Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Chit-Chat => Topic started by: John Stedman on January 09, 2017, 10:44:02 am

Title: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 09, 2017, 10:44:02 am
I have an architectural and design firm, and recently we have started working for the film and TV industries to make models for the screen. Currently we are starting to plan to make a range of ships from the Second World War which will be used in dramatised documentaries. The idea is to film (or video) the static models in a dry studio, and to composite the images together with real seascapes from film shot in the 1930's and 1940's. The whole thing is then going to be blended together using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). At the moment we have a list of ten vessels:
HMS Hood, HMS Prince of Wales, HMS Repulse, HMS Rodney, HMS Devonshire, HMS Cossack, Flower Class corvette,  KM Bismarck, KM Prinz Eugen, German E-Boat.
We're expecting additions to the list, particularly Japanese, American and Italian vessels of the period. The budget is reasonable, but not to 'Jim Cameron' levels, so we're looking at the most effective and efficient strategies to achieve all this. I'd be interested in the views of anyone who is doing similar work, or is simply interested in the project for any reason. One of our first decisions will be on the scale of the models (and they need not be all the same) so ideas about that would be especially welcome :-)
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: NFMike on January 09, 2017, 10:56:03 am
There must be quite a few high quality models of most of those ships already in existence, so 'hiring' or maybe even buying them might make more sense than building your own.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 09, 2017, 11:31:30 am
Six of the above models have been or are available in the Graupner Premium range, all at reasonable sizes and scales. With a decent weathering job and suitably lit, they may be what you need. Prices are around 800 to 1200 per model.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: TailUK on January 09, 2017, 03:10:40 pm
If the models are to be static and used with CGI you might get away with the easily available 1/350th and 1/200th scale plastic kits.  Most of the ships required are available and can be finished to a very high standard using aftermarket Photo-etched sets.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 09, 2017, 04:24:33 pm
The rapid feedback is much appreciated! We had a meeting with the cinematographer today, and she thinks that to get the depth of focus and the quality of detail needed for today's Ultra High Definition images, we will need models about 12 feet long. In the case of HMS Hood and the other capital ships, this would mean a scale of about 1:72, which might allow a lot of off-the-shelf detail parts to be used (scuttles, anchors and winches, chains, railing stanchions, hatches, deck planking, hose reels, ventilators, ladders and railings etc). We will probably make a rough model out of foamcore this week so that a camera test can be done. We've recently installed a 3D printer and we would be able to use that to make 'blocks' which could be scanned and laser cut from data from the longitudinal plans and body plans of the ships quite quickly, fitted together and then finished with Plasticard 'plating' by hand. This technique would also be used to make the major parts of the superstructure. It's a bit like the method they use to make full-size cruise ships! I'll keep updating the progress, and would welcome further input from the Forum :-)
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: TailUK on January 09, 2017, 05:00:27 pm
The rapid feedback is much appreciated! We had a meeting with the cinematographer today, and she thinks that to get the depth of focus and the quality of detail needed for today's Ultra High Definition images, we will need models about 12 feet long. In the case of HMS Hood and the other capital ships, this would mean a scale of about 1:72, which might allow a lot of off-the-shelf detail parts to be used (scuttles, anchors and winches, chains, railing stanchions, hatches, deck planking, hose reels, ventilators, ladders and railings etc). We will probably make a rough model out of foamcore this week so that a camera test can be done. We've recently installed a 3D printer and we would be able to use that to make 'blocks' which could be scanned and laser cut from data from the longitudinal plans and body plans of the ships quite quickly, fitted together and then finished with Plasticard 'plating' by hand. This technique would also be used to make the major parts of the superstructure. It's a bit like the method they use to make full-size cruise ships! I'll keep updating the progress, and would welcome further input from the Forum :-)

You should be able to find some of the mentioned ships in 1/72nd scale.  The Flower class, the E boat are easily available as well as a lot of Royal Navy Gun and Torpedo boats. 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 09, 2017, 05:23:16 pm
hi there

you could try Task Force 72 - it is basically an Australian Group which specialise in 1:72 scale models.  Also, I believe they have a very strong following in the UK - our friend the late Dicky D used to be a member and there were several other members from the UK - so they may be able to put you in contact with them or people with 1:72 scale warships which you require.
http://taskforce72.org/
john
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 09, 2017, 05:57:11 pm
I wouldn't get too hung up on the physical size of the models. The important thing is the definition of detail as it appears to the camera. A 12 ft model of Hood is going to require a huge amount of detail and consequentially a corresponding amount of work to build it. Yes, you can purchase a lot of the fittings but at 35p per stanchion at 1:72 scale for example, it isn't going to be cheap plus you will incur substantial labour costs in building the model.

The latest large scale plastic kits such as those from Trumpeter at 1:200 scale are extremely well detailed in their basic form and can be readily improved by aftermarket enhancements such as deck planking and photo etched detail. It is likely that these would offer a similar cinematic quality as your proposed 12 foot models at a fraction of the price and effort. Moreover, I'm sure that someone who has already built one of these to a high standard would be willing to hire it to you for evaluation purposes.

Some details of the Trumpeter range here: http://www.anticsonline.co.uk/847_1.html
Many of the ships you mention are available.

More details of their Arizona battleship kit here:
 http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,56716.0.html (http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,56716.0.html)
http://www.modelboats.co.uk/news/article/uss-arizona-bb39-1941/8714 (http://www.modelboats.co.uk/news/article/uss-arizona-bb39-1941/8714)
 Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 09, 2017, 07:34:36 pm
Yes, I'm a real admirer of the 'mantleshelf scale' kits from Tamiya, Trumpeter and others, and in my time I've built two of the 1:72 Flower Class corvettes from Revell (nee Matchbox). I also have fond (?) memories of supergluing hundreds of tiny bits of photo-etch onto a very imposing Yamato as well. Superb models for the home, or for exhibitions.
But the situation here is that we have been tasked with creating the convincing illusion of a real ship in a real sea on a cinema screen which will be over 50' wide, or a home cinema with a wall-sized UHD screen. This means using professional studio cameras and probably 35mm film (or an equivalent quality digital format), where depth of field has to be very carefully predicted and controlled. We can't simply pour a lot of extra lighting on the models and use a smaller lens aperture to increase depth of field, because many Second World War engagements (such as the Battle of the Denmark Strait) were fought in murky conditions that need to be replicated for authenticity. We're anticipating that the lenses will need to be set at around f4, or maybe f5.6, with the camera about 50' from the model in most shots to give the right perspective.
Audiences will need to be convinced that the model ships we show are not models, and this perception is very fragile. It's a gut feeling. Real battleships were awe-inspiring, quite terrifying, seemingly unstoppable, yet disturbingly vulnerable when they went into action, and that's how they need to look on screen. One reason we are using physical models and not CGI for the ships is because not only is major CGI work horrendously expensive, difficult to manage and very time consuming, but its illusion of reality often fails because everything that happens on screen is the result of a programmer's decision, and not the randomness and 'chaos' of nature.
So our cinematographer's current thinking that all the models will have to be around 12' long, which suggests 1:72 scale for the capital ships, about 1:17 scale for the Flower Class, and 1:9 scale for an E-Boat. The budget will need to be sufficient to build all these to an appropriate professional standard, and modelmakers' labour costs will certainly be a major factor in that. But there's a saying in Hollywood that "The money must be up on the screen". I think that money will probably be best spent on imposing models expertly photographed, coupled with minimal CGI. It'll be interesting to see how the camera test turns out, and how our 12' long preliminary prototype of HMS Hood looks when projected across the full width of a movie theatre later this week. Stay tuned!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 09, 2017, 07:54:08 pm
Some interesting points there. A few years back I visited the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth to do a report on their models. http://www.modelboats.co.uk/news/article/naval-treasures/4501

They commissioned a number of large scale models to a very high degree of accuracy as teaching aids and a typical cost was something in the order of 20,000 each and that was maybe 15 years ago.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 09, 2017, 08:11:38 pm
With the advent of rapid prototyping in all its guises, I would imagine it would be much quicker to produce mock ups, using foam block construction, laser cut card detailing, 3D printing etc. One advantage being that the models will not be getting wet! This gives many options not available to us 'water based' models.


I understand the move to larger models. It is refreshing to see the the large scale miniatures, (when actually used!), by companies such as Weta, and films like Interstellar..long may it continue.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Atlantic Mouldings on January 09, 2017, 08:49:24 pm
Anyone charging more than 20K is just ripping them off and filling there pockets. <*<


However charging a suitable amount for the build is acceptable, i too have made models for films on set locations there's no need to go ripping them off , if you do a good job and at a good price they keep coming back to you.


so back to the main point a model 12ft in length ,  yep 20 k built price plus delivery is were i would be tendering.







Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 09, 2017, 09:11:00 pm
As a bit of an aside, I assume you are familiar with the last remaining Flower Class corvette HMCS Sackville, preserved in WW2 condition at Halifax NS. Obviously a good source of reference but I wonder if the ship could be digitally recorded in such a way as to enable the material to be incorporated in film sequences? Nothing like 1:1 scale really!

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: mudway on January 09, 2017, 10:16:35 pm
hi there

you could try Task Force 72 - it is basically an Australian Group which specialise in 1:72 scale models.  Also, I believe they have a very strong following in the UK - our friend the late Dicky D used to be a member and there were several other members from the UK - so they may be able to put you in contact with them or people with 1:72 scale warships which you require.
http://taskforce72.org/ (http://taskforce72.org/)
john


Yes most of our members are in Australia but we have some good links to the guys at the Richmond Model Boat Club who have quite a collection of 1/72 models.  http://glasgowrichmondmbc.co.uk/About.html. Size doesn't matter, some of our smaller models have actually featured in TV programmes in Australia.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: warspite on January 09, 2017, 10:57:10 pm
Alternatively - there is a museum in Liverpool / Manchester / London that use to display large scale static models of 'Museum' quality, a bit of research and a well placed phone call may yield exceptional quality models that could be put to use that are otherwise languishing in storage., I remember in 2005, the museum behind the natural museum in London opposite the V & A, they had a queen elizebeth (think it was Warspite) on display that may have been kind of what you are looking for.

Sorry the photos are low quality
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Onetenor on January 09, 2017, 11:04:27 pm
Revell do a model of HMCS SNOWBERRY at 1/144 scale  which is well detailed. I hope this helps John
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: NFMike on January 09, 2017, 11:35:09 pm
Yes, I'm a real admirer of the 'mantleshelf scale' kits from Tamiya,
..................
 a movie theatre later this week. Stay tuned!

Very interesting and thanks for sharing.

"... this perception is very fragile. It's a gut feeling." So true. It always amazes me how good human sight (and hearing) are at being fooled by fairly crude simulations (like current VR goggles) and on the other hand spotting that what they are seeing just isn't quite right.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 09, 2017, 11:40:13 pm

Some interesting points there. A few years back I visited the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth to do a report on their models. http://www.modelboats.co.uk/news/article/naval-treasures/4501 (http://www.modelboats.co.uk/news/article/naval-treasures/4501)

They commissioned a number of large scale models to a very high degree of accuracy as teaching aids and a typical cost was something in the order of 20,000 each and that was maybe 15 years ago.

Colin


Malcolm Darch was charging 15,000.00p for his model of Moshulu in 1983 and it was nowhere near 12' long.


I visited his studio in Salcombe and chatted with him personally after reading his articles in Model Boats magazine.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Umi_Ryuzuki on January 10, 2017, 02:38:42 am
Sounds like a great project.

We recently started working up fittings for a pair of 1/72nd scale Kagero class destroyers.

 :-))
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 10, 2017, 08:39:51 am
Many thanks to all those who are contributing to this thread! Your contributions are very helpful and are helping to widen our perspective on this project.


We have talked with a number of individuals and museums that might be relevant, but in most cases their models were too 'model like' on close inspection. The main problem was the way they were painted, because to look right on screen a miniature has to be 'over weathered' to reinforce the onscreen illusion that it is a full size ship. Many models also showed the subject ship at an inappropriate and fixed time in her career. This is a particular issue in the case of HMS Hood, which spent 20 years as the RN Flagship and went though a number of refits which changed her silhouette considerably. Even the short-lived HMS Prince of Wales - sunk after only seven months of service - evolved between the Bismarck action and her demise. Generally, naval vessels in the Second World War went though frequent updating of their radar systems and anti-aircraft armament, which were quite noticable. Our models will mostly have to be built with optional parts which can be switched around to represent different eras in their histories. We want them to be as accurate as possible. As this Forum shows, there are a lot of knowledgeable people out there!


Museums, and most individuals, would insist that their models could only be borrowed if they were returned unaltered. This is entirely understandable, but would not be an undertaking we could give. Making our own models gives us the freedom we need to make sure that the end product - the on-screen image - has priority. The human eye/brain system is not the same as a camera, and we always have to be focussed on the cinema audience's experience. When James Cameron made 'Aliens' in 1986, there was no CGI, and the 'Sulaco' starship was a fibreglass model about six feet long. It still exists, in a private museum in Los Angeles, and when I saw it I was amazed to find that it was only detailed on the starboard side. The port side is completely bare. Jim asked for this deliberately, because all four shots of the vessel that appear in the movie only show the right-hand side. He correctly argued that it was better that the modelmakers did twice the work on the flank that would be seen by the audience, and no work at all on the unseen side. That's a good example of how the thinking behind 'models for film' has to be different from conventional 'modelling for pleasure'


Certainly it is very useful to examine full-sized ships that have been conserved, and the USA is the prime hunting ground for this. HMS Belfast in the Pool of London - a short walk from our Studio - is a must-see, as is the Flower Class corvette in Colin Bishop's picture. Technology is certainly available which can scan large areas with a laser and produce 3D datafiles, and this is now commonly used in surveying aircrash sites, and in other situations where accurate spatial information has to be gathered quickly. Other techniques such as Photogrammetry (analysing still photos to deduce dimensions) are also valuable, and we have found the 'Anatomy of the Ship' series of books to be a great help. Companies like Tamiya still use many old-school techniques, such as 'walkaround' photography, the trusty tape measure and template 'combs', although with their contemporary car models - which have very complex 3D curves - they're more likely to strike a deal with Ferrari or Porsche to use the actual CAD files downloaded direct from the factory.


With regard to the cost of our project, it's too early to be definitive. Once we know the number, scale and quality of the models we will be making, and the timescale, and have then quantified all the likely resources needed, we'll sort it out.


Our prototype hull for HMS Hood is now being made. We coded the body plan, ship's lines and longitudinal drawing into the program that we use to produce models of objects with double curvature, which we mostly employ for architectural design projects. The 12' hull is being carved from 46 foam resin blocks, which will then be stuck together with two-part epoxy adhesive. We sandwiched an alloy plate along the vertical centreline to prevent distortion. It's going well, and should be ready for camera in a couple of days.



Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Ron Rees on January 10, 2017, 10:52:21 am
See....I'm not the only one who makes models out of foam!!............great stuff.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Capt Podge on January 10, 2017, 11:37:35 am
What a fantastic thread this is turning into - John Stedman, your explanations of the many, many things to be considered, both modelling and cinematically, go a long way to help others understand the problems you people face. Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to do so.

Regards,

Ray.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 10, 2017, 04:21:32 pm
Yes, this is a very interesting departure from conventional modelmaking in order to meet a very specific requirement which imposes its own methods. Please do keep us in the picture, so to speak.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 10, 2017, 04:27:59 pm
Sounds like a great project.

We recently started working up fittings for a pair of 1/72nd scale Kagero class destroyers.

 :-))

"Traditional" model building or 3D printed?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 10, 2017, 05:24:32 pm
The 1:72 hull for HMS Hood is complete apart from final sanding and priming, and the process went very well. It took two of our people one whole day to get the resin blocks cut on the 3D printer sorted out, checked for fit and then glue them in place, that's about 18 working hours to make a 12' accurate hull from scratch. The new technology makes a huge difference, and everything lined up fine. We used epoxy with a 5 minute set, because it takes care and time to position everything exactly. This brings back memories of my time at Sandhurst, where we learned 'The Six P's' (Proper Planning & Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!)
The lightweight resin foam worked well for most of the hull, but didn't seem tough enough for the finely tapered bow. So we used the foam piece to make an RTV Silicone Rubber female mould, and then used this to cast a solid resin bow, which is very robust. This was attached to the aluminium spine and to the forward foam blocks with more two-part epoxy adhesive. Although the stern looked less liable to damage, we decided to be on the safe side and did the same there as well. Now the whole hull shape is complete, we'll leave it overnight for everything to fully set before smoothing it all off and giving it a couple of coats of grey primer. We've got an industrial size airbrush to spray this on since it would take ages to get it done with our normal 'modelling' setup.
We're safety conscious here, so we always 'wet sand', to reduce the amount of airborne particles, but even so a filtered mask is essential. After finishing, we ventilate the area thoroughly and wash away all dust. You can't be too careful with your health!
The next stage will be to 3D print some more resin blocks for the core of the superstructure elements, the two funnels and the circular turret bases. Once these are all in place we will have enough 'bulk' to film the basic prototype model. We're going to stick some 'focus targets' in a line from bow to stern (a bit like those things you see in car crash testing) to check how sharp the filmed image is from all angles.
For filming we'll be mounting 'The Mighty Hood' on a powered special effects gimbal called a 'Model Mover', which can be computer controlled to move the ship in pitch, roll and yaw. This is quite similar to the support mechanisms beneath an airliner flight simulator, but smaller. If we have time, we'll also put a Hachette 1:200 'KM Bismarck' and a Revell 1:72 'Flower Class' on the rig and see how they compare...

 

 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Umi_Ryuzuki on January 10, 2017, 05:55:35 pm
"Traditional" model building or 3D printed?


Hi Martin,
Traditional scratch building.
I will make molds of each piece so that we can out fit the two Kagero, and possibly
provide parts to a person building a Shimakaze.

________________________
________________________

John,

Are the models going to be RC, or will they be filmed using motion control cameras and
then matted into the environments?

Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 10, 2017, 06:05:08 pm
Hi there

Would it be possible to put a few photographs on?  to show the setup of the models on gimbals?   

This also reminds me of when they filmed Hornblower Series - on there I think they got a Russian/Polish Company to build the models and they were in the region of between 4.5 to 7.0 meters long - I am sure there were about 11 models made.   Model Boats did an article on the models and it would be somewhere in the region of year 2000 cos I am sure the series of Hornblower started in 1998?   

So any pics of your set up would really be appreciated.

John
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 10, 2017, 06:49:09 pm
The current plan is, for most shots, to keep the camera static and do all the movements with the models. This usually looks best because the audience needs to perceive the lighting angles and shadows changing authentically as the ship alters course, moves in the swell, or when its momentum or inertia is affected by rudder movements, engine power changes, gun recoil or shell impact. We would only use a camera dolly, crane or Motion Control rig if the Point Of View was logically changing for the viewers during the shot, such as if the viewpoint was supposed to be from another moving ship or an aircraft, for example.


