Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Vac-Formed Wall Panels (Part 2)

The wall panels are nearing completion.

And here's a look at how close they are to the original parts. This is one case, it seems, where the blueprints matched the final product in the movie, a nice surprise. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Antoni Gaudi chair in Star Wars?

Check out the blue chair Mark Hamill is getting out of here, while putting down the T-16 Skyhopper Model, built by Colin Cantwell.

And now here's the profile view of a chair, designed by Antoni Gaudi, and build by Vico Magistretti in the late 60s/early 70s.

Strikingly similar isn't it? There are some key differences, but it's a little hard for me to ignore how closely they seem to match. I'm still searching for the variation, imitation, knockoff, tribute, or modification that actually appears in the movie. The Gaudi Chair itself did actually appear in the Sci-Fi Television show, Space 1999, which premiered around the time Star Wars was in pre-production.

Star Wars had a few other nods to Modern design, such as these Omkstak Chairs, Designed by Rodney Kinsman in the early 70s

Which appear in the Rebel Base.

(you can see them here, low-center frame)

It's interesting to me that Modern design in this era focused on an idea of futurism, which seems to have been realized to its greatest effect in the sci-fi movies of the day.

Vac-Formed Wall Panels


I'm working on models of the vac-formed wall panels that recur throughout A New Hope. A detail that I've mentioned before, these panels only appear on neutral or Rebel equipment, in the Blockade Runner, on Tatooine, on the exterior of the Millennium Falcon and on the rebel troop transport in Yavin Base.

Stacked together, flipped in various ways, and even cut in half, the panels were well designed as modular pieces that could make up any number of variations without seeming like repeated tiles. It took me a while to recognize their repeating patterns throughout the movie, but once spotted they appeared all over the place. They were used with great effect to make ordinary bare corners of the film seem full of technology.

There were four panels in all, and above I'm working on the two that feature largely in the Blockade Runner Set. Original drawings of the panels appear in Rinzler's Blueprints book, but are labeled as parts of the Cantina Exterior (the one place I haven't seen the panels show up).

You can see these two panels clearly to the left and right of the doorway R2 and 3P0 are shuffling through. Above them, on the same columns, are the same panels, but cut in half to form seemingly different panels. 

And here they are again on the Lars Homestead, covering those bulky boxes. Each box had a unique arrangement of the modular panels.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Yavin Base Transport (Part 2)

Here's that Rebel transport again with more accurate color choices, and with a bit of scuffed up texturing to give more of that lived-in-universe feeling.

credit for the stand in of Luke goes to John Schulze

Yavin Base Transport

credit for the stand in of Luke goes to John Schulze 

The drawing hanging in the background was the original design for the rebel troop transports that are modeled in the foreground. What seems to have ended up happening, is that the design for the modular parts of the transport were transformed into two things. One are those boxes in the background, which appear in Yavin Base, here and there,

(pictured here)

Then, cutting the modules in half (eliminated the "W" shape), they became the skirting for the actual transports that appear in film. More clever reuse of parts.

Rebel Blockade Runner

These are renders of my model of the Blockade Runner's interior movie sets, built from production blueprints. I've seen a lot of superb replicas of this set, but most seem to miss the subtly different whites of the wall modules and the scuffed up flooring. I still need to add a lot of details to this model, but I have to say it's pretty pleasing so far.

A fun detail about this set: the flat panels (dark there on the columns, and white on the box modules) are a set of vacuuformed panels used through A New Hope, on most Rebel Technology (Never on imperial sets). Another nice subtlety that tied the forces of good together with the use of unconscious details.

Seen here, behind young Lucas on the Blockade Runner Set. 

and in these examples.
background prop 'generator' boxes on Tattooine (replicated below in Sketchup)

And again here on the back of a Rebel Troop Transport in Yavin Base.

And even a pair on the Full Scale Millennium Falcon (on the side of the mandible, right at the front)