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Author Topic: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build  (Read 16929 times)

herrmill

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Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« on: May 04, 2008, 01:48:24 AM »

As a few of you already know, I've taken a liking to some older subjects & have started building USS Tecumseh (&/or Manhattan), a Civil War era Canonicus monitor that gave Adm. Farragut reason to give us that famous quote, "Damn the torpedos, FULL SPEED AHEAD!"  CSS Tennessee will follow & both will be equipped with air soft guns from Heng Long for some spirited battles in the pond outside my office.

I first have to say thanks to Steve Lund of Old Navy for his valued assistance & suggestions. If anyone is interested in Civil War ironclads & haven't already seen Steve & Bill Hathaway's book, you'll want to download their free book Modeling Civil War Ironclad Ships http://walternelson.com/ironclads.pdf.  Its referenced over on an earlier post with photos that I put up on their group The Old Navy .

My son was to bring over my wood supplies last month, but left them behind due to concern over the TSA & Northwurst's baggage policy, so I ventured into Shanghai to meet up with fellow member & noted schooner enthusiast TigerTiger & scoured the LHS for balsa & basswood. Luck was with me on the first store we visited, so I spent yesterday afternoon cutting out, trimming & gluing the hull sections. I'm doing a very simple built-up balsa hull which will be glassed with raft & deck then covered in Steve's riveted plate skins. Since ironclads are not meant to be speed demons, I'll either use a modified servo to drive the single prop or gear down a 380 motor.

Here are some photos of what she's supposed to look like along with a few of mine I took this evening while letting the glue dry. From all accounts, this looks to be a very fast build & easy lesson in scratch building for this neophyte while I continue on with finishing Yamato.

For you Brits, I'm already giving thought towards how best to cap off this small Civil War fleet & have already contacted the archivist in Birkenhead to get plans for the Laird Rams that were confiscated by Britain & served in the Royal Navy as HMS Wivern & Scorpion.  Its between these two or the armored ram, CSS Stonewall, that was built in France & commissioned too late in 1864 to be used against the US blockade; she eventually was purchased by the Meiji government as Japan's first ironclad warship.

Chuck

















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barryfoote

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2008, 07:53:55 AM »

Hi Hermill.

That is going to be one very interesting build. A fascinating subject. Thanks for the post and keep them coming.

Barry
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2008, 02:52:02 AM »

Thanks Barry.  I've posted a short history of the subject matter over at SP http://www.subpirates.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=4109&p=37034#p37034

Here are some photos of the hull layup.  I can't find thick balsa or even waxpaper here so am having to improvise with laminated planks for the hull bottom & using aluminum foil to keep from gluing all to my build board. 

I'll cut it to shape, carve the stern blocks from foam & attach the hull sides this evening.  The raft will be made of 1/8" door skin & balsa sides.  Again, with all the construction in my new neighborhood, half of the boat will be made of scrap I find on the street.  :D

Chuck









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tigertiger

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2008, 02:55:46 AM »

Hi Chuck

I got silicon paper (or something similar) as food wrap paper roll in Carrefour, stocked next to the aluminium foil.

TT
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2008, 08:39:53 AM »

Thanks.  I'll look for that next time I run into town on my pijiu run.  :P

Chuck
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build: Hull Layup
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 12:57:50 AM »

As is usually the case, construction was delayed due to customers' needs taking priority over playtime, but the hull sides are on & I am carving the stern; will get this fitted tonight along with the corner fillers & then start carving & sanding to shape.  I already see some need to fill & will be sure to double check my dimensions before cutting to size for the raft...  what's that old saying... measure twice, cut once.  :embarrassed:

As you can see from the last photo, my apprentice isn't helping much... he seems to have acquired a taste for Gorilla Glue. What's with Chinese kids these days & substance abuse??  >>:-(

Chuck











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barryfoote

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2008, 06:29:21 AM »

Never seen this type of consrtuction before....Fascinating amigo--
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2008, 10:04:00 AM »

Barry,

Its very simple & geared directly towards my skill set... call it Monitor Building for Dummiesİ.  You'll find in Steve & Bill's book that they rely heavily on this method for the simple hulls found on most Civil War ironclads, especially those on the Confederate side.  CSS Richmond offers an excellent description on how to build in this manner.

Should you have interest in building an ironclad for those sunny Spanish waters, I'd be happy to put you in touch with Steve.  He sent me a note today stating they've seen a large increase in downloads recently with over 3,000 in total, so someone else must be building out there.   O0

Chuck
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2008, 10:19:34 AM »

To show there's interest outside the colonies for Civil War ironclads, here are several examples from my fellow TF72 members. 

