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I've always wanted one of these but can't shake the idea that the 1/72 version is a bit big, so here's Pit Road's boxing of Trumpeter's little LCAC:

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I got one (actually two!) for a bargain price in HLJ's sale at the end of last year. This seems like the ideal opportunity to make it, although I realised I have a couple of 1/144 Gundams lurking in the cupboard too. Maybe later...
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For a relatively small machine the box is quite full. The parts are laid out much like their ship kits - one piece deck, structures built up from separate walls, and lots of fine detail. I'm quite looking forward to the cutting and sticking, I'm not sure yet how much to leave separate for painting and decalling since there are quite a lot of markings to consider.

Does anyone know of any suitable vehicles I could load into it?

Will

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Look forward to seeing this, since I've got one waiting on "the pile." (It never occurred to me to do it for the GB. Maybe I'll attempt it after I get my Sea King wrapped up.)

Cheers

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Thanks chaps, it seems like a nice kit so far. Everything needs fettling to fit though - I needed to remove a bit from the lower hull so it'd fit inside the upper without bowing it. It still helped to let it set up suspended from the ends with a weight on it though :)

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Most of what I've done so far is aimed at building up the various boxes which go on the deck. They're all pretty square, but I'll need to fill and sand the joins to get them properly flush. I also built some winch machinery but it's not the picture - again, filler and filing required but in small quantities.
I think this will be entertaining to paint, the detail is sharp and the real ones get reasonably grubby :)
Will

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Howdy

I have one of the Trumpeter 1/72 scale one's and you're right, they are biiiiiiiiig.

One thing that puzzles me tho, is that the instructions reckon they are overall silver??

I want to do a whatiffy one in British Service, in camo, I reckon it would look cool.

As for vehicles...

Wouldnt N scale vehicles work?

Steve

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N scale vehicles are close - especially UK or Japanese N scale. Tomy do a load of nice 1:150 things but I don't think there are any military options.

Interesting you mention the silver thing - I've seen one picture where it really does look silver (see the right hand front cabin) - in others the vertical surfaces look like flat grey. The non-skid (?) dark grey is flat, and I'm pretty sure the prop housings are silver.

800px-USMC_LCAC_offloading.jpg

Image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC_LCAC_offloading.jpg - public domain.

Wil

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Yup, instructions say that the superstructure as a whole is silver ?

The 72nd scale kit is really quite nice, the only gripe being, and as far as I know with the rest of the LCAC's, is that you can only build one with the cushion inflated.

Would make a really cool diorama (like the piccie above), if somewhat big!

Anyone know if theres an AM cushion available?

Steve

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Pit Road did some of their boxings of the 1/144 one with inflated and deflated resin cushions. I haven't heard of anything for the 1/72 - it'd be quite a chunk of resin.

I have wondered, idly, about trying to melt the cushion but I don't know if the vinyl is one of those "nothing... still nothing... still nothing... *PHLOOMP* pile of goo" materials :)

W

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Pit Road did some of their boxings of the 1/144 one with inflated and deflated resin cushions. I haven't heard of anything for the 1/72 - it'd be quite a chunk of resin.

I have wondered, idly, about trying to melt the cushion but I don't know if the vinyl is one of those "nothing... still nothing... still nothing... *PHLOOMP* pile of goo" materials :)

W

Ha, yup me too have had such thoughts, however, if you look at piccies of the deflated cushion, its actually quite a complicated affair to get right.

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Whoops, I've rather dropped the ball on this one. I was concentrating on my bike GB build which I got finished, but then haven't done anything in the two weeks following - work has been mad, lots of late nights, correspondingly little hand-eye coordination available :(

I'll see if I can get the construction finished at the weekend at least.

[edit] Attached most of the deck fittings tonight - fiddly stuff! I also lost one bitt (see what I did there?) to the carpet monster. May yet find it tomorrow.

Will

Edited by Will Vale

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Well I reckon I managed more than 12 hours building time over Friday night, Saturday afternoon and evening. I'm knackered now!

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(click for bigger)

Not a great photo, but you can see it's mostly together. All the deck fittings are on apart from the missing bitt and the winch cages - I need to make one more of those and fit the PE mesh.