All the filming of ship models would be done on a Model Mover in a dry studio. The film of the seascape would be sourced from archives, probably using sequences of the actual (or similar) ships photographed in the 1930's or 40's. This would provide authentic bow waves wake and turbulence. We would use Motion Capture techniques to match the movements of the models to those of the full-size vessels. Then we would employ a computerised Travelling Matte process to fit the model ship into the real waves. Some CGI would be needed for cleanup. Special Effects such as smoke, explosions, shell splashes and suchlike will probably be sourced from real footage, but it might be necessary to use Particle Effects CGI to a limited extent. It depends on budget, really.


We're still at the Feasibility Stage of Pre Production, and we don't have clearance to release any images of our prototype tests and camera tests yet. That's not likely to happen until the project is Greenlit, which won't be until the Production Company has all its ducks in a row, with budgets set for all departments. As soon as we can publish photos of our work we certainly will.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 10, 2017, 07:47:55 pm
Were you involved in the documentary on The Raid On St Nazaire of a few years back? That used big miniatures of HMS Campbeltown in a similar manner that you describe.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 10, 2017, 08:45:38 pm
No, we weren't involved in the St Nazaire documentary made in 2007 and narrated by Jeremy Clarkson, or the Commando St Nazaire documentary made in 2010 which featured some of the veterans. They are both fine pieces of work and worth seeing again. The St Nazaire raid was originally on the schedule for the series we're currently working on, but it was felt that it was too soon after the other two productions. However it is possible that we will be including the Dieppe Raid, an extraordinarily brave operation by Canadian forces, and one which by highlighting problems with amphibious assaults probably saved a great many Allied lives on D-Day. This idea may eventually form part of a series which looks at 'hit the beach' attacks before, during and after the Second World War. There are some amazing stories to tell on this subject, including of course the long series of costly assaults conducted by the US across the Pacific from 1943 to 1945. The clock is ticking on such ideas, because none of the surviving veterans is less than 90 years old now...
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 11, 2017, 09:49:54 am
Today we are sorting through a collection of archive film which was taken of HMS Hood at sea in the 1920's and 30's. There's a great deal to choose from, because the ship toured the world 'Showing the Flag' and many professional photographers were around to record this, mostly on 16mm film. A surprising amount of this in in colour. There are some issues with fading and scratching, but today there is software that can restore such damage quite easily. Some of the sequences show the ship in remarkably violent sea conditions, often with waves sweeping across her Quarterdeck. Not for nothing was she often referred to as 'The Royal Navy's largest submarine!' It's been decided that the aesthetic of the series we're involved in will be designed to put the viewer into the scenes as if they were there as it all happened. Perhaps on 24th May 1941, in the Denmark Strait...


One sequence we found stood out. It shows HMS Hood head-on, moving quickly towards the camera, which is at quite a low angle just above the wavetops, probably on the deck of an attendant Destroyer. Hood looks very imposing and threatening just by her presence. This was probably taken during a battle exercise. Coming disturbingly close to us, Hood begins a hard turn to port, and the shape of her bow wave changes as she meets the waves at a changing angle. Looking closely at this, it's apparent that, despite her size and mass, the Battlecruiser did not 'corner on rails': there are many varied undulations and movements of the ship apparent as the turbulent ocean 'pushes back' against the momentum and power of the huge ship. It's important to us that these subtleties are accurately brought to the cinema and TV screen. Fortunately, there are now ways of doing that. And I think that this may provide us with the shot that depicts 'The Mighty Hood' beginning her last ever turn to port, as she changes course in an endeavour to open up her rear main arcs. With her Boat Deck already ablaze and her Spotting Top wiped out, the ship presses on with the battle, heeling into the turn when a 38cm shell from KM Bismarck penetrates the aft magazines, and...

To check if this will work, today we're doing a Motion Capture analysis of the 30-second movie clip, frame by frame. That means that our computer operator has to look carefully at 600 images, and line up markers with a dozen identifiable fixed points on the hull and superstructure. We've also got to stabilise the image, since it was filmed from the moving deck of another ship, but fortunately there's a clear horizon line to help with that.Then, during the camera test tomorrow, we'll program the Model Mover to make our 12' miniature move in a studio move just like an 860' capital ship in the ocean. I want our film to convincingly show the behaviour of a real ship, but with the bonus that we can then use all this to tell a story. And the story is fundamental. It's got to be a human story, above all, that the audience can relate to.

The Screenwriter wants to show the 'Battle of the Denmark Strait' in real time, and although the ships will be on screen through most of this, we'll also be having scenes on the Compass Platform of HMS Hood, where we will meet Admiral Holland, Captain Kerr and the young Ted Briggs. These three characters will have been introduced in earlier scenes, so we'll know something about not just their duties, but also their strengths and weaknesses. Now their actions will help the audience to comprehend something of the chaos of the gun battle and unbelievably rapid sinking. And on Bismarck we'll see their counterparts, victors with just three days to live.

Ted Briggs was one of only three survivors from HMS Hood's complement of 1,418. He went back to serve in the Royal Navy and subsequently lived a full and productive life. I had the honour of meeting him on several occasions. In July 2001, while standing on the deck of a ship in the Denmark Strait, it was his hand that released the remote control grab that placed the Memorial Plaque and Roll of Honour next to the shattered bow wreckage of the newly-discovered HMS Hood. Quite a story.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Capt Podge on January 11, 2017, 02:58:44 pm
This is absolutely fascinating. Hope the efforts being made make it to the big screen - we've not had anything of this nature for quite some time now.

Regards,

Ray.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 11, 2017, 03:46:02 pm
Quite a few people have been asking us why we didn't just build a Radio Controlled HMS Hood and film it in some real water. I imagine that some Forum readers are thinking the same thing. So I'll try and explain. The problem isn't really the RC ships. It's the water. H2O simply doesn't 'scale' properly. Look at almost any movie from the Hitchcock era, and it's obvious to anyone that the ships are miniatures, simply because the water is not behaving like a real ocean would. When planning 'Titanic' 20 years ago, James Cameron was relieved when he found that the Atlantic was 'like a millpond' in the area and on the night that the iceberg showed up. He might have had a massive budget, but money doesn't solve all problems, even in Hollywood. If he'd had to replicate a big stormy sea, he confessed that he wouldn't have known how to do it realistically.


Many filmmakers have tried to make water look more massive by running their cameras faster than normal, producing a slowed-down playback. The iconic 1960's TV series 'Thunderbirds' was done that way. Standard speed is 25 Frames Per Second, but most professional film cameras can manage three times that. However, movie cameras are optimised for 25FPS, and can get erratic, unstable and lose reliability if run faster. Image quality can drop alarmingly. You can buy special high-speed cameras, but they are very expensive. Even hiring one is costly: be prepared to sell a kidney. Two, maybe.


But even if you go this route, which slows the projected image down on the screen, your problems aren't over. Go and look at the largest pool you know, then go down to an ocean pier and check out the water there. The water looks and moves in a completely different way, and the open sea has an infinite number of 'moods' that a lake can only dream of. I've been to Malta, to the largest film water tank facility in Europe, to see if this can really create a believable 'sea scene'. With its 'infinity edge' giving a visual blend into the open Mediterranean, it's fairly convincing illusion when the winds are at 'gentle breeze' level. But when things creep up the Beaufort Scale, the distant sea loses all its similarity to the inland lake. And audiences for warship movies usually want to see big iron-grey monsters crashing through huge waves, with tons of spray flying, to create a suitably dramatic atmosphere.


So why not build a much bigger model and put it in a real ocean? That was tried quite successfully on 'Das Boot' (The Boat), a highly regarded German production that was broadcast worldwide as a TV series and was shown in cinemas as well. To do the nautical scenes they built a VIIC U-Boat in 1:5 scale. It was over 40 feet long. You won't be surprised to learn that this film became the most expensive German movie of all time. Anyone want to try building HMS Hood in 1:5 scale? It would be 172 feet long. Clear your workbench!


And there's a problem with Point Of View as well. Most boat kit catalogues are keen to show you a 'seagull's eye view' to emphasise all the deck and superstructure details you're paying for. But in a movie you usually want a POV that's below main deck level, down near the waves. It's more ominous to show a capital ship from that angle. However, to get that viewpoint at 1:72 scale your camera axis would need to be just three inches above the water surface. On screen, it simply wouldn't look right, because the physics and appearance of the out-of-focus foreground water would be unrealistic. And in the movies, looks are everything!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 11, 2017, 04:13:14 pm
hi

ok you have me hooked here and its really fascinating this - I heard through the grapevine that they were going to remake The Sinking of the Bismarck. but I often wonder why the Battle of the River Plate has never been redone properly.   Personally I think its just as good a story behind it for moral boosting, during the war, maybe you could answer this question?


john
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: roycv on January 11, 2017, 04:41:49 pm
Yep! you have got me hooked as well.  As an avid fan of the CGI re-enactments of air battles and naval actions mainly on cable TV I look forward to seeing your productions.
I am not sure about those shots, sorry, of being behind shells travelling to explode on a ship though.  Always interested in the tactics of battles, sea or air though.
Will your film show projected movements as far as trying to out manoevre the enemy?
Very much enjoy reading the background information.
regards Roy
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: DavieTait on January 11, 2017, 05:42:32 pm
I heard they are looking at remaking Das Boot.... please let this one be WRONG as how the hell you remake an absolute classic like that and make it "better" ( which is very subjective ) is beyond me , the "remake" of The Dambusters is no closer starting and personally I hope it NEVER gets made. It would have to be funded by the US film studio's and they will demand US actors and changes to the script to rewrite history to make out the Yanks had a part in the raid which they absolutely did not.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 11, 2017, 05:51:38 pm
U-571  %) %) springs to mind - what do you think Dave?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 05:53:49 pm
Very refreshing to hear from a professional who clearly knows what he is talking about. Following the discussion with interest.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 11, 2017, 06:03:20 pm
'Battle of the River Plate' is an interesting movie because it was all done with real ships, although these mostly weren't the actual ships involved in the engagement just off Montevideo. The filmmakers were fortunate that these vessels were all still available and seaworthy. Another bonus was that because British Intelligence sources and some of the media had been forewarned that KM Graf Spee was going to be scuttled and blown up, there were plenty of cameras around to record the demise of the German ship. I believe that all of the footage of he burning Graf Spee in the movie is real, and that no models were used at all. But the engagement didn't really have the pathos and dramatics, or the political and public consequences that the Hood - Bismarck story had, for a number of reasons.


Firstly, the long reputation of HMS Hood was without peer. The British public at first could simply not comprehend that she was gone. In mid 1941 Britain found itself alone and at real risk of losing the war. People had visions that the UK could be starved into surrender, as Germany had effectively been in 1918. To the British media and many of its politicians, KM Bismarck looked like the harbinger of an oncoming unstoppable force. Winston Churchill, always at his best in a tight corner, realised what many did not: that the Royal Navy might not be the most modern in the world, but it had strength in numbers and strength of character, and he knew its officers and men would single-mindedly do whatever was necessary to 'Sink The Bismarck'. Revenge was the driving force. It's a very powerful one.


Secondly, morale collapsed very quickly on Bismarck after Hood was sunk. It wasn't just that their ship was crippled by the damage to her bow. Everyone on board knew what they had done, and what the likely consequences would be. The saying goes 'If you pull a Lion's tail, you'd better have a good plan for dealing with his teeth'. They fully expected they would be hunted down by the Royal Navy, who would kill them all without mercy. It was one of the first cracks in the confidence of the Third Reich. It all turned into a form of Greek Tragedy, which is one of the most effective drama strategies ever invented. The Berlin regime had bred warriors who obeyed orders, the British had favoured those who showed initiative, and the contrast between these attitudes could not have been greater.


Lastly, the sinking of Bismarck was a very significant strategic turning point in the Second World War. The Kriegsmarine never again asserted its surface ship strengths in any meaningful way, leaving the naval initiative to the U-Boat forces. The loss of one of its two top ships drove a wedge between the Berlin hierarchy and the KM, without which the 'Battle of the Atlantic' convoy conflict would have potentially been far more damaging to the UK. If Britain had had no choice but to surrender before 7th December 1941, the US would have lost its opportunity to base airpower in England, Stalin would probably have taken a far more aggressive stance towards the West, and Europe would probably be an entirely different place today.


Personally I see close parallels between this and the Falkands War of 1982, in which I served. There, the UK wanted to divide and conquer the three arms of the Argentinian military junta, so they sank the cruiser Belgrano in a move to get the enemy Navy to withdraw its forces from the conflict. It was a completely successful (if controversial) strategy which owed a great deal to British study of the Bismarck history.


So overall, the Hood - Bismarck epic was without equal in its naval significance in the Second World War, and the Churchill Government played its hand with considerable skill. The media played its part in turning public gloom into determined optimism. And Britain's allies realised that the UK was far from beaten.


Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 11, 2017, 06:22:30 pm
I think two of the most compelling naval actions of the twentieth century, were the Battle of Coronel, followed by the Battle of the Falklands 1914. I am biased just a bit, it was our first pyrotechnic display between 1989 and 1995!
The moment that stands out for me is when Von Spee is approaching Stanley Harbour, upon seeing the spotting tops of the two Battlecruisers sitting in harbour, he knew he was doomed. They were able to outpace and outshoot his squadron, there was no option but to prepare for battle.


Then the British crews were allowed to finish breakfast, no rush!


The Battlecruisers finest hour.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 06:32:15 pm
A lot of people buy into the legend that the Bismarck was some sort of super ship and better than anything the Royal Navy had but in fact she was a very flawed vessel and in many respects inferior in design to the Rodney which basically took her apart.

She benefited from her overall size and wide beam which gave her a lot of resilience but her armour belt was thinner than the Queen Elizabeth class and the KGV class and her deck protection inferior to the much earlier Rodney. She also suffered from having primary, secondary and tertiary armament when contemporary foreign designs were adopting dual purpose secondary armament with much wasted weight. Basically she was an updated WW1 Baden design which was all the German designers had to go on when she was constructed.

The final engagement would have been more conclusive if it had not been for the fact that Rodney was only carrying armour piercing shells when it took place, her high explosive ammunition had been landed in anticipation of her refit in the USA from which she was diverted to intercept Bismarck. The AP shells just drilled holes in Bismarck without setting off the magazine explosions that Admiral Tovey wanted. King George V played a marginal role in the final battle as she stood off while Rodney did most of the damage and her 14 inch guns were still suffering from constant breakdowns similar to those of Prince of Wales. Fortunately these problems seem to have been largely resolved by the time Duke of York encountered Scharnhorst.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 06:35:39 pm
Re Coronel and Falklands, the RN ships were outfought as they were largely manned by scratch reservist crews which could not match Von Spee's well trained armoured cruisers. At the Falklands the battlecruisers almost ran out of ammunition trying to hit the Germans and Admiral Sturdee was strongly criticised for the way in which he fought the battle.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 11, 2017, 06:47:17 pm
ahh, critics eh?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 06:52:08 pm
Critics? There is plenty of reliable documentation on these issues but not everyone reads it!  ok2

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: furball on January 11, 2017, 07:03:34 pm
Quote
It would have to be funded by the US film studio's and they will demand US actors and changes to the script to rewrite history to make out the Yanks had a part in the raid which they absolutely did not.


Joe McCarthy (pilot, AJ-T, first aircraft to bomb the Sorpe) was American...


Lance
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 11, 2017, 07:08:33 pm

but not everyone reads it!  ok2


not everyone has the time!


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 07:17:12 pm
No excuse Jim!

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 11, 2017, 07:21:31 pm

I believe from reading many moons ago that there were a good few yanks out of the133 crew involved in the raid.


At the onset of the war, quite a number of American citizens had leapt the border into Canada, joined up and served with the RCAF, and the RCN, and as such probably a few more of the RCAF crew members on the raid and subsequent sorties that 617 performed were American crew.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 11, 2017, 07:25:02 pm

No excuse Jim!

Colin


 Got more pressing things to do, Colin....washing dishes, clothes, sleeping, lol............


Old age and singledom ain't all it's cracked up to be.


Don't even have time to go out and find a goody comely lady, lol.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 07:43:42 pm
I take your point Jim but this is where internet forums, and indeed social media come a cropper.

Somebody states that Bismarck was a wonder ship with magic armour and people just believe it without checking and repeat the claim which then becomes an accepted 'fact'.

Never believe what you read on the internet without at least doing some checking before you perpetuate the inaccuracy!

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 11, 2017, 08:26:25 pm

I take your point Jim but this is where internet forums, and indeed social media come a cropper.

Somebody states that Bismarck was a wonder ship with magic armour and people just believe it without checking and repeat the claim which then becomes an accepted 'fact'.

Never believe what you read on the internet without at least doing some checking before you perpetuate the inaccuracy!

Colin


I have to say, that all that is said about the Hood, I despair of sometimes....she was after all not launched until 1918, and by the time of her commissioning in 1920 was a grand old lady by the time she came to take part in WW2 action, and the notion that she was a top class modern fighting ship as the majority of less knowledgeable people think her as, is a misconception, in my mind. to be honest, she was out of date and out gunned because of her design before she ever got to go to war, and sadly for her crew, that was very short lived indeed.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 11, 2017, 08:35:10 pm
Quite right, Hood was essentially a pre WW1 design with additional armour worked in. She was recognised as not being up to scratch from the start which is why her sister ships were not proceeded with. The post war G3 design was a quantum leap forward although not built.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 11, 2017, 10:23:08 pm
We're just in the process of agreeing a group of additional models to be made for our project, and I'm pleased to say that it includes ships from the infamous Mediterranean 'Pedestal' convoy, which memorably culminated in the tanker 'Ohio' limping into Valetta Harbour in Malta with her decks almost awash and her back broken, kept afloat only by having an RN Destroyer lashed to each flank. We're going to have to make at least four versions of Ohio, each showing escalating amounts of damage and distortion to her hull. It's another fascinating - and almost unbelievable - story of the Second World War that I'm glad we're going to be working on.


Among the other new commissions is the 'USS West Point', a troopship that was originally built (and briefly operated) as the Transatlantic liner 'SS America'. This was the forerunner of the famous 'SS United States', which is still afloat beside a wharf in Philadelphia. The 'America' and 'United States' were among the fastest liners ever built, and are notorious because their underwater shape was secret for many years as it was claimed to be more efficient than most naval architects thought possible.


And among postwar commissions, we're also going to be making the beautiful Italian liner 'Andrea Doria' and her nemesis, the smaller and more businesslike liner 'Stockholm'. These two ships collided in the North Atlantic, probably due to mistakes in the interpretation of radar returns, exacerbated by the not uncommon human error of excessive speed in poor visibility. Built in the late 1940's, 'Stockholm' was repaired and remarkably she is still in business, and reportedly the oldest operating cruise liner in the world. Now renamed 'Asteria', she may be going to the scrappers this year. I've been aboard her (she sails out of Tilbury, downriver from London) and was quite surprised to find full details displayed of the 'Andrea Doria', which sank after they collided.


It's also been agreed that there will be at least one episode about the 'Battle of the Atlantic', including a sequence where a Flower Class Corvette and a Tribal Class Destroyer hunt down a U-Boat, force it to the surface with depth charges, and then sink it with gunfire. There will be columns of merchant vessels in the background, and these will probably be built to a smaller scale and each be about 6' long. We'll be making three or four basic shapes, with superstructures that can be switched around to give a variety of silhouettes. The 'convoy' will then be built up by compositing around 40 ships together and adding CGI  smoke effects. Inspiration comes from the terrific book 'The Cruel Sea'.


