2001: A Space Bone

Valor

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Ever since I built my HAL 9000 replica I've coveted the other end of the technological spectrum from the intro to 2001. In a way it is the "historically first" weapon used by man in a movie.

I don't think I've seen anyone else tackle this, so I set out to see if I could get a decent "turnaround" model of the bone that the ape "Moonwatcher" chucks into the air before the cut to the space station. I'm doing this off YouTube so quality isn't brilliant. But I think I have the makings of a reasonable model. Because of how Kubric cuts the scene, the bone leaves frame momentarily and reenters spinning the other direction. Also, there is a small portion of one side that doesn't face camera. I'll have to make some presumptions there.

One other note: The bone Moonwatcher throws is substantially different from the one seen rotating.


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laellee

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Ha how long did that take? Nicely done, even with the limited video quality!
 

Odin82

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This would be fun for anyone to tackle!

The bone being thown could be rubber so is distorting with the forces, looking thinner on the shaft.

Anyone with an idea of anatomy the type type of bone and scale? So any archaeological Ape picture google search might prove fruitful just as a base guideline. Like the one on the left of the image here, but flip it upright maybe? Gorilla Intermembral Set - Bone Clones, Inc. - Osteological Reproductions


From having studied Archaeology in my past life, I can say that casts are still sold from bones discovered going back over 50+ years ago. I presume the prop department would have sourced the bone from a medical / archaeological company, and then only weathered it up.

So for all these years, this cast could possible have been sold unknown to people. Might be a good idea to start scouring these bone replica sites, starting with the oldest companies, as you might even find an "original", or closest thing anyone could find. Just need to match the photos to the cast.
 
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Valor

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I believe it is intended to be the tibia of a tapir (try saying that 10 times fast) The tapir is the animal they seem to be hunting. Although I don't see the Thrown Bone as a match for that specific animal. Honestly, I could see the prop master just providing piles of animal bones for the scene without worrying about accuracy.

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Valor

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I printed out some of the shots to try to gauge a good length. Not knowing the exact size of Moonwatcher (I suspect he would be a bit on the smaller side.) I arrived at a 13" long bone (that's what she said). It feels like a decent size weapon in my hand. I set up the start of a sculpting armature. Might go find some clay tomorrow.
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Odin82

Well-Known Member
That looks great dude!

But I don't know whether to thank you or curse you for giving me a new quest to solve! 100% can guarantee the prop was from a medical company, and that cast is still being sold today to museums or archaeology schools!

Is there anything in the credits thanking some company that sounds like they manufactured animal bones?

You could be right about the bones. I presume the prop/FX guys would have bought some while designing the suits, for scale etc, and reutilising what they had bought.
 

Valor

Sr Member
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Anyone with an idea of anatomy the type type of bone and scale? So any archaeological Ape picture google search might prove fruitful just as a base guideline. Like the one on the left of the image here, but flip it upright maybe? Gorilla Intermembral Set - Bone Clones, Inc. - Osteological Reproductions
You might be right about the Humerus .... One part that is puzzling to me is the little "fin" that comes off the end of the bone on one size. You can see the radial fossa, capitulum, trochlea and medial epicondyle* at the bottom of the Town Bone.

* I googled this. I'm not that smart.

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
It might have been a casting error from the prop team, like some resin/foam leaked trying to make a bunch of them at short notice. If not, finding the right cast should be easy if it was an original error from the cast.

I can't remember the familial tree of hominids, but humerus casting should be easy to find, considering not many are actually found, hence castings being used X years later.

Something like Australopithecus Humerus or something / out of africa ape. Being such a maestro for detail, one can assume it's a casting from an original find.

Neanderthal Humerus Reconstruction - Bone Clones, Inc. - Osteological Reproductions A site like here might be worth scouring. plug 12 and 3/4 inches for the humerus there. I've seen some casting with some of those fins, but coming off different parts. Wish I had more time right now to investigate, but 100% positive, they used real castings, which are still for sale today.
 
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Valor

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So, thinking more like a prop master, one place they could get a lot of bones from would be a slaughterhouse. Cattle, maybe horse? Here's a pic of a cow tibia.

Again, I'm more interested in sculpting a replica of the Thrown Bone, trying to match the topology and markings we see on screen. But it is interesting trying to identify the species.

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Odin82

Well-Known Member
Horse humerus might be worth checking out pictures of too. Scaling things up, plus some pictures I've seen, that "fin" is another bone that leads to the ball socket. I'm guessing a horse humerus may have been used also for scale reasons.

Either way, the research is great just for an overall idea of the shape and length. Will be following with great interest!
 

nick daring

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Awesome project. I hope it's a real bone that can be easily found. I'd love to have one as well.
 

Odin82

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Definitely looks like a horse bone, considering full-size actors in the suits etc. Great progress in such a short time!
 

Odin82

Well-Known Member
This was a fun read:

Also leads me to think, "Tapir Femur" might be worth searching amongst the fossil reproduction sites.

Might be worth finding a subreddit where some experts hang out and asking their opinions on it too.
 

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Valor

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This was a fun read:

Also leads me to think, "Tapir Femur" might be worth searching amongst the fossil reproduction sites.
That is awesome. Very funny. Kubrick was a bad-ass. However I think an actual tapir femur can be ruled out. They are quite different looking.
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Odin82

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That's what I was thinking too. As it would have to be scaled up, so probably easier is to use a modern day ancestor bone and weather it.

There was a great lecture I saw on Youtube recently, of a Palaeontologist arguing that there are less species of dinosaurs than what we are led to believe, that smaller ones were "young" much like human bones grow into each other etc. I saw some Tapir femurs with something that looked like the fin on a google search, and it reminded me of it.
 

Valor

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So, this project has kind of morphed from "I'm going to sculpt that bone" to "what is that bone?" to "Can I acquire a more accurate replica of that bone?"

I'm pretty sold that this is indeed the Radius bone of a domesticated horse with the Ulna snapped off.

I'm working on a couple things. 1) I found a high-fidelity model of exactly this bone. The similarities are pretty striking. I'm in contact with them to see if this file is available.

2) I've found a research group that has 3-D scanned the radius ulna from a horse for the sole purpose of 3D Printing them for veterinary use. I am attempting to see if they would allow me to use their file to print an accurate radius.

We'll see where I get. My fall-back position will be to simply sculpt my own bone, but I want to dig around in this direction for a while too.

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Valor

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So, if you go back to the scene where Moonwatcher is learning to use the bone club on the pile of dead bones, you can clearly see the Radius bone he is using still has the Ulna attached. When the scene cuts to him holding up in the air, the Ulna is clearly snapped off. This is the bone that get's thrown in the air later after the fight with the other tribe of apes.

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Valor

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Also confirming it's a horse. The skull present in the bone smashing scene is ... A horse skull. I suspect the actor was placed in front of a bunch of bones from a single skeleton.
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