The 1/192 scale USS Casco kit is easy to construct with few parts, making it an excellent kit for a first time multi-media kit builder. It includes an extensive photo etched sheet to create every tiny detail and allow anyone to create an exact replica of this historical ironclad.
John Ericsson developed the original design for the Casco class monitors, but Chief Engineer Alben B. Stimers; the General Inspector for Ironclads, elaborated on Ericsson's design. When bids were requested for the ships, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Augustus Fox, wrote to Ericsson to confirm that Stimers had arranged the details with Ericsson's approval. Ericsson replied that he had been kept in the dark and that Stimers had "frittered away" Ericsson's principals, but in March, 1863 Fox had begun to award contracts anyway. The vessels received another re-design in the aftermath of Rear Admiral Samuel DuPont's failed attack on Charleston, SC on 7 April, 1873. Twenty vessels were ordered without serious scrutiny to the design. $14 million US was allocated for the vessels. It was then discovered that the designers in charge failed to allow for the extra weight their revisions caused. This resulted in excess stress on the hull, resulting in a free-board of only 3" (76mm). Most of the class was redesigned to correct the flaws, but they never reached their design potential as shallow draft ironclads. Ericsson was finally put back in charge to fix the problems of the first eight vessels built. They had their turrets removed and a single pivot mounted. An 11" (288mm) Dahlgren cannon as well as torpedo equipment added and the eight altered vessels were used as torpedo boats.
An independent review of this kit can be found here: www.modelwarships.com/reviews/ships/misc/ironclads/Casso-192-fs/flagship-review.html