Moving over to the Pacific, the mammoth Japanese battleship 'Yamato' is on the list, and we will also be making one of the weird Japanese cruisers with its vertiginous 'Pagoda' bridge structure. All four of the carriers that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor will be needed, and we're going to look into whether we will need to make them all individually, or if they can be represented with less hulls by swapping different parts around. No news yet on what USN warships will be required, but I'm anticipating at least one example of all of the capital ship classes. There's a possibility that the 'USS Indianapolis' will be needed because of it's tragic demise, which occurred on its return voyage to the USA after delivering the atomic bombs to Tinian Island.


Meanwhile, HMS Hood is ready for her closeup, which is being filmed late tomorrow evening in the gymnasium of a nearby boarding school which we're borrowing for the occasion. The ship has had all her superstructure and funnels added, and we found time to 3D print all four main gun turrets. Sprayed grey overall, it's quite a sight at 1:72 scale. Whatever her technical pros and cons, it's easy to see why the public adored 'The Mighty Hood'.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Liverbudgie on January 11, 2017, 11:11:18 pm

Among the other new commissions is the 'USS West Point', a troopship that was originally built (and briefly operated) as the Transatlantic liner 'SS America'. This was the forerunner of the famous 'SS United States', which is still afloat beside a wharf in Philadelphia. The 'America' and 'United States' were among the fastest liners ever built, and are notorious because their underwater shape was secret for many years as it was claimed to be more efficient than most naval architects thought possible.

The America/West Point had a long post war career as a running mate for the United States and later as an emigrant/cruise ship for Chandris. She was wrecked on the Canary Islands while under tow to the breakers.

LB
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Jonty on January 11, 2017, 11:32:26 pm
  Don't overdo the smoke from the convoy! Great efforts were made to educate skippers and engineers in keeping it to a minimum. Admiralty Brief by Terrell covers the subject, as well as the development of plastic armour and the Royal Navy's rocket bombs (but used by the USAAF).
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 11, 2017, 11:33:44 pm
Would like to comment about SS Ohio and her time in the British Merchant Marine, but been too busy model making parts for her tonight to pick up one of my many books on the subject :P
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 07:36:18 am
The Royal Navy and Merchant Navy people who served in the 'Battle of the Atlantic' convoys certainly tried their best to keep smoke levels to the minimum, but many of the cargo vessels were steaming at Full Ahead for days on end and were desperate not to fall behind the Escort, since then they would be easy pickings for any shadowing U-Boat. Participants told me that the most common Aldis or Semaphore signal sent by the Commodore was "Make Less Smoke!". I'm sure the merchantmen were doing their best, but many photographs of actual convoys do show considerable clouds of dark-coloured pollution from quite a few of the ships. In the end, experience taught the sailors that 'speed was life' and, as with everything in wartime, it was a case of risk management. Once the 'Air Gap' had been closed and Allied air support became available right across the Atlantic, the balance of power began to shift and priorities for concealment changed. One of the secrets of winning a war is to be able to evolve strategies and tactics quickly and effectively, and the Alllies got it right, albeit at huge cost in men and materiel.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 08:33:57 am
The 'USS West Point' had an extraordinary war record, carrying over 7,000 troops on each voyage and sailing all over the world. In 1946 she resumed her original identity of 'SS America' and was refitted as a transatlantic liner. Although somewhat upstaged by her bigger sister 'SS United States', she was a working ship for over 40 years, adopting a number of later identities, including 'Italis', 'Noga', 'Australis'. Alferdoss' and finally 'American Star'. Like many ships of her type, she steadily moved downmarket and in 1994 was sold to a Far Eastern shipping line, ostensibly for renovation and conversion as a 'floating hotel' in Thailand but more likely to be scrapped. By now unable to use her own engines, the ship was taken under tow. The towlines parted in the Atlantic north of the Canary Islands and, while the shipowners and tug operators were arguing with their insurers about salvage rights, a big Atlantic storm blew up and the liner drifted uncontrollably onto a rocky ledge on the northwest shore of Fuerteventura. With the bow stuck fast, the torsional, hogging and racking loads on the stern broke the back of the ship in two days. The aft half of the ship sank in 1996, and most observers thought the bow would follow soon thereafter. But the 56 year old vessel was tougher than anybody expected, and lay in the surf for another two decades, slowly succumbing to the winter storms. There are some remarkable photographs of her steady decline on the Internet. The hull finally disappeared below the waves in 2015, but if you go there today you will still find pieces of identifiable wreckage which have drifted onto the beach.


'SS United States', the 'big sister', is still afloat and it is possible that she will be refurbished to rejoin the booming US cruise market. I visited her in Philadelphia in 2007, in company with a group of Naval Architects. Much of the interior of the ship has been stripped out, so it's possible to examine the structure closely. It's in remarkably good condition. The designer, William Francis Gibbs, remains one of the most highly regarded men of his profession. His liners were fast, light and safe. Very few combustible materials were used. He was a prolific Naval Architect in the Second World War, designing the Fletcher Class Destroyers and developing plans for LST's and Liberty Ships. He was also one of the first exponents of what we today call 'Ethical Engineering', where profit is not the main factor in design. I asked the assembled experts how his 'SS United States' compared in safety terms with the cruise ships we are building today. They looked me in the eye and said:


"This ship is better"
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 12, 2017, 09:47:31 am
Yes, United States is indeed a beautiful ship and perfectly proportioned, a real thoroughbred although never a commercial success. I saw her several times at Southampton in her heyday. The latest scheme to resurrect her recently fell through I believe. I think the ship is simply too small by today's standards to be viable commercially. The recent scheme envisaged building additional decks to increase passenger capacity. (and of course customers insist on having balconies now....)

The USA didn't build very many ocean liners but those that were constructed were very strong and many had very long lives. I can well believe that the United States is better built than today's cruise ships. She was designed to cross the North Atlantic at around 30 knots year round. Modern cruise ships rarely cross the North Atlantic these days, if they need to make a transit they opt for the southerly 'fair weather' route. The only true liner today is Queen Mary 2 which was built to take North Atlantic conditions. Cruise ships dodge the weather rather than push through it which is fair enough as they are of course in the cruise rather than the liner trade.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 10:42:27 am
There have been a number of plans to put 'SS United States' back into service, but many have not had a realistic grasp of the detailed realities of the growing and changing cruise market, or a full understanding of the unique possibilities that this special ship offers. Cruise ships today come in all sizes, some with 100 cabins or less, to suit different categories of passengers. Now that the average 'Baby Boomer' is 64, there is a significant upswing in the number of more adventurous people who want something more than a gigantic anonymous cruise ship, which to put it kindly is usually little more than a rather cheesy hotel wrapped around a shopping mall. The current preferred plan for 'SS United States' is to restore the ship much as she was, making no external changes, with modern technology available but hidden away, and to present her as a unique 'Heritage' experience for a discriminating niche market. The size of the vessel makes her ideal for docking at smaller and more exclusive ports where the huge new ships cannot squeeze in. Her dimensions also make it possible that she can tie up alongside piers which can't serve larger ships, making it much easier for less mobile passengers to disembark using a brow, rather than a tender. The busiest area in the world for cruises is the Caribbean, and a reborn 'SS United States' would obviously be a patriotic choice for the large retired US community who live in southern Florida around Miami and Fort Lauderdale - the largest cruise port in the world. Many of the smaller Caribbean ports are interested in the concept and it is to be hoped that sufficiently perceptive investors will 'come on board'. Could she break her own Blue Riband record for the Atlantic? Amazingly, she still holds that...
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 12, 2017, 11:01:21 am
I think that it is the draught of the ship that would be the main problem when getting into smaller ports as was also the case with the Norway (ex France). United States draws significantly more than today's cruise ships which limits the ports where she could go alongside.

The ship has been completely gutted of her interiors which would need to be rebuilt along with all the ancillary services such as installing plumbing etc. and the propulsion plant would need to be replaced. Although the ship might well appeal to a section of the cruising community I do think it would be extremely difficult to come up with a viable commercial proposition as indeed the latest in depth study has concluded: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/business/ss-united-states-ocean-liner.html?_r=0

There are already a good number of smaller cruise ships which cater for the more upmarket end of the sector.

I have heard it stated that it would be cheaper to build a replica!

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 02:05:48 pm
Thanks to the lightweight design principles adopted by William Francis Gibbs, 'SS United States' actually has a relatively shallow draught compared to the cruise liners of today. The 'Costa' ships draw about 46 feet when afloat, whereas the 'United States' draws only 33 feet. A detailed local hydrographic survey carried out in summer 2016 in the Caribbean ports to which I was referring shows a minimum dockside and harbour water depth which would be sufficient for the 'United States' to safely navigate the approaches and to berth alongside the dock. These charted figures have been checked by sonar and lead lines.


Looking at the statistics, 'United States' has one less deck than a 'Costa' (12 against 13) and is about 15% slimmer on the beam (101' compared with 116'). So the usable volume within the hull and superstructure is about 20% less on the American ship. She's certainly big enough for the job, without the addition of more decks. In any case, this is all about quality, not quantity. When you drive through the suburbs of south Florida, checking out the houses and cars will show that these potential passengers aren't looking for budget deals. Offer them a berth on the fastest liner in the world, tell them it's American, and watch them fight for tickets!



My main work as an architect involves buildings on terra firma, including large hotels. It is normal practice in that sector to completely gut and refit guest rooms and public areas every 4 to 6 years, usually a floor at a time. The work usually includes taking out the wall, floor and ceiling linings, removing all electrical and plumbing services and fittings, fitting updated wiring, pipework and electronics, installing an entirely new bathroom, and total redecoration, refitting and refurnishing. We are currently preparing to do this in a 600-room 5 star hotel in Cyprus in February, in a fast-track programme lasting just 25 days, with three teams working in shifts 24/7. It's an expensive process, but necessary if hotel operators want guests to provide repeat business and recommend the hotel to new guests. The cabins of cruise ships, and their public spaces, have to be regularly refurbished in the same manner. So the fact that the 'United States' would require a complete interior refit is not a dealbreaker. Whichever way it is calculated, putting the ship back into the cruise business is going to cost close a billion US dollars before any income is generated. Most potential 'investors' for the 'United States' have fallen by the wayside because they could not pass Due Diligence tests. They couldn't really provide the cashflow and/or security that the deal requires. Of course, they'll never admit that, but will externalise the blame with diplomatic PR language.


'SS United States' needs to be looked at as a unique venture, not just as another potential cruise ship among many. There certainly is a place for her in the expanding market, for the reasons I described in my previous post. The new concept for the ship has to be inspiring, well-informed and viable. None of the schemes I have seen so far are good enough. I'm hoping that a respectable shipping line will see fit to say: "No, we're not going use a billion Dollars to commission another just another anonymous white box, we're going to do something imaginative, intelligent, historically significant and, by the way, profitable!". Fingers crossed, people...
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 12, 2017, 02:36:53 pm
Sorry John but you have your stats wrong! The Costa ships, like most cruise ships today have a draught of about 8 metres or 24 feet and cruise berths tend to be dredged to this depth. The 46ft refers to the hull moulded depth I think, including the bit above the waterline.

I know that cruise ships are regularly refurbished but something like the United States poses additional problems. These graceful traditional ships with their elegant sheerlines meant that every cabin had to be effectively hand built as they were all slightly different shapes. That is why modern cruise ships are indeed constructed like buildings with little in the way of structural curves. That way the cabins and associated services can be mass produced and prefabricated and slotted into place.

I did read somewhere that the stair towers in the United States were also a problem as the ship was originally designed as a three class vessel which I assume means that not all the stair towers serve all the decks. Extending them can pose structural problems.

Obviously these issues are not insuperable but together they do really push up the cost, not to mention removing the old engines and boilers without distorting the ship's structure and inserting presumably a diesel electric plant as they did with the QE2.

I would really love to see it happen but somehow I don't think it will.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 04:20:07 pm
As we get ready  to do the Camera Test on the 1:72 HMS Hood this evening, we've been trying some painting techniques on the hull. Colours can change significantly depending on the ambient lighting, so on one side of the hull we marked out ten squares and tried different approaches for each. It's always daylight in our studio, either because of the rooflights or, after sunset, courtesy of the 'Daylight Colour Temperature' LED lighting we installed. This makes sure that there are no nasty surprises matching shots taken indoors and outdoors.


Our approach to paint finishes is "Don't overthink it, just do it". Sometimes this leads to great results from what looks a very dubious beginning. Sometimes the reverse. But you never know unless you try. We have a rule that no negative thinking is allowed. A few years ago we were doing some paint samples late at night and one of the office cleaners stopped to look. After  a while he spontaneously picked up a paintbrush and started 'wet-mixing' three different colours on the model surface, giving a swirly effect which looked pretty gross. We humoured him, and gave his effort Code Number '7'. When we did the film tests, guess which sample was the best? The guy is now one of our full time paint weathering experts, and has just done a great job on part of 'Hood'. You just never know...



Our painting inspiration comes from some of the great modelmakers out there, whose work is often illustrated in the various military modelling magazines. Some of these people are incredibly talented. We try not to use over-complcated techniques, because models can get scratched and scraped while being filmed, and its crucial that quick repairs can be made. To this end, we keep a careful record of the paint colours and mixes used for each part of a model, and we make sure that we take all the necessary materials to the shoot. Even a 'simple' test like today's involves at least a dozen people, several vehicles and loads of equipment, so checklists are essential. We also go through a planning session a couple of hours before to decide how we'll use our time in the test, and to make sure that everybody knows their responsibilities. We'll start setting up at 8pm and we'll be lucky to 'wrap' before 1am, I think. There are no clock watchers in our firm!


But sometimes we need a tea break...


We just put the kettle on and were discussing what the most challenging 20th century warship battle would be to model and film. Everybody voted for Jutland, because of the scale, complexity and confusion that characterised the conflict. It's interesting that there was little attempt to commemorate last year's centenary with any major TV reconstructions. From a story point of view, it would be very difficult to make Jutland accessible to an uninformed viewer, except in a very basic 'animated map' style. Trying to choose which characters to feature in a 'dramatised documentary' would be a challenge. The communications and signalling errors, misidentifications and coding mistakes are well known to those who have read the books, but how would you show them to a new audience without causing them to be confused? Perhaps Jutland is best explored as a wargame on a large map board, and simply can't be brought to the screen in any workable way.


Or can it? One idea we played with was to try a 'hybrid real/alternative history' approach. It's known that Sir John Jellicoe and Reinhard Scheer never met in real life, but there's evidence that they corresponded in later years, and planned to meet. They never managed it. But what if they did? How would their conversation have developed? How would they have regarded each other's arguments? Would they have tried to agree who won Jutland? There are some fascinating possibilities here. So the idea was that the movie would begin with the two men meeting for dinner, then follow their conversation through the courses of the meal, dipping in and out of key events in the battle, until finally... Well, we'll need another tea break before we can address that! It's certainly an intriguing idea to work on, and one that requires not only a thorough understanding of the history - and the characters of the two men - but also the use of original thought. Somehow, I think the story may be just too much for the 'small screen', and I can see myself anticipating the premiere at a big cinema in London's West End. What do Forum members think of this idea?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 12, 2017, 05:27:59 pm
The incident with the cleaner reminds me of the late great David Boddington, model aircraft designer, who was commissioned to build a fleet of WW1 aircraft for a film (or maybe it was a TV production).  I happened to be on location to watch the fun and had admired the aircraft up close, they were up to "Boddy`s" usual high standard and admired by all present.  After the briefings and meticulous flight plan co-ordination with pilots , cameramen, pyro-techno people etc etc  and just as the aircraft were about to have engines started a person ran along the flightline and sprayed streaks of dark hairspray on all the models in a most unprofessional way. Boddington was furious as were the other pilots  but  "action" was called so they had to take off on cue.   We all agreed that the clown with the spray can ruined what was going to be the best WW1 aircraft film so far. When the film hit the screen the aircraft looked so authentic, the spray artist knew his job !   I`m waiting for a film of the later Falklands war to be made  O0
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 12, 2017, 05:52:58 pm
John,

I would tend to agree that Jutland is a bit too much of a mouthful for the average viewer. Even enthusiasts can find it heavy going when you include the whole process from the lead up to the morning after. There was just so much going on over a large area of sea. There was one TV attempt last year but it was grossly simplified to make it understandable and to fit into the obligatory 1 hour slot. Lots of vital stuff was left out completely.

Re an alternate history, Would Jellicoe and Scheer have actually had an honest discussion though? Scheer never did admit to his mistakes leading to the battle turnaways when his T was crossed while Jellicoe might have been considered lucky in his choice of which wing to deploy the Grand Fleet. Beatty of course actually tried to have the official record altered in his favour.

In WW2 Leyte Gulf was another big sprawling battle which it is hard to condense for the general viewer.

I think it would be better to concentrate on more clearly defined encounters where the presentation could be much clearer. In WW1 Coronel for example but not Falklands which was basically just a long drawn out chase with an inevitable ending.

In WW2 the Battle of the River Plate still resonates with its human dimensions ending with Langsdorff's suicide. Hood and Bismarck is another straightforward but emotional example as you have already identified. If Admiral Holland had been able to engage on the bearing he originally intended and Prince of Wales been in possession of a proper working set of guns the outcome could have been very different indeed. Hood's deck armour was weak but her main belt was around the same thickness as Bismarck and inclined to make it more effective. At close range this could have been decisive.

History is full of what ifs.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 12, 2017, 06:39:19 pm
hi there

I can appreciate stories regarding famous Royal Naval battles; but I honestly think there is one part of the sea that is seriously under-publicised and that is the role of the Merchant Navy in the First and Second World Wars.

I have been doing some further research on the history of my relations; as I knew my Uncle Bill was the youngest prisoner of Ward on the Graf Spee  - if we were lucky enough to see him drunk :-) and hear him talk about his time aboard the Graf Spee and meeting Captain Langsdorff - my Uncle used to say - the Captain was a true gent.   When I was researching stories I came across a lot of other heroic adventures by the Merchant Navy personnel who in some respects, in my eyes, equal some of the Battles the Navies of the World ever had.

So lets see if anyone can come up with a decent film about the Merchant Navy.

John
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 12, 2017, 06:47:24 pm

and meeting Captain Longstaff -
John


errr............Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff, please :-))


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 12, 2017, 06:54:49 pm

errr............Hans Wilhelm Langsdorff, please :-))
Must be nice to be perfect :-))
john


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 12, 2017, 06:58:19 pm

Should have listened to your uncles recollections a little more intently, John. O0 :-))


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Liverbudgie on January 12, 2017, 08:27:51 pm
Or can it? One idea we played with was to try a 'hybrid real/alternative history' approach. It's known that Sir John Jellicoe and Reinhard Scheer never met in real life, but there's evidence that they corresponded in later years, and planned to meet. They never managed it. But what if they did? How would their conversation have developed? How would they have regarded each other's arguments? Would they have tried to agree who won Jutland? There are some fascinating possibilities here. So the idea was that the movie would begin with the two men meeting for dinner, then follow their conversation through the courses of the meal, dipping in and out of key events in the battle, until finally... Well, we'll need another tea break before we can address that! It's certainly an intriguing idea to work on, and one that requires not only a thorough understanding of the history - and the characters of the two men - but also the use of original thought. Somehow, I think the story may be just too much for the 'small screen', and I can see myself anticipating the premiere at a big cinema in London's West End. What do Forum members think of this idea?

