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LCM-3 Conversion to Navy Dive Boat

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
LCM-3 Conversion to Navy Dive Boat
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, January 10, 2021 2:23 PM

I am looking at a kit bash based on the LCM-3; simply because LCM-6's are not available. I realize that I could convert the 3-boat into an LCM-6 mod 0, and still am considering that.

Anyway, I'm curious if anyone out there has assembled the Trumpeter or Revell of Germany 1/35 kits, or the Hobby Boss 1/48 kit, and what was your opinion of it as far as fit, ease of assembly, etc.

The plan is to only use the modified hull and aft deck, for the most part. The well will be covered by a cabin, and most of the detail parts will not be used.

Thoughts please.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, January 10, 2021 3:28 PM

Looka here! Is it another brown water navy build? I'm dreamin' about doing that in 1/72 - but that's all for now - only dreaming. I've got Trumpeter's LCM-3 in 1/72 and the way I see it I would need another one, then saw them both in two and joining - that way I wouln't have to build the "lengthening plug" by myself, just to save time when building.

Can't relly help you in the scales you mentioned, but I sure would love to see you building that!

Good luck and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, January 10, 2021 4:28 PM

Pawel, to convert the 1/72 LCM-3 to a LCM-6 Mod 0, for a Program 4 Tango, Monitor, Etc., you only need to lengthen by 1 inch.

The project I'm looking at is a semi-modern (my period of service) U.S. Navy Dive Boat. We had them converted from both old LCM-3's and LCM-6's. Until the "Standard Navy Dive Boat" came out, (around 1988), Dive units just built their own in accordance with their needs. That's my plan.

I'd prefer to start with the LCM-6 Mod 1 or 2, but they just aren't available.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, January 10, 2021 5:24 PM

If you are splicing hulls, I'd be happy to offer tips. I love doing it and there's usually a few things to consider.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    April 2005
Posted by ddp59 on Sunday, January 10, 2021 6:10 PM

i've cut model ships in half to both shorten & lengthen them. doing that in my Arizona OBB kitbash thread for the Wyoming, New York & Nevada classes.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, January 10, 2021 6:26 PM

I'm sticking with the 3-boat this first time around, but Pawel might be interested. Lengthening the 3-boat probably wouldn't be too hard, but I would not be surprised to find that there are some tricks to getting it right, and square. I will keep the offer in mind.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 11:06 AM

In 1/72, it's likely down to how the kit hull is constructed. 

Juggling a cut plug (two seams) might be easier at the smaller scale.  Depending oun how a cut plug cam out of the donor, naturally.

The cut wants to be just forward of the aft end of the well, with appreciation of just wher a person will be comfortable with putty and sanding.

In larger scales, I'm pretty sure I'd do it as a single cut on two kits.  Strike a line on both kits about four scale feet from the aft well bulkhead on both.  This line ought be adjust ed to presecerve deck & other moulded details.  Cut the after portion three feet forward of the line; cut the donor three feet aft.  Then join the two.

The remaining halves could be made up as one of the many iterations of dive/work boat, or ramped lighter, seen about the maritime world.  Such craft have the helm position removed to be replaced with a cabin (or a shanty house) structure.

Toughest part is with modeling how crudely such craft are built, what with obvious weld seams, rickety wood cabins and the like.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 11:32 AM

I've ordered the Trumpeter, 1/35 3-boat and am going to build her out from that, based on the configurations of the dive boats I've worked on.

The Standard Navy Dive Boat was based on a 50' workboat hull, whereas most previous 'homebuilts' started with an 56' LCM-6 Mod 1 or 2. The Mod 3 (slab sided) had potentially lots of deck space for diving, but is a giant brick for maneuvering in a tight harbor.

While I was in, there were still a few converted LCM-3's around; I know USS Jason's dive boat was one, because I designed the air control console they used. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9:58 PM

I built the Trumpeter 1/35 kit when it first came out in 2006 or so. The Trumpeter kit and the Italeri kit appeared at nearly the same time, so I remember reading a lot about both of them. IIRC, the Italeri kit was more costly, but the Trumpeter kit had a hull that was too deep.  I picked the Trumpeter kit because I was converting it to RC, and the bit of extra depth was needed, as it allowed me to fit a NiMh AAcell battery pack amidships under the deck.

LCM-3

Photo is from 2007, with a metal motorized Sherman as cargo. (I later gave up on the idea of trying to animate the ramp. ).   A Sherman is not really an appropriate load for a -3.  I still have the model, and it still runs well.  Its current load is a Dodge 3/4 ton Weapons Carrier, but I am currently building one of the new Tamiya Stuarts to replace it....

Webmaster, Marine Modelers Club of New England

www.marinemodelers.org

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 11:22 AM

RC, how much "too deep" do you figure the hull is? I haven't found any drawings that give me the actual dimensions, but it does look deeper than my Program 4 Tango hull, and then should be the same.

