US Navy LCT Mk. 6
Initially developed by the British and used heavily by US Forces, the Landing Craft Tank, or LCT was developed to give amphibious landings the added punch of armor early in an operation. Over 950 MK 6s were eventually built by the US and used any time an amphib operation needed to put ashore tanks. Both the Korean and Viet Nam wars saw LCT’s in action. With a displacement of 284 short tons, with a LOA of 119” and a beam of 32’ 8” these work horses had an incredible draft of 3’ 4” at the bow allowing them to put their cargo right on the beach. Powered by 3 225 HP Gray Marine diesel engines and three shafts delivered a maximum speed of 7 knots with a range of 700 nautical miles. The capacity was rated at 150 short tons of personal and cargo which included tanks, trucks, and towed artillery. The LCT’s protected themselves with two single mount 20MM Anti-aircraft guns and had a crew of 12.
The AFV Club offering, kit number 73518 contains the parts to build two LCT’s in 1/350 scale. The parts are laid out logically on two sprues, one for each craft. There are 25 plastic pieces for each vessel. A fret of PE is included which contains rudders and props for both craft, A four-page instruction sheet has clear and concise building instructions and paint diagrams for 8 versions in several differing theaters. A decal sheet that includes marking for all 8 schemes rounds out the packaging.
This is a new tool kit so it is modern in design and approach. The instructions contain ten steps, and a few sub-steps that are easy to follow. I followed the instructions and had absolutely no problem with construction. The fit of the parts is superb, and most do not leave a seam when using liquid cement. The only option with the kit is to build the ramp up or down. Two ramps are included to facilitate this option. Both ramps fit well and look great when installed.
There are eight painting options which include a testing scheme, as well as landings at Normandy, Okinawa, and France. Decals are included for each scheme, and by mixing the included extra numbers several crafts of the same action may be modeled. I painted my samples with Scale Colors that I had on hand. I used hull red for the bottom, Haze Gray for the surfaces above the waterline and Modern Deck gray for the cargo deck. I know they might not be correct, but they look good!!
AFV Club has produced a very nice set of LCTs in 1/350 scale with this offering. The parts fit extremely well, and everything looks right when completed. I encountered no issues with the build. I spent about two hours on each build removing parts and fitting them together. Painting took a little longer due to the masking that was needed to delineate the colors. The LCTs would look great in a small diorama showing an amphibious landing, or approaching a beachhead loaded with troops and equipment. I know AFV Club produces a set of Sherman Tanks from this time period that would fit these to a T!!! As I was building for review I decided to mount them to small oak bases with keel blocks supporting the models. These enhance the overall look of the two LCTs one with the ramp up, and the other with it down.
I highly recommend this kit to anyone who is contemplating a WWII Amphibious Landing Dio, or is just looking for a different type of subject in 1/350 scale. The size is small, but both craft are well detailed with room for additional gear or details as you see fit!! Go to the AFV Club web site at WWW.AFVCLUB.com to view all the products offered in their catalog.
My thanks to AVF Club and IPMS/USA for supplying me with this review sample.