Yesterday, June 29th, 2009, was young Deanne McFarland’s Birthday, and I had an out of control day and didn’t get her award ready in time, so we will celebrate today instead of yesterday. I am sure you all know her if you comment or read the blog, she is a witty one for sure, quick with a fine comment to add with vast intelligence, knowledge, and humor…I had no idea she was a secret Sci Fi geek fan even after knowing her for most of our lives. Deanne is one of my best friends, and I so wish her a great late Birthday. In honor of this late great day, we all present you with your own Birthday Starship. D requested an NX class ship, and here is a little vessel that fits the bill. It’s a deep space communications relay and posting ship that keeps the inter galactic com lines open and in decipherable formats….In addition to her Birthday, she is also an administrator here at the blog along with Matt Wright, and she helps out with my horrific spelling and grammatical errors. Thanks D, for your fine service and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
Archive for June, 2009
Morning all and Happy Monday!!! I wasn’t home much over the weekend, but I did manage to grab an arm full of files on the way out the door. First up on top of the pile was the Space dock stuff from Nemesis. A fun piece to work on, and, as with the stories of Alex Jeager and I drawing the same things from ILM Paramount Pics, the same was true between Darryl Anka over at Digital Domain and myself over at Paramount. Darryl and I worked at Apogee (John Dykstra’s motion control company) together in the ’80s, and he is one awesome illustrator… he would create a lot of the images we would build as miniatures, and he was always thrilled to see what would come out of his scribblings. During the Nemesis years, he was on staff at Digital Domain and a part of the Star Trek crew. Ron Gress was one of the VFX supervisors on the show, and, if you recall his name, he was the one that did the beautiful pearlescent paint job on the Motion Picture “E”. Ron had the shot list created that would pertain to anything that would involve a visual that DD was to produce. Daryl was given the same list, and both art departments would try to get all the visual designs done as quickly as possible, so as to get the digital and practical models going. Over at Paramount, we had come up with some Space Dock designs, and they were not too much of a high point with importance visually, so they went through the approval process with only one cosmetic change. The top of the dock had a considerably large living complex, and the producers opted for a minimal area, as to keep the frame work more open. Sketch two did this, and the final part of the dock was the docking coupler, which is suspended from the top and forward third of the dock. The Enterprise ”E” saucer based shuttle bay is where the docking arm connects. This was to be a broader design as to accommodate more that just the “E”, but there was little concern for these details based on the secret fact that this was to be the last TNG film. As these were being turned over to Digital Domain, we received the fax of Darryl’s drawing, which was a cool design that mixed a little bit of the original and the dock created for the NX-01. Seeing the name on the bottom is how I found out that Darryl was on the show too! Sadly, his idea was presented too late to get in the run, but together we had both done new worker bee concepts for the next meeting. Darryl’s ship made the cut, and talk about a very excited guy!!! He was so giddy and thrilled to get his crafty drawing conceived and built and then put into the final film!! We were all very excited for Darryl and his first big addition into the world of Star Trek! Here today are all the sketches and some images from the final shots produced by the awesome crew over at Digital Domain!!
Lots of questions about what was on the Nemesis set in regard to the gold ships, and here is a quick follow up answer with pics. For Insurrection I was asked to make three more of each ship for the Observation lounge. By this time the Enterprise “B”, “C”, and “E” kits were available, so those were used instead of what was done previously. The kits were all filled with resin again and plated; the script changed after these were built, and they were no longer needed,,,, on top of that, I paid for everything out of pocket, and because the work was written out and I hadn’t submitted an invoice. I got stuck with the bill,,, So in return they let me keep the models,,, A few years later Nemesis came to be and all those ships were used, but this time they wanted to have 12 ships spread across two cases. So in addition to the 3 sets of the original 6 ships, I built a Voyager, Excelsior, Grissom, Reliant, The Space Shuttle STS-1, and the Enterprise carrier CV-65. I had already given the previously plated models to John Dwyer to start setting in the case. I got the other ships done in about a week and took them to the stage and he had already filled the cases twice with doubles of the original 6. It was too much work to take out and replace the dups with the new so they didn’t make it on the big screen, but they did wind up at my house again. Here are some dusty pics of the ones that didn’t make it!
Hey all and Happy Friday!!!! I have to say it has been great fun going through the old boxes of art and photos to put up on the blog here!!! Sure is a lot more stuff in my garage than I thought I had, and even some secret treasures that I really forgot about. I found a cup of snow from the North Pole (Santa Clause 3), Dilithium Crystals and snow from the Andorian planet’s surface (Enterprise), and too many other things to write about this morning. The big finds were the cases of Gold Enterprise’s from the last three TNG films. They all still look really good for the amount of abuse they got on stage.
