Thursday, February 28, 2013

Corellian Engineering Corporation YT - 1300 Transport Millennium Falcon

Here are some images of Fine Molds 1/72 scale Corellian Engineering Corporation YT - 1300 Transport (Han Solo's Modified) Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars Universe.
One way to know for certain the accuracy of a science fiction model kit is how easy it is to tell which models the greebling came from. This kit was a piece of cake.

From Wikipedia"
The Millennium Falcon is a spacecraft in the fictional Star Wars universe commanded by smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his Wookiee first mate, Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). The highly modified YT-1300 light freighter first appears in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977), and subsequently in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) and in a cameo in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). The Falcon also appears in a variety of Star Wars Expanded Universe materials, including books, comics, and games; James Luceno's novel Millennium Falcon focuses on the titular ship.

According to Star Wars creator George Lucas, the Millennium Falcon's design was inspired by a hamburger, with the cockpit being an olive on the side. The ship originally had a more elongated appearance, but the similarity to the Eagle Transporters in Space: 1999 prompted Lucas to change the Falcon's design. The original model was modified, re-scaled, and used as Princess Leia's ship, Tantive IV.
The sound of the ship traveling through hyperspace comes from two tracks of the engine noise of a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, with one track slightly out of synchronization with the other. To this, sound designer Ben Burtt added the hum of the cooling fans on the motion-control rig at ILM.

Visually, the Millennium Falcon was represented by several models and external and internal sets. For A New Hope, a partial exterior set was constructed and the set dressed as Docking Bay 94 and the Death Star hangar. Besides the functional landing gear, an additional support held up the structure and was disguised as a fuel line. The interior set included the starboard ring corridor, the boarding ramp, cockpit access tunnel, gun turret ladder, secret compartments, and the forward hold. The cockpit was constructed as a separate set that could be rocked when the ship was supposed to shake. Several inconsistencies exist between the internal set and the external set, the cockpit access tunnel angle being the most noticeable.
The effects models for A New Hope matched the design of the exterior set. The primary model was 5 feet long and detailed with various kit parts. The ship was represented as a matte painting when Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) sees it for the first time, showing the full upper surface. For the 1997 Special Edition, a digital model replaces the effects model in several shots, and is used in a new shot of the Falcon lifting off from Docking Bay 94.
For The Empire Strikes Back, a new external set was constructed in a hangar by Marcon Fabrications in Pembroke Dock, West Wales. Once completed, it weighed over 25 tons and used compressed air hover pads for movement around the set. It was disassembled and shipped to the studio for filming. As in A New Hope, the location set was changed around the ship set. The only major design change was to add additional landing gear where the disguised fuel line had been in A New Hope. As this set included the port side, that gave the set seven landing gear. The internal set was slightly refitted from A New Hope and featured a larger cargo hold, an additional corridor to port, and an equipment room. Two new interior sets were created that are not shown to connect to the rest of the set: a top hatch that Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) uses to rescue Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and the compartment where Luke rests on a bunk.
