Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Aye Candy: U.S.S. Hatteras, Version 2.0

Posted in Media, Technology by Andy Hall on September 2, 2013



Updated renders of a digital model of U.S.S. Hatteras, a Union warship sunk in battle with the Confederate raider C.S.S. Alabama on January 11, 1863. This model replaces an earlier version that, while similar in general configuration, I now believe to be wrong in several respects. This model, which is about 75% new, is based on a detailed drawing of Hatteras‘ sister ship, the Morgan Line steamer Harlan (see that set), in the Bayou Bend Collection. Thanks to my colleague Ed Cotham for locating the Harlan image and sharing it with me. As always, full-resolution images available on Flickr.









6 Responses

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  1. H. E. Parmer said, on September 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I wonder why they extended the upper deck all the way to the stern on the Hatteras. It almost looks like a helipad.

    • Andy Hall said, on September 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      Yes, it was a problem. Captain Blake, at the inquiry afterward, complained that the hurricane deck, as he called it, completely blocked his view and oversight of what was going on on the main deck below, at the guns. He had a great view of the enemy ship, but not his own.

      This model is based in part on the only detailed, contemporary view of Hatteras, done by artist Francis Schell in 1863. Unfortunately we don’t know what sources Schell had as a guide in his depiction of the vessel.

  2. jfepperson said, on September 3, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    What software do you use to draw these? They are uniformly marvelous!

    Have you ever thought of scratch-building an actual model?

    • Andy Hall said, on September 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks. They’re done in Rhinoceros. More on that shortly. I have done a little scratch-building, but I’m better at 1s and 0s.

  3. Devin Poore said, on November 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Beautiful work. I’ve always been intrigued by the Hatteras, and any of the side-wheeled warships. Following-up on jfepperson’s question, have you the ability to break the digital model down into kit components? I’m building a USS Chickasaw that was designed in 3D and then broken down to components that we had laser cut out of plywood: If you ever decide to go that route, do let me know, as I’d glady pay for such a component breakdown, or even just hull stations.

    • Andy Hall said, on November 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Devin, thanks. I do have some hopes that the HATTERAS digital model could be reproduced as a physical model, but nothing firm right now.

      In the case of the HATTERAS model, there are no lines that I’m aware of. The folks from the NOAA Maritime Heritage program did some serious searching for them in conjunction with the fieldwork on the wreck site, and came up with nothing. In that case, I took the lines of an iron-hulled merchant ship of about that same period, scaled them to meet HATTERAS’ known dimensions, and re-did the stem and stern profiles to match information about HATTERAS from other sources. The result is a 3D model that approximates the hull’s appearance, but not in any precise way.

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