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Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge

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  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, May 8, 2021 1:19 PM

I've been thinking that I would like to attempt another sailing ship before my ageing carcass no longer can manipulate the building of small parts and the rigging involved.

This will be an OOB build.

Before I get started I should say that I am not buying much in the way of aftermarket material ... perhaps more rigging line and some blocks if I don't already have enough.

I have no plans to build her with furled or set sails. As I did for both my Constitution and Cutty Sark, there will be no sails at all. She'll be built as if she were in port for a long enough time that the sails would have been stowed in lockers.

I don't know what guns are supposed to be on board for the 1888 depiction that I suppose the hull configuration of this kit represents. Certainly I don't wish to include the guns that were only on board during her Civil War service. If any of you have some knowledge about the guns that she carried in 1888 (or thereabouts) and if they are correctly represented in this kit I'd be grateful for your input.

I would also like your opinions regarding the copper bottom. I'm guessing it was Muntz Metal (Muntz started this in 1832) and not pure copper. If that's the case I feel I should tone down the copper to look slightly more yellow/green. Kind of like what the present hull of the Cutty Sark looks like today.

I think I may have seen - at some time in the past 10 years - a discussion on the Muntz Metal that included the very knowledgeable John Tilley's input. I haven't looked for that thread yet but I will.

I appreciate your collective knowledge on all things nautical. Sometimes your contributions to threads spares the builder some of the drugery in internet research. I know, I know ... some people enjoy researching on the 'net ... just not this model builder Big Smile.

 

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, May 8, 2021 2:35 PM

Mike you are right about the Cutty Sark. I think gold paint looks about right, of course only in a "brand new in the drydock" kind of way.

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, May 8, 2021 3:18 PM

Bill,

Yup, I may go with a light coat of both Vallejo Gold and Old Gold Model Color Metallics.

Since thinning that particular brand of paint may be problematic using too much water and I don't have any Vallejo thinning product, I may have to strip the applied coat quickly if I don't like what I'm seeing. Such is the way of modeling ...

I'll think on it.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    July 2013
Posted by steve5 on Saturday, May 8, 2021 3:19 PM

I'm going to enjoy this build mate , been hoping you would do another ship .

 

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, May 9, 2021 1:01 PM

There is a great book about the battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama, written by the Captain of the Alabama.  Forget the title, however.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Sunday, May 9, 2021 2:00 PM

Thanks Don.

Although I'm not as interested in the Civil War configuration of the USS Kearsarge as I am its later livery, I appreciate the info.

His name, BTW, was Raphael Semmes.

There are lots of sites with information regarding that battle. For anyone interested, here are a few links:

https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/raphael-semmes-and-the-css-alabama.html

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/c/capt-semmes-css-alabama.html

https://sites.google.com/site/290foundation/history/alabama-v-kearsarge

https://mds.marshall.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1003&context=css_al

Don, I believe this is the book to which you refer:

https://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Service-Afloat-During-Between/dp/1540331172

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, May 9, 2021 6:29 PM

Before the fire, the Muntz on Cutty Sark was a gold color, whashed with a hint of copper and bronze.

A modeler could legitimately apply rather a lot of green "moldiness" to the underwater hull, especially with a premise of the ship having spent a deal of time moored.  In that latter case, the yards would be in slings, possibly chain slings, and uppermost yards might have been struck down to deck and stowed.

Awnings would likely be rigged, too.

Checking Scalemates, there's no specific aftermarket for this ship.

The armament is probaly just going to have to do, or you'll wind up down the rabbithole of replacing it all.

The deck races probaly need replacing, this is common to many Alabama builds.

  • Member since
    March 2018
  • From: Chicago suburbs
Posted by Luvspinball on Sunday, May 9, 2021 7:27 PM

HiSModels carries a photoetch set and flags for the Kearsarge.

https://www.hismodel.com/articles-category-24

Also sails and such, but you said you didn't need any of those.

Bob

Bob Frysztak

Luvspinball

Current builds:  Revell 1/96 USS Constitution with extensive scratch building

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Sunday, May 9, 2021 9:48 PM

CapnMac82,

Thanks for the information.