The 5-foot-long effects model from A New Hope was modified to reflect the additional landing gear, and several new models were built, including one roughly the size of a U.S. Quarter Dollar. For the 1997 Special Edition, a CGI model replaced the effects model during the approach and landing on Cloud City.
No new models or sets were created for Return of the Jedi. A portion of the full-scale ship was used for a scene cut from Return of the Jedi in which several characters board the Falcon in a sandstorm on Tatooine. In the scene when Han exacts a promise from Lando not to damage the Falcon, the Falcon is represented by a backdrop painting. It is also in a matte painting of the entire hangar bay.
The internal and external sets were scrapped after filming on Return of the Jedi ended. The effects models were kept by Lucasfilm and some have been on display from time to time.
A digital version of the Falcon appears briefly on Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith. Lucas has stated that the ship is the Falcon and not another ship of similar design. A CGI version of the vessel also appears in the Disney attraction Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Han Solo won the Millennium Falcon from fellow rogue Lando Calrissian in a hand of the card game sabacc. In A New Hope, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and Luke Skywalker charter the ship to deliver them, C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), R2-D2 (Kenny Baker), and the stolen Death Star plans to Alderaan. Skywalker calls the ship "a piece of junk", but Solo counters by noting that the ship "may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts." When the Falcon is captured by the Death Star, the group conceal themselves in smuggling compartments built into the floor to avoid discovery during a search of the ship. Solo later collects his fee for delivering them to the hidden Rebel base and departs, but returns just in time to assist Luke in his attempt to destroy the Death Star.
Solo flies the Falcon, with Chewbacca, Leia, and C-3PO aboard, to elude the Imperial Starfleet in The Empire Strikes Back. They take refuge at Cloud City, where Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) captures Solo and freezes him in carbonite. Lando Calrissian helps the others escape and, at the film's end, he departs in the Falcon to track down Solo and his captor, Jabba the Hutt. Calrissian again flies the Falcon during the climax of Return of the Jedi, with friend and former smuggler Nien Nunb as co-pilot, leading the Rebels' successful attack on the second Death Star.
The Falcon is often connected to the Kessel Run; Solo, in A New Hope, brags that the Falcon made the Kessel Run in "less than twelve parsecs". As this is a unit of distance, not time, different explanations have been provided. In the fourth draft of the script, Kenobi "reacts to Solo’s stupid attempt to impress them with obvious misinformation." In the Expanded Universe, the Kessel Run is a pathway from Kessel past the Maw Black Hole Cluster used by smugglers to transport precious Glitterstim spice, and Solo's bragging refers to his ability to move the ship closer to the Maw's black holes and therefore cut the distance traveled. On the A New Hope DVD audio commentary, Lucas comments that, in the Star Wars universe, traveling through hyperspace requires careful navigation to avoid stars, planets, asteroids, and other obstacles, and that since no long-distance journey can be made in a straight line, the "fastest" ship is the one that can plot the "most direct course", thereby traveling the least distance. The novelization backs away and changes the line to "twelve Standard Time Units."
Solo's twelve-parsec Kessel Run was a result of being pursued by Imperial vessels, but also due to modifications to the ship's Hyperdrive by an engineer named Doc Han met in the Corporate Zone, all depicted in the novel Rebel Dawn by A. C. Crispin. (However, the Falcon makes its debut in the previous book in the trilogy, The Hutt Gambit, as Calrissian's personal ship.) In Dark Horse Comics' "The Kessel Run", Solo mentions a scam that Calrissian uses to win money back from Solo after losing the Falcon to him.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Moonbus From 2001 A Space Odyssey

