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Old 04-03-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
Masterspy
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Default Rubbish Effects and Models

So we all love Century 21 and adore the effects, but...

Which effects and models are so awful that you sit there wondering how on earth they thought it was acceptable, when standards were so high elsewhere?

My first nomination is the model of Thunderbird 1 with wheels. I was watching City of Fire earlier and when it lands it looks like some battered child's toy (and indeed looks like it was being 'flown' by a child). Hideous thing that was too small for close-ups and the markings looked like they'd been added by someone unfamiliar with straight lines.

Nothing involving cars ever seemed to be so successful either.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:28 PM   #2
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The Supercar ep where the president of some Pacific republic is flying the Fokker DR1 that he's going to replace with Supercar. The point where supercar forces it to land by buzzing it is utterly ridiculous. No self respecting child would have flown the old thing like that.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:50 PM   #3
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Fireball XL5. When it takes off Steve Zodiac doesn't realise that a big shadow of a cameraman is against the backdrop of the scenery.

Also, TB2 takes ENORMOUS thrust and power to take off from Tracy Island. But after leaving an assignment somewhere far away, just takes off easy and light as a feather!
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:20 AM   #4
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Perfectly understandable and all that, but I always found those cuts from a puppet to a human hand in 'Thunderbirds' to be somewhat jarring.

The 'Action Man spacewalk' in the 'UFO' episode 'The Man Who Came Back' is slightly unconvincing.

These are minor quibbles... but Maya's transformations in 'Space: 1999' were undoubtedly rubbish. But then again, the concept itself was rubbish.

James: Maybe TB2 is much lighter at the end of a job 'cos it's burned a lot of its fuel? Just a thought.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:05 AM   #5
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does it have to be Thunderbirds?

the rocket take off in You only live twice is pretty poor I always thought

Mike
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike Delamar View Post
does it have to be Thunderbirds?

the rocket take off in You only live twice is pretty poor I always thought

Mike
Or indeed, the Drax Shuttle in Moonraker. To fly the damn thing seems so easy when orbiting towards earth.

Also, the Lost in Space shuttle bus. There is no way can that thing get into the Jupiter II - impossible! I mean, what does the Spaced-Out Robinson family do? Flatpack it?

Terrahawks presents loads of logistical problems!
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Price View Post
...
Also, TB2 takes ENORMOUS thrust and power to take off from Tracy Island. But after leaving an assignment somewhere far away, just takes off easy and light as a feather!
Ok, TB2 rolls along the runway at Tracy Island and stops.
The ramp lifts it to a rakish angle ready for take-off and TB2 doesn't roll back one inch...that's one hell of a handbrake!

Anyway, that's questionable story logic.

As for poor SFX - the lunar module taking off from/landing on Moonbase in UFO occasionally spits unconvincing flame, ruining the scale of the shot.

There are shots when the dam bursts in Superman the Movie that are pretty shoddy.

The speeded up fight sequence on the Disco Volante (flying saucer, geddit?) between Bond and Largo in Thunderball. Laughable or what.

What really grates is anything shown backwards. Can't think of a specific example right now, but I'm sure I've seen rockets consuming their own exhaust, etc.

Phil.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
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There's a shot of TB2 backing into it's hangar with smoke being sucked into a pipe in the background.

The opening shots of the domed city in Logan's Run. A beautiful model and model shot, totally destroyed by the trickle of water seen running through the foreground at normal speed. Ever heard of high speed cameras?

In fact there are many shots, particularly in the early series, where they simply go in too close on some of the models.
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:10 AM   #9
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[quote=pjskeldon;106687]Ok, TB2 rolls along the runway at Tracy Island and stops.
The ramp lifts it to a rakish angle ready for take-off and TB2 doesn't roll back one inch...that's one hell of a handbrake!

