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dnl42

HB 1/48 LCM-3 in D-Day Markings - Finished

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Bow sheave assemblies are done. I want to spray them off the model so I can get better coverage, so I won't attach them just yet.

lcm-sheaveguide3.jpg

 

And I finally found enough photos to finish the winch housing. Turns out it was quite wide and the cable passed through the housing near the top. Sadly, I had already made the kit's port-side winch housing thinner. Since HB thought the LCM had port and starboard winches, I was able to repurpose the starboard winch housing. I filled in the existing winch housing opening, which is now in the rear of the part, and added a slot near the top to match a screenshot I found. I also reshaped the kit's winch, which looked like a sheave, into a more drum-like shape using my smallest square needle files. It looks right when assembled.

lcm-rampwinch.jpg

 

I found some silver-gray thread at Hobby Lobby that looks about the right size for the ramp cable.

lcm-cable.jpg

 

The next task are the sheaves that run the cable athwartship. I found a shot that showed the sheave on the port side; here's an enlargement of the sheave.

lcm-cable-decksheave.jpg

 

A number of photos strongly suggested the ramp cable ran forward of the engine compartment, not in the engine compartment as I had thought. I finally found a photo that does appear to show the cable in the cargo hold. Question: is that actually the cable or a guide containing the cable?

lcm-cable-athwartship.jpg

If that's actually the cable, then the entire cable run will be exposed, making it hard to rig.I need to look some more. I did try calling the National WWI Museum--on Andrew Higgins Blvd--in NOLA to see if they have LCM 3 plans, but they've haven't responded.

 

Edited by dnl42

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Working on the 50 cal mounts. Both HB and Eduard both provide an armor plate that has an side odd cut-out that I haven't found in any photo. This wouldn't be too hard to fix, though.lcm-50cal0.jpg

 

Eduard would have most of the HB plastic for the Browning replaced with metal. Here's a before and after shot.

lcm-50cal1.jpg

 

Eduard wants you to roll  0.13 x 0.6 perforated sheet into a 0.04 diameter tube. Luckily for my sanity, I have a pair of Master M2 Browning barrels. The machining on these parts is amazing--I have no idea how they machine parts like this.

lcm-50cal2.jpg

 

But, I took a closer look at my subject. The Brownings aren't mounted; I'll have to cogitate on that.

d03423-50-cal-mounts.jpg

More concerning, however, is the elevation mechanism. This looks nothing like the HB or Eduard parts. Worse still, my Google-foo hasn't found anything like this.

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Here are all the plastic and PE bits for the two 50 cals

lcm-50cal7.jpg

 

And here they are assembled

lcm-50cal5.jpg

 

lcm-50cal6.jpg

Still not sure they'll be mounted...

 

And for the last bit of work today, I made 2 boat hooks. The Skill in the Surf manual lists two 12 foot boat hooks among the LCM's equipment. The HB kit ignores them almost entirely save for some nondescript hooks in the cargo compartment. Eduard instructs you to mount two plain 1 mm rods--not boat hooks--95 mm and 60 mm long, scaling out to ~2 in diam and 9.5 and 15 long respectively. I went with the 12 foot length and 2 in diameter. I tapered the end of a 0.04 rod and mounted a hook fashioned from 0.026 brass wire into a hole drilled into the tapered end. I'll paint the pointy end brass and the shaft either wood or gray.

lcm-boathook.jpg

Edited by dnl42

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The ramp cable did indeed cross athwartship through the cargo hold. You can also see another engine compartment vent on the port side.

kbjw2XL-rampcable.jpg

 

And here's a picture of the deck sheave--it's that triangular shape between the bit and the coaming.

91aqfUp-crop1.jpg

 

And finally, here's a shot of the portable bilge pump listed in Skill in the Surf--this is another enlargement from the 1st picture in this post.

kbjw2XL-bilgepump.jpg

 

Now to make all this stuff...

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HB only molded a single engine compartment vent in the engine compartment bulkhead. It was also a tad misshaped and misplaced Their vent was a simple quarter-round shape, while the actual vent looks to have a quarter-round top and then a rectangular bottom. I formed the quarter-round part from 3/16 tubing that I cut into quarters; I filled in the ends with some 0.01 sheet that I punched into a disk and quartered. And yes, it would have been easier to just buy some quarter-round stock. I glued a 0.06x0.06 strip below for the bottom. The kit vent, which I sawed off with a spiffy Radub contour saw, is on the left. The replacements are in the center and right.

lcm-rampcable0.jpg

 

I then cut slots into the coaming for the deck sheaves to fit in and made up some cable guide eyes from 0.01 brass rod. I think I've got a reasonable facsimile of the 1st picture in the previous post. I also had to fill in the hole left in the engine compartment bulkhead from the ventectomy with some sheet (it's barely visible on the left below the thread).

lcm-rampcable1.jpg

 

And here's that triangular plate that will sit atop the deck sheaves when they are eventually installed.

lcm-rampcable3.jpg

 

I'm pretty happy with all this. 