Here are some more images of Moebius Models (from Aurora molds) 1/55 scale Moonbus from 2001 a space odyssey.

From Wikipedia"
The Moonbus is a fictional spacecraft from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The vehicle is a small, low altitude rocket craft meant to be used for quick transportation of passengers and cargo above the surface of the Moon.
 A moonbus is a hypothetical small, light-duty VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) spacecraft designed primarily for short-range low-altitude point-to-point ferrying of people and supplies on a moon. A moonbus "flies" over terrain by regulating downward thrusters to counter the moon's gravity while using horizontal thrusters or angling downward thrust to move over the moon's surface. While plausible, this seems to be more trouble than it would be worth in actual practice. Given the moon's low gravity, it would be far easier to simply plot sub-orbital trajectories which would be far safer and require less supervision from pilots. Currently no practical moonbuses exist for lack of applicability. The first specific depiction of a moonbus appeared in the science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968).

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Faichild/Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II N/AW

Here are some images of Trumpeter models 1/32 scale Faichild/Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II N/AW.

From the instructions"
There was hope since the beginning of the A-10 program that an enhanced variant of the aircraft could be developed for the Air Force.
this hope was based on the original air force A-10 system specification that was written in 1972 and stated  that the vehicle design shall allow for ease of growth
to a 2 seat version for training with combat capability and night adverse weather attack.
In 1978 the DOD made funds available for the development of a Night/Adverse Weather (N/W) variant of the A-10.
The N/AW development effort was jointly funded by the defense department and Fairchild/Republic 5 million and 2 million respectively.
As part of this effort Fairchild leased the first DT&E A-10 aircraft from the Air Force for the purpose of modifying it into a 2 seat variant designated the N/AW evaluator.
As Fairchild had allowed for expansion of the original design, the amount of rework to be performed on the aircraft would not be drastic.
The N/AW version was built primarily as a reaction to the fact that the Soviet forces in Europe devote about 40% of their training to night operations.
Current A-10's could operate at nght using illumination flares, but that activity would be nullified by reduced visibility.
As a result a requirement existed for evaluating a version that could fly in all types of weather.
The rework began in April of 1978 at the Farmingdale plant and took over 13 months to complete.
The N/AW version was 2000 lbs heavier than the conventional A-10 with the addition of the second cockpit station for the weapons systems operator (WSO).
The extra station included a duplicate of the forward cockpit except for the HUD controls and the titanium tub.
Flight controls would be duplicated with the addition of an extra yaw stick.
New avionics added to the N/AW evaluator were a multimode radar and a forward looking infrared (FLIR).
The multimode radar had modes for target indication, ground mapping, terrain tracking and target detection.
The threat detector function could detect radar signals from a surface to air missile battery or a radar directed anti aircraft gun.
The FLIR presented a realistic image of the terrain on the HUD (heads up display) and could be used for target identification for the 30mm gun, INS updating and as a secondary terrain avoidance monitor
to the multimode radar.
Besides the second cockpit, the N/AW differed from the A-10A in that the fin and rudder were modified.
The N/AW fin rudder were enlarged to improve lateral stability and control.
The aircraft was delivered to Edwards AFB for flight testing, which began on May 4th 1979.
 The initial flights were were devoted to air worthiness checks in the area of control handling from both cockpits.
Also new equipment such as the low altitude warning sensors were checked out in the various types of terrain and structures on the ground.
After the initial flights, tactical evaluations were were carried out that included low altitude flying target detection and gun attacks.
The primary objective of the air force with the N/AW was to see if the additional equipment could be handled by one pilot.
This could lead into enhanced single seat A-10's being developed by retrofitting the A-10 fleet.
Fairchild was coming from a different perspective as it felt the N/AW was a 2 man job.
Cost estimates for converting an A-10 to the 2 seat configuration was about $500,000 for the basic structural work and another million dollars for the additional night/adverse weather equipment.
The Air Force however were looking into the possibility of having single seat A-10's converted into N/AW aircraft.
In the event the LANTERN (low altitude time infrared navigation) system was proposed for the A-10ending the need for the N/AW specialized aircraft as the LANTERN enhanced
pilot capability for night time flying.
Throughout the next decade the LANTERN proposal would go through several design alterations and several nomenclature changes with the end result that no enhanced system was put into the A-10 before
the end of production.
There was also a proposal for a 2 seat trainer when the Air Force asked for trade studies on such an aircraft.
This was different from the N/AW evaluator as the second seat would be added for training purposes only and no advanced electronics would be added to this version which was designated as the A-10B.
Data collected from flight testing of the N/AW evaluator provided the Air Force with enough information to make a decision.
The Air Force requested that 20 A-10B aircraft be tacked onto the original order of 713 aircraft.
If additional A-10B's were needed, then existing A-10A's would be converted.
The proposed A-10B version was cut by congress in 1983. They felt along with several Air Force officials that the A-10A was already simple enough to fly and that a trainer version was not needed.
The final count for A-10 production was 713 aircraft.
The only 2 seat version for the A-10 program was the N/AW aircraft which still exists today, but only as a museum piece at Edwards AFB.
The inability of Fairchild/Republic to obtain an extension to the existing A-10 contract, along with the Air Forces cancellation of the company's other prime program,
the controversial T-46A trainer program forced it to close in early 1987.
The rights of the A-10 program, along with 116 engineers were obtained by Grumman Aerospace in late 1987.
In the late 1980's there was discussion about transferring A-10's to the Army.
Instead a slightly modified version for reconnaissance designated the OA-10 was developed.
This variant required minimal modification to existing A-10's with the external difference being what was carried under the wings.
Instaed of bombs and missiles, the OA-10 carried white phosphorus rockets for marking targets for other aircraft to destroy.
The OA-10 would still carry a full load of ammunition for the 30mm cannon fro self defense.
There were 2 groups of A-10's that were converted to AO-10 standards and these were stationed at Davis/Monthon AFB in Tucson Arizona.      

