Friday, December 24, 2010

Bay Area Yards re-issues USS Mississippi

The USS Mississippi was a lot like Neanderthal man::  a branch of evolution that represented progress, but a dead end in the development of the steam warship.  It was the smallest of the three sidewheel frigates built by the U.S. Navy, but probably had the most glorious history as it was Commodore Matthew Perry's flagship when he opened up trade with Japan in 1852.  The Mississippi grounded on the shoals under the guns of Port Hudson in 1863 and was burned to prevent capture.  It was a beautiful ship with leaner, more elegant lines than its larger, boxier sisters Susquehanna and Powhatan. 

 Bay Area Yards, in its early days, began by providing resin hulls to interested modelers.  The modelers supplied everything else-guns, masts, ships boats, rigging, etc. As Bay has developed, however, they've manufactured their own bits, and have a superb range of cannon, masts and accessories to go with their hulls.  The past couple of years they've begun casting in ships in white metal.

 They've also begun supplying entire ships in kit form.  That's great, I love to see that because I'm such a dope about such things.  While I haven't exactly been knocking down the door to do this, if more kits were available I could go there.  This morning on TMP they announced that USS Mississippi, which they'd removed from production, was available as a kit.  I've been dithering about ordering the masts to complete my model for some time, but the new hull looks fabulous, and with masts, hull, guns and boats included for twelve bucks, all that's needed is some elbow grease.  It looks to be my first first New Year's purchase.

1 comment:

David Sullivan said...

And don't forget that serving aboard at Port Hidson when she met her demise was a young officer named George Dewey, who would later make his mark.