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Old 29-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #1
elder7uk
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Default doctorwhoprops miniature studio UFO

Apart from doctorwhoprops,has anyone glimpsed or seen the miniature model filmed in the series.

I am in the process of making a miniature version of this (although I do already have one about 25mm in diameter-without an inner skirt referred to below).

The one thing that has intrigued me is the inner skirt underneath the upper dome.I wonder why that was inserted,as it would block out the reflective qualities of the centre cone and radiating vanes?

From doctorwhoprops model it's clear that it was there,although it does'nt appear fitted in a couple of the behind the scenes models

Does anyone have any idea of it's covering.For example is it a solid gray colour,a dull silver paint or has any chrome tape covering come off.

I have tried e-mailing doctorwhoprops but I think he must be busy or not on the forums at present.

If anyone has any opinions I'd be happy to discuss.

You can clearly see the skirt referred to in the origianl photo by doctorwhoprops,whilst the 3 behind the scenes shots do not have it fitted.
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Last edited by elder7uk; 29-03-2013 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 29-03-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
mike s
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I wonder if the skirt is to protect the vains from the charges when they went off..?
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Old 29-03-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
elder7uk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike s View Post
I wonder if the skirt is to protect the vains from the charges when they went off..?
Interesting Mike,but I never actually saw this particular model have an explosive charge fixed to it.I recall it trailing smoke,so the attachements mentioned by doctorwhoprops may have been connected to carrying a small smoke pellet (normally orange)

Interestingly in Identified the model at the end that actually crashes into the sea,is not spinning either.

Last edited by elder7uk; 30-03-2013 at 06:02 AM. Reason: spelling and expression
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Old 29-03-2013, 12:13 PM   #4
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My own particular theory is related to the fact that it seems Meddings and his team were never really happy with this first go at building a saucer,either with the spinning mechanism (with a huge screw on the top) or it's shape.

I think they probably liked the reflective effect ,but for some reason because of the above,needed to vary it's appearance.In order to give it a darker,more solid and interesting look,they introduced this inner skirt.

In my view I think the decision worked,as those shots with the skirt give the model a visual appeal.As Meddings said it looked good on the eye.

It also seems to confirm Derek Meddings idea that you never quite knew what you were looking at,and although essentially he kept to the design,he slightly altered it's shape and maybe added little adjustments that gave it variety,such as adding the skirt,or changing the opacity of the upper dome for example.
I am also of the view that he slightly altered the angle of the disks on the model (sideways,possibly even upwards) to catch the light in different ways,in order to reduce too much symmetry.

In terms of the skirt,it's just working out what colour it was.In the photo it looks like a dull gray

Last edited by elder7uk; 30-03-2013 at 06:04 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 31-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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Well,as there seems to be a little lack of info on the skirt featrured on this one surviving prototype UFO,I thought I'd experiment with the small 25mm miniature model I've had for some time.

Now as 25mm is small (only 1 inch in diameter),making a skirt to go under the very small top canopy,was a bit fiddly.In fact it just could not be done with such a small model.

So I could only think of one thing to try to replicate the skirt effect.

I painted the inside of the upper dome to a level with the green segment of the inner cone.

I decided to paint it gray,and then varied the opacity of the upper canopy.

Amazingly the experiment worked.Using a combination of side and back lighting,its quite easy to replicate in miniature most of the effects featured.

Some will require further lighting set ups,but essentially a gray colour skirt is likely to have been used.
Having looked at doctorwhoprops model in a little more detail,I think the skirt fitted on this model is not gray but white,although it seems to have dirtied a little,given what it's likely to have been through.
The skirt was likely to have been detatchable,to fit the gray version.

I'll try and post some screen grabs.

Last edited by elder7uk; 01-04-2013 at 07:08 AM. Reason: missing words and spelling
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Old 31-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #6
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While I'm about it,this is what a miniature UFO looks like,although it's slightly bigger than the 1inch Identified model.