Friday, February 15, 2013

Douglas A4-M Skyhawk

Here are some images of Trumpeter Model's 1/32 scale Douglas A4-M Skyhawk.

From Wikipedia"
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a carrier-capable attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The delta winged, single-engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later by McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated the A4D under the U.S. Navy's pre-1962 designation system.
The Skyhawk is a light-weight aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 pounds (11,100 kg) and has a top speed of more than 600 miles per hour (970 km/h). The aircraft's five hardpoints support a variety of missiles, bombs and other munitions and was capable of delivering nuclear weapons using a low altitude bombing system and a "loft" delivery technique. The A-4 was originally powered by the Wright J65 turbojet engine; from the A-4E onwards, the Pratt & Whitney J52 was used.
Skyhawks played key roles in the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Falklands War. Fifty years after the aircraft's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 produced remain in service with several air arms around the world, including from the Brazilian Navy's aircraft carrier, São Paulo.
 The Skyhawk was designed by Douglas Aircraft's Ed Heinemann in response to a U.S. Navy call for a jet-powered attack aircraft to replace the older Douglas AD Skyraider (later redesignated A-1 Skyraider). Heinemann opted for a design that would minimize its size, weight, and complexity. The result was an aircraft that weighed only half of the Navy's weight specification. It had a wing so compact that it did not need to be folded for carrier stowage. The diminutive Skyhawk soon received the nicknames "Scooter", "Kiddiecar", "Bantam Bomber", "Tinker Toy Bomber", and, on account of its nimble performance, "Heinemann's Hot-Rod".
 The aircraft is of conventional post-World War II design, with a low-mounted delta wing, tricycle undercarriage, and a single turbojet engine in the rear fuselage, with two air intakes on the fuselage sides. The tail is of cruciform design, with the horizontal stabilizer mounted above the fuselage. Armament consisted of two 20 mm (.79 in caliber) Colt Mk 12 cannons, one in each wing root, with 200 rounds per gun, plus a large variety of bombs, rockets, and missiles carried on a hardpoint under the fuselage centerline and hardpoints under each wing (originally one per wing, later two).
 The choice of a delta wing, for example, combined speed and maneuverability with a large fuel capacity and small overall size, thus not requiring folding wings, albeit at the expense of cruising efficiency. The leading edge slats were designed to drop automatically at the appropriate speed by gravity and air pressure, saving weight and space by omitting actuation motors and switches. Similarly the main undercarriage did not penetrate the main wing spar, designed so that when retracted only the wheel itself was inside the wing and the undercarriage struts were housed in a fairing below the wing. The wing structure itself could be lighter with the same overall strength and the absence of a wing folding mechanism further reduced weight. This is the opposite of what can often happen in aircraft design where a small weight increase in one area leads to a compounding increase in weight in other areas to compensate, leading to the need for more powerful, heavier engines and so on in a vicious circle.
 The A-4 pioneered the concept of "buddy" air-to-air refueling. This allows the aircraft to supply others of the same type, eliminating the need of dedicated tanker aircraft—a particular advantage for small air arms or when operating in remote locations. This allows for greatly improved operational flexibility and reassurance against the loss or malfunction of tanker aircraft, though this procedure reduces the effective combat force on board the carrier. A designated supply A-4 would mount a center-mounted "buddy store", a large external fuel tank with a hose reel in the aft section and an extensible drogue refueling bucket. This aircraft was fueled up without armament and launched first. Attack aircraft would be armed to the maximum and given as much fuel as was allowable by maximum takeoff weight limits, far less than a full tank. Once airborne, they would then proceed to top off their fuel tanks from the tanker using the A-4's fixed refueling probe on the starboard side of the aircraft nose. They could then sortie with both full armament and fuel loads. While rarely used in U.S. service since the KA-3 Skywarrior tanker became available, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet includes this capability.