What are "deck races"? Are they the flat track areas on the deck which the mounts for the cannon would roll to position? Sorry, I can't find "deck races" in my "Seamanship In The Age Of Sail" by John Harland. It didn't come up in a cursory search on the 'Net. My ignorance of things nautical is showing again.

I plan to avoid as many "rabbitholes" as I can Big Smile. I will use what the kit offers by way of cannon. As you suggest, just too many variables otherwise. I'm following the KISS philosophy on this build.

I have now painted the coppered hull a shade of gold and then given it a wash of grime to tone down the shine. I thought about a little green - I'll have to think about that a little more but I'm more or less satisfied with what I've done today.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Sunday, May 9, 2021 9:54 PM

Bob,

Thanks for the link.

As I said, I'll not be doing much beyond what's in the box other than some blocks and rigging line I have on hand. I'm trying to keep this build simple ... not necessarily historically accurate and the armament I am pretty sure will not be so.

I do want it to look respectable as a model so I'll try not to screw up too much.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, May 10, 2021 7:31 AM

1943Mike

Thanks Don.

Although I'm not as interested in the Civil War configuration of the USS Kearsarge as I am its later livery, I appreciate the info.

His name, BTW, was Raphael Semmes.

There are lots of sites with information regarding that battle. For anyone interested, here are a few links:

https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/raphael-semmes-and-the-css-alabama.html

https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/c/capt-semmes-css-alabama.html

https://sites.google.com/site/290foundation/history/alabama-v-kearsarge

https://mds.marshall.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1003&context=css_al

Don, I believe this is the book to which you refer:

https://www.amazon.com/Memoirs-Service-Afloat-During-Between/dp/1540331172

 

Nope, it was a short title, something like Cruiser Alabama or similar.  He claims the Captain of the Kearsarge cheated by draping sides with chains- ungentlemanly.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Monday, May 10, 2021 10:19 AM

Don,

I'll keep an eye out for it.

As to draping the sides with chains .... "ungentlemanly"? LOL!

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    July 2006
Posted by Michael D. on Monday, May 10, 2021 1:57 PM

Mike,

I like your planned approach on this, as long as ALL seams, flash/ molding ridges, sink holes and use of sandpaper were needed to create wood grain are finished off so they're undetectable, it'll look fantastic. Looking forward to seeing her take shape!

Michael D.

 

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 6:42 AM

Michael,

I'll do my usual work ... I'm in this for the enjoyment of seeing the kit come together but I'm not in the same league as skilled modelers like you. I appreciate your interest. I'll try not to screw it up too badly.

I want to get some time consuming drudgery out of the way before I take away the "placeholder" from the title of this thread. I've already painted the decks three times - the first time with nato black and let it dry. The next with deck tan (Tamiya XF-55) and let it dry. Then I attempted to use fine sandpaper to reveal a bit of the dark paint beneath so as to represent the grain in the planks. I did that on my Cutty Sark years ago but this time it didn't work as well so I soaked all four deck pieces in warm water and Simple Green for several hours to remove all the paint. Then I painted the decks with a slightly different dark color - nato black mixed 50/50 with flat brown. It will need to cure for about 12 more hours (it's now 4:40 am and I'm going to drive a couple hours up to Washinton to hike Dog Mountain. I'll be too tired when I get home to do the next coat of paint so that'll most likely be tomorrow).

Anyway, I'll be plodding along starting in earnest in a week or so.

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    September 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 11:12 AM

Don,

The title is, "Memoirs of Service Afloat; Two Years on the Alabama".  There is another book written by the Alabama's First Lieutenant John McIntosh Kell, "Recollections of a Naval Life, Including Cruises on the CSS Sumter and CSS Alabama".  Both are or were available from Naval Institute Press.

Bill

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 4:57 PM

1943Mike
Are they the flat track areas on the deck which the mounts for the cannon would roll to position?

Yes.  Really only used during the heavy rifle period in the mid 1800 to late 1800s, perhaps 40-50 years, and use varied between Navies.

The pivots were levered up and spun to various points, then the trucks (the carriage wheels) landed on the arcs.  Mostly.

