Flagship Models 1/192 USS Onondaga

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
USS Onondaga, a 2592-ton twin-turret monitor, was built at Greenpoint, New York. Commissioned in March 1864, she spent her entire active career with the James River Flotilla, covering the water approaches to Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War's last year. While on the James, she was involved in several engagements in June, August and December 1864 and in January 1865. Onondaga was decommissioned at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in June 1865. In an arrangement approved by the Congress, she was sold back to her builder in March 1867 and immediately resold to France. The monitor subsequently had long service in the French Navy, retaining the name Onondaga.

More about the Onondaga can be read on the Dept. of the Navy -- Naval Historical Center website. But you build your own with this 1/192 multimedia kit by Flagship Models.

The hull on this kit is cast as one piece with only a small casting gate on the bow to remove. The surface detail is very good, with the plate line boldly etched into the surface. Rivet detail is applied all around the hull. The underside also features nice casting detail. Don't be alarmed if the rivet detail is not perfectly uniform. Shipbuilders were still used to building wooden ships and the armor plating was sometimes a bit on the rough side. 
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The two turrets also have nice rivet detail around the circumference. The boats are nicely detailed and will look even better when you add the photo etched inserts. A wooded rudder, bits, and vent pipes are also provided. The over pour is a bit thick on some of these parts, but the casting looks good. 
Two propellers and anchors are provided.  There is also a length of real chain for the anchors. A nice touch. 
A a relief etched fret is provided for the turret shields and deck inserts. Hatches, boat davits, and stantions are among the other parts provided on this well designed fret.  
A simple US flag decal is supplied in paper.
The Instructions two pages with assembly notes. These illustrate all the steps needed to complete the kit. Included are a plan and elevation showing final parts locations, a template for the turret awnings, and 3D subassembly views. Very well done. 

This new kit add yet another Ironclad to the Flagship 1/192 line up. This is kit #FM19218 USS Onondaga for $95.00 and available direct from Flagship Models via it's online ordering system. This Ironclad with it's prominent rivet detail is just begging for a light wash and some rust streaks to make it really stand out. Don't forget that  Flagship has a line of How to CD's that will help you.

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