The A-4 was also designed to be able to make an emergency landing, in the event of a hydraulic failure, on the two drop tanks nearly always carried by these aircraft. Such landings resulted in only minor damage to the nose of the aircraft which could be repaired in less than an hour.
The Navy issued a contract for the type on 12 June 1952, and the first prototype first flew from Edwards Air Force Base, California on 22 June 1954. Deliveries to Navy and Marine Corps squadrons (to VA-72 and VMA-224 respectively) commenced in late 1956.
The Skyhawk remained in production until 1979, with 2,960 aircraft built, including 555 two-seat trainers. The last production A-4, an A-4M issued to a Marine squadron (VMA-331) had the flags of all nations who had operated the A-4 series aircraft painted on the fuselage sides.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Yellow Submarine

Here are some images of MPC/Round 2's The Beatles Yellow Submarine from the movie of the same name.

From Wikipedia"

Yellow Submarine is a 1968 British animated musical fantasy film based on the music of The Beatles.
The film was directed by animation producer George Dunning, and produced by United Artists (UA) and King Features Syndicate. Initial press reports stated that the Beatles themselves would provide their own character voices, however, aside from composing and performing the songs, the real Beatles participated only in the closing scene of the film, while their cartoon counterparts were voiced by other actors.
The film received a widely positive reception from critics and audiences alike. It is also credited with bringing more interest in animation as a serious art form. Time commented that it "turned into a smash hit, delighting adolescents and esthetes alike".
The original story was written by Lee Minoff, based on the song by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and the screenplay penned by four collaborators including Erich Segal. The George Harrison character's recurring line "It's all in the mind" is taken from The Goon Show.
The Beatles were not enthusiastic about participating in a motion picture. They were displeased with their second feature film Help!, and were discouraged by the disastrous reception of their self-produced TV special Magical Mystery Tour. They did, however, see an animated film as a favourable way to complete their commitment to United Artists for a third film. (Ultimately, due to their relatively small roles and the fact it was animated, United Artists still considered them to owe another film; Let It Be would be the third film to complete their contract with the studio.)
The Beatles make a live-action cameo appearance in the final scene, which was filmed on 25 January 1968 prior to the band's trip to India. This was to fulfill their contract of actually appearing in the film. The cameo was originally intended to feature a post-production psychedelic background and effects, but due to time and budget constraints, a blank, black background remained in the final film. While Starr and McCartney still looked the same as their animated counterparts, Lennon and Harrison's physical appearances had changed by the time the cameo was shot. Both were clean-shaven, and Lennon had begun to grow his hair longer with accompanying lamb chop sideburns.
As with many motion picture musicals, the music takes precedence over the actual plot, and most of the story is a series of set-pieces designed to present Beatles music set to various images, in a form reminiscent of Walt Disney's Fantasia (and foreshadowing the rise of music videos and MTV thirteen years later). Nonetheless, the film still presents a modern-day fairy tale that caters to the ideals of the "love generation".
The dialogue is littered with puns, double entendres, and Beatles in-jokes, many scripted by poet Roger McGough.
The imagery, character names, and vocalisations include numerous in-jokes, such as the character Max being blue and having a German accent, possibly being a reference to the 1966 film The Blue Max, who also refers to escaping to Argentina, as some Nazis had done.
In the DVD commentary track, production supervisor John Coates adds an additional perspective, stating that "blue" was a play on "Jew", not as a reflection of any anti-Semitism on the part of the filmmakers, but rather as a commentary on the stereotypical casting of Jews as villains.There is also a scene where a Blue Meanie questions some disguised Beatles, asking, "Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish..." However, Millicent McMillan recalls that the Blue Meanies were originally supposed to be red, or even purple, but when Heinz Edelmann's assistant accidentally changed the colours, the film's characters took on a different meaning.

