The Landing Craft, Tank (LCT) design was initially developed by the Royal Navy and its genesis was the MLC1, a motor landing craft built in 1926. Years later, Prime
Minister Winston Churchill urged the War Department in 1940 to build ships capable of carrying tanks to beachheads, thus the LCT was created. The first four
versions, Marks 1 through 4, were strictly British designs, with each one an improvement on the previous design.

The Landing Craft, Tank (Mark 5) or LCT(5), was an American design with the first of 470 units launched in 1942. The LCT(5) measured 117 feet 6 inches long
overall and had a beam of 32 feet. It’s draft when loaded was 2 feet 10 inches forward and 4 feet 2 inches aft. The LCT(5) was constructed in three watertight sections
which allowed it to be transported dismantled on larger ships. An LST could carry five sections or one fully assembled LCT and an LSD was capable of carrying three
assembled LCTs in its hold. The LCT(5) had the capacity to carry no more than 160 tons, or four 40-ton tanks, though the design maximum was 150 tons. The LCT(5)
was armed with a pair of 20mm Oerlikons fitted aft on either side of the pilothouse. In addition to the United States Navy, the Royal Navy also utilized the LCT(5).

Black Cat Models latest ship kit is a 1:350 scale model of an LCT(5). The kit is comprised of resin and 3D printed parts, photo-etch, a turned brass part and a decal
sheet. This kit also provides parts to assembly the passengers for the LCT(5), a pair of Sherman M4 tanks and four M7 Priest Howitzer motor carriages. The masters
for the resin parts were 3D printed.
The main part is the one-piece resin hull, which is nicely detailed and well done. The bulwarks on the sides of the well deck are very thin and just about translucent,
which is a testament on how well the casting is for this part. The hull has quite a bit of detail cast into, such as watertight doors, hatches, rubbing strakes, vent piping,
life rings among other items. The anchor guard on the stern have resin film that should be removed to open it up. This was a result of the initial design and 3D printing
capabilities at that time. Subsequently, a 3D printed replacement was produced and is provided with the kit; so, it would be easier just to remove the cast on part and use
the finer alternate instead. This 3D printed guard was added after the kit instructions were printed, so it is not referenced. The deck have some slots to fit the smaller
parts into them. The hull bottom has two bits of casting plugs that need to be removed and sanded smooth. The propeller shafts and skegs aft also have casting film that
will need to be removed to open them up.

The wheel house and landing ramp are the other two resin parts for the LCT. These parts are also nicely done and cleanly cast. The parts also have a good level of
detail, with the wheel house having a watertight door, narrow windows, a lift raft and vent. These parts come on a casting runner with thin attachment points.
The smaller ship parts are all 3D printed with incredible detail and delicacy. The 3D parts come on flat beds with raised ends to protect the parts. All of the parts have
very thin attachment points for easy removal from the beds. The 3D parts include mooring bitts, chocks, a bollard, different styles of vents, anchor, anchor winch,
larger motorized winch, propellers and rudders. You also get two pairs of exquisite 20mm Oerlikon guns with one pair having a solid pedestal and the other a tripod
stand. You will have to do some research to see which kind was fitted to the particular craft you are building. As mentioned above, a pair of replacement anchor guards
are also provided on a smaller bed. Having two is good as they appear very delicate and a backup may be needed, especially for me!

An LCT needs something to transport and you get parts for a pair of Sherman M4 tanks and four M7 Priests. The parts for the armored vehicles are also a combination
of 3D printed and cast resin parts. The vehicles bodies and road wheel/tracks are the resin parts. The latter are one piece and come in left and right-side configurations.
Each side of the bodies have two round holes that correspond to the pegs on the inner side of the wheel/track parts. The casting of the bodies is fairly clean with some
resin film between the part and the casting runners. The turrets for the Shermans and the 105mm Howitzer and 0.5-inch machine gun and tub ring are 3D printed.
The small photo-etch fret provides premeasured railings, ladders, platforms and other parts. Not all of the parts are to be used with the LCT(5) kit, specifically part
number 7 and the handwheels. The photo-etch looks to be well done with the railings having cutouts along the bottoms to accommodate deck features. The sole turned
brass part, produced by Master Models, is the flag staff. The decal sheet has white “US” lettering and numbers for the hulls and stars in two sizes for the armored
vehicles. No flags are provided, so they will need to be obtained from another source.

The eight-page assembly guide is nicely done with excellent illustrations showing how the various parts go together. The cover page has a very brief history of the LCT
(5) in both English and French. Pages 2 and 3 breakdown the resin, 3D printed, photo-etch, turned brass parts with each type numbered and color coded to facilitate
identification in the assembly diagrams. The assembly diagrams for the LCT run from the bottom of page 3 to top of page 5, with the bottom of page 5 covering the
Shermans and M7 Priests. Page 5 and 6 have the painting and decal placement guides for the LCT(5) with color references for the MS 21 scheme worn at D-Day. If
you wish to paint the LCT(5) in another scheme, like the green camouflage applied for those operating in the Pacific Theatre of Operations, you will need to conduct
some research. Page 8 covers the painting and decal placement for the armored vehicles. Although no specific color reference is provided, it is fairly obvious from the
illustration that it is Olive Drab.
The Black Cat Models LCT(5) kit is a very detailed and fairly easy model to build model. Although it is technically a full-hull model, with its shallow draft it would not
be too difficult to display it in a waterline setting. This model just screams to be placed in a diorama or vignette but it will look good however you wish to display it.
This is fine little kit of an important craft used during World War II and it is highly recommended. My thanks to
Ben Druel for providing the sample kit.
Felix Bustelo
New York