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"Steer 230", a Pearl Harbor Dio...

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"MSW crew-mate Karl Zingheim (CaptSonghouse) shares his latest scene with us, entitled "Steer 230", his entry for the current KitMaker Pearl Harbor Campaign, in this "On Display" feature!

The enclosed are pics of my contribution to the KitMaker Pearl Harbor campaign....Titled "Steer 230", it depicts the Nevada pulling past the wrecked and blazing Arizona just after the Japanese first wave had departed.

The Arizona is an obviously heavily-modified, Banner 1:350 scale kit, and the Nevada is scratchbuilt, with parts pirated from another Banner kit and the excellent Eduard deluxe Arizona set. The crew figures are from Fujimi.
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About the Author

About Karl Zingheim (CaptSonghouse)

I am the staff historian for the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. I've been modeling since age 5 and specialize in naval dioramas. Larger scales (for ships) is my preference as is naval warfare up to 1945. The more that comes out in 1:350, the better!


Hi Karl Have you seen Frank Portela's feature? Photography Basics for Modeling Hope this helps Rui
DEC 08, 2008 - 06:36 AM
Hi Rui! Yes, I've seen it and now that I've have more projects to practice on, I can use it as a step-by-step tutorial. Thanks! --Karl
DEC 08, 2008 - 07:07 AM
incredible work... indeed the best fire/smoke display I have seen..thanks for sharing! full feature???
DEC 10, 2008 - 03:48 AM
Kar, Magnificent work, especially the smoke/fire effects. Hows about a step by step on your techniques? I for one would love to learn! with admiration, Tim
DEC 10, 2008 - 04:36 AM
You've got it, Tim! The effects are incredibly easy (and inexpensive) and are not just for ship modeling either. I will submit a feature in the coming weeks for the consideration of th Kitmakers' editorial staff. Thanks! --Karl
DEC 10, 2008 - 05:20 AM
That's quite a BOLD work you have been doing Karl, I have never been convinced with smoke effects in dioramas but I think your diorama is very enjoyable on every aspect, congratulations that's a very very good work JB
DEC 10, 2008 - 06:16 AM
Congrats Karl, That's one of the best executed dioramas I've seen! Brilliant bit of work with the smoke and fire, please enlighten us with the techniques. thanks for sharing, Frank
DEC 10, 2008 - 10:08 AM
Hi Frank! I'll get to work right away on presentation materials. I'm having a devil of a time with the Pentax Optio 60 camera I was loaned. My biggest problem is the darned focus arrangement. It looks like having a manual focus is the only way to get good results. Another problem is the way light plays off the filaments of the smoke material: to the human eye, it is not apparent, but the camera seems to trap ambient light inside, exaggerating the size and shape of the individual threads of the polyfibre. Unretouched, it makes the smoke column resemble a brillo pad. I had to exaggerate the shadows on some of my shots to get the smoke looking more like it does to the eye. Unfortunately, in one scene this adjustment practically puts the Nevada in silhouette. I think I will try indirect lighting to defeat this quirk of the camera lens. --Karl
DEC 10, 2008 - 11:20 AM
STUNNING! everything about it is beautiful, the efects, craftsmanship, imagination, history, drama, wow! Definitely looking forward to a smoke/fire feature! RE: retouching - not sure what program you have, but many photo retouching apps have masks - you can mask one area, such as the smoke, and apply the effect just to that. (darken/conrast the smoke, leave the rst OK). A way to avoid trouble is to follow seams to hid things, and to smear the edges of the mask for a soft transition, often called "feather" - just a few pixels will often blend without that harsh sharp line. Again, beautiful!
DEC 20, 2008 - 12:02 PM
Hi Wink! Thanks for the kind words. Yes, digital photography will be a new dark art to master, but hey, this is on-line modeling after all! I will be submitting a feature on my fire/smoke effects for what I call 'open' dioramas like Steer 230. Problem is, I'm just getting back in my stride and I don't have an extensive body of existing works to shoot, so I must ask for everyone's patience while I get my demo projects completed. --Karl
DEC 22, 2008 - 06:04 AM