The Beatles' animated personas were based on their appearance in the promotional film for the song "Strawberry Fields Forever", with the exception of Paul being without his moustache. The film also includes several references to songs not included in the soundtrack, including "A Day in the Life" where the lyrics are referenced in the "Sea of Holes" scene, as well as the orchestral breaks earlier in the film, also from "A Day in the Life".
National and foreign animators were assembled by TVC. Bob Balser and Jack Stokes were animation directors. Charlie Jenkins, one of the film's key creative directors, was responsible for the entire "Eleanor Rigby" sequence, as well as the submarine travel from Liverpool, through London, to splashdown. Jenkins also was responsible for "Only a Northern Song" in the Sea of Science, plus much of the multi-image sequences. A large crew of skilled animators, including (in alphabetical order) Alan Ball, Ron Campbell, John Challis, Hester Coblentz, Geoff Collins, Rich Cox, Duane Crowther, Tony Cuthbert, Malcolm Draper, Paul Driessen, Cam Ford, Norm Drew, Tom Halley, Dick Horne, Arthur Humberstone, Dennis Hunt, Diane Jackson, Anne Jolliffe, Dave Livesey, Reg Lodge, Geoff Loynes, Lawrence Moorcroft, Ted Percival, Mike Pocock and Gerald Potterton was responsible for bringing the animated Beatles to life. The background work was executed by artists under the direction of Alison De Vere and Millicent McMillan who were both Background Supervisors. Ted Lewis and Chris Miles were responsible for Animation Clean Up.
George Dunning, who also worked on the Beatles cartoon series, was the overall director for the film, supervising over 200 artists for 11 months. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was George Dunning's idea, which he turned over to Bill Sewell, who delivered more than thirty minutes of rotoscoped images. By that time, George Dunning was not available, and Bob Balser, with the help of Arne Gustafson, edited the material to its sequence length in the film.
The animation of Yellow Submarine has sometimes falsely been attributed to the famous psychedelic pop art artist of the era, Peter Max; but the film's art director was Heinz Edelmann. Edelmann, along with his contemporary Milton Glaser, pioneered the psychedelic style for which Max would later become famous, but according to Edelmann and producer Al Brodax, as quoted in the book Inside the Yellow Submarine by Hieronimus and Cortner, Max had nothing to do with the production of Yellow Submarine.
The film's style, created by creative director Heinz Edelmann, contrasts greatly with the efforts of Disney Feature Animation and other animated films previously released by Hollywood up until the time. The film uses a style of limited animation. It also paved the way for Terry Gilliam's animations for Do Not Adjust Your Set and Monty Python (note particularly the cut-out animation made of colorised b/w photographs for the Eleanor Rigby sequence which bears a great resemblance to Gilliam's animations due to utilizing this same technique).

In addition to the existing title song "Yellow Submarine", several complete or excerpted songs, four previously unreleased, were used in the film. They included "All Together Now", (a football-crowd favourite); "It's All Too Much" (a George Harrison composition); "Baby, You're a Rich Man" (the first song recorded specifically for this film, but which made its first appearance as the B-side to the "All You Need Is Love" single);"Only a Northern Song", a Harrison song originally recorded during sessions for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (the partial inspiration for this film); and "Hey Bulldog", a John Lennon piano romp (this song was originally included only in the European theatrical release, but restored for the US theatrical reissue in 1999). Most of the "new" songs used on the soundtrack album were rejected from other projects, being not considered of high enough quality for appearance on a "studio" Beatles album.
The film's instrumental music was an orchestral score composed and arranged by George Martin. One of the film's cues, heard after the main title credits, was originally recorded during sessions for "Good Night" (an album track for The Beatles, aka the White Album) and would have been used as the introduction to Ringo's composition "Don't Pass Me By", also on the White Album; it was later released as "A Beginning" on the Anthology 3 album.

