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Allied PT Boat Art mod - 6/16/2020 9:22:25 PM   
Kull


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After releasing the Japanese Ships Art Mod in April, I went back to my ongoing Scen 102 game as Allies, and it's been a nice break. Kind of ironic, however, that the only time I see any of the new Japanese art is when they are lined up in a periscope or taking bombs from the air, but you'd be surprised what a difference it makes now that many of my "targets" have these cool new looks! Having the same sort of lovely new art for the Allies is already available, fortunately, if you simply download and install Big B's Direct Replacement Allied Ship Sides and the corresponding Direct Replacement Allied Ship Shils (NOTE: Had the wrong links up earlier). It's a vast improvement over the "as-delivered" shipsides in the AE and DaBabes scenarios, so if you are playing one of those (even as the Japanese), I highly recommend that you take the plunge. (As a reminder, both mods work seamlessly when installed in ongoing games, so you don't need to start a new campaign.)

There are only two issues (quibbles, really):

1) BigB did not use the foldered system, so many of his new shipsides do not change when they receive upgrades.

2) A number of the new shipsides have database entries which are only applicable to the B-Mod, so you'll never see them otherwise.

But the real frustration for a ship lover like me comes from knowing that BigB created many more shipsides than those which actually appear in a non-foldered system. Just look at his fantastic art for CL Cleveland (see Item #1 on the attachment) - 8 different shipsides, yet bmp limits mean that only three will appear in game.

Which brings us, finally, to the topic of this thread - PT Boats. BigB has done a nice job with these as well - nine new shipsides (#2), all extremely accurate and far superior to those in the base game. Unfortunately there's only THREE PT bmps and they never upgrade visually, so the Elco 77 footer you start with in 1941 is identical to the one you see in 1945. Ugh. Not to pick on PT boats of course, as the same is true across the whole line of Allied ships, albeit to varying degrees. Accordingly, the intent of this thread is to rectify that for all classes of PT Boat in AE.

OK then, let's talk about colors and armament at the macro level. Depending on when or where each squadron of PTs was built, there were a dizzying array of official color schemes - at least nine different "measures". However, once they deployed into the active war zones (and especially in the early days), crews often repainted them with whatever could be scrounged up locally (there's a graphic example of this coming up in the first review). As for armament, there are the official weapons and upgrades, but crews often modified their boats to add different weapons of various types, depending upon individual scrounging ability and the sorts of targets they were likely to encounter in their particular region. And of course all of this changes radically when comparing the Pacific theatre to the Med. Which means that trying to find the one "correct" set of colors and armament applicable to, for example, the 115 ships in the Higgins 78 ft class is a fool's errand! That said, those who followed the Japanese Ships – Colors & Camouflage thread will know that there's more than one way to skin a cat, and you're going to see some of that here. ;-)

Before we begin, here's a tip of the cap to the fantastic PT Boat World, truly a wonderful resource. And not to be forgotten, the many participants in the Calling all PT Boat fans thread at ModelWarships.com. Those guys know what they are talking about and they have the photos and models to prove it. To that point, check out just two of many photos from the Summer in Bastia diorama appended below (#3 & #4). Coming up next, the four PT boat classes which share the 319.bmp. Yikes!




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< Message edited by Kull -- 7/8/2020 2:39:40 PM >


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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 6/17/2020 9:58:10 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2146
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From: El Paso, TX
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0319 BMP - 4 classes and 5 BigB shipsides:

Elco 77ft PT (US) - 46 ships, 21 on the map on 12/7/41. 1 Shipside. One upgrade (1/44)
Vosper 72' MTB (Indian) - 24 ships, all arrive on 10/10/43 or later. 2 Shipsides. One upgrade (4/44)
BPB 60' MTB (Brit) - 8 ships, all 8 on the map on 12/7/41 (Hong Kong). 1 Shipside. No upgrades
TM-4 (Dutch) - 12 ships, all 12 on the map on 12/7/41 (Java). 1 Shipside. No upgrades

Normally we'd go with "majority rules" and use the single Elco shipside for all, and that would be it. However, it would be nice to see more of them in game, and there is a rationale for doing that:

12/7/41 - Start with the BPB 60' MTB: All 8 of these appear on map in Hong Kong at game start. Historically they didn't last long and they'll be in combat right from the get-go so we'll use this shipside for the month of December only. With regard to colors, armament and profile, the BigB shipside captures them perfectly (see Item #1) so no changes are necessary.

