Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Here Come the Lincoln Boats!: 1/600 Thoroughbred ACW

      In one of my last posts of 2016 I think I said I would introduce some of my ironclads in an upcoming post.  Here are 3  1/600 models by Thoroughbred Miniatures; a Cairo, the Essex, and the Lexington.  I have built the Cairo as the Carondelet with a white wash that appears in some of the historic photos..  Evidence now strongly suggests that the chimneys forward timber clad commonly labelled Lexington was in fact the Conestoga.  Photos from the Red River expedition clearly show the Lexington as having the chimneys behind the pilot house like her sister ship the Tyler/Taylor.

USS Essex, 1/600 Thoroughbred Miniature

USS Lexington (Conestoga), 1/600 Thoroughbred Miniature

USS Lexington, now believed to be the USS Conestoga

Federals ashore on cotton procurement mission

USS Carondelet, 1/600 Thoroughbred (Cairo)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Pig on the Water, 1/600 steam sloop and 90 day gunboat

antiqued image of 90 day gunboat

After a long hiatus, Old Black Water's shipyard is back in production.  Most recently launched off the ways are 2  blue water vessels from the Peter Pig company of England.  Hitting the water are Peter Pig's model of the steam sloop USS Hartford which I modeled as sister ship USS Richmond, and a 90 day gunboat, a numerous class of vessels rushed into production at the start of the civil war.  Peter Pig's naval acw models are sometimes compared unfavorably to the more detailed offerings of Thoroughbred or Bay Area Yards.  They actually look quite good when customized and painted with an attention to detail.   My biggest issue is with the masts for both models.  They are grossly oversized and crude compared to the casting details on the hulls.  I understand the designers decision to do this was to produce a strong tabletop gaming piece, but if I were to build more copies of these models I would probably use Bay Area Yards masts or scratch build my own.

Here is my version of an US ninety day gunboat, the most recently produced model in the Peter Pig acw range.  I have done my usual customizations; adding some spars, rigging, davits with boats, and a forward parrot rifle.  Peter Pig is offering crew castings now, several of which are present on deck here, most notably on the forecastle manning the parrot rifle.

1/600 scale 90 Day Gunboat , Peter Pig model

The Hartford model I built as the steam sloop USS Richmond, adding a bow gun, boats, spars and rigging.  On both of these models I added etched brass ratlines, but they are barely visible at any distance over 6 inches!  

1/600 scale 90 day gunboat and steam sloop, Peter Pig models

Both of these vessel types were  work horses of the Federal blockade, and could be found on both the east and gulf coasts, as well as the dirty brown waters of the Mississippi River.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

CSS Arkansas vs USS Tyler and Queen of the West in 1/600

Part of the original inspiration for this project came after I dug out my old copy of Yaquinto's  excellent boardgame The Ironclads.  One of my favorite scenarios was the morning showdown on the Yazoo River between the CSS Arkansas and the US ram Queen of the West, the timberclad gunboat USS Taylor, and  ironclad USS Carondelet.   These would be the first vessels out of Old Black Water's Shipyard.

Here is the CSS Arkansas on the start of the epic run that was to  take her down the Yazoo and into the Mississippi River, passing through the combined US fleets and making it to the Confederate fortress of Vicksburg.  The commander of the Arkansas, Isaac Newton Brown, would fight most of the battle from a perch on top of the metal casemate.  You can see him below holding on to one of the chimney stays atop the casemate.

The model is from Bay Area Yards.  Other interpretations of the CSS Arkansas in 1/600 are made by Thoroughbred Miniatures and Peter Pig Miniatures.

Here is the Queen of the West advancing up the Yazoo on the hunt for the Arkansas.

She would be joined by the timberclad gunboat Tyler, one of the first vessels converted for the war on the western waters.  She would serve throughout the war.

This is a model from Bay Area Yards to which I have added boats, rigging and tarps.

Heres a couple more photos with all three vessels together.

Next episode will feature the US ironclads which would fight the Arkansas.

Friday, May 13, 2016

1/600 coaling schooner launched

The most recent vessel off  the ways at Old Black Water's Shipyard is a Bay Area Yards 1/600 model of a coaling schooner.  A nearly constant flow of these vessels kept the blockading ships of  the US Navy supplied with coal.  I have added some rigging and a captain at the helm, a crewman messin' with the furled mainsail and another as far away from the captain as possible, adjusting an anchor line at the bow.  This schooner may also appear on my table playing the role of a blockade running schooner, hidden up a saltwater creek loading cotton or salt, making a fine prize for a cutting out party from the nearest US blockader.

Bay Area Yards model coaling schooner

1/600 coaling schooner

Next post I'll be featuring the Bay Area Yards models of the ironclad CSS Arkansas and the timberclad USS Tyler, mortal foes one Yazoo morning.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Beginnings of Blackwater's Shipyard

Several winter's ago amidst the 150th anniversary of the United States Civil  War, a tiny shipyard sprang up beside a bayou.  Through the building , detailing and painting of 1/600 scale miniature vessels and assorted shoreside structures, fortifications and military formations, I embarked upon  a miniature exploration of the US civil war upon the waters.  This blog has been created to document the work at Old Black Water's Shipyard.

The first vessel coming off the ways at OBW's shipyard was the Queen of the West, a river steamboat converted to a ram. She had a storied history during the Mississippi river campaigns participating in the detsruction of the Confederate River Defense Fleet at Memphis and later engaging the Confederate ironclad Arkansas off of Vicksburg.   This is a model from Bay Area Yards, with added crew from the Oddzial Osmy (O8) 3mm ACW line.  The single gun battery is a model from Thoroughbred Miniatures, detailed with an artillery crew from O8, painted as Confederate.  Future posts will provide more images of the developing fleets, hopefully with more scenic backgrounds.