|The Thoroughbred 1:600
scale CSS Tennessee is a waterline
model depicting this ironclad circa 1864. The Tennessee was the most
powerful of the Confederate ironclads. Displacing 1,273 tons and 209ft in length,
her construction was an accomplishment in itself, given the Confederacy's material and
labor shortages. She was intended to reinforce the naval defenses of Mobile, Alabama, the
main port-of-entry for Confederate blockade runners. On August 5, 1864, a seven ship
Union force under the command of Admiral David Farragut aboard USS Hartford
engaged the Confederates at Mobile Bay. A fierce battle ensued. Tennessee was hit
repeatedly and often for 3 hours, but the shots bounced off her armour. Her
unprotected steering gear was her Achilles heel. It was eventually shot away and the
uncontrollable Tennessee surrendered to Union forces.
images to view the Battle of Mobile Bay
diorama by Bob Santos. That's the ironclad CSS
Tennessee engaging USS Hartford.
Both ships are Thoroughbred 1/600 pewter models.
The CSS Tennessee
is a pewter-cast waterline model. Casting quality is excellent and cleanup minimal.
This is truly an easy build, and a nice break from 1/350 battleships and endless sheets of
etched brass. Thoroughbred makes an extensive line of American Civil War vessels designed
for both wargamers and modelers. If a simple representation is all you desire, the kit
will more than suffice. If you want a nicely detailed model of an ironclad, you can do
that also. The potential is there as shown in the Battle of Mobile Bay diorama photos.
Ironclads were outwardly simple affairs. If I were to embellish CSS
Tennessee, I would affix wire stack stays, awnings as shown in the title photo, and
perhaps a few 1/600 scale figures for good measure. Written accounts make mention of the
terrible heat aboard ironclads, and the few surviving photos often show awnings rigged in
an attempt to keep direct sunlight off the steel decks. To some extent you will have to
use your imagination. Photo references are few and far between. Toby Barrett, the owner of
Thoroughbred Models, has provided Warship with a bibliography
(click here to view it) of the better American
Civil War naval references to assist in researching these ships.
The instructions are well done and a flag decal is included. These are
clean, high quality kits and at $12.60 for CSS Tennessee very reasonably priced.
They are available directly from Thoroughbred
Models as well as Pacific Front.
Click on thumbnail image to view full size
(sorry for the Lincoln penny)