The latest addition to the Union fleet - the U.S.S. Keokuk. She carried two 11” guns mounted on pivots with one in each gun house, the foremost of these - the ‘pear’ shaped one - has a small pilot house built in. She is slightly darker than the picture shows as the picture was taken under artificial light. the rather fetching choppy looking 'sea' is in fact a cushion!
The U.S.S. Keokuk (originally known as the U.S.S. Moodna) was not a model that was going to feature in my collection but for a chance exchange of messages with David Manley. I am sure he will not not mind me telling you all that he has a soft spot for this ship!
U.S.S. Keokuk in action. She was hit over 90 times but was still able to withdraw from the scene only to sink later. In this picture she appears to be trying reverse out of harm’s way!
The model used the hull from the decommissioned nuclear submarine sized version I built of the C.S.S. Manassas. It is still too large for the Keokuk - in what passes for scale in my collection it really needed to be around three quarters of a inch shorter - but it will do. The two gun houses were made from balsa wood sanded into shape - the forward one is a pear shape whilst the aft is circular. In truth it did not take long to build.
The ship itself had a very short career - one month of commissioned service - and was proven to be but lightly protected despite being an ironclad. The general consensus is that she might have fared rather better against a floating target rather than a large rebel fortress!
Now that she has joined the Union fleet and I have managed to get my constructive gene back into action I can press on with the remaining models, particularly the side wheelers. I also seriously need to think about some shore defences including some purpose built forts.