Trumpeter 1/35 LCM(3)




$64.95 MSRP


 multiple options


Bill Michaels


Can be built as either US or British LCM


Over 8,000 LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) were built in American yards between 1942 and 1945.  LCMs were designed to transport a single tank or other vehicle from the attack transport directly to the beach under assault.  The LCM could be either carried on ship davits, or loaded on the decks of LSTs.  A key recognition feature of the LCM is the open grid construction in the upper part of the bow ramp.  The LCM was used by both the US and Britain in the D-Day landings.  The LCM(3)s were also used in large numbers in the Pacific Island campaigns and the crossing of the Rhine in Germany.   

The LCM was originally designed to carry the US Army’s standard 30 ton Medium tank- first the M3 Lee, and later the M4 Sherman.  The craft could carry 60,000 pounds of cargo, or 60 fully equipped troops.  The LCM(3) had a crew of  4 men, and carried two .50 caliber machine guns.  

With a length of only 50 feet, the LCM(3) did not have any accommodations for the crew.  The crew consisted of four men—a coxswain, and engineer, and two crewmen/gunners.  The boat was powered by twin diesel engines, driving twin props, and it also had two rudders. As a result, the boat was fairly maneuverable.

The LCM(3) was superceded by the LCM(6).  The LCM(6) was basically a “stretched” LCM(3), with an additional six feet added amidships.  There is a photo in the USNI book showing an LCM(3) that had gotten the extra six foot section spliced in the middle of the boat.  The LCM(3) was used in both Europe and the Pacific, while the LCM(6) was used by the Army in the Pacific.  The LCM(6) was also used postwar, until replaced by the LCM(8) in the late 1950s. (It does not look like it would be too hard for a scratchbuilder to convert the model into a LCM(6) if desired.)


The kit comes well packed in a sturdy box, with each sprue in its own bag.  The hull is well secured in a cardboard cradle.  Basically, it looks like Trumpeter used the smallest possible box, and then packed it full.  The end result is that everything is wedged in there, unable to move around.  The end result was that none of the parts were damaged or loose from being shipped.

The kit consists of six sprues, with a total of 161 parts.  Additionally, there are 22 parts on a thick photo-etch brass sheet.  Also included are pieces of wire, twine, and tubing.  A big decal sheet provides a number of letters and numbers to allow the builder to so a variety of boats.

 The moldings are of excellent quality.  There are minimal ejector pin marks, mostly in places that won’t be seen once the kit is assembled.   The large hull is molded in one piece, and includes some nice welding details.  The hull does have a smooth surface, though- it does not have the rippled hull that a used boat would have.  (During normal use, the plating will get dished in slightly, except where supported by framing.)  You may be able to simulate this with some careful shading effects when painting.

The bow ramp looks like it can be made moveable, if you’re careful with the glue when assembling it.   The large lift attachment points on the hull are made up from some of the nice brass pieces.   The aft deck and pilothouse area look to be well detailed.  The non-skid diamond tread on the deck is very nicely done. The access hatches and bolt head detail in the cargo area is very well done, too.

One of the best parts of the kit are the two .50 cal machine guns.  They start with finely molded parts, with separate firing handles, ammo feed cover, and cocking lever.  Added to that are nice brass shields and pedestals.  A nice little extra included in the kit is a pair of German-style beach obstacles for use in a Normandy diorama.

The instructions consist of a 10 page booklet.  Each assembly step is clearly illustrated.  The instructions clearly call out the differences between the US and British versions of the boat.  The back page includes a painting and marking guide with port, starboard, bow, stern, and plan views.  The drawing shows markings for one boat, a boat from the USS Crittenden at Okinawa.  There is no information on how the decal sheet could be used to make other boats.


There is a single decal sheet with a variety of letters and numbers.  Landing craft were generally marked with the hull number of the transport they were from.  At the Normandy landings,  a lot of boats were just towed across the channel, and carried letters identifying whether they were US or British, in addition to a number.  The boat in the instructions carries the markings P77-A.  A quick web search showed this was the hull number for the Attack Transport  USS Crittenden (APA-77).  The Crittenden entered service late in the war, and was used at Okinawa and the occupation of Japan. 



Highly recommended.  The detail level is excellent, and I’m sure it won’t be long before someone puts one on the back of a Dragon Wagon, in preparation for crossing the Rhine in 1/35 scale.  The only thing I could find that looks at all a little odd are the props—they don’t look like they have enough pitch. 

This kit really lives up to my expectations.  I’ve wanted a model of an LCM for years, to use a as a basis for a radio-controlled boat. In addition to making a great display model, this kit looks to be a nice candidate for RC conversion  as well.




Allied Landing Craft of World War II, Naval Institute Press, 1989. 

WWII US Landing Craft in Action,  by Al Adcock, Squadron/Signal Publications, 2003.

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