This is my build of the Flagship Models 1/192 scale USS Keokuk , a twin-screw Union warship which carried an experimental composite armor scheme
of wood sandwiched between iron and covered overall with a ½ inch iron sheath. Other interesting features were two casemates housing smoothbore 11
inch Dahlgren guns on turntables, allowing her to use the same gun to fire through gunports on three sides of the casemates, set atop a turtlebacked hull.
She also had a ram bow.

Commissioned in March 1863, her service career was quite brief. Her armor proved inadequate to protect her during the First Battle of Charleston Harbor,
April 1863. On entrance to the harbor, she ran ahead of
USS Nahant and was under the Confederate guns for about half an hour. In that time she was
struck by about 90 projectiles and was ‘completely riddled.’ She withdrew under her own power and anchored out of range, but sank the morning of
April 8, one month after being commissioned.
She was determined to be unsalvageable and, along with her guns, was abandoned. Confederate forces under cover of night recovered the guns. Union
forces were unaware of the salvage activity until recovery of the guns was announced in the Charleston Mercury newspaper. One of her guns can still
be seen on the Charleston waterfront at White Point Garden.

The model goes together quite well with an upper and lower half which require just a bit of sanding to mate up nicely. There is an extensive photo-etch
sheet for stanchions, rigging, davits and other items. Oddly enough, mine did not come with screw propellers, which required me to make some up
from scratch. I’m not happy with the result and I may try to re-do these.

The lower hull was shot with Model Masters flat red. The upper hull was brush –painted with Tamiya Dark Grey acrylic, which goes on smoothly and
without brushmarks.  An enjoyable build that took me FOREVER because I’m just really slow.
Mark Leonard
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