I Shall Return - Scratch Built 1/24 PT-41

I Shall Return - Scratch Built 1/24 PT-41

31st Mar 2022

Welcome to the Free Time Hobbies Workbench. Here you can find great builds and techniques from around the web. We highlight different model builders to show you cool models and how you can do it yourself!


Today’s eye candy comes from veteran model PT boat builder Alex Johnson. The research and time that went into this build is evident the longer you study its details.

This isn’t just any PT boat, you see. This is a faithfully crafted scale-replica of the PT boat that evacuated General MacArthur from the Philippine Islands in March of 1942.

Did I mention that it is mostly scratch built in 1/24 scale?


Captained by Ensign George E. Cox, Jr, PT-41 would make a hair-raising trip from Corregidor to Mindanao with General Douglas MacArthur, his family, and several other staff and aides. At the end of his escape, MacArthur would make his immortal declaration,

“I came through and I shall return.”

After its rescue of the General, PT-41 would take up duties in defense of Mindanao. It would be the last remaining PT boat of its squadron after a coordinated torpedo attack against Japanese cruiser Kuma.

With no remaining torpedoes, it would act as local security until it was scuttled on 15 April to avoid enemy capture.


Mr. Johnson used a manufactured fiberglass hull from Wayne Enterprises to get started on his build. Coming in at 38 inches, it would house all the scratch-built glory.

Finally, he mounted the boat using a unique tear-shaped stand that shows off the build at a pleasingly aggressive angle.

Check out his detailed breakdown for all the parts I left out!

Looking to make your own PT boat but don't have the time to build it from scratch?  Try out some of these other options.  From 1/35 to 1/350 scale, you've got a lot of excellent kits to choose from.  Don't forget the crew!


Fabrication 101 ... A Basic Scratchbuilding Technique - YouTube

Adam Savage's One Day Builds: Kit-Bashing and Scratch-Building! - YouTube

Making the PT 41 - YouTube

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