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Topic review - Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fans
Author Message
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
Scaledecks recently released a wood deck that corrects many of the deck fittings errors of the Revell kit of the Alabama. It is a good place to start for anyone interested in doing the myriad of necessary alterations to that kit in order to build a semi-decent representation.

Bill Morrison
Post Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:12 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
Thanks Lars, already found them! Think I buy the cd :)
Post Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:20 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
It is the Nautical Research Journal (there was a spelling error in my last posting):
Post Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:58 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
Oke Lars, thank you very much! Where to get these journals?
Post Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:53 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
my model of the Kearsarge shown above is in the 1864 fit. It is based on the articles Reconstructing USS Kearsarge, 1864 by Arthur C. Roberts published in Nautical Research Journal 44(4), 45(1), 45(2) und 45(3) (December 1999 to September 2000). These articles contain most of the necessary drawings. I have not seen the 1/96 kit, but the main problem is the stern. The stern of Kearsarge was rebuilt and the as far as I know the kit shows it after the rebuilt. Kearsarge had a much more pronounced sheer in 1864 compared to later fits.

Post Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:06 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
Hello guys,

Pushing up the topic; Have aquired the USS Kearsarge from Revell in 1/96 (and payed to much, but who cares :) ). Want to build het in Civil War outfit. I know the Cottage Industries upgrade kit for the guns, but I know that in the Civil War the ship looked different from what the kits looks. That is at the end of her life.

What plans or sources can I use to backdate her to the Civil War?

Thanks ;)
Post Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:16 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
Simply wonderfull!!!

Thanks for build and pictures!

Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:38 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
I have finished now my 1864 versions of USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama - both 1/700, scratch built - and I had not thought about to search in CASF sailing ships section for them! Especially Kearsarge was optimised for steaming and a poor sailing ship (at least in 1864, later she was converted to sail better; typical for the US Navy in the Dark Ages of the 1870s).




USS Kearsarge (1/700, scratch)
CSS Alabama (1/700, scratch)
Post Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:31 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
Time for some long overdue updates on the CSS Alabama...

I've obtained both the Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama kits, and have started to go deep on studies of these two kits. At first glance, the Kearsarge appears to be a fairly accurate representation, but the Alabama has all sorts of problems - particularly with the guns and the sweeps for the pivot guns in particular.

Here's a photo of what I am talking about:

File comment: Photo of deck plans and the plastic decks from the Revell 1/96 CSS Alabama (Top) and Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge (Bottom)
Alabama Kearsarge1200.JPG
Alabama Kearsarge1200.JPG [ 87.08 KiB | Viewed 4457 times ]

The top deck (molded in off-white) is the Alabama, and the bottom deck (molded in brown) is the Kearsarge. If you compare both decks (with molded-in raised gun sweeps highlighted in black marker) to the deck plan immediately above, you will see that the Kearsarge pretty closely represents the layout of the guns and sweeps. The Alabama kit, a derivative of the Kearsarge, basically just "makes up" what the gun sweeps supposedly looked like, as they are in no way similar to the most accurate deck plans (and plans based on actual research of the wreck located of Cherbourg!)

I've been talking to the folks over at Cottage Industries, who make gun upgrade kits for the Kearsarge and Alabama in resin and cast metal. Check these out!
File comment: CSS Alabama Gun Upgrades from Cottage Industries
Alabama.JPG [ 30.61 KiB | Viewed 4457 times ]

File comment: USS Kearsarge Gun Upgrades from Cottage Industries
Kearsarge Guns.JPG
Kearsarge Guns.JPG [ 32.76 KiB | Viewed 4457 times ]

You can order them here:

Both kits are in 1/96 scale and contain all the guns you need to properly outfit each ship.

You may note that the CSS Alabama guns are placed on the inaccurate sweeps from the Revell kit. What plans to do is to introduce a new wood deck to cover up the inaccurate sweeps in the Revell deck, and then cover it with a fully-planked deck (no three piece splice action here!) and then provide a set of sweeps (laser cut, perhaps with some sort of mounting template) to allow you to create all FOUR sweeps - not just for the main pivot guns, but also for the chase guns at the bow and stern as the Alabama had.

You can see how our 1/96 USS Constitution deck turned out in a build log here: ... 55174.aspx

If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding the CSS Alabama (we'll be tackling that ship first) or the USS Kearsarge, please contact me at and we'll try to incorporate your ideas into our offering.

Thank you!

-- John D. --
Post Posted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:01 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
As for rigging threwad, I can recommend "CIM-Rope":

A tad on the expensive side, admittedly, but it looks next to fantastic.

One minor warning about the kit (which you probably know anyway, as you have the Bowcock book) - it's more a general approximation than a true replica, being essentially a Kearsarge with some modifications. I'd consider scratchbuilding the main guns, as they are so prominent features.

