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M.A.S. 563 Serie 3a classe 500

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My modelling interests tend to lie elsewhere as a rule. Im 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.
Build Blog Live links

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.

About the Author

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...


Hi Bruce, Thank you kind Sir. I hope you have a steady recovery, stay well. That's an impresive gallery you have. Cheers Al
JUL 01, 2011 - 04:18 AM
Top Notch work there , Alan! Bravo Zulu! Guido
JUL 10, 2011 - 03:24 AM
Hi Guido, Thanks for dropping in and the comments. Appreciated. Al
JUL 11, 2011 - 07:29 AM
Hello Alan, Looks can be deceiving. I have not touched a model in over a year now. In the gallery there are 3 models that are 5 % started and on page 4 the husky, Wolf is his name, I had to put down last friday. Again great job on your build. Cheers, Bruce
JUL 11, 2011 - 12:34 PM
Hi Bruce, Sorry to hear about the family pet, it's amazing how attached you get to them, which is probably why I stopped keeping pets a long time ago. I can only wish you a speedy recovery and stay well. We tend to take health for granted until it goes wrong Thanks again for the comments.. Al
JUL 31, 2011 - 02:56 AM
Hi Alan, First off, this is an outstanding result with many and not easy to accomplish unique features. To answer your question: A blog about the build process is fine in its own right, since people get a place to discuss even off topic questions while the modeler is in the building process. The feature however - and yours is really nicely written and performed - gives all interested condensed and related infromation. At least for me, a well written feature like yours saves a lot research time. Having to pick up the related information out of a build blog can be very time consuming for itself. Beside that, the reference photos in a build log often are saved outside kitmaker network and plain linked to. Over the time, valuable information gets lost. In a feature however, at least this is my understanding, the reference photos and drawings are saved on the kitmaker network. That is a great benefit if you take future accessibility into account. I fully comprehend, that a feature takes a lot of valuable time about personally closed matters. Closed, because you alredy dealt with the problems in the build log and found a working solution which are already shown there. For this, I really appreciate your efforts in writing the feature and no, it is no waste of time but a rich addition crowning your build log efforts. Best
AUG 19, 2011 - 12:06 AM
Hi Dariush, Thanks for looking in and your thoughts. I'm glad you found the article useful, it makes the effort worthwhile. Many thanks Al
AUG 20, 2011 - 10:12 AM
Well, well Mr McNeilly I have discovered your secret fetish I only came here to check the site address to share it with a member of another site, who was asking advice about building the USS Missouri and imagine my surprise to find that you have been lured away to the 'wet side' of the hobby In seriousness Alan, that is a fabulous and eye catching build, which looks very impressive and is a stunning result to your hard work. Great job mate...........what next...................... matchstick modelling? Big Ben for instance or the London Eye? Aye' John
SEP 14, 2011 - 01:04 PM
Hi John, Yes, watery things, great fun. still need a bit more work on the hull but I enjoyed this one a lot. Thanks for looking in and all the best for now. Cheers Al
SEP 16, 2011 - 04:52 AM
Hi Guys, A Happy New Year to you all. I have added an additional page 10 to the original build article with some after the event updates that have taken place on the build. I would still like a couple of additional crew to busy the boat up a bit more but I haven't come across any more suitable figures so far. This offering however, is much closer to my original thoughts than I was able to achieve at the time of writing. Time, money and availability of parts all played a part here but isn't that always the way. Cheers Al
JAN 01, 2012 - 12:41 AM