Home  |  What's New  |  Features  |  Gallery  |  Reviews  |  Reference  |  Forum  |  Search

LCM3 50ft Landing Craft
with 3 crew and 6 US soldiers

 

Italeri's 1/35 scale LCM3 partially constructed
(Tank and British Tank Commander not included!)

Italeri

 

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and  Description 6436 - LCM3 50ft Landing Craft with 3 crew and 6 US soldiers
Contents and Media: 157 parts in grey styrene (LCM & crew) plus 134 parts in grey styrene (infantry figures) plus two sprues of weapons; 2 spools of thread; markings for Pacific and D-Day vessels
Scale: 1/35
Price: TBA
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Impressive size; good surface texture and detail parts; relatively simple parts breakdown (and a fast build); includes six excellent infantry figures from Dragon plus three crew; dimensions are consistent with published plans; excellent fit; includes generic vessel number decals; a striking and versatile way to display AFVs and figures!
Disadvantages: Some understated structural detail on hull; a few ejector pin marks in visible locations.
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Brett Green


Italeri's 1/35 scale LCM3 Landing Craft will be available online from Squadron.com

 

FirstLook


Italeri continues its commitment to water-borne military craft with its brand new 1/35 scale LCM3 50ft Landing Craft.

Despite the closeness of the release dates, this is a different model to the 1/35 scale Trumpeter LCM3.

Italeri's LCM3 and three man crew comprises 157 parts in crisp grey styrene, plus an additional 134 parts for six infantry figures. The figures are sourced from Dragon, and they are excellent. Their weapons are supplied on a further two plastic sprues. Two spools of thread and decals complete the large package.

 

 

The hull is an impressive single moulding. Surface texture on the kit parts is very good. The treadplate on walkways is especially nice, and weld beads on the lower hull and the loading ramp are also noteworthy. Fine details are up to the same standard. The wheel and screws look terrific, while the perforated mounts for the .50 cal guns are remarkably fine.

 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Options include positionable hatches for the engine room and the wheel house. The loading ramp is hinged to permit raising and lowering after construction.

Handy extras include two life preservers, a tyre, fuel drums, bumpers and various grapplng devices. Two rolls of twine - one grey and one tan - are also supplied to rig the gate and the bumpers. Three US Navy crew figures are a very useful addition. Two of the figures man the .50 cal guns, while one pilots the boat.

Decals are supplied for Pacific and D-Day LCMs. In addition to specific markings suggestions in the instructions, the decals have generic numbers to permit other specific machines to be depicted.

A six-man Infantry load is also included in this package. These are Dragon figures, posed for action. The quality of sculpting and moulding is right up to the high standard of Dragon's latest releases. With their inclusion, the kit is almost a diorama straight from the box.


 

Accuracy

I have compared the length and height of the Italeri kit with published plans, including a drawing found on the USS Rankin website http://www.ussrankin.org/id40.htm . The Italeri kit appears to be very close to the dimensions noted on these drawings.


 

Comparison

With this release being hot on the heels of the Trumpeter kit, comparisons will be inevitable.

The most obvious difference between the kits is that Trumpeter's hull is quite noticeably deeper than Italeri's . I do not know if Trumpeter's kit is another variant, or if there may be another explanation for this large discrepancy.

Close examination reveals a few detail distinctions between the two kits. Trumpeter's .50 cal machine guns are superb, but Italeri's wheel and screws are undoubtedly better than Trumpeter's. Accessories are also different. Italeri includes the tyre and drums; Trumpeter has tank traps. In the wheelhouse, Italeri supplies a decal for instruments, while Trumpeter has raised dial detail. This will be a matter of personal preference. Trumpeter's kit also includes a few photo-etched parts, but Italeri's plastic equivalents are very finely rendered. Trumpeter's kit provides parts for a British LCM3 (but curiously no decal option). Italeri's trump card, however, is the inclusion of the nine figures.

 

 

 

Construction

 

I was quite excited to receive this model, and intrigued by the relatively simple parts breakdown. I decided to find out whether the kit was as nice to build as it looked in the box.

The first thing I noticed was that weld seams on the side of the hull were very restrained. I decided to amplify these into heavy duty, industrial strength weld beads using Evergreen .040" half-round profile plastic strip. The strip was softened with liquid polystyrene cement and glued to the hull. A random weld pattern was applied with a staple remover.

 

 

I also drilled out holes in the hull sides for the engine exhausts and the bilge pumps.

From that point I followed the instructions. First, the cargo hold were built up as a box - four sides and a floor. There were a few ejector pin holes on the outside of the cargo hold. These would be visible when the kit was assembled, so I filled them with Liquid Paper and sanded them flat. With this small task out of the way I fixed the structural detail to the outside of the hold.

The deck then slides onto this sub-assembly. The fit of all these parts was perfect. I did not add the details to the deck yet, as I wanted to glue the deck to the hull first.

 

 

The deck and hold simply dropped into the hull. I ran Tamiya Liquid Cement around the top rim of the hull to secure these large parts. Once again, the fit was perfect.

The remainder of assembly was similarly satisfying - and fast! I got to this stage after two sessions of around three hours each. However, some of the small details were fiddly to clean up and install. I broke one of the small runners for the twine, and lost another. New parts were fabricated from fine wire.

I will be finishing my LCM as a British boat, so I did not glue the front engine deck in place. British boats featured flat deck without the two .50 cal guns and the forward cowl vents. I will buy some photo-etched treadplate and cut it to shape. Also, British craft used a different ladder. I therefore filled and sanded the holes for the ladder on the rear cargo bulkhead. Please also note that the wheelhouse is not glued onto the deck yet. I will do that after I have painted and glued the controls in place.

 

 

The model still needs to receive final details, but I have completed enough to know that it is a very sweet build.

 

 

Conclusion

 

Italeri's 1/35 scale LCM3 is a large and impressive kit. It represents a nice model on its own, but it also suggests a vast number of options for displaying vehicles and figures. This vessel could carry up to 30 tons, so a wide range of payloads are possible - jeeps, a scout car, light tank. I have even seen a Sherman in an LCM3.

 

 

The model is well detailed, dimensionally accurate and is quite easy and fast to build. The inclusion of the three crew and six infantry figures is a very useful feature.

I am looking forward to seeing plenty of beach landings at model competitions in the coming months and years!

Recommended.

Thanks to Italeri for the review sample


Images and Text Copyright 2004 by Brett Green
This Page Created on 01 September, 2004
Last updated 02 September, 2004

Back to HyperScale Main Page

Back to Reviews Page