Research by various modelers on both Kearsarge and Alabama generally hold that the iron tracks are wrong.  (Although the ones in the Alabam kit are said to be more accurate for Kearsarge circa 1860s.)

That accessory kit noted above looks like a good one.  A wood deck lets to just build the deck and not have to fuss with restoring woodgrain engraving at joints.

The 'kit' of lines will be particularly helpful.  Six sizes of line will have better effect than the two in the kit.

The wooden blocks might be a cool feature, too--they'd have to be better than the single size in the kit (esp. with the fragile eyes cast in them).

That's 2¢, spend it well.

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 6:16 PM

CapnMac82,

Thanks for the information.

I'm not going to concern myself with historical accuracy ... just a pleasant looking transitional warship between sail and steam.

I've toyed with the idea of using the supplied shrouds and ratlines in the kit supplied glued together form but more than likely I'll try my patience (as I did with the USS Constitution and the Cutty Sark) by rigging them myself.

This sailing vessel was originally (Civil War era) barque rigged - at least it looks that way to me. No square sails on the mizzen, just fore and aft. Later she was fully ship rigged. I, however, will rig her as a barque. That's the way the kit has her. I'm not about to add the required yard(s) to the mizzen for square sails and to somehow figure out where to belay the lines from them. Way, way above my pay grade, my patience, and my skill set.

So, CapnMac82, thanks for your (appreciated) $.02 but I'm sticking with my plan.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Thursday, May 13, 2021 3:07 PM

OK, I've given up on my plan to paint the decks ... just stripped all paint for the second time.

I've broken down and ordered Scaledecks wood decks for her. I like Scaledecks. They don't have adhesive so one needs to use his/her own. The Kearsarge set made by them includes the wood decking for the mast tops as well as for the boats she carried. It also comes with PE - the metal on which the cannons were moved about.

Hopefully I won't screw up on attaching the wood decks.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, May 15, 2021 5:41 PM

1943Mike
the metal on which the cannons were moved about.

There are chemical blackeners for brass that are outstanding in effect, and look more like iron than paint, too.

Now, I have this memory that the ship, especially after ACW was reduced in rig, to something approaching a "jackass" rig--no crossed spars on the mizzen at all, and no more than 3 or 4 yards on the Fore & Main.  That the Main mast had a gaff rigged, but carried no spencer sail (which would foul the funnel) but only a staysail aove the gaff.

That memory could be faulty.

I know there's been online debate on whether the kit, as boxed, is of an age to have wire rope and chain sheets.

The kit-supplied ratilines & shrouds are an abomination, all of the Revell ones of vinyl-dipped thread really are.  They won't tie, and they won't glue, and they don't represent the geometry at all.  (I may be biased) 

Shrouds ought e 4-8 times the diameter of the ratlines.

And, if I'm going to throw 2¢ around, hit up the craft store and look for 28ga black annealed steel wire, which has a ton of ship modeling uses.  Footropes on yards being a leading one.

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, May 15, 2021 9:59 PM

CapnMac82,

Thanks for your input. It's always appreciated.

I do still have "Blacken it". I've plenty left from using it to blacken some anchor chains on some of the ships I've built in the last decade.

I also have plenty of black annealed steel wire .. too much in fact. I'd need several lifetimes to finish using it.

As to the shrouds and ratlines that are in the kit - I've already decided to try to rig both myself. I'm not very good at it but I'll give it the old college try - again.

However, I'll not attempt to rig the lanyards between the deadeyes for the shrouds. I'll just use whatever the kit provides for that - it's beyond my skill set.

When I built my Cutty Sark eight years ago I didn't attempt that then. I know my build suffered for it but, in all honesty, it's more than I can do and still enjoy the process.

The dusty, old CS still sits on its own little corner table in my living room area. Not a work of art but I enjoyed building it and I still like the way it looks - even if it's not accurate.

Again, thanks for your contributions to this thread. I really enjoy it when those with much greater nautical knowledge than I have offer their help.

Here are some images of my old CS:

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, May 15, 2021 11:45 PM

That Tea Clipper is a rig based on a race, a one off for fame, fortune and marketing.

