The Ship
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 in 1920.


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KuK Sankt Georg
Panzerkreuzer
Austro-Hungarian Navy
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: 62'5"  Draft: 22'5"
Displacement: 7,290 tons (std)  8,070 tons (full load)
Armament: two 9.4"/40 cal (1x2), five  7.4" (5x1)
four 5.9" (4x1), nine 2.7" (9x1), two submerged 17.7" torpedo tubes, 
Powerplant: Twelve Yarrow boilers w/two 4-cylinder triple expansion engines on two shafts.
Performance:
14,860 shp (forced draft), 22 knots maximum
Complement: 621 officers and men

The Model
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 Seydlitz.

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.
Rob Mackie
27 July 2003

WSW Sankt Georg Resin Parts
WSWSanktGeorgeFocsle.jpg (67885 bytes) WSWSanktGeorgeFocsleCloseup.jpg (94337 bytes)
Using flash illumination
WSWSanktGeorgMidshipCloseup.jpg (120064 bytes) WSWSanktGeorgAftLookingFwd.jpg (46091 bytes)
WSWSanktGeorgeFwdLookingAft.jpg (84159 bytes)
Using flash illumination
WSWSanktGeorgePortProfileB.jpg (81949 bytes) WSWSanktGeorgePortQtr.jpg (74857 bytes)
WSWSanktGeorgeSmallParts.jpg (166616 bytes) WSWSanktGeorgeFunnelsGuns.jpg (123960 bytes) WSWSanktGeorgeBridgeLevels.jpg (85350 bytes)
Poor choice of background color
WSWSanktGeorgeBrassFrets.jpg (125747 bytes)

Notes About Photographic Techniques
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:

Camera
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 quality results. 

Lighting
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. 

Background
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.

Editing
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 article:

1. Crop unnecessary background. Anything besides the model in your final image is wasted space...and increases download times.

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.

Summary
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. 

 

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