Friday 19 November 2010

Some More ACW Scratchbuilds

I spent some time on my train journey to and from work yesterday pondering the next phase of my ACW naval construction project. The Confederates managed to construct a number of casemate ironclads in the most trying conditions and so whilst they all had a similar overall appearance of course differences existed. It was with this in mind I decided that I would need several models to 'cover all the bases' of types available. After my deliberations (and reference to Angus Konstam's Osprey hardback - Duel of the Ironclads, more of which later) I settled upon the construction of five models, the one already completed and four others. Yesterday evening I cut out the and shaped the hulls for these four models so am hoping to make progress on them over the weekend - as well as the play test for Memoir of Battle at Sea.

The models will consist of one with a larger casemate (in terms of length) and with a hull about a quarter of a inch longer than the already completed model, a straight copy of the existing model and two models that are smaller (by around half an inch) than the version in yesterday's blog post. When completed these five models will give me sufficient variety in terms of the models used in a game and will allow for specific historical scenarios to be depicted with greater representational 'accuracy'.

I am still pondering about monitor turrets and so have decided that the first opposition for the casemate models will be some Cairo class gunboats. I shall make three of these and am also going to make the USS Benton - this being the unique vessel made from a couple of ex snagging boats joined together and hulled over making her a lot beamier than the Cairos by nearly half as much again (70+ ft to 50+ ft).

The Rayleigh shipyard is going to be busy but boy oh boy, is this great fun to do or what?!

Duel of the Ironclads by Angus Konstam is one of those Osprey hardbacks where they combine parts from several titles (e.g. from the Men at Arms, Campaign or Vanguard series amongst others) and to be honest, some of these are much better than others. Happily this is one of those and the book contains the best parts from the two Vanguard titles: Union Monitor and Confederate Ironclad and the Campaign series title covering the Battle of Hampton Roads. Osprey cover a number of other ACW naval titles which I shall track down but this hardback is a very good starting point and as I acquired my copy from a remaindered bookshop a couple of years ago for £5 represents great value for money.

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