If you seriously want to pursue this idea then I suggest that you contact Nick Jellicoe, who is the Grandson of Sir John Jellicoe.

As for future subjects, I think the Battle of Tsushima would fit the bill. For it was this battle which influenced ship design and tactics until the end of the last war and possibly into the modern day.

I would also suggest that rather than concentrate on the "big picture" so to speak, why not include the smaller but, just as influential  incidents such as HMS Cossack releasing Graff Spee prisoners from the Altmark in a Norwegian fiord on a cold winters night such as this. Alternatively, HMS bulldog retrieving the Enigma machine and the FAA raid on Taranto which lead the raid on Pearl Harbor?

LB
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 08:38:58 pm
It's possible that the device of bringing Sir John Jellicoe and Reinhard Scheer together at the end of their lives would be a way into the 'Battle of Jutland' story that would resonate with the non-expert viewer, but it would certainly be a challenge. And a challenge is what we're looking for. Their meeting was being arranged twenty years after the battle, when both men knew they were not long for this world, so it's possible, perhaps even probable, that their perspectives had matured significantly with hindsight and reflection, coupled with the reality of having lost their powers of command. The mood could be dynamic for both characters, perhaps shifting between emotions of contrition, confession, confrontation and even remorse in a disturbing and possibly irrational way. These were not ordinary people. If the story is set up so that we know that this is their first chance - and perhaps more importantly their last chance - to speak face-to-face, it could be very powerful. With two accomplished actors, and an intelligent approach to how their dialogue is woven between the action sequences, it could grab the audience so that they are then prepared to make the effort to comprehend the overall nature of the events at Jutland. I'm confident that we could handle the battle scenes in a convincing manner, using similar techniques to those we're using on the current project. But a two-hour movie would give a taste of the events, it couldn't and wouldn't try to cover all the detail. So perhaps the film should be partnered with a new book that gave an opportunity for a deeper understanding to those who were motivated to discover the full story. And there would certainly need to be a complementary website related to the events before, during and after the battle. This 'layering' of different media could be the way to make the Jutland story work for a wide audience.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 09:02:34 pm
There's no doubt that the Merchant Navy deserves a seat at the table. Apart from the Atlantic and Mediterranean convoys which are already on the agenda, we are also looking at including the Murmansk runs. Another potentially engaging subject is the Second World War 'Q Ships', which were used to lure the enemy and then engage with concealed weapons. Whether their crews were Royal or Merchant Navy I've never been sure. There was understandably a great deal of secrecy about the Q's, but does anybody know of a good reference for them?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Capt Podge on January 12, 2017, 09:14:31 pm
So perhaps the film should be partnered with a new book that gave an opportunity for a deeper understanding to those who were motivated to discover the full story.

Well, what a strange coincidence - that very thought occurred to me while I was reading your reply no.63 (last paragraph) :o

From my point of view, I think this is an excellent idea. O0 :-))

Regards,

Ray.

Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 12, 2017, 10:20:24 pm
Books are certainly here to stay! Whenever a project is being considered these days, the marketing and finance people are always looking for 'complementary media deals' such as I described above for a feature film and/or TV versions, printed paper and website about the Jutland idea. This kind of diversification gives a boost to viability and delivers a more rounded product. The next generation of videogame consoles, due on the market in 2019, will give fully fledged photorealistic images with enhanced sound, and will deserve to be taken very seriously too. But the key thing is always the same: the quality of the story is what really counts. All the professional expertise, movie or TV technology in the world will be wasted if the human angle doesn't emotionally connect with the audience. A good example is 'Mayday' (called 'Aircrash Investigation' in some countries), a very successful long-running Canadian TV series which re-enacts air disasters (mostly using excellent CGI), and then shows us how the evidence is analysed with the noble aim of making flying safer. The success of Mayday is in the way it uses good writers and then good actors to portray key people (typically the flight deck crew, one or two passengers, an Air Traffic Controller and a handful of Investigators) to give the audience an empathy with those who faced different aspects of the tragic events. That's the only way to tell a story for the screen. Movies and TV address an audience mainly with images, and to a lesser extent with sound. Books, websites and videogames each have their own different way of interacting with our senses. So when using 'complementary media' we use these different characteristics to our advantage to complement each other. Done well, it means the audience never had it so good.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: NFMike on January 12, 2017, 11:53:09 pm
With two accomplished actors, and an intelligent approach to how their dialogue is woven between the action sequences, it could grab the audience so that they are then prepared to make the effort to comprehend the overall nature of the events at Jutland.

As said by others Jutland is too complex and big basically for normal approaches to work, so it needs something different - very different. I don't know if this is it, but it certainly sounds like a good candidate. The only problem is ensuring you don't get accused of making up history when mixing fact and fiction - having a "This didn't really happen" banner across the screen whenever J & S are talking would rather spoil it.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 13, 2017, 10:20:58 am
The key thing would be to 'suspend the disbelief' of the audience, which is something we all do every time we watch a good movie or TV production. We grow up learning to accept the very strange 'language' that these media use. The story has to be good enough to transport the thinking of the viewer back a century to Jutland, and the dynamic of the two lead characters, meeting twenty years later, would have to be written by a real visionary. We're looking at a number of other possibilities, but I think this 'hybrid' concept is worth exploring in depth. I've already talked to an experienced screenwriter, who is intrigued by the concept, and we're meeting next week to see if this is workable.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 13, 2017, 01:40:36 pm
We've completed the Camera Test of the 12' model of HMS Hood, and have just seen the results projected onto a full-sized cinema screen in central London. We had shot about 45 minutes of 35mm film, and the same amount of UHD video. It was six hours of nonstop work to get everything done, but very productive. And there were a number of surprises...


We had original footage of Hood from her travels all over the world. One of the reasons we chose to start with this ship was the wide availability of authentic movie material. This was from throughout her career, but mainly from the 1930's. Comparing her seakeeping qualities in the Far East, in the Mediterranean and in the North Atlantic revealed significant differences in the ship's behaviour. The film shot near Singapore showed her riding higher in the water than normal, probably with low fuel tank levels. The sea state was very calm, but Hood looked uncomfortable, rolling on her turns and not answering the helm as precisely as one would expect from a Flagship. She looked 'skittish' and lightweight, and would have provided a very poor gun platform.


In the Med, which was running one of its notorious 'short steep seas', the battlecruiser was on full deep load, and looked much more stable and massive. But she was surprisingly nimble when put into a hard turn on full power, slicing through the six foot swell with ease and throwing spray right over her A and B Turrets. The forward part of her Quarterdeck was almost submerged, digging in like that of a Destroyer, and sheets of water were drenching X and Y Turrets. If those had had to switch to Local Control, I doubt that their rangefinders would have shown a thing.


The film taken in the North Atlantic was probably from the late 30's, judging by Hood's fit-out. It included the bow-on shot I've described before, which echoed her final turn to Port in the Denmark Strait. The film quality was superb, you could even see details of Hood's emblem on the Tompions in the barrel mouths of A turret, and Officers using binoculars on the Bridge. We think this must have been shot on 35mm film to get the quality. Seen on a screen over 60 feet wide, it was very humbling to watch. The small undulations caused by the shifting forces of the waves were very evident at this magnification, as were the subtle movements of the turret blast bags in the wind. Another, more distant, shot showed a full broadside being fired. It wasn't very clear, so we'll have to do more checking to see if we can find a better film scene from a ship with similar armament. 'HMS Vanguard', the last battleship ever built, used similar 15" guns, so we'll try to track down a Live Firing Exercise carried out by that ship in the early 1950's.


The lesson we learned from all this was that our source material needs to be entirely from the North Atlantic, and of sea states that fit the images taken on 24th May 1941


It's likely that our version of the 'Battle of the Denmark Strait' will begin just before dawn on that day, as the ship prepares to fight. We want her to begin as an almost invisible silhouette in the dark, being slowly revealed as day breaks and the officers and men get ready to destroy Bismarck. For many in the audience who are not familiar with the sheer size of a capital ship, this needs to be a sequence that really grabs their attention. They need to be overwhelmed by the aura of invincibility, but underscored with foreboding. And for those who don't know what is soon to happen, they are about to be shown something that they might not want to see, but can't force themselves to look away from...


Our team worked hard to get all the shots we needed of the 1:72 ship on the Model Mover, and the prototype echoed almost all of the movements of the real ship. There's some fine tuning to do - there always is - but I'm confident that we are well on the way to building models that will be entirely convincing on the screen. As I'd hoped. our 'Hood' looked weighty and yet not immune to the forces of the sea. The next step is to start detailing the model, and one advantage of it being large is that we'll be able to have about eight people working on it at once. At the same time, we'll be refining and expanding our library of archive film footage, and beginning to composite it all together so that we can make a 3 minute Showreel which the Production company can then show to financiers next week. We'll also be going round to the school who lent us their gymnasium for filming, and over 100 of whose students stayed up until 2am not only to watch us work, but also to keep us fed and watered. They deserve to see the results of the process, and everybody's fascinated by how movies are made!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Umi_Ryuzuki on January 14, 2017, 12:13:06 am
Sounds like the crew is working painstakingly hard to get the shots you need.

I know you can share your production shots, but maybe when there is a free moment a small 1/350 model
could be mounted on the model gantry, and demonstrate behind the scenes action of the equipment.

 O0
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: mudway on January 14, 2017, 01:01:33 am
You mentioned interchangable parts to depict the vessels over their lifetime but how are you going to cope with the variety of colours they wore and decks going from holystoned timber to painted?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 14, 2017, 07:12:23 am
Some models will certainly have to 'evolve' during an episode of the series, whether this be as the result of battle damage, wear and tear, new colour schemes or the maturing of the deck planking. On the other hand, we expect that our 'HMS Hood' will only be seen on screen during parts of a real-world hour, from 0500 to 0600 on 24th May 1941. So the filming schedule will be tailored around the unique circumstances for each storyline and each model, with any necessary 'upgrades' timetabled and completed before we get on set. It's a complex logistical process, and you won't be surprised to learn that many of the best people in this field are ex-military!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 14, 2017, 08:40:48 am
We were watching the 1960 feature film 'Sink The Bismarck' (again), to see if this could help us to solve another 'accuracy' issue that we're having with the project. It's to do with the particular way that the main guns on capital ships move when they traverse, elevate and depress. Looking carefully at the archive footage, it's a lot more complicated than we thought, and a very different behaviour to that exhibited by today's gyro-stabilised or computer-controlled smaller calibre naval guns.


The scenes in 'Sink The Bismarck' that depict the interior of Gunhouses in combat were filmed aboard 'HMS Vanguard', just a few months before she was scrapped. 'Vanguard' was equipped with 15" Mark 1 weapons of First World War vintage, almost identical to those in 'Hood', and those guys on screen are not actors, they're the real deal. So that sequence is actually a great source of reference. The are also four pages of amazing sectional drawings in John Roberts' book 'The Battlecruiser Hood: Anatomy of the Ship' which show just how tightly packed and massively constructed these turrets were. Giving this 'feel of inertia' to a film model is essential. But how?


Our first idea was to use standard RC setups, 'borrowed' from a 1:16 scale Tamiya Tiger tank, and this was fairly successful on the traverse axis, but just not smooth and 'heavy' enough for vertical movements. We tried 'stepper motor' arrangements, and then gutted an old 'Discman' CD player to try out the very precise helical drive arrangement that moves the laser in these things, but that looked too precise and modern. So we had to do some lateral thinking, and decided that to get an older mechanical look to the gun movements, we needed a device called a 'human being'. These still exist, remarkably, and we brought in two puppeteers who work on many film projects, often using wires, cables and rods to manipulate everything from a prosthetic arm to a fantasy beast. Remember the Alien Queen in 'Aliens'? There were thirteen puppet masters and technicians simultaneously operating her limbs and head.


We got our new recruits to watch archive replays of a 15" Mark 1 in action, until they'd got a feeling of the way the mechanism behaved. Then we built a pair of dummy turrets, mainly using Lego Technic bits. Perhaps we should have been thinking 'Traditional' and used Meccano, but the Danish plastic stuff is always useful to any designer. We attached rigid rods at right angles to the underside of the gun barrels, which were cut from copper plumbing pipe. To counterweight the barrels, we superglued lead fishing weights in the breech ends so that the gun would balance on the trunnions. So far so good, and the two guns in each turret began to move realistically and slightly out of step with each other, as they did in reality. Problem solved? Not quite.


Since our 'HMS Hood' will always be shifting around on its Model Mover, the puppeteer underneath wouldn't be able to keep precise control of the gun barrels with rigid rods. It would be like trying to juggle soot. Time for Plan B. We connected the ends of the rods to flexible bicycle brake cables, and rigged it so that the operators could stand back, each holding onto nothing more elaborate than a fixed pair of bike handlebars, and by using a pair of brake levers they could then intuitively time their inputs to the rolling, pitching and other movements of the ship, and with each other. Now the ship, each gun barrel, Turret A and Turret B were all moving correctly individually, and relative to each other. To get rid of any final problems of twitching, we fitted friction control knobs which came from the throttle box of a scrapped light aircraft.  It hadn't exactly been rocket science, but finally we'd nailed it.


CGI is great, and an essential item in the toolbox of any filmmaker. But sometimes the older, simpler methods are the way to get the job done. Time for yet another tea break...

Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Sonar on January 14, 2017, 11:14:01 am
Following this thread with interest.

Any images of the project boats your in production so far ?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 14, 2017, 11:30:03 am
The National Museum of the Royal Navy is holding a discussion on Jutland on Feb 2nd at Portsmouth Dockyard. Some tickets left apparently.

http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/news/item/713-was-jutland-the-battle-that-won-the-war (http://www.historicdockyard.co.uk/news/item/713-was-jutland-the-battle-that-won-the-war)

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 14, 2017, 05:36:27 pm
The 1960 feature film 'Sink The Bismarck' is quite accurate in the way it depicts the engagements in the Atlantic, but heavily fictionalised in its portrayal of the co-ordination from London. There was a very good reason for this. In reality, the Director of Operations, Captain R A B Edwards, made extensive use of the Intelligence 'take' and analysis from the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, the very existence of which remained a carefully guarded secret until 1975. The film story, based on the 1958 book 'The Last Nine Days of the Bismarck' by C S Forester, needed to have a protagonist who would instead have to make decisions through 'experience, intuition and character', enabling him to carry the audience through the series of events which involved a large number of RN ships coming and going in different groups. The hero also needed to have a vulnerable side to his character, suggested through a developing personal relationship. As with all adaptations from books to movies, screenwriter Edmund North had to trim down Forrester's narrative and cut out internal musings, replacing these with action sequences, because that is the 'language' of film. He also reinvented the character of Admiral Lutjens as a committed Nazi, which was the opposite of the truth, but the story needed a 'villain', which in 1960 meant 'bad through and through'.


Star billing in the film went to Kenneth More, as the fictional protagonist Captain Jonathan Shepherd, and his assistant Dana Wynter, as WRNS Second Officer Anne Davis, his implied potential romantic interest. Captain Shepherd's wife had been killed in an air raid, and his son was Missing In Action throughout most of the film. Obviously, no heartstrings were to be left untugged. Kenneth More had served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War as a Lieutenant on HMS Victorious, and is a convincing hero.


Very high quality models were built to represent all the major ships involved, and they were filmed in a large studio water tank. Most scenes on the decks of Allied and Axis ships were shot aboard HMS Vanguard and HMS Belfast. HMS Victorious makes an appearance, although now with an angled flight deck which she did not have in 1941. Some liberties were taken with the various engagements, such as when Bismarck sinks the RN Destroyer 'HMS Solent'. Bismarck sank only HMS Hood, and HMS Solent was a submarine in real life. Bismarck is also depicted shooting down several British aircraft, which never happened. These factual 'errors' were made knowingly, in order to emote the audience effectively for the film's climax showing the sinking of the then helpless German battleship, which might have otherwise seemed callous. There are numerous scenes where ships are on the wrong course or engaging on the wrong beam, which was again done knowingly by the filmmakers because in Western cultures, which write from left to right, this is the psychologically 'strong' direction, and a British film had no doubt where its loyalties lay. Particularly when the Producer, John Brabourne, was the son-in-law of Lord Mountbatten, then Chief of the Defence Staff.


The film was a critical success. It remains a staple of late-night TV schedules even today, and always gets good viewing figures. It is a good example of how, in order to make a expensive major film that will attract large enough audiences to cover its cost, the 'language' of a movie will have to address the human essence of a situation, and not attempt to be a pure documentary. 'Sink The Bismarck' is a narrative, a thoughtful hybrid of fact and intelligent invention, which attempted to attract and engage with a wide section of the cinemagoing public. Overall, was it a success? Watch it again and decide.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 14, 2017, 06:12:59 pm
'Artistic licence' is always a tricky subject and I do appreciate that films need to be entertaining and to condense a story to its essential elements as there is often no room to include everything you are likely to find in a book describing historic events.

So cutting out some things which are not germane to the main thrust of the story, as was the case with last year's Jutland TV documentary is reasonably OK. It is also fair enough to introduce fictional characters who might plausibly have been present but who would not have appeared in the historical record to provide human interest or to combine the recorded experiences of people who were actually present to distil the sense of what happened.

Where I get very uneasy is when major departures from the historical record are introduced such as the 'sinking of HMS Solent' in Sink the Bismarck as this does introduce distortions into the apparently factual story which subsequently become part of the 'historic record'. It was in the film so it must be true! This is a very slippery slope, perhaps best exemplified by the film U571 which had the Americans (who were not even in the war at the time) recovering an Enigma coding machine from an imaginary German U Boat. This was a deliberate travesty of the historical record intended to make the film appeal to American audiences and almost caused an international political incident with questions asked in Parliament.

Such 'mockumentaries' are not a good thing. As an example of how to present the reality of a naval engagement you can do no better than C S Forrester's 'The Ship'. Although based on reality it made no claims to be a historical record but it really captured the essence of what the Naval war in the Mediterranean was about.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 14, 2017, 09:46:48 pm
Most of the detailing on our 1:72 'HMS Hood' is now complete, except for easily damaged pieces such as the masts. We're going to build and paint them separately and then plug them into metal tubes that are already installed in the hull. Rigging will be strung in place only when the model is in the studio ready for the camera. We've learned these precautions the hard way!


At this scale, a wooden deck really has to be wood. The deck planks on the real ship were mostly 12' long and 6" wide, which translates in 1:72 scale to 51mm by 2mm. We don't have the equipment to cut them accurately at these sizes, but we know someone who does. It's a marquetry and veneering firm, which specialises in renovating furniture and pianos. When we said that we would need 6,000 of these things, it didn't faze them at all, because they use computerised slicing machines. The whole job was done in four hours. We chose the veneer from which they were cut from five slightly different tones of wood, so that there will be very subtle variations across the deck. When a model is to be filmed, it's always necessary to emphasise this variety a little, otherwise the image can look bland.


