Step-by-step Scratchbuilding.... 1/600 Scale

The subjects:

USS Galena.  This is an unusual subject, due to her odd sloped armor.  I don't have a log of reference on this ship.  Gibbons shows an elevation, with much reduced rig, while Confederate Navy: A Pictoral History shows her both in the same reduced rig, and in brigantine rig.  I chose to go with the reduced rig.... less masts to build.  Gibbons gives her a length of 181', while Conway's says 210' overall.  I think that is reasonable to surmize that the Gibbons' measurement is the gundeck, or PP.  The biggest concern I have is whether or not her gun deck was covered, as in with a complete spar deck.  I have decided to build her as if it was.  I base this on a contemporary photograph which shows light bulwarks above her casemate, and men sitting on the bulwarks.  It would be quite a climb if there was no spar deck.  In building her, I'd rate her as moderately complex, mostly due to the transitions between her bow/stern and the odd angled armor (which from photographs appears to be actually rounded)..

USS Cumberland.  This vessel was a 44 gun frigate, later cut down to a corvette by removing all her armament above the spar deck, greatly reducing her bulwarks, removing her galleries and lengthening her spars.  Apparently this greatly enhanced her sailing abilities.  Later two 10" weapons were added at the bow and stern.  There is a deck plan and elevation of her in corvette form in Chapelle's American Sailing Navy.  Wish all ships were that easy to reference.  Building her is another thing. I'd rate  her as moderately complex, mostly due to the nature of her blunt, round bow, and her gentle sheer, which is difficult to get right.

HMS Lord Clyde.  This was a large, wooden hulled ironclad completed in 1866.  I wanted her for my English squadron.  There is a rough 1/600 plan and elevation in Oscar Parkes British Battleships, and a good elevation in Conway's.  I'd rate her as an easy build.