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.


  1. I posted this over on TMP but I am interested to know if:

    On your earlier models you used Oddzial Osmy (O8) 3mm ACW line for crew and on these you used Peter Pig crew. Which do you prefer?

    Also you mentioned that you used etched brass ratlines but that they were not visible over 6". Do you feel that they were worth the effort?

  2. I also posted this over at TMP but thought I'd poke you here too:

    I really like your USS Richmond! Painting question for you: I see that you've painted the masts different colors- the topmast seems black or dark brown with the remainder white. Was this common on navy ships? Or is it a little artists' license? Looks great though, I just started a USS Pawnee from BAY and was thinking about how to paint the masts and I might steal your color scheme.

    I would also like to add some ratlines. Is a 1/600 etch the way to go, or is it not worth bothering?

    Great work, thanks for sharing!