Alien 3 without Cobb

pov from the camera stand

pov from the camera stand

the prison cafateria

the prison cafateria

another master view

another master view

the crew!!!

the crew!!!

Back in the 1985, before the art Department days I started my Hollywood career as a model maker, We had just finished working on Hunt for Red October, and Solar Crisis, and next was Alien 3, Here are some pictures of the prison complex, I believe this was 1991 and there was no Ron Cobb on this Alien instalment.  all the model makers over at Boss films were quite sad about this so we all decided to gave tribute to the master by putting a big “W” on the side of our buildings. The “W” stands for Weylan Yutani, A fictional company Ron created for the original Alien. The budget was slim for us on Alien 3 and The boss came to us with a rediculously low figure and asked if we could make this model for the price$$$$ We said sure and built the entire table top miniature out of gater board, foam core and big piece of green death, (carving foam). The details were from the model parts bins and everything else we could find,,, There are even a couple of Killer Klown heads hidden amongst the piping.. In the high picture you Have Paul Ozzimo on the right,  Jeff Kalmus in the middle, and myself (with hair) on the left. We had a month to make this in and had a great time building something big and Sci-Fi

below is  a link to the whole Waylen story.


35 Responses to “Alien 3 without Cobb”

  1. 1 L.M. Oliver
    April 24, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Very cool! I had no idea that the inclusion of the ubiquitous, interlocked W-Y logo (and its Japanese transliteration!) was the model department’s idea.

    The industrial panorama above is a testament to Boss Films. Despite its cheap-o construction, it looks tremendously impressive on screen. By the way, was Boss also responsible for redressing the Sulaco for its fleeting appearance in Alien 3?

    • 2 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

      yes they did!!! I think Doug Miller was the one that re worked the Sulaco, It was cool to see to see that model in person!!!

      • 3 L.M. Oliver
        April 24, 2009 at 11:49 am

        One of Syd Mead’s best. Didn’t he contribute to the designs on “Solar Crisis” as well?

      • 4 johneaves
        April 24, 2009 at 11:56 am

        Sid did all the concept work on Solar Crisis and it was a blast to work out making models from his drawings!

      • 5 L.M. Oliver
        April 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm

        If I could, then I cast my vote for a “Solar Crisis” entry. The only things I remember from that movie are Jack Palance’s superb Jack Palance impersonation, and Mr. Mead’s equally superb designs. It would be a real treat to see Boss Films’ realization of them.

  2. 6 Don
    April 24, 2009 at 10:49 am

    You guys were the “MacGyvers” of model building. Those concept drawings are still fantastic, all these years later, A real tribute to Cobb’s ideas and talent. Great stuff, John.

    • 7 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 11:50 am

      Thanks Don, and glad you enjoyed it! looking forward to next week’s entries, anything in particular you want to see???? I am going to dig out some more from Insurrection and the federation ships from Enterprise, and hopefully get some of those set images scanned to go along with topics!!! OK then, have a good one!

      • April 25, 2009 at 12:28 am

        Wow, new ships from Enterprise, that would be really cool! Maybe the two freighters from “Fortunate One” or “Horizon”, anything from Enterprise would be great, really.

  3. 9 Pacal
    April 24, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Wow! never thought I’d see pics like this, Thanks John

    • 10 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 11:52 am

      Thanks!!! I find these things in the most obscure places on my computer!!! came across them yesterday while I was looking for images of broken glass for my work drawings!

  4. April 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Always reminded me of the opening shot of Blade Runner. Was amazed to find out that the opening city scene was a bunch of cutouts on a big table top!

    This is great stuff! I’m always amazed at the little gems you guys put into stuff that almost nobody ever finds! (R2D2 in Close Encounters, Millennium Falcon in Blade Runner, etc..)

  5. 12 Matt Boardman
    April 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    Man, for having a cheap-o budget, you guys sure worked your magic! These are fantastic models! Did it ever feel like you were playing and getting paid to do so or did you reach a point where you felt like one more detail might push you over the edge?

    Green death? Is this what happened to all those canned chickens after no one bought them? 😉 I’ve never worked with it before so I’m curious to know what made it not so much fun to work with.

    • 13 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 8:18 pm

      I still haven’t got paid to go to work!!! HAAA! Only on a few shows have I not enjoyed going to work!!! That foam is also called 4 lbs foam, 6lbs foam, the weights determine the density and over all it’s a carving foam that comes in sheets or blocks!!! It burns bad if if,,,when it gets in your eyes and it’s abrasive whenit gets on the back of your knees and the tops of your arms, It gets in your nose and mouth and as great of a forming material it is truly evil to work with!! We tried to use canned chicken to model with once and it just didnt work good with the glue and heat of the stage lights!!!

  6. 14 DeanneM
    April 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Ah, the great fun of behind the scenes! My favorite stuff. 🙂 With a great model, all ya need is a little paint, lighting and a good angle and…magic!!

    Maybe the dude in the middle is the guy with you in the pic of the Die Hard 2 control tower I have…probably a stretch but I thought it might be close to the same time (you have hair) and it looks possible by the pics(?). Just trying to be helpful!