Here’s the story of how these golden eggs came to be on First Contact:
Herman Zimmerman and I were talking about the observation lounge and how they were going to have to sculpt an Enterprise E profile to go with the half carvings created for the Ent. D. It was one of those things that in the back of my mind I said: “If we could do those gold ships differently, we could make full size models and have them gold plated!!” The only thing is, I said it out loud as I thought it… Herman looked at the broken half sculpts on the floor and then looked at me and said that he loved that idea and asked when could I start making them….We laughed and then the massive stress and joy of this new project was what I felt next!!! We were still heavy in the designing phase of things, and these models had a pretty severe deadline. This was before eBay, so I went and scoured the hobby shops all the way from Los Angeles to PHX Arizona to find any and all kits of the Enterprises. What was available then was the Enterprise A, a TOS Enterprise that was too small so I opted to get the cutaway version that was substantially bigger, and the Ent. D. That left the “B”, “C” and the new “E”. For the “B” I grabbed one of the Playmates toy which was a good scale. For the “C” my friend Nelson tracked down a beautiful Garage kit that, too, was a good scale. For the “E”, I had just finished making a big 28 inch study model for the producers here in LA and for the model guys and gals up at ILM. It was almost too big, but there was no time to sculpt another one so it had to do. Herman asked for 3 of each ship because we were now going to have the smashing of the case scene. In the end, we wound up making 6 of the “D’s” and about 6 or 7 of the “C’s” because it was the one that all the glass would fall on top of. Getting them all built was a huge challenge because the kits are just awful to work with, and most of the seams were huge and the choice of part lines put large, deep lines through what should be a clean surface. The Enterprise A was the worst because it has this kinda wood texture on every inch of the ship, so I wound up filling every line and sanding it smooth to make the finished gold plating look like an Oscar. Time was short, so the smooth look only happened on the TOS, A,C, and E. The rest were as is. To expedite, I made one master of each ship, molded them and then made solid resin castings. The ships were very heavy and after the plating was complete, they felt like solid blocks of gold. Jim and Dan are the two guys that run ArtCraft Plating, and they did an awesome job with the gold plating of the ships…they get all my business, and I recommend them to anyone that has something they need plated in any kind of metal or finish! Herman was getting tense with the deadlines, and my in and out of the office juggling routine between art and models made it even more difficult when things were due by the end of every day, but in the end everything worked out fine. The models turned out gorgeous once mounted and they were hit with those Halogen jewelers lights built into the case. Mike Okuda made great little plaques for each ship that really made the whole display sing! The saddest day was when they filmed the smashing scene, and it was brutal to watch the models get hit with rifle and glass!!! Oh well, that’s what they were made for, HAAA! Anyway, here are some pictures of the golden babies for you to enjoy!!! Have a great weekend.
The lovely Farrah Fawcett, and the King of Pop Michael Jackson both passed away today. Farrah Fawcett had been battling cancer for some time and today it got the best of her. Starting out with cameos on shows such as “I dream of Jeannie” in the 60′s and the “Six Million Dollar Man” in the seventies, she would get her big break as one of the starring roles in Charlie’s Angels. Aside from acting young, Farrah was also a model, and in about 1977 she created a poster that was extremely provocative at the time, which sold millions of copies. My parents wouldn’t allow me to buy this poster (even with my own money); my arguments fell upon deaf ears as I explained that I wanted it only for her ever so cute smile!!!
Michael Jackson started his career as a juvenile singing sensation in his brothers’ group, The Jackson 5. Michael, clearly recognized as the star of the show, went on to a solo career singing the title song to the sequel film to “Willard”, entitled “Ben”. His biggest accomplishment came in 1983 with the hit album “Thriller”. Michael’s life after was shrouded in bizarreness and scandal and right as there might have been a comeback with his sold out Summer shows this Summer, Michael passed away from what appears to be a fatal heart attack.
Farewell to two more Hollywood legends who have joined Ed McMahon who passed earlier this week.
Here are more sketches and plans of future Vulcan ships from the Perpetual files!!! Live long and prosper,,, Well at another gaming company anyways!!!!
June 25th, 1959
Well, this one is a bit different!! It has all the best of the 50′s monster movie clichés, a big ugly creature, some cool model and FX work, a trip to lovers lane in some big beautiful 50′s cars, a dance at the hop, a teen hero and his country girl next door love interest, some real good jump out of your seat moments, and in the end the kids save the day!! The strangest part about this movie is that the teen star sings and plays a mini banjo…not once but constantly!!!! Very strange indeed. Sometimes you forget your watching a horror movie and the idea goes thru your head that you’re really in a chick flick!!! HAAA! A lot of fun though; this one ranked high enough to land a showing on Mystery Science Theater. Awesome saturday night fodder!!!
June 25, 1964 = North American X-15A-2 (p: Maj Robert Rushworth).
|X-15A-2||56-6671||First Flight 2-32-55||June 25, 1964||Rushworth|
Today marks the 45th Anniversary of the flight of the X-15A-2 flown by Robert Rushworth. The X-15 is a wickedly beautiful, ultra fast piece of aircraft developed by the North American Aviation. Categorized as one of the Blackbirds (Sr-71, U-2), it was the fastest of all the manned experimental aircraft. Pretty much, it was a seat strapped to a giant rocket engine, and it made it to the incredible speed of 4,534 MPH and reached an altitude of 354,200 feet. One incredible machine, this is one of my favorites and inspired the look of many Star trek vessels throughout the course of the films and shows! Tony Landis, A buddy of mine who works out at Edwards AFB, got together with his friend Dennis Jenkins and wrote an incredible book called “Hypersonic, The Story of the North American X-15″ and a followup book called “The X-15 Scrapbook” filled with the extra photos that they couldn’t fit in the first book. This is one awesome read full of facts and some incredible and rare images. Tony is also a big Star Trek fan and has a shuttle named after him in the bay of buddies about one of the Enterprises. Here are some pictures of the ship and some links to read more about her incredible history, also one to Amazon in regards to Tony & Dennis’s awesome book. These two also did a book on the Valkyrie, but I am saving that intro for the XB-70 day. Enjoy.
This was a wild episode to work on and the show called for a Vulcan cargo ship that was broad at the hip and narrow at the nose! A very fun departure from the sleeker side of the ships called for in the previous episodes, this one was to be a frumpy, gritty cargo ship that you would not want to fly into the vacuum of space with. The ship went through about 6 to 8 variations and here are the final 4 plus some great CG modeling by Eden’s Pierre!!! Enjoy the bumpy ride and be sure to buckle your safety belts!!
Coming later this week, the art of my childhood idol, Robert McCall. Stay tuned for more fun than a magnifying glass and an ant hill!!!