Thursday, 19 February 2015

From MilesR - 1/600 Scale ACW Naval (100 Points)

 My next submission consists of 6, 1/600 scale ships from the American Civil War - 3 Union, 2 Confederate and a generic river transport.  All six models are metal castings from Thoroughbred Miniatures and are superb kits - especially the Hartford (the biggest one) which has over 40 parts.  Please excuse the Hartford not being rigged but I've run out of rigging thread.  I have included a 28mm figure to give a sense of the size of these models.

First up is the USS Hartford, a Steam Screw Frigate and one of the most powerful Union ships in the war.  The Hartford served mostly in the Gulf of Mexico and participated in the the Battles of New Orleans and Mobile Bay.  She served as Admiral Farragut's flagship and was responsible for taking the Confederate Ironclad Tennessee.

The Hartford was very heavily gunned and was armed with 18 9" Dalgrens, 2 100 pounder rifles, 2 20 pounder rifles and 1 30 pounder rifle.  The rifled guns gave her a range advantage over most ships of the day and she'll be a close match for the HMS Warrior in my upcoming convention game.
The model was a lot of fun to put together and I may get a second one for her sister ship the USS Lancaster.  It's also a "big" model, with a 6 inch total length.
Next is a Itasca Class gunboat.  The ships were also referred to as "90-Day gunboats" as that was the time allotted for construction and fitting out.  23 were commissioned during the war.  At least one Itasca class ship participated in every major naval action of the conflict.  The Itasca served along with the Hartford in the Gulf of Mexico blockade fleet and was responsible for taking 5 confederate raiders as prizes.

 The last Union ship is a casemate ironclad - the USS Indianola.  While heavily armed for a riverine class ship with 2 11" guns in the bow casemate and 2 9' gun in the stern casemate, the Indianola was very poorly constructed and she ran aground and was captured in front of Vicksburg.  One of the more bizarre occurrences of the war happened after she was captured with the confederates being tricked into burning her rather than recruiting her.  What tricked the CSA?  It was the sight of several Union "ironclads" approaching the grounded Indianola.  In reality the union ships where fakes - just barges made to look like iron clads complete with tree trunks painted black to represent cannons and canvas covered "turrets".  These Union craft are referred to as "Quaker Boats".

 Hopefully the Indianola will do better on the gaming table than her historical counterpart
 The first Confederate ship is the CSS Gaines which was part of the fleet protecting Mobile Bay and was lost along with the Tennessee during that battle in 1864.  Part of her hull still lies in Mobile Bay and forms a relatively unknown fishing reef that I often visited as a kid growing up.

 The last Confederate ship is the ill fate CSS Missouri a casemate ironclad that served on the Red River in Louisiana.  She actually didn't see a lot of action during the war as low water levels trapped her in dock for the duration.  She did have an interesting design with a centrally mounted (and unprotected) paddle wheel.

Last up is a generic river transport steam ship that will be used in convoy scenarios.  It's a simple model of a basic side wheel steam ship.  I've got a few more on order.

I'm still a good number of points shy of my 250 point naval challenge goal so expect to see some more 1/600 civil war mini's in the near future.

From Curt: 

Wonderful work Miles. I've always loved the Thoroughbred range of kits. They are so well cast and precise - I often think of them as the GHQ of naval miniatures. 

The USS Hartford is a monster - and what masterful work you've put into her. I really look forward to hearing how the matchup goes between her and HMS Warrior. As a citizen of the Commonwealth I'll be pulling for the Brits.

Though the purpose-built casemate vessels like the Missouri, Tennessee, etc. are sleek and sexy I've always had a soft-spot for the whacky riverboat conversions. We often found they were tremendous fun to play with using 'Smoke on the Water' as they're typically quite nimble, but blow apart into kindling at the drop of a hat. 

Again, an excellent entry Miles!


  1. Fantastic models, really nicely done all of them.

  2. Real nice work

    Curt is GHQ the GHQ of Naval miniatures?

  3. Beautiful submission Miles. Forty parts? You are one tenacious modeler!

  4. Fascinating stuff Miles and wonderful modelling. I know next to nothing about this stuff and I'm really enjoying seeing the models and reading the potted histories.

  5. Thanks for the kind comments - these models are a lot of fun to paint up.

    Sadly, I know most of the histories and dull statistics are straight our of my memory - I can remember the armament of an obscure ironclad but struggle to remember my anniversary date - Anne, I'm no "Steve"

  6. Very nice ships Miles. I with Curt and my money's on the Warrior!

  7. While I am not very familiar with ACW river warfare. Seeing these does make me want to get involved in some. They are all totally believable and I really could see them taking pride of place in a collection.

  8. These are great but 40 parts? That would drive me away for sure


  9. Well done on the ships Miles! Your attention to detail is amazing.

  10. They are all gorgeous! I really like the USS Hartford. I'd love to game with these ships, but alas all I have ate the old Avalon Hill and SSI card tiles! :(

  11. All your stuff is good, but I'm always especially impressed by your naval entries. Fantastic looking vessels.

  12. Beautiful models and painting!


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