Flagship Models 1/192 CSS Virginia

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
The CSS Virginia was one of the ships that began the Ironclad revolution. I remember reading about the famous duel between the Monitor and the Merrimack. In reality the Merrimack was the name of the ship before it was rebuilt into the Confederate Ironclad CSS Virginia. While their battle ending in a stalemate, the mere presence of the Virginia caused the Union forces to rethink their battle plans. Naval combat would never be the same.

More about the Virginia can be read on the Dept. of the Navy -- Naval Historical Center website.
Since introducing his new line of 1/192 scale Ironclads, Rusty White has been busy restoring and upgrading the old molds. This new one is a monster of a kit, a fitting tribute to the famous Virginia.

The Hull and superstructure are cast as one piece with a separate lower hull. The casting is pretty good with some over pour on the bottom to remove if you are doing a full hull build. The surface detailing is nice with well defined plate details. There are cast on bulkheads on the bow with internal bracing. The surfaces of this ship are rounded as on the prototype. There is a conical pilothouse  at the top with nice hatch detail on the roof.
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Lower Hull
 A waterline build will require very little work, unless you want to depict a full combat displacement. If that is the case more resin will need to be sanded from the bottom, or the water surface will need to be built up higher.
There are only a few other resin parts. They include the funnel, rudder, stern platform, and gussets to mount the ships boats. These are all well cast on resin runners. The ships boats appear rather plain, but the included photo etch parts will help add some needed detailing. 
White metal cast gun barrels, anchors, and vents are among the other included details. Also a separate bow ram, a nice touch since this part was left in a Union ship and was not present during the famous Ironclad duel. Anchor chain will help add a realistic appearance to your kit. The metal parts will need some minor cleanup. The gun barrels appear squashed and need to be turned to give them the proper round shape. I would chuck them in a drill and lightly sand them while turning. The propeller appears rather crude, but so was the original. 
What would a Flagship kit be without Flagship Photo Etch. This kit includes mesh, chain, turnbuckles and pulley details. Davits, boat decks, and oars, as well as stairs with posable steps. 
A decal sheet with flags and pennants from both sides is included. Several styles of Confederate flags are provided so chose the one that best fits the era you are modeling. These smaller flags scale out to 7' x 6' in size. These are also available separately for your other projects. 
The Instructions two pages with assembly notes. They are well drawn and appear to show all the assembly steps. Also included are instructions for adding items such as awnings for when your ironclad is not in battle. 

If you like building large models, this is a good kit for you. It's small part count and minimum cleanup will make it a good first resin kit subject. Especially if you are a fan of the Blue and the Gray, and enjoy building kits you can actually see without your glasses!  This is kit #FM19213 1/192 CSS Virginia, 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.

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