49 thoughts on “New Items Added!

  1. Are you planning on producing the CSS VIRGINIA to complement the USS MONITOR by any chance in the near future?
    Thank you,

    • Hey Al

      I have been working on the Virginia for some time now in fits and starts. I do plan to do one, but cost (both in producing a kit & Retail Price on your end) has been the big issue. No doubt that we live in the age of the Mega Ship Model with the release of the large plastic kits out there these days. Planes too, but a ship model like the Virginia, with cutaway, of course, will be VERY expensive. Probably north of $ 1000.00. I have had several people in the last couple of months keep asking me when/ if I plan to do this one. My reply has been “Yes, if I can be sure I will sell enough of them.” So I am continuing to study it and see if it can be done. The big question is How many of you out there are willing to chime in and commit to buying one? :o)) Cheers!

    • That would be great! I had planned to buy the CI Monitor and scratch build the Virginia. But I will now wait to see what CI
      might do. Thank you.

  2. I think you will be working for a small audience. Not so say that there aren’t enough well-heeled Civil War modelers out there to make it worth your while, but at over $1000 I won’t be buying one. Just can’t afford it.

  3. William,
    As you know I have been visiting with you for over four years now about this kit. I have tried to help with the loan of plans, book, etc. You warned me that it would be an expensive kit so I wasn’t too surprised to thear the $1,000 plus estimate. I would still buy one depending of course on how much more than a thousand we are talking about. However when we first started taliking about this kit I mentioned that I could wait up to five years. It’s been four years so far. So I guess for me I’d have to say, that I’m still interested, with the above proviso, but after next year, I’m probably going to go ahead and scratch build one from the plans. Keep the book on the Virginia I sent you. I have another copy. Either way please know that I appreciate your being willing to consider this project. Your USS Monitor kit is outstanding. I have two of them. One I built in the battle configuration and the other I plan to build later on in the final configuration. You do good work.
    Bruce Brotherton
    Tulsa, OK

  4. Why not at least to start , keep it simple and do it without the cutaway option . I’m sure a large part of the cost must be in the interior. The Virginia was imposing enough on the exterior without the need to be chopping up the massive casemate. Positioning the cannons could be done easily from above through removable grating. Simple can still be gorgeous , not to mention less than a grand !

    • Hey Mike…That’s not bad. I did do the Monitor kit like that. I always had the intention to go back and offer an interior for it, and still could do that. So the question is, How many of you folks out there would be interested on a Non-Cutaway kit of the Virginia? I will post this question on a few message boards and see what kind of response I get.
      As a side note, Cost would still be high because this model would entail a LOT of resin. If you remember the Monadnock kit, that thing had a shipping weight of 17 lbs!!! The Virginia would be bigger by about 3″. The fact is, adding the interior would not really effect the price that much. So either way it will be a pricey item.

      Also, I have developed a new way to build masters that could cut my costs and production time, so there is also that factor. I’m certainly game for the idea, and Bruce Brotherton has waited a long time for it. ;o)) Chime in and let me know what you all think.

      • I would be interested in a non cut away model. Have bought a few from you. They are terrific. Have the Monitor. What a diorama that would make.

      • Non-Cutaway would be fine. I tried my hand at a Scratch build and stopped when I discovered I had no idea on the design of the hatches, or where the hawse holes really were, not to mention was there a cook stove pipe and where was it really. I trust your judgement on these elusive details, Just leave the interior of the Casemate Hollow so ladders or stairs can be added. A removable Armored pilot house would be nice because at 1/96 it could be lit . You do not have to add any ‘pig-iron” for the bow, but tell us what these should look like.

  5. Hi,
    I have built your Robert Fulton Nautilus and am currently working on the 1/72-scale Hunley. I love the subject matter of your kits (Civil War). My only problem is working with the cast metal parts. Some are rather crudely cast and drilling holes in cast metal is a total pain. Is there any good reason why these parts cannot be cast in resin, or even plastic? The kits would be so much easier and enjoyable to build. Other than that, I really like your kits.

    • Hi Howard Sorry for the delay. Been a little busy. Thanks for buying my Nautilus kit and giving me a chance. For a long time I did only do stuff in resin, then I discovered metal casting. For a lot of stuff metal is the only way to go just from the standpoint of mechanical strength. That being said, you have to remember that I run this company on a shoestring. It was literally built from nothing but my wife’s cooking pot. My metal casting equipment is also built by me, (from an old industrial mixing bowl) and a fan motor. It is not top of the line, and I had a serious learning curve on my own.
      I never want to hear that someone has had undue problems building one of my kits because it means I failed. In the years since I started doing metal casting I have improved a lot. But there is still a lot of room to grow, and that is why I have the policy, “If it is bent, bad, broken, or missing, even if you did it yourself, I will replace it.” I am not perfect. My eyes don’t work like they used to, and I am sure a lot of sub-standard parts get by me. When you are looking at a table full of them all day long they tend to run together. ( That is the worst part of getting old) So if you need anything you just let me know and I will be happy to help you out. Thanks again and take care.
      Best regards

  6. I say go for it ! I’m not that big a fan of the cut away option any way . It seems to be to me more trouble than it’s worth. You put enough time and heartache into getting the model just right , painting , weathering , fit , details , etc. and then cut a huge hole in it , hope nothing goes wrong , and it will , then paint and weather again !! NO I just can’t do it. All the while other projects are calling your name . NO I just can’t do it . Besides, what’s a Monitor without a Virginia? That’s like a hamburger without cheese. The people who love your models and especially the ones that build your Monitor , want a Virginia of the same quality , same scale and preferably the same manufacturing process . DO IT ! Just sayin .