If it's close to a foot (hopefully just over), by scale, it could simplify my build considerably.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 2:46 PM

HooYah;

    You should be able to get plans for a 6 boat from One of the wood Boat Model companies. other than that, It's up in the air. My real boats were 6s but they were modified for oil spill duties. They had the tapered hulls and only one had the Square Screw Tunnels.The other two were Round Tunnel boats.

Plus the bows had been closed up and cut down to accomodate a foredeck. We also had a welded steel grate walkway over what had been the Well-Deck and Oil Recovery tank.

     

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 3:54 PM

I've got 6-boat drawings (remember the 1/12 scale scratchbuild 'Tango'), I can refer to those when the model kit arrives, but until then .  .  . (que up the elevator music).

In the mean time, I'm investigating sources of suitable 1/35 scale components that I will need for this build. Unfortunately, some of the things I was hoping for are not materializing. Most of the boat stuff out there in 1/35 is for WW2 PT boats; I'm needing things slightly more modern, i.e. battle lanterns, flush deck hatches, and ship / boat fittings.

Shapeways has some usable stuff, but going through their 'pages' is time consuming and frustrating due to the excessive duplication.

Okay; I pulled out the drawings and the transom on the LCM-6 Mod 0, which should be the same as the LCM-3, is 4 foot, 3 inches high. Converting that to 1/35 scale equals 1.457 inches. If the Trumpeter hull's transom is taller than 1.457", all good; I can build her as converted from a shortened 6-boat or 50' work boat.

Oh, and TB, the wood boat companies don't really carry those drawings. Despite the multitudinous options of builds that can be done from the LCM-6, nobody carries a wood kit of one. I don't understand why, and I've been pushing Dumas to try it out, but it's a slow process.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Derry, New Hampshire, USA
Posted by rcboater on Thursday, January 14, 2021 8:11 PM

HooYah Deep Sea

RC, how much "too deep" do you figure the hull is? I haven't found any drawings that give me the actual dimensions, but it does look deeper than my Program 4 Tango hull, and then should be the same.

If it's close to a foot (hopefully just over), by scale, it could simplify my build considerably.

The difference is 11mm, which is quite a lot. (About 15 scale inches, if my math is right.)     It was easy to find the old review- I just googled "Trumpeter 1/35 LCM-3 review", and it was the first hit.   Here's the link:

https://www.perthmilitarymodelling.com/reviews/vehicles/misc/lcm3/lcm3.htm

 

Webmaster, Marine Modelers Club of New England

www.marinemodelers.org

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Thursday, January 14, 2021 8:48 PM

RC, "You da man!! Thank you so much, that info is awesome. With those dimensions, and since I'm not using the upper well walls or the bow ramp, the trumpeter could actually be built as a 'short 6'. Very cool!

Anyway, this is a basic concept drawing of my intentions. It is based on the boat I ran in Hawaii. I have not decided how much interior detail I'll do as far as the main cabin area goes, but the cox'n flat area should look pretty realistic when done.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, January 16, 2021 11:36 AM

After a bit more concept work .  .  .  I will have to wait for the kit to decide on how the cox'n flat will get set up. It's a deck height issue; ensuring thatthere is enough overhead for engine maintenance, et al.

Also in this drawing you will note the deck extension. This adds about two feet to the beam and much better footing moving around the dive deck and along the sides. The dive deck will be covered by an awning when we are done.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Thursday, January 21, 2021 1:23 PM

January 21st.

The LCM-3 kit arrived today, and with the scale rulers arriving yesterday, I can get right to work measuring and calculating the corrected scale for this build. I am comparing the kit hull dimensions to the body plan of an LCM-6 Mod 0. The ‘6 mod 0 is basically a ‘3 boat lengthened by 6 feet. The transom on the Trumpeter kit should be 4 feet, 3 inches, but it measures out as 5.5 scale feet. If I measure from the transom keel line to the top of the engine house on the LCM-6 Mod 0 drawing, it comes out to 5.5 feet which is exactly what the LCM-6 Mod 1 transom should be. Therefore, I can build this conversion out like it was from a 50’ workboat or short 6-boat, rather than an LCM-3. How fortuitous! Now I am really glad I ordered this kit vice the other 1/35's available. For anyone out there contemplating an LCM-6 build, this is the kit to start with. Now if you want an LCM-3 in particular, go with one of the others
 
Since this is a kit bash, it is appropriate to start by chopping something off. In this case, since the raised engine compartment is not needed, I removed it.
 
 
 
Also, with the craft change and associated deck height change, the engine exhaust and bilge pump overboards are in the wrong places. I went to relocate them then realized not only did they need to move, but there were too many, so I closed up the holes and will place them as needed later. There's OOPs #1, out of the way!

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, January 22, 2021 8:34 PM

Continuing with the main deck, I changed out the little lazarette hatch for a larger, flush deck one. Trip hazard eliminated on the dive deck and now you can actually get in there (if it were real, but that's the whole idea, right?). Then I put in some support for the forward end of the diving deck. Trying to locate some O scale diamond plate for there.

