|Designed to transport and disembark troops, vehicles and supplies without
the use of dock facilities, the LST (Landing Ship Tank) was essential to the success of WW2 Allied
amphibious operations. Its unique design enabled this oceangoing vessel to disgorge its
cargo directly onto the beach. This was accomplished via a ballast system that gave the
LST sufficient draft to maintain stability while at sea. Pumping ballast from the tanks
converted the LST to a shallow draft vessel capable of landing its cargo on most gradually
sloped beaches. Indeed, the image of tanks and troops making their way down the LST's
landing ramp into the shallow surf is one that is inextricably connected to the great
amphibious assaults of World War II - Sicily, Italy, Normandy and the Pacific island
The 328' long LST was capable of carrying 2,100 tons of cargo. The
lower "tank" deck carried the heaviest vehicles - up to 20 Sherman tanks.
Lighter vehicles and cargo were carried on the upper deck. An elevator and in some later
LSTs a ramp was used to move cargo to and from the upper deck. Armament varied, but
in general these were lightly armed vessels, with seven 40mm and twelve 20mm guns being
typical. Maximum speed was 11.5 knots, with a cruising speed of 8.75 knots. 1,051 LSTs
were built in American shipyards during WW2, of which 113 were supplied to the British via
Lend Lease. 26 of them were lost in action and 13 succumbed to rough seas and accidents.
The Iron Shipwright LST is a one piece
full hull kit featuring an open tank deck. The upper deck - the tank deck's
"roof" - is a separate piece. This presents interesting modeling possibilities
for those of you wanting to display the LST's innards. The kit gives you a good start. It
includes some stunning 1:350 scale vehicles, including Jeeps and Sherman tanks. A full
complement of landing craft, which were suspended from large davits on the upper deck, is
also included. The upper deck and the aft deckhouse are highly detailed. They are crowded
with winches, cylindrical vents, gun tubs, lower deck access hatches et al. The completed
model should be very busy indeed. Just about everything an army needed was carried on
LSTs, so there is almost no limit to what you can stuff into or on top of this ship.
The kit includes etched brass and instructions, neither of which were available with
this pre-production example. Casting is very good. There were a few voids and some minor
breakage, but nothing out of the ordinary for a resin kit. And the fit of the upper deck
to the hull was perfect, no small achievement with a long thin and densely detailed flat
resin casting. Suggested retail price is $165.
For further information contact Iron
Shipwright and take a look at the resin parts in the photo gallery below.
Commanders Models, Inc.
Iron Shipwright Series
551 Wegman Road
Rochester, NY 14624
Phone: 1-888-IRONSHIP (1-888-476-6744)
Click thumbnail to view full size photo
Upper deck in place
Upper deck piece
Head on view
Aft deckhouse profile
Davits, guns & misc small parts
Landing craft and gun tubs