Flagship Models 1/192 Keokuk

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The USS Keokuk was a twin turret Ironclad Ram weighing in at 677 tons. She was built in New York City and launched in December 1862. She featured a large ram just below the waterline and twin turrets that could be aimed and fired independently. She also featured an experimental armor system of alternating rows of wood and iron. After commissioning she was sent to Port Royal, South Carolina to aid in the blockade of the South. In April 1863 Keokuk and seven other monitors attacked Fort Sumpter at Charleston, South Carolina and came under heavy fire from well defended shore batteries for over 30 minutes. Keokuk took many hits, ninety in all and was holed in several places. Her armor had failed to protect her and she was forced to withdraw. She anchored out of range but damage control efforts failed and she sank the next morning after a short career. Keokuk would probably have performed better against other ships, but she was no match for Fort Sumpter. 

Flagship has released this new 1/192 kit to represent this lesser know Ironclad.

The hull on this kit is cast waterline style with a separate lower hull. Casting is clean and the surface detailing is nice. The lower hull features a wooden plank look. The upper hull features the experimental armor bands cast on the surface and plenty of really nice raised rivet detailing.
click images
to enlarge
Lower Hull
With such a simple ship, there are not a lot of parts. There is a funnel with a hollowed out appearance,. Several bits are separately cast on a resin block. These are well shaped but really should have more room on the base to allow them to be separated without breakage. The two ships boats are very well done, and will look really cool with the included photo etch decks shown below.
Metal parts include two white metal cannon barrels, two propellers and some brass rod for the masts. There is a lot of flash on the propellers, but with a little work they will be usable. 
The relief etch photo etch fret is very well done. The grates on the turret roof look really cool and give some depth to the ship. The stantions for the turret roofs are all separate so that you can rig them with thread or thin brass wire. The anchor assembly is just smartly done and when folded up will give you a realistic scale anchor.
A simple US flag decal is supplied in paper.
The Instructions two pages with assembly notes. They show plan and elevation views with plenty of notes to show where everything goes. The awning and rigging details are well illustrated as well. 
This is kit #FM19210 USS Keokuk Twin Turret Ironclad Ram listed for $75.00, available direct from Flagship Models via it's online ordering system.  A light wash and some weathering will really make the unique armor belt stand out on this kit. Yet another cool release from Flagship Models in their growing line of Civil War Ironclads.

If you have never worked with a multimedia kit then check out Flagship's 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.

© ModelWarships.com