Archive for January 15th, 2010


the nostromo

Hi all, and Happy New Year!!  It’s 2010 and all those shows and cartoons I watched as kid in the 60’s & later in the 80’s showed a future 2010, with flying cars, massive gloomy cities, there’s a place called Moon Base Alpha, a computer defense system called Cyberdyne has almost annihilated most of civilization, and expansive and elegant spacecraft go to Jupiter and beyond…if you think about it, “BladeRunner” is only 7 years from now!!!!  I guess a lot is going to happen before 2017, HAAAA!!!!

Even if these things didn’t happen for real, they do on the big screen.  The movies and sci fi of 2010 are birthed from the cyberworld in almost every element of traditional movie making:  models, creatures, sets, animals, environments and just about everything else is constructed in the computer.  But once not to long ago motion picture spacecraft were made by hand from wood, plastic,  glue, and bashed model kits!!!  Soon after their glory time of  being on stage under hot studio lights and being moved around on motion control rigs, their worn and beaten forms were disregarded as trash or stripped down to be something else.  The Nostromo from “Alien” was one of these fabulous models that spent the last decade or so deteriorating away to age and the elements.

Designed by Ron Cobb and built by an incredibly talented model crew in England, the Nostromo is one of the most iconic movie space craft to ever grace the silver screen. Fox had all the models and relics from Alien stored away, and somewhere in the 1980’s, bestowed the lot memorabilia to the world famous Bob Burns.  Truck load after truck load came to Bob’s house where he lovingly displayed as much of the movies treasures as he could. If you don’t know of Bob Burns he is one of the biggest sci fi collectors of all time.  He and his wife, Kathy, have turned their home into a museum, and there are toys and relics from so many incredible shows from the early days of cinema to some of today’s modern classics.  Anyway, the Nostromo is as big as a car, and Bob had nowhere to display, restore or house the beast, so the guys over at KNB took on the model to one day fix it up.  KNB is one of Hollywood’s busiest make up and creature shops, and the Nostrome never had a chance to see more than the storage unit due to their consistently overwhelming schedules!!

Fast track to sometime in 2009,  where the folks over at The Prop Shop of London were able to acquire the model and, looking at what was left of the Nostromo, they knew they had to call some of the best to try and restore the badly damaged model.  Monty Shook of Grant McCune Design was called, and TPHOL hired the crew on to do the repairs.  Below is the GMD and TPHOL links so you can see the early and first days of what the Nostromo was like and then watch the progression of how the ship slowly and meticulously has been restored.  Stay tuned for more updates as the model finishes it’s rebuild and gets displayed in it’s new resting place in the lobby of the Prop Store of London.




January 2010