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USS Susquehanna monogram/Imai 1/150

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  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
USS Susquehanna monogram/Imai 1/150
Posted by migmodeler on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 2:06 PM

I have finally gotten my hands on a kit of the Susquehanna. I have been researching the subject for some time and have had a difficult time finding answers to some questions. I have tried other modelling forums and have not gotten any answers. I would like to know what type of wood the originals deck was made of for painting purposes. I would also like to know the correct type of cannon she carried in 1861. Access to a set of drawings would be very helpful. It seems the kit rigging diagrams are over simplified. I have built this kit before(30 years ago) and would like to make it as accurate as possible this time. Any help would be appreciated. I am also having trouble locating correct scale fittings for this ship.(modelshipways stuff is out of scale). I am holding out hope that I will not have to scratch build cannons and all the other deck fittings. I do not plan(at this time) to replace the kit blocks and deadeyes, even though they are poor. Thanks in advance.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2006
  • From: Carmichael, CA
Posted by Carmike on Saturday, February 21, 2009 2:01 PM

 

I built the Monogram re-issue of the kit about twelve years ago and it sits on my mantle today - it's a great kit.

There are a number of threads on the Susquehanna on this board.some of them having links to information on the web.  I used Canney's "The Old Steam Navy" as a basic reference source and ordered plans from the USN.

It looks as though the Susquehanna's armament changed several times from her commissioning through the Civil War.  The initial armament seems to have been 8" shell guns in the broadside ports aft of the paddle wheels (on the Paixhans model, not Dahlgrens) and 10" shell guns on pivot rails on the focs'l on either side of the ship.  The kit comes with what appear to be sixteen sixty-four pounders, and have never found any reference to support it.

Catton, in the Terrible Swift Sword, notes the Susquehanna as having fifteen 8" shell guns (again, presumably Paixhans, not Dahlgren) and a twelve pounder rifle during early actions in the war (I'm guessing that the twelve-pounder rifle was on the poop, seven of the shell guns in broadside ports on each side with the forward-most gun on a pivot carriage all the way forward, but this is just a GUESS on my part).

Later in the war she was equipped with 9" Dahlgrens in broadside (Model Shipways has these in fittings) and large Parrott rifles on pivot carriages.  I fudged a bit and put fourteen 9" Dahlgrens in the gun ports, and Parrot rifles (also from Model Shipways) on the poop and in the forward-most gun ports.  It was as close as I was prepared to get at the time to a wartime gun fit and it looks good.  Pleasde note that the Dahlgrens and thier carriages are a bit big for the ports and you'll need to do some trimming of the carriages and the ports to get a good fit.

Search some of the posts on the Kearsarge - the decks were probably teak and several modelers have a really nice job of painting and weathering plastic decks to reflect aged teak (which the Susquehanna's decks certainily were by 1861).

Good luck! It's a great kit.

Mike 

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Sunday, February 22, 2009 7:21 PM
Carmike you are the man! I could not find the fittings by Model Shipways(when I started looking last week) as it is all general by size(mm). If you say they are there ,then I will call them. I also have found that there is a ship model hobby shop near(40 miles) me that I'm going to give a call as they are a model shipways retailer.(Ships Chandler). I will research the other related posts on this sight. Thanks again. I was getting frustrated. I was working so hard to get the kit and I never planned for what to do when I did. If I had my wits, I could have had all the research and fittings etc. ready to go.
  • Member since
    June, 2006
  • From: Carmichael, CA
Posted by Carmike on Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:57 PM

I just took a quick look at their web page, and they seem to have changed quite a bit.  The old Model Shipways part numbers (before they were bought out by Model Expo) for the guns were:

627, Parrott Rifle, length 7/8"

630, Dahlgren Cannon, length 1"

625, Gun Carriage (for no. 627 and 630)

Hope this helps.

 

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: Greenville, NC
Posted by jtilley on Sunday, February 22, 2009 11:02 PM

I may be out of my depth here; my poor old brain frequently makes mistakes about such things.  But I think those old Model Shipways (pre-Model Expo) parts were made for the company's old solid-hull Harriet Lane kit. 

Model Shipways recently re-released that kit; the guns for it are not in the Model Expo fittings catalog ( http://www.modelexpo-online.com/product.asp?ITEMNO=MS2010 ), but the guns don't appear to have made it into the company's fittings catalog.  A phone call or letter might talk Model Expo into selling them separately; I don't know.

