Sultana Steamboat (Robert E. Lee) by Lindberg 1:163 scale

Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
376
Points
268

Location
Atlanta, GA
So here I go with a new project. After doing some family history on my great, great grandfather as an Infantry soldier and as a prisoner at Andersonville GA, I came across the tragedy of America's worst maritime disaster that involved the Sultana side-wheel steamboat on the Mississippi River on April 27th, 1865. The boat was designed to carry a crew of 85 men and 376 passengers, but carried around 2,400 passengers, of whom an estimated of 1,800 passengers perished (mostly released Union prisoners from Andersonville and Cahaba).

I thought it would be a nice tribute to his service by trying make a few changes with Lindberg's Robert E. Lee model kit to have it look like the Sultana. I'll try to see how close I can get with my attempt. I ordered this kit on Ebay and it should arrive by March 17. For reference pictures, I can only find the one infamous photo of the actual boat, along with pictures from other model builders. Another new adventure awaits!

Here is a picture of a 1:48 scale scratch build by Ralph Lossing: 82081
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
376
Points
268

Location
Atlanta, GA
Jim - I'll try to post some photos of the parts as they come out of the kit. I've already prepared myself for a lot of clean up with sandpaper and sanding sticks. Hopefully, I will not have to deal with warped parts or misaligned pieces. I saw someone's preview on Youtube and the instruction sheets actually have printed instructions and not just number system. I just don't understand why companies have to cut corners.
 

Jimsky

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
7,127
Points
738

Location
Brooklyn, New York USA
I just don't understand why companies have to cut corners.
...the main idea behind this, is to save as much as they can to make kits more profitable, It just the ways businesses exist. I think kit manufactures trying to make their products affordable for most of us.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
376
Points
268

Location
Atlanta, GA
...the main idea behind this, is to save as much as they can to make kits more profitable, It just the ways businesses exist. I think kit manufactures trying to make their products affordable for most of us.

Jim - you are correct about the business finance and practice to help save money. As a person who is fairly new to modelings ships, I would much rather learn that I am adding a beam or a windlass as opposed to adding part number 17 or 27&28. But again, that's my personal opinion on instruction manuals. With that, I'll 'move my desk to the back of the class' as the Nuns would say to me occasionally Cautious
 

Uwek

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
17,186
Points
938

Location
Vienna, Austria
I found this photo of the vessel, taken one day before the desaster


82273
Whole plate tintype, which appears to be a period enlargement made from a carte de visite of the Sultana taken at Helena, AR, on April 26, 1865, a day before she was destroyed. The view captures a large crowd of paroled Union prisoners packed tightly together on the steamboat's decks.

 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
376
Points
268

Location
Atlanta, GA
Uwe - I don't believe I will try any corrections as far as getting the correct length of the Sultana in comparison to the Robert E. Lee. Sultana was 260' Length, 42' Beam; the Robert E Lee was 285.5' in Length and 46' Beam. One big difference that I noticed between the two ships were their smokestack design and the support framing that lay in between them. This I will correct.
Thank you for sharing this enlarged photo of the Sultana. I will definitely use this as a reference for my project !!! This seems to be 'The Shot' of this vessel to be found. This enlargement is just what I needed.
In the meantime, I went out and purchased from Amazon a wonderful book entitled, "Sultana -Surviving the Civil War, Prison, and the Worst Maritime Disaster in American History" by Alan Huffman. Most of this book follows some soldiers accounts of their battles leading up to their capture; the day to day experiences of survival while incarcerated in their prisons; and their fateful journey that led up to either dying or surviving the Sultana disaster. This is a wonderful read, but unfortunately, it contains no drawings nor pictures that would offer assistance to the ship. I did find some plans online but at a price of $65.00 I just do not want to put this much of an investment in this plastic kit.
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
376
Points
268

Location
Atlanta, GA
I've become bogged down with a side-project on a shrimp boat, but my Lindberg Robert E. Lee safely arrived. I picked up another book about the Sultana Disaster that does include some drawings of the location of the tragedy, the steamboat and other photos of steamboats involved in the rescue as well as soldiers who survived and perished on the morning of April 27, 1865. The author of the book "Disaster on the Mississippi" is Gene Eric Salecker.
DSCN6514.JPG
 
Joined
Nov 28, 2020
Messages
1
Points
1
I've become bogged down with a side-project on a shrimp boat, but my Lindberg Robert E. Lee safely arrived. I picked up another book about the Sultana Disaster that does include some drawings of the location of the tragedy, the steamboat and other photos of steamboats involved in the rescue as well as soldiers who survived and perished on the morning of April 27, 1865. The author of the book "Disaster on the Mississippi" is Gene Eric Salecker.
View attachment 84412
My great grandfather was on The Sultana as well after surviving Andersonville. I found a wood model of the Robert E Lee that I’m giving my brother for Christmas. Have you worked on your project anymore? I would be interested in seeing what you have done!
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
874
Points
403

