|USS Mound City|
The seven gunboats in the class were named for cities on the Mississippi or its tributaries. They were: Cairo, Carondelet, Cincinnati, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg, and St. Louis (later renamed Baron De Kalb). The first four gunboats were built at the Carondelet Marine Ways (today part of St. Louis). This was a logical choice since the area had the dry dock facilities and was a machinery center and had a ready supply of skilled tradesmen to do the required work. Most importantly, since the gunboats were to be used on the Mississippi River, building them at St Louis meant that at completion, the boat could be quickly put into service. The three other gunboats were built at the Mound City Marine Railway & Shipyard facilities.
The Cairo class gunboats formed the core of the US Army's Western Gunboat Flotilla, which later was transferred to the US Navy and became the Mississippi River Squadron. The gunboats took part in almost every significant action on the upper Mississippi and its tributaries.
The Thoroughbred 1/600 scale Cairo class is a nice kit. Out of the box the kit has instructions, the main body for the boat, two smokestacks, four vents, three ship's boats (one large and two small), a brass wire for the flagpole and a paper flag. All the parts were cleanly cast and I didn't need to do much before starting assembly.
|Thoroughbred Cairo Class parts|
|Cairo Class 3/4 view|
|Cairo side view|
|3/4 view with the ship's boats and civilian pilothouse|
I've also been thinking about adding a wooden "civilian pilothouse" on top of the armored one. There are several photos on the Navy History site that show ships of this class with the modification (the photo at the start of the blog is one of those). But, like the ship's boats, I wonder if it would have been in place if the ship was expecting action. If there is more than one Cairo class gunboat in the game, the wooden pilothouse would make this ship look a little different than others. But I guess that is what the stack color bands are for.
|Side view with boats and pilothouse|
Comments on if I should include the boats and pilothouse are welcome (general comments are welcome too).