    • LOL. I love a good chuckle!! I agree. Selling the Monitor without a VA. to go with it is just wrong. The suggestion is very “do-able” and I personally have no problem with it. I can always go back and do an interior as a separate offering. You are not alone though. I have a lot of folks build my stuff without the interiors, and one or two of them have even put r/c gear in them. I am one of them with my Palmetto State. Pretty cool looking and handles like a pig….just like the real boat. Anyhoo, I will keep tossing this around and decide pretty soon. It looks like a really decent plan though. Thanks!!

  7. Hi William,
    I too would prefer a Virginnia (in same scale as the Monuitor kit) without an interior. It would go betrter with my build of your Monitor kit. I hope that might make it more possible to produce. But as I said, five years is about as long as I want to wait for one. I ‘m guesing that we will reach the five year mark by January 2017. Past that point I ‘ll probably go ahead and scratch build one from my set of plans. But It would be really great if it works out because your kits are wonderful.

    Bruce Brotherton

  8. Hey Bruce. Well I am now walking in that direction. I have been hearing from a bunch of folks lately about this, and happily agree that this is the way to go. As soon as I get a couple of items here out of the way I plan to get a start on it. I have already commissioned the master for the prop from a master prop maker. So I hope to have that in my hands shortly.

    I have also been brushing up on that book you sent me, and it has helped a great deal. There were several items in there that I never knew, and some very helpful observations by the author. So Thanks one more time for you help on that. So it is safe to say that you can look for this model in a few months.

  9. I have a set of crude plans, and they are pretty basic. Probably not enough to do a kit of, but I understand that there are some plans out there, in view of the great artifacts that the Naval Museum in Columbus, Ga. now holds. So it is possible I will go in that direction one day. Right now I am trying to get the Virginia done in short order. Cheers!

  10. Hey William,
    Thanks for the email heads up. I’m excited that teh Virginia is on the ways and will look forward to the launching. I will certainly welcome the kit in my homeport. Just so glad to hear the good news!

    Bruce Brotherton

  11. Hello Bill , how’s that Virgina coming ? Just ordered the large Hunley , looking forward to to doing something a little different . But the real reason l am writing is to find out just when you were planning to reissue the Monadnock . When I look at your website and see the pictures I just get upset when I keep reading not available . Also what’s up with the Weehawken . I see pictures of it online and it claims to be from a division of Cottage Industries . Was’up with that ?

  12. I would be content with a CSS Virginia which does not include interior detail. It would be more consistent with my Cottage Industry USS Monitor, and a $1000 kit would be beyond my means. I’ve done your USS Spuyten Duyvil, USS Keokuk, CSS Palmetto State, Picket Boat #1, USS Monitor, and I am currently working on the CSS Tennessee. I anxiously await the return of the USS Monadnock kit.

  13. Hi William.
    I would be up for a Va and would not require an interior. My Monadnock has pride of place in my collection and I would be willing to pay a deposit prior to you casting up a kit?
    Having said that a non interior USS New Ironsides would be my holy grail.

  14. If your still working on a CSS Virginia mold then maybe, to spread out the costs, you might consider a USS Roanoke configured as a 3 turret Ironclad. It would be the same lower hull. (mostly).

    On another thought… Now that Verlinden’s smaller scale Ironclad’s are gone, have you considered branching out ,I mean down in scale? An affordable Civil War model or two for the masses would be great. Yes, I know you have a small business model (no pun intended) but you do such great work.

    No matter what, keep that pressure cooker cooking.

  15. Hey William: Count me as one of the prospective customers for a 1/96 scale CSS Virginia, I have not seen an updated list of messages so She may already be available, I hope so. I an another one that is very interested in Your USS Weehawken. Please, let me know how to get one, or two, USS Nahant was a sister ship and they were both involved in the capture of CSS Atlanta, so I would probably do two kits and just name them for the two Union vessels. Now You can probably guess my next request, a 1/96 scale CSS Atlanta. I would suggest either no interior for all of the above or offer the interiors as an additional purchase.
    Keep up the Great Work and, Please, send me updates on the availability of the models.
    Lynn TERRY

    • Hey Mike

      I am still here. I am trying very hard to get the Virginia molds made right now. On a personal note, I am also working on the big Trumpeter 1/48 U-Boat. That model is a peach of a kit. Otherwise just hanging in there these days. Kind of one day at a time sort of thing. Take care for now.

