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Corsair II

Glencoe 1/130 Yacht Corsair II Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2006 Manufacturer Glencoe
Subject Yacht Corsair II Scale 1/130
Kit Number 8303 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Simple build Cons You're on your own for the rat lines and rigging
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $34.95

First Look

Corsair II
Corsair II
Corsair II
Corsair II
Corsair II
Corsair II

The Yacht Corsair II was the second vessel dubbed Corsair for the famous financier J.P. Morgan. Built in 1891, the Corsair II was 218 feet long, had a beam of over 27 feet, and a draft of 13 feet. She was a hybrid-powered vessel, employing both sail and steam for propulsion.

The Corsair II served a mere eight years for J.P. Morgan before she was turned over to the US Navy for service in the Spanish-American War. Lt.Cdr. Richard Wainright, the last commander of the USS Maine, took command of this vessel, christened USS Gloucester.

For naval service, the Gloucester was armed with four 6-pounder and four 3 pounder guns as well as two Colt machine guns.

At the battle of Santiago Bay, Cuba, July 3, 1898, the Spanish fleet was bottled up inside the bay by the US Navy. As the Spaniards were about to exploit a break in the lines of the US Navy's dreadnaughts and escape the bay, the USS Gloucester dove through the breech with its guns blazing, disrupting the Spaniards long enough for the dreadnaughts to maneuver back into position. This was one of several notable events of this small warship in the course of the war's 115 days that put the former luxury yacht into the annals of US Naval history.

The Glencoe 1/130 Yacht Corsair II is another timeless mold, originally developed by ITC. It nicely captures the look and shape of this famous vessel and doesn't lack for detail.

Molded in white styrene, with the exception of the black hull halves, this kit remains as originally designed. The kit features nicely molded detailing into deck and cabin surfaces that, while a little thick by contemporary standards, makes for an easy model to paint for the novice. The more experienced modeler will have some fun replicating the wood finish of the deck and structures.

The kit comes with a full array of lifeboats which are interestingly enough covered by the instructions. There is no armament provided to convert the model over to the USS Gloucester, but these should

Construction is straightforward with the only thing needed being thread to rig the masts. The more detailed modeler will want to make a simple jig to rig the rat lines in the proper scale.

Glencoe has definitely rescued another interesting piece of history as well as modeling history. It is hard to believe these molds are over 50 years old, but clearly Glencoe has been doing some serious maintenance on the hardware.

This kit is definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Glencoe Models for this review sample!

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