Keokuk Portrait 2.jpg (13654 bytes)
Model by Wm. Blackmore
USS Keokuk

Cottage Industry Models, Ltd
1:96 Scale Kit

In-the-Box Review
Alberto Rada

(there is an extensive photo gallery at the end of this article)

Located in Charleston, South Carolina, Cottage Industry Models produces models of American Civil War era ships. William J. Blackmore owns CIM and fabricates the master patterns. He does his own resin casting as well as producing models on a commission basis for both museums and private collectors. His wife, Judy, an accomplished modeler in her own right, comprises the labor force and cheer leading squad. 

The Ship
Designed by C.W. Whitney, a colleague of John Ericsson (designer of the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor), the USS Keokuk represented a first step in the development of composite armor. It was built at Underhill Ironworks, New York, and launched 6 December 1862. The ship’s armament consisted of two 11’ Dahlgren guns placed in two non-rotating turrets.The guns were mounted on carriages that swivelled on circular tracks embedded in the wood deck within the turrets. During action off Charleston, S.C. in April 1863, Keokuk was hit 90 times and sank in shallow water.

USS Keokuk
Keokuk drawing.gif (15906 bytes)
Displacement: 677 tons
Dimensions: 159ft 6in long, 36ft beam, 8ft 6in draught
Armour: 4in thick iron strips with 1in space between, filled with wood

The Model
The 1/96th scale resin hull is cast in upper and lower halves. The other resin parts consist of two "trays" (forty parts in one and four in the other) and two ship’s boats. The highly detailed resin parts were free of air bubbles and contained only minimal flash. You will need to flat sand these rather thick trays, however, in order to extract the resin parts. Do this by affixing wet-dry sandpaper to a flat surface and moving the tray over it in a figure eight motion. When the tray’s resin base becomes thin and translucent, extract the part. You will also need to remove and flush-sand the vent sprues on the upper deck.

Bluejacket Ship Crafters manufactures the Britannia alloy parts. There is no flash and only the barest minimum of cleanup. Alloy parts consist of 2 Dahlgren guns, 2 gun carriages, 2 kedge anchors, 3 bits, 6 old style davits, 24 oars and 36 double blocks. Gold Medal Models produces the sheet of etched brass stanchions.

Other parts consist of a brass ship’s bell, 25 brass eyebolts, chain, plastic roundhead rivets and assorted brass rods, aluminum tube, white plastic strips, steel rods etc. The 15 page manual has all the information you’ll need to construct the USS Keokuk, and includes numerous diagrams and photos.

Although not for the beginner, this model is of very high quality and builds into a stunning replica. If you are interested in ships of the American Civil War and have some experience with multi-media kits, you’ll be very happy with this beauty.

Price US $199.95 plus $10 S & H in the USA, other countries at cost.

Cottage Industries
1632-B Ashley River Road
Charleston, SC 29407

(843) 769-2352Phone
(843)763-7202 Fax


Click thumbnail image to view full size picture
Model constructed by William Blackmore

Keokuk fwd tower 2.jpg (67941 bytes)
Forward tower
Keokuk inside aft tower 2.jpg (45244 bytes)
Aft tower interior
Keokuk inside fwd tower 2.jpg (39549 bytes)
Forward tower interior
Boats (1).jpg (25229 bytes)
Resin boats
Brass.jpg (21401 bytes)
Chain, eyebolts, rivets
Canons.jpg (25008 bytes)
11" Dahlgren guns
Deck.jpg (34176 bytes)
Upper hull
Oars.jpg (38047 bytes)
Alloy davits and oars
Hull.jpg (28346 bytes)
Lower hull
Propellers.jpg (25786 bytes)
Screws and anchors
Towers.jpg (28114 bytes)
Resin "tray" w/4 parts
Tray.jpg (52026 bytes)
Resin "tray" w/40 parts
pag 1.jpg (42366 bytes)
pag 8.jpg (41209 bytes) pag 10.jpg (54535 bytes) pag 11.jpg (52279 bytes)

Home copper.jpg (2701 bytes)