I've also built all the superstructure modules - I was amazed how fiddly the front two were - basically like building a ship kit, but maybe with more sticky-out bits. Trumpeter only give surface location marks for a lot of the poles and masts, but luckily the surface tension of Tamiya extra-thin is enough to grab them and hold them in place. The main difficulty is cleaning up all the parts - I won't claim to have addressed every seam on the small parts :)

I replaced the very heavy etched wipers with brass wire, which is probably still 2x over scale, but I think it's a reasonable compromise.

Tomorrow I need to sand down the fan housings (which had joints and pin holes to fill) and build up the fans, as well as finish the winch cages. Then I think it should be primer time so I can see what really needs to be tidied up before paint. Away next week so paint is going to be next weekend - I doubt I'll get it done on time even if I simplify the non-slip a bit, owing to the huge decal sheet, but I can have a go and see what happens.

I'm sort of tempted to try and glue the superstructure sections together (with the U-shaped cages you can see in the background) to give two complete runs, using the deck as a jig, but I'm not sure if this is wise. It would probably make for a neater job of final assembly, but risks not getting everything straight and level.

Thanks for looking,

Will

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Ah, that's better:

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(click for bigger)

Slightly less marathon session(s) today, cleaning up the putty from yesterday, adding more putty, fitting all the PE cages together and various other jobs. I opted to fit the U-shaped air intakes to the central superstructure modules (I think these are the lift fans and associated intakes/ducting?) and leave the engines and cabs (main + loadmaster's) separate. I fettled the deck a bit so they'd all clip into place, and then primed the deck and superstructure at the same time. Hopefully this will save some hassle when gluing the superstructure down later.

Stupidly I left the swivelling ducts off when I took the picture - they're puttied, sanded and primed but they need a bit more filling around the ends of the seams. Some other areas also need attention - the exhausts (I hate joints across ribbed surfaces) and the flat sides of the engine rooms where I removed the seam have some pitting.

The fan housings and fan components have come out quite well, a bit more work needed to clean them up, otherwise they'll do fine. I haven't done the loadmaster's turret thing yet, or the life rafts, but I think everything else is off the sprues and on the model. Did you know this kit has about 50% more parts than Trumpeter's 1/32 Lightning??

I don't know if I mentioned before, but there's a dinky little 8-part interior which I think will be visible through the windows:

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I checked and you can slide the glazing into place and then the interior, which will make painting much easier.

Quite pleased with how this is going, but that's all I can do for the next five days so it was good to make some progress this weekend.

BTW, I found some reference which suggests that the whole machine is natural aluminium apart from the antiskid surfaces and a couple of other details. This makes for a more complicated paint job since raw metallics will look silly on something this small. I think what I'll do is spray Alclad dull aluminium as a base, then mist/sponge over it with a similar-but-not-metallic grey to get the dull oxidised look. Basically I think it needs to look like the LCS-2 superstructure does?

Will

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Apparently the USS Independence is bare, or bare-looking aluminium. Aluminium has a reasonably unreactive oxide but I know they had a lot of troubles with corrosion so possibly they didn't get the chemistry right or had some kind of electrolytic side effect? No idea really.

The LCAC information was second hand internet stuff (from an IPMS review) but it does explain why they look proper shiny in some pictures. I've found quite a few references now I've started looking, but nothing really official.

Will

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This reminds me of my brother building a 1/144 Airfix hovercraft with a clear roof, SRN6 I think it was. Must be 40 years ago now...

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Thanks chaps, back from holidays now and I've had a good run at the LCAC today. After a round of superglue, sanding and primer this afternoon I spent the evening spraying and masking the various base colours. I also decided to spray the deck markings rather than use decals - or at least the main stripes, I think there are some yellow warning marks around the prop housings which I didn't notice until I was past the point I could really try and paint them, so they'll have to be decals.

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I opted to use Alclad Dull Aluminium for the basic metalwork, and the two Tamiya IJN greys for the non-skid and superstructure grey details. Masking the non-skid was a fiddle, I have new-found respect for Tamiya tape though since it did all that I asked of it and more, without pulling up paint :)

I've also faded/blotched the aluminium a bit with sky grey, and added more of a sheen on the inside (away from the salt water) with polished aluminium, but there's a lot more work needed. The particle size in the Alclad is a bit big, so it's rather sparkly at the moment in extreme close-up.

Need to do a load of brush painting of details next, as well as spray and mask the props and stators which have black leading edges. So I don't think I'll get it done in time - sorry! At least it was fun to have a late night painting effort, and I should be finished some time this week.

Will

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Spent some time painting details today - touching in the metal bits above the non-skid and dealing with all the non-grey stuff. Of which there's a bit, and it helps to bring the thing to life somewhat.