Monday, February 4, 2013

N.S.E.A. Protector NTE - 3120

Here are some images of Pegasus Models 1/1400 scale N.S.E.A. Protector NTE (Not The Enterprise) - 3120 from the movie Galaxy Quest.

From Wikipedia"
Galaxy Quest is a 1999 science-fiction parody comedy film about a troupe of actors who defend a group of aliens against an alien warlord. It was directed by Dean Parisot and written by David Howard and Robert Gordon. Mark Johnson and Charles Newirth produced the film for DreamWorks, and David Newman composed the music score. Portions of the film were shot in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah, USA, and non-humanoid creatures were created by Stan Winston Studio from designs by Jordu Schell.
The film parodies the television series Star Trek and related media activities such as fandom. It stars Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, and Daryl Mitchell as the cast of a defunct television series called Galaxy Quest, in which the crew of a spaceship embarked on intergalactic adventures. Enrico Colantoni also stars as the leader of an alien race who ask the actors for help, believing the show's adventures were real. The film's supporting cast features Robin Sachs as the warlord, Patrick Breen as a friendly alien, and Justin Long in his feature-film debut as a fan of the television show.
The film received critical praise and reached cult status through the years, garnering admiration from Star Trek fans, staff, and cast members. It won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, the Nebula Award for Best Script, and was also nominated for ten Saturn Awards including Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director for Parisot, Best Actress for Weaver and Best Supporting Actor for Rickman, winning Best Actor for Allen.
The film was included in Reader's Digest's list of The Top 100+ Funniest Movies of All Time. In commentary on the Blu-ray edition of Star Trek, director J. J. Abrams called Galaxy Quest "one of the best Star Trek movies ever made."

Reaction quotes from Star Trek actors

  • I had originally not wanted to see Galaxy Quest because I heard that it was making fun of Star Trek, and then Jonathan Frakes rang me up and said "You must not miss this movie! See it on a Saturday night in a full theatre." And I did, and of course I found it was brilliant. Brilliant. No one laughed louder or longer in the cinema than I did, but the idea that the ship was saved and all of our heroes in that movie were saved simply by the fact that there were fans who did understand the scientific principles on which the ship worked was absolutely wonderful. And it was both funny and also touching in that it paid tribute to the dedication of these fans. — Patrick Stewart
  • I thought it was very funny, and I thought the audience that they portrayed was totally real, but the actors that they were pretending to be were totally unrecognizable. Certainly I don't know what Tim Allen was doing. He seemed to be the head of a group of actors, and for the life of me I was trying to understand who he was imitating. The only one I recognized was the girl playing Nichelle Nichols. — William Shatner (jokingly sending himself up, as he is the one Allen was parodying), who played James T. Kirk
  • I've had flashbacks of Galaxy Quest at the many conventions I've gone to since the movie came out. I thought it was an absolute laugh-a-minute. — Tim Russ, who played the Vulcan Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok on Star Trek: Voyager
  • Yes, I have seen Galaxy Quest and no, Star Trek fandom is not really like that. — Casey Biggs, who played the Cardassian Legate Damar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • I loved Galaxy Quest. I thought it was brilliant satire, not only of Trek, but of fandom in general. The only thing I wish they had done was cast me in it, and have me play a freaky fanboy who keeps screaming at the actor who played "the kid" about how awful it was that there was a kid on the spaceship. Alas. — Wil Wheaton, who played "the kid" Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation
  • I think it's a chillingly realistic documentary. [laughs] The details in it, I recognized every one of them. It is a powerful piece of documentary filmmaking. And I do believe that when we get kidnapped by aliens, it's going to be the genuine, true Star Trek fans who will save the day. ... I was rolling in the aisles. And [star] Tim Allen had that Shatner-esque swagger down pat. And I roared when the shirt came off, and [co-star] Sigourney [Weaver] rolls her eyes and says, 'There goes that shirt again.' ... How often did we hear that on the set? [Laughs.] - George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series

