Model Shipways USS Essex 1799 FRIGATE 1:76 Scale
by Model Expo Planked inside and out
The USS Essex was a thirty-two-gun frigate built in Salem, Massachusetts in 1799. She was known around the world for her speed and graceful lines, achieving many dramatic firsts for the young American Navy.
Essex was the first US warship to round the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean. Thirteen years later, she became the first American man-of-war to round the Horn into the Pacific.
Sailing the Pacific during the War of 1812, she captured 18 British whaling and merchant ships, causing the British to lose almost a million dollars of lost revenue and devastating their whaling industry.
The British sent two ships, the Phoebe and Cherub to hunt down the Essex. They cornered her off Valparaiso and engaged her in battle. Her 32 carronades were no match for the enemy's long guns. She was captured and taken into the Royal Navy.
The Model Shipways kit is relatively easy to build, thanks to CAD-assisted laser-cut basswood parts, which come in a variety of thicknesses from 3/32 to 1/8. Fine basswood is also used for hull and deck planking. An unusual feature of this model is that the hull is planked inside and out.
A host of fittings ensures that the model you'll build is authentic to the last detail. Masterfully cast Britannia metal guns are miniature versions of the original armament. Brass nails, eyebolts, Belaying Pins and split rings are correctly scaled, and a photo-etched sheet of detailed parts adds the finishing touches. Deadeyes, blocks and bullseyes are ready-to-use hardwood. Five diameters of rigging line are included. Six sheets of plans, parts list with parts identifier and a clearly written instruction manual guarantee a great modeling experience.
Model Expo No. MS2041
Length 26-3/8 / Width 13-3/4 / Height 24-5/8 / Scale 1:76 (5/32 = 1 ft.)
Previous modeling experience helpful.
Kit design, plans, instructions & prototype model by Bob Crane
Note ... the last three photographs are by Ian Poole of Canada who has done a superb job of modifying our Model Shipways kit to revert to the 1812 version of USF Essex. Our compliments to Ian. He writes:
I am still working on the model of the Essex, a lot different to the kit, as it is the Essex as it would have appeared in 1812 after it last refit, on its last commission before being captured by the Royal Navy.
The gangways have been removed, and the ship converted to a spar decked frigate
There are solid barricades at the bow.
It has been rearmed with carronades in place of the long guns
Gunports have been adjusted
Figure head removed
Colours changed to the black and white, with green insides of bulwarks.
It will be masted and rigged, as of 1812, not the original.
So I modified the original kit, the same way as the actual ship would have been modified (same starting point)