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"Here Come the Lincoln Boats: 1/600 Thoroughbred ACW" Topic


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1,006 hits since 17 Jan 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

OldBlackWater17 Jan 2017 3:20 p.m. PST

Before my operations shut down last year, I had intended to share some more of the Federal boats that have been launched from my shipyard. Here are several Thoroughbred models- a Cairo type also known as Pook Turtles (built as the Carondelet), the Essex, and the Lexington (now believed to be the Conestoga).

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More photos at my blog here
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Enjoy.

OBW

Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2017 3:22 p.m. PST

Love them. Superb work OBW.

Lucius17 Jan 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

Very, very nice. What did you make Lexington's awnings out of?

OldBlackWater17 Jan 2017 4:14 p.m. PST

I make all my awnings, furled sails, and canvas bulwarks out of hemp cigarette rolling papers. They have a handy crease built into them which is useful.

Disco Joe17 Jan 2017 4:37 p.m. PST

Very nice.

jgibbons Inactive Member17 Jan 2017 5:01 p.m. PST

Awesome work!

jowady17 Jan 2017 7:36 p.m. PST

Very nice….

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 7:58 a.m. PST

More beautiful work and smokin' good awnings!

Master Caster Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Jan 2017 3:15 p.m. PST

OBW,
Nice work and I like the water effects and awnings too.
Is there a way you can post the photo of what you think is Lexington in the Red River with the stacks located behind the pilot house, or email it to me?
Tyler and Conestoga were of the same configuration with open top decks and the stacks behind the pilot house – and considered sister ships. All the research and photos I used for the model of Lexinton show a solid (closed in) upper deck with dual smoke stacks located far forward of where Tyler's & Conestoga's were.
I believe your original ID of the model as Lexington is correct.
Toby Barrett

OldBlackWater18 Jan 2017 5:58 p.m. PST

Toby,

I know it goes against conventional wisdom, but conventional wisdom can't explain this evidence. I am speaking only to the appearance of the Lexington as she appeared in 1864 during the Red River Expedition. However, not knowing of any major rebuilds during her service, I think it probably also represents her pre Red River appearance.

First lets establish that the Lexington was the only timber clad of the three that participated in the Red River Expedition. Conestoga was sunk in the Mississippi in a collision with the General Price on March 8th 1864. Porters flotilla started up the red on March 12th, with the Lexington as its only timberclad.

Here is a link to a webpage that presents the photographic evidence

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Here is a photo from the Marshall Dunham collection at LSU

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Here is photo of her from the navy historic site

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There are also some contemporary illustrations/engravings showing the Lexington going over Bailey's Dam at Alexandria, which show her as she appears on the above photographs-pilot house forward, chimneys behind just in front of the paddle wheels. In my experience the labels of vessels in many books, even government ones, are often incorrect especially when there are multiple vessels with similar appearances.

So thats what I got. Looking forward to seeing new additions to your 1/600 scale line. I'm in the final stages of completion of one of your mortar schooners, currently installing the crew on deck, loading the mortar.

OBW

OldBlackWater18 Jan 2017 6:03 p.m. PST

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OldBlackWater18 Jan 2017 6:03 p.m. PST

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OldBlackWater18 Jan 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

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OldBlackWater18 Jan 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

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Personal logo ACWBill Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2017 8:23 a.m. PST

Well, it certainly is compelling evidence. If true, I will have to order another timberclad from Toby.

Master Caster Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Jan 2017 9:41 a.m. PST