Galaxy Quest is an acknowledged homage to Star Trek; therefore a variety of elements in the former correspond to those of the latter. The television program within the film, Galaxy Quest, is set around the starship NSEA Protector, an instrument of the National Space Exploration Administration, which are obviously parodies of the USS Enterprise and Starfleet respectively. The prefix of the Protector’s registration number NTE-3120 ostensibly alludes to some sort of similar space federation, but in reality stands for "Not The Enterprise", according to visual effects co-supervisor Bill George in a 2000 interview with Cinefex magazine.
This homage even extended to the original marketing of the movie, including a promotional website intentionally designed to look like a poorly constructed fan website, with "screen captures" and poor HTML coding.

Friday, February 1, 2013

U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701

Here are some images of Polar Lights 1/350 scale U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701 from "Star Trek" the original series.
Anyway you look at this kit it is a fine piece of craftsmanship. This kit is the most perfect TOS Enterprise kit I think you will find on the market today, and there are a lot of them.
My one complaint though is the price. This whole model wound up costing me close to $400 CDN to complete.
$191 for the kit, $180 for the lighting pack, and that's not the deluxe lighting pack with all the extra photo etch parts and weathering decals, just the regular one. Plus paints and supplies. As I was going to be doing my own weathering anyway, the weathering decals weren't necessary. The photo etch parts would have been nice but in my view not really necessary.
When you compare the price for the refit Enterprise today which is $120, the TOS Enterprise bares a pretty hefty price tag.

Star Trek art director Matt Jefferies designed the original Enterprise, which was originally named Yorktown in series creator Gene Roddenberry's first outline drafts of the series. Jeffries' experience with aviation led to his Enterprise designs being imbued with what he called "aircraft logic". The ship's "NCC-1701" registry number stemmed from "NC" being one of the international aircraft registration codes assigned to aircraft registered in the United States; the second "C" was added for differentiation. The "1701" was chosen in order to avoid any possible ambiguity; according to Jefferies, the numbers 3, 6, 8 and 9 are "too easily confused". Other sources cite it as a reference to the house across the street from where Roddenberry grew up, while another account gives it as the street address of Linwood Dunn. Jefferies' own sketches provide the explanation that it was his 17th cruiser design with the first serial number of that series: 1701. The Making of Star Trek explains that "USS" should mean "United Space Ship" and that "the Enterprise is a member of the Starship Class".

The original production model on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
The first miniature built for the pilot episode "The Cage" (1965) was unlit and approximately 3 feet (90 cm) long. It was modified during the course of the series to match the changes eventually made to the larger miniature, and appears on-set in "Requiem for Methuselah" (1969). The second miniature built for the original pilot measures 11 feet 2 inches (3.40 m) long and was built by a small crew of model makers, Volmer Jensen, Mel Keys, and Vernon Sion, and supervised by Richard Datin, working out of Jensen's model shop in Burbank, California. It was initially filmed by both Howard A. Anderson and Linwood G. Dunn at Dunn's Film Effects of Hollywood facility, who also re-filmed later more-elaborate models of the ship, generating a variety of stock footage that could be used in later episodes.
Initially, the model was static and had no electronics. For the second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before" (1966), various details were altered, and the starboard window ports and running lights were internally illuminated. When the series was picked up and went into production, the model was altered yet again. These alterations included the addition of translucent domes and blinking lights at the forward ends of the engine nacelles, smaller domes at the stern end of the engine nacelles, a shorter bridge dome, and a smaller deflector/sensor dish. Save for re-used footage from the two pilot episodes, this was the appearance of the ship throughout the series. The 11-foot model stands in the Gift Shop downstairs at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
Greg Jein created a model of the original Enterprise for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations" (1996). Jein's model was built to be exactly half the size of the larger of the two original models, and later appeared in the 1998 Star Trek wall calendar. In addition, a CGI model of the ship makes a brief cameo appearance at the end of the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise, "These Are the Voyages..." (2005), and another CGI version was created for remastered episodes of the original Star Trek, based on the model in the Smithsonian.