  

Forward of that I will start with the framing and support of the pilot house structure.

My next question, since I don't do 1/35 much, is what to use for 'non-skid' grit for this scale?

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, January 22, 2021 8:46 PM

How about some 400 to 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper, or maybe 320.  Bonus, it's black and ready to weather.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, January 23, 2021 4:09 PM

I was thinking about a 'treatment' I could put over the open deck sections; the dive deck, the side walkways, cabin top, and bow. The flat deck inside the pilot house will be covered by blue Lonmat.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Saturday, January 23, 2021 5:17 PM

If those areas are in styrene, the common treatment for cast texture, like tank turret, would be to wet the area with Tamiya thin glue, let soften, and stiple with a stiff brush.  Might be a little coarse for your needs though.

Worth a sample run.  Other than that......

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, January 24, 2021 10:16 AM

Thanks GH, I'll check that out.

I assembled the well and installed the main engine exhaust pipes, then dry fitted the assembly to see where I will need to chop off the upper well walls. I will probably do those cuts after the well assembly is glued in, since the cut will be right at deck level, so before that happens I have to make sure there is nothing left to do inside the hull.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, January 24, 2021 7:32 PM

HooYah Deep Sea
I was thinking about a 'treatment' I could put over the open deck sections

You might want to check over in Armor, as a bunch of modern AFV now include nonskid surfaces, and that's often an add-on for plastic kits.

I know of folk who put down a wet layer of primer and pour microballoons or sanded resin dust over that and lat that set up.

Also, the other armor dodge for texture is Mr Surfacer laid on thick, then stippled with a suitable brush.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Valrico, FL
Posted by HeavyArty on Monday, January 25, 2021 11:25 AM

HooYah Deep Sea
I was thinking about a 'treatment' I could put over the open deck sections; the dive deck, the side walkways, cabin top, and bow.

Rustoleum makes textured spray paints.  The Terra Cotta one is perfect for non-slip coating in 1/35.  I use it on armor models all the time.  Just tape off the areas you don't want it and spray away.

More here: https://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=50656#424251

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, January 25, 2021 1:18 PM

Thanks Redleg, I will definately check it out. I had considered the 'flexstone' paints but was worried that they would be too large in effect. The terra cotta should be more sand-like, which is what I'm looking for. I couldn't get any diamond plate for the deck over the fuel tanks, so some texturing is required.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, January 25, 2021 1:36 PM

You could think about burnishing aluminum foil over something like a piece of screen or a plastic mesh. Not exactly diamond plate, but it might convey the effect.

I've done something like that to make quilted padding inside a big ugly AN-12.

 

Bill

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Monday, January 25, 2021 10:35 PM

As we continue, I've attached the main deck and with the well assembly set in place, I'm starting the side blisters. These will extend the deck out a bit make for better footing when moving around the boat. I have still to chop down the upper well walls.

More progress on the blisters and side walls now abbreviated.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 2:11 PM

With the fixed bow closure in place, the boat is starting to look more like an LCVP; but give it time, it's coming around. In the mean time, I am continuing with the side and transom blisters. I am also awaiting the delivery of a number of 3D pieces/parts, and have found I need a few more (standby Shapeways, an order is forthcoming!).

Now, that being said, I am somewhat disappointed in the fragility of some of these 1/35 scale 3D products. I ordered some detail items and they are 'to scale', which means really, really, really fragile. "Caveat Emptor" definitely applies here! Now, that particular item was going to be situated below decks so, I guess I'll not make that area visible (though I was hoping to do so) Oh well, such is life. I will assume from now on, that I am just too ham-handed to use such products. (it would have been cool though.)  

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, January 29, 2021 3:44 PM

Started on the foundation for the cox'n flat / pilot house while awaiting mail order parts. Also finished up on the blister, structurally speaking, and started working on the fore deck.

While I was active duty, we always used to prime all bare metal with a light green epoxy. To simulate, I've coated things with a lovely 'satin pistachio'. With the updating of this hull, I also updated the lifting rig instead of using the older style PE parts.

Also, the forward cabin assembly is coming together.

  

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, February 5, 2021 7:17 PM

I'd been holding offstarting the pilot house, mainly because I really wasn't sure how I was going to do it. I had the concept down solid, but undecided on the method; to piece it together, or to build each wall independently and then assemble them as units.

Anyway, after staring at the base for a little while, I just jumped in.

  

As you may notice, the pilot house portion under construction here is the section above the engine compartment. On the actual boat this part was removable for engine replacement, by unbolting the flange at the base. The forward wall where the helm is located stays with the boat but the front windows go with the pilot house structure.

 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Sunday, February 7, 2021 3:42 PM

As with scratchbuilds and major kitbash projects, we sometimes get to put everything on hold while awaiting ordered parts and such. With that the case presently, I've contracted with a 'to scale' mini-me to do some touch up work in the interim.

I found him on Angie's List, and haven't checked on his license or references yet. I'm hoping he does decent work, but he's only doing small jobs .  .  . ! 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

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