  16. Got tired of waiting for the Virgina so I just ordered the Arkansas . How you doing ? Where’s that Monadnock ? I know we’re probably both getting old and lookin back at the hill we went over but if you could squeeze it in a CSS Texas would be cool . No hurry , my pile of to-do models and other hobbies will keep me busy for two and a half years after I’m dead .

  17. Hey Guys
    The entire kit fort he Virginia is done. It has been for some time now. I only have 2 molds to make…the Lower Hull, and the Casemate….then I can sell them. I have it all, the instructions, the label, the boxes, the main parts, the metal parts, all of it. I just need to get the money to buy the rubber for the last 2 molds, and obviously those are the biggest parts of the kit. Hence the biggest cost. Times are a little tight right now, but when I get them made, I will have it for sale here. So stay tuned.

    • Will do. I have no idea what shipping on it will be, but it won’t be cheap. I am guessing the shipping weight for the finished, boxed kit will be around 20 pounds. The box itself is, I think 34″ long X 14″ wide X 5″ deep. That’s pretty massive.

      I hope to have some molds made soon. Business seems to be on a bit of a rise right now, so…. fingers crossed.

  18. Spoke to you on phone. You were so down to earth. Wondering if you will reproduce the monadock. I need for my collection. Love you models. Worth every penny.

    • Thanks John. I appreciate that very much!

      I do plan to re-release the Monadnock. It was a very popular kit, but expensive to produce…just like the Virginia. So, when the molds finally gave out I had to stop the kit. remember, that was 2008 and the economy crashed, so nobody was buying stuff like that. Since that time a lot of folks have wanted me to put it out again. However, to do so means I have to also make some serious adjustments to the kit. The photoetch sheet will be gone. Way too expensive to use. Most of that can be cast in metal anyway.

      So hang in there. I believe these are the golden days of the massive model kits considering all the new large scale stuff coming out from Trumpeter, Merit, and others.


  19. I just found this website by accident. . . . . wow is this neat. I’m 72 and my wife and I moved from Michigan to South Carolina about two years ago. We are both retired teachers. Great state for American history. We live on a street named “Hunley Lane”. Is that great or what. We have been to numerous places but really love Charleston. One trip to Charleston we went to Fort Sumter and low and behold history at your finger tips. Loved studying the Civil War when I was in school starting at a very young age. I bought the book at Sumter called The H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy by Tom Chaffin. How can I possibly live in SC on a street named Hunley and not own a model. I will place my order immediately but I have one question. I’m not sure if I know what a resin model kit is? I would assume I will not have that much difficulty putting it together but I thought I would ask first. Thank you for the work do and the history you keep alive.

  20. Hi Russell
    Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. You have the best location ever!!!

    To answer your question…these kits are made from liquid polyurethane resin cast in rubber molds. They are copies of original patterns made by Yours Truly. The resin parts are indeed like plastic kits, but usually cast in solid form. They assemble the same way as plastic kits, BUT you have to use any type of super glue to build them. They will take any kind of hobby type paints. They sand and shape well when you need to make modifications. They will even take wood stain, in the case of areas on some of the kits that need to look like wood. The little Hunley kit you bought is a good entry level kit if you have never built one. It has complete instructions, and I am here to help if you ever need it. If you break or lose something just let me know and I will replace it.

    These kits also contain small cast metal fittings, so you will need some basic tools for the kit. Hobby knife, sand paper, small hobby files ( Harbor Freight is a great place to find those), little drill bits (Hobby Lobby for those). The kit instructions are pretty thorough on this part, so if there are questions just ask. Glad to help.

    I just got the order this morning, and I should have it out later today. Thanks very much for writing, and for your business.
    Best regards

  21. You asked me to send you photos. I’m co.outer challenged. Where would I send them to. Computer adddress. I’ve done my best so don’t laugh when you see them

    • Hey John
      You can send them to me at my email address listed on the Contacts page or send them to my home. 106 Sylvan rod., Greenwood, SC 29649.

      Why would I laugh? I’m sure they are fine. The thing is, are you having fun?

      Thanks for letting me know. I look forward to seeing them.

  22. A lot of fun. Some frustration. But worth it. I love you models. Heading to Florida for a couple of months. We will then head back up, slowly in March, stopping in various cities for a few days. I would like to stop by to see you and shake your hand.

  23. I will be passing your way in March. Like to see you. You have given me hours of pleasure and frustration but mostly great times.

  24. do you make an set of guns in 1/96 for the albemarle? i want to buy your kit of this ship but i will have to wait a while, so i may build a section part on my own while i wait

  25. Getting older and still have many ship model kits I previously bought to build but I will probably wind up buying the Virginia if I can find the space. Built your Monitor and enjoyed doing it.

  26. Folks I live near William and a friend. I was privilaged to watch the development and creation of the Virginia. A beautiful kit and a BIG one. I ordered mine and can’t wait. You will NOT be disappointed. Mike

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