1/1/42 - Shift to the TM-4: The 12 Dutch PTs also had a short existence (the database shows that all were sunk by 3/2/42) so we'll use their graphic for three months. Once again the new shipside does a good job of capturing the profile of this class, and has nice camo to boot. I could only find a single low-res photo (#2) to use for comparison purposes, but it confirms the profile and nicely captures a torpedo out of the tube and on its way into the sea.

4/1/42 - Insert a modified Elco 77ft PT: BigB's new shipside is sort of a forest green, which is one of many official color schemes, but in the early war these were a different color. Here's a description of the colors used by PT Squadron 3:

"They were originally painted overall Navy Gray (No. 5) with Outside Dark Gray (No. 5-D) decks. Once the boats reached the Philippines, they were repainted in Measure 1, which was overall Overall Dark Gray (No. 5-D). At some point, probably in April 1942, the Ron 3 boats were painted in some shade of green."

Going through the ship modeler forum, most people use a green that's more of a dark, dull olive (#3), so that's what we'll use here. Otherwise, the armament and profile matches the look of early war PTs (#4).

12/1/42 - Shift to a modified Elco 77ft PT: The Elco has an upgrade at this time which adds radar and a large rear mounted 20mm AA gun (#5). Both will be added to the shipside, and we'll lighten the green just a bit. The line drawing also shows a large front mounted gun, but it is absent from the database so we'll ignore it (plus, as discussed earlier, weapons could vary significantly from one PT to another anyway).

10/1/43 - Shift to the first (non-camo) Vosper 72 MTB: This is when the first Vospers arrive, and there's also a strong likelihood that many of the US Elcos will have been sunk by now, so the numerical advantage is probably more or less equal between the two types. Also, the three US PT classes look very similar, so this allows one of 3 bmp groups to maintain a different profile and color. As for this shipside, the armament, colors and profile are correct (#6). Although the database specifies a front mounted 20mm Oerlikon, that appears to be a feature of the North Atlantic MTBs, not those which were built for the Indian Navy (to whom all 24 in AE belong), so we won't alter the shipside. As for their usage, hyperwar has this to say:

"In June 1943 three flotillas of Vosper 72 ft. Motor Torpedo Boats were commissioned in Bombay and Calcutta. Later 22 boats of these flotillas formed into the 16th and 17th M.T.B. Flotillas based at Madras and Vizagapatam. Both flotillas were manned entirely by Royal Navy ratings with R.N. and R.I.N. officers. Owing to their limited operational range and absence of targets for their torpedoes, it was decided by the Admiralty that M.T.Bs were of no practical value in the South-East Asia Command and therefore in July 1944 both flotillas were paid off and placed in care and maintenance."

4/1/44 - Shift to the camo Vosper 72 MTB: The Vospers get an upgrade in April 1944, so the new shipside will reflect that. Other than camo, there's no visible change in the armament.

Here are the new shipsides, in sequence of appearance (Items 7-12):




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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 6/18/2020 10:01:33 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2146
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
0320 BMP - 2 classes and 2 BigB shipsides:

Higgins 78ft PT (US) - 115 ships, all arrive on 9/15/42 or later (pool). 1 Shipside. Two upgrades (2/43 & 1/44)
Huckins 78ft PT (US) - 10 ships, all arrive on 3/15/43 (pool). 1 Shipside. No upgrades.