Here's a slightly far-fetched idea.  Way back in the early 1950's the old plastic kit company Pyro (known to the original owners of Model Shipways as "Pirate Plastics") issued a Harriet Lane kit that was copied directly from the Model Shipways wood one.  Pyro's molds eventually wound up the property of Lindberg, which reissued the Harriet Lane kit under the name "Civil War Blockade Runner."  It's not in Lindberg's current catalog, but I've seen it in hobby shops fairly recently (and if it's in hobby shops in eastern and central North Carolina, it must be pretty common).  I think it's on the same scale as the Model Shipways kit.  If so, the Lindberg "Blocade Runner" might be a good - if not exactly cheap - source of Dahlgren and Parrott guns for the Susquehanna. 

Bluejacket does offer several Civil War gun castings ( http://www.bluejacketinc.com/fittings/fittings15.htm ), but none of them matches the sizes Carmike quoted for the old Model Shipways parts.

Maybe that'll help a little.  Or maybe my senile memory is just messing things up.

Youth, talent, hard work, and enthusiasm are no match for old age and treachery.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Tuesday, February 24, 2009 9:42 AM

Thanks guys, It is finally my days off and I will look into finding the guns via the resources you mentioned. If I could get one of each, I have a friend that will pop copies for me. I was also wondering about the little bits on the deck. For example, where was the bell located? Where did they store the other(kedge) anchors? How about cleats and mooring tackle? I saw the 2 known photographs of the ship in "The Circle of Fire". I plan on storing the cannon balls on racks like in the pictures. I am considering getting plans of the Powattan(her sister ship)from Maryland Silver Company.

As I continue to look for the guns(I emailed model expo),I have a couple(yes more) questions. Should I bother trying to replicate the blocks in the rigging? Did the yards have jackstays or were the sails lashed to the yards? Were the martingale stays rope or chain?  The book mentions lights(blue and white)where were they? I was thinking of showing the sails furled. Do you have any simple methods/materials? I can see from the posts on the Susquehanna and the Kearsarge,that I am not the only one who has had these questions. It feels good not to be alone.

  • Member since
    June, 2006
  • From: Carmichael, CA
Posted by Carmike on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 11:01 PM

 

Sadly, the "plastic pirates" at Pyro didn't do a very good job of copying the cannons for the Harriet Lane, the Dahlgrens are very undersized and the breech of the Parrot rifle is far too thick.  The less said about the gun carriages, the better.  Otherwise, the 1:144 Harriet Lane makes a nice companion to the Susquehanna.

Migmodeler, please let me know how your search goes.  If memory serves (and frequently it doesn't) I may still have some left over cannons in the old parts box that you could use as masters.  I'm not sure that the gun carriages would be easy to replicate, they would probably need a two-part mold.  I'll check this weekend.

You might also check on eBay to see if anyone has old Model Shipways fittings for sale.  Aurora had a model of the USS Hartford with 9" Dahlgrens in the broadside battery, if that kit is close to 1:150 you might also be able to use the cannons if you can find a "junker" kit.

The Powhattan was a "near sister" to the Susquehanna with a good deal of difference in the hull form and the armament during the Civil War.  I also think that the paddle boxes were different on the Powhattan so converting your kit could be a lot of work.  On the other hand, the Powhattan remained in service as a flagship after the Civil War and I would think that there might be more materials available for her. 

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Thursday, February 26, 2009 9:45 AM
Thanks Carmike, I heard from model Expo/model shipways and they do not carry those items anymore. They will not part out their kits. I might try the Bluejacket guns and go by size. I will modify the kit broadside gun carriges and scratch 2 forward carriages for the parrot rifles. I am thinking the 7/8" dahlgrens 14 in total and 2 1" parrots in the forward most ports, one on each side. I have no idea of what to do with the 12 pounder, I can't find one anyway. Let me know what you think of the sizes as these are the smallest they have. I think the broadside guns look really big in the picture I have so I might go bigger. Unfortunatley, they only have one size (1") parrot. After reading the other posts on this site, I think I will not get the plans. In this scale, I am going to do the best reprentation possible. Going whole hog seems unreasonable at this point. Are there any pictures of the built models on this site? They did not show up in the search thread. I will let you know if I need your spares if you have them. 
  • Member since
    June, 2006
  • From: Carmichael, CA
Posted by Carmike on Friday, February 27, 2009 4:04 PM

I'm a truly terrible photographer, but will take some shots of my build of the Susquehanna for you this weekend.  You might also check http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/ they have some very good images there.  The image below (taken on the sloop Pawnee, looking aft from the focs'l helped me with the armament fit.  The Parrot rifles are mounted on broadside in the forwardmost ports, but it a manner that permitted them to be swiveled.  Further aft you can see the 9" Dahlgrens (also in broadside).