Location
Woudrichem, Netherlands
Hello Robert,
I am a member since june and now your build-log was high-lighted I got attention to it. Nice to see your Sultane steamboat peddle-steamer build-log out of the Robert E. Lee. My Lee is still in progress. Love to see you progress.
Regards, Peter
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
2
Points
3
Five years ago, my brother and I produced a full-length documentary about the Sultana disaster titled "Remember the Sultana". As part of our reference material, we were able to use an outstanding set of blueprints of the boat drawn by David Meagher. If anyone is interested in contacting David regarding purchasing a set of those prints, please message me at mkenmarshall at gmail dot com. I'll be glad to send his contact information to your e-mail address. This is my first post to the group so I hope I'm not violating any rules by sharing this information. Also, I'm not a salesman for David and he hasn't asked me to post this. Thanks for allowing me to join this great group!
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
2,425
Points
488

Location
Eugene, Oregon
Five years ago, my brother and I produced a full-length documentary about the Sultana disaster titled "Remember the Sultana". As part of our reference material, we were able to use an outstanding set of blueprints of the boat drawn by David Meagher. If anyone is interested in contacting David regarding purchasing a set of those prints, please message me at mkenmarshall at gmail dot com. I'll be glad to send his contact information to your e-mail address. This is my first post to the group so I hope I'm not violating any rules by sharing this information. Also, I'm not a salesman for David and he hasn't asked me to post this. Thanks for allowing me to join this great group!
It is great to have new members such as yourself jump right in to share what they can to others. This is a core factor in SoS sharing what we can about many different things. Survey the Forums and What's New regularly and look at all of the threads that are of interest to you. You will find things that may not have crossed your mind but capture attention and interest. Welcome aboard. Rich (PT-2)
 

Uwek

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
17,186
Points
938

Location
Vienna, Austria
Five years ago, my brother and I produced a full-length documentary about the Sultana disaster titled "Remember the Sultana". As part of our reference material, we were able to use an outstanding set of blueprints of the boat drawn by David Meagher. If anyone is interested in contacting David regarding purchasing a set of those prints, please message me at mkenmarshall at gmail dot com. I'll be glad to send his contact information to your e-mail address. This is my first post to the group so I hope I'm not violating any rules by sharing this information. Also, I'm not a salesman for David and he hasn't asked me to post this. Thanks for allowing me to join this great group!
Many Thanks for the generous offer
and a warm welcome here on board of our forum.

I made a small post related to the naval event, which you can see here

and I found on youtube the trailer of the film (I guess)
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
2
Points
3
Thank you, Rich and Uwe, for your welcome messages. I appreciate both very much! I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this forum. I've primarily been a model car builder but have always had a love for boats and ships, especially the Sultana and aircraft carriers. I saw that someone had included a link to the Sultana Disaster Museum in Marion, AR. It includes a very nice, 14-foot model of the Sultana. Its builder, author Gene Eric Salecker, has completed a matching model of the boat as it appeared immediately after the steam explosion but before the ensuing fire. It, along with the model currently in the museum, will both be on display in the new Sultana Disaster Museum, scheduled to be built in Marion in 2023. Happiest of Holidays to all the Ships of Scale members!
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
2,425
Points
488

Location
Eugene, Oregon
Thank you, Rich and Uwe, for your welcome messages. I appreciate both very much! I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this forum. I've primarily been a model car builder but have always had a love for boats and ships, especially the Sultana and aircraft carriers. I saw that someone had included a link to the Sultana Disaster Museum in Marion, AR. It includes a very nice, 14-foot model of the Sultana. Its builder, author Gene Eric Salecker, has completed a matching model of the boat as it appeared immediately after the steam explosion but before the ensuing fire. It, along with the model currently in the museum, will both be on display in the new Sultana Disaster Museum, scheduled to be built in Marion in 2023. Happiest of Holidays to all the Ships of Scale members!
I was totally unaware of the Sultana event. Thank you for the blog historical link. Too many disasters are forgotten as soon as that generation has passed on, particularly the individuals involved. Rich
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2020
Messages
69
Points
88

Jim - I'll try to post some photos of the parts as they come out of the kit. I've already prepared myself for a lot of clean up with sandpaper and sanding sticks. Hopefully, I will not have to deal with warped parts or misaligned pieces. I saw someone's preview on Youtube and the instruction sheets actually have printed instructions and not just number system. I just don't understand why companies have to cut corners.
Hi there Rob.

I know exactly where you are coming from regards those instructions.
My Pyro Santa Catarina do Monte Sinai which I just finishe was exactly the same.
Printed instructions for what they were worth and also numbered parts, but the thing with the numbered parts were that none of the parts were numbered on the sprues, obviously most parts you can identify with to go where but when you have maybe 2 or 3 different sizes of cannons it becomes a bit frustrating considering in this kit there was 140 of them.

I have another 3 lindberg kits 2 from old pyro moulds in my stash so I am expecting these to be the exact same.

Regards
Robert.
 
Top