Post Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:04 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote
If I were to build it the first thing I would throw away would be the rigging thread. Good thread can be found by going to the Model Expo site or checking on some of the other manufacturers like Billings Boats. As for the spanker gaff, you could either make a new one out of Evergreen Plastic or get a tapered one out of wood from one of the sites above. The lifeboat davits should be available through one of the model ship suppliers in metal or you could scratchbuild your own.

I would suggest that you look up the sailing ship sites on the net. Also you might buy a copy of Ships in Scale magazine. It's primarily for wood kit builders and has advertisements for suppliers. You also might go to [url][/url] . It is a site divided into links to modeling sites, categorized by type (AC, Armor, Ships, etc.) Finally, I would highly recommend Les Wilkin's book on building plastic scale model sailing ships. It has a lot of tips in it. You can probably find a copy on ABE Books website.

Hope this helps.
Post Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:05 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fa  Reply with quote

I am presently building the Revell 1/96 scale model of the CSS Alabama, and have a couple of concerns. This is my first attempt at a sailing ship with thread for rigging; but even at 52 yrs. old, I decided to try, since I built many models in the past. Can anyone who has built this model tell me whether there is plenty of the tan thread, and plenty of the black thread? I've been very careful not to waste any, and though I have only used thread on the 2 larger guns, so far, I am already wondering about whether I should buy more, and where to get it. Also, I'd like to locate a source for a replacement for the spanker gaff (part 160), which is curved (might have to heat and straighten); and a dingy davit (part 84), as one is broken.
There are discrepancies on advised colors for many parts, if you compare box art, box model pictures, and the instructions; so I have done a lot of research, using the internet, the book CSS Alabama - Anatomy of a Confederate Raider, and the book Shark of the Confederacy. Apparently, when the ship first sailed, the masts were "bright", which I found means not painted, but varnished with several coats. Also, the boats were described as black. These details are agreed upon by both of the above books, but who knows...this could have changed over the next two years. If anyone would like further ideas on colors, just ask... I'm painting everything! "Gun Metal" for the guns, "Rubber" for black painted wood, etc. CaptKangaroo
Post Posted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fans  Reply with quote

I just purchased the book, "CSS Alabama, Anatomy of a Conferate Raider" by Andrew Bowcock. I haven't read it all yet but the book does have deck plans, profiles, and detail drawings of guns, rigging etc. The drawings are not anywhere as numerous as the Conway Anatomy of a Ship series but along with the detail photos of the 2 builders models of the Alabama, provide enough detail that I think one could build a reasonable replica of the ship. The book was about $50USD at including shipping.
Post Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008 9:03 pm
  Post subject:  USS Kearsarge (1864) question  Reply with quote
Could someone familiar with USS Kearsarge and the battle with CSS Alabama please answer my question in the History section?

Post Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:10 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama & USS Kearsarge fans  Reply with quote
IMHO, Joel Labow's review of both Revell kits on the "other" site is very well researched and helpful :

An excerpt:
"The Revell Kearsarge was truly one of the most carefully researched styrene models of its day and with her quarterdeck and conning platform restored could easily serve as the basis for an extremely accurate model of this famous warship at the end of her career. Unfortunately, the modifications required to backdate her to her 1864 appearance would involve an extensive revision of almost all external hull details above the waterline as well as replacement of many kit-provided small parts...The Revell Alabama, on the other hand, bears only a general resemblance to her prototype since the hull and many of the parts were based on the Kearsarge. The good news however is that the kit has just enjoyed a limited re-release and is readily available, and aside from the concerns noted is a good kit which makes into an attractive model out of the box. A modeler who wanted to build an 1864 Kearsarge in plastic could make a good beginning by using this kit rather than the very hard-to-find Kearsarge as a starting point (and it would be LOTS cheaper!). Ironically, the cutdown bulkhead lines of the Alabama kit make it resemble the lines of the 1864 Kearsarge more closely than the kit which bears the Kearsarge's name."

Seeing a few of these built beautifully right out of the box, I'd like to build one or the other of these kits sometime in the future.
Post Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:42 am
  Post subject:  Re: Calling all CSS Alabama & USS Kearsarge fans  Reply with quote
:wave_1: Hi, okay, i've got the revell kit. Is there a review that lists the inacuracies of this kit? Any good plans or drawing to show what needs to be corrected and help in added details??
Steve are you building one of these??

Thank you
Post Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:11 pm
  Post subject:  Calling all CSS Alabama (1862) & USS Kearsarge (1862) fans  Reply with quote
USS Kearsarge: ... arsarg.htm


CSS Alabama: ... labama.htm


The Battle: ... ar-ala.htm

Post Posted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:46 pm

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