|When the first world war broke out the
United States found itself with a shortage of cargo ships. German U-boats
were roaming the Atlantic sinking any they found. Most of the Freighters
in the US Navy of that time were of obsolete designs. So to help remedy
the problem, the Shipping Board authorized 180 new cargo ships. The first
one completed, the USS Quistconck, was christened on August 5, 1918, and
soon 109 other Hog Island Standard Fabricated Type "A" Freighters would
follow. The name Hog Island refers to the shipyard where they were built.
This new design had a no-frills exterior of utter simplicity. But underneath
that ugly skin was a modern oil fired boiler and a sturdy well built frame.
These ships arrived too late to help in WW1 but many were used as
civilian cargo ships after the war.
The USS Capella was one of the later Hog Islanders. She was originally built as the Comerant in 1920. She was taken over by the Naval Transportation Service in February 1922 and designated AK-13 in 1921. She served well transporting all kinds of cargo from relief supplies to Japanese earthquake victims to 16" guns to Hawaii. The latter is documented well on the Naval Historical Center USS Capella page. Capella was decommissioned and placed in reserve 1924. Recommissioned in 1938 she served on throughout the war before being sold for scrap in 1947.
This new kit by Battlefleet represents the Hog Islander Type A Hull USS Quistconck as built in 1918. It is typical of virtually any as built Type A hulls during the 1920's and 30's period between the wars.
|The hull on this kit is well cast and features some really sharp detailing. From the fine deck planking to the incredible deck winch, you will be impressed by this casting. The cargo hatches are nicely done and on the stern you have some nicely done skylights.||Click images
|The superstructure parts are cast on a thin almost non existent resin wafer. There will be an absolute minimum of sanding to prepare these parts. Like the deck these parts also feature nice deck planking. The bridge window frames are cast in place and well defined. Port holes are round and most will not need any touch up with a drill. The funnel is well done and cast semi hollow.|
|BOOMS, BOATS, AND MISCELLANEOUS PARTS|
|The kit features many of the typical cargo ships parts like those found in their C-2 Freighter. The two cargo booms are cast on resin runners to keep them straight and preserver the details. The vents are well formed with just a touch of a thin flash film between them. Boats are canvas covered and a bit on the plain side.|
|Separate winches are cast in left and right hand configuration
to place on the decks. There are also a number of chocks cast separately
to add to the deck. Some of the boom parts are also represented in resin,
but I would consider replacing these with brass or plastic rod for strength.
You can use the resin ones for templates. A couple of nice searchlights
are included to place on the otherwise plain superstructure.
|The photo etch fret is supplied by Tom's Modelworks and is typical of the quality you would expect from his sets. You really only need the railings so you will have plenty of extras for the spare parts box.|
|The instructions are five pages with some prototype views
of the real ship as well as stats. I scanned these in black and white to
keep file size down. There are two pages of notes and a final page with
plan and elevation of the ship with parts location. These are better than
previous versions but could still use some sub assembly views.
|For deck cargo Battlefleet has provided 8 pallet loads of supplies. The palletized cargo are all new, and well cast. You can clearly make out the 55 gallon barrels and other boxes and crates.|
unique subject captured in resin by Battlefleet
Models. This one opens the door for other subjects as there are a lot
of Hog Islander variants that use this basic hull. Look for some of these
variants in future releases from Battlefleet Models.
This kit is #710 401' Hog Islander Type A Hull 1918 USS Quistconck is listed for $50.00 and is available from Pacific Front Hobbies.