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dcicero

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About dcicero

  • Birthday 10/21/1964

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    Male
  • Location
    Aurora, IL

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    dan_cicero@sbcglobal.net

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  1. I know it's been a while since I posted any updates. I have made progress! You can see here the second planking belt completed and the first layer of the wale installed. It took me a couple of tries to get this right, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Notice anything weird? All that black staining? The instructions recommend using an archival marker to stain the edges of the wale, so went over to Hobby Lobby and bought one. I was really happy with how that went. It looks like paint and is a lot less hass
  2. I've seen this model built many times and this is the best of all of them. Wonderful work.
  3. Not a lot of thought given to crew comfort in those ironclads, Brian. You'd made a point earlier about armor plating and I swear I'd read that armor was added to the forward casemate and pilothouse in light of battle experience. As I recall, after actions up the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers -- Forts Henry and Donaldson and Fort Pillow -- the need for that armor was clear. The boats would form up in line abreast, with only their forward guns bearing on the enemy batteries. They took a lot of punishment from directly ahead because of that and needed to beef up that armor. I be
  4. Spectacular! Maybe someday I can take on a project like this, but in the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy the work vicariously. Your construction of the boiler system reminds me of an incident aboard USS Mound City, a sister ship to Cairo, during an expedition up the White River in Arkansas. The goal was to knock out a river battery at St. Charles, AR. Here's how that went. "As the Mound City moved forward...she fired several shells, but the Confederates stayed quiet, well hidden in the trees and brush. AT 8:45 AM [June 17, 1862], Colonel Graham Fitch an
  5. Brian: I've with everyone else on this. Thanks for the history lesson and your passion for the subject will keep you interested through a long build. One of these days, I'm going to try my hand at Cairo or a similar vessel myself. The naval side of the Civil War is overshadowed by the land war, but there's plenty there for the modeler, lots of technical innovation and experimentation, some of which worked out and some of which didn't. Dan
  6. My pleasure. The Vicksburg Campaign is endlessly fascinating. I also recommend Vicksburg is the Key by Terry Winchell. It’s a good read by a terrific historian. I’ve heard him speak a couple of times and, before reading this book, thought his Triumph and Defeat was one of the best overviews of the campaign. I’m also a fan of the U.S Army War College Guide to the Vicksburg campaign, but you’ve really got to be interested in this stuff to get through that one! Dan
  7. Grant Wins the War is a great, and underrated, book about the Vicksburg campaign. It's one of my favorites ... and I've read a lot of them. Another one that I highly recommend is Occupied Vicksburg by Bradley R. Clampitt. I could not put this book down. I'd often wondered what it was like for the civilians of Vicksburg. Before the war, Warren County, MS, was the wealthiest county in the country. Think of that! The country was, if not unionist, anti-secession. They knew which side their bread was buttered on. By the end of the war, the slave economy was gone. Their town was
  8. What a wonderful model! Are the plans available from The Trireme Trust? I looked at their website and saw some pictures, but didn't see where you could buy a set of plans. And are those the plans you used? I would love to build a model of Olympias. Maybe someday... Dan
  9. I've been pokey about posting more updates here on MSW. Work has consumed all my time over the past several weeks, so any time I get to spend at the bench is a real luxury. I'm thankful every day for the work, but it is draining. When last I posted, I'd just gotten the planking belts laid out. It took some time to get that right, but it finally did come together. I also took the opportunity to do more fairing. It seems that's a never-quite-ending task, but a ncecessary one to avoid high and low spots. Then I made my tic-strips for each of the frames. Once I made th
  10. USS Cairo is a fascinating vessel and I'm thrilled to see a build log for her. I visited the Vicksburg NMP for the first time about 20 years ago. I've been back twice since and it's an amazing place. Grant's Vicksburg Campaign was the most complex and successful of the war and the more one learns about it the more amazing it becomes. Outside of professional military circles, I don't think it gets the attention it deserves. Inside military circles, it does. The U.S. Army used the campaign as a model of operational warfare until the first Gulf War when it was replaced in the field manuals
  11. Wonderful work, Joe. I'm just amazed. I visited your website and looked at the models you have displayed there. Again, just amazing. You mention that the decks are boxwood too. How do you scribe them like that? When I try to scribe components that small, I struggle to get the lines straight. Care to share your secret? Dan
  12. I realize I'm really late to this discussion, but just wanted to point out that wargaming is alive and well! I've been into it since I was a kid, left it for a long time during college and my service in the Navy and then came back to it in the early 1990's. I've been sort of getting back to it now that my son is showing some interest. I started with all the games that have been mentioned here, all the old Avalon Hill classics: But there have been lots of games published since then, both board games and miniatures games. Here's the Admiralty Trilogy (a miniatures game) which cove
  13. Hi, Lyle, I'm really enjoying your build log, particularly because you're a little ahead of me. I've got the planking belts laied out now and am ready to start planking. I'm wondering how you handled Toni's direction to: "Make a sketch of the frame plan and planking belts, including the garboard and broad strakes." That's my next step and I was just wondering how sophisticated that sketch has to be. Dan
  14. Now on to the first run of planks. I've gotten through about half of this process, but I'm struggling a little. The initial instructions for laying out the planking belts are straightforward. There are three belts of planks, the width of which are determined by the distance from the bottom of the main wale to the top of the broad strake. Simple. Take a piece of paper, mark that distance... Measure... ...in this case 51mm. And then divide by three. That's 17mm. Mark those belts on the dead flat. Easy. For the stem, it's the sam
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