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In-Box Review
CSS Atlanta Ironclad

by: Tracy White [ TRACYWHITE ]

Originally published on:
Model Shipwrights

Ship's History

CSS Atlanta started life as a scottish-built iron-hulled screw steamer that served as a blockade runner for the Confederacy. After the Union forces blocked all the passages to Savannah, Georgia she was converted to a casemate ironclad ram armed with eight cannon and made her first appearance as a confederate warship in the summer of 1962. Atlanta made two unsuccesfull attempts to break the Union blockade; the second involved a battle that saw her run aground and surrender under fire to the US Navy monitor Weehawken. Following her surrender she was recommissioned as the USS Atlanta in early 1964 and served the Union until 1865, when she was decommissioned. Reportedly sold to the Haitian Navy, she disappeared in December 1869 off Cape Hatteras.

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Having a fascination with ironclads and monitors I've been very interested in Verlinden's recent spate of ironclad releases in 1/200th scale. Their CSS Atlanta is the first I've actually had my hands on and after seeing this release I plan on getting more.

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The kit comes with a whopping seven parts; the waterline hull, smoke stack, resin block of two boats, resin block of the eight cannon and cover plates, A sheet with two flags, 6" of .020" plastic rod, and 5.5" of about .010" copper wire. All were packed into multiple bags with no padding; there was no breakage or damage to the parts albeit the plastic rod had a couple of permanent bends in it.

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There are no instructions so the modeler is left to their own devices as to part placement but really, it's not that hard to figure out based off of the picture on the box cover. The one problem I can see is the lack of painting instructions, but this may be a safe bet on their part based off of all the opinions I've seen as to which ship looked like what in the Civil War!

The ship is extremely well cast. There was no warpage and the only bubbles I found were on the bottom of the hull. There is a little bit of flash at the waterline but a few seconds with a knife and sanding stick should easily remove this. If you look VERY closely you can see remnants of glue marks that were copied during casting of the master, but these are not noticable unless you specifically look for them and I would anticipate that they would be invisible after priming and painting. My only comment here is that the deck and casemate planking are a little overstated for my tastes, but they are entirely acceptable.

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Accuracy appears to be generally good; although there is not much on this ship so it can be hard to tell. All of my reference pictures and drawings were dated after her capture by the Union, thus it's hard to tell if the omissions and differences I see were omissions or things that were changed by the Union. I will mention them though for any modeler who wants to build the model as USS Atlanta.

First, pictures taken in 1964-65 indicate some hatches on the bow that are missing from the kit. They also show in plans drawn up when Atlanta was decommissioned in 1865. Second, one of the broadside cannons is in a different place on the kit than it was at least during her time in the Union Navy. The kit has the forward four cannong bunched up close to the pilot house and the last two near the end of the casemate. In pictures and plans this arrangement was accurate for the port side but the starboard side had the guns more evenly spaced out; making the location middle gun on the starboard side suspect.

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Regardless, this should be a straightforward build and I would recommend this kit to any modeler who has never worked with resin before.


Confederate Ships--CSS Atlanta (1862-1863)

Confederate Ironclad 1861-1865 (Amazon link for now??)

Review Copy provided by Skyway Model Shop

An excellent, well cast kit of an interesting subject. No bubbles or warpage, minimal cleanup, but no instructions.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:200
  Mfg. ID: 2120
  Suggested Retail: $25
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 31, 2005
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Tracy White (TracyWhite)

Computer Geek. History and model nut. Likes Music. Crazy.

Copyright 2021 text by Tracy White [ TRACYWHITE ]. All rights reserved.


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