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US LST Landing Ship Tank Models

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LST 454 built by Dave Judy from This kit!

AX113 1/350 scale resin LST $164.95
 

Designed to transport and disembark troops, vehicles and supplies without the use of dock facilities, the LST (Landing Ship Tank) was essential to the success of WW2 Allied amphibious operations. Its unique design enabled this oceangoing vessel to disgorge its cargo directly onto the beach. This was accomplished via a ballast system that gave the LST sufficient draft to maintain stability while at sea. Pumping ballast from the tanks converted the LST to a shallow draft vessel capable of landing its cargo on most gradually sloped beaches. Indeed, the image of tanks and troops making their way down the LST's landing ramp into the shallow surf is one that is inextricably connected to the great amphibious assaults of World War II - Sicily, Italy, Normandy and the Pacific island hopping campaign.

The 328' long LST was capable of carrying 2,100 tons of cargo. The lower "tank" deck carried the heaviest vehicles - up to 20 Sherman tanks. Lighter vehicles and cargo were carried on the upper deck. An elevator and in some later   LSTs a ramp was used to move cargo to and from the upper deck. Armament varied, but in general these were lightly armed vessels, with seven 40mm and twelve 20mm guns being typical. Maximum speed was 11.5 knots, with a cruising speed of 8.75 knots. 1,051 LSTs were built in American shipyards during WW2, of which 113 were supplied to the British via Lend Lease. 26 of them were lost in action and 13 succumbed to rough seas and accidents.

The Iron Shipwright LST is a one piece full hull kit featuring an open tank deck. The upper deck - the tank deck's "roof" - is a separate piece. This presents interesting modeling possibilities for those of you wanting to display the LST's innards. The kit gives you a good start. It includes some stunning 1:350 scale vehicles, including Jeeps and Sherman tanks. A full complement of landing craft, which were suspended from large davits on the upper deck, is also included. The upper deck and the aft deckhouse are highly detailed. They are crowded with winches, cylindrical vents, gun tubs, lower deck access hatches et al. The completed model should be very busy indeed. Just about everything an army needed was carried on LSTs, so there is almost no limit to what you can stuff into or on top of this ship.

The kit includes etched brass and instructions, neither of which were available with this pre-production example. Casting is very good. There were a few voids and some minor breakage, but nothing out of the ordinary for a resin kit. And the fit of the upper deck to the hull was perfect, no small achievement with a long thin and densely detailed flat resin casting. Price is $165.

If you never built a resin kit you will need this book.

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D-Day scene both are Commander kits. 

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