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Old February 27 2013, 11:37 PM   #61
Warped9
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

B.J. wrote: View Post
Warped 9, did you happen to see this?
http://io9.com/5987223/how-one-man-r...-in-the-movies

It's an article on the Freide, and while it's a bit light on the modelmaker, it does have some background information and large pics (click on them to enlarge).

I didn't know if you were going to go back to that model, but it's certainly interesting reading!
Nice! Thanks much. Yeah, at some point I likely will revisit this design.
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Old March 2 2013, 06:22 PM   #62
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

In the interim here is something I'm looking at. A collection of stills from Just Imagine and the first episode of the Flash Gordon serials.

The first batch shows us the original full-size mock-up and its interior. The mock-up lacks the riveting detail that shows up later when it's used for the Flash Gordon serials. We can also see that the ship had quite a different and more sparse interior than that shown in Flash Gordon. One thing the mock-up shows is that it looks proportionately shorter than the miniature used in the film and in the serials. This leads me to suspect the reference drawings from The Spaceship Handbook are based mostly on the mock-up. That said it's odd that the access hatch on the drawings looks proportionately smaller than it appears on the mock-up.




The second batch of stills shows us the interior as it appeared in Flash Gordon. It's certainly a lot more detailed and not as spare as originally. The detail also suggest bulkheads and supports the idea of an inner hull with mechanicals between the inner and outer shells.




In both instances, though, it looks like the interior looks bigger than would fit in the exterior mock-up. Hmm, very much like the TOS shuttlecraft thirty years later.
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Old March 3 2013, 10:31 PM   #63
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

Almost there. I have some small details I want to add, but all the major elements are there to show what it looks like. Because the horizontal tail fins are more raked than what is shown on the reference drawings it lifts the rear landing wheel a bit, but it results in a landed orientation of only one degree of tilt. I think that's negligible and forgivable. I could negate that by lifting the front wheels marginally (and consequently have to shift them a bit wider apart) and that is something I'm considering.



I'm not entirely happy with the finish because from the films it looks like the ship should have more of a buffed bare metal finish. I'll work on that. This model is more alike the filming miniature than the full-size mock-up. The main visual differences between the two are the angle of the leading edge of the fins and the length of the aft section---the mock-up is proportionately shorter and looks too stubby for my tastes. The other difference is the access door on the mock-up is also proportionately larger and as a result skews the scale of the ship. The larger door makes the ship look smaller overall with less interior space.
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Old March 4 2013, 05:55 AM   #64
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

I suddenly feel the need to get Flash Gordon on DVD. In fact I think I will order it.

While working on this and looking at that image I posted above I keep thinking how cool it would be to have a nice kit of this ship, maybe about 12in. long. And although I've no real need for it I've got the idea of doing my own schematics of the ship as well. Even so I am going to try cobbling something of an interior for it based on the screencaps I can find. I'd really like to see more information on the full-size mock-up as well as the filming miniature.

Hmm, I suppose R2/PL couldn't be talked into producing a proper kit of this???

Some little detail you can't see on those elevations. I put nozzles in those four large openings facing aft. I also added some detail inside the ray cannon muzzle. The wheels have some treads on them and I partially enclosed the wheel housings underneath when in reality I've no real idea how that's supposed to look like.
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Old March 4 2013, 02:58 PM   #65
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

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!")

Sincerely,

Bill
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Old March 5 2013, 05:18 AM   #66
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

I sent a note to Jon C. Rogers over the weekend and already I've heard back. He replied that he quite liked what I'm doing with the designs from The Spaceship Handbook and that he would forward my letter and the images I included to his co-authors.

I also asked him if he had any idea as to what eventually became of the full-size exterior of the Flash Gordon rocketship and the companion filming miniature. I'm waiting to hear back.
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Old March 8 2013, 12:38 AM   #67
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

I remember an old metal spaceship toy of late 1970s early 80's vintage...
Flash Gordon. Can't find it on the web
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Old March 8 2013, 01:11 AM   #68
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

Here is another look at the interior and it's evolution from initially in Just Imagine and then through the Flash Gordon serials.

Initially we have a quite spare and minimalist interior.



Then in the first Flash Gordon serial we have a more evolved and more detailed interior that style very retro looking remains clean and visually interesting (in my opinion)



Later on the interior is redressed twice. One version (on the left) bears practically no resemblance to the ship's basic shape as seen from the outside and particularly with its distinctive overhead viewports. The second version looks better yet also a lot busier with more detail that looks just thrown onto the walls.




The only things I like about the initial version is the control panel. It's clean and easy to see and retro looking. The first version of the serials is a nice evolution with interesting period detailing added even if the set isn't truly consistent with the ship's exterior. The remake with rectangular viewports where none exist on the ship's exterior just looks plain and boring (in my opinion). The last version evokes the ship's exterior shape, but I find it too busy with what I think is unimaginative detailing.

Overall I think I like the first serial version best.

