US Landing Ship Medium in 1/144...
Here is a new release from Revell that I have to admit I have been looking forward to since it was first announced. The US Navy LSM (Landing Ship Medium), an early version and evidence within the kit that it looks like we can expect a later version at some point in the future. Done in 1/144 scale, it even includes 9 vehicles to provide some cargo, with 3x Sherman tanks, 3x M8 Armoured Cars and 3x GMC 2.5ton trucks. A full hull model, it has been made so that the two bow doors will open and close, and the inner ramp can be moved up and down accordingly. So you can make this up in a seascape, or landing the vehicles onto a beach. The inner walls and the floor of the cargo compartment are nicely detailed so this will look good once built. The decks running down each side of the ship need a number of holes for stanchions to be drilled out, all those numbered with a '1'. There are others marked 2 and 3, which is what suggests that we can expect to see another later version planned for a future release. Don't forget to drill these out before you glue the side decks into place. If we are really lucky, I wonder if they might do the Rocket armed version as well? We can but hope.
There is plenty of detail in the model, and a coil of thread is included to make the wires for the deck rails as well as rigging on the aerials. Even the bridge on the starboard side is well detailed, and ladders all include side hand rails as well. With all the deck fittings there is a fair bit to the build itself, though nothing difficult and so far I have found the fit of parts to be very good. One or two small pieces needed a little cleaning up from mould lines, but nothing difficult.
The LSM was mostly used in the Pacific, during the Island hopping campaign of 1944-45, and over 550 were built. The kit provides for four options in terms of colours and marking. All are from the Pacific theatre, with two in a plain USN grey, though the other two are in a multi-colour random camouflage scheme of green shades, which make for a quite different looking model for a WW2 landing craft. It is nice to see it in this scale and makes for a good size model.