I too have been on something of a Flash Gordon kick lately.
Right now my focus has been the Filmation adaptation, both the "made for TV" movie and the Saturday morning "serial" it spawned (but oddly enough aired some 2 years before the original movie cut).
However, a couple of years ago, I was in Best Buy and saw a 3 disk set that contained the first three serials (not episodes, but full serials) that starred Buster Crabbe in the titular role. So far I've only seen the first serial. The box set got "buried" under some junk and you know how it goes, "out of sight, out of mind."
Yesterday, I finally got to see the tele-movie cut of the Filmation material for the first time in, well, dang, 31 years! By the end of the week I should receive the box set containing all the Saturday morning episodes. (I won't bother watching the second season that introduced a cute mascot character in the form of a pink dragon hatchling. "Thank you, executive meddling!")
LOL! I'm another that's been on a Flash Gordon kick lately as well! I've had the cartoon on DVD for a couple of years but never got around to watching. Picked up the 80's movie a couple of months back since I hadn't seen it twenty years or so. At the end of February a new edition of the original three serials was released and I was watching the cartoon version until I got the serials. I just finished "Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars" and started "Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe".
The stylistic changes in the third serial are a bit jarring, what with all the 18th and 19th century military garb. Roland Drew as Barin is closer to what I'm familiar with in terms of general physique and appearance, and he's a better actor, but I've gotten used to Richard Alexander, bad acting and all. LOL!
I'd seen various bits of these, along with Buck Rogers on the old UHF, Friday night "science fiction theater" that used to play locally. I struggled to get into them then, mainly because of the ship fx. But I never forgot that humming the ships make. As I grew up, I came to love retro sci-fi and seeing these again and in their entirety has been beyond awesome!
In addition, I picked up the second volume of Titan Books reprinting of the Flash Gordon library. Managed to FINALLY score a first volume....it's been a bitch trying to get one as they seem sold out at all the big chains, and Titan's website hasn't said anything about a second printing. My local comic shop managed to score me what was, according to their computer, the last copy from Diamond.
So it's been great to finally get to read the story in it's original form. I'm just past the point where Zarkov saves the sky city and secures the gangs freedom. Which, ironically, is where I think I left off in the cartoon when I got the serials.
With all that in mind, it's a joy to see your work on the Flash Gordon rocketship, Warped9. Simply awesome! Will you be doing the Mongo ships as well?
As for the cockpits, I think I prefer the first version as well because it's the one I remember most. When I saw the second version, I was a bit impressed with it's spaciousness, but it's one of those sets where the inside doesn't match the outside. Still cool however. I think I prefer it's control panel though.
The third version I like as well....technically it's more shape appropriate, but I think I prefer the second to it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there an occasional interior shot where Flash was loading "rockets" into some tubes aboard the ship? They literally loaded the fuel from within the cockpit, iirc. Or was that Buck Rogers?
Yep. Second serial, they first show up as "retarding rockets" to slow them down when they reach Mars, as opposed to the magnets used in the first serial. The same footage of the loading mechanism was also used to show them loading bombs as well.
I recently watched a little of the Buck Rogers serial and was astounded that they had the first transporter on film and when the guy explains it to Buck, it sounds almost word for word of how the transporter on Trek was explained in an ep of ST. Also, IIRC, the bad guys weapons are like a retro version of the phaser from ST. Still prefer the ships from Flash Gordon though.