One very tricky detail on the wooden decks are the 'cutting planks' that run around the bases of the main turret barbettes. These have a radius on their inner edge and a complex sawtooth pattern on the outer edge, which fits into the cut ends of the straight planking pattern. 'Anatomy of the Ship' has drawings that show this detail well. The actual decks were laid out in this way to avoid any excessively thin ends to planks, since these would have been fragile and prone to warping. The trick we use is to stick a curved plank down (we use PVA), lay the straight one over the top but lined up with its neighbour, then cut through both together with a brand new Swann Morton blade. This is a technique that marquetry experts have been using for a few hundred years, so it's good enough for us. An illuminated magnifier is essential for this: you need lots of light. If the fit is good enough we just ooze in some more PVA and the job's done. Next day the whole deck gets a very gentle sanding with 'flour paper' to smooth it down, then we seal it with an acrylic floor sealer: Johnson's Klear (also sold as 'Future') does a good job. We spend time looking at photos of the fine detailing around all the things on the deck, like Ventilators, Ready Use Lockers, Hatch Frames and suchlike. Did the planking run underneath such items, or was it trimmed around? If so, how? There's a great deal of variety in this, with evidence that different hands were at work during HMS Hood's twenty-odd refits, and where areas of deck had to be repaired from time to time.


There's a special word for this kind of obsessive detailing that is done on movie models. It's called 'greebling', and probably first got really serious with the miniatures for '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Some people think we're nuts to do it. But believe me, when you see your work on the big screen, it makes all the difference.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: grendel on January 15, 2017, 07:35:07 am
I have always said, you can get away with quite a bit of inaccuracy scale wise as long as the fine detail is correct. eg your scale length or width can be close but not spot on, but if the detail is correct nobody will know apart from yourself
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: mudway on January 15, 2017, 08:28:51 am
Some models will certainly have to 'evolve' during an episode of the series, whether this be as the result of battle damage, wear and tear, new colour schemes or the maturing of the deck planking. On the other hand, we expect that our 'HMS Hood' will only be seen on screen during parts of a real-world hour, from 0500 to 0600 on 24th May 1941. So the filming schedule will be tailored around the unique circumstances for each storyline and each model, with any necessary 'upgrades' timetabled and completed before we get on set. It's a complex logistical process, and you won't be surprised to learn that many of the best people in this field are ex-military!


Relatively straightforward then with a pure light grey for the world tour and a dark blue grey for her final voyage.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 15, 2017, 09:16:09 am
What Grendel says is certainly true in most cases, particularly if the model has been photographed or is appearing on film, and you're not looking at it in a museum or at an exhibition and choosing your own viewpoints. We sometimes have difficulties when we are shooting with anamorphic lenses in the 'Super 35' format, though. This is a technique that squashes the image horizontally with a special asymmetric lens on the camera, then stretches it out again with a complementary lens on the projector. We use this to get a high resolution widescreen effect from the fairly boxy 35mm standard film frame, but it can do weird things to the proportions of a model. We are phasing it out because of the difficulties of using the system alongside CGI. If we are going to be using two models in a scene, such as in the collision of the 'Andrea Doria' and the 'Stockholm', the relative scale of the ships has to match, but to a viewer it doesn't matter what that scale is. If they are even thinking 'model', the filmmaker has failed.


We normally shoot all models with 'standard' lenses, which produce an image similar to the 50mm focal length lens that was usually packaged with 35mm SLR cameras. This gives a perspective that the human eye regards as 'normal' and 'unremarkable', and avoids the film medium drawing attention to itself. Switching to a wider angle lens might be considered a 'quick fix' for focus problems, but your serious film is going to start looking artificial. It's also important to realise that the camera does not actually see a scene as the human eye does. When we look at something in real life, only a four degree circle in the middle of our vision is in sharp focus. As we choose to look at different parts of a subject, our brain moves our head, our eyeballs and the lenses in our eyes so that we get a sharp image of our new point of interest. That all happens without conscious thought. So we believe we're seeing the whole of a big ship in focus, for example, when in fact we only see 'snapshots' of small areas. So when we come to film a model ship, we have to be very careful with Depth of Field, so the whole vessel really is sharp. Then, whichever part of the screen the audience member chooses to look at, they will see it in focus, and they'll subconsciously suspend their knowledge that "This can't really be HMS Hood, she no longer exists"


It all depends on the subject matter, and the emotions the filmmaker is seeking to inspire in their audience. Every detail counts.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 15, 2017, 11:30:52 am
We have just received the first draft screenplay for the Hood - Bismarck filming. It has been written as a two hour production, which can be tailored for cinema or television presentations (or both, as was done with 'Das Boot').


If shown on TV it would be in two one-hour episodes, probably shown a week apart, because this fits the usual requirements of broadcasters.


The first episode, provisionally called 'Hunter', begins the story from the point where the British suddenly realise that KM Bismarck has headed out of harbour into the Atlantic and they have lost contact with her. It will set the scene by showing how the Royal Navy's assets were deployed to deal with the possible routes that the enemy could take, and the need to destroy the enemy 'at all costs'. The second half of the episode will show the Battle of the Denmark Strait being set up and fought. 'Hunter' ends as the three survivors of HMS Hood find each other in the water, their fate uncertain as the capital ships steam away.


The second episode, titled 'Hunted', begins with the British sensing abject failure. Their mood slowly evolves as the facts of Bismarck's crippled state become known. On the German ship, the mood is changing in the opposite direction. As the RN ships move in, the main focus is on the commanders of HMS Rodney and KM Bismarck. Just as in 'Hunter', the final scene shows desperate survivors in the water, their fate again unknown.


If shown in cinemas, the working title is 'Giants'. There would be a shift in emphasis to include longer action scenes and less dialogue, but the overall scope of the story would be substantially the same as the TV version. If a cinema release is agreed before the start of the Production stage, this would increase the budget by a factor of five, which would allow for higher technical standards in every respect.


This draft screenplay is a first step, but is very impressive, and I particularly appreciate the way the writer has chosen to enter and exit the story at surprising, but very effective, moments of high human drama. Obviously there is a long way to go with this project, at least two years I would say, but the omens are good.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 15, 2017, 01:55:42 pm
No doubt the screenplay would include the scene mentioned in Iain Ballantyne's book (Killing the Bismarck) where one of Rodney's chaplains was ordered off the bridge by Captain Dalrymple Hamilton for begging him to stop the slaughter. The captain and his officers were equally appalled at the destruction being meted out to Bismarck but it was their duty to ensure that she was sunk and not left to be towed back to France for repairs. Bismarck never struck her flag but there were reports that some of her crew appeared to be trying to signal Rodney.

The description of the Bismarck's last fight in Ballantyne's book is graphic and quite horrifying really.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 15, 2017, 03:11:36 pm
In the current version of the screenplay the attempted intervention by the Chaplain is not included, although it was mentioned in the research carried out by the Screenwriter. She does allude in the script to the doubts of some senior Officers on the Bridge of HMS Rodney about the morals of shelling a defenceless and populated vessel, but it is done quite cryptically, and in the main this aspect of the story is told visually. Her attitude towards the audience is "I don't want to tell them what to think, I want to make them think for themselves". Screenplays always go through many drafts, so let's see how this one develops.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 15, 2017, 08:11:25 pm
I appreciate any screenplay or documentary that allows you to 'think'. Being beaten around the head with select facts to drive a particular aspect of the story, can detract from the overall narrative arc. Too many documentaries these days seem to have some form of 'sensational' new angle on a well known story. Usually anything but sensational, sometimes barely relevant.
We can also fall into the 're-invention' of history, interpreting the events many years after the fact, re-appraising the actions of people, on the day, at the heart of the action. Putting a modern mind set on events of seventy, eighty or a hundred years ago or more...still it sells books or documentaries!
A good story, well told, should sell itself.
Good luck with it all, and if you need any advice on weathering :}
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 15, 2017, 08:45:13 pm
The screenwriter on the Hood - Bismarck project was chosen mainly because she's good at her job, but also because she was coming to the story with a fresh mind - she knew hardly anything about the historical events. Rather than just give her a pile of books to read, I fed her the timeline one day at a time, so she didn't have the foresight of knowing how the saga ends. For example, when Bismarck gave the RN the slip, I didn't tell her where the German battleship was, or if it would ever be found again. Each day she read through the notes I had prepared, asked questions, and then wrote the next 24 hours of her story outline. And so on, day by day, until Bismarck was sunk. And the draft screenplay is actually very similar to those daily notes she wrote. She'd put herself in the position of not knowing the future, of being 'in the moment' of the sequence of events, just as the people on both sides were in May 1941, and it has seemed to work. Only after the bones of the story were finalised did we apply layers of technical detail and rectify any 'time paradoxes'. I don't think this has been done before, but after our experience we'll definitely be trying the method again. 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 15, 2017, 09:23:07 pm
An interesting approach and maybe quite appropriate given that the likely audience will know little, if anything of the subject matter unlike us nitpickers on here!

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 16, 2017, 07:08:28 am
It seems that the next ship we will be making a 12' model of will be the Italian Transatlantic liner 'Andrea Doria', which famously sank in 1956 after only five years in service. I've always thought that she was the most beautiful vessel of her kind, very different from the 'boxy' passenger ships that went before (and after). She was part of the postwar effort by Italy to regain their national status as an exemplar of culture, design and industrial prowess. The builders couldn't hope to equal the size and speed of the British, German, French or US competitors, so they filled 'Andrea Doria' with fine artworks and served Michelin Star standards of cuisine. And the ship was a work of art herself, a sequence of flowing curves that would satisfy any sculptor. This shape is perhaps best seen in photographs taken when she was fitting out, and painted overall in a mid-grey primer.

'Andrea Doria' can still be seen today, if you are an experienced scuba diver. Lying on her starboard side in just 190' of water, her port side is only 100' below the waves, and there is some daylight at that depth. There are a number of diving businesses that run trips out to the wreck site every summer. But it's a dangerous undertaking, because the hull is in a state of unpredictable sequential collapse and the whole ship is festooned with fishing nets to trap the unwary. Painter Ken Marschall has produced haunting images of the scene, and the book 'Lost Liners' is worth hunting down for pictures of this and other ill-fated vessels.

Any other candidates for 'World's Top Liner?'
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 16, 2017, 08:18:52 am
An interesting approach and maybe quite appropriate given that the likely audience will know little, if anything of the subject matter unlike us nitpickers on here!

Colin

I was pleasantly surprised by how much advance knowledge of Hood and Bismarck was shown by the 14- to 18-year-old students we met when we borrowed their gym for filming last week. Many told me that their curriculum had included the Battle of the Denmark Strait and Bismarck's subsequent sinking, and some had seen previous documentaries on the subject. Most encouragingly, a number had taken the initiative to do their own research online before we arrived, and they were able to ask some very intelligent questions about the battle and about the way we were working on creating the film. So I'm optimistic that, if 'Giants' makes it the big screen, there could be a productive 'buzz' generated in the month before the premiere by providing a suitable dedicated web resource. This could mean that, by the time they settled into their cinema seats, a significant proportion of the audience - of all age groups - would be informed to some degree about what they were about to see, the background to it all, and the wider relevance of what happened at sea. This could subsequently be linked to the follow-on DVD, Blu-Ray and other media versions of the production. A holistic and proactive approach is what we're aiming for, all to 'make people think'.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: SailorGreg on January 16, 2017, 09:15:41 am
I find this thread fascinating. I understand that pictures of the models are not going to be forthcoming at this point but I do hope the project reaches fruition and we get to see the finished product. The level of time and effort that professional modelling of this type requires is staggering.  Also, is there any chance of a "how they did it" type of documentary showing the building and filming of the models? Or would that destroy the illusion?


Thanks for taking the time to tell us about this. Good luck!


Greg
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 16, 2017, 09:54:15 am
I find this thread fascinating. I understand that pictures of the models are not going to be forthcoming at this point but I do hope the project reaches fruition and we get to see the finished product. The level of time and effort that professional modelling of this type requires is staggering.  Also, is there any chance of a "how they did it" type of documentary showing the building and filming of the models? Or would that destroy the illusion?


Thanks for taking the time to tell us about this. Good luck!


Greg

Thank you for your compliments! My secret is in having a highly motivated team here: they love their work. There certainly will be a 'Making Of' video for this project, and in fact it's already been started, and is being shot on UHD. Parts may be used in the pre-premiere marketing for the movie on TV and the web, and the full version will certainly appear as one of the 'Extras' on DVDs. The people who are doing the 'Making Of' have an exclusive deal for imagery of the planning and production work, which is one of the reasons why no pictures can be released yet. Another reason is that some of the methods we use involve our own business secrets, and we are in a competitive industry. But above all, even the preliminary stages of a film such as this involve serious expenditure, and many aspects of the process have to be kept confidential because the ideas and decisions made have an intrinsic fiscal or artistic value which the Producers wish to safeguard. But be sure that I'll keep Mayhemers fully up to date!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: bfgstew on January 16, 2017, 11:21:25 am
I must applaud you and your teams efforts and look forward to seeing the end product.
The mighty Hood has, and always will be my favourite, so to be able to see her in all her glory (albeit short lived) will be an absolute honour.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Capt Podge on January 16, 2017, 11:58:28 am
I do hope the project reaches fruition and we get to see the finished product.


Perhaps, in a couple of years time, (post-production) some kind of "open day" could be arranged for a chance to see the models. Maybe even a tour of your facilities and a "meet the team" type of gathering.

Just thinking out loud - so to speak.

And as has already been said, this thread is a real eye-opener for us all. Thank you for all your efforts to date. :-)

Regards,

Ray.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 16, 2017, 12:56:29 pm
I must applaud you and your teams efforts and look forward to seeing the end product.
The mighty Hood has, and always will be my favourite, so to be able to see her in all her glory (albeit short lived) will be an absolute honour.


Thank you! Although I'm from an Army family, I remember my father (who served as an aide to Field Marshal Montgomery from El Alamein all the way to Paris) expressing very fond memories of 'The Mighty Hood', whose deck he trod on several occasions. Her sinking in the Denmark Strait occurred in the same week as all of the British Armed Forces were suffering heavy losses and casualties in the Battle of Crete, and added greatly to public feelings of grief in the UK. The need to turn the tables weighed heavily even on an accomplished warrior such as Winston Churchill. It is often said that before 1942 the Allies never won a battle, and after that they never lost one. There is some truth in that, and although she never landed a blow on KM Bismarck, HMS Hood played her part in 'turning the tide'. There was a chance that she could destroy the enemy if they met, and in war such chances have to be taken.


Almost 4,000 sailors gave their lives in the Bismarck chase. Some, perhaps many, of those deaths can be questioned from a moral standpoint. But, as US author Stephen Ambrose said in the epic TV series 'The World At War' in 1973, "The greatest moral error for the Allies would have been to lose the war" To win, Britain had to stomach the reality of survival: the brutal Battle of the Atlantic, the nightly carnage they inflicted on German civlians through RAF Bomber Command, one grim land battle after another, and the 60,000 killed in air raids on English cities. For six years, many families waited in fear, dreading that they would receive 'the Telegram' any day, any time.


Throughout most of her service, HMS Hood played a valuable role in promoting the British determination to display worldwide 'Power Projection'. It is a strategy that is still used today. If Britain had taken a more responsible path in preparing for conflict from 1933 onwards, Hood would probably have received a major refit which would have increased her chances on 24th May 1941. Perhaps she would have survived the war, and inevitably joined all her sisters on a sad final voyage to the dismantlers. Instead, she went down fighting. There is no finer end for any ship.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: SailorGreg on January 16, 2017, 02:17:20 pm
 :-))
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 16, 2017, 03:20:28 pm
Perhaps, in a couple of years time, (post-production) some kind of "open day" could be arranged for a chance to see the models. Maybe even a tour of your facilities and a "meet the team" type of gathering.

I appreciate what you say. Yes, once the inevitably hectic filming phase is complete, and the post-production begins, you can rest assured that all the models will be carefully conserved and made available for private display (such as to Mayhemers) and perhaps as promotional aids for the marketing people. They would then probably be placed in a climate-controlled storage facility, to keep them in good shape for any future film projects. I have been asked whether they could be put on public display for a major exhibition, and that is certainly possible, but it would require significant expenditure in constructing display cases, providing suitable lighting, fitting out the exhibition space, transporting the models to the venue, and promoting, marketing and curating the event. That would likely require a sponsor, and careful logistical planning. It is certainly something we will actively consider when the time comes.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: RAAArtyGunner on January 17, 2017, 12:35:21 am
John,

It seems that your Sig background training/experiences have held you in good stead.

Very good commentary/explanations. :-)) :-)) :-))

Mayhemer's are indeed privileged to have you on board.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 17, 2017, 10:10:09 am
John,

It seems that your Sig background training/experiences have held you in good stead.

Thank you for your compliments from warmer southern climes! In recent years I have been encouraged to see how many intelligent young people are choosing to regard the military as a worthwhile profession, perhaps as a springboard to a different career in later life. Many of the people I work with have previously 'worn the uniform', and it certainly gives them a perspective that benefits many aspects of their work in civilian life. This is increasingly true on the 21st century, where the Army, Navy and Air Force have been joined by Space and Cyber Commands, necessitating higher standards of education and technical skills in their ranks. From the point of view of 'character', I also find that those who have been in the Services tend to have a quiet humility that conceals a fierce determination to get things done, and to do the right thing. It's all about showing respect, and gaining respect.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 17, 2017, 03:54:46 pm
I expect that many Mayhemers are familiar with the 'SS Andrea Doria' - 'MV Stockholm' collision of 1956, and have seen the photos of Stockholm with her bow missing, taken as she was limping back to New York. So modelling that detail shouldn't be a problem: we'll make two alternative front ends for the ship, which can fit onto the main hull at the collision bulkhead, and switch them around during filming.

But replicating the damage to SS Andrea Doria is going to be trickier. The collision happened at night, and the Italian liner quickly adopted a severe list, with the damaged area submerged below the waves by daybreak. So there are no detailed photographs of that damage. We know that a massive hole was punched into the ship by Stockholm's reinforced bow (she had been designed for voyages in icy waters), but the question is, what happened to that bow?

There seem to be two main possibilities. Since the ships clashed at about ninety degrees to each other, both steaming at over 20 Knots, the bow of Stockholm may have been wrenched off by powerful shear forces, and stayed embedded in Andrea Doria's hull. Alternatively, the impact might have shattered the bow structure, with the fragments falling to the sea bed, leaving an empty hole. Since accidents tend to be untidy and messy events, the result could have been a combination of these possibilities. In the collision between 'RMS Olympic' and 'HMS Hawke' (which happened at a shallower angle) the liner was holed, and the warship's ram was torn off and fell to the sea floor, so did something similar happen in 1956?

We're trying to decide the most likely scenario, because when this event is filmed it's planned to show the whole sequence of the collision in detail. Obviously we'll have to 'cheat' the light levels, so that the audience can see what's going on, but there would have been plenty of lights on the decks of both vessels, and many of their scuttles would probably been illuminated, so that can be done. But when the viewers see the resulting damage to Andrea Doria, will it be an empty 'cave' or will it be filled with the broken-off bow of her nemesis?