    BTW, Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2; I guess I’m an action fan (Tom Clancy, woohoo) and would love to see anything you’ve got on these when you get to ’em. And don’t forget the Scimitar (Love my copy of “Encounter at Romulus” with E-E and the evil Scimitar).

  7. 16 Freak
    April 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    That a very cool Model on Screen, I agree with Thomas P, when I saw this it reminded me of the Blade Runner Opening.

    I saw Innerspace the other day and remember reading that you where also a model maker on that film as well. I was and still am impressed with the way they did the body scenes. I bet you got a few story to tell about working on that film.

    • 17 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm

      we actually built giant oversized luggage for the end of the movie!!! I would have died to have been an ILM’er on that one!!!

  8. 18 Masao
    April 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    I remember seeing Solar Crisis when it opened here in Japan. The Syd Mead designs were great, of course, but the movie was pretty crappy. It was endorsed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, for some reason. I also remember seeing Richard Edlund on TV giving an interview in Japanese.

    Personal message: Hey, Thomas! What have you been up to recently?

    • 19 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 8:11 pm

      Someone told me that Edlund passed away a few years ago so I wrote him and was glad to get a response disclaiming the rumors!!! HAAA!

  9. 20 ScottDS
    April 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t care what anyone says – the Extended Special Edition of Alien 3 (seen on the 2-disc DVD and Quadrilogy set) is a conceptually- flawed, visually-stunning masterpiece. 🙂

    John – I just want to say I’m a huge fan, not just of you and your partners in crime but of Jerry Goldsmith as well. I’ve actually been blogging about the Star Trek scores over at Film Score Monthly. I did a nice little tribute to this film as well.

    Keep up the good work!

    • 21 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 8:05 pm

      I only saw the film once and have been afraid to watch the special version,,,, I’ll try and work up the courage one of these days!

  10. 22 the bluesman
    April 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    What a week! Great art, John. I’m looking forward to the Delta ship next week.

    • 23 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 8:03 pm

      It’s funny between Doud’s and Darens blog I’ll see what I was planning to do on mine on there’s!!!! and it seems to be going the other way too!!! we all must be going thru the books at the same time and on the same page, Haaa! these blogs are a lot of fun!

  11. 24 Mark A-C
    April 24, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    John, great pics (again) and really fun to see 3 of the builders with their creation.
    Quick geek question, any idea of the scale Prison facility you guys built?


  12. 26 Tim Kline
    April 24, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Hi John,

    It’s been many years since the last Pia Zadora fan club meeting. I dedicated my last bass solo to Mothra. Hope to hear from you soon.


    • 27 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 7:57 pm

      TIM!!!!!!!! I have been trying to find you for a couple of years!!!! What are you doing here!!! I named a shuttle after you in the new Trek movie, it’s in the Shuttle bay somewhere and the pilots named under the cockpit window is Pia Z HAAAA!

      • April 25, 2009 at 12:30 am

        Cool, pilot names on shuttlecrfat, just like on the vipers on BSG. Can’t wait to see all your shuttle designs for the new movie. It would be great if you could provide us with names, that way, we could create articles for all those shuttles on Memory Alpha! 🙂

  13. 29 evil_genius_180
    April 24, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Too bad the rest of the movie wasn’t as cool as that model. That thing rocks (but, overall, the movie still blows.)

    • 30 johneaves
      April 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm

      we had no idea how bad it was going to be until we saw the screening, I puked It was so awful!!!

      • 31 evil_genius_180
        April 24, 2009 at 11:52 pm

        My favorites are the first 2. The series kinda goes downhill after that, though Alien 3 is by far the worst, IMO.

      • 32 Mr Man
        May 21, 2009 at 6:23 am

        lol, fairly harsh words. Fox really did drop the ball. I hate the theatrical version.

        Did you ever get to see the assembly cut on the special edition dvd? For me, it turned a butchered mess into a near masterpiece. I ended up loving it.

        Anyway, the sets are damned impressive. Whether you love or hate the movie, the sets were one of its strongest points.

  14. April 25, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I actually likes Alien(cubed). That’s some cool stuff right there dude. You worked at Boss, huh? Love to hear more about how you came to actually first get into “the biz,” eh.

    Were you guys painting and weathering that model as you went along, or are you guys in-fact just finishing up with the last detailing in that last shot?

    And yeah, I threw the “Big W” on the tail of my heli-jet as well. Two famous “Big W”(s) in film; Ron’s and the “Big W” (dub-ee-ya) from, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

    Oh man, Jim Backus esp in that film…

    Tyler Fitzgerald: You know what I need? I need a drink. There’s some ice and stuff back there. Why don’t you make us all some old fashioneds?

    Ding Bell: “Old Fashioneds”? Do you think you oughta *drink* while you’re *flying*?

    Tyler Fitzgerald: Well stop kidding, will ya, and make us some drinks! You just press the button back there marked “booze”. It’s the *only* way to *fly*!

    And yet, I digress…

    Thanks John, great stuff, eh!


  15. April 29, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Awesome pictures, cheers for posting them !!!

  16. June 15, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Cool! That’s Jeff . . .!

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April 2009

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