British WWII landing craft

11 Jun
British WWII landing craft

In the run up to last weeks planned D-Day game (no new date set yet) I went and did some weathering on the landing craft. I have had these models since 2007, but the one thing that had always bothered me about them was that they looked too clean. So I went and did some weathering on them. Mostly rust-water stains. Anyone who has ever been on a metal ship or boat that is spending its days on the salt water seas will know that rust stains are almost inevitable. Obviously this will be less so on the big ships where constant maintenance is performed (like cuiseships or warships) and more so on those vessels where the crew is either unwilling or does not have the time to do constant maintenance. Since the landing craft for the D-Day invasion were in a lot of training use and had to undergo some rough handling as well (for larger transits or the channel crossing they were winched up the sides of warships) I decided to let them fall into the later category.

LCA 888

LCA 888

The LCA [Landing Craft Assault] was th most common landing craft used by the Commonwealth forces in WWII, filling the role for which the American mostly used the LCVP. It featured a hardboard hull, but was armoured against rifle bullets and shell splinters. It featured a 4 men crew and could carry up to 31 troops. Due to its armour, shallow draft and silenced engines it also became the landing craft of choice for the special forces… like the US Rangers who used four of them to land below the cliffs of Point du Hoc on D-Day.

LCAs 861, 722 & 862

LCAs 861, 722 & 862

Models are resin models from Grand Manner. I wanted them to carry the actual markings of the craft used by the Rangers (LCAs # 722, 861, 862 & 888), so I had the decals custom-made by Dom at Doms Decals.

LCA 862 (unloading)

LCA 862 (unloading)

The camo of a landing craft was actually dictated by the camo scheme used on the craft they would be attached to during the channel crossing. I could not find any info on these craft here or their “carrier” so I opted for a simple dark blue over grey camo.

LCA 862 (top view)

LCA 862 (top view)

Although none were used at Point du hoc, I also have a LCM. So while I was weathering away, I gave it a makeover as well.

LCM (front view)

LCM (front view)

LCM (rear view)

This is a LCM (rear view)

This is a LCM (3) [Landing Craft Mechanized] 1:48th scale model by Hobby Boss. It is not  waterline model so I had to cut the lower hull away and replace it with plasti-card, which turned out easier than I had thought. I build it to represent the Commonwealth version (although it is used by American troops on these photos), which differs from the US version in the placement of some minor items and lacks the machine guns on the rear deck. In real life these could carry a single 30-ton tank (e.g., a Sherman), 60 troops, or 60,000 lb (27,000 kg) of cargo.

LCM unloading

LCM unloading

LCM unloading (top view)

LCM unloading (top view)


Posted by on June 11, 2012 in American, Vehicles, WWII, WWII: British


16 responses to “British WWII landing craft

  1. The Angry Lurker

    June 11, 2012 at 12:29

    I have a strange love for landing craft, they look excellent!

  2. Monty

    June 11, 2012 at 13:49

    These crafts look really great.


  3. Allan

    June 11, 2012 at 14:10

    Stunning work!

    I had to follow the post from Warlord Games Forums to take a closer look at your blog and am glad I did.

    How do you plan to use them for gaming? Do you have a rules set and scenario in mind?

    Happy Gaming,


    • Burkhard

      June 11, 2012 at 16:33

      Thanks Allan! Glad you found the blog and hope you will comtinue doing so.

      Regarding using them in games: We have used them when we played the Point du Hoc game at Crisis in 2007, but back then they were rather just a terrain backdrop. During the original landing they took no effective fire, so we started with them already on the beach and troops just moving out.

      When we do play other D-Day beaches we will just assign them structural, armour and speed values and use them like other vehicles. That should work out well. We use the “The face of battle” rules for over a decade now and have done some playtesting on both the first and up-coming second edition, so I have good knowledge on how values for vehicles are calculated.

  4. Paul

    June 11, 2012 at 14:45

    They are amazing. Great work.

  5. Burkhard

    June 11, 2012 at 16:35

    THX everyone!

  6. Curt

    June 11, 2012 at 23:34

    Great work! I think they really benefit from the weathering that you did. Nice figures as well!

  7. Curt

    June 11, 2012 at 23:36

    Back again: The water looks brilliant as well. How did you achieve the effect?

    • Burkhard

      June 12, 2012 at 06:42

      THX Curt!

      The water effect was quiete simple. I used a MDF board as base and applied some acrylic paste from the DIY store (here in Germany you find it in the bath department right besides the silicone in similar tubes). While still wet, I padded the paste with the flat of my hand (wear plastic gloves) to get a slight ripple effect. When dry I painted it dark blue, washed it with a medium green and drybrushed some of the “whitecaps” white. Once done two coats of high gloss varnish from the DIY store and you are done. This way you can get a square metre done for under 10 Euro.

      • Curt

        June 12, 2012 at 19:21

        Fabulous, thanks! The painted surface of the water really gives the impression of depth and ‘joins’ nicely with the beach. Impressive.

  8. Ray

    June 12, 2012 at 00:19

    Totally agree with Curt, the subtle weathering looks excellent!

  9. grantdyck

    November 17, 2013 at 22:09

    Love that LCA! I will definitely be getting some of those – Juno Beach!

  10. Burkhard

    November 18, 2013 at 00:40

    Thank you, glad you like them!

  11. William

    June 15, 2014 at 04:04

    Nice work! Doing my own research, I was able to find a color photo of five LCAs loaded with US troops. The hull numbers were obscured, but they were painted the same blue-gray overall as other USN landing craft, but had RN crews. I assume that these either were the Ranger’s boats or were identical.

  12. Burkhard

    June 15, 2014 at 11:45

    Thank you William, good to hear that this would fit my assumptions! If the photos showed US troops aboard the LCAs, it must have been Rangers (although it could have been those headed for Omaha as well, for those were the only US troops to use LCAs during the invasion.


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