Edited by dnl42

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Worked on the hull discharges. You can see 3 discharges on the port side in my reference photo. Here are enlargements of the exhaust from my reference and another photo

d03423-exhaust.jpg gettyimages-50488369-exhaust.jpg

 

And here's an enlargement of the ramp winch cover. There appears to be a rolled edge around the periphery of the winch cover--I assume to provide rigidity to the sheet metal.

gettyimages-50488369-winchcover.jpg

Fabricated the hull discharges using 1.1, 1.5, and 2mm Albion brass tubing. I replicated the rolled edge using stretch sprue.

lcm-openings-winch.jpg

Edited by dnl42

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The size and shape of the exhaust discharge was bugging me, so I made another version.

lcm-openings-winch1.jpg

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Working on the eyes welded to the frames and deck that guide the various ramp cables. On the port side are the ramp latch release cable, the cable from the ramp winch to the equalizing sheave, and the cable that attaches to the ramp per se. The starboard side only has the cable running forward to the ramp sheaves and then the ramp. An extract of the photo with the best detail on these aspects is shown below. It shows the ramp latch release cable running through holes drilled through the frame. But, looking at my subject reference and other photos show the ramp latch release could also run through eyes attached to every frame. I found another photo that shows these eyes are small and asymmetrically shaped. Back to the photo below, there are 3 eyes for the equalizing sheave cable; two appear to be half-round and the other is rectangular for some reason. The rectangular eye is welded to the rearmost frame, the 2 half-round eyes are welded to every other frame forward of that. Finally, the ramp cable eyes are L-shaped, attaching to the frames at the top and deck at the bottom. The forward-most eye is welded to the foremost frame; the remaining are attached to every other frame running aft, but because of the construction, the equalizing sheave cable eyes and ramp cable eyes aren't on the same frames.

gettyimages-50488369-cableeyes.jpg

 

HB provided 0.02" copper wire for the eyes. This scales out to 1" thick bars! I replaced that with 0.01" brass wire, which scales out to 0.5" bars. The only smaller wire I have is 0.005, which is very flimsy and feels too small. Anyway, it took about 3 evenings and this morning to put all the above together. Here's my representation of some of the 18 eyes on the port side; there are 7 on the starboard side. I made 5 or 6 more, but they launched into low earth orbit during handling.

lcm-cableeyes.jpg

 

I'm still working on the guide that routes the ramp latch release cable from the foot-operated control in the conning station. That detail is shown below, in another extract from the photo I showed above. You can also see that the ramp release cable appears to just lay atop the ramp winch cover. I may need to reduce the size of my ramp winch cover...

gettyimages-50488369-releasecable.jpg

 

I also haven't worked out exactly what the ramp latch looks like, but I know it doesn't look like what HB provided! HB provides 2 ramp latches that look more like fence latches and were to be attached port and starboard, to the interior of the cargo area. I haven't found any evidence of such an arrangement. :dontknow:

lcm-ramplatch.jpg

 

Thanks for looking. :wave:

 

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Phenomenal work!  It's a pleasure watching you build this craft!

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@swbailey, thanks!

 

The National WWII Museum called me back. They pointed me to the "Higgins Industries Collection" at the Louisiana Digital Library. While I haven't found any LCM data, they have quite a treasure trove of Higgins PTB drawings online. 

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Working on the smaller details before she hits the paint shop.

 

Made my best guess at the release cable fairlead

lcm-releasefairlead.jpg

 

And scouring youtube, I found these pix on a USN training film on Amphibious Landing Operations Salvage Boat. Here's a closeup of the helm. Lots of bits HB missed.

lcm-conning-crop.jpg

Also had a good shot of the wheel, which looked very much like a smaller version of this:

lcm-largehelm.jpg

Got a good shot at a fire extinguisher, which is not red.

lcm-extinguisher-crop.jpg

An LCVP training film identified the water barrel, which is visible in my subject shot shown earlier. 

lcm-waterbarrel-crop.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Your added detail is really amazing.

