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Revell Germany 1/144 scale U.S. Navy Landing Ship Medium

Kit:05123 // Scale:1/144 // Price:$52.95
Revell Germany
Fun build; display options; good engineering and vehicles
Out-of-scale details; some fit issues
Injection-molded, 428 parts, thread, decals
A total of 558 Landing Ship Medium and its rocket variant were built during World War II. Primarily used in the Pacific, the shallow-draft ships were first launched in May 1944. Each required just six week to build.

Employed first as beach-assault vehicles, they were often kept on station for an extended time as “sandscrapers,” delivering supplies from offshore deep-draft cargo ships to locations without harbor facilities to support troops ashore.

Revell Germany’s kit includes 17 sprues and three separate hull sections for a total of 428 parts. There are decals to mark four ships, a spool of thread for railings, and a 20-page, 68-step instruction manual. Color callouts are included, and the box art deserves mention as a nice reference, too.

The sprues are reminiscent of a 1960s kit; you’ll spend a fair amount of time trimming, sanding, and filling gaps. There’s a little bit of flash on the parts, but there are significant seams to be removed. Although it’s not mentioned in the instructions, the interior of the hull is scored so waterlining the model will be easy.

Assembly begins with the lower hull halves. The only fit issue of the five sections was in Step 6, where a visible gap around the rear of the hull had to be filled.

Flipping the hull over starts the interior deck construction; make sure to pay careful attention to drilling stanchion holes in Steps 13 and 14 before mounting the upper deck to the bulkheads.

In Step 16, Part I25 needed 1mm shaved off the starboard side to fit snugly. I appreciated the engineering of the movable ramp and bow doors in steps 17-19. This feature provides options for dioramas or display.

Overall, the fit of parts is good and should present no problems for the reasonably experienced modeler.
I used a mixture of Tamiya, Badger, and Testors Model Master acrylics to recreate the haze green 5-HG, Navy green 5-NG and dull black camouflage scheme of the LSM on the box art.

With the basic vessel complete, I turned my attention to the payload. The kit includes nine vehicles: three each of M4A2 Shermans, M8 Greyhounds, and GMC CCKW 21/2-ton trucks. I found all three K sprues in my kit warped, stressing Part K134, the turret and gun of the Shermans. I modified one Sherman to a flamethrower M4A2 after finding the cannon barrel snapped. All of the vehicles build nicely.

Don’t rush Step 64, rigging the stanchions for lifelines. The stanchions are fragile and limber, so I replaced the kit’s thread with stretched sprue, which needed less tension to look right. The kit provides a few extra stanchions in case of breakage.

While some aspects of the kit are out of scale (such as the gun-tub splinter shields), the ship’s length and beam are perfect. My main reference was U.S. Warships of World War II by Paul Silverstone (ISBN 978-0870217739). This was a fun kit to build. While there were a few fit issues, most were easy to overcome with basic modeling.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2015 FineScale Modeler.
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