|The two ex-USN Monitors|
First up is the last of the Peruvian ironclads, the monitors Manco Cápac and Atahualpa (those Inca names are tough to spell). These were ex-USN Canonicus class single turreted monitors which were built too late to see service in the ACW. They were sold to the Peruvians, fitted with fore and aft sailing rigs and minimal superstructure and relocated south and around the Cape Horn (this being before the Panama Canal). Must have been one hell of a rough journey given the low freeboard.
|This shows the completed ships vs the original. It also shows the sea bases included by Tumbling Dice and how they fit on my 50mm long pdf bases.|
Once in Peruvian waters they were used for coastal defence and fought the Chilean fleet in the final phases, including a duel with the Huascar after her capture, but were eventually scuttled to prevent capture.
|One of the originals, as much of a bodge as my models.|
The models are admittedly complete bodges. TD doesn't make a Canonicus class monitor so I used a pack of the USS Monitor model, which was 20% shorter than these ships but it was the closest available. I added the rig from spare fore and aft sails from one or the other TD packs of ships. My best guess is that they came from the two Cochrane class ironclads, which I modelled mostly unrigged as they removed as much rigging as possible during a mid-war refit. The final models are nowhere nearly being replicas of the two ships. But they look like Civil War monitors with rigging and rudimentary superstructure attached, which is exactly what they need to look like. If any one cars to model exact replicas Spithead miniatures makes them in 1:1200. i didn't go that route as I like the cost and space effectiveness of 1/2400 and couldn't figure out how to order anything from Spithead.
|Chileans at sea|
Next up is a squadron of Chilean unarmoured ships, or Cruising ships in the Victorian vernacular. There's no specific models for these in the TD range, so I sued whatever models looked about right based on period photos, rough dimensions available and models on hand. We have the corvettes O'Higgins, Chacabuco and Mallaganes, all of which had an active part in the war.
Last of all is the schooner Covadonga which had a history rivalling the Huascar's. originally Spanish, she was captured by the Esmeralda (still on the work bench) and brought into Chilean service. She had a key role in the Battle of Punta Gruesa where she outgunned the Peruvian ironclad Independencia, who then ran aground and was lost. Covadonga was sunk later in the war while on blockade duty by a rowboat rigged as a floating mine.
|The original Covadonga.|
Points wise that's six 1/2400 ships for a whopping 18 points. Finally I'll leave you with the following video. My wife and I are huge fans of Carol Burnett and I can't say the name O'Higgins (Higgins or Wiggins) without releasing my inner Mr. Tudball.