Allan Pew built USS Choctaw, the smaller CSS Savannah in front left is by Russ French & I'm not certain who owns the two Dumas models, CSS Virginia & USS Monitor.   

Chuck
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2008, 11:14:22 AM »

Where can we purchase those Feline wood bending devices?

Martin  ;)
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tigertiger

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2008, 01:40:28 PM »

Where can we purchase those Feline wood bending devices?

Martin  ;)


I believe they also bend ALMOST completed plastic warships as well. ::) {-) {-)
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tobyker

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2008, 11:02:30 PM »

Thanks, its nice to see something different! Years ago MB published a one-page drawing of a Civil War (the one between the states) blockade runner, looking something like the Tennessee, but with a central wheel towards the stern. I built one about 6" long and it went quite well. I seem to remember the motor pulley was a .22" air rifle pellet!
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2008, 12:53:50 AM »

Coming from British/Welsh ancestry (with a little Dutch & Swiss thrown in), I am very proud to say BangBang is a full-blooded British Shorthair that hails from Shanghai's HongKou district. The only thing that concerns about the breed is that they mature slowly which means I've got another 3 years of mischief to worry about.  I can't even keep a water glass beside the bed as he likes to wake me up at ungodly hours of the night by dipping his paw in the glass & flicking water on my face.  >:(

As TT states, he has an affinity for chewing on plastic models as well, & as a good patriotic Britisher, with a particular fondness for anything related to the Axis fleets... Yamato is his current target. Perhaps it has something to do with the screensaver I have on my PC downstairs that includes a collection of propaganda posters.  ???

Chuck






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Edward Pinniger

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2008, 08:45:00 PM »

A very interesting + unusual subject - I'll be definitely following this thread with interest! One question, what scale is the model - 1/96?

Is Allan Pew's USS Choctaw (surely the weirdest-looking of all the Civil War ironclads, which is saying something) model paddle-driven, like the real ship was? If so, how well does it run (and steer)? It certainly doesn't look like the most manoueverable of designs!

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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2008, 03:14:16 AM »

I'll build these in 1/72 which is the largest scale I use, aside from patrol craft, for warships.  Besides USS Techumseh (Manhattan) & CSS Tennessee, I am considering building one of the riverine ironclad gunboats such as USS Cairo, a City Class paddlewheel gunboat used to great success on the Mississippi & other western rivers.   

Allan's is a faux paddlewheeler & actually powered by a single screw.  Choctaw's strange design as well as another similar gunboat, USS Lafayette, were due to being conversions of existing riverboats that had been acquired by the War Department & neither lived up to their intended design as armored rams, both being too heavy & underpowered. 

Steve Lund has built Choctaw using a Dumas Mt. Washington kit as the starting point that has working paddlewheels run a dual drive setup. You can find this, as well as another paddle wheeler, Bill Hathaway's scratchbuilt USS Osage, in their book.  Again, its a free PDF download via the link I posted above & is a great start for anyone interested in Civil War ship modeling.  By the way, Steve is quite happy with the performance of USS Choctaw, even to the point of entering her in course competitions.  If anything, it certainly makes for one heck of a conversation starter on the model pond!  O0

Another good reference that is quite easy to find & inexpensive is the Osprey Publishing New Vanguard series: Union Monitor 1861-65, Union River Ironclad 1861-65 & Confederate Ironclad 1861-65

Chuck
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2008, 02:41:09 PM »

Spent the past several days traveling to TT's future stomping grounds in Henan Province, so just had today to do some enjoyable work.  Got the raft fitted today, so now its time to fit a few filler planks, sand the hull into shape & start glassing.  Am really enjoying this stage when it starts to look like something besides a pile of scrap. Tennessee will be an easy one after this with its angular design.

I did get to catch up on lot of reading while on the train to Luoyang; one book focused on James B. Eads & his contribution towards building the Union's Western Gunboat Flotilla.  I've always been interested in the rivertine boats, but now may build one of his Milwaukee Class monitors with their turtle deck & dual turrets once I finish with Canonicus & Tennessee.     

Chuck




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tigertiger

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2008, 03:04:43 PM »

Hi Chuck

She is coming on nicely. I am looking forward to see what you do with that wierd screw arrangement. Or will it be a mock screw?

Looking at the hull form again, she is like a big armoured barge.

Hope you enjoyed the Peonys.

