My first big break into Television was working for Bill Pearson on Gerry
Andersons' live action science fiction series.
24 fifty minute episodes were made, meaning 18 months of breakneck pace
modelmaking, crammed with creative opportunites to make up vehicles, sets,
buildings and spaceships. Even with the important models that had been
pre-designed, there was plenty of leeway to ad-lib with surface detailing.
An extreamly productive and satisfying time for me (not fully represented
by these few photos) with models getting plenty of screen time.
THIS LINK TO SEE TRAILER
||Added male interest
||The discarded cargo containers
from the 'Princess' (as made by Alan Brannan and the boys), formed
the basis of this 1:100 miniature, as did a huge block of carved Polystyrene.Chris
Trice helped with the Radar dishes. The windows have frames from a
discarded roll of film someone found in a skip .... Chubby Brown's
UFO....so if you look closely enough, you might be able to see some
scantily clad females at the windows. Dear oh dear...and before the
||In one end…
||...out the other. Closely following
Steve Beggs original design, this ship was vac-formed over two carved
Eurathane patterns. Chris Trice fabricated the robot arms. About 1:100
scale. The 'Scavenger' collected space junk and was supposed to be
automated (I think).My artistic contribution to this one, was to make
the edges of the steel doors in its maw, shaped like teeth and to
give it a means of ejecting waste out the rear…a mechanical anus,
if you like.
||1:200 suburb again, showing the
detailing of theindustrial underbelly. Air re-cycling, Sewage re-cycling,
heating and cooling systems and other proccesses that would be absolutely
necessary when living in space (?). John Wellar and myself made the
patterns and then I cast them in Fast cast resin from silicon moulds.
not before he had sneaked half an R2-D2 in there!
||Eat your heart out Valerie Singleton
||Using mostly scavenged items,
these futuristic skyscrapers are completely add-libbed. The windows
are little pieces of SCOTCHLITE painstakingly cut into little squares
and stuck on, one by one. Scotchlite is that reflective material found
on the heels of training shoes etc and reflects so much light back(sticky-back
plastic,basically), that internal lights were not needed. A seperate
camera pass for the windows would be composited in post production.
||The 'Princess' against a green
screen. The 'Blue screens' we all hear about weren't used on Precinct
because many vehicles were themselves blue, which would have caused
obvious optical problems. The Princess had neither blue nor green
details, so it wouldn't have mattered...just so happens its a green
|| "I've accidentally super-glued myself to the model!"
||The only reason that I pose in
these photos is so that people can see the true size of a model. The
foreshortening belies the length of the princess, which was about
five feet long....yeh RIGHT!
||Originally scheduled to be shot
in a chase sequence with the police cruiser, but then not. Steve Begg
said (rightly so - in hindsight) that he couldnt shoot this or the
production would go mad. The technology of this car was clearly ahead
of the cruisers (what with its dated bell jet nasa style engines and
mine with its illuminated green rings - some sort of anti-gravity
affair) and that you could clearly see the drivers in the cockpit
- where none were visible in the cruisers (the hero vehicles), where,
by rights, you should be able to see the drivers. Thats one of the
problems of having an impossible schedule where a lot of the design
falls upon the modelmakers to do...and even they only have the time
to make it up as they go along.
||Anti gravity drive
||Steve filmed the car parked up
on a roof as a consolation..and showed me rushes. The car exploded
into a thousand pieces!! Someone even handed me a piece of it!! I
had been had. It was what Steve called a 'jump cut' and the piece
had been duplicated out of my sight! They would never blow up a car
like that......might need it to be modified or resprayed and filmed
again. Too tight a budget to waste a good car.
||Me and Mona
||Look at me, standing there all
proud like I made it all.....well, I didnt. Bill made the Mona sign,
Alan made the vac formed window for me (following my 'design') and
the tables and chairs too I think. But I made the rest and I supervised
the job as a whole, so I think I had the right to do this. Space Precinct
was my first real sci-fi based series...I was lapping it up...and
had something to prove....very annoying to all and sundry Im sure.
I think Ive relaxed a bit more now.
||"Can you tell what it is yet?"
||Given not much more than an hour,
I painted this planet in a mostly Rolf Harris stylee.. ie. with a
big brush! From certain angles the Earth itself looks like its completely
covered with water, so no land masses were needed. Sometimes, you
just have to 'let go' and use the force. The most satisfying hours
worth of work I have ever done. Expanded image has a photoshopped
starfield behind it...quite convincing I think. Shame Steve Begg had
to paint 90% of it black!
Orbiting police station at 1:72, perspex shell clad with
'kit bits', measures approx 2'x2'x3', 4 weeks, working from Steve
Beggs' artwork with some freedom to detail. 75% build.
5 ft diameter orbiting community at 1:144 scale, almost
entirely made of plastic, yet withstood 18 months of shooting. Sticking
to Steve Beggs production design with more imput on surface detailing.
5'x3'x2' miniature set at 1:12, Timber, MDF, plastic sheeting,
miniature posters, (cut from mags) and lots of black powder-paint
were used in this. Cafe is my own Design (i.e. I made it up as I
went along) 3 weeks. Seen in episode 'Deadline'
Pyrists' temple/spaceship from two episodes 'The fire within'.
3mm thick ABS sheeting over a steel frame. 5 different colours of
speckle and some cocoa, were used to paint and weather this 3 foot
high model. Lots of freedom on surface detailing, some of which
has its origins from 'ALIEN'. Supervised construction. Two weeks.
Inside a rock
6'x6'x4' miniature set for episode 'two against the rock',
a prison located inside an asteroid, a model guard moving in the
travel tube and super-imposed live actors complete the illusion
of size. Timber and perspex structure clad with polystyrene sheet
for rock texture. Supervised and led the construction.
You'll never guess...
..what this background vehicle was made from. Believe it
or not, a babys' rattle formed the base and the starting point for
construction of this 'make-it-up-as-you-go-along' piece. 5"
high only, 2 days. A favourite among the crew I believe. Still rattles
Large scale cruiser nose with stop-motion guns, that fold
away and retract into the body of the craft. Tips of barrels were
illuminated so that the optical department had something to key
onto. Made by Bill Pearson and myself.
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