Saugatuck AO 75 June 43 small.jpg (9517 bytes)
USS Saugatuck (AO-75)
(click to view large image)

T-2 Type US Navy Oiler
Loose Cannon Productions
1:700 Scale Waterline Kit

In-the-Box Review
Rob Mackie

T2 tankers were the backbone of the WW2 U.S. War Emergency Tanker fleet. 525 were built, of which the 481 T2-S2-A1 hulls were the most numerous. They were constructed at 4 US shipyards and accordingly differed slightly in deckhouse design, armament, vents and stack size; but overall dimensions did not vary. Issue 1997/3 of Plastic Ship Modeler has an excellent article - complete with 1/700 drawings - that provides a wealth of information about these very important vessels.

Vital Statistics
T2-SE-A1 Type
Displacement: 5,730 tons,
deadweight capacity 16,735 tons
Dimensions: 523.5' oa, 503' wl, 68' beam, 30.8' draught
Armament: one 3" fwd, one 5"38 aft, 6-8 20mm
Machinery: 1-shaft turbo electric drive,

6,000 S.H.P., 15.1 knots
Complement: 225

Atascosa AO 66 Mar 43 small.jpg (8531 bytes)
USS Atascosa (AO-66)
Note dazzle painted PT boats carried as deck cargo (click to enlarge)

The Loose Cannon T2 kit is most impressive. Casting quality is good and there were only a few voids requiring filler. All resin pieces are produced using two piece molds. This technique is more difficult and time-consuming for the caster, but it produces parts that are fully detailed on all sides. You can forget about flat-sanding parts cast in open faced molds (hallelulah!), though there is a thin carrier film needing removal. Most of the parts are affixed to sprues of the type we are accustomed to seeing with injection molded kits. The sprues even include part numbers! And a good thing because there are a lot of resin parts. I was surprised by the number until I realized that David Angelo has pulled out all the stops. The kit includes alternative pieces for a multitude of T2 variants. You have a choice of deckhouses, stacks, add-on cargo decks, PT boats, gun tubs et al. Very impressive, but potentially confusing unless you study the instructions (and your references) carefully so that you will know which parts are needed for the T2 you wish to build. The instructions state that the kit depicts USS Cossatot (AO 77) and USS Cowanesque (A0 79), but with minor effort the kit could be constructed as almost any T2.

The waterline hull appears accurate according to my references. It is cast with minimal freeboard. T2 tankers sat low in the water at full load so this not unrealistic, but if you wish to show her at partial load or empty (as in the above photos) then raise the waterline by adding plastic sheet to the hull bottom and fairing it into the hull. The extensive - and visible - plumbing characteristic of tankers is cast into the deck surface. In reality some of these pipes and valves sat proud of the deck, but in 1/700 scale this is an acceptable and advisable compromise. As it is you will have your hands full affixing the many etched brass details. Take a look at the brass fret and then breath deeply. If any detail has been overlooked I haven't found it. Spar deck and gun tub supports, tackle and boom details, catwalk's all there.

1/96th Scale T-2 Tanker
Smithsonian Museum of US History, Washington, D.C.
(click to enlarge)
T2 RM 01.jpg (54936 bytes)
Aft looking forward
T2 RM 02.jpg (98170 bytes)
Midship and aft deck houses
T2 RM 03.jpg (70660 bytes)
Forward deck and pilot house
T2 RM 04.jpg (52958 bytes)
Deck level plumbing
T2 RM 03a.jpg (35221 bytes)
Navigation bridge

The instructions, which include a Ms 22 paint scheme, are complete and the illustrations generally adequate. However there are no plan and profile drawings, a shortcoming the aforementioned Plastic Ship Modeler article remedies. The sheer number of parts and alternatives can be a bit confusing, so take your time, study the instructions and think ahead. Hull number decals are included, yet another indication of the lengths to which this producer has gone in producing this extraordinarily complete kit. The Loose Cannon T2 tanker is not for the beginner. You should have some experience with 700th scale resin kits and etched brass before tackling this one. But for the more experienced 1/700 scale ship modeler this kit falls into the "must have" caegory. Loose Cannon has given this very important ship the treatment it deserves. Good Job!

T2 forecastle.jpg (35928 bytes)

T2 hull.jpg (57505 bytes)

T2 resin sprue 01.jpg (90923 bytes)

T2 resin sprue 02.jpg (63881 bytes) T2 resin sprue 03.jpg (80247 bytes) T2 resin sprue 04.jpg (94923 bytes)
T2 PT boat.jpg (14538 bytes) T2 decals.jpg (23829 bytes) T2 pe.jpg (180721 bytes)
T2 inst01.jpg (142451 bytes) T2 inst02.jpg (115978 bytes) T2 inst03.jpg (128529 bytes)
T2 inst04.jpg (107221 bytes) T2 inst05.jpg (70604 bytes)

Home copper.jpg (2701 bytes)