All views are welcome!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 17, 2017, 04:22:16 pm
Given that the Andrea Doria was travelling at quite a high speed I would have thought that the most likely scenario is that the reinforced bow of Stockholm initially punched a V shaped hull into the side of the Doria and was then wrenched away in a tangle of wreckage by the momentum of the larger ship. I would imagine that most of the bow remained in the Doria but in a very distorted and fractured form. Some of it may have fallen out of the hole but the fact that the ships did not remain locked together suggests that it did break off almost immediately. All supposition of course!

I don't know how far the Doria was from the collision position when she sank but I have not read of any accounts of the Stockholm's bow being found.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 17, 2017, 06:03:49 pm
I would imagine that most of the bow remained in the Doria but in a very distorted and fractured form. Some of it may have fallen out of the hole but the fact that the ships did not remain locked together suggests that it did break off almost immediately. All supposition of course!

I don't know how far the Doria was from the collision position when she sank but I have not read of any accounts of the Stockholm's bow being found.

Colin
Andrea Doria was reported by the US Navy as having drifted approximately 1.58 nautical miles in the 11 hours between the collision and her sinking. The area beneath the point where the two ships collided has been searched with sophisticated sidescan sonar equipment and found to be cluttered with all manner of debris, which is not untypical of the sea floor in that part of the world. Divers in the summer of 2016 found that the entire superstructure of the Andrea Doria had crumbled away, with the uppermost (Port) side of the hull collapsing notably in the preceding year. It appears that the chemical composition and temperature of the water, strong currents and organic lifeforms in the vicinity are very aggressive, and the wreck may be reduced to fragments within decades. It is interesting that the forward half of 'RMS Titanic', which has been on the seabed 44 years longer than the Andrea Doria, is in rather better shape, primarily because she is at a far greater depth where less corrosive conditions exist, and possibly because she is sitting in an upright position, where stresses on the hull are distributed more in accordance with her structural design principles.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 17, 2017, 06:14:17 pm
Yes, you are right, wreck deterioration can vary surprisingly according to location. I have just been re reading the recent book on the Jutland wrecks and even in this relatively small area there is a wide variation in condition although a common factor seems to be that thinnish mild steel corrodes very quickly so the hulls readily collapse.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: NFMike on January 17, 2017, 09:51:07 pm
My feeling is that the broken off section would have fallen out sooner or later (eg. when the severe list developed). Reasoning? Reinforced and presumably thick metal outer plates - strong and heavy. It could possibly have punctured AD without getting seriously entangled in her, ie. without a lot holding it in place. Hence, with the weight involved it would be more likely to fall out.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 17, 2017, 10:07:43 pm
Given the position of the Doria wreck, lying on its side, nobody will ever know for sure unless the Stockholm's bow is discovered lying on the seabed. It was a sad end for a lovely ship but until re reading the circumstances I hadn't realised that she was inherently unstable. Not that instability was all that unusual among transatlantic liners, especially when bunkers were empty towards the end of the crossing.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: furball on January 17, 2017, 11:11:25 pm
Quote
It is interesting that the forward half of 'RMS Titanic', which has been on the seabed 44 years longer than the Andrea Doria, is in rather better shape, primarily because she is at a far greater depth where less corrosive conditions exist, and possibly because she is sitting in an upright position, where stresses on the hull are distributed more in accordance with her structural design principles.


Then again, Brittanic has been laying on her side for a century, and hasn't collapsed yet, so maybe the Olympic class were somewhat more strongly built.


Lance
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 18, 2017, 09:58:43 am
'HMHS Britannic' and her more famous sister are indeed ageing more slowly than the Andrea Doria. When Jacques Cousteau became the first to view the Aegean wreck in 1975, he remarked on her high state of preservation, as have subsequent visitors. In the judgement of microbiologist Dr Lori Johnson, who was there in 2003, a major factor is the beaviour of bacteria which are colonising the steel structure intensively, and in these particular conditions in 400 feet of water are tending to protect he metal and are turning the ship into a 'man made reef'. This is probably being promoted by the higher temperatures found in the Mediterranean compared with the North Atlantic, and by the fact that in the Aegean Sea the ecosystem is very stable, because there are virtually no tides.


Andrea Doria was a welded ship, whereas the Olympic Class were rivetted. This may also have a bearing on their longevity. Rivetting is a largely benign process, involving relatively small amounts of heat energy, whereas welding is more energy intensive and causes chemical changes in all the metals involved.  The weld beads are usually of higher-order material than the plates they join. and this eventually results in the hull plates becoming 'sacrificial' and breaking the bond. This is quite noticeable on the wrecks found in scrapyards of armoured land vehicles, whose weld beads may be almost as new while the adjacent steel is honeycombed with corrosion. It's clear that every wreck is unique, and for many reasons.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 18, 2017, 02:52:47 pm
Progress with the 12' 'prototype' of HMS Hood is ahead of schedule, and she's starting to look like the real battlecruiser in every respect. All the superstructure, armament and fittings are in place, including the masts, and only a few parts such as the ship's boats are still on the workbenches. Painting and weathering is fully complete on the starboard side, which is all we need for the next camera test.

We are going to be filming the model only from the starboard side, because that will clearly show the main 15" guns deployed as they were in the Denmark Strait. Shots of the port side will be created by 'flipping' the image horizontally, which is easy to do with film or video. Obviously you wouldn't do this in the finished movie since there would be anomalies, because HMS Hood wasn't fully symmetrical, for example in the number of hawse pipes on either side of her bow, but for our current purposes that isn't significant. The objective tomorrow will be to get the shots of the hull on the Model Mover to a standard that can be combined with our 'sea' archive film.

The only thing lacking from the main hull are the ridges where the plates joined. Hood was quite smooth in this regard, and it's easy to overdo such details. At the moment we've represented the joins by masking and using paint, but we'll probably add some thin Plasticard later so that subtle shadows will be cast. It always seems to me when judging at model shows that some builders get too 'creative' with this kind of detail, creating caricatures of the original. Ships and planes are usually much more sleek than many models depict them to be. Anyone who has built the Revell 1:72 Flower Class corvette (which is probably most of us on this Forum) will have marvelled at the hull plate detail when they opened the box, but then slowly realised that it was grossly overscale. Much sanding and filing was then the order of the day, accompanied with frequent cursing aimed at Matchbox, who made the original moulds. If you haven't made one, treat yourself. They're cheap as chips and can look great with a little TLC. Plus, they're big enough to fit a motor (Flowers had a single prop) and install RC.

Hood has taken a lot of work to bring to this stage, with 17 people involved. The key thing has been co-ordination, to make sure we're all working to a common purpose. We have a 'Production Manager' for each project, who plays a role similar to an NCO (a Petty Officer in the Navy, or a Sergeant in the Army) and is trusted to keep everything moving along effectively and efficiently. It's a demanding job. It requires a holistic attitude which doesn't just solve problems but anticipates them, then intelligently navigates around them. They have to focus on the end product, and have the passion to make it happen. Anyone can look at a movie scene and say "That doesn't look right". Fewer can say why it's not satisfactory. Even less would know how to fix the problem when it appears on screen. And a very, very small number have the ability to think 'ahead of the curve' and prevent the issue arising in the first place. We're fortunate to have people like that on our team.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 18, 2017, 08:30:24 pm

I have just been reading over the introduction to this thread again and notice the list of ships, and realise that you have left out of that list, one of the most important ships that took part in the tidying up of the Bismarck affair.


That ship was the destroyer HMS Maori, the tribal class destroyer, which was ordered in to pick up survivors after the Bismarck had sunk.


I lived next door to a man who became a good buddy, called Stan Barnes, and he once showed me his memoires and discharge book, and his cap badge, HMS. and then told me the story of his small part in the rescue of survivors, and the care and compassion the enemy sailors received whilst on the trip back to home port. His ship was the Maori at the time of the incident, and he was a gunnery officer.


He used to go every 10 years to a Bismarck crew reunion and church service, in Germany and his last one was in 1985.Sadly he died before he could make the '95 reunion, but I could sit and listen to his stories for hours, and after that we'd realise that we had polished off a bottle of Gordons, lol.


I remember he had some incredible photos of the sad end to the ship, and also others in the fleet that were sent out to hunt her including his own ship. Sadly lost after his death as he had no relatives.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 18, 2017, 09:09:45 pm
The original list does include HMS Cossack, one of the 27 Tribal Class destroyers built and essentially identical to HMS Maori, which was one of the six Tribals that carried out the night action on 26th/27th May 1941 against Bismarck. This was a 'harassing' operation designed not only to reduce the fighting capability of the German battleship's crew on the following morning, but also to ensure that contact with the Bismarck was not lost during darkness. Originally Admiral Tovey had planned to send HMS Rodney and HMS King George V into attack on the evening of 26th May, but his capital ships would have been vulnerable because of the orientation of the setting sun, and there was not enough time to reposition them before the end of nautical twilight. Although the six Tribals involved in the melee scored no torpedo or shell hits on KM Bismarck, they sustained only minor damage themselves, and were undoubtedly successful in their risky mission. Tribals acquitted themselves with honour in all theatres of war, and 14 were lost in action. 12 were dismantled. One is preserved today, HMS Haida at Hamilton Harbour in Ontario, Canada.

Because of the way in which our film/TV production is being organised, there is only a need to make one model of each class of ship. If two or more are required to be on screen simultaneously, this will be achieved by compositing film of individual vessels into one combined image. The current screenplay for 'Giants' does indeed include the Destroyer flotilla attack on Bismarck, and scenes of the truncated rescue operation that followed Bismarck's sinking.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Stavros on January 18, 2017, 10:29:54 pm
Ok you have my attention...so come on lets see proof of the pudding so to speak lets see some pics of this 12foot model thats been 3 D printed.This will do your film no harm at all...as we Mayhemers like to see pics




Dave
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: roycv on January 19, 2017, 02:41:26 am
Hi John, some are still with you!
Roy
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 19, 2017, 08:43:19 am
In establishing the sea state and visibility levels that existed during the Battle of the Denmark Strait, we've been looking closely at the newsreel footage which was taken by a film crew aboard KM Prinz Eugen. Although there are whitecaps on the waves, it certainly seems that it was quite a clear day for that region of the North Atlantic, and the upperworks of the British vessels can be made out reasonably well. It's interesting how early in the approach phase the Germans were able to confirm that HMS Hood was the lead RN ship, although they misidentified HMS Prince of Wales as her sister ship HMS King George V, having been misled by faulty Intelligence information. In these circumstances one might have expected Jurgens to divide the fire of his ships, rather than concentrate on Hood, but doubtless the reputation of the 'Mighty Hood' extended beyond British shores and had something to do with his command decision. In their many pre-war exercises, Hood had often been viewed as the 'primary threat' by the KM, and while the senior officers on the German ships certainly knew of the old battlecruiser's weaknesses, to their crews the Hood inspired only fear.

From our point of view in filming the battle, the lack of mist or fog may reduce the 'atmosphere' of the scene, but it will help the audience to more readily comprehend the flow of the action. As in 'Sink the Bismarck', the British ships will at first be moving from left to right, the 'strong' direction. As she disengages at the end, damaged and alone, HMS Prince of Wales will turn across the screen and then be steaming right to left, psychologically 'weak'. The unwritten rule in movies is 'show, don't tell'.

By not shooting at HMS Prince of Wales for the first half of the Battle, the Bismarck probably helped to seal her own fate. Although affected by many gun malfunctions, PoW was able to correctly identify the KM battleship before Hood did, had superior rangefinding equipment, obviously some highly competent officers and, it must be said, an excellent Captain. Although both British ships were working under the handicap of having crews that were generally not fully battle-trained, it was Prince of Wales that scored the first two crucial blows on Bismarck, essentially causing the failure of the Kriegsmarine mission. Once Hood was gone and PoW came under accurate concentrated fire, she was hit seven times in just a few minutes. If the British battleship had come under such fierce attack from the start of the battle she could well have been sunk, or at least critically disabled, and been unable to cripple Bismarck. If... As Churchill said in another context, "The terrible ifs accumulate"
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 19, 2017, 12:35:41 pm
A question. During the Battle of the Denmark Strait would HMS Hood's secondary armament and Anti-Aircraft weapons be manned? Their crews would have been very exposed to the concussion waves from the main armament, and the 4" HA/LA Mark XIX mountings and UP mountings offered minimal splinter protection to their crews. I find it very unlikely that the UP on the roof of Turret B would have been manned, for example. On the other hand, the ship was at Full Battle Stations so perhaps everyone was at their post, no matter what the risks. It matters because these weapons would probably have been moving if manned, seeking possible aerial targets, and we'd want to replicate that on screen. And as the ships closed, the 4" guns - whose extreme (if inaccurate) range was about 12 miles - could have begun to add their weight to the broadsides. So during HMS Hoods last hour, would these weapons be static or not? Any information would be welcome.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 19, 2017, 04:15:03 pm
I don't know for certain but I believe the action stations might have been different depending on what sort of action was involved. Crews in exposed positions would have been moved to more sheltered situations with less risk of being hit by flying splinters or injured by the extensive blast from the main armament. I believe that many members of Bismarck's crew were killed by a large calibre shell exploding in a compartment where they were sheltering from the chaos on deck during the final action.

I don't think it would have been the practice to use the secondary and tertiary armament together in 'normal' circumstances. The latter would have been outranged and the former a nuisance to the gunnery team spotting the fall of shot for the main armament. During the final action it is reported that HMS Rodney used her six inch guns but stopped doing so because they added to the splashes and caused confusion. Seems logical. The main armament was sometimes used by capital ships to put up a water splash barrage against torpedo bombers though.

Incidentally, while in Portsmouth Dockyard earlier today I had a look through this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K1O434E/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1 which is a technical and statistical analysis of the Denmark Strait engagement by an Italian Rear Admiral. Much of the book looked quite interesting but there was also a large amount of mathematical probability analysis which appeared to be pretty hard going so I balked at the 20 price although might stretch to the Kindle edition or just wait until it is remaindered.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 19, 2017, 06:55:19 pm
That certainly seems the most likely scenario. I have also been wondering if HMS Hood was preparing to use her above-water torpedoes, once the opposing ships were running on parallel courses 8 miles apart or less. Kriegsmarine records show that Prinz Eugen was readying her torpedoes to target HMS Prince of Wales just before the latter broke off the Battle. Three days later HMS Rodney fired 12 'fish' at Bismarck, scoring one ineffectual hit. A number of torpedoes were also fired by the Tribals in the night action, but none struck home. It seems the remarkable 'Stringbag' (Swordfish) was the 'kipper' delivery system of choice in the Bismarck chase, unless of course you were stationed aboard HMS Sheffield...

The book by Marco Santarini is worth persevering with. It is an intelligent and objective take on the subject, if rather 'academic' in tone.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: plastic on January 19, 2017, 07:29:52 pm
I too can't believe that we're up to 6 pages of very detailed coments yet not one single photo of something that has a million cameras pointing at it - not even a snippet, the studio, a movement rig, a water tank, a photo of the mechanical set-up, photos of historic things mentioned that are not in this project, any small fittings, an actual picture of the model (we all know what Hood looks like so it's no surprise/mystery) - on the shelf/trolley or otherwise - very strange.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: NFMike on January 19, 2017, 09:12:50 pm
I too can't believe that we're up to 6 pages of very detailed coments yet not one single photo of something that has a million cameras pointing at it - not even a snippet, the studio, a movement rig, a water tank, a photo of the mechanical set-up, photos of historic things mentioned that are not in this project, any small fittings, an actual picture of the model (we all know what Hood looks like so it's no surprise/mystery) - on the shelf/trolley or otherwise - very strange.
Not strange at all. They are (presumably) working under a NDA. Breaching it could cost them this and/or future contracts and make their name mud in the industry - just to satisfy some nosey modellers. The contractual hierarchy was explained in the post mentioned earlier.
I'm really disappointed that you and others are even thinking this, much less going into print. If people won't accept that limitation John is quite likely to just clam up and we will lose a very interesting thread with the possibility of some pictures in the future.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 19, 2017, 10:08:04 pm
Not strange at all. They are (presumably) working under a NDA.
I appreciate the contributions that you and other Mayhemers are making to this thread, the response to which has been overwhelmingly positive and very helpful to us. We certainly do make use of Non Disclosure Agreements when we consider them contractually appropriate, particularly when carrying out professional work in the USA and some other countries. Generally however, since our firm is fundamentally subject to the laws of England and Wales, the overriding legal basis for all our operations is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Intellectual property theft has regrettably become a major issue on the Internet and we have very effective procedures in place to safeguard our work from those who might seek, allow or facilitate misuse of what is termed our 'Work Product' for any reason. Our decision not to publish any images on the current thread has been explicitly described in my previous posts and I will not repeat those here. Modelmaking for us is a rewarding but competitive and serious business, and we therefore necessarily adopt a different perspective from those who pursue it purely as a personal hobby. However there is a great deal of common ground, and I hope those who appreciate that will find it interesting to keep following the work we are doing, just as we will continue benefitting from their input.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 19, 2017, 10:15:10 pm
 

 :police:  I going to let this continue to run for now, as I do want to see what transpires.   :police:



                           Caveat Emptor.... and the model boat builder!   

 Model boat mayhem Forum assumes no responsibility for transactions that take place via this board.  Mayhem Disclaimer (http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/Disclaimer.htm)
 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: bfgstew on January 19, 2017, 10:18:00 pm
Well said John, totally understandable and it makes the finished product worth waiting for. I for one will be waiting with baited breath.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 20, 2017, 08:26:33 am
Getting back to the intriguing business of constructing model boats, we've been asked to make a functioning RC one that is a little out of the ordinary. HMS Hood could achieve 28 knots. SS United States at least 35 knots, maybe 40. That's fast. But this original for this new commission was a little faster. Close to 300 knots.


Earlier this month there was considerable media interest in the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell's final attempt to raise the World Water Speed Record in Bluebird K7, a hydroplane built around a ridiculously powerful Orpheus turbojet engine borrowed from a Folland Gnat military aircraft. Driven by the outstanding achievements of his father, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Donald took 'Risk Management' to a whole new level. Freudian psychologists would have a field day with this. Disregarding the doubts of the designers and engineers of the K7, he maintained that in order to go faster on water than man had ever done before, conservative thinking was worthless. The boat was fast because at high speed only small parts of the frontal sponsons and the stern rudder and guide vanes were in contact with the water surface. Bluebird was actually more about aerodynamics than hydrodynamics. And in the 1960's these sciences were far less developed than today. Donald Campbell was pushing his luck.


Officially recognised World Record Speed attempts require two runs in opposite directions within a limited time. Bluebird was taken to the Lake District for the attempt. The safe option was to make one run, wait for the water surface to settle, then do the other. Campbell preferred to use a different approach, turning around quickly and making the return run immediately, before the boat's wash had reflected back into the centre of the lake. This was based on the risky assumption the the engine would have enough fuel for the whole exercise. The Orpheus didn't only drive the boat forward, but its high thrust line kept the nose of the craft down. If power failed at high speed the vessel could 'go ballistic'. The strategy had worked before. But, on a cold grey morning on Coniston Water, Donald Campbell's luck ran out.


