Die Another Day



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Die Another Day One cannot help but feel privalidged to have worked on a BOND movie...along with (get this) 106 other modelmakers!! (N.B. only a select few get a credit). Its the twentieth anniversary of Bond and it seems like the script-writers are pulling all the stops to make it a Bond to remember. Die another Day was at the top of the film charts for many weeks. At last, I've worked on a film that people have heard of. Working for Robbie Scott out of Pinewood Studios.

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Large dish

Large dish

As this was the next biggest dish on the Satellite after the main unfurling sun-beam focusing dish, Robbie thought they might go quite close to it. It would be rotating on a stepper motor and he wanted the dish positionable, so that all those aluminium panels could catch the light from the sun as it passed by. You can see the joint at the back of the dish. He also wanted it to look like it had opened up a bit like a flower and have a delicate look. Apart from that, I could pretty much do what I wanted with it. Never expected any creative input whatsoever on a BOND film, but expected the art department to have designed everything down to the last nut and bolt. 1/12th Scale I think. Mixed materials.

Icarus Satellite

Icarus Satellite

You can see how small my contribution was to this model now that the dish is in position. I was only hoping that when the planned shot of the camera tracking closely along the length of this 20 foot long beast, my dish might fill the screen for a second or two. I only saw a static long-shot of the ICARUS in the theatrical release....maybe there'll be extra footage on the DVD version!

Perks of the job

Perks of the job

For extra realism Robbie wanted a few smaller (static) dishes attached to the Icarus. Chocolate bars provide the gold foil, so, for just a few minutes (okay okay..seconds) I was paid to each chocolate!

Small dish in position

Small dish in position

I attached the dish, but didn't get the time to tie it in visually with the main unit, using the flexible cables and pipe runs etc.

Pair of posers

Pair of posers

If made well and photographed well, many people should (rightly) be confused as to the actual size of a model and is a common question that people ask. Posing with the model is the best way to demonstrate this and that really is the main reason for doing it. Far better than a fifty pence piece or even a ruler in my opinion.Its also one way of proving you actually worked on the darned thing, especially if you don't get a screen credit, as as the case for me on DIE ANOTHER DAY. Tom Simmons co-built the trucks and is the good-looking one on the right.

Truck on set

Truck on set

About the best photo I could take of the truck in position on the backlot.

Waiting for a big bang

Waiting for a big bang

A different position for the truck, or is it a different camera angle? A student took this photo for me so I don't know....unfortunately,I'm usually far too busy in the workshop to catch the really glamourous stuff taking place on the backlot. This truck is now primed and ready to be blown apart.... Lets make some matchsticks!!! (Don't know why I said that - the damned thing's made of Plastic!!)

That hurt!

That hurt!

Didn't blink did you? Not much left after a very quick and violent (and out of scale) bang. Cameras film the action at high speed, thus slowing down the explosion when played back at normal speed, returning some mass and scale back to the model. But most of you knew that - right?

Cutting room floor again

Cutting room floor again

As all the stunt work involving the Aston Martin Vanquish was filmed using an array of full size vehicles, this was the only Model of the Vanquish made for filming in the movie. A 1:24th scale resin block was supplied by the Aston Martin Headquarters in Newport Pagnell in the shape of an Aston Martin Vanquish. It was down to me to hollow it out, fit windscreens, scribe panel lines, fettle and fit a kit interior that approximated the Vanquish interior, detail, paint and trim. It would be parked outside the Ice Palace with all the other cars at the end of the movie when the miniature Ice palace melts and collapses beneath the frozen lake.

Other cars

Other cars

All of these cars were resprayed die-cast models or kits (to match the full size vehicles), but many needed modification to match yet-to-be-seen concept vehicles used in the show. Truck Cabs needed nothing short of butchery and TV trailers had to be scratch built.

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