Sunday, March 27, 2016

ACW Naval week 13 update

13 weeks! 

When I started the ACW Naval blog updates 13 weeks ago, the objective was to hold my feet to the fire and get the 1/600 models assembled and painted. After a quarter of a year, I can see that great progress has been made and that a fair bit of work remains. Time to take stock of the achievements and lessons learned and outline what remains to be done.

One achievement is that all the ship models have been assembled. Items that have languished in boxes since 2007 are assembled and based! Given that it was a 9 year backlog, this alone is cause for celebration. 

New models have joined the tabletop fleet and are ready for play. This includes a salvaged Sassacus model, two Patrick Henry models, USS Varuna, USS Calhoun, USS Pawnee, USS Eastport, CSS Florida, CSS Selma, the Confederate Yazoo Monster, Battery Buchanan and assorted gun batteries. Not bad work for a quarter of a year! 

Lessons learned

You don't have to do a lot of work all at once. A little work, when you can do it adds up over time. Don't feel like you can't tackle the project because you can't set aside enough time to do it all at once. Break the task into small parts and take each as time allows. It's surprising how quickly the results build up! 

Sharing the results along the way has helped improve the finished work. Knowing that someone else will view these models pushes the quality bar higher and results in a better product than just a 'table ready' model. 

Sweat the details. You'll be happier knowing you've giving the model the best effort you can muster. But don't drown in sweat - at the end of the day these are tabletop gaming models. Remember the 3 foot rule!

On to week 13 results! 

What's done...
Two models join the fleet this week - USS Pawnee and USS Calhoun. Pawnee served on the Potomac River flotilla in 1861 and remained in service for the rest of the war. 

Ready for action!

Seriously? Two wires are missing from the foremast? 

This quarter view showcases the amount of standing rigging present on the model.

USS Calhoun from Bay Area Yards.

 Calhoun has the distinction of starting service with the Confederacy before falling into Union hands. For such a small vessel, Calhoun was in the thick of the action through the war.  

What's coming along...

Work on the squadron of Union sloops continues Kearsarge moving through the paint queue while the two Lackawanna class sloops have received their armament and await touch up painting and rigging. 

USS Kearsarge from Throughbred Models.

USS Lackawanna from Bay Area Yards.

"Are we not the baddest sloops in the fleet, Lackawanna?"

"Yes we are Other Lackawanna. Yes we are."


USS Susquehanna is coming along with painting almost finished on the masts and the hull touched up after the recent red lead incident. 

The model in the rear is an old TCS casting of a blockade runner in "not-1/600" scale. a fellow gamer cut off the deck fittings using industrial equipment. The conversion was done way back in the day before Bay Area Yards existed and was far beyond the current range of Thoroughbred models available. Given the limitations of the model and the modlellers skill the result continues to serve in Ray's fleet filling in for whatever large sidewheeler  is required.

With the TCS model in the foreground. The masts are very simple posts. The mizzen mast was scrounged from a Throughbred Sassacus kit that as sacrificed for parts (but which was recently resurrected and refit - see earlier post)

USS Susquehanna and USS Miami.

Both models are from Bay Area Yards.


USS Miami is about ready to receive armament and rigging as well. 

Apparently Miami only has the single mast forward. This might be unique as I cannot point to another double ender with the same configuration.

What's in the queue...
 Finishing up the above project really leaves one big project in the queue with a couple of minor tasks to finish off the project. The big project is indeed big - Bay Area Yards USS Minnesota model. There's a bit of painting to do, then mount the formidable spar deck armament...and then the rigging.


USS Minnesota in broadside, the masts tower over the hull.


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