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In-Box Review
1/96 U.S. Steam Picket Boat #1
1/96 U.S. Steam Picket Boat #1 Resin and Metal Kit
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by: Devin [ DEVIN ]

"This "inbox review" is of a kit from Cottage Industry Models, that is part of the larger C.S.S. Albemarle kit from the same manufacturer, but is now being offered as a small, stand-along product."


The confederate ironclad C.S.S. Albemarle was completed in 1864 near Edwards Ferry, N.C. Designed with an extremely shallow draft of only 6 feet, she became a nuisance upon the inland waters. While she did participate in at least two naval battles and sank one union warship, her mere presence proved much more of an issue to the Union. Fear of what she might do outweighed her actual performance. Orders for shallow draft ironclads were rushed forward to counter Albemarle, but something much smaller and wooden would prove her undoing.

After acquiring two, thirty foot steam launches at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Lt. W.B. Cushing modified the boats with howitzers and spar torpedoes. He and his crews set off for the south to undertake an audacious plan to destroy the southern ironclad. Along the way one of the launches broke down and had to be destroyed to avoid capture. On the night of October 27-28, 1864, Cushing and thirteen other men proceeded upriver, broached the torpedo booms around the Albemarle, and detonated the spar mounted torpedo against the ironclad's hull. Both the Albemarle and the launch were sunk in the attack. Cushing himself swam to safety after the attack, two of his crew drowned, another eleven were captured. The Albemarle sank in eight feet of water and was out of the war, left to be captured and raised by the Union in April 1865.

the kit...

Picket Boat #1 is a 1/96th scale resin and white metal kit from Cottage Industry Models, Ltd. Originally designed as part of the company's C.S.S. Albemarle kit (and still included with that ironclad model) Cottage Industry Models now sells the launch separately as well.

The kit comes in a small yet appropriately sized box, large enough to hold the entire kit, folded instructions, and ample packing to ensure safe shipping.

The hull is one piece, solid molded resin with detail inside and out. A cast runner/sprue running along the keel of the boat. Cutting with the back of a #11 blade and some light sanding should result in a little additional clean up. A slight mold seam line runs around the hull, so faint that I was able to remove a good portion of it on my sample with only a fingernail.

The same goes for a few other instances of paper thin resin flash. In my opinion, the outer hull could have done with some planking detail, but it looks just fine smooth, too. The hull interior has well rendered and cleanly cast deck planking and internal bulkheads for the coal bins.

Besides the resin hull, there is only one other sheet of resin in the kit, but it includes several of the major components. The boiler, cockpit seat, rudder, coal bunker and supply bin cover, and other small pieces are included on this sheet. Careful flush-sanding will remove the pieces from the backing resin. The small resin parts are as well cast as the hull, showing little if any air holes. Details such as the piping on the boiler, hatches for the fire box, and rudder strapping are all well executed.

Much of the kit is rendered in cast white metal. Everything from the howitzer and its mounting platform to boat hooks and oars are included in this batch of parts. Again, all are well molded, with a little more flash than the resin parts, but there is no pitting or deformations that often occur in white metal castings. The balance of the box contents is made up by scale rope and line, brass rods for scratch building masts, and even a small bag of coal for the coal bunkers; along with extensive instructions that include a parts checklist, exploded view diagrams, and step-by-step written instructions.
Highs: Unique subject, well molded, and absolutely everything needed to build the kit is included.
Lows: Hull planking detail would be nice.
Verdict: This is a well done and unique subject. It's large scale will make it an easy subject to build. This would be a great kit for anyone wanting to try out a Civil War era kit, a first resin kit, or just to have something unique.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:96
  Mfg. ID: 96-007
  Suggested Retail: 29.95
  Related Link: Cottage Industry Website
  PUBLISHED: Jan 05, 2009
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Devin (Devin)

I started modeling young, when my father bought me a semi-tractor kit around the age of 6. The real modeling started after Star Wars came out in 1977, and then when I got interested in WWII in my early teens. I spend most of my time modeling ships, due to their complexity, but I also build aircraf...

Copyright 2020 text by Devin [ DEVIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.


nice review, neat kit! Thanks for sharing
JAN 05, 2009 - 02:45 AM
Nice looking kit indeed. Thanks for the review Devin. If you fellas remmeber your WOD you will know what the picket boat eventually became.
JAN 05, 2009 - 03:35 AM
Hi Devin! Good review on a interesting subject! CIM used to be one of my favorites Cottage industries, being their 1/72 HL Hunley and CSS David one of their best products, imho. Thanks for sharing it with us - looking forward to see it built! Cheers, Rui
JAN 05, 2009 - 04:11 AM
Thanks, guys. I have a few more of their kits that I'll be sending reviews in on: the USS Keokuk, the CSS Albemarle, and the HUGE USS Monadnock, all in 1/96th scale resin.
JAN 10, 2009 - 09:49 AM
Thank you for sharing Devin. Kenny
JAN 10, 2009 - 12:29 PM

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