Models 1/600 Scale U.S.S. HARTFORD
Review by Carl Erickson
You can see this model in the Photo Gallery
The subject of this model became famous as the flagship of Admiral Farragut at the Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864 during the American Civil War. It was at the battle that Admiral Farragut cried "Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!". A screw sloop launched in 1858, she served as flagship of the U.S.N. East India Squadron until recalled at the outbreak of the Civil War to serve as flagship of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. After the war she served in the Pacific until decommissioned in January 1887 for apprentice sea-training use. In 1912 she was transferred to Charleston, S.C. as a station ship until moved to Washington, D.C. in 1938. Classified a relic in 1945, she sank at her Norfolk berth in 1956 and was dismantled. Length: 225" (bp), Beam: 44', Draft: 16", Speed: Steam alone 16.5 knots, Steam & Sail 7-13 knots. Battery: 18 X 9" Dahlgrens; 2 X 100, 2 X 20, and 1 X 30 Pdr Parrot Rifles.
This metal, waterline kit, like all the Thoroughbred Figures kits I have built, was in my opinion, a joy. The 41 parts (14 of which are Dahlgren guns) are finely cast, and assembled with ease. As the manufacturer obviously conducts extensive research into his models, I believe it is quite accurate for the scale. Comparisons to the few photos available reinforced my belief. I did not take measurements, but by eye-ball, it looks just right to me.
Assembly went smoothly, with no problems. After assembling a few key pieces like rudder and bowsprit to the hull, I gave all pieces an undercoat of light grey primer. This enables subsequent painting to proceed smoothly. Next I airbrushed the decks, deckhouses, masts, and bulkheads off-white. The black (adjusted to a deep grey for scale affect), I airbrushed from below, thus painting the sides of the hull while leaving the deck and bulkheads in white. Then I went in with brush to paint the deck a tan color. Sails, hammocks, masts guns were all hand painted with brush. The most time consuming and challenging task was the rigging. For this a photo of HARTFORD was most useful. For rigging lines, I used the finest (smallest) strands of electric guitar wire. This is great stuff as it is straight, and can be cut to desired length with fine wire clips. After applying with watch crystal cement, I painted them black or tan as appropriate. I finished the model, as all my waterline models on a "sea" base of spackling compound on plywood.
I recommend this kit wholeheartedly. It not only goes together well, but adds a historic, and unique type of ship to any collection.