Flagship Models 1/72 CSS David

Reviewed by Timothy Dike
December 2014
CSS David was an early torpedo boat with a submarine like silouette. Designed to operate low in the water with only her stack and conning tower above the waterline she could sneak in and place her explosive charge of a 134 pounds gunpowder warhead on the end of a spar into the side of a ship. The ship would then back away as they detonated he charge. The USS New Ironsides was almost sunk in this fashion on the night of October 5th, 1863. A huge hole was blown in the side of the Union ship, but the David was damaged but some of the column of water plunging back down flooded her boiler putting out the fire. Three of her crew went overboard thinking all was lost, but one returned to help the ship escape after re-lighting the boiler. Another attack was attempted on the USS Memphis, but the torpedo turned out to be a dude and the David was fortunate to escape. On March 6, 1864 David unsuccessfully attacked the USS Wabash. David's exact fate is unknown and she may have been captured when Charleston fell in February 1865. Several other boats of this type were built, but little is known about them.

Flagship has moved up to 1/72 scale with this new kit. This one can be built as a cutaway with a detailed interior. 

The hull is cast full hull in two halves. Casting is good and if the planks look rough, they are supposed to. Construction of these early ships was not as refined as more modern ships. The interior features nice planking and bracing details. You will have to flat sand to remove some of the feeder sprues to get the hull halves to fit up, but these are well placed so cleanup should be easy.. 
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The interior details include a boiler with nice firebox and sight glass details cast on. A box of coal to feed it, a simple steam engine, nice stack and vents, and of course the torpedo. Detail is quite good and again cleanup should be a breeze.
A  brass photo etch fret includes propellers, ships wheels nd other details. A length of brass rod is provided for the spar.
The Instructions very well drawn and clearly show placement of the parts. Paint call outs are included and one gets the impression that Rusty actually takes the time to build his kits. 

This is a cool kit of an interesting ship. I love the cutaway design and in this larger scale you can show off the details. I would recommend this kit to anyone who wants to try a resin ship and has at least worked with photo etch. This is kit #FM17212 CSS DAVID (10.5" long) for $65.00 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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