A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

November 30, 2010

My ship(s) has come in

Today brought a double treat to the mail box. UPS delivered my copy of the Dumas Mt Washington, and USPS delivered a package from Bob Santos.

No, it is not a mini-kayak, it's just the plastic
hull to the Mt Washington kit.

Here Alicia is posing with the vacuum formed plastic hull of the Mt Washington. To put the model size in perspective, she is 5'8" inches, As I said, this model is big! The kit is very much a craftsman style kit. Aside from the castings and some vacu-formed parts, the rest of the kit is strip wood and styrene.

The package from Bob Santos described a 1/96th scale model he built of the SS Maple Leaf. Bob is both a model railroader and a professional ship modeler. Check out his gallery at Santos Models. He has some nice work on display there.

A photo by Bob Santos of his 1/96 scale model
The Maple Leaf is probably the most famous (infamous?) cargo ship from the civil war as it sunk after hitting a torpedo in the St Johns River in Florida.
The wreck was in shallow water and many artifacts have been recovered from it.

The Maple Leaf was originally built in Canada, but sold to a US firm in Boston and then leased by the US Government during the civil war.

There are also models of the Maple Leaf at two different museums in Florida. The Jacksonville Science Museum has a nice 1/48th scale model of the ship in their collection. I may try to visit that museum when I go to Florida in January. There is also a maritime museum in Jacksonville that I plan to check out.

You can learn more about the Maple Leaf at the following Maple Leaf Shipwreck web site.

The Maple Leaf was 181 long, about the length of the Mt Washington.  Since I now have the Mt Washington kit, I'll probably aim for a smaller second paddlewheel steamer for my dock.  The Maple Leaf has a hog back frame, a feature common on pre-war steamers.  That was a feature I'd like to show in a model.

In   researching steamships I found another very similar ship that was about two thirds the size of the Maple Leaf. This is the SS Mystic. It was built in 1852 in New London, CT. At 154 tons, 117' length and 25 feet bean, it will better fit into my dock scene along with the Mt Washington and other planned ships (maybe even an ironclad).

The Mystic also has an interesting history. William Miller of New London, CT built her for the commuter run between New London and Mystic in 1852. In 1854 it was sold and served Norwich and New London, Mystic and Stonington. In 1860 it moved to Gloucester, MA where it made the run to Boston.

In 1863  the US Army Quartermaster Department leased her for a rate of $150 per day. It transported troops and supplies on the Virginia and North Carolina rivers. In May 25, 1863 the Quartermaster bought it outright for an undisclosed price.

On April 15, 1865, a detachment of 67th North Carolina infantry surprised her near Maple Cypress on the Neuse River, NC and burned her.

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