Sold Bill!
Unfortunately I don't believe this is compelling evidence and will be content to disagree with OBW. Tyler and Conestoga were near sisters in countless references and photos, and Lexington was the odd one with a fully enclosed top deck and smoke stacks positioned well forward.
All three were constantly confused and mis-identified with each other – both thru out the war and after. If you look up images of Tyler and Lexington you will see both on each others page, and two photos of Tyler I found were annotated as mis-identified as Lexington. (One was the same photo OBW shows above BTW.) I have found no photos at all of Lexington saying the photo was mis-identified as either Tyler or Conestoga, but there are several contemporary woodcut drawings and sketches that do. That is not to say there are none, however, I couldn't find any photos mis-identifying Lexington as one of the others.
All three had one or more upper deck ports or windows which were not gun ports for heavy guns – maybe for light field pieces used to fire over levies and scare away skirmishers, and when closed you could hardly tell from a distance they were there at all.
I will agree with OBW that Lexington was the only 'Timberclad' that went on the 1864 Red River Campaign, and that there were and still are countless mis-identifications of civil war vessels in photos. That's about all I will agree on. The photo in his link above (not the link to his blog but to the Duke photos) shows the front of the vessel from a distance and I don't see how anyone can positively identify it as the Timberclad Lexington, assuming the photo is of the Red River fleet. It could be one of the 'Tinclads' as there were several of each with the fleet. (It clearly is a gunboat and probably Lexington due to the general shape and guns protruding from the lower gun deck.) The two vessels on the left are identified as two from the 'City Class', but this is incorrect as the second one from the left is clearly either Osage or Neosho due to the turret and conical stern-wheel housing.
If you search for photos of Lexington and/or Gen Price you will find a very well cataloged and referenced photo of both vessels together at Baton Rouge in late January of 1864. (Sorry, but as evidenced in previous postings of mine I'm not that well versed at posting photos in this discussion group or I would have attached it here.) In the photo taken roughly 5-6 weeks before the Red River Campaign began one can clearly see the Lexington from a forward bow 3/4 view with the solid enclosed top deck and the dual smoke stacks positioned near the bow and well forward of the pilot house. If one is to believe the smoke stacks were moved all the way to a position behind the pilot house – with the necessity of totally revamping and reconfiguring the steam lines and exhaust system below decks, the enclosed upper deck was opened up, and the timber framing pattern on her side-wheel housings were altered, then it was all done in a very short time and not done in any of the key naval facilities located much farther up the Mississippi river.
I can find absolutely no evidence in any of my sources that say this major reconfiguration of her appearance was done. The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships which is usually pretty good at recording major configuration changes to vessels does not mention one being done on Lexington at all. The entry for her is very lengthy and has her service time chock full of actions and missions up to and beyond the Red River Campaign.
It is possible – but not probable to me – that Lexington's stacks may have been moved and her heavy upper deck opened up for the Red River campaign and OBW may be correct is assuming she then looked like Tyler. But then he would be at odds with Siverstone's volume on the Civil War Navies, The Naval Historical center in WA D.C. and several other key sources.
One source I do not have, nor have I seen, is Myron Smith's volume 'The Timberclads of the Civil War'. If anyone on this discussion thread has it – or any other noteworthy source – that can add any light on this matter at all I would appreciate it greatly. Please show me conclusive evidence and not opinion. Until then I'll stand by my work on both types of timberclads for my 1/600 scale and 1/1200 scale product lines.
Toby Barrett

OldBlackWater20 Jan 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

Evidence not opinion-like my previous links to photos.

Here are some links to drawings done by Henri Lovie, a "special artist" for Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper. These are the actual drawings made in person, between 1861-1862 not the engravings that appeared in the newspaper.

They document the three timberclads from the beginning of service at Cairo and their participation at Ft Henry, Island No 10, and Shiloh. You will note that the Lexington in all the drawings has the chimneys back towards the paddle boxes. In the drawing labelled as Attack on Rebel Fort on the Tennessee Shore the Conestoga appears with chimneys forward and built up deck structure (not bulwarks). The deck structure on the Conestoga and bulwarks on Lexington and Tyler do not appear in the first drawing done at Cairo in August of 1861, but are apparent in the battle illustrations which date from Feb, March and April of 1862. This suggests these structures were added as part of their final outfitting at Cairo.

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OBW

wargamer621 Jan 2017 7:19 a.m. PST

I am with Toby here I'm afraid , those pictures are almost certainly of Tyler not Lexington . Note the slightly raked bow and the number of strakes on the paddleboxes , Conestoga had two, Tyler had three and Lexington had four with a space between the third and fourth .

Hussar123 Inactive Member21 Jan 2017 9:09 p.m. PST

I'm with him also.

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