1/72 LCAC preview

November 26, 2009

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Trumpeter's 1/72 JMSDF LCAC ~ In Box Preview

The Landing Craft Air Cushion, or "LCAC," is a multi-purpose hovercraft used as landing craft by the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force). They transport weapons systems, equipment, cargo and personnel of the assault elements of the Marine Air/Ground Task Force both from ship to shore and across the beach. This allows access more than 70 percent of the world's coastline, while only approximately 15 percent of that coastline is available to conventional boat-type landing craft.

Air cushion technology has vastly increased the landing capability of the craft, providing greater speed and flexibility over traditional landing craft. Like the mechanized landing craft, they are usually equipped with mounted machine guns, although they also support grenade launchers and heavy weapons.

Box Art


This kit is a scaled up version of Trumpeter's 1/144 LCAC from a couple of years back.  The thing that really hits you when you get the kit is how big it is, approximately 13+ inches in length, with recessed panel detail that appears to be as accurate as it can be.  Fit of the parts remains to be seen, but then again what kit doesn't have the occasional parts fit problem...? 

Overall detail is typical of Trumpeter latest releases, and with lots of fine & delicate parts, tweezers are going to be a requirement for building this beastie. And with a reasonable amount of 1/72 scale armored vehicles & tanks out there, filling the space in the LCAC will be easy-peasy.

Although this is the JMSDF version, converting this kit to the U.S. Navy version should be as simple as getting some after market decals (or making your own) of the U.S. flag and some numbers to match the #'s of units in deployment or stationed at NSA Panama City, Florida.


What You Get


More parts

And more parts

Even more parts

Decal sheet

Main deck, air cushion & instructions


Paint guide


Scale: 1/72
Manufacturer: Trumpeter
What you get: 11 sprues of injection-molded styrene parts (one of them clear), b&w instructions, decal sheet, a small set of photo-etched parts, and a rubber "air cushion"
Price: $99.95 list, but available for $82.99 plus shipping from SprueBrothers.com
Molding Quality: very nice & crisp, no visible flash
Detail: good surface details with recessed panel lines
Accuracy: looks dead on to me
Pros: size, good parts fit, photo etch parts & rubber "air cushion" included
Cons: price, some parts are very fragile, no cargo vehicles

Final comments: If you can afford it, get this impressive model kit.  Definitely recommended.


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This page was last updated 11/26/2009