Scale Model Action by Alpha Whiskey Photography
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Scale Model Action

  • Jun 30, 2018
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  • 14 Photos
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Scale Model Action

And now for something a little different.This will either invite complete ridicule or slightly less than complete ridicule but it sure was fun to do. My friends and I decided to have a go at making scale models look realistic, albeit with meagre and makeshift  resources. And arguably this is as much about processing as photography but there don't seem to be many people doing this kind of work with scale or die cast models. Thus one evening recently we set up a makeshift studio with some lamps, blue canvas background and tin foil wrapped around cardboard for reflectors. To soften the light and dampen shadows the lamps were covered in material from that sheath your laptop comes wrapped in (told you it was makeshift). We used flour for snow or breadcrumbs for gravel.We started off with fairly easy shots, cars in the snow or in the blizzard. completely unoriginal but I figure I have to walk before I fly. Sieved flour in front of a small fan created the blizzard effect. Icelandic scenes in the background were taken from my own archives and added in post, as were headlights. Then we decided to get little sillier.Alas, we can't go back to the 1980s, the greatest decade in the history of world, so we tried to bring the 80s to us. We decided to ask the Knight Industries Two Thousand to turbo boost over the A-Team van, both scale models. We hung KITT over the van and used several practical effects: an e-cigarette provided smoke, exhaust trails and dust, a birthday cake sparkler gave us bullet impacts on KITT's body while oats. We shot the scene from two different angles. Each effect was shot separately and then blended together as desired using layers in Photoshop. A sky background was added from my archives. For solitary shots of KITT the e-cigarette wasn't giving us the right smoky texture so I inhaled an entire Cuban cigar and placed an LED light near the driver's cabin to create some beams.Then we decided to be little more ambitious, using smaller models to create Hollywood style action scenes. I initially used a firestorm action in Photoshop that I found online but it was buggy so I pillaged sections of an exploding galaxy and used that instead. Finally, we decided to blow up the world's most indestructible car. We hung KITT upside down with the detached sunroof sections hanging with thin black wires that could be easily removed in post. We used the birthday cake sparkler again on the body, and to get flames coming out of the bonnet and the boot we used lighter fluid and an aerosol spray (don't try that at home kids). We placed thin skewer sticks to mark the positions of the bonnet, cabin and boot and then removed the car so we could spray the flames at those locations. Alas, the results just weren't what we were looking for when merged with the car so the exploding galaxy was rehired. I'lll be the first to admit my post-processing skills aren't that great and I don't enjoy spending a long time in front of a computer screen (my sympathies for those with desk jobs). But life is short and rather than be tethered to just one genre I'm willing to try new things and gave this one a shot, so to speak. Feel free to point the finger of ridicule but you'll have to take a. number and get in line. Worst case scenario a bunch of friends had a fun nostalgia trip playing with toys; best case we created something a little different. Perhaps we'll try again sometime. I'm sure Airwolf is hovering over Street Hawk around here somewhere... 

Jun 30, 2018

Scale Model Action

This post has 14 photos Jun 30, 2018Comments (3)483 views
And now for something a little different.

This will either invite complete ridicule or slightly less than complete ridicule but it sure was fun to do. My friends and I decided to have a go at making scale models look realistic, albeit with meagre and makeshift  resources. And arguably this is as much about processing as photography but there don't seem to be many people doing this kind of work with scale or die cast models. 

Thus one evening recently we set up a makeshift studio with some lamps, blue canvas background and tin foil wrapped around cardboard for reflectors. To soften the light and dampen shadows the lamps were covered in material from that sheath your laptop comes wrapped in (told you it was makeshift). We used flour for snow or breadcrumbs for gravel.

We started off with fairly easy shots, cars in the snow or in the blizzard. completely unoriginal but I figure I have to walk before I fly. Sieved flour in front of a small fan created the blizzard effect. Icelandic scenes in the background were taken from my own archives and added in post, as were headlights. 

Then we decided to get little sillier.

Alas, we can't go back to the 1980s, the greatest decade in the history of world, so we tried to bring the 80s to us. We decided to ask the Knight Industries Two Thousand to turbo boost over the A-Team van, both scale models. We hung KITT over the van and used several practical effects: an e-cigarette provided smoke, exhaust trails and dust, a birthday cake sparkler gave us bullet impacts on KITT's body while oats. We shot the scene from two different angles. Each effect was shot separately and then blended together as desired using layers in Photoshop. A sky background was added from my archives. 

For solitary shots of KITT the e-cigarette wasn't giving us the right smoky texture so I inhaled an entire Cuban cigar and placed an LED light near the driver's cabin to create some beams.

Then we decided to be little more ambitious, using smaller models to create Hollywood style action scenes. I initially used a firestorm action in Photoshop that I found online but it was buggy so I pillaged sections of an exploding galaxy and used that instead. 

Finally, we decided to blow up the world's most indestructible car. We hung KITT upside down with the detached sunroof sections hanging with thin black wires that could be easily removed in post. We used the birthday cake sparkler again on the body, and to get flames coming out of the bonnet and the boot we used lighter fluid and an aerosol spray (don't try that at home kids). We placed thin skewer sticks to mark the positions of the bonnet, cabin and boot and then removed the car so we could spray the flames at those locations. Alas, the results just weren't what we were looking for when merged with the car so the exploding galaxy was rehired. 

I'lll be the first to admit my post-processing skills aren't that great and I don't enjoy spending a long time in front of a computer screen (my sympathies for those with desk jobs). But life is short and rather than be tethered to just one genre I'm willing to try new things and gave this one a shot, so to speak. Feel free to point the finger of ridicule but you'll have to take a. number and get in line. Worst case scenario a bunch of friends had a fun nostalgia trip playing with toys; best case we created something a little different. Perhaps we'll try again sometime. I'm sure Airwolf is hovering over Street Hawk around here somewhere... 
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Comments

StephenApr 1, 2018 12:42 PM

Brilliant thnx

CherylsShotsApr 9, 2018 05:21 AM

What fun, great job!!Thanks

Alpha Whiskey PhotographyApr 9, 2018 06:04 AM

Many thanks!

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