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The First American Battleship - USS New Ironsides
OSN-30: Old Steam Navy is proud to introduce the first large scale model kit of the USS New Ironsides. The New Ironsides was the most formidable vessel built by the Federal government during the War Between the States. An immense armored steamship carrying fourteen 11-inch guns and two 8-inch Parrott rifles, she was the first American battleship in the real sense of the term. Her armor plating was a forged, not laminated, 4.5 inches thick. Union Admiral Louis M.Goldsborough declared her to be a much more efficient type of ironclad than the monitors, and Admiral Dahlgren described her as a fine,powerful ship. The New Ironsides was more often in action, fired more shells, and was hit by return fire more frequently than any other vessel in the war. It was the threat of the New Ironsides to the city of Charleston that inspired the Confederate submarine H. L. Hunley, and the torpedo boat David. Southerners had a prize payable in gold for anyone or anything that could sink her.
This kit is the latest offering from Old Steam Navy as part of their Siege of Charleston collection. The kit is resin, white metal, and etched brass in 1/240th scale.The hull is cast one piece, full hull, a solid block of resin 11 5/8" overall length and 2 13/16" wide. This scales out perfectly for 1/240th scale, according to the published dimensions of the full sized ship and plans from various sources. All of the deck fittings are separate castings, leaving a smooth expanse of deck scribed with planking detail. With the omitted details this would be a great subject to try planking with real wood if one is so inclined. The hull sides have the waterline armor belt and the vertical battery armor applied.
Besides the hull, the other resin pieces of this kit are the ship's boats. They are well cast on the outside, and the inside is taken care of by inserts from the extensive sheets of photo etch brass. The white metal parts make up the majority of the other fittings, such as the skylights, pilot house, anchors, mast base, rudder and vents. All of the white metal parts are extremely well cast and are free of most of the soft detail problems that one commonly sees in such components. There are a lot of extra small parts in this kit. Tungsten wire for rigging the barricades. Chain for the anchors. Wood dowels for signal masts. Brass tubing for the stack and smaller tubing for the guns. There's even a selection of injection molded plastic rivets to detail the brass gun shutters. These pieces will allow the modeler to do the various bits of scratch building that are required for this model.
The photo etch was made especially and specifically for this kit. There are two thicknesses to the relief-etched sheets, one is .01" and the other .025". The thinner sheet has standard structural parts one would expect, such as the boat interiors and rudders, gun shutters, mast details, cleats, ladders, etc. Several of the parts are made up by folding into thicker structural pieces, and some items such as the boat davit pulleys are made up of multiple relief-etched brass parts that will build into realistic 3D assemblies.
The thicker sheet has the barricade struts and boat davits along with two etched guides for building up the large barricades that ran along the edge of New Ironsides' deck. The plans include a full size template that you cut out and tape to the deck which tells you where to lay down the drilling templates. You then drill for the etched locating pins in the barricade support struts. The whole process should make for a relatively easy and error free build of what could have been a mess of individual supports and slats.
The instructions come in two parts. The first 14 pages are an extensive history of the USS New Ironsides, complete with photos and sketches.
The second part is 14 pages consisting of an itemized part list, a detailed drawing of each sheet of photo etch that annotates the name of each piece. The balance of the pages are step-by-step instructions, complete with CAD Drawings of assembly, color photos of completed assemblies, and the previously mentioned templates. Also included is a fold out full-size 1/240th scale plan of the ship as she appeared during the war, showing her in plan, profile and stern view.
Congratulations to Ed Parent who won a Bronze Medal at the 2010 USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild Model Show. This is the fourth medal an Old Steam Navy kit has won in competiton. In fact, every Old Steam Navy kit entered has placed.