I must admit to having a soft spot for the Essex as she was certainly in the thick of things throughout the river campaigns of the ACW despite being less armoured than the rest of the squadron - Benton and the City class types. Although she looks similar to the others from the bow, the rear of her casemate was rounded (rather like the bath tub style of the Virginia) rather than straight, as was her pilot house - all of which serve to make her quite distinctive looking. To make the round end of the casemate I merely carved it out of a piece of balsa and stuck it to the rest of the casemate. A couple of cunningly placed gunports covered the join and the paint I have used seems to have filled the rest of the resultant gap.
The funnels for all are next, followed by the varnishing and 'metallic' effect on the paintwork and then the bases.
All being well then, I should be able to get these models finished at some point over the weekend and so the pictures will follow in due course.