I was able to finish the last of the ‘purpose built’ historical Confederate Ironclads meaning that I now have 11 built with one remaining and that one is next on the assembly line.
The C.S.S. Virginia needs little introduction from me but I will share some of the building details. Her casemate was rounded at both ends and thus far the only way I have successfully been able to model this is by using layered Balsa wood cut and sanded into shape. The U.S.S. Essex has one curved end but thus far I had never attempted tackling both ends. Happily it worked out fine but I did take the precaution of having a number of breaks whilst shaping them which certainly helped with my concentration!
The pilot house should really be a conical affair that follows the line of the casemate but my version does not. Nor does my version have gunports of the correct shape - I opted for my tried and tested 5mm square pieces of card - and as for the armoured stern section (to protect the steering) it is probably the wrong shape. She looks quite stocky but as I am working to a 6” maximum (two grid squares in my ACW naval rules) she is about as large as I can go. For all of this she looks ‘like what she is supposed to’ so I am happy! I am quite chuffed with how she turned out.
Of course if you are going to have the C.S.S.Virginia then it would churlish not to have the U.S.S. Monitor in the same picture!
The ‘Fifteen to go’ of the title of this post of course refers to the number of models I have left to build for the project. There are seven Confederate and eight Union ships although by Friday the Confederate numbers will be down to six as I complete the final casemate ironclad.
Of the fifteen models four of them will required a full set of masts and spars, three of them are ironclads and the remaining eight are gunboats of various types.
We are getting there!