Flagship Models 1/192 USS Casco

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
January 2013

USS Casco, first of a class of twenty 1175-ton light draft monitors, was built at Boston, Massachusetts. Upon her launching in May 1864, it was found that the design of these ships was seriously flawed. She was then completed as a torpedo vessel, without the armored gun turret that was typical of monitor-type ironclads. Casco was commissioned in early December 1864 and subsequently assigned to duty on the James River, Virginia, where she served until April 1865. She spent the last weeks of the Civil War with the Potomac Flotilla and was decommissioned at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. in June 1865. In the widespread ship-renamings that took place in June 1869, Casco was given the new name Hero. She saw no further active service, and was scrapped in 1875.

Flagship Models has released this new kit in her as launched configuration before conversion to a torpedo vessel with the turret removed.

The full hull is well cast with a casting gate on the stern. The latter should clean up easily without damaging critical details. The deck features plating with recessed lines in the typical staggered pattern with a very pronounced camber. Turret and funnel locations are shallow sockets cast into the deck to help locate these parts. The sides of the hull have heavy rivets to hold on the armor plate. The latter looks rough and somewhat irregular. That should be about right given the relatively primitive assembly techniques of the Civil War era. 
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The turret is cast as one piece with nice rivet detailing. It is cast on a resin wafer and will need to be flat sanded down to the base. Fortunately the base is undercut so this will be a much easier process.
Other parts include the funnel and pilot house and various deck fittings. Casting is pretty good overall, but some cleanup with be needed on some parts.  The ships boats are typical of Flagship boats with separately applied photo etched decking.
A relief etched fret includes the turret top framework, splinter shields, and the awning stantions for the canvas top. Stantions with deck, boat oars and yokes,  and boat davits are among the other parts on the fret. Relief etching is used to help bring out the details. Brass rod and anchor chain are also included in the kit. 
A 34 star US Flag is included printed on paper stock. It is sharp and well registered. 
The Instructions two pages with assembly notes showing just about everything aspect of the build. These should be all you need to build this Ironclad monitor. 
Another nice kit from Flagship. Yet another example of early American fighting ships, this one is a nice rendition of an as-built Casco. This one would be great to compare alongside the soon to be released USS Chimo Torpedo Boat a sister ship modified to fix the design issues of the Casco. 

This is kit #FM19211 USS Casco (14.5" long) for $85.00 US. You can order it 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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