Loose Cannon review
Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The battles of the Pacific presented difficult challenges. The Island fortresses of the Japanese were well defended and it was necessary to be able to bring large amounts of fire power to bear to help defeat the defenders. Gun support from Battleships and other smaller ships was not enough. What was needed was a means to saturate an area with high explosives. To meet this need, various landing ships were converted to meet the task. One such conversion was the Landing Ship Medium (Rocket). Fitted with a 5" gun, plenty of anti aircraft guns and over 80 rockets mounted on rails occupying virtually every square inch of deck space, this little ship packed a tremendous punch. The rockets would land in a tight pattern, guided only by the ships heading. So a bit of seamanship was required to bring the rockets on target. These ships operated dangerously close to enemy guns but bravely defended the invasion forces and helped secure victory in the Pacific.
Displacement 758 t. (light) 983 t. (attack) 1,175 t. (fully loaded)
Length 203' 6" oa
Beam 34'
Draft  5' 4" (light) 5' 8" (attack) 7' 9" ( fully loaded)
Speed 13.2 kts. (max.)
Armament one single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mount
2 x 40 mm medium AA guns
3 x 20 mm light AA guns
85 x MK 51 automatic rocket launchers
Propulsion 2 x General Motors diesels driving 2 screws
Endurance 3,000 miles @ 12 kts
Complement 5 officers 76 enlisted
Loose Cannon Productions has been filling the gaps in the amphibious invasion fleets lately. This new LSM(R) will help protect those LCT's, and LCI's and other amphibious ships they are now producing. The hull and main parts are cast on a thin resin wafer. Casting is pretty good overall with a minimum of cleanup needed to prep the parts.  click images
to enlarge
Detail views
The conning tower is cast separate and will need a light sanding to clean up. I would recommend you drill out the port holes as well. The life rafts while nicely detailed. The main guns include a single 5" 38 cal enclosed mount with barrel cast on. The 20 mm guns are cast without the shield, and use a photo etch one that folds up to include the shoulder rests. 
There 40 mm single mounts (some extra's for the carpet monster). Many LSM(R)'s mounted a single 40 mm gun, while later ones used twin 40 mm gun mounts. 
A brass photo etch fret is included with all the rocket rails (there are a lot of them). Railings, 40 mm gun tub frame, and even some crew members fill out the fret. 
The instructions are 3 pages with some historical background and specifications. A plan and elevation view is included on one sheet with another view showing rocket rack placement. I would have preferred to see a little more detail, but his is adequate to get the job done.

This is a one of a kind kit that will make your beach head diorama stand out. The inclusion of the photo etch makes it a good value for the waterline modeler. This kit sells for $25.00 US and are available where ever Loose Cannon products are sold. Check the Loose Cannon page for details on these and other kits.

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