Take a look at a video/dvd of TB2 when the ramp lifts up. You will see the magical out-of-the-air appearance of some tiny of metal that stops it slipping LOL

Cheers - J
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Old 05-03-2009, 10:11 AM   #10
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When TB1 takes off and then later does a horizontal turning Scott Tracy he tells his father that he is doing it? What's the point?????? What can he do?
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Price View Post
When TB1 takes off and then later does a horizontal turning Scott Tracy he tells his father that he is doing it? What's the point?????? What can he do?
Is it being taped for the Board of Inquiry should there be an accident?
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Old 05-03-2009, 12:26 PM   #12
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The attacking UFOs at the start of The Cat with Ten Lives turning in pairs looked terribly naff.

Also the Albatross and Skydiver on the surface in Reflections in the Water, clearly not big enough models for watertank FX
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjskeldon View Post

What really grates is anything shown backwards. Can't think of a specific example right now, but I'm sure I've seen rockets consuming their own exhaust, etc.

Phil.
Security Hazard where we see TB2 backing into the hangar and those dear little puffs of steam in the hangar being sucked back into the nozzle
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:59 PM   #14
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Or Thunderbird 2 when on some episodes the number 2 near the cockpit is like this: 2 and on certain episodes it becomes this size:
2
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MkIXHawk View Post
Security Hazard where we see TB2 backing into the hangar and those dear little puffs of steam in the hangar being sucked back into the nozzle
Well, to be fair, that's not really a fault with special effects. That's the film being reversed.
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Or Thunderbird 2 when on some episodes the number 2 near the cockpit is like this: 2 and on certain episodes it becomes this size:
2
Yeah. I am always amazed that they cared so little about consistency across models.

Operation Crash-Dive always puzzles me - Thunderbird 2 is initially seen to be roughly the same size as Fireflash, then later is smaller than one of its wings.
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Old 05-03-2009, 04:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrakersWig View Post
Also the Albatross and Skydiver on the surface in Reflections in the Water, clearly not big enough models for watertank FX
Since water can't be scaled down, is this a case where CGI would be a definite improvement?
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Old 05-03-2009, 05:31 PM   #18
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That bloody cardboard Eagle in War Games. It blows up real good, but what tripe-for-brains decided to shoot it at an angle?



I prefer to think of this as some elaborate plan of Koenig's to trick the aliens into destroying fake Eagles rather than real ones...

My main problem with the various models of the Thunderbirds is that the 3 on Thunderbird 3 rotates to stay level with camera no matter what way the thing's heading. Some of the one-off Thunderbird 2 pod vehicles looked like Brains had hastily stuck them together during the flight to the danger zone, and like they were about to topple over whenever they moved...

The Moon in UFO looks nothing like the real Moon. Okay, this was 1969, so I can forgive that...but I don't understand why the Earth in UFO looks nothing like the real Earth either. Didn't we have any decent pictures of it by then?

Demeter City in Space Precinct seemed to suddenly look fake whenever a real model was flying through it...

Another problem common to all the series (but especially Space:1999) is space explosions occuring a few inches off the model thats being destroyed, or the entire model suddenly being replaced with a tiny explosion, like so:

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Old 05-03-2009, 05:54 PM   #19
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Right-on KingGodzillak! That cardboard Eagle makes me laugh every time. I think there's also another cardboard Eagle CM featured in the 'Missing Link' episode - being hoisted by another Eagle. It certainly looks less than convincing.

At the end of Krull, when the castle breaks up and disappears skywards, you can see the wires/rods holding the thing togther (presumably filmed upside down) being drawn into the 'ground'. Not one of Derek's finest moments!

Also a bugbear is inserted 'stock' footage which doesn't match the rest of the film in terms of colour balance, grain, etc.

Phil.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:51 PM   #20
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my dad always used to spoil thunderbirds, stingray etc when i was a kid watching, even though hes a big fan himself,

one thing i rememeber him pointing out is a torpedo shot on a ship in stingray where it blows the ship out of the water, must have some power to do that!
and also you see the wooden bottom of the model.
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