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I also painted the props (Games Workshop's Vomit Brown is a pretty good match for the orangey-yellow) and Kleared the skirt in preparation for decals. I did a quick test fit and stopped because I could see what looked like stress cracks in the Klear (crazing/pale areas) around the tabs. I may need to leave the decals until the skirt is in-situ so I don't get that happening over them. I suspect the crazed bits can be touched in with more Klear though.

Oh, and I fixed the overly-dark paint on the superstructure - the colour I'd used to fade down the aluminium wasn't at fault, I think there must just've been a bit of black left in the airbrush when I changed colours - using a clean brush this time and it looks fine :)

I need to Klear bits of the superstructure, the ramps etc. in preparation for more decals.

(I know this is past the deadline, I hope no-one minds me carrying on building the thing as a non-entrant?)

Will

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Painted more details, broken and re-fixed a couple of handrails, and after three sessions the decals are on the hull and superstructure. To my delight, they were really good - thin and easy to work with, and there were duplicates of nearly everything, which of course meant I didn't need them :) Unlike my usual decal hijinks...

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I did break one of the red prop guard flashes but it went together again nicely. Most of the decals needed a couple of applications of Microsol to settle down really well.

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I sealed everything with Tamiya's matt varnish which was a really good experience - very matt, very easy to spray. Then I realised that at glancing angles I could see a tiny bit of silvering (I thought it was just different sheens before I applied the varnish) so I've been going around stabbing the bubbles and adding more Microsol - seems to be working and most of them are now up to par.

I also spent a while masking up the props, stators and rudders so I could spray the black leading edges. I was really careful about it and still managed to do the props the wrong way round - they fit into the housings backwards so my leading edges are trailing...

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I could live with it, strip and redo, or cut off the hub and move it to the other end :) I suspect I might end up living with it since it was a fiddle and they're not *that* visible through the guards as they're trapped between the mesh and the stator. I'm sure I've made worse mistakes on this build already.

Various touch-ups with a brush needed - I've been painting the intake meshes in black to get them to recede a bit (they look like cheap football nets in real life, not the chunky mesh Trumpeter/Pit Road supply) and there are various blots of black on the silver surrounds now.

Cheers,

Will

PS: Should I ask to get this thread moved into e.g. maritime now?

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That's fantastic Will and I too am looking forward to seeing it completed.

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Thanks chaps, I've had to delay putting all the bits together since I really need to get it on the base so I can finish the skirt in-situ. To which end I've been making the base - another slab of pre-finished MDF from the art shop, sealed with dilute PVA and sanded back. Then two coats of Chaos Black on the edges (and more sanding!)

After that I masked the edges up and painted the top surface with tube acrylics based vaguely on some pictures I'd seen:

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It's possibly a bit too bright and cheerful, but it's a start. I'll probably do some airbrush work to get the wake to look a little flatter once I get a bit further. For reference, this was painted with chrome oxide green and pthalo blue tweaked and desaturated with white + payne's grey using a cheap half-inch brush.

The idea is to copy Smudge's method and put a sheet of textured acrylic over the top. I already have various acrylic media for model railway water so that's sorted. I was a bit worried about cutting the perspex sheet to size but it turns out that you can scribe it with a Tamiya scriber/Olfa cutter a few times and then snap for a perfect break :)

So here are my waves:

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Don't read too much into the second shot, the gel dries clear! I think I'll need to go over the whole thing with gloss medium to soften the brushmarks a little after this lot is dry.

The LCAC has an odd wake - it doesn't really do anything to the waves and the wake ripples don't appear until at least a craft-length behind, but there's lots of foam on the surface and a load of airborne spray too. It should be interesting to try and reproduce that :D

Will

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That's looking very good Will, what Acrylic gel did you use?...I can imagine you are going to have fun with the spray as those things seem to be covered in it when on the move...........Smudge

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Love it!

I've been interested in the 1/72rd version of this but just don't have the room.

1/144th is the way to go for this plus Pit Road models are so lovely, just built the TSR.2 for this build.

really great job. :goodjob:

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I got distracted building a robot while I waited for the water to dry, but it didn't... I think the gel has skinned over and sealed itself against the acrylic, and stabbing holes in it hasn't helped much. Plan B is to go over everything with a tinted coat of something thinner - e.g. glazing medium, and then build some more wave height on that. Will give it a go soon I hope!

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