The actual K7 was raised from the lake bed 15 years ago and is nearing the end of a painstaking restoration. The plan is to use the craft for close up shots, and scenes of it moving at up to 75 knots. But it won't be able to go any faster, so for shots of the high speed runs we'll need a model. A really fast one.


These days, hydroplane racing is a sophisticated sport, but the craft are generally powered by high-performance outboard motors. That's not going to look right for a working K7 model. We'll need to use jet or rocket propulsion to get realistic imagery, with the exhaust plume, the heat haze and other crucial characteristics. In the USA amateur rocketry is a popular, if rather scary, pastime. And real working jet engines have been built in quite small sizes: for example in the movie '11 Days' - about the Cuban Missile Crisis - the 1:6 scale models of Lockheed U2 aircraft were RC controlled and jet powered. So it's not entirely 'uncharted territory'


The initial idea is that the model will be filmed on real water, possibly back at Coniston. We are taking advice on the most practical model scale, which has to provide authentic stability and 'scale effect' but also keep the weight as low as possible. Bearing in mind that the model may be risking the same fate as the full size boat, it's been suggested that we guide it along a very long carbon fibre monofilament line, which would be invisible on film and be stretched just above the water surface. To make the hull and sponsons, we'd probably make wooden 'bucks' and use these to vacuum form the shapes. For rigidity and 'unsinkability' we could fill the sections with lightweight polyurethane foam. My guess is we would need quite a few hulls, to cope with 'mishaps'...


I'm not aware if anything like this has been done before, so I don't know if it's really feasible, and any info or ideas would be welcomed.



Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 20, 2017, 08:39:03 am
 
Morning John,

Sounds a great project to be involved in!

I was always led to believe that most model "boats" used in film work were Not radio controlled, i.e. tracked or mechanically tethered in some way so as not allow the model not to drift out of focus and repeatability of the shot, how comes these models will be RC?
 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: plastic on January 20, 2017, 09:01:34 am
For a fast model like that I'd be looking at adapting drone technology - water is flat and the drones are stuffed with fast-reacting gyro systems - you are effectivly making a very low flying drone with some of its parts in contact with the water. Make it big enough to look correct in the water (1/3 scale?) and add winglets that can't be seen (between the front spnsons) as elevons to control the pitch stability.

More of an aeroplane than a boat.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: tigertiger on January 20, 2017, 09:39:32 am
***Topic tidied up***
Posts were getting a bit personal and not contributing to the discussion.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: derekwarner on January 20, 2017, 12:18:22 pm
....as quoted by Mr Stedman......

"But this original for this new commission was a little faster. Close to 300 knots"


Well this latest comment is rather tangential to the deep rooted thread of warships in the Denmark Strait ..and other questions relating to vessels of that era

Considering we have a number of members well versed with this K7 [latest] enquiry, would it not be best to create a new thread for the K7 and maintain the enthralling thread of Battleship conflict and considerations for cinematography?

Derek

Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 20, 2017, 12:27:46 pm
....as quoted by Mr Stedman......
Considering we have a number of members well versed with this K7 [latest] enquiry, would it not be best to create a new thread for the K7 and maintain the enthralling thread of Battleship conflict and considerations for cinematography?

Derek
That's an interesting point of view. However, the thread has so far necessarily focussed on the ships we have actually been asked to look at, and these have included not only warships but also SS Andrea Doria, MS Stockholm, SS America and SS United States for example. I think the current perceived focus on HMS Hood is simply because that is the first model to enter prototype stage, but it is very much a continuing 'learning exercise' whose practical lessons for us will apply, to some degree, to any watercraft we are commissioned to model for the TV or Film industries. The true focus of this thread, as I see it, is the cinematography angle, and that was how I saw the commission of Bluebird K7 being relevant, because it brings different but related issues to the table. So my preference would be to keep this as a single thread, to avoid splitting the discussion. After all, we have one timeline here in our Studio, and it is developing day by day with a single objective: to put a wide variety of diverse nautical craft on screen in a convincing manner.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: plastic on January 20, 2017, 03:28:43 pm
I've followed this thread from the beginning - how did you build your prototype Hood so quickly? What construction method? At 12' long, how do you move it about and how much does it weigh? Is it rigid or bendy and need supporting along its length? did you have to fit any reinforcing stucture inside to support the weight and provide a rigid mounting for whatever dolly or motion system it's bolted to? Do you need a crane to get it into position and if so, how do you support it? Slings? Eye bolts?

Love to know the nitty-gritty details.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 20, 2017, 06:14:22 pm
I could see a "Speed on Water" theme that would have an international appeal.  Donald Campbell`s exploits have been well reported on TV and in film. How about all the other contenders for the WSR, Cobb, Sayers, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Seagrave , a couple of Americans and the current holder from Australia.   Another theme that crossed my mind ( local to me) the WW1  Scapa Flow scuttling of German fleet.  The WW11 surrender and sinking of the Nazi U-boats is a rather forgotten episode too.  Just random thoughts, enjoying this .
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 20, 2017, 06:44:50 pm
I could see a "Speed on Water" theme that would have an international appeal.  Donald Campbell`s exploits have been well reported on TV and in film. How about all the other contenders for the WSR, Cobb, Sayers, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Seagrave , a couple of Americans and the current holder from Australia.   Another theme that crossed my mind ( local to me) the WW1  Scapa Flow scuttling of German fleet.  The WW11 surrender and sinking of the Nazi U-boats is a rather forgotten episode too.  Just random thoughts, enjoying this .
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: furball on January 20, 2017, 07:37:32 pm
Quote
I'm not aware if anything like this has been done before, so I don't know if it's really feasible, and any info or ideas would be welcomed.


There's several gas turbine K7 models around, For example, http://youtu.be/y2ANJAVRQpQ (http://youtu.be/y2ANJAVRQpQ) which I think is 1/6 scale.


Lance
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 07:58:11 am
The range of subjects suggested by Arrow5 are all interesting and thought-provoking. The decision as to whether any story will make it to the big screen is almost entirely guided by financial viability. And over 90% of those key decisions are made in Los Angeles. True, London and New York have leverage when it comes to TV productions, but for the cinema, Hollywood is King. A typical present-day feature film is 110 minutes long and has cost about $1 million a minute to make. To be profitable, a movie has to earn twice its production costs at the box office. And it takes a large audience to generate $220 million. Even on TV the budgets are alarming: an episode of 'Game Of Thrones' can cost $10 million to make. Not everything that appears on screen does make a profit, but it only got there because it established its potential to do so. And the organisational infrastructure of Hollywood is not really geared up to deal with low-budget films or documentaries.

The audience profiles are constantly evolving, and this is closely monitored by Studios. In recent years the established Western markets, notably the USA, have been static. All the growth has come from 'Syndication' agreements with developing areas such as India, China, the Far East, the Middle East and South America. People in these countries do not usually have sensibilities about issues such as the morality of the Second World War. But they are interested in stories about people, especially people under extreme pressure to overcome seemingly impossible adversaries. So to have a chance of international success all movies usually need a protagonist that the audience are inspired to follow on a traumatic journey to ultimate success or failure. The hardware, even if it is a 860' battlecruiser, is part of the supporting cast, it is never the star.

A good example is 'Duel', the first feature film made by Steven Spielberg. Superficially it is the story of a henpecked travelling salesman driving to a meeting, and how his ordinary saloon car is terrorised by a marauding truck. But in human terms, it is about how an unremarkable 'everyman' can shed his veneer of civilised behaviour and do 'whatever is necessary' to survive. The hero, memorably played by Dennis Weaver, believably goes from wimp to killer in the space of one sunny afternoon. And 'Das Boot' is crafted around the idea of being with a group of men who are imprisoned in a living hell, and are only able to carry on because of the leadership qualities of the 'hero'. It just so happens that the 'prison' is a submarine.

So any film idea has to begin by engaging with the question "Who is the hero, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and what is their emotional journey?". Some historical scenarios do lend themselves to such treatments, but not all. Hollywood makes 600 movies a year, and every single one is a struggle to get funding for. But, as they say, "Nothing worthwhile is easy"
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 21, 2017, 09:03:51 am

Is the full size k7replica in the Lakeland (?) museum the same one that was used in the TV film "Across the Lake" ?   The K4 was a prettier craft with all the trappings of  Golden Age nostalgia of the 1930s.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 09:35:14 am

There's several gas turbine K7 models around, For example, http://youtu.be/y2ANJAVRQpQ (http://youtu.be/y2ANJAVRQpQ) which I think is 1/6 scale.


Lance
Thank you for that reference. At the moment we are talking to the Producers about the best way of representing K7 at speed on screen. We had a film crew at Coniston Water this week who shot footage of the lake and shorelines to match the lower-quality 1967 films of the World Record attempts. It was done now to get the 'winter' appearance of the scene, panning the camera on a 'Motion Control' setup at exactly the same rate as Bluebird was travelling 50 years ago. This might enable us to use a static Bluebird model (filmed on a Model Mover) and composite it into the background film, obtaining realistic speeds and movements by using a 'Motion Capture' technique.

We did briefly consider trying to enhance one or more of the 1967 archive films, but the shots do not hold enough usable data to make the translation viable, and it would be too 'artificial' on screen.

Utilising CGI for the whole sequence has also been considered. It would probably work for TV, but to reach cinema standards would be a very expensive and time-consuming process.

Current thinking for a working model of K7 is that it would need to be about one-third full size. This would mean a 9' long 'miniature', but it would need to be that big to make sure that it behaved dynamically in a  believable manner at high speed. Physics are the controlling factor here. It appears to be a 'high risk' option in every sense.

It's most likely that we'll be settling on a combination of ideas. In 'Black Hawk Down' some people wondered if the helicopters were models, CGI or real. In fact they were all these things, but the production standards were so good that it was seamless.

And as an aside, several people have wondered if we are going to recreate the K7 crash sequence. The screenplay has been written so that, by the end, the audience will already have become aware that Donald Campbell's recklessness has made him a man 'on borrowed time'. So when Bluebird roars out on the lake for her final run the viewers won't need to see what happens. They will already sense tragedy.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 21, 2017, 09:50:02 am
hi ya there - you have strayed into my territory of expertise here - and before you attempt anything to do with Bluebird K7 - you want to get in touch with a guy called Ernie Lazenby.   He built a perfect replica which was  jet powered and was endorsed by Donald Campbell's daughter, Gina Campbell.  When you have the endorsement of these two people, you may get some of the correct facts about Bluebird and the fatal run; such as tramping and also when the boat was recovered from the Lake the water brake was in the 'down' position which scuppered a lot of theories.   Just as an added note, Bluebird was just less than a stones throw from where I worked.   Although I didn't agree with what was done I did see it a few times.

John
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 10:21:02 am
hi ya there - you have strayed into my territory of expertise here - and before you attempt anything to do with Bluebird K7 - you want to get in touch with a guy called Ernie Lazenby.   He built a perfect replica which was  jet powered and was endorsed by Donald Campbell's daughter, Gina Campbell.  When you have the endorsement of these two people, you may get some of the correct facts about Bluebird and the fatal run; such as tramping and also when the boat was recovered from the Lake the water brake was in the 'down' position which scuppered a lot of theories.   Just as an added note, Bluebird was just less than a stones throw from where I worked.   Although I didn't agree with what was done I did see it a few times.

John
I appreciate your interesting input! I will pass your message to the Screenwriter. Although the main Screenplay is complete and substantially 'locked down', it is likely that when the project eventually spawns a DVD/Blu-Ray release, then there would be 'Technical' and 'Archive' items in the Extras section. This all depends on decisions by the Marketing people, who are already insisting that all closeup shots of K7 should be of the actual restored boat, since this gives them more publicity opportunities with which to widen audience appeal in the pre-premiere period. As I previously mentioned, the film comes to an end just before the final crash, and so will not be addressing issues that arose beyond that point in time.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 01:31:37 pm
Today a carefully selected group of 24 unsuspecting people were able to see the 3 minute 'Showreel' of the 12' model of HMS Hood ploughing through the archive North Atlantic footage. The two parts of the image were tricky to get right, but what really had us pulling our hair out was marrying them together. Several all-nighters and copious mugs of tea were necessary. And our McVites Plain Chocolate Digestive bill exceeded the GDP of most Third World countries. But we got it done on time.

We decided not to tell the 'Focus Group' anything about what they were about to see. We didn't give them pads and pencils either: we wanted them to just look at the screen and take it all in. For all they knew it might be an IKEA commercial, a trailer for a Tom Cruise movie, or a Miley Cyrus music video. Instead, it was their lucky day. Before Hood came on scene, we'd spliced in some film taken on the deck of a preserved US battleship, where a few crew were doing chores. This went on for two minutes or so, and there was no doubt that it was real-life footage. Then, without a pause, we cut to our model in action. But would the illusion be broken, and would the viewers notice the subterfuge? It's quite a difficult test for us to pass.


We were watching this in a private 'preview' cinema, projected on 35mm film with full surround sound. These days, editing is all done on video and then the resulting data file is used to cut and splice the film: the two media work very well together. The screen was about 25' wide, so even though the Hood model is fairly big, at times she was eight times her real size on screen. And at one point, as she turned bow-on right in front of the camera, the magnification was extreme. Our compositing guy had managed to deal with this by layering a CGI shower of water droplets from the bow wave, which at one point was so close to the viewpoint that liquid was cascading down the 'lens'. He spent six hours to get those three seconds of imagery right. It's a little contrived, but you can get away with such cheesy tactics once in a while.


The sound editor had put together a 'wild track' of effects from all sorts of weird sources. You have to do that because today's audiences find watching 'silent movies' very unsettling. As HMS Hood came in for her close up, threatening to run us down, I was watching the audience from behind. People were flinching. And that's when I knew we'd cracked it. Audiences don't react like that if they think they're watching a model.


Each of the 24 was then interviewed. You always use open-ended questions: you never lead the responder by asking something dumb like "Do you think that was a real ship or a model?". We haven't collated and analysed everything yet, but I'm optimistic. Not one viewer made any comment to the effect that the entire Showreel was anything but authentic. The Producers will see the Showreel tomorrow, and they're tough people to satisfy, but we seem to be going in the right direction.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 02:17:14 pm
Is the full size k7replica in the Lakeland (?) museum the same one that was used in the TV film "Across the Lake" ?   The K4 was a prettier craft with all the trappings of  Golden Age nostalgia of the 1930s.
Good question. The movie, starring Anthony Hopkins as Donald Campbell, was shot at Coniston and covered the last two months of Donald Campbell's life. It was made in 1988. The Lakeland Motor Museum do indeed have a full-sized replica of the 1967 version of Bluebird K7, and one of K4 from 1939. I'm not sure if the K7 was used in the movie, and the Museum's website doesn't have this information. I've Emailed them to ask, and I'll report back here with their response.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: unbuiltnautilus on January 21, 2017, 07:34:07 pm


The audience profiles are constantly evolving, and this is closely monitored by Studios. In recent years the established Western markets, notably the USA, have been static. All the growth has come from 'Syndication' agreements with developing areas such as India, China, the Far East, the Middle East and South America. People in these countries do not usually have sensibilities about issues such as the morality of the Second World War. But they are interested in stories about people, especially people under extreme pressure to overcome seemingly impossible adversaries. So to have a chance of international success all movies usually need a protagonist that the audience are inspired to follow on a traumatic journey to ultimate success or failure. The hardware, even if it is a 860' battlecruiser, is part of the supporting cast, it is never the star.




Well that puts an interesting spin on some of the choices of Chinese kit companies in recent years. We are all grateful for a 1/200 scale 300 model of HMS Hood, but surely from purely financial returns, wouldn't a KGV class make more sense. A five ship class offers more scope for multiple re-boxings.
!/350 Ark Royal, many thanks but surely Illustrious/Victorious/Formidable would sell more variants? 1/200 Mikasa, Japanese market excluded, where is the mass appeal?
But if you factor in the human factor, be that a pitched battle, a heroic but short part in history, a David vs Goliath story, it all starts to make sense. Maybe our western sensibilities are too often bogged down in the minutiae, the overtly technical. Maybe we should stand back and take a look at the bigger picture from time to time?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 21, 2017, 08:08:37 pm
Interesting. I often wonder how"The Search For Red Oktober" was viewed in Russia ? Was the Connery character a hero or a traitor.   The Japanese view of "Pearl Harbour" a glorious victory not a day of infamy.  Holywood has a bad reputation for changing facts. "Enigma" for instance needed an on screen printed correction.  History is indeed written by the winner.  Back to speed on water, the Warby father and son team must be worth consideration, Ken holder  of WSR for a great many years, must be nearly 40 years.  The son is about to attempt to break his father`s record.   Holywood`s output of fantasy, magic,  flying superheros and vampires has sort of turn me off so called blockbusters .  Best boat movie for me so far was made by a German in South America, any guesses ?   "Das Boot" excepted of course.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 09:07:05 pm

 wouldn't a KGV class make more sense. A five ship class offers more scope for multiple re-boxings.
[
Fully agree with that. HMS Prince of Wales had a heroic career that lasted just seven months, all of it under the command of the outstanding Captain Leach, who went down with his ship while fighting gamely alongside HMS Repulse in the battle that signalled the end of the battleship. Quite a story for a movie there, I think...
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 21, 2017, 09:23:43 pm
Interesting. I often wonder how"The Search For Red Oktober" was viewed in Russia ? Was the Connery character a hero or a traitor.   The Japanese view of "Pearl Harbour" a glorious victory not a day of infamy.

I was talking to some German videogamers in their mid-20's recently about the fact that every Second World combat game puts the player on the Allied side. Didn't they balk at always being asked to gun down their own countrymen, I asked? They said no, it was a game, and they weren't even alive when the Berlin Wall came down, so it wasn't their concern. On the other hand, Japanese people that I met on the Arizona Memorial in Pearl 'Harbor' (sic) were very shame-faced and reticent: their national culture seems determined to perpetuate feelings of guilt for their 1941 - 1945 actions indefinitely. It's a tricky subject to air, but worth talking about if you have the opportunity.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: dreadnought72 on January 21, 2017, 09:59:12 pm
My two pence...


Assuming weather/sea compositing and model work works on the screen, there are two films I'd love to see.


None are war stories or involve large ships.


The first would be a dramatization of Ernest Shackleton's 720-nautical mile rescue mission in the southern winter of 1916 to South Georgia, in a 20' boat in appalling conditions. An utterly outstanding feat of heroism by all concerned.


The second, Frank Dye's 1964 voyage to Norway in a 16' wayfarer. No GPS, no chance of rescue, no advanced weather reports, a force nine gale, sub-par weather gear, four capsizes and a dismasting. True grit, indeed.


Oh, and since this is a wishlist, I'd quite like to see what could be made of Arthur Ransome's boat 'Nancy Blackett', 28-feet, in a storm in the North Sea, just like the one the Goblin survives in his book, 'We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea'. If that didn't induce sea sickness in the viewer, and a real sense of how powerless we are in the face of Big Weather, little else would.


Andy
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 22, 2017, 08:15:14 am
My two pence...