Obviously the Higgins boats are the vast majority, but we should be able to give the Huckins a brief appearance. Of course, depending on how many PTs are drawn from the pool (and when), their shipsides might never appear at all. Of some interest perhaps, there's a nice cut-away drawing showing the interior of a PT boat (see Item #1), and although it's an Elco 77, it gives you some idea of how PTs were structured internally.

12/7/41 - Start with a modified Higgins 78ft PT: There are only 12 until early 1943, so we'll go with Navy Gray #5. Although I couldn't find early war color specs for this class as a whole, it probably received the same grey as the Elco 77s (as noted above) and the Elco 80s (noted below). Be aware that even though the class start date is 12/41, most of these don't appear until late 1942. In comparing the new shipside with a line drawing (#2), it was mostly correct but the topside needed a few tweaks in order for the profiles to match. Although the AE database specifies a front-mounted 20mm Oerlikon, in fact they were in the rear.

3/1/43 - Change to the Huckins 78ft PT: This is when the first Huckins arrive, so we'll put this shipside in game for a few months. Obviously they are vastly outnumbered by the Higgins boats, so this is purely for cosmetic reasons. As militaryfactory.com notes:

"Unlike her ELCO and Higgins sisters, which bore the brunt of PT actions all over the world (they served in the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific), Huckins boat actions were largely centered on defensive patrols and crew training. As such, there is no recorded combat actions of Huckins boat crews in World War 2."

Those in-game were historically part of RON 26 (PTs 255-264), which was assigned to Hawaiian waters. Unfortunately NavSource doesn't have photos for any of those, and there's a real disconnect in that every single Huckins photo and line drawing shows them with two torpedoes and eight depth charges (#3). Paradoxically, both AE and NavSource say 4 torps and no DCs, and the new shipside agrees, so we'll just go with that. The rest of the armaments match profile and database, so no changes are needed. As for colors, there's nothing definitive. The photos only show the training units in Rhode Island, and they are uniformly grey, so absent anything else we'll stick with the existing forest green (although the shipside profile has been altered a bit to better match the photos and line drawing).

6/1/43 - Shift to a modified Higgins 78ft PT: The majority of the Higgins PTs arrive after this date (70 of 115), so it's a good time to make the move to the most applicable shipside. The Higgins had an earlier upgrade (2/43) which added radar, so we'll make that adjustment now. As for color, we'll shift the green to more of an olive shade (#4). The 1/44 upgrade is torpedo types only (invisible at this scale), so we don't need another shipside for that.

Here are the new shipsides, in sequence of appearance (Items 5-7):




Attachment (1)

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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 6/19/2020 2:09:48 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2146
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
0321 BMP - 1 class and 1 BigB shipside:

The Elco 80ft PT is the only class which uses this bmp, and is the largest of the US PTs. There are 227 boats, all arriving 8/15/42 or later. There's just the one shipside and an upgrade (6/43). Which gives us an opportunity to add a little variation.

8/1/42 - Start with a modified Elco 80ft PT: For starting colors, we have this from PTBoatworld:

"In 1942, the scheme initially applied to the Elco 80 footers utilized Navy Gray (#5) and Dark Gray (5-D)"

Accordingly, we'll alter the color to Navy Gray. As to armament, there were MGs in tubs (forward right & rear left), 20mm AA at the rear and four torpedoes. All this is present on the shipside, but the upper profile needs some minor alterations in order to better match the line drawing (see Item #1)

6/1/43 - Shift to a modified Elco 80ft PT: The June 1943 upgrade adds radar, 37mm cannon and 20mm AA to the forward section, while the rear gun changes to a 40mm Bofors. None of this is present on the shipside, so it all has to be added, and in this case the AE database is fully in synch with the weaponry on display in most pictures (#2). For the profile, the shipside will be revised in accordance with a line drawing showing the upgraded version (#3). The 80 ft Elcos had a profusion of different camo types (PT Boat World has a few examples), ranging from Dazzle to a number of patterns using variations of green/black/brown patterns. There isn't a preponderance of any one type however, but there's no doubt that many - perhaps most - were painted in camo schemes. Accordingly I created a brand new shipside based on the subtle black-brown-olive scheme used by PT 596 (#4).

