Making the Day of Days

With the 80th anniversary of D-Day approaching, it was only fitting that our local club hold a game to honour and celebrate the landings. The Allied invasion of Normandy was and still is the largest seaborne invasion of all time, seeing over 150,000 soldiers landing on the beaches. As the club meets on Wednesdays, the earliest we could hold a club game was June 5th, 2024.

For our game, we are going to need landing craft; a lot of landing craft! We were short by about half the landing craft we needed, so a quick word with Sarissa Precision and they kindly sent down the craft we needed. The Sarissa range has an LCM 3, the LCVP Higgins Boat and of course the Thorneycroft LCA.  

The boats are made of MDF and cardboard, cleverly fitted together to form each vessel. I must admit that at first, I was daunted by the task, but as they weren't going to build themselves, I rolled my sleeves up, put on my apron, and got to work.

At first, they just look like blocks of wood, but once you start adding the hull sides and the hull top, all of a sudden, they begin to start looking the part. I was beginning to really enjoy putting the kits together. A little care is needed to slot in the finer parts, but even with my clumsy fingers, I managed it or used a small modelling tool to nudge the pieces into the right place.

I used a combination of superglue to hold parts in place and PVA to help stiffen up the sides and give extra grip. This method proved to be very speedy and I was able to finish both boats in about an hour (with interruptions). I was tempted to use clamps, rubber bands and clothes pegs, but these proved unnecessary.

Despite my reservations, the cardboard that makes up the hull and inner doors of the LCA actually worked very well. I also decided to add some wood filler I had to hand to help hide the joins in the kit and give the vessel a more smooth hull line.

Now that the vessels are completed, they will join our other small fleet of landing craft. The Sarissa kits are fun to make and look the part. While there are some slight compromises (the vessel is shorter and stubbier than it would have been in real life), they look great on the tabletop. I am tempted to add some more detail, like ropes on the side or the odd life preserver.


In total we will have 3x LCMsI, 5x LCAs, 3x Higgins boats, and recycle destroyed landing vessels throughout the game. We will be playing it twice, as some members are away for the 5th. Maybe the landing were delayed by bad weather again...

In my next blog, I'll discuss painting the LCAs, and cover some of the other projects I worked on for our game. This included bunkers and a lot of scenario preparation. We are using Bolt action and have adapted our games from the scenarios in the Campaign D-Day Overlord book. The game is probably worth a blog all by itself! Until then, enjoy your gaming!

2 comments

Having put together the Sarissa LCM 3, I can say it is a phenomenal kit! Bravo!

Chris King

Look forward to your completed pieces

Cheers
Matt

Matthew Williamson

Leave a comment

Related Posts