Will dig into the parts box and at least get you some images so that you can compare them to the fittings from Bluejacket - be careful, those 1" Dahlgrens may be 1:96 32 pounders for their Kearsarge kit and WAY out of scale for the Susquehanna.

 

  • Member since
    February, 2009
Posted by cigar63 on Saturday, February 28, 2009 7:39 AM

Stone Mountain has ACW naval guns in 15 mm scale.

15 mm is approximately 1/120 scale

You can check them out at this website

http://www.historicalminiatures.com/acnart.html

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Saturday, February 28, 2009 12:05 PM

Great pictures. Thanks again Carmike.

I need to check out Stonemountain. Thanks for the info.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Greenville,Michigan
Posted by millard on Saturday, February 28, 2009 6:26 PM

 I don't know if this will help. Cottage Industry Models make a great set of resin naval artillery sets for the Revell Kearsarge and Alabama. I know the scale is different but they might provide details for you.

Rod

  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Sunday, March 01, 2009 7:59 AM

I´ve been doing some research on the USS Susquehanna for almost 6 months now and have been trying to find out everything I can about her. I plan on scratchbuilding her in 1/96 scale. I´ve seen pictures of the models produced by Aoshima, Imai and Monogram and there seem to be some major discrepancies on these models. For one, I believe they based their plans on some of the available paintings and drawings of the ship. One thing to remember is that most of the artists of that time period either did not know anything about how a ship was built or they just made up certain details as they went along. These artist renderings cannot be taken as an exact copy of what the ship actually looked like.

 Most of the models have the covering for the paddlewheels with an "NBC peacock design". That is wrong. The coverings had a verticle slat design inside of a half circle. This can be seen in Peter Barratt´s book "Circle of Fire" on page 210. It also looks like most of the models have single paddles on the paddlewheels. The Susquehanna had duel paddles. One above the other.  The diameter of the wheels were 31 ft. 2 in. The width of each paddle was 9 ft. 6 in. and the paddles were 17 in. each in depth. There were 26 double paddle in each wheel. The dip of the wheel was 6 ft below the waterline.

As to the ships armament, most of her career, she had a complement of twelve IX (9 in) Dahlgren smoothbores, two 150 pounder Parrott Rifles mounted Fore and Aft on slide/pivot mounts and up to two 12 pounder rifles (which I believe were the Dahlgren Howitzers for the launches and landing operations) The earliest configuration states only that she was armed with three 8 in. shell guns (more than likely Paixhan shell guns) and six 32 pounder smoothbores. On December 31, 1865, following a major refitting, the  150 pdr. Parrott Rifles were removed and replaced by two XI (11 in.) Dahgrens. The twelve IX Dahlgrens remained in the broadsides and a 30 Pounder Parrott Rifle was added and the two 24 Pounder rifles remained.

 Also not shown on the models was the so called "Hurricane Deck". This was a deck between the paddlewheels. This was where the ship´s staff would be during combat operations so they could have an overall view of the ship. It extended from one paddlewheel to the other and was the width of the wheels.

As to the correct placement of the cannons, the IX Dahlgrens were 6 Fore and 6 Aft. 2 were placed in the ports closest to the paddlewheels. The next gun port was left open and a single Dahlgren was placed in the next port. The same system was used both Fore and Aft. The 150 Pdr. Parrotts were on slide/Pivot mounts and were run on "Rails". The foward pivot was mounted foward of the Foremast. I am still not exactly sure of the Aft Pivots exact position. I don´t believe that the Poop Deck could have supported such weight. I tend to believe that perhaps the Poop Deck had been removed so that the heavy gun could be placed far aft. I´m still trying to find that out though. It could have been possibly positioned between the Main and Mizzen masts but firing these massive guns in that position would have probably killed the Dahlgren crews from the concussion alone so I don´t think that position to be realistic.

As to the lines and fittings, well, I haven´t come to that bridge, yet. I´m still working on the Hull designs. "Carmike" you said you ordered plans from the Navy? Are they plans for the Susquehanna? I haven´t been able to find any. I only found plans for the Powhatan at Maryland Silver Company. ´The Powhatan was her sister ship but built 2 years later. I´m sure that they were built slightly different. If they are the Susquehanna, let me know where to get them. There are plans of the Susquehanna that exist but they are for a screw steam conversion that never took place. You can tell by the duel stacks and the modified rudder.

