L’Arsenal 1/350 and 1/400 scale LCVPs
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Reviewed by Felix Bustelo
The LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) was the workhorse of the amphibious assault landings in both theatres of World War II.  The wooden 36-foot “Higgins Boats”, as they were nicknamed in honor of the firm that designed and produced the majority on then, is an icon of beachhead landings in such places as Normandy, Anzio, Gudalcanal, and Iwo Jima.  The harrowing opening sequences of “Saving Private Ryan” underscore the close action that these boats were engaged in.

Simple in design and easy to construct, Higgins Industries, Incorporated and other boatyards under license churned over 23.500 LCVPs, which is an incredible feat.  The 15,000-pound boats measured 36’3” in length, 10’10” wide and had a draft that tapered from 3’ aft to 2’2” forward.  The boats were manned by 3 crewmembers and carried a pair of .30-caliber machine guns.  These cramped boats could carry up to 36 men with gear, a 3-ton vehicle or 8,100 pounds of cargo.

L’Arsenal has added a set of 5 LCVPs in 1/350 or 1/400 scale to it’s growing line of multimedia accessories.  The actual set discussed here is the 1/350 scale version but the smaller scale sibling is identical.  Each LCVP is comprised of 2 resin parts and 7 photoetch parts.

The finely casted hull and bow beaching ramp are a sight to behold with the deck treads, support ribbing and ramp face faithfully recreated.  The ramps need to be removed for a small casting runner and a slight seam along the keel of the boats needs to be lightly sanded; otherwise the castings are flawless.  Having the ramps as separate parts gives one the option to model them down or up – perfect for dioramas.

The photoetch parts included the machine guns and shields, handwheel, the keel and rudder assembly and the propeller.  Some spare handwheels, propellers and machine gun barrels are provided just in case you lose one.  The quality of the etching is also excellent and will make each LCVP a very detailed model.

The instructions are printed on a single sheet and are illustrated with very clear diagrams and it even provides color suggestions for White Ensign Colourcoats, Heller/Humbrol and Tamiya paints.

I highly recommend these LCVPs to anyone wishing to add these to your model or if you want to build a diorama.  There are stunning representations of these valuable craft in both scales. 

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