Trumpeter 1/72 LCM(3) USN Landing Craft Kit First Look
|Date of Review||November 2004||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||LCM(3) USN Landing Craft||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7213||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-etch|
|Pros||Very nice detailing||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$21.95|
The LCM(3) class of landing craft was evolved from an earlier series of UK landing craft and the derivations initially adopted by the US. With the LCM(3), this would be one of the common types used by both nations. The LCM(3) can carry a 30 ton tank to shore or 60 fully loaded troops. The landing craft were stored aboard transport vessels and hoisted into the water, manned by a crew of four. With a loading ramp for a bow, the LCM could take its cargo of vehicles and/or troops right up to the beach for action.
The LCM(3) was 50 feet long, 14 feet 1 inch wide, powered by twin diesels and armed with a pair of 50 caliber machine guns.
On opening the box, I am impressed with this kit. I expected a nice model of this subject, but with the included photo-etch and scale rope/cables in the box, this kit should interest the detail-oriented modeler.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit features nicely scribed details on all of the visible surfaces. The kit is presented as 140 parts on four sprues, plus the hull and a frett of photo-etch.
The kit is scaled down from the earlier Trumpeter 1/35 scale release of this kit. While I've read some reviews that there were accuracy discrepencies with both the Trumpeter and Italeri 1/35 kits, I will defer as I am not an expert in US Navy landing craft. That said, this kit looks very nice and looks similar to the LCM that the USAF converted into a training platform to parasail us over the ocean off the coast of Florida for water survival training.
The kit starts with a one-piece hull which accepts the deck and frame structures. The bow ramp itself is a nicely detailed kit of its own right and is positionable. The same is true of the armor-enclosed helm that sits atop of the rear deck.
The reinforcing frames and gun shields are photo-etched, adding a very nice touch of detailing to the kit, though increasing the complexity of construction due to the need for cyano type glues for assembly of these parts.
Markings are included for a typical D-Day LCM, with extra numbers provided to tailor the model to a particular craft that you might care to represent.
I'm impressed! While I'll leave it to the naval experts to comment on specific aspects of its accuracy, from where I sit, this kit looks like a very nice piece of work.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!