site and it contains much more information that I could include in this article, so I have enclosed the link should you wish more detail.
I will however, add in a little additional information where I feel it might help. One thing that was important was to locate any additions I made internally slightly lower than the hull to so that fitting the top deck would not be interfered with later, so I set the line of the upper frame a couple of mm below the actual top of the hull and this remained my guide throughout the build.
A Brief History
M.A.S 563 was one of the 3a serie of boats which were produced. These covered M.A.S 555 to M.A.S. 564. The boats had an operational range of just short of 400 miles (390 I believe) and a speed of 42 knots. Less speed extended the range to about 445 miles. They had a crew of 13 men and were armed with two 17.72 inch Torpedos, a Breda 20mm gun and a rack of 6 110lb Depth Charges.
M.A.S. 563 operated from 23 May 1941 until 31 March 1943 when she was lost in an Allied bombing raid on the port of Cagliari. Garth Connelly's book, The Regia Marina's MAS Boat contains a lot of useful infomration for those who are interest in this vessel.