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

Fright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
298
Points
233

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
 

Fright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
298
Points
233

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

Moderator
Staff member
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Nov 3, 2018
Messages
1,898
Points
528

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.
 

Fright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
298
Points
233

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

Admin
Staff member
Administrative
Blandford Group Build
Joined
Dec 25, 2017
Messages
8,748
Points
728

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.

 

Fright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
298
Points
233

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.
 

Norway

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
935
Points
393

Robert, nice to be able to build a model of a boat that you can find in your family history, I like. good luck.
 

Fright

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
298
Points
233

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
 
Top