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Saturday, Dec 6th, 1941…

Hi all, Presenting a recently completed diorama/vignette.

The Story (please allow my fictional, artistic license)….A USS Arizona Kingfisher crew out scrounging supplies for the Saturday night party back at the O-Club….Dec 6, 1941. I think we all know the rest of the story…

Kit: Kitty Hawk Models, 1/32, Kingfisher #32016, painted with Vallejo’s Acrylic Metal Colors and Tamiya.
Decals: Combination of kit decals and Yellow-Wings Decals #32-024
Figures: Valiant Miniatures, metal, 54mm, USN Aviator and Ultracast, resin, 1/32, USN Aviator, painted with Vallejo Model Color paints.

Scenery is a base of sand/white glue mixture covered with clear epoxy resin tinted with Woodland Scenics turquoise water tint. (Next time I would add more tint to give a more vibrant, deeper South Pacific water look). Also, please use caution when using large amounts of two part resin epoxy. Always follow the manufacturers instructions. Hey, Let’s be safe out there! The beach/water surf is a combination of sculpted acrylic gel medium and 5 minute clear epoxy, highlighted with blues and white paint.

The Dewars cases are scratch built using wood, printed labels and colored with thinned oil paints. The seabag was molded using two part sculpting putty.

Hope you enjoy!

By the way, does anyone know what became of the Kingfisher’s and crew that served aboard the Arizona that fateful morning?

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.


23 responses to Saturday, Dec 6th, 1941…

  1. Excellent job Gary. The plane, the water and especially the figures are just spot on!

  2. Ditto, the water really complements the model. What with the waves and then foaming further up the beach just give the illusion of movement in the water and sets the tone for looking at the build. Another , hair pulling build for the judges at the end of the month, Maybe some Rogaine for the judges or some bubbly to calm some nerves. Given all the pressure there under.

  3. Gary, that is really wonderful, man. You definitely nailed it. I love the little details like the map/charts. The water is beautifully rendered, too. The colors, the pilots, the cargo all conribute to a very cohesive and artistic diorama.

  4. Cripes!!! That is some awesome modeling there. It is Very impressive.

  5. Wonderful job. I love the Kingfisher and you excelled at this one.

  6. They’ve already said everything I was thinking….great work!

  7. Beautiful dio Gary! Every time I scroll though the pics I see more interesting detail. Nicely done.

  8. Thank you All for the kind comments.

  9. Splendid work, Gary, really top notch modeling. I like everything about this from the aircraft to the figures, and the terrain. Fantastic work.

  10. Gary, that is a wonderful build – and the water is just stunning!
    Most of the OS2U’s were at NAS Ford Island that morning, only USS West Virginia, Oklahoma and California had theirs on board. Not entirely sure about the crews, but it seems at least some of them were on the ship – see this story: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/19531030/one-of-last-uss-arizona-survivors-returns-to-ship-for-last-time

  11. Gorgeous! Everything about it is executed brilliantly.

  12. A beautiful build and diorama!!

  13. Beautiful work, Gary.

    Since you’re good at Kingfishers, here’s a diorama idea for you: the last Kingfisher rescue of the war and the only rescue of a US flyer from one of the Japanese home islands. August 1945. The whole story is in “Pacific Thunder.”

    Inbound, they took “friendly fire” from an American submarine, which was ironically the lifeguard submarine that was unable to perform the rescue itself, quickly followed by anti-aircraft fire from Japanese shore batteries. As Oliver remembered, “Upon arrival in the area, one of the fighters spotted a pilot on the beach waving madly. By this time the destroyers at the naval base and anti-aircraft fire from the airfield and the nearby Army bases opened up with a fury. There was a strong wind blowing into the beach and the surf was quite high.” They had spotted Lt.(jg) Vernon Coumbe, who had spent a tense night ashore two miles from a major Japanese naval base. Jacobs ordered Oliver to remain airborne and risked high winds and choppy surf to splash down. “There was a strong wind blowing into the beach and the surf was quite high.” Automatic weapons fire reached out for the airplane while shells plunged into the water around the Kingfisher. While Oliver took evasive action overhead, Jacobs taxied near the beach. “From my vantage point it appeared that the pilot was having difficulty getting through the surf and the Japanese were firing what appeared to be 5-inch shells all around the plane on the water. After some time the plane started a take-off run, but soon it was porpoising badly and unable to get airborne. I then flew alongside and discovered there was no pilot aboard.”

    What had happened was that Coumbe, the pilot on the beach, was unable to get through the surf to board the plane. Faced with the problem, Jacobs climbed out of his cockpit and stood with one foot in the cockpit and one on the wing as he tried to throw a line to Coumbe so he could pull him thorough the surf. As he tried, the blast from a nearby shell caused Jacobs to lose his balance and fall into the water, in the process knocking the throttle full open. Oliver recalled, “Now both pilots were waving wildly from the beach. I landed, taxied to the beach, blipped the engine and backed through the surf onto the beach. I told Jacobs to help the other pilot into the plane and I would send help for him. This idea didn’t sit well and I soon had two very large and very wet people crammed into the back seat. How they managed to get into the cockpit, I’ll never know, but the alternative was unacceptable at the moment.”

  14. Hello Gary,
    Your fictional license is granted. Surely with this very fine result. It shows what a nice color scheme can do for the camera. Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  15. Gary, the water is the best I have seen. I have been looking at this on and off for two days now – and it works so so well. The plane is beautiful, the figures are wonderfully painted and I can’t take my eyes off the blinking water!! I keep expecting it to move!

  16. Amazing! it’s always nice to see a handsome Kingfisher on the water.
    The wave looks impressive, could you please describe more for ‘sculpted Gel medium and 5min Epoxy’ step? I wander how acrylic gel medium can be formed so smoothly like that.

    • Thanks man! I’ve had a soft spot for the Kingfisher since I built the Monogram kit many years ago. When I saw the new Kitty Hawk kit I knew I wanted to do this diorama.

      Unfortunately I don’t have an exact step-by-step process for the water/surf but I’ll try: After the main water base completely dried I added randomly placed lines for the surf/waves, using the clear 5min epoxy (referring to pics I found as a guide) . These waves were built and formed to the desired levels and shapes using both the epoxy and Liquitex gel medium. Any sculpting/forming must be done while the material is wet. Because they eventually settle down and smooth out, I form beyond the desired shape and see what they look like after drying. Once I was happy with the form I highlighted the tops with various blues and white, added a thin layer of gel to give the colors some depth and finished with painting all the waves with Pledge/Future floor acrylic . This last step gives a nice wet look. I used the epoxy the most because it dries quickly. The gel was used for filling and to add a different texture. When using the epoxy you need to work quickly and small sections at a time but working it too much will leave you with a milky color. Again, most of my process comes down to trying it out until it looks right for me….after practicing off the finished piece of course. I hope this helps. Good luck.

  17. Gary, beautiful build all around, I really like those pre-war/ early war markings, especially when they’re on a well built model. Well done !

  18. Again, thank you all. Much appreciated.

  19. Wow. No idea how I missed this original post, but damn! This is beyond good. It’s museum quality work. Congrats on the win. Very well deserved.

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