Space Truckers




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Space Truckers poster Even with the advent of CGI, many film directors still prefer the realistic edge that models still provide, as was the case with Stuart Gordon's third foray into Science Fiction. Also my first mainstream movie contract. 8 months in Dublin, Ireland, under the supervision of Brian Johnson and Faisil Karim. The experience of seeing models go before the cameras and the anticipation of seeing them on the big screen was a real thrill for me. Plus the added enjoyment of creative input - a periodic pleasure in this field of modelmaking.

Copyright problems? Originally slotted for a close to camera (but quite quick) fly-by, this Freighter was to zoom down the space lanes at the beginning of John Canyon's approach to 'The Hub'. Approx 1:200 in scale. Totally ad-libbed. Can you spot the Homage to Blade Runner on the side?
"But, there's no dirt in space!"..... .....I hear you say. Except for dust clouds and Nebelae light years across,spent fuel lingering in docking bays,damage from micro-meteorites…...nah..no dirt at all. Most people think that 2001 A SPACE ODYSSEY got it right, with super clean spaceships. If you look closely at stills,even these models have been "dirtied down" . As if by magic,most of that dirt dissappears when you hit models with bright studio lights.
"SMILE!!" Its a buzz to see the model on the stand in the process of being filmed as you can get an idea of how its going to look on screen, providing it doesn't end up on the cutting room floor (as this one did)…maybe someone spotted that Logo!
Modified Tank I was asked to somehow increase the size of the tank, but couldn't, without altering the general dimentions of a tank. If you do depart from reality with futurism, its often a good idea to have something about the vehicle that rings true. In this case I thought that general tank proportions would make it more believable.(see other photo)
Phut phut, whizz BANG! To simulate engine thrust, this complex system of pipes was built into the Pachyderm, to transport Freon Gas from any one of the chosen mounting points to the three engines. Filmed on its side, the jets wouldn't appear to be affected by the pull of gravity. Using Home aquarium Tubing and valves and an inverted cone towards the Engine opening, to increase the spread of the jet from the diameter of the tube to that of the engine opening. Worked well in tests but was never filmed. The inclusion of this system meant that there was no room for cockpit detail and so windows had to be blacked off. As gloss gave the cameraman a problem with reflections, matt black paper was stuck over them.
Pachyderm

Space Truck

The 'Pachyderm', 1:25, 16" long, vac-formed over multiple patterns, includes replaceable lighting, 5 mounting points, internal piping array for freon gas supply accessable from 4 of the said mounting points, 12 weeks, solo effort sticking to production designs and full size set pieces already on stage. Seen throughout the movie.

The Hub

Truck Stop

Freighter terminal 'The Hub', 2 metres high, 1:200 scale, constructed main skeleton and applied some detailing... parked trucks, neon signs, 12 weeks, Team effort......... With all the modelmaking crew involved, seen twice only.

Space car

Space Car

Saggs' presidential limo', 2' long, 1:8 scale, vac formed, 2 weeks, solo effort and own design. Seen only from above in the movie, before exploding.

The Moonjet

Moonjet

'Transgen' spacecraft 'moonjet' was originally created for anonymous fly-by, then slotted for crash sequence as a company vehicle. 18" long, 1:48 scale, made from scavenged toys etc, lights, 3 mounting points, 2 weeks, never filmed due to it not being budgetted for and they were running out of money.(so, the 'fly-by' was axed too). Totally ad-libbed.

More little truckers

Other Trucks

Parked around the HUB are several anonymous trucks and their cargos. Pulling vehicles are made from various kit and toy pieces. The container trains are repeat castings of an original container pattern. 1 week including attachment to hub. Ad-libbed.

Transgen tank

Tank

1:48 scale Transgen tank as seen on military base monitor. Remote control turret movement, radar rotation and illuminated barrel tip built in. Made entirely from scavenged toys etc, with a few custom made pieces to tie other pieces together. 2 weeks. Ad-libbed.

Truckers crane

Crane

1:25 scale Hub cargo bay container crane. Working crane arms and flashing lights. MDF, timber and perspex structure, clad with styrene panels and wiggets. Filmed but almost totally obscured by foreground items. About three weeks. Ad-libbed.

Space bike

Space Bike

More ad-libbing with this space bike. Made to satisfy unknown motorcycle sponsors who pulled out of the production, hence-never filmed. 2 days.

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