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Airfix 1/72 Amphibian Buffalo

The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) was a class of amphibious vehicles introduced by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they rapidly evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles as well. The LVT had its origins in a civilian rescue vehicle called the Alligator. Developed by Donald Roebling in 1935, the Alligator was intended to operate in swampy areas, inaccessible to both traditional cars and boats. Two years later, Roebling built a redesigned vehicle with greatly improved water speed.

The United States Marine Corps, which had been developing amphibious warfare doctrine based on the ideas of Lt. Col. Earl Hancock “Pete” Ellis and others, became interested in the machine after learning about it through an article in Life magazine and convinced Roebling to design a more seaworthy model for military use. After more improvements, made difficult by Roebling’s lack of blueprints for the initial designs, to meet requirements of the Navy, the vehicle was adopted as Landing Vehicle Tracked, or LVT.

The Kit

This is another plastic model kit that could make a great weekend build or a break during a long more complex build. Don’t expect miracles on a $6.99 1/76 scale model kits. This is not my scale of choice but I must admit that I’ve had a great deal of time building it.

As with the Higgins Boat also from Airfix, there is room to add some scratch built details. Be ready as well to deal with ejection pin marks. At the end you have a pleasant looking model kit to add to your shelf. The kit includes also the tiny Willis Jeep model.

Painted with Tamiya OD Green using an Aztek Airbrush. Weathered with Vallejo Pigments.

George Collazo
George Collazo

George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.

  • Chris Lalor

    Very good model, well done. It’s only a 1/76th kit but you’ve made it look like the real thing. Will be starting one sometime in October, hope it’s as good as yours. Good luck, Chris.

  • Jonathan Gilroy

    how did you get such a good rust, dirt and scratch effect? It looks brilliant and i so badly want mine to look like that. I’m VERY jelous.

    • George

      Hello Jonathan! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments and compliments. The weathering on the Amphibian Buffalo is a combination of Raw Umber artist oil, Testors Acryl Leather and a Tamiya Buff wash by the rollers. You might also see a hint of white pastel and some black to define the panels. These kits are very inexpensive. I will get another one (thought I had an extra) to make a video.

      Cheers amigo!