Opinions?
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Old March 8 2013, 07:17 AM   #69
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

Just two observations: One is that they didn't hardly leave any space for ship systems, it's almost completely hollow. The other is that it looks like there were originally windows where you've put thrusters in those aft-facing blisters. I'd agree that they should be thrusters, and apparently this pic agrees too:
Warped9 wrote: View Post
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Old March 9 2013, 12:32 AM   #70
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

^^ A sense of credibility was not this design's forte. The only visible means of propulsion originally was the collar of rocket tubes encircling the centre section. Those tubes look awfully small and when you consider the forward section was, as you said, essentially hollow then just where were the motors for those rocket tubes? Now one little tidbit: in the film there is reference to a "gravity neutralizer" and in the serials it's called a "counter-magnet." Both terms suggest the idea of an antigrav system in play. In that case then the rocket motors mightn't need to be that big and powerful to get the ship off the ground and for maneuvering since the antigrav system could well be the main drive. The collar of tubes could essentially be maneuvering thrusters.

In the film Just Imagine the four rear facing openings (or at least the upper two) were indeed windows, but during the Flash Gordon serials they were turned into rocket exhausts.

Now if you go by the full-size exterior mock-up it does indeed look like there is next to no room for mechanicals. But if you go by the filming miniature (which has a proportionately smaller access hatch) and the interior set shown in the first serial then you get an impression that the ship is somewhat larger and the is indeed room for mechanicals. Indeed the shape of the forward compartment seen in the first serial doesn't match the shape of the exterior forward section. The interior seems to have flatter walls that don't match the curved shape of the exterior.

With that perspective I have been able to fashion a rudimentary interior that does allow for quite a bit of space for mechanicals between hulls with most of them under the deck/floor. Now you can't really make an exec match of any of the interiors (save the film version) that properly matches the ship's exterior shape. To that end the best I can is use the basic template of the interior seen in the first serial and adapt it to make a more credible and consistent (with the exterior) interior.
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Old March 9 2013, 04:33 AM   #71
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

Here we can see what I'm starting with in regards to the interior. Using the access hatch (not see in this cross-section) as a guide You can see the placement of the deck leaves a decent amount of room underneath for mechanicals including perhaps the referenced "gravity neutralizer." I think there is also sufficient space left up front for the mechanicals of the ray cannon. The rearmost aft section also has room...for whatever one could imagine being back there. You can also see that while the interior follows the exterior contours there is most definitely a space between hulls.



What isn't seen here yet are the allowances I will make for additional "between hulls" space around the compartment, most particularly allowing some space for smallish motors of the collar of maneuvering rockets.

Even scaling the ship up a but from what it seems to be as shown by the full-size mock-up this will still be a compact ship internally. I don't even want to think of how three adventurers could endure being cooped up in it for any extended duration.
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Old March 9 2013, 05:42 AM   #72
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

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?
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Old March 9 2013, 07:53 AM   #73
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

^^ My own memory is vague because it's been decades since I've seen these serials and I don't recall Buck Rogers at all.
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Old March 10 2013, 07:09 AM   #74
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

What you see here are x-ray views of the interior I'm cobbling together. I'm trying to adapt the elements I liked best from what I saw onscreen and, of course, filling in the blanks so-to-speak where I have no information or reference. I also have to say that some of this is my guesswork because some of what we saw onscreen made no sense whatsoever in being so inconsistent with the ship's exterior shape. The large overhead viewports are usually shown much smaller onscreen than they really are in relation to the ship's exterior. Sometimes they weren't included at all.



I still haven't worked out any exact scale yet, but the archway openings of the interior are meant to be about 6ft. and maybe a bit more. The interior is inspired mostly by the first version seen in the first serial. The interior had distinctive framework down the centre of the ship and it seemed to suggest compartments along the ship's length as well as allowing room for mechanicals between the bulkheads and the outer hull.
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Old March 10 2013, 07:44 PM   #75
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Re: A parade of spaceships...

Changed a bit in the forward compartment, but here in these cross-sections you can get a fair look at the internal arrangement I've worked out. Now all the major elements are in place and I'm going to start adding a few fixtures in the forward compartment. Then that should do it. If I can figure out how to add some lighting to SketchUp then I could get some better interior views with more realistic lighting.




I wonder if I'm putting a lot more thought into the interior of this thing than the serial producers. Looking at the onscreen interiors of the ship a lot of it seems rather slapped together with whatever they could find, which wouldn't be surprising since serials weren't meant to be the high art of film making. Certainly a lot more thought evidently went into the Friede's internal arrangement, not surprising since Hermann Oberth was the film's science and technical consultant.

For the Flash Gordon ship I imagine a lot of the major mechanicals being under the deck. The various compartments could hold various supplies and two of the compartments (those with a window each) could be bunk style sleeping berths for at most two persons each. One of the smaller compartments could actually be a bathroom. The rear most compartment could be a sort of multipurpose workshop.

Given the shape of the corridor walls I see any doors as manual sliding panels, much simpler than trying to accommodate conventional opening doors. Panels in the deck (and overhead) allow for access to ship's mechanicals.

Nonetheless I imagine this craft to retain snug accommodations.


Another issue is the main access hatch. Most of the time onscreen it's shown as a conventional car door like affair. In the original film a ladder was also required to get into and out of the vehicle. But later in the serials another door was added to the opposite side of the ship and apparently it was a swing-down affair with steps built into the door. I think this idea makes a lot more sense only I wouldn't include it as another door given the ship's already cramped accommodations as it is. Rather I'd opt to keep one door in the original position on the port side yet make it the swing-down version.
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