Christian Schonberger / Debris Field Co-Webmaster

Born in West Berlin, Germany / Currently living in Lisbon, Portugal

Occupation: Musician / Composer


I grew up during the 60’s and 70’s in Frankfurt, Germany. Models have always fascinated me: styrene kits, paper and wood. I must have built dozens: aircraft, castles, churches, trains, cars, motorcycles, and of course, ships. You name it, I built it! After a break during my late teens and early 20s, to pursue my musical training and career, I now (living and working in Portugal) once again have discovered the joy of modeling, today exercising more patience, and the strive for accuracy, as opposed to straight out-of-the-box construction. Unfortunately, I had to relocate many times over the years, and thus only very few of my earlier models have survived. Through books and magazines, I have learned much about fixing errors, and super-detailing. With the advent of the Internet I have met fellow modelers, and as a result I have begun to learn much more quickly - over time, I felt the desire to share with others what I have learned, through hands-on experience.

Even though I also enjoy model railroading, it is the ‘ships’ that have ‘challenged the seas’ that really fascinate me. I am especially fond of sail-to-steam transition vessels, mainly ocean going paddle wheelers, and of the wonderful period between the two World Wars when the great liners, influenced by the two architectural styles, Bauhaus and Art Deco, proudly sailed the Atlantic, bringing the old and the new world closer together.

I see ship modeling as the perfect balance between art and craftsmanship. I will let it to the philosophers to define where one ends and the other begins.

As is the case with many, my career only allows me little time to dedicate to ship modeling. Currently, I am making a scratch-build 1/350 Great Eastern. A well progressed 1/350 Titanic is ‘mothballed’ for now, but not forgotten.

Hopefully, I will have the time some day to build my dream vessels for display. There is a lot I still need to learn about modeling techniques, however I am positive that my fellow ship modelers will provide the information, and motivation. I will ‘pay it forward’, for the benefit of other ship modelers. In the end it all is about people, and human achievement.

Of the established scales my favorite is 1/350, even though 1/250 is the one I would go for if I had the time and space. I also like 1/600 scale as it takes up much less space, and models are much more feasible in this scale. This smaller scale is ‘forgiving’, but one can introduce fine detailing, such as photo-etched parts.

I would like to see more young people ‘coming aboard’ to ocean liner and merchant ship modeling, and I would also like to see new and quality styrene kits produced. How about a Bremen, Normandie and an up-to-today’s standards ss United States? Working towards achieving this is one of the Debris Field goals.

Meanwhile, we will have to live with the existing styrene, resin and paper kits, and scratch building the vessels we love. We sincerely hope our website will provide the necessary help, and information. We certainly will do all we can.

What tips can I give to the beginner? Do not be intimidated by the fine work of seasoned modelers. Be inspired! Ask - ship modelers are usually very nice people, willing to share their knowledge, and experience.

I can be contacted at: I will be happy to help the researcher / modeler by sharing my experiences, and resources, as much as I can.


Christian - 10/03