Monday, March 12, 2012

Dressing Up My LCS-2

Last March I got one of the last LCS-2 models that PT Dockyard made. This year I'm finally putting it together and I'm hoping to use it in an Enfilade game.

I really like the way the hull looks, but it seemed a bit plain. I wanted to "dress up' the hull some and I really wanted to improve how the helicopter deck looked. I didn't think just painting some lines on the model would look that great. So, a couple months ago I started looking at the different brass photo-etch detail kits on the market. I found a set made specifically for the Dragon plastic LCS-2 kit from a company named Flyhawk, but I wanted to look around a little more to see if there were some other detail kits that would work. I looked around some more, but I was really interested in a kit for detailing the helicopter deck and nothing else looked like it would work. So, I decided to get the Flyhawk detail kit. I figured that it was the right scale (1/700) and even if things were a little off, they wouldn't be too far off.
The clean LCS-2 hull, ready for some detailing
I knew the Flyhawk helicopter deck brass piece was going to be a little off, since the plastic model had open hanger doors and the brass deck extended into those. But I thought I would easily be able to trim those off to fit my kit.
The photo-etch kit from Flyhawk
When the photo-etch detail kit arrived, I was happy and sad. The helicopter deck was longer and wider than expected. The length wasn't too much of an issue, since I could cut that back, but it was also about 2mm wider than the PT Dockyard deck. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if I should just put the deck piece on as is or try to trim it to fit. After a lot of debating with myself, I decided to trim 1mm off each side (to keep the deck centered). It took a lot of patience, but I think it turned out okay.

Here are a few photos of the assembled LCS-2 model with the photo-etch parts attached. I wanted to post the photos before I painted it so that you could see where the photo-etch parts were added.
Port side view with photo-etch in place
Here is the troublesome helicopter deck. I haven't added the netting around the deck yet, I'll do that after I paint the hull.
The helicopter deck (with a little glare)
And the starboard side, which has the part that got stuck before I could straighten it out.
Hopefully the final paint job will hide the crooked ventilation panel
I'm thinking about adding some railing after I paint the hull too. But it just depends on how the ship looks when painted. Right now I think things are looking pretty good.


  1. Is that a real craft? The main hull (pardon my non-naval terminology), looks like a catamaran. Dean

    1. Dean, it is real and it is a trimaran (one main center hull with two smaller out hulls), which allows it to have a really big helicopter deck. You can read more about the class at: or just type LCS-2 into Google and you'll get the info.

  2. Nice to see the results of some of my MSc research being used in anger :) (I worked on trimaran stability and the output from my work went into the UK/US exchange on trimarans and thence into LCS)

    1. I had forgotten that you said you worked on that. I really like the look of the design, even though I think there are a lot of problems with how it is being used by the US Navy. I just need to come up with all the stats for the LCS-2 in Bulldogs Away!