Sunday, March 19, 2017

Assembling the Manassas, part 2

Completing the assembly of the Manassas. Cutting the stacks off the sprue and filing the ends flat was straightforward.

The mount for the stacks was a little more complex. The mount has a hole for each stack to sit in. It's a good design and it's spoiled by one thing. Either each hole contains a mounting post for the stack, or there was a bit of flash in each hole. Either way, the metal had to go. A Goldilocks trial and error process of sorting through the drill bits found one that fit without being too big or too small (a #44 for those wanting to know). Slowly and carefully I used the drill to bore out the offending metal.

With that resolved, a good thick, heavy duty CA adhesive was applied to the end of the stack and inserted into each hole. It was a little tricky as the hole was not a tight fit, but the stacks did stand up.

With that - assembly is completed.*

And here's the assembled model.

With the stacks installed! 

View from the forward port quarter.

Port broadside view.

Hmmm...what's the tiny guide hole? Uh oh - I've misaligned the stacks! 

Here the BAY model (on the right) next two the Thoroughbred Figures model on the left.  Two interpretations of the same model. 

From the images you should be able to see that the Thoroughbred model sits higher above the water than the BAY model. Both show many of the same types of details, though they vary slightly in terms of position. 

* I may come back and add the jackstaff for the flag later.

See how the painting went in part three! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Assembling the CSS Manassas - 1/600 model from Bay Area Yards

In February of 2017 I acquired a model of the Confederate ironclad CSS Manassas. Oft remembered as the Confederacy's first ironclad, she was slow and poorly armed. If it was not for the fact her opposition was entirely wooden ships, Manassas would have been found seriously wanting as a warship.

Manassas had a short, but busy career engaging Union ships at the Head of Passes, making the journey north to briefly join the River Defense Fleet near Memphis before returning to New Orleans and participating in her final battle against the Union navy at Fort Jackson as Farragut ran the guns.

This project is a 1/600 scale model of Manassas from Bay Area Yards. (Kit # HCS-024). As 1/600 models go, this one is straightforward with a minimal number of of parts. One (1) hull casting and one (1) sprue of stacks and fittings.

Manassas straight out of the bag. 

The historical record concerning Mansassas is conflicted with some sources indicating that the ship had one or two smokestacks. Some theories hold it was two stacks, then one following a refit after the engagement at the Head of Passes. The model offers the option to build either of the stack variants. As I already have a Manassas with one stack, I elected to model this kit as the early two-stack version suitable for the Head of Passes battle.

The hull casting needed a little clean up around the edges. Most of the work is for the sprue casting at the aft end of the model with required a bit of cutting. After that it was very minor filing to smooth the edges and make the bottom of the casting flush.

A little scraping along the starboard waterline is causing the hull to look odd. 

Sprue with flash.

Sprue with flash removed from the short midships steam pipe. 

Basic assembly is easy. I based the hull of the model on a thin piece of styrene. As usual, I used Woodland Scenics Flexpaste as the adhesive to attach the model.

The hull with the base for the two smokestacks installed.

And an overhead view.

With the hull attached to the base with the Flexpaste. The midships steam pipe is installed. 
Starboard quarter view of the model.

Next steps are to install the stacks and get a coat of primer on the model!

Assembly continues on part 2.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ram Fever!

I'm telling you, I got the ram fever!

I pulled out an Ellet ram from a box and thought, hmmm...glad I picked this up. Can't ever have enough Ellet rams. For example...

A pair of Ellet Ram models from Thoroughbred Models that were acquired at Fall In 2016.

So I started rounding up the various models from various boxes and quickly found this.

Ummm...yeah. That might be enough.  From left - FOUR Thoroughbred Ellet Rams, USS Switzerland (Peter Pig), Lioness and Queen of the West (Bay Area Yards).

I've got a sneaky feeling that there is at least one more sitting in a box awaiting assembly.  

Back to Civil War Naval...

...but did I ever really leave?

Even more 1/600 models added to the backlog of ship models to be assembled, painted and brought to the gaming table.  This time, it's a batch of models from Bay Area Yards with a smattering of Thoroughbred tossed in.

First up, I've had a recurring itch to game the naval action(s) of the 1867 Haitian Civil War. It's an easy stretch goal for the ACW naval gamer as many of the ships models are all surplus US Navy vessels. The most impressive ship in the war would have been the ironclad ex-CSS Atlanta, which was purchased and on the way to intervene in the civil war when the vessel sank off the East Coast of the United States.

A challenge though is modeling two stalwart ships of the former US Navy - the Mount Vernon and the Quaker City. These side wheel steam ships were former blockaders in the American Civil War. In Salnave's War, these ships were practically battleships and key vessels in the handful of naval actions waged in the war. Unfortunately, neither ship is currently modeled in 1/600 scale. I'm hopeful that I can use these Bay Area Yards models as the basis for creating conversion that will capture the look and feel of the actual ships.

Hull of the Confederate gunboat Varuna. No upper works or fittings. But a great hull! 
Model of the French Gassendi class sloop. Another conversion candidate.

Fore and aft of the Gassendi models

Hull of  the Star of the West. Another prime conversion candidate.

The Star of the West will assorted parts mocked up for sizing.

Add caption

Hull of USS Mississippi

USS Powhatan model. On the large end of a a conversion candidate. 

Second item - a model of the USS Harvest Moon. A nice little sidewheeler that I've never added to the fleet. Helps to round out the collection.

The model is in roughly three parts. I'll need to model the stack. 

The parts stacked together.

and lastly - two nice additions: Forts Jackson and St. Phillip from the New Orleans campaign.

St. Phillip

Fort Jackson. That's a LOT of fort!