American Civil War City Class Gunboat

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Postby Jimster » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:25 am

I’ve had a long time interest in our American Civil War and used to be a Union re-enactor. I have the replica firearms and accoutrements and I even scratch built a 1/87 scale USS Carondelet (which was a City Class Mississippi River gunboat) for a possible HO scale model railroad diorama. Hasn’t happened yet but my new hobby of rc tanks has whetted my appetite to build an rc version of my gunboat. I’m thinking a GI smoker for the smoke stacks and maybe a Benedini or Elmod for sounds and propeller/rudder control maybe. I don’t know but it sounds like something I could do. I thought I would ask here first for advice.
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Postby Jimster » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:27 am

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Here’s the Carondelet. She had 6 sisters.


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Postby Jimster » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:46 am

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Here’s my 1/87 scale scratch build of the Carondelet. That class of gunboat sat pretty low in the water but I think if I seal things up nice and tight that I could build an rc version for calm ponds and other smooth waterways. This one is 2 feet long but would want to build one about 3 or 4 feet long to be an impressive rc model.


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Postby Rad_Schuhart » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:45 am

That would be the most interesting build I have seen in a looong while!
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Postby Model Builder 4 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:03 am

Very nice bit of scratch work Jimster, that would be an impressive beast at 3' - 4' long :thumbup:

Cheers,Lee.
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Postby PainlessWolf » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:55 pm

Good Morning, Jimster!
A beautiful Bit o' Work there! I have one of these City Class gunboats in a kit. It is a smaller, resin and plastic kit that I picked up off the web. It is a model of the one they raised from the Yazoo River and have on display near Vicksburg. Amazing stuff!
regards,
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Postby Xiaoshan_Sailor » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:28 pm

I'm a huge fan of Civil War ironclads & built a 1/72 Canonicus class monitor & have a partially built CSS Tennessee in my shop that I need to get back on one of these days. Both are RC using hacked servos for propulsion.

The City class has Its been on my list for a future build & I have CAD files from the Vicksburg USS Cairo museum I'll be happy to forward your way by email.

Modeling Civil War Ironclad Ships is a great primer for anyone interested in the genre written by a friend of mine who's retired heli pilot in LA. Its focus is heavily on 1/72 but also includes the 1/32 Super Monitors Steve & Bill built for the Monitor Museum opening a few years back. The book is comprehensive for any modeler & even covers black powder firing systems for those who want more of a bang out of their builds. You can download the 170 page book at no cost from the following link:

http://walternelson.com/ironclads.pdf
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Postby BarryC » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:40 pm

WOW, that's some awesome scratch building there Jimster! Making it into an RC operation would be so cool. Not much freeboard there tho. 8O

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Postby EAO » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:01 am

Dear God Jim!

That is one nice creation! Beautiful and nice and big! :thumbup: Sort of reminds me of the kit I had as a kid of the Monitor and Merrimack. Always was fascinated by these gunboats and ironclads.

Very cool, :clap:
Eric.
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Postby sassgrunt » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:05 am

Jim, rather than risking damage to such a beautiful build in a possibly-unsuccessful attempt to RC it; are you aware of the Dumas kit(s) of the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia in 1/72 scale? The Monitor is 27" long and Virginia is 45" long. And, although the kit(s) (both ships come in the same kit) hasn't been produced in several years, AND tend to fetch rather obscene prices when it comes up for sale, I happen to know of one within your budget; should you decide that it would be of interest to you. -Mike

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Postby Jimster » Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:00 am

No, I wouldn’t try to use my old 1/87 scale for an rc project. I want to scratch build a bigger one.
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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Fri Jan 08, 2021 12:26 pm

Jim, you're a constant source of pleasant surprises :clap: That's a truly lovely looking model. As for the propulsion side of things, Tom (Hugill) might be the person to offer a few tips, as he's had quite a bit of experience with powering and steering U-Boats. Yes, yes.. I know you don't want your vessel to sink :O ...but the surface propulsion and rudder arrangements would be pretty comparable, and thus relevant. :problem: :D
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Postby Jimster » Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:42 pm

Thanks, I’ll give him a holler. My preliminary thoughts are going 1:48 scale which yields a model 3’ 7” long by a foot wide. I’m thinking about using foam construction board for the flat hull to cut down on weight. I’ll add lead weight later to adjust its ride height.
I only live about an hour from where 3 of the 7 City Class gunboats were made, Mound City, Illinois. It would be cool to eventually photograph this in its birthplace.
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