That´s about all I have so far on major discrepancies between the actual ship and the models. If anybody needs other details, feel free to ask. I am still doing my research and have tons of questions myself. I want to build this ship as historically correct as I can so that I can say "THIS was the USS Susquehanna. Not "Well this could have been what she looked like but...." I´m still hoping there is someone out there that knows this ship inside and out. It seems to be pretty elusive. I´ve found a lot of first hand accounts form action on the ship but the details seem to be conflicting. I don´t know which to believe.

Here is a very good site for help in ships details such as sails and rigging. They would be happy to help with your questions.

http://shipmodeling.net/vb_forum/

 Bill

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:59 AM
Thanks Skycop, Your information is excellent. Thank you for passing it along. I am reconsidering doing the Susquehanna during the Civil War. I am refocusing my research towards the Perry time period. I think the model is closer to this time period. I never expected to find such conflicting research and lack of parts. It may be the easier route. I just want to get to building. I waited so long to find the kit. I don't want to spend months in research and relagate her to the to do later pile. Things happen to kits in that pile. Most never get built.
  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:44 PM
hi , yes i built this ship for a client years ago . at that time i had to bash it to correct it . i used the blocks and such from the revell OLD IRONSIDES kit (the large one) . the decks were holystoned teak and i used HUMBROL deck bleached teak lightened with flat white . the deck should also be somewhat greyish which you could achieve with pastels. i replaced ALL the masting and spars with wood and yes in later years she sported jackstays ,but not when launched . the martingales were chain only in later years as well . i don,t remember all these years later where i got the info , but , i believe it was from an article in a shipmodeler mag ,by PORTIA TAKAKGIAN . her dad did a great many musuem models for many important clients.  i now work by memory , but i believe you can fudge the guns you need by using the guns , again ,some from u.s.s. constitution . i hope this helps , as many ships back then were sometimes re-rigged to their captains choice , much as the royal navy captains did , and this fogs the issue greatly . simply put ,the ship was built and sailed as built , and then changed to reflect her captains idea of better handling and sailing characteristics
  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:49 PM
skycop , have you tried TAUBMAN plan service ? they have stuff i never imagined . i have used their resources for many of my scratch built projects enlarging or reducing as needed .  the fact is you need to tap the naval institute press as well , maybe you will jackpot there . hope this helps you  tankerbuilder
  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Sunday, March 01, 2009 2:13 PM

I guess it depends on how detailed and accurate you want the rigging to be. For a model in 1/150 scale, I would do some research on the rigging of different ships of the same class from the time period I want to model. I think you would see a similarity in all of them only with minor differences. I, myself , have not tried my hand at rigging of a ship yet so I don´t feel really qualified to give advice on it. From what I have been reading it must be a B......! :-))

 Tankerbuilder,  I just checked out Taubmans. No Luck. This is a tough nut to crack. I think I am going to have to go ahead and order the Powhatan plans from Maryland Silver Company. The only problem is that I live in Germany and overseas shipping charges are a killer. They want 50% of the payment. Ouch. And just to imagine, I am originally from Maryland. Ain´t that a ....  The description of the plans seem to include everything I could possibly need to build it. I have never seen plans from them so I just hope they are worth it.

Migmodeler, With the Perry time period, you mean the trade negotiations with Japan? That was soon after her launch in 1851. If you want to go with that time period, I would do the early weapons configuration. Not much of the ships external appearance change during her career. I am going to do the ship around the January 13th, 1865 attack on Fort Fisher, NC. I have finished making the barrels for the 150 Parrotts and bought 1/96 scale Civil War Naval figures from Cottage Industries. I will be getting a mini lathe this week and am going to start work on the Dahlgrens and the howitzers. I think it is about time to get the Powhatan plans and start building this critter. Should be a challenge. .....what have I got myself into????? Ha Ha!

Bill

  • Member since
    June, 2006
  • From: Carmichael, CA
Posted by Carmike on Sunday, March 01, 2009 4:05 PM

Skycop:

You are correct in that most of the plans available from the USN are for the never-finished post-war refit, the only available plans of the Susquehanna pre-war being an 1851 sail plan (NARS 78-6-20) which is useful for looking at the rigging, plans for the main deck (NARS 144-4-14, 40-14-4, and 40-14-46).  These plans show the Susquehanna as having pivot circles at the bow and stern fore and aft (presumably for the 10" Paixhans smoothbores).

