Scratchbuilding a D-Day LCT Mk 4 
in 1:200 scale.

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Updated 3rd December 2005

Landing Craft Tank. Utterly functional, these inelegant ‘Kipperboxes’ took the Allied armies back to Europe to defeat the Nazi regime during World War 2. Amphibious craft have always fascinated me and the flat steel, welded construction makes this type of vessel an ideal first scratch built model. As with any such project, accurate information including plans, photos, video footage and historical data are needed. A good starting point is the ww2lct web site. I also found quite a few useful photographs elsewhere on the Internet. Google usually gives good search results but be prepared to try a variety of different appropriate words, and then spend some time viewing the most likely looking sites. Useful information can be hidden away from search engine tentacles sometimes! To see an amazing couple of kits for the LCT 4, have a look at Accurate Armour’s web site, where you will find details of their forthcoming 1:76 and 1:35 resin kits. Use the Search button at the bottom of their home page, and look for product codes S12 and S13.

The plans I am using came originally from Model and Allied Publications Ltd, but these are now available from Model Boats Magazine, online here. The plans are by P N Thomas, code MM1290. Other sources of plans are listed on the Links page.

I found a few relevant books and magazine articles while researching for this model, most books on D-Day have at least a couple of informative photos.This list includes some the more useful ones I used:

Allied Landing Craft of WW2

Naval Institute Press, Baker, ISBN 0-87021-064-5

D-Day Ships

Conway, Buffetaut, ISBN 0-85177-639-6

Battle Coast

Spur,  Hunter and Brown, ISBN 0-902875-24-8

Warships of World War 2 part 8

Ian Allen, Lenton and Colledge, (long out of print)

 

 

Some background to this model; having built several ‘solid’ models in 1:350 (see the picture above) and 1:285, I then used Rhinoceros 3D modelling software to develop a design for a paper/card model. This project has languished on my workbench for some time, until a recent discussion on the www.cardmodels.net forum suggested that an ink jet printer might work on polystyrene sheet, as well as the usual paper and card. A quick trial showed that it could; at least MY Epson C82 printer would work! Straight from the printer, the image took at least 12 hours to dry and even then it was very fragile. Dragging a steel rule over the surface would smear it, for example. However, a light spray of aerosol matt ink jet fixative sealed the image perfectly. A whole new method of designing sheet components for scratch building or conversions!

I must point out that this process is way beyond the ‘usual’ use of a desktop ink jet printer, so will no doubt invalidate any warranty on the printer if anything goes wrong. Try this process AT YOUR OWN RISK! I cannot accept any responsibility if you wreck your own printer.  Also, please DO NOT attempt this with any kind of laser printer. In such devices, the image is fused to the paper with a heated roller. Putting a melting material such as polystyrene sheet into such a printer WILL ruin the device, WILL make an extremely bad smell and probably catch fire. If in doubt, DON’T!

Click this button for the pages covering construction of the hull.

Click this button for the pages covering building the bridge.

Click this button for the pages covering the armament and other fittings.

Click this button for the LCT links page.