In 1941, six Yugoslavian motor torpedo boats were captured in Cattaro by Italian forces. These six MTBs were built in Germany based on the S-2 class
schnellboote and became the basis for the Regia Marina motosiluranti (MS). The Cantieri Riuniti dell’Adriatico (CRDA) Monfalcone yard drew up plans based on the
six Yugoslavian seized vessels and hastily began construction. The MS design varied very little from the originals and were known as the
CRDA 60t Type due to
their displacement. They were armed with two Breda single 20mm/65 guns, two Breda 6.5mm guns and two 21-inch torpedo tubes. The boats had a top speed that
exceeded 30 knots.

All of the boats were built by CRDA in two series. The first series was built from 1941 to 1942 and was comprised of
MS 11 to 16, MS 21 to 26 and MS 31 to 36.
The second series was built between 1942 and 1943 and consisted of
MS 51 to 56, MS 61 to 66 and MS 71 to 76. The main difference between the two series the
torpedo tubes. The first series boats had partially open, spoon shaped torpedo tubes. The second series vessels had fully enclosed torpedo tubes with hatches. The
latter boats also had a higher gunwale forward.
CRDA MS boats were involved in action, along with several Regia Marina MAS (motoscafo anti sommergilbili) and German S-boats against the British “Pedestal”
convoy in mid-August 1942. During that engagement,
MS 16 (though some sources state that it may have been MS 22) torpedoed and sank HMS Manchester and
MS 31 sank the British transport Glenorchy.

A dozen CRDA MS boats were lost between 1942 and 1943 in battles against similar British and United States Navy boats. Several others were seized by German
after Italy’s surrender. After the war, some MS boats served with the Marina Militare and were reclassified as motovedettes, or police harbor craft. The
reclassification was due to peace treaty terms which prohibited Italy from operating MTBs or other types of fast attack craft. Four boats,
MS 24, 31, 54 and 55,
were completely rebuilt and changed in the late 1950s and served for about 20 years as
MS 472, 473, 474 and 481.
Regia Marina has released a 1:350 scale kit of a first series Motosiluranti CRDA, which is comprised of resin and photo-etch parts and a decal sheet. The kit is the
product of a collaboration between
Giampiero Galeotti of Regia Marina and Maurizio Maggi.

The main part is the one-piece full hull, which has a good amount of detail. The bridge, breakwater, forward bulkheads, aft coamings, skylights, rubbing strakes and
some hatches are cast into this part. The deck has an anchor cast into the foc’sle which I think would have been better if it was a separate photo-etch part. There
are also cast in cable reels which can be removed and substituted with the photo-etch supplied with the kit. The deck also has the bases for the mooring bits, which
are done as photo-etch. The bridge has shallow recessed windows and the forward bulkheads have to openings to fit the torpedo tubes. The transom has the
remnants of a casting gate that needs to be sanded down and an air bubble void. Fortunately, the transom is a plain surface, so cleaning it up will not result in
potentially losing some detail.
The numerous smaller resin parts all come on casting runners. The parts include the torpedo tubes, cowl vents in three styles, depth charges in two different
configurations, life rings and the bodies of the Breda 20mm/65 guns. With the running gear you get some options. Parts M7, M8 and M9 are the propeller
shafts/fairings with the propellers cast into them. If you wish to use the photo-etch propellers, then use parts L2, L3 and L4 and finish the propellers with the hubs,
parts L1. You may also opt for brass rod, which will require cutting off the fairings from either set of resin parts. The rudders are also provided. The remaining small
parts include two different binnacles, a search light, a smoke generator and other bits. As a bonus, at least in my opinion, you get 14 resin crew figures in a variety of
poses. Parts M2 are depth charge racks but they should be substituted with photo-etch parts 20. The resin parts are generally good but will require some clean up to
remove the wisps of excess resin film.

The photo-etch parts come on a large fret with a tiny extra fret with propellers. As indicated in the instructions, not all of the parts are to be used for this model,
which are quite a number. Some of the photo-etch are alternatives for corresponding resin parts. The photo-etch parts include pre-measured railings, parts for the
Breda 20mm/65 guns, the Breda 6.5mm guns with stand, torpedo storage racks, life rings, cable reels, mooring bitts, depth charge racks, an anchor, anchor chain,
anchor handling davit, wire spreaders, portholes with eyebrows, gun depression rails, propeller shaft struts and other detail parts. Some of the photo-etch parts for
the Breda 20mm/65 guns are used to detail and complete the resin gun, parts E3, but you also get parts to build completely photo-etch versions of those guns. There
is some relief etching with the photo-etch.
A small decal sheet with red “MS” lettering and numbers for the hull numbers. The alphanumeric characters come in two sizes – larger for the bow and smaller for
the sides aft. You also get the Regia Marina naval ensign and another flag that I am not familiar with. The decals look good but it is important to note, as it is clearly
stated in the instructions, that these are not individual decals and each item will need to be cut and trimmed before application.

The assembly instructions are six pages printed on 3 sheets of double-sided paper. There is a lot going on crammed into the instructions, so you will need to pay
close attention and study them. The first page has specifications and some brief information for each first series MS, all in Italian. After that, paint references are
provided linking mainly Humbrol and a Tamiya paint colors to a reference letter. The very bottom has decal placement instructions. The top of page 2 had the
painting guide, mapping the letter references from the previous page to a profile and plan view of the boat. The bottom half has an image of the photo-etch fret with
the parts to be used for this model having a number assigned to them. The top of page 3 has images of the resin parts identified with a letter for the runner and a
number below each part. The remaining pages has illustrations showing the location of the parts and subassemblies as needed. Interspersed on these pages are
images of what appears to be a large museum model to provide some visual references. This is a good idea, but I wish there were either larger or the image a bit
clearer so they would be more useful. The bottom of page 6 has painting instructions for the different crew figures with their own set of color references.
Regia Marina’s 1:350 scale CRDA Motosiluranti kit is an intriguing little model which will build into a detailed replica. I would recommend it to someone with
some skill working with resin and photo-etch kits and is either a Regia Marina fan or is looking for something different to go with their
Atlantic Models (ex-White
Ensign Models
) Narrow Seas range builds. My thanks to Giampiero Galeotti of Regia Marina for providing the review sample. According to Giampiero, a kit of
a second series boat is in the works.
Felix Bustelo
New York