On a trip into NYC I located a copy at the NY Public Library of "The Naval and Mail Steamers of the US" Charles B. Norton & Co., NY; 1853 (2nd Printing), by Charles B. Stuart, then Engineer-in-Chief, U.S. Navy, which had a lot of information about the Susquehanna and Powhattan.  Although authorized at the same time, and of the same general characteristics, they were built in separate navy yards (Susquehanna in Philadelphia and Powhattan in Norfolk), had different machinery and different hull forms.  If you can get to a University library you might be able to find a copy as well as a copy of the Offical Records of the Union Navy in the Civil War which might be useful. 

Please keep in mind that the "established" armament of warships in the Civil War era varied based on the preferences of their commanding officers (who also, it seems, felt free to correspond directly with the Secretary of the Navy, which I doubt pleased the flag officers they reported to).  For example, Canney states that the Powhattan eventually carried sixteen 9" Dahlgrens, three 100 pounder Parrots, and an 11" Dahlgren, and I wonder how this armament could have been accomodated on deck.    

I'm pretty certain that the Susquehanna had a raised poop / quarter deck for most of her career, but not sure if she eventually was given a raised foc'sl deck by the time of the Civil War. In any event, I chose not to add a focs'l deck to the Monogram kit.

Good luck with your build.

 

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Monday, March 02, 2009 10:17 AM
Thank you all for all the great information! I think I will do her as she appeared when Perry opened trade negotiations with Japan. I will check on the build and sail plans. It looks like it might all be coming together. The extra deck(s) may be a problem. I will do more looking around when I hit my days off. It sounds like the kit is fairly accurate an early version. There was mention of a deck between the paddle wheels. Was that a later edition?
  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Monday, March 02, 2009 5:31 PM

Migmodeler,

 I´m not really sure if the "Hurricane Deck" was an original part of the ship. If you still have the book "Circle of Fire", look at the picture on page 185. That is the Hurricane Deck behind the Officers. The lower picture on page 37 is taken fron that deck looking foward. You can also see the 3 Dahlgrens on the Starboard side and the last gun toward the Bow is the 150 Pdr. Parrott.

I´ll see what I can find out for you. I just found an article stating that the Susquehanna was armed with six 8 inch Paixhans in 1853 when Perry went to Japan. These could be of interest for your build.

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/designs_for_democracy/symbols_and_substance/images/figurehead_susquehanna_powhatan.jpg

 

http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/black_ships_and_samurai/image/ship_cross.jpg

This one shows the placement of the Paixhans.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Aurora, Illinois
Posted by migmodeler on Monday, March 02, 2009 6:27 PM

I see what you mean Sky Cop. I did not realize that was the hurricane deck. Thanks for the links. When I get some days off again, I will dig into the Perry trip. That drawing(second link) is really nice. Even though they may not be completely accurate,they are great to look at.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by rayers on Monday, March 02, 2009 7:23 PM

This is all great info. I have the Imai Susquehanna, the Pyro Harriet Lane, the Aurora Hartford and the Revell Alabama (which I plan to bash into the Kearsarge) and have done no work on any of them because of the difficulty in finding good references, especially for things like armament, rig and color (was the Hartford really painted gray at Mobile Bay?). I've learned a lot just from looking at this thread.

I too have looked into using 15mm or 10mm wargaming guns for the Parrotts and Dahlgrens, but where would you find sources for Paixhans? Also, I just went to Cottage-industry.com and Cottage Industries.com (they are different sites) and can't find any reference to 1/96 figures or guns. And I just asked my local library to order "Circle of Fire" for me.

Thanks for all the great ideas and information -- perhaps it will encourage me to actually get started. These kits are so rare and expensive that I am a little gun-shy about starting to apply glue and paint to them lest I screw something up.

 

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Greenville,Michigan
Posted by millard on Monday, March 02, 2009 9:36 PM

rayers

Try www.cottage-industry-models.com William is the owner and great guy to work with.

Rod

  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Tuesday, March 03, 2009 1:57 AM

Here is were I found the figures.

http://www.milminwh.com/cottage_ind_main.htm

I just bought a mini metal lathe. It should get here today. I am going to re do my Parrott Rifles and turn the IX Dahlgrens with it. I´ll also try to do a Paixhan in 1/150 scale. Just need a little practice time.

