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I Don't Think We Are Alone

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You have to figure we are not alone in this universe! Katarzyna Manikowska shares here ultra-creative watery diorama of the SMS Vulkan and some friends from far far away! Katarzyna breaks from conventional building to add a bit of mystery and humor to this WWI and Space crossover scene.

SMS Vulkan and the crashed UFO



SMS Vulkan was a U-boat salvage tug for the Kaiserliche Kriegsmarine (Imperial Navy) during the First Word War. Although the ship did not have any armament, it was still a part of the regular Navy and was manned by an extremely dedicated crew. The ship itself is a rather ugly eyesore, however, I like that sort of thing. For this build, I chose to use Alliance Modelworks’ 1/350 scale Hebaschiff SMS Vulkan for the build. The concept to build either a "model on the stand" or a "model on the water" did not seem to appealing to me. I ended up letting the model stand on its own for a while I thought of what I wanted to do with it; until finally came up with this idea.

I decided support the ship with an underwater scene showing the ship investigating what appears to be a sunken UFO. For the UFO construction I chose Sharkit’s 1/72 scale Avrocar for the sunken spacecraft. The Avro car was a Canadian designed experimental “proof of concept” VTOL vehicle tested by the US Airforce in the 1950’s and 60’s. The design looks very much like a flying saucer and although the scale is 1/72 and the ship is 1/350, in the end, there is no set scaling for fictitious spacecraft and the model works well in the diorama.

With this scene, I needed to remove the lower hull to the ship for it to be installed under the water. For the purposes of this feature I will discuss the construction of the ship parts added to work with this display. The Alliance Modelworks Vulkan is comprised of a large number of yellow colored resin and comes with five massive sheets of photo etch parts. Some parts to the construction are much harder to do than others, as in the case of the ship’s cranes versus the railings, but overall the kit design is well planned.

The one-piece top hull had three phot etch deck parts to install. Some of these parts did not fit too well and the drawing from the instructions were not much help. At this stage, it was crucial to install the inner rails because the “Chinese Gods” would not grant me access late on. The next stage install the grid. It looked scary, but consisted of very appealing. The parts supplied by the manufacturer are quite delicate and can literally bend in the fingers. From the drawings again, not much help is given to show how to secure the inner part of the frame. After a little thought and common sense, the parts were installed.

Next part of the build was to install the deck fixtures and equipment. This is another area where the manufacturer “dropped the ball” a bit. The parts, some of which softly detailed in nature, were more or less tossed in a bag and like before, the instructions were no help. I made an attempt to place parts by my better judgment but often the part placement seen to almost contradict each other. I even made a failed attempt to gain pictures of the correct placement from the manufacturer’s website, however, the model there was crudely built and rendered little help.

Once the general cargo was mounted where I wanted it on the ship, it was time to work on the water and below. The surface water was created from clear plastic page holders that are typically used in binders. With the surface of the water in place, it was time to work on the UFO as well as beginning to paint everything under the water.

It was now time to start painting the Vulcan. In the beginning I laid down a gray matt acrylic spray primer from the can. The shade of gray is a lot brighter than the Imperial Naval colors, I did it on purpose. First of all - I'm building a ship on the diorama, which kind of forces brightening of the entire composition of the watery diorama. Secondly, II had to reinforce the color contrast between the dark "underwater" a clear watery part of diorama. Therefore, underwater portion of the hull Vulkan is dark and the underwater mountain almost white.

Shading and lightening will age your ship, so I used gray and bluish filters from AK Interactive and MiG Productions and plenty of dry pigments which were applied from the bottom to the top with ordinary old brush. The pigments did not require any sort of fixer to keep them in place, these were simply rubbed into the hull. This way you can get a pretty cool effects. Next was some rigging. Using some black and dark brown fly fishing line this was accomplished.

At this stage she was the diorama was almost ready. I placed the davits which were attached amidships, boats and a few trinkets such as crane hooks. I finished painting the "underwater" scene followed by a little darkening of the ship to fit it in the whole composition. I made up a small bathyscaphe, this is the funny tiny yellow thing over UFO. The figures come from several sets North Star Models. The Vulkan crew consisted of a total of 118 people on board and I place approximately 50 figures which are preparing to raise UFO. Waiting for the rescue it “The Cat*”. UFO-Cat survived the crash UFO and now, wet and furious sitting on the head of a statue waiting for the lifeboat.

Well ... I guess that is all? Last smacks of water (gel Vallejo), small brush pigments on the boards ... and this is probably ready! In conclusion, the Alliance Modelworks kit of the SMS Vulcan gives you the opportunity to build a pretty cool model, however, you need to have plenty of reference photos of the ship because the instruction sheet itself is a little ambiguous at best. I had seen some pictures of the network model built by a man from the United States (I think) where he blurted out quite a lot of substantive errors but in retrospect, now I know this is only assembly instructions. But all in all this is a very nice model. The ship itself is “ugly” but the construction not too complicated, and quite richly detailed. I would recommend lovers of “monsters”.

If you have not noticed by now, Katarzyna signs here pieces with a personal signature small cat. Model Shipwrights would like to thank Katarzyna for providing this feture of here Crahed UFO scene!
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About the Author

About Katarzyna Manikowska (viltianus)
FROM: , POLAND


Comments

I absolutely adore Katarzyna's work! She combines imagination with solid model making skills and a touch of whimsy to create some truly memorable visions. Well done Katarzyna!
JUL 28, 2015 - 03:19 AM
Beautiful model. Such an ugly ship though.
JUL 29, 2015 - 01:51 AM
Such wonderful imagination, Katarzyna
JUL 29, 2015 - 04:02 AM