Your goverment navy ship would only go under sail when coal was a fair distance beyond achievable range.

Were me- oh I haven't historical record. Stow the sails, make the yards struck to the deck or at least dropped to the top.

Sail rigs in  the age of steam were either for economy in commerce, transportation from builder's yard to customer, or distance between coaling stations for navies.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Sunday, May 16, 2021 10:47 AM

Thanks Bill.

Most likely I'll try to rig her based on the rigging instruction sheet. It looks relatively complete - albeit not necessarily accurate - and has the belaying pin diagram.

As I've said before, this is going to be a build for my enjoyment and I'll try to keep it as close to out of the box as I dare. The wood decks may be the exception - we'll see.

I have lots of line, deadeyes, etc. from ModelShipways, Syrene, etc. left. I may have to buy a few blocks if I don't end up using the ones from the kit. So far I don't see any major roadblocks.

I've spent several hours masking the hull halves to paint the white lines - that includes a skinny white water line which I've seen on a couple of images of paintings depicting her in the later stages of her life.

Here's what I'm taking about:

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Friday, May 21, 2021 2:32 PM

OK, I've taken away the "Placeholder" in the title.

I'm going to go slowly - perhaps painfully slowly for some. Don't expect a quick build on my part.

I'm already disappointed in my rusty mediocre skill set when it comes to painting. I've spent the better part of a week going over and over what should have been routine painting and have seen my hand painting screw up more touch-ups than it was supposed to fix. That's life with my shaky hands it guess.

Anyhow, I'm off and running (or crawling) on this build.

I like the color I've gotten to represent Muntz Metal. It works for me. See the comparixon with the original post.

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    April 2016
Posted by RacerToo on Saturday, May 22, 2021 7:25 AM

Mike. Love your Cutty Sark. Truly inspirational. 

 I'm currently on the other end of the Kearsarge spectrum. I'm building a 1861 Kearsarge. I've been focused on the seven or so period photos trying to understand every detail. Its amazing to me how much is in these photos, and how there seems to be something new I observe each time I re-examine these pieces of photographic history. My progress is slow as well but I need to build this kit with extensive scratch building and aftermarket parts.

  progress three by steve hawley, on Flickr" alt="" />  Kearsarge progress by steve hawley, on Flickr" alt="" />

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, May 22, 2021 9:30 AM

Looking great!

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, May 22, 2021 9:57 AM

Nice model, Racer. Is that Blue Jacket's?

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    April 2016
Posted by RacerToo on Saturday, May 22, 2021 10:16 AM

Thanks. Not Blue Jacket's. Just a heavily modified 1/96 Revell Kearsarge model. Lot's of fun:)

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, May 22, 2021 12:59 PM

Steve,

Your build will be followed by me with great interest. Looks like you're off to a fine start!

I sure hope you have or will have a build log on this site?

The cannon really look the part ... are they Cottage Industries?

Question for all following this thread ... was the ordnance very different between 1861 and the 1880's? I'm using the supplied cannon but will be open to ditching them if they were totally obsolete a couple decades later. That is, I'd ditch them if there were after market substitutes that are accurate for the 1880's time frame.

But, as I said at the start of this thread, I'm not after historical accuracy, just a pleasant looking model for my condo.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    April 2016
Posted by RacerToo on Saturday, May 22, 2021 3:56 PM

Mike. I don't want to hijack this thread so I'll start my own as soon as I have more progress. Its good to have the Cottage Industries cannons as an alternative but their carriage castings leave a lot to be desired. Even after spending much time removing flash the castings look horrible. Nothing has a sharp edge and are very disappointing. So I built my own carriages using the acceptable pieces from Cottage.

   As far as what the differences between 1861 and 1880, I'll leave that to the experts and Google. I'm just building what I see in the photos take right after the battle with the Alabama.  carriage mods. by steve hawley, on Flickr" alt="" />  mod cottage. by steve hawley, on Flickr" alt="" />

  • Member since
    December 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, May 22, 2021 4:12 PM

Steve,

Very impressive scratch work on the carriages.

Looking forward to viewing your progress on this kit.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

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