TT
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2008, 12:17:02 AM »

Tiger,

Thanks.  Yes, I did see a few peonies while in the area, & with the program we're developing in the neighborhood, I'll probably have the chance to see even more in the coming months since I'll plan to fly as much as I can instead of taking that 16 hour train journey to Luoyang.  :(

Canonicus monitors, as well as CSS Tennessee, were driven by a single screw, with all Union single turret monitors using the same simple inline drive coupled to a 9' Ericsson propeller like shown below. The larger dual turret monitors were equipped with 2-4 screws.  That last photo is USS Monitors screw which was recovered off the North Carolina coast & now on display at USS Monitor Center, The Mariners Museum in Newport News, VA. 

Chuck








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tigertiger

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2008, 01:39:58 PM »

You Brits are too polite!   :angel:

If this was a US-based site, it would have been hijacked last week.   {-)

Chuck

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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2008, 02:03:09 PM »

Sorry, no pics today but got the hull pretty much finished, stuffing box installed & motor/servos placed. At this point I am stalled looking for Lexan for the deck which I'll do this week while in Shanghai - its about the only thing besides the balsa & detailed rivet plate skins that can't get from the workers doing all the apartment decoration in neighborhood.

Have printed my templates for Tennessee & have already started cutting out the parts for the hull, deck & casement, mostly from 1/8" ply & balsa. I expect to start building later this next week.

USS Chickasaw, a twin turret Eads monitor slightly larger than Canonicus, will be next after both Canonicus & Tennessee are finished. Poor Yamato seems neglected for the time being..    :(

Have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Chuck
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2008, 03:19:44 AM »

Here are some overdue photos from earlier last week that show the simple built-up construction for the hull.  I still am not satisfied with the sheer, especially towards the bow & have been sanding & filling for what seems to be the past week.

Resin coating & fiberglass work begins tomorrow if the weather holds - have been told by the boss that I'll be sleeping at the office if I attempt to do this inside my shop. >>:-( {-)

Chuck














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herrmill

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Re: Civil War CSS Tennessee Build Start
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2008, 03:21:47 AM »

While I wait for my detailing material & fittings to arrive from States, its time to start work on CSS Tennessee. 

I'm using a Bill Mahmood papermodel http://members.aol.com/WFMarabknt/ironclads.html for the templates which have been scanned up to 1/72 scale & will go with the same built-up hull technique as I did for Canonicus.  Construction will be of balsa & 1/8" door skins, with basswood planked decks; she'll have exposed rudder chains just like the original. Armor plate will be Evergreen .040 V-groove sheet spaced at .125 interval.

As with Canonicus, my Tennessee will be equipped with smoke & sound effects & with the available space inside the casement, I plan to have at least 4 working "airsoft" cannon from for "pond combat".

As you can see, my assistant has helped himself to the paper reference model once my back was turned, so I can only guess what his motives will be with the larger model.  I wonder if anyone has ever successfully defanged a cat before... :rolleyes:

Chuck





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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2008, 01:10:02 PM »

Here's an update from the weekend.

Canonicus' hull & raft have been coated with resin, but I've had to delay the fiberglass work with all the rain we've been having - looks like the Plum Rains have started early.   I'm in no hurry since I've got enough to do; also found the local West System dealer at this show this Saturday & already have an order in with them. Started on the turret(s) this weekend using 80mm pipe couplings which are laminated with thin balsa to build up the proper 95mm diameter.  I'll continue working on these while I start in earnest on CSS Tennessee.

Tennessee's hull keel is laid with bottom planks glued together, & I've cut out the parts for subdeck & casement structure.  I've been waiting for my new scroll saw to arrive to cut the bottom from the local logistic idiots & then start with the hull build up this evening. Rest of the casement & upper hull parts will be ready for an initial fit as well.

As you can see, my capable assistant does his part by helping weigh down the planks as they cure.  He has taken a liking to sleeping on my templates, but that's another matter...  :x

Chuck



















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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2008, 02:57:16 AM »

Here are a few reference photos I received from Steve of his USS Canonicus that show some of the details found on the finished model. 

We'll see how close grassshopper can get towards the meeting master's work...  :eek:  ;)

Chuck
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herrmill

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Re: Civil War Canonicus Class Monitor Build
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2008, 04:38:57 AM »

I received my detailed rivet & bolt plate skins in yesterday's mail & am getting back onto detailing USS Manhattan. 

Here are a few photos to show the accuracy of Steve's tooling that he did to get as close as he could to the original Ericsson bolt patterns.

Chuck
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