1/32 Sea Coast Monitor
Reviewed by Timothy Dike

Flagship Models is continues their line of Civil War era kits with this 1/32 scale 7" Confederate Brooke Rifle. Designed by John Brookes for the Confederacy, these guns could be found in shore battery installations and on Southern Ironclads. They were manufactured in Richmond, Virginia and Selma, Alabama from 1861 to 1865. The gun was a cast iron gun with one or two wrought iron bands welded around the chamber to reinforce it from the explosive charge. Typically mounted on a heavy wooden carriage this gun could launch a 110 lb. shell with great accuracy for it's time. 

The gun features a wooden carriage on a chassis that could be rolled back and forth to facilitate loading of the gun. It was mounted on a wooden turntable that allowed the gun to be trained out at any angle. The gun was elevated with a leadscrew that passed through a case on lug on the barrel. 

From Rusty White

The Flagship Models kit of the 7" Brooke Rifle is a dead on accurate representation of this famous weapon used extensively by the the Confederate army and navy during the American Civil War. 

The first seven single-banded 7-inch (178 mm) were bored and rifled from 9-inch (229 mm) Dahlgren gun blocks between July and December 1861. Two of these were the front and rear pivot guns of the CSS Virginia. Tredegar made another nineteen to the Brooke pattern between 1862 and 1863 of which three survive. Two of these are found at the Washington Navy Yard as trophies from CSS Atlanta.

Selma cast fifty-four double-banded rifles in 1863 and 1864, but only shipped thirty-nine due to casting flaws. Tredegar cast thirty-six between 1863 and 1865. Eight survive, two as trophies from CSS Tennessee II, one in the Washington Navy Yard and the other in Selma.

Three triple-banded rifles were cast by Tredegar in 1862. These were 15 inches (380 mm) longer than the other 7-inch rifles and were unique among Brooke guns in that they lacked cast trunnions. Instead a separate trunnion strap was fitted around the breech. One was mounted on the CSS Richmond and another was sent to the harbor defenses of Charleston, South Carolina where it remains as a trophy in Ft. Moultrie.

The kit is all resin with some brass and wooden rods, and an assortment of scale rope. Curiously for Flagship Models, there is none of their signature photo etch! 

The base ring is all resin with realistic deck planking and a wood grain look on the timbers. My sample was nicely cast with almost perfect casting. I like the way the timbers appear separate from the floor and inner ring.
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The double banded gun is well cast on a resin runner. It is cast with an open muzzle, but I couldn't see any scale rifling! The cradle is  cast on a resin wafer and also has that timber texturing on the surface. 
Also cast on a resin wafer the carriage has the look of a wooden timber construction. Casting detail is nice, but the thick wafer will take some work to remove. 
The turntable chassis ends and covers are well cast with very little flash. There are metal plates with round headed bolts cast onto the surface. Some on my sample had little voids from air bubbles. These are easily fixed with a dab of cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). 
The small details are the most impressive from the elevation lead screw with cast on threads, to the pulley blocks that can actually be rigged. A few of the parts had air bubbles that will have to be fixed, but overall they are well cast with nice detailing. One can almost imaging the engineering that went into the real gun mount as the pretty much assemble in the same way. 
Three lengths of brass rod and a wooden dowel are provided to fashion the ram rod, powder scoop and the axles. Three sizes of scale appearing rope are are included to do all the rigging. 
Eye pins are included to simulate the eye bolts that the rigging runs through. 
The Instructions are a two pages with multiple views of the assembly. They are well drawn using CAD and clearly show where the parts locate. These are some of the best instructions in the industry and should provide everything you need to properly build this kit.

A well engineered scale model of this famous gun produced in a scale where you can really appreciate the details and workings of the real gun. Everything you need to build it except paint and glue are included and even a novice builder should have no problems. This is kit #FM13234 7" Confederate Brooke Rifle with a list price of $95.00. Certainly a nice price for a complete kit like this. 

Flagship has a line of How to CD's that will help you out in many topics. For this build  Making Realistic Ship Dioramas should be a big help.

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