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The model ships of the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, as a pair, are faithful scale models of the two contrasting adversaries in the first-ever battle between two ironclad warships: the battle of Hampton Roads, in 1862, during the American Civil War. These ironclads pre-date the final wave of merchant sailing ships, represented in the Abordage range by the tea clipper Cutty Sark, and the romance embodied in that model contrasts with the realism of what was to come, embodied in these twin models.
This model of the CSS Virginia faithfully represents the Confederate States’ implementation of a metal warship, whereby a pre-existing, partly-burnt wooden ship was cladded with layers of iron plate to transform it completely (interestingly, a reverse of the construction of the Cutty Sark). The laser etching brings out the detail of its construction, emphasizing what must have seemed an impregnable adversary at the time to wood-and-sail contemporary warships. The fixed weaponry and surface fittings are all faithfully reproduced, as is the menacing ram at its bow, novel in warship design at the time, but made feasible because of the strength and perceived impregnability of the ironclad design.
These two carefully-reproduced ships, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia, show, side-by-side, the detail and contrast in the conception, design, and implementation of the protagonists in what was a huge leap forward in the technology of marine warfare, and represent a crucial turning point, coming midway between the major sea battles of Trafalgar and Jutland.
|Size||59 cm L 19 cm Hgh|