Saturday, July 1, 2017

Incredible original 1970s filming miniatures from Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers

There was a very fancy Hollywood memorabilia auction in the United States this week, and an auction house called Profiles in History sold off a collection of 23 original filming miniatures from two 1970s science fiction television series, "Battlestar Galactica" (1978) and "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" (1979).  These scratchbuilt models are from the golden age of making models for movies and television, before CGI took over.  


I've always been in awe of the guys who built these original filming models. Star Wars, Star Trek, Battlestar and Buck Rogers were my favourite sci-fi treats growing up in the 1970s and 80s, and the spacecraft in them were just as integral as the heroes and villains.

I won't talk much about the collection and how it was collected over the years by one person. I will say that is collection of 23 filming miniatures sold for US$1.8million. US$1.8million!!! Wow.

I'll let the photos do the talking. Be inspired by the builds, by the modelling techniques involved. Imagine being given the concept sketches and told to make that happen using metal, wood, little lights and styrene. What a gig, what a challenge.

I usually like to try to spot pieces of commercially available model kits on spaceship detailing. Did you know that there are 1/35 Tamiya Tiger tank engine grills on the original Millennium Falcon from Star Wars?  Cool, huh? With these filming miniatures, I really struggled. There might be a tank drive wheel hull housing in one shot, maybe a Tirpitz funnel in another, that's about it. Impressive.

So enjoy. Tell me if you spot any recognisable model kit pieces!

All photos are from Profiles in History, I don't own copyright to any of these babies. If you want to read more about the collection and the original builders, I recommend you visit this site:
Profiles in History - The Gary Cannavo Collection of Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers Filming Miniatures.


Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
Look at the size of that thing.

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
Look at that detail!

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
I think that modern commercial kits of the Viper actually are better than the original filming miniatures!

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
These Cylon Raiders scared the pants off of me in 1979...

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
This would be where I would expect to recognise commercial model kit pieces. I think in the foreground right there might be two American tank pieces, where drive wheels mount to the hull? 


Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
Again, I'd expect to recognise some of the greebles here, but nope. Maybe there are two pieces from a Tirpitz or Bismark battleship, the tops of the funnels, one on either side of the detailed mechanical area??? What do you think?


Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
Good to see that 1920s Art Deco style fonts are still popular in the future...

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model
Great weathering for the Ragtag Fleet vehicles.

Original Battlestar Galactica filming miniature model

Original Buck Rogers filming miniature model
I loved this spaceship as a kid. As an adult, meh, it doesn't do much for me.

Original Buck Rogers filming miniature model
Weathering has come a long, long way since 1979.

Original Buck Rogers filming miniature model
Funky, Seventies style.

Original Buck Rogers filming miniature model
That's a pretty cool spaceship right there. And maybe those are missile launchers from a Soviet Hind helicopter?

Original Buck Rogers filming miniature model

Original Buck Rogers filming miniature model
This is proof that not every spaceship design from the 1970s was cool.
This is just very, very silly.

I hope you enjoyed these.

Cheers,

Dave



2 comments:

  1. Dave, thank you for posting these wonderful studio model photos! It's so good to see these original Battlestar Galactica models, Cylon, and Viper models, again. The last time I saw the studio Galactica model, it was on display in the window of the main store at Universal Studios, Florida, in 1983, or so. I always loved the designs from the original 1978-1979 TV series, better than the ones from the remake 2004 TV series. These seem more real to me, and futuristic. Thanks, again. Greg Chin (2D/3D Animator)

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  2. Hi Greg, they're pretty cool, aren't they? There's a solid clunkiness to these that I really like - they're not too slick, too streamlined, like the later remake ships. Thanks mate, Dave

    P.S. Anywhere I can check out your animation?

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