The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald is probably the most well-known ship that was lost on the Great Lakes. It is still somewhat of a recent event as it
happened only about 40 years ago. In addition, the ship was immortalized in a song by Gordon Lightfoot. However 62 years earlier, nearly to the day
S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a storm on Lake Superior, a huge winter storm which gripped the entire Great Lakes region claimed a total of 12
ships and 255 lives.
S.S. Isaac M. Scott was one of those ships.

S.S. Isaac M. Scott was launched on June 12, 1909 at the American Shipbuilding Company in Lorain, Ohio. She was owned by the Virginia Steamship
Company but operated by the M.A. Hanna Company out of Fairport, Ohio. She measured 524 feet long and had a beam of 54 feet and a draft of 31
feet. When she left Cleveland, Ohio on November 7, 1913, with a cargo of coal headed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, her crew had no idea what lay
ahead of them.
At the same time a convergence of two major storm fronts, fueled by the lakes' relatively warm waters, was generating a massive blizzard with
hurricane force winds. The storm produced 90 mph wind gusts, waves measuring over 35 feet high, and snow squalls with complete whiteout
conditions. The storm raged from November 7th through 10th and hit its peak on the 9th.
S.S. Isaac M. Scott was last seen on that day off Port
Huron, Michigan heading into the storm. She was presumed lost with her entire crew of 28 men. Her wreck was discovered by scuba divers in 1976
seven miles off of Thunder Bay Island, Michigan.

The Kit - S.S. Isaac M. Scott is one of the latest releases by Loose Cannon and one of several Great Lakes ore carrier kits that have produced. The
master was done by Bob Nixon, which has a very personal tie to this ship. His grand-uncle, Norman Dwelle, was the 2nd Engineer on
S.S. Isaac M.
when she was lost. I have started working on this model and at this point I would say that I am a little less than half way through. My plan was
to write a build review but as my modeling time has been somewhat limited (and working on multiple projects certainly doesn’t help), I decided to
write my review in two parts: first an inbox look incorporating some of my experiences so far to be followed-up with a full build review.

The kit is typical of a
Loose Cannon product. The main part is the waterline hull which has some deck housings, the cargo hatches and basic fittings
cast into it. The casting is generally good but I found that this hull required a little more clean-up than I have seen for other
Loose Cannon kits. The
casting around the aft deck housing is a bit rough and needed more work than the rest of the hull. The top of the bulwarks at the foc’sle had to be
sanded evenly and a small break near the beak repaired.  A photo of the ship shows that the foc’sle bulwarks should not extend all the way back to the
edge of the deck as the kit has them, so I cut them to approximately the correct length. Some of the cargo hatches do not line up straight but there is
really nothing that can be done without engaging in some serious surgery. The locations for watertight doors on the foc’sle area are raised blank
rectangular faces that I removed and substituted with photo-etch included in this kit. The aft deckhouse had some faint impressions of the doors
which I sanded smooth and replaced with photo-etch.
The aft boiler house deck, pilot house roof deck and an alternate deck are all cast as separate pieces. The boiler house and bridge decks will need to be
cut out of casting wafers, while the pilot house roof deck has some excess resin to remove. The skylights on the boiler house deck need to be cleaned
up a bit and I opted to remove the cast on boat cradles to replace them with the photo-etch versions included with the kit. The cast on bridge deck and
pilot house roof deck have solid bulwarks to simplify construction for more novice modelers. If you decide you want to use photo-etch railings instead,
you will have to remove these. Additionally, if you go this route, you should add the alternate bridge deck with extends further out on each side, which
is what I did.

The smaller resin parts include the funnel, large and small cowl vents, life boats and davits, water tanks, anchors and a propeller. Since this is a
waterline model, I don’t know why a propeller was included but you now have something for the spares box. The casting is generally good and the life
boats have a nice amount of detail to them. The funnel has a ladder cast into it which really should be removed and replaced with photo-etch. All of
these parts will need to be removed from casting blocks and will probably need a swipe or two of a sanding stick to clean them up. The photo-etch
provided with the kit is a general set that is included in the majority of the
Loose Cannon merchant ships. It provides 3 styles of railing, vertical and
inclined ladders, a catwalk, an assortment of ratlines, doors and other fittings. There are enough parts to detail a couple of ships depending on size, so it
looks like I will have some left over parts when I am done building this model. A length of brass rod is provided for the masts and spar at the bow.

A small decal sheet is included with the ship’s name for the bow and stern and gold stars for the funnel. The decals look ok but the name for the stern
is very faint for some reason and there is no flag included. As a precaution I would apply a coat of MicroScale Liquid Decal Paper to seal them. The
instructions are printed on nine pages, with the first four providing background on Great Lakes ore carriers, the 1913 storm and the
S.S. Isaac M.
, along with  bit of information on the kit, a description of the paint scheme and Bob Nixon’s personal ties to the ship. A paint mix for the deck
color is provided, though I misread it somehow and my mix came out more reddish that it should have. Page 4 has a photo of the ship and one of
grand-uncle Norman Dwelle, which gives a face to the ship’s tragic story. The following pages describe the build using drawings, some photos and
written guidance. While not as fancy as CAD drawings, so far they are doing the trick in my opinion.
Overall this is a good kit that needs a bit of work to build, but in the end you should have a nice model of a historic vessel. My experience so far with
my build has been favorable even with some of the extra effort. I plan to follow this up with a complete build review, so stay tuned. My thanks to
Loose Cannon for the review sample.
Felix Bustelo