The Landing Craft (LCVP) Project

Posted by: Tom1 in Member Blogs

Charlie Bury has one of the most amazing Action Figure sites I know, he makes super realistic models of military scenes, here the one I like most (more on his site here).

Since almost everybody has seen Saving Private Ryan, we all know what a Landing Craft Vehicle Personel Boat is, better known as a Higgins Boat. These little devils helped win WW2. They are most famous for the Normandy Invasion (DDAY). Charlie thought it would be challenging to build a Joe Size Higgins LCVP, Landing Craft.‚   These photos will show how he constructed his Higgins Boat. 

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Construction material used: Balsa Wood and Foam Board

Specifications for the Higgins 36-Foot LCAS

Displacement:‚   15,000lbs
Length:‚   36-Feet, 3-Inches
Beam:‚   10-Feet, 10 Inches
Speed:‚   12 Knots
Armament:‚   Two 30 Cal Machine Guns
Crew:‚   Three-Coxswain, Engineer and Crewman (Ladder to man guns)
Capacity:‚   36 Troops with gear or 6,000lb vehicle, or 8,100lbs cargo
Power Plant:‚   Gray 225-HP Diesel Engine

Here a restored Higgins Boat at the Washington, DC Navy Yard.

The body of the craft was cut from foam board and glued together with elmers glue. The edges were reinforced with balsa wood strips. He used streight pins for rivets and nails. Over 1000 pins were used in the boat.

This shot shows the Gun Rings, two 30 Cal machine guns will be mounted here. He used wooden coffee stirrers to line the rings. Notice the rivets/nails.

Wooden strips added to hull along with wooden edges at the top.

This photo shows the huge size of the boat (and Charlies as well as his dog Patton in the background).

Lots of detailed woodwork was added to the inside of the craft.

The fun part was painting the craft.

This image shows both the front and rear of the Boat.

Tail end of a authentic Higgins Boat. Notice pump opening.

He used a sewing thread spindle for the front pully. Black/silver craft cord was used for the chain. He attached the cord through a metal eye hook then attached another eyehook to the ramp. The door rolls down very easy and then can be rolled back up.

This angle shows the ramp being lowered.

Close-up of the gunners section.

Updated side shot, added a little weathering and gear.

Detailed shot of woodwork on the inside and floor.

After getting information from several WW2 experts that the lettering "LCA" was not correct for a US Higgins boat, he corrected the mistake.

Here at night on the day!‚   AFter that Charly added 10 more troops for the prescribed troop load of 31...

Here a German 88 makes a direct hit on another LCM.

Here my favour ite photo: Troops peer through the open hatch on the LCVP Ramp as they approach the beach.

The landing craft Boat Team Leader (Officer) holds up two fingers meaning "Two Minutes" to landing.

This NCO is the Assistant Boat Team Leader who was positioned on the left rear of the landing craft.

This NCO is the Assistant Boat Team Leader who was positioned on the left rear of the landing craft.

Standing room only in the LCVP. Notice the weapons are all wrapped in waterproof bags made of a material called pliofilm to help keep them dry and clean until troops are able to land.

The Navy Coxwain operated the LCVP. It was up to him to guide the boat to the correct landing area and navigate through the beach obstacles and mines. The Navy crews had blue helmets with gray bands painted on them for easy recognition.

This shot shows the Navy Gunners and Coxwain's position. The LCVP had a Navy crew of three. The Coxwain, and two gunners who operated 30 cal machineguns. Notice the two buckets marked US NAVY, these were used to help bail out water when the LCVP pumps became overworked.

It's very clear how cramped a fully loaded LCVP was. Just imagine being packed-in like this, loaded with gear bouncing around like a cork with all your buddies seasick.

PA30-12, this is the designation on this LCVP which translates to: PA30 (From mothership APA30, USS Thomas Jefferson), #12, meaning landing craft 12. The square block you see in the picture is a pole charge.

The pole charge is a 12lb pack charge fixed to the end of a 8ft pole. The head of the charge swivled to allow it to be placed flush against a verticle surface. It's also designed to be placed into a pillbox opening. There are two igniters at the base of the pole, leading to a short fuse. The blasting caps were near the bottom of th epole and two lines of primacord ran to the main explosive.

Notice pole charge with long handle (Bottom Left) Pole also has floatation belt tied to it.

Troops prepare to run down the ramp.

This is the finished LCVP!‚   Charly placed it in a glass display case to help protect it from dust.‚   I envy him for it!

Tags: Kits

sibaz
sibaz on November 28, 2011

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42CdoRM
42CdoRM on November 12, 2008

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I did not know what an LCVP was. However in one of the pics I saw the markings LCA. This I did recognise. It stands for Landing Craft Assault. However the craft marked LCA did not look like the LCAs I knew.The markings on these LCAs samples beiong A3 and A5. The 'A' stood for the parent ship, in my case LST (Landing ship tank) HMS Anzio. LCTs (Landing craft tank) were smaller than LSTs. LVTs (Landing vehicle tracked) were roughly the same size as LCAs. I would quite like plans of an LCA, so that I could build a 1/32 scale model.
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