by: David Foster [ ]
Originally published on:
Landing Craft Assault (LCA) was a landing craft used extensively in World War II. Its primary purpose was to ferry troops from transport ships to attack enemy-held shores. The craft derived from a prototype designed by John I. Thornycroft Ltd. of Woolston, Hampshire, UK. During the war it was manufactured throughout the United Kingdom in places as various as small boatyards and furniture manufacturers.
Typically constructed of hardwood planking and selectively clad with armor plate, this shallow-draft, barge-like boat with a crew of four could ferry an infantry platoon of 31, with space to spare for five additional specialist troops, to shore at 7 knots (13 km/h). Men generally entered the boat by walking over a gangplank from the boat deck of a troop transport as the LCA hung from its davits. When loaded, the LCA was lowered into the water. Soldiers exited by the boat's bow ramp.
The LCA was the most common British and Commonwealth landing craft of World War II, and the humblest vessel admitted to the books of the Royal Navy on D-Day. Prior to July 1942, these craft were referred to as "Assault Landing Craft" (ALC), but "Landing Craft; Assault" (LCA) was used thereafter to conform with the joint US-UK nomenclature system.
The Landing Craft Assault's design's sturdy hull, load capacity, low silhouette, shallow draft, little bow wave, and silenced engines were all assets that benefited the occupants. The extent of its light armor, proof against rifle bullets and shell splinters with similar ballistic power recommended the LCA. Also, many a Tommy and GI looked favorably upon the luxury of seating in the well for the soldier passengers. Throughout the war in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean, the LCA was the most likely sea assault transport of British Commandos, United States Army Rangers, and other Special Forces.
(Provided by Wikipedia)
L'Arsenal LCA (Landing Craft Assault) x 4
The L'Arsenal LCA kit comes in a small cardboard box containing a single sheet of instructions and two small plastic bags. One bag contains the four resin LCAs and the other bag contains the single sheet of photo etch.
The instructions are provided on a single sheet of paper with clear illustrations.
The photo etch sheet includes propellers, the propeller shafts, and the forward interior doors. The detail on the photo etched doors is crisp and clean. The only con with the photo etched sheet are the number of connection points for the propeller shaft and the propeller. For the propeller shaft there is one connection on the shaft itself. When the modeler removes the part, they will need to use extreme caution when removing the nub or the propeller shaft will get distorted. The connection points on the propeller are not a major issue but with the small size of the propeller it would be a little more ideal to reduce from three connection points to two. Reduces the sanding requirements and potential of losing the propeller to the carpet monster.
The resin modeled LCA’s have incredible detail and provide the base for an exquisite model. The detail is crisp and clean and includes all of the major and minor components found on an original LCA. The makers went so far as to include the rope draped on both sides of the LCA. What is more incredible, the interior detail not only includes the tracks on the floor of the LCA but also the support gussets under the lip on each side. There are molded points for the propeller shaft PE which removes the guessing as far as proper location.
The kit provides the modeler the option of removing the interior doors and replacing them with photo etch. This allows the modeler to depict the ship with the interior doors open and prepared to discharge troops.
There are two cons that I found. One, the instruction sheet illustrates rudders however none were included in the kit. This might have been an oversight from the manufacturer. The second con is the molding on the bottom of the ship. The bottom of the ship is uneven due to the resin collecting on one side and extends from the resin plug. Out of the four LCA’s in the kit, only two had such an uneven hull that it was difficult to even it out by sanding.
This kit will be instrumental to a modeler who builds a diorama depicting a beach assault. The detail is beautiful and crisp. There are minor issues to overcome but in the end they are minuscule when compared to the increased detail this kit adds to any diorama. L’Arsenal has provided the ship modeler with another outstanding kit.