THE WORLD OF SPECIAL EFFECTS
Given that so much is CGI (Computer Generated Images) these days you could be forgiven to assume that nothing is now done 'for real'! However the world of FX miniatures (and special effects in general) is still alive and well and is invariably used in conjunction with a computerised system to put in backgrounds; add lights and exhausts and remove those pesky wires! However many traditional techniques are still used - with or without CGI - and these illustrations demonstrate a few..
THIS PAGE SHOWS SOME PHOTOS THAT - MAYBE - HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN BEFORE - OR NOT FOR A LONG TIME
The Liberator flies again, from a sequence in BLAKE'S 7 Series Two. Here the background has been added using Front Axial Projection, (left) an old film technique now somewhat surpassed with CGI, but it is the way Superman flew in the first movie, and provided the African backgrounds for the opening sequence of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The halo around the Liberator is caused by the light bouncing back off of the highly reflective screen. FAP could be used to combine a still or moving image - in this case the former, with the background art-work painted by noted British space artist, David Hardy
DOCTOR WHO - THE FACE OF EVIL
OK which is 'The Face of Evil'? Left is the miniature landscape with the face of The Doctor (a life-mask cast from Tom Baker) built into the hillside. On the right is the FX Designer - peering past the spaceship
DOCTOR WHO - WARRIORS' GATE
(left) The miniature 'Gate' of the title, cast in a weak mix of Plaster of Paris.
(right) The remains of the Privateer space ship - after the explosions.
(left) DOCTOR WHO - THE PYRAMIDS OF MARS
The Marconiscope - a classic example of a Whovian special effects working prop
(right) DOCTOR WHO - THE INVISIBLE ENEMY - A rare shot of both scales of the Hospital Ship
Invariably known as the 'Junior RED DWARF', Space Vets went to three seasons.
The Star Ship was the Dispensible - built for the series. Other 'Guest Ships' tended to be 'borrowed' - so when a prison ship was required for one episode - there was a quick re-use of the London! (left).
(right) Mainly seen in Series 1 - the Space Base started life as (possibly) some part of the space station from Moonraker, then becoming Kryton's ship before the basis was modified into what you see here.
Note that in true special effects fashion, tiny ships from others series were added - the top of the ring has a Thunderbird 1; Eagle and UFO Interceptor, while the grab (centre right - below the ring) holds a Star Trek Shuttlecraft.
Originally intended for a run of 13, only six episiodes were made.
Very little photographic material has survived, and these are all from Polaroids.
(top left) The miniature Moonbase, with the two small Moon Buggies (centre right).
(top right) The full size 'scenery' Moon Buggy.
(above) the larger miniature Moon Buggy at the end of its 'crash' sequence.
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