Here are the new shipsides, in sequence of appearance (Items 5-6):

NOTE: BigB also created a new shipside for the "QM 111" class, but that's a type of US PT boat which is only present in the BigB mod, so we can ignore it here.

That was an interesting - and short - project! Allied PTs should look a lot more interesting in-game. Huge kudos to Big B of course, as without his new art this project would never have happened. Even where I made some tweaks to his work, all but the last Elco are 90-100% his stuff. Next up is getting the backgrounds inserted, creating shils, and then populating a series of date-based folders. After which I'll set up a DropBox download and post the link (same as was done with the Japanese Ships Art mod).




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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 6/19/2020 2:12:53 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2146
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
Hold for possible future updates.

< Message edited by Kull -- 6/21/2020 3:02:26 PM >


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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 6/21/2020 3:01:08 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2146
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline
The new PT Boat Art files are ready sooner than I thought!

1) Download: For those who are not familiar with Dropbox, the link below will take you to a folder named "ART (Allied PTs)", and you want to download THAT folder, not all the individual folders which appear on the screen. Accordingly, please click the "Download" button in the top right of the screen (see the red arrow on the attachment). It doesn't really matter where you save this, so long as you remember the location.

Dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q5zvc5wo246hmb5/AAANMJ6axaPsdNC3ERFfCpIua?dl=0

2) Back-ups: The next step - highly recommended - is to create a copy of the following two folders in your existing game folder, as they will be overwritten by the new art files:
- War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition\ART\AlliedShip_Back
- War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition\ART\AlliedShip_Transp

3) Installation: There are two steps to this process:

a) Rename the folder from "ART (Allied PTs)" to "ART" (There's already a DropBox folder called "ART" for the Japanese ships, so future downloads like this will have a description in the name, and that will need to be edited).

b) Copy (or move) the renamed "ART" folder directly into your WitP-AE game directory. In a default game installation, that would be the folder called "War in the Pacific Admiral's Edition". Do NOT drop the folder into your game's "ART" folder, or it will just create a non-working subdirectory. You have done it correctly if you get a message or warning about overwriting files. When you do, choose "yes for all".

4) Applicability: The new files will work seamlessly with all of the Andy Mac scenarios (as-delivered along with all those which are new or modified) and all DaBabes scenarios too. I haven't looked at compatibility with any player-created scenarios, but so long as they haven't altered any of the existing ships classes and associated bmp files, it should work. Best to check with the scenario authors, however.

5) That's it! Start a new scenario or open an existing campaign, and all the new shipsides will automatically appear, although WHEN they show up is entirely date-based (so obviously you won't see all of them at the same time).

I only had time for limited testing, but everything seems to be working fine. If you experience any difficulties, then please post about it in this thread. Also, if you have any comments - good or bad - or any neat screenshots, please post them here. Enjoy!




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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 7/4/2020 3:54:58 AM   
kbfchicago


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From: NC, USA
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Missed this earlier! Thank.you Kull for the detailed research and addition to the Art files. I've pulled them down, between games at the moment but will take a peek in the week ahead.

Art mods like this have really given the game a great facelift over time...

Kevin

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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 7/4/2020 2:03:40 PM   
Kull


Posts: 2146
Joined: 7/3/2007
From: El Paso, TX
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: kbfchicago

Missed this earlier! Thank.you Kull for the detailed research and addition to the Art files. I've pulled them down, between games at the moment but will take a peek in the week ahead.

Art mods like this have really given the game a great facelift over time...

Kevin


Hopefully you're a fan of big Allied cruise ships. Soon, the "grey ghost" will ride again!

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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 7/5/2020 9:37:14 AM   
eastwindrain

 

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Thanks again for sharing your artwork, very nice piece of kit and greatly appreciated.

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RE: Allied PT Boat mod - 7/19/2020 6:15:30 PM   
JamesHunt

 

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great

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