Thursday, June 4

Build review: Francios's high water mark with the US Navy Medium Landing Ship from Revell

You won’t see many reviews of such large kits and furthermore fewer review builds of the Revell 1/144th scale U.S. Navy Medium Landing Ship, so what’s it really like? We are up for the challenge so François lent his considerable talents to this kit in today’s build review…

Revell US Navy Medium Landing Ship
Reference: 05123
Scale: 1/144
Number of parts: 428
4 Decals choices:
Landing Ship Medium USS LSM-14, Pacific, 1944

Landing Ship Medium USS LSM-133, Pacific, 1944

Landing Ship Medium USS LSM-201, Pacific, 1945

Landing Ship Medium USS LSM-210, Pacific, 1945
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit
The 1/144th scale US Navy Medium Landing Ship from Revell kit includes 6 life-rafts, 3 M4 Sherman main battle tanks, 3 M8 Greyhound scout cars and 3 CCKW 353 trucks.

The model features..
All new moulds
- Earlier stage of construction
- A Two-piece hull
- A Detailed propulsion system
- A Movable rudder
- Detailed transport deck
- Movable front hatches and ramp
- 6 authentic 20mm Oerlikon cannons
- 6 life-rafts
- 3 M4 Sherman Main Battle Tanks
- 3 M8 Greyhound Scout Cars
- 3 CCKW 353 Trucks
- And a display stand

Being a true all-round modeller, François has built helicopters, aircraft, tanks, figures and dioramas for TMN. This time, he tackled a ship-model: Revell’s new tool Medium Landing Ship in 1/144.

The subject of this particular build Landing Ship Medium USS LSM-210, Pacific, 1945
First, let’s have a look at the kit. The main parts are the two halves that form the hull.
The level of detail on the parts – and there are a lot of them, 428 in all – is pretty impressive.
Even the smallest parts are nicely detailed and flash-free.
When the finished model will be displayed, a lot of attention will go towards the vehicles – a bit like the aircraft on an aircraft carrier model – but it has to be said, Revell made some nice tanks, trucks and recon vehicles!
When you consider that an M4 Sherman in this scale is about 4 cm, the level of detail is pretty impressive...
As are the tiniest parts of the kit.
The kit comes with the usual style Revell instructions. They won’t win the company a design award, but they are quite effective in this build. Revell also provides some nicely printed decals and some rope. Decals: okay. Rope: not really up to scale so François used some EZ-line instead.
Well, this is my very first proper boat (I did the Revell U-boot a couple years ago, which turned out to be a great kit). I have to say that this MLS is a perfect choice to start the floating modelling. The kit is quite large and has a ton of parts. This is a completely new tool kit and the details are pretty impressive. It rather cool to have some nice detailed 1/144 scale military vehicles in the box. Those are going to be fun to build!

Time to get started!
As usual with me, this model was made out of the box, except for the ladders which were made with some fine metal wire, bent with a plate tweezers.
The construction went smoothly, I followed the instructions but I left all those small railing parts for last. I was afraid to break them during the painting process...
The step on the side of the boat were replaced with some metal wire. This is really tiny, but it works well in the end.
So building that ship went smoothly… the use of putty was minimal for the main parts – I didn’t worry about the bow. You don’t see this part of the ship anyway, so this is an area I didn’t worry about. I did hower need to use a LOT of putty for the main cabin on the right side of the boat.
Because of the many sub-assembly parts, you really have to make all of these uggly joints disappear if you want to have an acceptable result. So putty, sanding, putty and sanding again is a must.
You will have to take your time with this kit since there are a lot of small pieces. Nothing difficult, it all just is time consuming. It really is an easy kit, come to think of it. The only thing you need to do is to stay focused. It’s not a quick over-the-weekend build.

See what I mean?
Painting was done using mostly Revell Aqua paints, mixed per instructions. First came a layer of dark primer.
I used the supplied drawing, enlarged it with a copy machine to match the scale, and used it as a paper template for painting. I chose to do the green version simply because I liked it the best and because it was kind of a challenge, but the gray delivery is very nice too, so Revell gives you a nice choice.
The vehicles are also out of the box, except for some loaded stuff on the back of the trucks, which made more sense to me.
The supplied decals for these vehicles look a little bit suspicious to me, especially the size and number of stars provided, but maybe I am wrong on this. I guess I would have expected them to be a little larger...
Here is the ship completely painted, ready for weathering:
I had the chance to use the new Revell pigments for this kit, and I have to say: these are very nice, but be careful because the small containers are filled to the rim (you can say that you really have a lot for your money there).
I didn’t use the provided rope for the railings, but selected to use EZ-line instead. It is a really nice and forgiving product for that kind of job (again: very time consuming but the result is really nice).
The water was made using some insulating foam for the base. The biggest waves have been “carved” with a heat gun, the boat being pressed in it after cutting the foam with a big cutting knife.
The boat was secured and the holes filled with fixall transparent glue, a great product to replicate the big waves on each side of the boat.
Following a coat of special acrylic primer, the water itself was reproduced using a new technique for me: paint the water with a mix of inexpensive acrylic paint (the tube ones), using blue, and green, black and white. You mix those colours “in the fresh” so they blend quite nicely, giving different shades in the water.
When dry, the water itself was rendered using acrylic gel, putting a lot of fine layers with a big soft brush, letting these layer dry completely between coats.
I am not fully satisfied with the white waves. I think I over did them, a little; you judge.
And here is the end-result, with all the vehicles aboard and ready to invade!
In conclusion, I had a lot of fun building this kit, and I am very satisfied with the result. I have to say for me that there is one thing missing in this new Revell kit: a crew! Naval soldiers at that scale are just non-existent (at least I didn’t find any on the net), and that would have made a difference, giving the model a lot more life.
François Laloux

Thanks a lot to Revell for sending us this very nice model to build.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit