Flagship Models 1/192 CSS Teaser

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The CSS Teaser was originally a 64 ton civilian tug before the war. She was purchased by the State of Virginia in 1861. She was fitted out with 12-pounder Parrott rifled gun mounted on a slide pivot carriage at her bow. A 32-pounder Brooke rifle was mounted on the stern.

Teaser participated in the actions in Hampton Roads along with the CSS Virginia against several Union warships. Teaser was used to plant mines and torpedoes. She also served as a platform for a observation balloon to spot enemy movements.

In July of 1862 she was laying torpedoes near Turkey Creek on the James River. Alerted to her presence, the USS Monitor and USS Maratanza, a double-ender side wheel steamer sailed up river to intercept. Teaser  unable to get away stood her ground and opened fire on the Union ships. Maratanza returned fire and the Teasers crew realizing the uneven odds abandoned ship. A round from the Maratanza caused her boiler to explode causing extensive damage. The Teaser was captured and towed down river. The small ship itself was of little value, but onboard were many documents detailing the torpedoes that she had been planting and their operation. 

The Teaser was later repaired and served in the Union Navy. She served in the Potomac Flotilla for most of the rest of the war helping to blockade  of Confederate territory. Her guns were used to engage shore batteries in support of  the troops ashore. Teaser was also used in various operations in the Chesapeake Bay region.  She was decommissioned in June 1865 and returned to civilian service as the York River.

More about the Teaser can be read on the Dept. of the Navy -- Naval Historical Center website. Flagship continues to release new 1/192 ironclads and in this case an armed tug. 

The hull on this kit is cast as a full hull kit with a long casting gate attached to the bow and keel. The casting is well done and hull has a wood grain look to it. The deck is planked with cutout sockets for the superstructure. I prefer this approach as it helps hide seams where the hull and superstructure parts join and makes painting the deck a lot easier. Part of the slide pivot carriage for the Parrott rifled gun is cast to the deck. It will take a little extra work to clean up the bow when you remove the casting gate, but other than that the casting looks very clean. 
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The pilot house and aft structure are cast on wafers with nice wood siding detail and bold window, louver, and door frames. The parts are cleanly cast, but I would like to see a thinner casting wafer. A belt sander should make quick work of this though.
The whale boat, wooden rudder, and other details are nicely detailed. The anchor in my sample was broken, but a dab of superglue will solve that. The 32-pounder  is nicely cast with a separate carriage. The 12-pounder and the 32-pounder will need their ends drilled out after removing from the casting sprue. Separate bits and boat davits are also included. Plastic rod, tube, and strip are provided to fabricate some of the other parts.  Real chain is also provided, a nice touch.
A relief etched brass photo etch sheet is provided to supply the finer details such as the rigging, ships wheel, boat oars, and propellers. The rigging, and tackle are what really makes this fret
Flags are printed on paper and are well registered. The decal sheet includes several different flags. In this case that will allow you to do either the CSS or the captured USS version of this ship. 
The Instructions two legal size pages with assembly notes on a third sheet. These are well drawn with a nice plan and profile on page one and plenty of detail views on page two. More than enough info to build this kit.

This Armed Tug is a nice change of pace from all the Ironclads. It looks like it will be an easy build for anyone interested in the early years of warships. This is a very complete kit, with virtually everything needed to complete it except perhaps the paint and glue. This one would be a nice kit for the resin novice to start on or an excellent platform for the more experienced modeler. It is available now for $50.00 US at Flagship Models via it's online ordering system. 

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.

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