Popov ironclads

By Rob Morgan

Here’s an old model. I bought it at a wargames show donkey’s years ago, made of balsa wood and wire, with odd bits superglued on. One of the two Popov circular ironclads built by the Russians in the late 1800s, well armed and shaped to serve in the big rivers. Not successful in their intended role, they were nevertheless innovative and, arguably, anchored, could have been effective “river forts” or heavy floating batteries.

Someone spent hours scratch-building this little 1/1200th scale model. I know that Old Glory manufactures one these days, but it wouldn’t be the same. I’m reminded where river forts are concerned that Germany in the 1870s built two monitors that were intended to serve on the Rhine and which could actually be sunk to the river bed for that purpose.

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