DEPARTMENTS

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Scratchbuilding Old School Scifi Ships

Growing up there were a lot of spaceship designs in art, movies, comics and TV that seemed to hold a certain attachment to the science of science fiction. They were often simple shapes and uncluttered by greeblies and panels. This was not, of course, all of the designs of the age, but it was a very distinct demographic of the design work of the 70's and early 80's. Star Wars and the designs informed by it seemed to bury this simple design aesthetic as we moved on into Battlestar Galactica, Aliens and their "clones". But I never forgot these designs.

Recently, I happened upon some scratch built models on the blog Tempests in a Teapot  and it all came flooding back.





These ships miniatures were lovingly scratch built to represent the ships from a strategy board game called "Imperium". I had this game as a kid and, while it was a bit over my head at the age I owned it, I recall adoring the evocative ship silhouettes on those cardboard counters. Imperial ships were round and imposing, looking to be full of menace and power, while the opposing force was made of sleek ships that looked like the Cold War era supersonic designs - all delta wings and conical noses. 

I was inspired by this find and my love of these old designs along with others I had seen in Traveller and Battletech's expanded universe of dropships and jumpships and even the designs of Steve Galacci's "Erma Felna EDF" that appears in the Albedo Anthropomorphics (http://leadpeople.blogspot.com/2009/09/albedo-anthropomorphics-spacecraft.html) anthology comic of hte 80's. 



With a ready supply of collected junk and hobby craft supplies, I set to putting together some shapes that looked right as ships of differing classes. This is just the beginning. The next step is to find detail bits that I have in enough abundance to replicate across multiple models. If parts fall short, then I will fall back on the time honored idea of class variations.

-Eli










6 comments:

  1. Very cool indeed. It's like the cover of a dog-eared, 70s vintage Poul Anderson paperback!

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    Replies
    1. Ha! Ain't that the truth. A lot easier to build than a John Berkey space ship ;)

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    2. I do aspire to make some fleet scale "Berkeys"

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    3. Audacious, but I have faith in you Eli :)

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  2. A blast from the past. Enjoy, Eli.

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    Replies
    1. I do love some Foss and Berkey style ships.

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