1/600 Thoroughbred Civil War Vessels
by Steve Belanger


My recent quest for Civil War ship models was sparked in August when Andy Fulcher brought up displaying Civil War era models for an upcoming seminar in New Bern. I've always liked the looks of these ships and so I finally actively looked out to see what was available. There are some resin kits in larger scales (1/96 and 1/192) out there but I didn't want to spend a fortune just for one (I already did that on resin 1/350 scale US WWII battleships....)

This led me to Thoroughbred Miniatures who manufactures a quite extensive line of 1/600 Civil War vessels - everything from floating batteries to tiny torpedo boats (and even sunken hulks and river pilings.) I specifically purchased the ironclads, monitors, and gunboats. They are made of pewter and most just have a few parts (pilot houses, smokestacks, vents, paddles, etc) that need to be attached with either epoxy or super glue. Instruction sheets are included that have the specific details of the real thing and usually a brief history. Color recommendations are usually pretty generic since exact colors aren't really known for the majority.

While these are actually made for wargaming (which I don't know anything about), they have potential to build into nice little models with some paint, minimal cleanup and some extra details. They are small enough too that you can have your own little navy and take up the space of just one 1/48 aircraft. They are pretty well detailed for such a teeny model, some parts are a little hefty of course due to the scale and the limits in metal manufacturing. Even though I didn't want to spend a lot, at about an average of $12 a piece it can add up fast.

In the top photo, the lower row is a selection of Confederate ironclads and the top row is a selection of Union monitors and a ironclad/frigate. [Most are in various assembly stages.] The largest models are only about 5" and the smallest are about 3" (like the CSS Neuse.)

These are neat little models, I recommend them to anyone who has an interest in these fascinating and often odd looking vessels. They give a nice break from the usual model subjects and basically all you need is some paint.