This one is referred to as the "Psychobomb version" as it's measurements were taken from a profile of the model featured in Psychobombs (coming out of the lake/smaller one coming in for a landing at the beginning /and taking off at the end).

It is also one of the three attacking UFO's in the opening moonbase sequence in CWTL (5 different variants were used in this attack) and was also the model destroyed above the lake in SOS.

http://www.eagletransporter.com/foru...1&d=1329952699

Now I appreciate that these miniatures are not built to the same finish quality as most modellers would aspire to,but for me that is secondary.They are accurate and good enough for my purposes.
So one wonders why build such small models.The reason is a simple one.

The UFO saucer devised by Derek Meddings was a special effects model.His models were built to studio size,were filmed in large studios with huge lighting set ups.He also needed lots of assistants to set up and control everything.

I fully appreciate on these forums that the aim is to build studio type replicas.but to try and film them requires a good deal of space and lighting.

With the UFO this is more acute because the correct lighting was essential to the effects created.
Given the size of Bernie's UFO,a fine piece of model making though it is,would be almost impossible to light and film in order to obtain the same effects as appeared on the show itself.

Smaller UFO's require less lighting and less space to film.It's still quite difficult,but at least ordinary domestic lighting can be used,and a bedroom is usually good enough to work in.

Last edited by elder7uk; 01-04-2013 at 07:11 AM. Reason: missing letters and expression
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:54 AM   #7
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Ok..some screen grabs of a model I put together about 6 years ago,thats been knocking about in an empty small cardboard jewel box.All I've done with it is,is to paint the inner upper canopy with a gray acrylic paint to simulate the inner skirt on doctorwhoprops original model.

The building of this model now would be very different.But even with tinkering about with a very small (and now battered model) you can see I think the close similarity with the on screen shots from UFO,and the model featured by doctorwhoprops.

I've also very basically filmed the model hand held with lighting through a window.Some screen grabs also seem to highlight how very much like the small prototype it is, as it appeared in UFO.

As mentioned this is only a simulated attempt to create the inner skirt to the upper dome,but it's right for this model.I can attest that with different lighting it also very closely replicates other effects seen in the screen grabs from UFO itself.

There are some other things to take into account.The upper canopy is a bit short,which means the inner simulated skirt is also too short.The lower canopy is also a shade to wide in the rim.While some of the disks are a bit out of proportion.
This particular miniature is also seen better days.It has fallen to the ground in pieces ,disks have broken off and vanes have come adrift on more occasions than I can remember.

I will be making this model again.This time a little bigger,with a skirt that will fit and be more accurate in terms of the contoured profile with the upper canopy.The disks and alignment of the disks and vanes will also be improved.

Deek Meddings Team undoubtedly experimented a lot with the model whilst filming it.The skirts (as it seems appropriate to call them) on this particular model are likely to have ranged from white through to black.Whilst the upper and lower canopies were made in opaque and more transparent versions.

You can appreciate how a more diffuse dome helps the skirt to blend in, in certain lighting,whilst in others,it seems to appear more seperate,a very beguiling characteristic,satisfying Meddings hope for this model saucer (your never quite sure what your looking at).

Jpegs 03 and 31 by the way show how the level to which the gray paint is applied.When ordinarily viewed the idea is to eliminate this demarkation line and let the lighting enviornment blend the canopy into one hue whilst still allowing the green portion of the inner cone to be seen clearly.In some cases as in doctorwhoprops photos and in some here the green segment is also burned out.

I think you also have to allow for doctorwhoprops photos being probably taken under tungsten lighting,giving a warmer appearance,where as my battered old 25mm version was bathed in daylight through a large bay window.Checking on the colour of the skirt in doctorwhoprops model,it actually appears as a fleshy pink colour through PSP,so exactly what colour it is in reality is still open to question,although I'll go for either a dirtied faded white,or even a very pale gray colour.Only the man can tell.

In the meantime I hope you all find all of this at least a little interesting.
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Last edited by elder7uk; 01-04-2013 at 02:49 PM. Reason: spelling and expression more explanation
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