An improvement over the preceding Kaiser Karl VI, the
armoured cruiser KuK Sangt Georg was a compact design,
squeezing 8,000 tons into a hull only 384' in length at the waterline. Its
two main 9.4" guns were carried in the forward turret. The smaller
aft turret carried a single 7.6" gun. Four additional 7.6" guns
were carried in the prominent sponsons located midship on the port and
starboard sides. Four 6" mounts were located fore and aft in sponsons
at the same level as the larger 7.6" sponson mounts.
The ship's wartime career was uneventful. Like much of the
Austro-Hungarian navy, Sangt Georg spent most of its time as part
of a fleet-in-being that seldom ventured out of the Adriatic. Presumably,
the very existence of this fleet tied down French and Italian ships that
would have otherwise been available for more important tasks. Sangt Georg
was ceded to the British as part of war reparations and sold for scrapping
Builder: Seearsenal, Pola, Austria-Hungary
Laid down: 11 Mar 1901 Launched: 8 Dec
1903 Commissioned: 21 July 1905
Length: 407'9"oa (384' waterline) Beam:
Displacement: 7,290 tons (std) 8,070 tons (full load)
Armament: two 9.4"/40 cal (1x2), five 7.4"
four 5.9" (4x1), nine 2.7" (9x1), two submerged 17.7"
Powerplant: Twelve Yarrow boilers w/two 4-cylinder
triple expansion engines on two
Performance: 14,860 shp (forced draft), 22 knots maximum
Complement: 621 officers and men
Even by WSW's high standards, the Sangt
George hull casting is remarkable. I don't believe I've
ever seen more detail crammed into a smaller space on a 1:700th hull. The
detail is uniformly sharp and crisp. Voids are almost non-existent, and
the few I found were located only with the help of photos, which
show the kit at greater than life size. The actual ship was only 384' at
the waterline (barely longer than a Fletcher class destroyer), so this is
not a large model, but it's remarkably dense with detail. There's a lot
going on in a small space and the completed model will have few, if any,
empty spaces, unlike large, austere battlecruisers such as SMS
Smaller resin parts are done in the typical WSW
style, as shown in the photos below. Casting is sharp and crisp, and
cleanup will be minimal. The Sangt Georg should be a fast and
trouble free buildup. This is attributable to the large amount of detail
cast into the hull. There simply isn't much to add when casting is this
aggressive...and successful. As with most recent WSW kits, photoetch is
included. The fret includes railings, ladders, funnel caps, boat skids,
and derricks. Instructions (not pictured) include plan/profile drawings,
paint guidelines, illustrated parts list, and photos of the model in
various stages of completion. Callouts within the photos indicate parts
placement. Unlike those of the WSW Seydlitz
kit, these photos are clearly reproduced and won't leave you
guessing. They also show the placement and dimensions of brass mast
components. The kit includes brass rod, and I suggest replacing all resin
mast and booms with brass rod replacements.
Kits of this quality are a delight to behold. It may
be an obscure subject, but the Sangt George
kit superbly depicts a visually interesting ship from the steel navy era.
Ships of this time still exhibited personality and individuality as the
naval designers of various countries strove to combine rapidly evolving
weapons, materials and powerplants. I highly recommend this WSW model.
Even if you have no interest in Austro-Hungarian armoured cruisers, the WSW
Sangt Georg is a resin casting tour-de-force.
27 July 2003
Sankt Georg Resin Parts
Poor choice of
Several readers have inquired about equipment and techniques I employ
in snapping close-ups of small scale models and parts. I'm strictly an
amateur and have neither the time nor the technical ability to produce
truly excellent photos. But using a digital camera...and its
exceptional macro capabilities...I'm able to quickly turn out decent
closeups of small scale ship models. Here's how:
I use a Nikon 990 digital camera exclusively. I assume any of the
other 3.2 megapixel digital cameras currently available would work
just as well. Lots of pixels are absolutely crucial for obtaining high
Avoid using flash. I much prefer the look of either natural
illumination or external light sources. The results are more
"natural looking". The two blue-tinted photos in the above
gallery were illuminated with my camera's built in flash. All of the
others were lit by two goose-necked desk lamps positioned close to the
subject. Position the lights such that shadows are minimized. And put
CLOSE to the subject.
This is more important than you may think. Avoid using a background
that is either too similar to the subject or so brilliantly bright
that it overwhelms the model. I've found the oak veneer of my desk to
provide a visually attractive backdrop for the grey tones typical of
both unpainted resin and painted warship models. The subject doesn't
get lost in the orange tinted oak, but stands out. Note the closeup of
the bridge parts. The grey resin carrier film is too much like the
parts I wish to highlight. They get lost in the grey background rather
than standing out.
Depth of Field
Very important. The closer you are to a subject, the narrower the
depth of field. That is, parts of the photo may be in focus, other
portions indistinct and blurred. Obtaining a fully in-focus fore/aft
view of a ship model can be especially challenging. The narrow depth
of field inherent in close-ups works against you in these fore-aft
views. Consider setting your camera on "manual" and using
the smallest aperture setting (F/8 or thereabouts on my Nikon 990).
This means the shutter speed will be necessarily slow, so either mount
the camera on a tripod or brace it against something (my preference)
when depressing the shutter release.
The easiest way around the depth-of-field problem is to position the
model "in profile" rather than fore-aft. Most, if not all,
of the subject will be in the narrow "in focus" portion of
the focal plane.
Hugely important! Don't expect your digital camera to do everything. I
use Paintshop Pro to edit my pictures, and edit every
photo used on Steelnavy. I discard 2 of every 3 images from my camera,
and do the following (at a minimum) to the images I select for an
1. Crop unnecessary background. Anything besides the
model in your final image is wasted space...and increases download
2. Enhance (or reduce) contrast, brightness and gamma.
There is no set formula for this step. I've learned...and am still
learning...what works best. Trial and error is crucial here. If it
looks right on your computer screen, it is.
3. Reduce physical size of photo. The smaller the
physical dimensions of a digital photo, the sharper it will appear on
screen. Think of it as compressing all those millions of pixels into a
smaller space. Gaps between the pixels will get smaller, and the
picture will appear less grainy and more distinct. I've improved
hundreds of large, grainy and indistinct photo submissions over the
years by simply making the screen image physically smaller. I
typically reduce the physical dimensions of the photos that come out
of my Nikon 990 by about 50%. Make sure you're using photo editing
software that accomplished this step without degrading image quality.
Paintshop Pro seems to do this quite well.
4. Enhance sharpness. Do this very
sparingly. Overdoing this step can result in a photo that is too
grainy and pixilated.
Get close and bathe your subject in light! Digital cameras have
phenomenal closeup ("macro") capabilities. Then use your
photo editing software to create an enhanced final image. Strive for
clarity and crispness, even if it means reducing image size. There is
no getting around trial and error. Much like cooking, if you do it
enough, you'll develop a sense of what works and the process will go
much faster. Digital photos are essentially free once you have a
camera. So you can try many different combinations of light, aperture,
shutter speed, subject positioning et al without regard for cost.
Invariably, you'll wound up with some images that are keepers.