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In-Box Review
135
LSSC Engines
LSSC Engine Bay Conversion Kit
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by: Gino P. Quintiliani [ HEAVYARTY ]

Introduction

LSSC History:
The term brown-water navy refers in its broadest sense to any naval force capable of military operations in fluvial or littoral environments. During the Vietnam War, the brown-water navy was known as the Mobile Riverine Force and they patrolled the vast waterways of the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam. It consisted of small gunboats and patrol boats along with the larger "mother ships" that supported them. One of the smaller vessels used was the Light SEAL Support Craft (LSSC) which was designed to support squad-sized SEAL operations. It was an aluminium hulled, twenty-four foot long boat with a low silhouette and a nine-foot beam. Propulsion was provided by 2 Ford 427 cid gasoline engines, producing 350 hp each, powering 2 Jacuzzi water pumps at the stern. These fast, manoeuvrable boats had a crew of 3 and could carry 6 SEALs. Weapons usually included 2 M60 7.62mm machine guns and 1 M2 .50 cal machine gun. Mk18 grenade launchers were also occasionally carried. 16 LSSCs were built for the US Navy by Grafton Boatworks of Grafton, Illinois. They entered service in 1968 and were used until the end of the Vietnam War and after.

The Model

Black Ops Models is a resin company out of Australia with this set being their first foray into Vietnam items. The set comes packed in a very sturdy, top opening box with packing peanuts inside to keep all the delicate parts safe. Further, the parts are bagged in individual Ziploc bags labelled A through I with each bag listing the parts contained in it and for what subassembly they go to. This makes for a very nice and tidy packaging and it is easy to keep track of all the parts.

Contents

The parts breakdown is as follows:
Bag A – Engine Bay Walls
•Part 1 – Bulkhead Rear
•Part 2 – Bulkhead Forward

Bag B – Engine Bay Walls
•Part 3 – Floor Starboard
•Part 4 – Floor Port

Bag C – Engine Bay Walls
•Part 5 – Side Starboard
•Part 6 – Side Port

Bag D – Engine Bay Walls
•Part 7 – Center Bulkhead

Bag E - Engine
•Part 8 – Engine block x2
•Part 9 – Sump x2
•Part 10 – Bell Housing x2
•Part 11 – Header Starboard x2
•Part 12 – Header Port x2

Bag F - Accessories
•Part 13 – Exhaust Pipe x 4
•Part 14 – Drive Shaft x2
•Part 15 – Engine Mount Port
•Part 16 – Engine Mount Starboard
•Part 17 – Water Neck x2
•Part 18 – Intake x2
•Part 19 – Alternator x2
•Part 20 – Starter Motor x2
•Part 21 – Oil Filter x2
•Part 22 – Coil x2
•Part 23 – Fuel Pump x2
•Part 24 – Distributor x2
•Part 25 – Carburetor x2
•Part 26 – Muffler x4
•Part 27 – Air Hose x2
•Part 28 – Pulley Assembly x2

Bag G - Radar
•Part 29 – Radar Aerial
•Part 30 – Radar Base

Bag H – Cabin Details
•Part 31 – Compass Mount
•Part 32 - Compass
•Part 33 – Radio Rack
•Part 34 – Radar Mount
•Part 35 – Aerial Mount

Bag I – Diorama Accessories
•Part 36 – Fan Belt
•Part 37 – Radio
•Part 38 – Food Container Closed
•Part 39 – Food Container Open
•Part 40 – Food Container Lid
•Part 41 – Grease Gun Handle
•Part 42 – Grease Gun
•Part 43 - Under Body Box B x 2
•Part 44 – Spare Air Cleaner
•Part 45 – Spare Battery

Review

The set contains a total of 45 resin parts. All of which are finely cast with no flash or broken pieces. Also included is a very nicely done 12 page instruction booklet that shows how to modify and build the engine compartment for the Dragon LSSC. The booklet breaks down into 13 steps to complete the build. Each step clearly shows what needs to be modified or added. All of the pieces fit the Dragon parts perfectly with little to no sanding or modifications needed. There are also two pages of color pictures showing how to paint the engines and their compartments. Lastly, the booklet is rounded out with 3 pages of color and black and white reference photos from Vietnam that shows the engines well.

Black Ops has really made some nice pieces here. Every part is very delicate and full of details. These new parts include a new, very detailed radar dome base with interior details of the radar and its electrical components. Also included are all new parts the compass and a radio rack that include two radios, a handset, and two antenna bases. The engines are each a model in themselves. There are all the parts included to make two very detailed, accurate engines. The engines and compartments look as though they would also fit into the Tamiya PBR model as well. Lastly, the additional parts provided as Diorama Accessories provide some extra pieces that lend easily to a maintenance diorama. They are very nice to have included.

Conclusions

This set is complete and will allow you to build a very detailed and accurate LSSC model. The parts are perfect and fit the donor kit excellently. If Black Ops continues to produce kits to this level of details and quality, they will definitely succeed. I highly recommend this kit. It is a real gem.
SUMMARY
Highs: Perfectly cast resin with no noticeable blemishes. A very detailed set that looks great and will make the LSSC look even better.
Lows: None that I can see.
Verdict: Another winner for Black OPs Models. If you are interested in Vietnam Brown Water Navy craft, this set is for you. I highly recommend it.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Suggested Retail: $45 USD
  PUBLISHED: Sep 24, 2016
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.68%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.75%

About Gino P. Quintiliani (HeavyArty)
FROM: FLORIDA, UNITED STATES

Retired US Army Artillery Officer, currently a contractor at MacDill AFB in the Tampa, FL area. I have been modelling for the past 35+ years, really seriously on armor and large scale helos (1/32, 1/35) for the last 30 or so.

Copyright ©2018 text by Gino P. Quintiliani [ HEAVYARTY ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice review HeavyArty. Thank you [EDIT] Curiosity makes me ask this: "16 were built and entered service in 1968" Did they lose any?
SEP 24, 2016 - 07:42 AM
A google search shows at least one still in existence, getting restored around 2013, by a private individual, not many updates since then.
SEP 25, 2016 - 12:31 AM
Thanks for editing/posting the review. There isn't much info out there on the LSSCs. It too me over half an hour of digging just to find who the manufacturer was. I couldn't find any info on losses.
SEP 25, 2016 - 12:56 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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