Assuming weather/sea compositing and model work works on the screen, there are two films I'd love to see.

None are war stories or involve large ships.

The first would be a dramatization of Ernest Shackleton's 720-nautical mile rescue mission in the southern winter of 1916 to South Georgia, in a 20' boat in appalling conditions. An utterly outstanding feat of heroism by all concerned.

The second, Frank Dye's 1964 voyage to Norway in a 16' wayfarer. No GPS, no chance of rescue, no advanced weather reports, a force nine gale, sub-par weather gear, four capsizes and a dismasting. True grit, indeed.

Oh, and since this is a wishlist, I'd quite like to see what could be made of Arthur Ransome's boat 'Nancy Blackett', 28-feet, in a storm in the North Sea, just like the one the Goblin survives in his book, 'We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea'. If that didn't induce sea sickness in the viewer, and a real sense of how powerless we are in the face of Big Weather, little else would.

Andy

These are very constructive ideas. I know a Producer who is interested in the the idea 'Nobody rules the waves' and is putting together a proposal on this theme similar to the successful Cineflix series 'Mayday' (which is about commercial airline disasters). I'll speak to him about the stories you suggest.

Arthur Ransome's books are still a great read today. 'Secret Water' is my favourite, a simply amazing story that should be on everybody's bucket list!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 22, 2017, 11:32:43 am

Hi John,

To alleviate some questions ...  suspicions  even, regarding your credentials.... can we see some photos of your past projects please?   :-)

I have an architectural and design firm, and recently we have started working for the film and TV industries to make models for the screen. Currently we are starting to plan to make a range of ships from the Second World War which will be used in dramatised documentaries. The idea is to film (or video) the static models in a dry studio, and to composite the images together with real seascapes from film shot in the 1930's and 1940's. The whole thing is then going to be blended together using Computer Generated Imagery (CGI).


Also, did you answer below? 


Morning John,
Sounds a great project to be involved in!
I was always led to believe that most model "boats" used in film work were Not radio controlled, i.e. tracked or mechanically tethered in some way so as not allow the model not to drift out of focus and repeatability of the shot, how comes these models will be RC?



Thanks,
 Admin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 22, 2017, 11:37:34 am
Is the full size k7replica in the Lakeland (?) museum the same one that was used in the TV film "Across the Lake" ?   The K4 was a prettier craft with all the trappings of  Golden Age nostalgia of the 1930s.
The very kind Hazel at the Lakeland Motor Museum has just confirmed that their Bluebird K7 replica is indeed the very same one that was used in the 1988 film 'Across The Lake'. The museum is in Backbarrow in Cumbria, and definitely looks worth a visit.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 22, 2017, 12:36:01 pm
After detailed discussions with my fellow Producers and the Director of the forthcoming film 'Campbell', I've made the decision that we will be creating the imagery of Bluebird K7 in action in a very similar way to that which we used for HMS Hood. It is the most effective and efficient way to get the results we need. So the plan is to build a fairly large (and very accurate)  static model of K7, film it on a Model Mover, and composite the images onto the background film which has already been shot at Coniston. The other 'particle effects' of water spray, jet blast and heat haze will be added with CGI. Since I'm satisfied that we have already proved the concept with the successful Hood tests, I am confident that this is the best way to proceed.

Now we just have to make sure that our model of K7 is precisely the right shape. In the movie it will be juxtaposed with close-up shots of the real restored Bluebird, so it's vital that they match in every respect. However, we checked through the 'blueprints' which are available, but found not only did they all differ from each other, but none of them fully matched the photographs of the boat. None of the kits or scratchbuilt models of K7 look fully accurate either. So we are going to go back to first principles and using a technique called photogrammetry to get it right. This technique 'undoes' any distortion caused by perspective or lens distortion, can produce a three-view or five view drawing to any scale we need, or even output the coordinates directly to a cutting, carving or 3D printing machine. Choosing as many identifiable fixed points on the hull and sponsons as we can, we'll establish their positions in three dimensions from all the clear photographs of the real K7 we can find, then use the data to create an accurate lines drawing, body plan and detail illustrations. We'll be using customised software which we're very familiar with because we use it every day in our main work as architects.


Because Bluebird was a relatively small craft and, on her World Record attempts, was usually filmed from a considerable distance, we may be able to make a relatively small model, say 1:6 scale, and not have depth of field issues. But if the Director wants to have shots of the boat at high speed in close-up, which seems quite likely, it will have to be about 1:3. Still, once we have the accurate shape in the computer, the hard work is done for the Pre-Production phase. Bluebird will be much simpler than Hood to manufacture, and I'm estimating that construction will take about four days in total, once we get cracking.


Anyone who is saddened by the news that we won't be using a real fire-breathing turbojet engine on this project may like to find solace in another Model Boat Mayhem thread that I started yesterday. It's called 'Jetex Rocket Motors' and is looking at the the scary prospect of building a new kind of model boat that could travel much faster than Donald Campbell ever did. Be afraid. Be very afraid...
 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: C-3PO on January 22, 2017, 12:49:21 pm
An interesting web link about this subject

http://modelshipsinthecinema.com/wp/
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John Stedman on January 22, 2017, 01:24:50 pm
An interesting web link about this subject

http://modelshipsinthecinema.com/wp/ (http://modelshipsinthecinema.com/wp/)
Some interesting 'oldies' are featured here, and many of the practical effects techniques used by Industrial Light & Magic in 1990 to make 'The Hunt for Red October' are still current. But it was a movie released in the following year, 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day', which announced the arrival of fully fledged believable CGI on the big screen and was a gamechanger for model effects in the cinema industry. Another significant step came with 'Black Hawk Down', which brought in very convincing 'AR' (Augmented Reality), in which the special effects teams developed a technique almost like a videogame where they could, for example, 'shoot' a wall on the screen and the computer would add elements of real bullet strikes, CGI dust clouds and flying debris to the image. Most of our work at the moment is AR based, since it is the simplest way to get the audience to believe that what they are seeing is real. And we try to not over-complicate things because film-making is tricky enough already!
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 01:43:25 pm


you seem to be avoiding the site owner's questions Mr Stedman, which are well founded questions.


I myself have asked for simple photographs of fittings as have other members and you avoid those requests like the plague, and it is no wonder that there are those on here who are becoming very dubious of your motives.


COULD YOU PLEASE DISPLAY SOME PHOTOS ............this is not hard to understand or deal with as I would love to see the photos of a 12 foot model of a mighty capital ship that was constructed in TWO days.


I couldn't construct an airfix model of Hood in 2 days, let alone a 12' beasty.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 22, 2017, 01:50:07 pm
Looking forward to seeing your replies as said already - disregarding requests from our leader is quite unwise - unless you are remaking the Yellow Brick Road fairy tale :-)  ok2 - you are leading us all down this road I bagsy being the lion :-)
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: plastic on January 22, 2017, 01:58:15 pm

COULD YOU PLEASE DISPLAY SOME PHOTOS ............this is not hard to understand or deal with as I would love to see the photos of a 12 foot model of a mighty capital ship that was constructed in TWO days.


That was also good enough to fool test audiences on a huge screen....
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Netleyned on January 22, 2017, 02:50:27 pm
In the RN, we had a saying,
If you have a black cat I have a bigger
Blacker one.
Called Blackcatting
My mate was called Panther 8)


Always wondered why %)


Ned
.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 02:55:47 pm

In the RN, we had a saying,
If you have a black cat I have a bigger
Blacker one.
Called Blackcatting
My mate was called Panther 8)
Always wondered why %)
Ned.


you have me totally puzzled there, Ned, could you please explain. I have lead a very sheltered life, :embarrassed: {:-{
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Netleyned on January 22, 2017, 03:04:01 pm
Simple Jim,
You have a very nice model boat.
The Black catter looks at it and says
I have a bigger better one of those.
But, you never see it <:(


Ned
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Davev333 on January 22, 2017, 03:17:56 pm

Wow this thread i will have to read throughly as i have only really flicked though because the jist of it building a 12ft boat on a 3d printer in 2 day. Just astounds me. I'm no expert but i think most good 3d printers "not home ones" max out at 150mm per sec until the quality is really bad, and even at that suffer from problem.
 I can't even guess how many meters would be needed but lots and at great expense, so in 2 days,  12 feet boat absolutely amazing !


Please please show me some pictures
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Perkasaman2 on January 22, 2017, 05:37:28 pm
Come on guys don't spoil a really good thread.  {:-{
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 22, 2017, 05:48:40 pm
I agree. Give the thread a break, stimulates and gets us out of a rut.   Also  Beeb 4 tonight 9pm Britannic Disaster, who made the models ? :embarrassed:.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 06:11:43 pm

I agree. Give the thread a break, stimulates and gets us out of a rut.   Also  Beeb 4 tonight 9pm Britannic Disaster, who made the models ? :embarrassed: .


Gentlemen. even the forum owner, by his own questions on the last page is questioning in a round about way, the validity of this information being fed to everyone.
After all, who has ever heard of anyone holding a patent on a scratch built model thus preventing photos of it or parts of it being shown.


Jim. the straw man.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 22, 2017, 06:24:30 pm
Wouldn't you think any Company worth its salt would have a portfolio of items they have done - to show prospective new customers.   In this industry once the work is done, surely it isn't governed by any Secrets Acts or the likes/ all we are asking is show something from what you have done in the past which hast your name to it - so we can have some belief in it.   Cos some of the literature being produced doesn't ring true to some of us.

John the Lion :-)
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Charlie on January 22, 2017, 06:42:13 pm
I'm looking forward to the finished Documentary being released, which by my reckoning will be right at the beginning of April  {-) {-) {-) {-)
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: TheLongBuild on January 22, 2017, 06:56:19 pm
Has any mention of the Op's Production Company been made ?. Ie the name ..   or Past Productions ?.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 22, 2017, 06:57:57 pm
No, I was looking for that too - one would reasonably assume that the company has a website promoting its business, it's pretty much essential these days.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: plastic on January 22, 2017, 07:02:38 pm
I googled his name in connection with the film industry some days ago - the only result was a training video from 1979 - I'm sure it can't be a match.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 07:16:12 pm

I notice that he has gone very quiet and has not replied to any of these  posts since this afternoon when last on line at 16.31 hours. AND YET this was more than 3 hours after Martin posted the questions asking for answers to rc in a model, and requesting photos. :((


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Stavros on January 22, 2017, 08:15:41 pm
Well it seems ive been moderated




This is my cousins company


http://www.datalog.co.uk/browse/detail.php/CompanyNumber/09484488/CompanyName/TKW+FILMS+UK+LTD.


Odd isnt it THAT NO ONE has heard of this chap......


Odd as well he hasnt got the manners to answer Martin the Site Owner....unbeleivable




Dave
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 22, 2017, 08:29:05 pm
Maybe he is just away for the weekend {:-{     Don't forget 9pm Britannic on BBC 4 , could be some models in it  :embarrassed:
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 22, 2017, 09:27:34 pm
 
Topic tidied up   :-)

We love photos of model boats here on Mayhem John, we're all looking forward to the photos of your current or even past projects John, they sound really impressive.   :-)) 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: g6swj on January 22, 2017, 09:36:29 pm

This is my cousins company


http://www.datalog.co.uk/browse/detail.php/CompanyNumber/09484488/CompanyName/TKW+FILMS+UK+LTD (http://www.datalog.co.uk/browse/detail.php/CompanyNumber/09484488/CompanyName/TKW+FILMS+UK+LTD).


Odd isnt it THAT NO ONE has heard of this chap......

Dave

Have you read the details on the link you supplied Dave? not sure it adds anything >>>> Company is not active ie not engaged in any business activity or receiving income or profits
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: markjames68 on January 22, 2017, 09:37:28 pm
I smell a sizeable rodent, i have worked with teams that have built movie models and regularly work with 3d printers, i dont car if you are ILM, no company could create CAD drawings and 'print' a 12 foor hull in 3 days, anyway. 3d printing wouldnt be the best way to go about it, cnc milling foam blocks might be ok.....
Added to which, on the movies and tv ive worked on, no producers give scripts to outsourced model companies, they are highly secretive about them to say the least, .
If i was him, re the bluebird k7, 30 seconds of research would show that the real thing is nearing completeion and would be the best source of info.


This all seems like utter fantasy to me
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 09:52:10 pm

perhaps as john hasn't been on and responded to requests for photos and some criticism for a few hours, this film may be his epitaph.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbsuAbTTsV8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbsuAbTTsV8)


Jim'
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: derekwarner on January 22, 2017, 10:01:03 pm
A few weeks back I did predict this thread would end in tears , however it was moderated................ Derek
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Stavros on January 22, 2017, 10:07:14 pm
Have you read the details on the link you supplied Dave? not sure it adds anything >>>> Company is not active ie not engaged in any business activity or receiving income or profits


Just spoken to him and he was rather surprised at this....he is looking into it


Dave
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 22, 2017, 10:15:07 pm

John Stedman has Left the Forum.


NB: http://www.fast-rewind.com/making_scarface.htm
 

Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 10:24:07 pm

Was it something I said.....oooooppsss :embarrassed:


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: TheLongBuild on January 22, 2017, 10:27:12 pm
So what was all this about ?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 22, 2017, 10:29:58 pm
It seems really odd that someone should devote so much time and effort into hoaxing a bunch of not very important model boat modellers. What on earth was he trying to achieve? He is obviously well educated and intelligent but chose to waste his talents on something that was ultimately totally pointless.

Just goes to show that there are some very strange people out there as well as President Trump - (oops, sorry Martin!)

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 10:34:33 pm

Your guess is as good as mine.
But someone said earlier, rightly or wrongly it was at least more interesting than a lot of posts they read on here. A little insulting to all you boat builders on the, but he certainly made his mark, in that it put members for and against  at odds with each other.
Perhaps that was his motive. who will ever know.


Jim.
 
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Stavros on January 22, 2017, 10:35:49 pm
Oh Mr Bishop fancy YOU  going down the politics route apology or not.... we will simply have to keel haul you.


Now I wonder what film can we create with that scene...mutiny on Mayhem maybe {-) {-) {-)


Dave
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: g6swj on January 22, 2017, 10:46:37 pm
Coincidence

Google - Mr Paul John Steadman

Or have a look at http://www.endole.co.uk/profile/profile_new.php?id=14208511

Look at the companies and what they do......

PS. What do Trump's Secret Service guys shout if he is about to be shot?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: TheLongBuild on January 22, 2017, 10:55:45 pm
Go on, what..
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: C-3PO on January 22, 2017, 10:57:41 pm
Donald DUCK
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: TheLongBuild on January 22, 2017, 11:00:40 pm
Oh I, Doh....
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 11:11:58 pm

Google - Mr Paul John Steadman


our man in Havana was called Stedman, not Steadman.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: g6swj on January 22, 2017, 11:19:29 pm
Like I said coincidence!

Picture - You set yourself up on a forum and mistype your surname - you can't find how to / can be bothered to change it. ( or maybe you did this deliberately)

Very often people of a certain generation use their middle name

Like I said coincidence but a whole list of film production companies, the odd design company...... coincidence? I guess we will never know unless film hits the big screen in a years time
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 22, 2017, 11:21:21 pm

Like I said coincidence!

You set yourself up on a forum and mistype your surname - you can't find how to / can be bothered to change it.

Very often people of a certain generation use their middle name

Like I said coincidence but a whole list of film production companies, the odd design company...... coincidence? I guess we will never know unless film hits the big screen in a years time


see what you mean...........we shall never know. lol.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Arrow5 on January 23, 2017, 08:25:30 am
Pray tell, was he pushed or did he just not turn up for work ?   Did the executive axe fall (Martin) or did Mr X realise he had been rumbled and depart of his own free will. Maybe we can have the final word now.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 23, 2017, 08:38:43 am
 
No, he jumped.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 23, 2017, 08:52:35 am


In the motor trade, he would have been called a tyre kicker WITH ATTITUDE {-) {-) {-)


I am really surprised that a lot more members did not see through his strange behaviour from an early part in his "history lesson".


I suppose it comes from the gullible acceptance of the British nature as a whole.


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Colin Bishop on January 23, 2017, 09:42:22 am
I think we did Jim but were too polite to say so - another British trait.

Plus I was curious to see how this would all pan out. It was rather inevitable that he would overreach himself - with jet propelled boats down the Bedford levels.

Still can't understand why he devoted so much time and trouble to something so trivial.

Colin
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: derekwarner on January 23, 2017, 09:44:48 am
Gents....could I confirm to you that our Martin   :police: was well aware some two weeks ago of certain inconsistencies' as provided by the original author of this thread

I suggest we owe a note of thanks for the way this matter was handled with the aplomb as shown  :-))

Derek

   
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 23, 2017, 09:53:00 am

I think we did Jim but were too polite to say so - another British trait.

Plus I was curious to see how this would all pan out. It was rather inevitable that he would overreach himself - with jet propelled boars down the Bedford levels.

Still can't understand why he devoted so much time and trouble to something so trivial.

Colin


I agree Colin, and what I can't understand is WHAT was it all for, and that from looking at the link supplied by Martin about "scarface" on the film forum, the length of his offerings, he either has a lot to say for himself and it would be hell being trapped in a kitchen with him at a party, lol or he fancies giving Tolstoy a run for his money with the next historical blockbusting best seller. {-) {-) {-)
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: plastic on January 23, 2017, 10:18:06 am
I'm disappointed - it would have been great if it was true.

I think the speed of being able to produce a 12' model in a couple of days - and all the armaments overnight is where it all went South.

Normally, when trolls get painted into a corner, they explode and start insulting anyone who dare question their mightiness and superior God-like abilities. Full self-destruct is engaged. This one seems to have just vapourised quietly.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 23, 2017, 10:23:36 am
 


..... Walter Mitty syndrome?
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: John W E on January 23, 2017, 01:59:35 pm
There isn't another canoe on Seaton Carew beach is there? :-)


Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 23, 2017, 02:04:21 pm

There isn't another canoe on Seaton Carew beach is there? :-)


Took me a minute to remember that little scam........perhaps he'll pop up next time on a holiday brochure for Panama or somewhere like that,  {-)


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 23, 2017, 02:48:15 pm

Charlie, a member just sent me this link...........any one fancy giving him a call..........but beware of your telephone bill..........you might be on an hour or two, lol.  I JUST WONDER?

VERY INTERESTING!!!

Jim.


PORTSMOUTH CITY MUSEUM AND RECORDS OFFICE

Main Contact:Name: Dr. John Stedman
Job title: Local History Officer
Telephone: Removed
Fax:  Removed
Email:  Removed

Address: Museum Road
 Portsmouth
 PO1 2LJ
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 23, 2017, 03:37:32 pm
 
 Is this topic finished now?
 Can I Lock it?

 Admin   :police:
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: BFSMP on January 23, 2017, 03:43:05 pm

I would think so, martin. O0 O0 O0


Jim.
Title: Re: Building models for filming
Post by: Martin [Admin] on January 24, 2017, 11:33:59 pm
 
Postscript:     http://www.modelboats.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=124233&p=1

"we've been looking at the possibility of building a model powerboat that will be capable of travelling at very high speeds, perhaps faster than anyone has achieved before"