Dragon 1/72 LCM (3) + M4A1

KIT: Dragon 1/72 LCM (3) + M4A1
KIT #: 7360
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken

Two pieces of US equipment that are indelibly linked to the Normandy Invasion are the Sherman Tank and the LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized). The Sherman saga has been told numerous times in this web site and others, so I'll forego that intro.

The LCM was part of a family of ships that were able to transport troops or equipment from larger LSTs to the beach.

There were two designs:

Capable of carrying 120,000 lb of cargo.

The builder responsible for the LCVP. In appearance very similar to the LCVP with a 10 foot wide load area at the front and a small armoured (1/4 inch steel) wheelhouse on the aft decking over the engine room. Capable of carrying a single 30-ton tank (e.g., an M4 Sherman), 60 troops, or 60,000 lb of cargo.


This set is a combination of two kits. One is the LCM, which includes the clear plastic 'beach' diorama base, soldiers molded in soft, flexible plastic, and various beach obstacles. The other is the standard, cast hull M4A1 Sherman, a kit that has been the inspiration of a multiplicity of boxings by Dragon and others.

Those of us who have built the Dragon Sherman know that not only is it quite detailed, but also requires careful construction to get the best results from it. This kit requires a small amount of trimming and has the addition of the deep wading kit, something that will add some interest to building this version. This kit is much of what is on the etched brass fret, for the large air intakes/exhaust that jut up from the aft portion of the tank are made of etched brass.

The other major portion of this kit is the LCM. Though it is a relatively large item, its construction isn't as complex as that of the Sherman, taking up but four of the 15 construction steps in the instructions. Part of this set includes a three member LCM crew and six Army figures in various poses. These figures are made of a very flexible plastic that feels somewhat like the same material that the Sherman's tracks are made from. This should make it easy to paint and cement them in place.

All of this fits onto a clear plastic diorama base that you can paint and use to place not only the figures and LCM, but also a selection of beach obstacles.

Instructions are very nicely done with Gunze and Model Master paint references. Sections of the instructions are in color to assist painting, a feature I found to be nicely done. Markings are provided for two LCM's; one for Normandy and one for Iwo Jima. No markings are offered for the tank, so you have the freedom to choose from aftermarket for this purpose.  


Overall, this is an excellent set, especially if you do not already have the LCM or wading Sherman kit. It will be interesting to see what other sets Dragon can develop.

June 2008

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