For another modeling project I was researching Higgins Industries and their famous Landing Craft aka Higgins Boats. The Library of Congress has several b/w photos showing the building and loading of their boats on railcars. Higgins also produced the LCP-R's and the PT Boats.
Just in time for the D-Day Celebration this year, I will try to get some of them on the rails.
The b/w pictures above are from the collection of the Library of Congress. You will find more of them including construction scenes at Higgins Boats in New Orleans.
The above and the following photos are just to show that they will fit on a HO flatcar without too much overhang. I need to build a suitable cradle for the landing craft again using the Technical Manual drawings. These also show the dimensions of the lumber used, so it is a snap to recreate them using scale lumber strips.
This is the rear view. The stern of the LCVP is even with the flatcar deck.
The bow of the LCVP has only an insignificant overhang and should clear most structures along the tracks.
The final view is from above and confirms the previous shots. I think they also had a small overhang on the prototype.
In my seach for suitable models I found that the 1/76 scale sometimes still looks good compared to real HO. Todays 1/72 models are more accurate in the scale than the older models. If you place them next to each other there are significant differences in size and height.
The LCVP on the pictures is a snap-together model from Pegasus Hobbies. It's easy to build and also comes with a crew of 15 troops plus a coxswain, engineer and crewman who man the 2 machine guns.
The Airfix or Heller LCVP kits a tad more detailed, but the age of the molds makes more cleaning necessary. The Pegasus kit is molded very clean and fits the bill for this purpose as a load.
The drawings above show the construction of the cradles and the blocking for securing the landing crafts on railroad flatcars. The Technical Manual TM-55-2200-001-12 has all the necessary dimensions and drawings, although some blocking might be too tiny in HO to build. A bit of modelers licence must be used here.
As always, stay tuned for updates.