Reviewed by Timothy Dike
November 2013
CSS Arkansas, an ironclad ram, was built at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1861-62.  Incomplete when Union forces closed in on Memphis in May 1862, she was towed up the Yazoo River to Yazoo City, Mississippi and finished as far as circumstances allowed.  On 15 July 1862, her enterprising commanding officer, Lieutenant Isaac Newton Brown, CSN, took Arkansas down the Yazoo where she encountered the U.S. gunboats Carondelet and Tyler and the ram Queen of the West, leaving the first two badly damaged.  Continuing out into the Mississippi River, she boldly fought her way through the assembled Federal fleet and came to rest under the protection of the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg.  While at Vicksburg on 22 July, Arkansas was attacked by the Queen of the West and ironclad Essex, but was not severely damaged.  Though badly in need of repairs, she was next ordered to steam down the river to assist Confederate forces in an attack on Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  While carrying out this mission on 6 August 1862, CSS Arkansas suffered a severe machinery breakdown during an engagement with the Essex, drifted ashore and was burned to prevent capture.

 Flagship is back with yet another Civil War era warship. 

The hull is cast full hull with everything except the funnel and fittings cast on. The sides are scribed to simulate the railroad iron that served as it's armor. Heavy doors cover the cannon ports on the sides while the bow and stern ports have recesses designed for the cannon barrels to attach to. The lower hulls smooth and the bow ram  has metal plating detail is large rivets. The casting is pretty good overall, with some cleanup needed along the keel and where the armor plating meets the wooden lower part of the hull. 
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The funnel is the most prominent of these details and it is cast with a hollowed out end and metal band and rivet details. Other details are the anchors and boat davits. The ships boat in my sample will need some repairs to make it sea worthy. Other items like the prop struts and large rudder look pretty good. 
A  brass photo etch fret includes rigging, stantions, and a life boat deck. The vent grills look nice with their relief etching giving the mesh a finer appearance. Also included are brass and plastic rod, and a length of anchor chain.
A decal sheet includes the ships flag and a simulated recessed steering compartment. Note; these are printed on white decal paper and should be trimmed to size. . 
The Instructions very well drawn and clearly show placement and labeling of the parts. There are even paint call outs. 

A nice kit of an Ironclad with some history. This one should prove to be a relatively easy build where your weathering skills can be put to good use. A necessary addition to your Confederate Mississippi defenses. This is kit #FM19208 CSS Arkansas (10.5" long) listed for $90.00, available direct from Flagship Models via it's online ordering system.

With such a simple shape the painting and weathering be what makes this kit standout. Not to worry, as Flagship has a line of How to CD's that will help you out in many topics from Building Resin Ships and Working with Photo Etch Parts to Making Realistic Water.