Here is a link showing the Parrotts I have already made. They look OK but I think I can do better with the lathe.

http://modelshipworld.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7111

Bill

  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by rayers on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 12:05 AM

I found the 1/96 figures. They look great and I plan to buy some.

Sky Cop, please let us know how the milling project turns out. By the way, I am interested in your username because I work in the aviation industry... care to share? 

 

  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 4:07 PM

I have the Unimat 1 now but the lathe turning is going to take some practice. It´s not ...well.....good. It could be the cutting tool. It gouges instead of cutting. Leaves a rough surface. I ordered some better ones from ebay. I should be getting them today or tomorrow. We´ll see.

 Sky Cops are Air Force Security Police. I was a Security Specialist in the Air Force from 83 to 93. Loved working the Flightline and being around all kinds of different aircraft. I´m getting into Wooden Model Shipbuilding now but I am actually an Aircraft nut!

The reason I picked the Susquehanna as a project is because I grew up on the Susquehanna River where it runs into the Chesapeake Bay. I didn´t know what kind of ship I wanted to build and wondered if any ship was ever named the Susquehanna. I saw this one and that was that. Now I´m hooked......line and sinker.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
Posted by rayers on Thursday, March 12, 2009 12:27 AM

I figured you were either USAF security police or a federal air marshal. I work for the airline pilots union and a lot of the guys I work with are former Air Force. They're good guys.

Good luck with the lathe... I couldn't begin to try turning something as complex as a gun. I have a set of beautiful brass CNC-machined guns made by Steve Nuttall for my 1/96 Kearsarge project that are just outstanding.  

  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Monday, March 16, 2009 1:26 AM

Lathe work is slowly but surely coming along. I´m still waiting for the new cutting tools. I was away this weekend and found a package notice in my mailbox. It could be them. But maybe...just maybe....with a little luck, it could be my long lost Aoshima Susquehanna. I ordered it from Hong Kong a couple of months back but looks they sent it through the Bermuda Triangle. Just disappeared.

The problem I am having right now with the lathe is that I´m trying to turn a 150 Pdr. Parrott Rifle and I keep making slight mistakes. After I am finished correcting the mistakes, I end up with a 100 Pdr. Parrott Rifle. Grumpy [|(] I´m not giving up, though. I´ll master this Censored [censored] thing yet. "It´s you or me lathe! ...and guess what?...it ain´t you!" Black Eye [B)]

  • Member since
    October, 2008
Posted by Sky Cop on Sunday, April 05, 2009 4:33 AM

I´ve been studying the pictures of the Susquehanna more closely and it seems as though the Susquehanna, at least during the Civil War, did not have a "Poop Deck". (The raised aft deck) There is a picture of her anchored off somewhere in the "Circle of Fire" book and it seems as if the entire aft quarter is level with the deck to allow the aft pivot gun a free field of fire. It could, and would be my opinion, that the free area was surrounded by ropes and stanchions. Netting possibly.

 At the foward pivot gun, it seems as though a wide drop down gun port is present when the gun was fired in the broadside. I dont´t know where the makers of the models got there information while designing her plans but they seem to have been way off. It could very well be that it was originally designed to look the way the model looks and changes had been made during her build. It could also be that they used plans from the Powhatan, which seems to have the raised deck. More than likely, that´s the case.

  • Member since
    June, 2006
  • From: Carmichael, CA
Posted by Carmike on Sunday, April 05, 2009 12:40 PM

Skycop:

I'm not surprised - warships in this era underwent a lot of change in a short period of time.  It also appears that there were two competing strategies regarding armament for the wooden warships: one which favored a smaller number of heavier guns (principally the 11" Dahlgrens and 150 pounder Parrots) and the other which favored a larger number of smaller weapons (9" Dahlgrens) for more rapid fire and ease of handling (handling a heavy pivot gun in any kind of seaway must have been a challenge).  As a result, ship's armament was likely to change over time.

I'm fairly certain that the Susquehanna had the raised poop deck throughout her career, it was only a half deck in height (there were steps from the main deck leading down to the entrance to the officer's cabins) and depending on the angle at which the picture was taken and the quality of the print it might not be as evident.  The Susquehanna was used as a flagship for most of her career so it's also unlikely that the "O County" aft was reduced.

One thing that I have noticed in photographs and plans of other wooden ships (for example, the Pawnee) is that the gun ports were substantially modified to permit the use of larger bore weapons both in width and height.

Good luck!

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