SHIP: Review - CIM USS Kearsarge Armament Upgrade

Kit Review: Cottage Industries Models 1/96 scale Set AS-001; Naval
Artillery Set for Revell Kearsarge Kit #5603; 88 parts (42 in light
tan resin, 44 white metal, etched brass, scale rope); price US$39.95;
order via
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Advantages: corrects serious problems with the armament of the 50-year-
old Revell kit; provides accurate models of the three types of ship=92s
guns as well as missing items such as shot garlands, rammers, and
water tubs
Disadvantages: wasn=92t around first time I built the kit!
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: to anyone who has not yet built their kit or who
wishes to correct the errors in the model
Anyone who has followed my reviews over the years will recall that I
picked up the last re-release of the CSS Alabama in 2000 and then the
newly remolded copy of the USS Kearsarge from Revell of Germany in
2005. Having been busy doing armor reviews and writing armor articles,
I had not gotten around to building either one but was happy to have
them in my =93stash=94.
But after reading recent articles about both kits, I found that where
the kits were magnificent efforts for 1961-1962 they both left much to
be desired from a historical standpoint. The USS Kearsarge overall was
apparently based on the later 1884 rebuilding of the ship with higher
bulwarks and some changes to her rig. But surprisingly one of the item
Revell=92s researchers missed on the kit the first time around was the
shape and design of the guns she carried.
Revell=92s designers seem to have confused the so-called =93soda bottle=94
shape of the big Dahlgren pivot guns with contemporary milk bottles
and put a huge lip on each one. They also got the broadside guns too
small and only added another broadside gun instead of the big Parrott
bow chaser mounted on the forecastle.
Enter Cottage Industries Models, who specializes in American Civil
War naval subjects. This set and its companion set for the CSS Alabama
came out about four years ago and provide the correct size, shape and
number of guns for the ship as well as the essential accessories left
out of the original by Revell.
The two big Dahlgrens now come with resin carriages with separate
roller assemblies and all of the missing bits as well: elevation
screws in their frames, traversing levers, and other essential bits
needed for the big guns. Some kit parts (eyebolts and blocks) are used
to fit the traversing and recoil ropes to the guns. Note that these
guns are not designed to =93drop in=94 and do not use the pin system
Revell had on the original to permit the guns to swivel.
The side guns are now 9" Dahlgrens and mount on the Marsilly (two
wheel truck) carriages. They also come with white metal screw
elevation accessories.
The 28 lb Parrott rifle is also separate and unique but it uses a
white metal carriage vice the resin ones for the other six guns.
The set also includes rammers, shot and shell garlands, and water
tubs for each gun mount which are essential and which Revell left out
of the original kit. These are nicely done and even the lifting rings
on the shells can be discerned.
Directions are clear and straightforward and show when some kit items
are to be used. Painting directions are also provided which differ
from those in the Revell kit.
The kit also comes with a small fret of etched brass levers and
wrenches and a length of CIM=92s =93scale rope=94 which is very clean,
smooth and nicely finished. (It beats the fuzzy stuff which comes in
the kits!)
Overall this set really enhances the USS Kearsarge and permits it to
look more like an actual warship than just a big model kit. I just
wish it had been around the first time I built the Kearsarge!
Cookie Sewell
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Both of these ships appear to be unavailable at this time - seems a strange set of subjects unless Revell is planning a re-pop - any word on such an effort. I built both when they first came out - I had just started High School and found them to be more modeler friendly than the clipper ships that required much more rigging. They would be great rebuilds now with these corrections - but not at eBay prices.
Val Kraut
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Val Kraut
Agree on the cost of the vultures. But I suspect there are a number of folks who snapped them up at their last re-pop and have not gotten around to assembling them yet so these sets make sense.
Cookie Sewell
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