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@phantom, thanks! It's a little surprising how much detail was missed in the kit. To be sure, there's very little documentation on the LCM3, despite the numbers made and its importance to amphibious assaults in all theaters. Fortunately, I've learned a huge amount watching videos. The USN LCVP training film showed onboard equipment and boat operations--the LCM training film would answer many questions definitively. 

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I've modified the wheel to better match the photo above. Here's my starting point, HB made the outer rim, spokes, and hub all uniform thickness.

lcm-wheel0.jpg

 

Here's my wheel, which has a larger diameter, but the same construction as the LCM wheel above.  I expect that the handles are the same size. You'll notice the wheel's rim is thinner than the hub and the bosses into which the handles are mounted.

tdl-wheel.jpg

 

Here's a handle

tdl-wheel-handle.jpg

 

I used my smallest crochet needle file to notch both sides of the rim next to each handle. I then used a new #11 blade to shave away both sides of the rim between the notches.  I then cut some "washers" from Evergreen 0.093 tubing, which was a good match for the wheel's hub. I painted the metal parts brass (actually Warhammer "Greedy Gold") and the handles brown (Warhammer "Oak Brown"). Per the prototype, I left the tips of the handles brass colored.

lcm-wheel5.jpg

 

I'm pretty happy with this even though the spokes are too thick. 

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Wow!  Excellent work on the wheel.  Looking forward to seeing all of this come together.

 

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@swbailey, thanks! I think I need to tone the wheel down a bit. I continued on the control station yesterday. I cut the handles off HB's engine controls, which were mounted way too low, and made new handles more consistent with the photo above. I also used PE sprue to make what I believe is the winch clutch on the port engine.

 

I'm currently trying to reconcile the height of HB's control console with the photos. I think their primary error is the raised deck in the conning station. I don't believe that makes any sense given multiple photos showing people standing inside and outside the conning station.:dontknow:

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Here's a reminder of HB's control console.

lcm-conning0.jpg

The raised platform is inconsistent, the engine control handles are incorrectly shaped, and the ramp winch control is missing. After cutting off the raised platform from the deck, I carefully butchered the console so I could rebuild it. The height of the console was increased to match the photos. The engine control handles were made from scratch except for the kit's hand-hold, which I attached with an offset.The ramp clutch was made from bent PE sprue.

 

Et voilà, here's my new and improved console. The ramp winch control isn't quite visible, but it's there.

lcm-conning2.jpg

If you look at the photos from the Salvage Boat training film, you'll see the instruments don't occupy the full console top as they do here. I just now--after rebuilding the console--figured out that it's not (only?) because HB made the instruments too large. More importantly, HB made the console top too small. Dang! I could have fixed that had I noticed it before I rebuilt it. But, I don't think the console will survive a yet another rebuild, so I'll live with this.

 

The Salvage Boat training film also showed the boat hook. Not sure what's going on near the end of the boat hook, next to the white hook, perhaps it's unpainted metal?

Amphip-Landing-Ops-Salvage-Boat-boathook


I remade my boat hooks to better match the photo.I glued a small strip at an angle at the handle end. The strip was shaped with needle files and a nubbin was formed at the end by dipping the tip in medium thickness CA. 

lcm-boathook1.jpg

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@nspreitler, thanks!

 

I'm beginning to see light at the end of tunnel. Only bits left are the Mk 21-1 mounts (scratch atop the kit's pedestal mounts),  bilge pump (scratch), water barrel (scratch), vents (reshape?), and final assembly.

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I think I figured out the Mark 21-1 mount. I imported a bitmap image of a sectional view of the mount into Inkscape. I was able to trace the drawings to create a vector drawing of the parts I'd make from sheet. I then able to score some 0.01 Evergreen sheet in my Silhouette Portrait. I tried to cut the sheet, but the device isn't strong enough. With the scored sheet, I was able to cut out the parts. I used drills and some reamers to cut the holes.

Mark_21-2_mount.png

I also needed various sizes of Evergreen tubing, 0.06 angle, and some Albion tubing.

lcm-mk-21-mount1.jpg

 

lcm-mk-21-mount0.jpg

 

Now to make the other one.

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Woohoo! Both mounts are done!

lcm-mk-21-mount2.jpg

 

Here's my reference shot again. The boat number is white. As near as I can tell, the mounts are Haze Gray.

 d03423.jpg

 

I used some hex nuts & bolts. For most of them, I used the smallest examples with the bolt portion cut off, leaving just the hex nuts. I used the largest nut and bolt for the center column.

nuts-bolts.jpg

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The level of added detail is absolutely stunning🤩🤩🤩

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