Sunday, 18 November 2007

Cylon Basestar

Another lovely little model from Konami is the Cylon Basestar from the original series of Balltestar Galactica. The level of detail is very high, as I've come to expect from Konami. There is a lack of surface markings but I presume this is because the original shooting model was just a series of greys without much in the way of decals.
These toys are made from plastic which does make them prone to warping, as can be seen in this picture. Given the toys size and level of detail I think this is not too noticeable and doesn't detract from this being a great addition to my collection.If you like the Basestar you might like to see Fantastic Plastic's kit version. Or this one from Kenndy Shipyards, complete with lights. Also while I was looking about for some reference I came across Ravenstar Studios making some interesting stuff.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Lego HMS Camden Lock

This fantastic oddity was created by Peter Reid, or Legoloverman as he is also known. He's recreated Hyperdrive's HMS Camden Lock in Lego!




In case you are not familiar with the Camden Lock it's the ship from Hyperdrive, designed and built by Glazy, Nick and me at Qurios.
If you like this, (and why wouldn't you?) then pop over to Peter's site here: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?m=Legoloverman
Or take a look at some pictures of his other work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/38509565@N00/

Monday, 5 November 2007

Thunderbirds Fireflash & Elevator Cars

The Fireflash airliner from Thunderbirds has to be one of the most graceful and elegant planes ever to appear on our screens. The series started in 1965, long before I was born so its something I've caught up on through its many repeats on UK television. The first episode, Trapped in the Sky, features the atomic-powered airliner Fireflash on its maiden flight from London to Tokyo. Obviously things don't go as planned and International Rescue are soon on the scene with 3 elevator cars to help bring Fireflash back to the ground in one piece. The sequence is edited light a tense liveaction film and still stands up today as a remarkable sequence.
Konami released a Fireflash toy as part of their Thunderbirds range. These are quite hard to find now but I managed to pick up the entire set from Comet Miniatures. As usual with Konami replicas the detail is excellent for the scale. These toys are plastic and require some assembly. The parts usually slot together quite well but some may need gluing to keep them in place.

As an added bonus the Fireflash model comes with 3 tiny tiny Elevator cars. These mini miracles are so detailed in spite of their size.

This isn't a giant finger, just very small elevator cars!
Also from Konami is a range of Thuderbird Pod vehicles. These depict various vehicles used by Thuderbird 2 in different episodes. They come on an interlocking stand that forms a diorama of part of the Thunderbirds underground silo. I bought mine from Greylight but you can still pick them up on Ebay. The Elevator Car pack contains two cars and part of the base.Finally from Konami is a slightly larger Elevator Car by itself, jolly good fun too!






Thursday, 1 November 2007

Enterprise NX01

Johnny Lightning have so far released 3 ranges of their Legends of Star Trek miniatures, with a 4th on its way about now. Generally these are nice replicas with a decent amount of detail on them. You can find detailed information about the releases here. These two craft, both the NX01 Enterprise from 'a spin-off too far' Enterprise. This first version was from the 1st wave of releases and shows the Enterprise as most viewers would know it.
I have to say I'm not a fan of the design as it looks too much like a ship from the Next Generation era rather than being a predecessor to Kirks classic Enterprise. It feels like the designers just weren't brave enough to go retro with the look and feel of the show. I'm sure the casual viewer wouldn't even know this was meant to be set before the original series.
That said these replicas are very faithful to the ships design. The surface detailing and painting is a bit spartan but seems to work. The stand allows for a range of movement and you can pose the ship as you wish.The second ship is from a two part episode set in the Mirror Universe when the Federation are a bit nastier and a tad more right-wing. While I enjoyed the changes made to the ship the story left me wanting. The replica is fun and makes the original look a bit plain in comparison.

The only comparable replica of the Enterprise NX-01 that I know of is by Japanese manufacturer Romando. I only have one or two of the Romando releases but the quality is very high. You can see some images on them here. (I will post some images of my Romando collection in a future post.)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Wish List - Scorpio

There has yet to be a model or toy of the Scorpio from season 4 of Blake's 7. This would be top of my wish list for a nice small replica.The model was built at the BBC in the early 80's by, amongst others, Ron Thornton of Foundation Imaging fame. After working at the Beeb Ron went on to pioneer computer generated spaceships in Babylon 5 and Star Trek Voyager.

The detailed model suffered from some rushed lighting & camera work, poor compositing and very grainy footage. I'm sure if these models were placed side by side with feature film models of the same time they would compare quite favourably

The prop only last for one season, its brief on-screen career was ended when it crashed into the forests of Guada Prime. There are one or two scratch builds around the world but if anyone has made a small replica I am not aware of it.

UPDATE
As Glazy points out Titan Find are working on a model of the Scorpio.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Serenity

Firefly was the short-lived classic TV series created by the talent-force that is Joss Whedon. The series spawned a well received feature film, Serenity, named after lead character Mal Reynolds’ ship. I always pictured the series as being ‘The Adventures of Han Solo’ and Serenity was defiantly in the mould of the Millennium Falcon. The design echoes its insect origins and makes nice use of multi-levels, something you don’t often see in a smaller ship.

This ship comes from Dark Horse, best known for their comics output. This is what they have to say:

Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, made his big-screen writing/directing debut with this sci-fi epic, continuing the story begun in his fan-favourite TV series, Firefly. Fans of the cult-hit TV series and the major motion picture, now available on DVD, will love this ornament featuring the rogue ship Serenity.
Hang or stand for display! Comes with base (shown) or hanger.


Publication Date: Aug 16, 2006
Format: 6" long x 3 1/2" wide, full colour ornament

The model has a nice weight to it and sits well on its stand. There is an option to hang it instead but I would not recommend doing this from your car mirror – it’s just too big! I would imagine this is why they’ve called it an ornament; perhaps you might consider hanging it over your desk or from your Christmas tree. Personally I think it looks fine on its stand.

The level of detail is fine, noting exceptional, but it seems fairly accurate. The biggest disappointment is the absence of the Serenity name from the side of the hull, something prominently seen in the movie. This is a shame and lets down what is otherwise a very nice piece.

Also available is an ‘in disguise’ version which depicts Serenity’s flight through Reaver territory disguised as a Reaver vessel. It’s not pretty, it’s not meant to be either. I’m undecided if I want to shell out for this one, I think I’m happy with the standard version.

Also available soon are these two ships, the first is Inara's Shuttle:The second is a reaver ship



You can read another review here