A new Time Bandits Map

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merlinb

Member
Hey everyone, I'd like to share with you a new project I'm working on: a version of the Time Bandits map of the universe. I actually started this some years ago and gave up for lack of info and skills, but during the January lockdown I decided to start over. I was inspired by breakfastmachine, who kindly gave me some tips based on his wonderful work in progress!
You may notice I have used some artistic license on my map: the inclusion of symbols that appeared not on the prop but in the opening credits. We never get a decent look at the map in the movie, whereas the credits animation is burned firmly into my memory as a kid, so I do consider those symbols canon. This includes the two coloured seals in the centre of the map, and the ghostly circle on the righthand side, with arabesque writing on it.
I'd love to hear your opinions on my design, and suggestions for the second prototype!
Here's my working file:
DemoMap.jpg


And here's the first test print on poly canvas (A1 size, the final version will be A0). The blue nebula is a lot 'flatter' than I was expecting from the file, so I guess I need to up the contrast, and I think the blue squiggles need to be much brighter too. I do like the semi-weathered look and feel though.

IMG_20210215_104146677.jpg

It's hard to take a good picture in this light. That purple blotching seems to be a camera effect, it's not really there.
IMG_20210215_103957933.jpg

(The sun came out while I was taking the photo below, which is why it looks a different shade)
IMG_20210215_103922534.jpg

IMG_20210215_104154797.jpg
 
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David3

Sr Member
This is great!
Just one suggestion, the blue background would benefit from having a bit of depth to it, with very subtle variations in hue rather than one solid block of color. If you look at the original there is a subtle variance of blue around some of the features like the white reef-like areas.
I have two reproductions, one is beautifully printed with a high clarity of detail and the other is of a lower quality but has that depth of background. I prefer the later despite the lack of detail as its much more pleasing to the eye at a distance hanging on my wall.
I guess its open to interpretation but just thought it an important point to consider.

All the best with your map.
 

breakfstmachine

New Member
Hey! This is looking so good! Happy to be a source of information.

The clocks are particularly excellent. Great work.

Yeah, physical test prints are incredibly helpful. Keep it up and can't wait to see the next iteration!
 

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merlinb

Member
Looks like there's minimal interest in this prop these days, oh well. Here's the second test print. I improved the accuracy of some of the details and lightened up all the blues. I think it's pretty close to finished now, and I agree with David I might increase the background contrast yet more. It seems my monitor can render a lot more colours than the printer can, because the nebula looks much deeper and richer on screen than in print.

Nobody spotted that one of my clocks has the wrong numbers on, d'oh! I thought the clocks were kinda boring by themselves, and on the credits map they are clearly identical on each side of the map -they don't even show different times. I therefore added the faint script numbers beside each clock, different on each side of the map, to add some variety (only one set of clocks printed here, on A1). I will also add the small numbers that appear along the top of the map edge.

Does anyone think I should turn the base white into off-white, to look more aged, or should I leave it virgin white so people can simply weather to taste?

At A0 the final map is going to be enormous, it's hard to mount such a large thing...
 

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merlinb

Member
I know I'm talking to myself but I thought I'd document what I learned about the prop while I was making it. A lot of this info came from Breakfastmachine's thread (shoulders of giants...),so I'm not trying to take credit, just collecting it in one place for posterity! Here goes:

The time holes are all symbols from History of the Two Worlds by Robert Fludd c.1617. They represent his 'interesting' ideas about the creation of the world from chaos.
The big coloured triangle-and-circles is also Fludd's: his 'divine harmony of the microcosm and the macrososm' c1617.

The twelve coloured circles around the larger ring are the pentacles of seven planets. Each one represents one of the seven planetary bodies believed in medeival times to orbit the Earth (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Some are repeated on the map but with different colours.

The smaller coloured circles around the inner ring are the seals of the planetary angels or spirits, again one for each of the seven planets, with repeats. I think the actual pentacle/seal illustrations came from A Complete Book of Magic Science by Frederick Hockley c.1830, who redrew them from older manuscripts, but you find them reproduced all over the place without citation.

The three moon faces are an astronomical woodcut showing the passage of the moon in front of the sun during a solar eclipse. You can find several very similar illustrations by various authors, but the closest match I found is from Theoricae Novae Planetarum by Georg von Peuerbach, 1454. The one on the map does have some extra detail on the 'sun ring', but perhaps this was added by hand?

The zodiacal dragon is from Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae by Anthanasius Kircher, 1646, page 548.

The big symbol with the petals, triangle, and rising moon(?) is a mystery. It appears to be collaged together from several places. To me it appears to be derived from alchemical drawings, but there are also some very similar looks things in the Liber Floridus manuscript.
It's easy to find things that look a *bit* like it, but nothing that is an exact match.

The large numbers are Zapf Chancry. The inner ring has Arabic letters, probably arbitrary rather than meanigful. The Classic Script (I used MS Palace Script) around the larger ring remain indecipherable, possibly gibberish.

Bernard Allum said in interview "I then found and drew images of celestial beings", no doubt inspired by star maps like these (I kinda think it was the illustrations of Draco that made him add the zodiacal dragon!). The celestial beings are buried in the blue and white squiggly lines. The dog is easy to spot in the corner, but you will also find a snake (or lizard), swan, eagle, and I think a fish. I'm guessing there are more if we got a good look at the original prop.

He said the clocks were cut out of catalogues. I think they must have been very old catalogues because the hands are shown at random times, whereas by the 1980s clocks were always advertised with the time at 10:10. I've noticed some replica maps shows the clocks in black but they are actually blue like the background -you can see this on the credits map. In fact I don't think there is any black on the whole map, just the dark blue background showing through.

Apparently three maps were made. The hero map has clocks down one side, whereas the credits map has clocks down both sides. The third was a spare. The Harrison map from the BlueRay pullout may be the hero map. There are minor differences between all three of them, e.g. the color of the Fludd triangles.


While you're trying to take a better photograph, other celestial beings may appear...
 

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merlinb

Member
Cool, does anyone have any opinion about the final print size? The Magnoli and Metropolis maps are both about 40 inches wide, but by my calculations the original prop was larger. But this is based on Goolge telling me the height of David Rappaport was 1.19m, and the grid lines on the map appear to fit about 40 times into his height, meaning the grid lines must be 30mm apart. With clock panels down both sides, this makes the map about 46 inches wide, coincidentally a full A0 sheet...
On the other hand, my gut keeps telling me that is implausibly big, and I guess would also make it harder for people to find a suitable mount? Or do people generally think bigger is better?? I can't decide!
 

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BrotherWilliam

Well-Known Member
Cool, does anyone have any opinion about the final print size? The Magnoli and Metropolis maps are both about 40 inches wide, but by my calculations the original prop was larger. But this is based on Goolge telling me the height of David Rappaport was 1.19m, and the grid lines on the map appear to fit about 40 times into his height, meaning the grid lines must be 30mm apart. With clock panels down both sides, this makes the map about 46 inches wide, coincidentally a full A0 sheet...
On the other hand, my gut keeps telling me that is implausibly big, and I guess would also make it harder for people to find a suitable mount? Or do people generally think bigger is better?? I can't decide!
I supposed it depends on what end result you're going for. A0 might be "correct" but that could also be the reason it was kept folded for nearly the whole movie - it gets unwieldy at full size. If you're looking for something you want to ultimate hang on your wall then that should be your ultimate reference point regardless of whether it's true to scale or not.

Or, y'know, just make two :lol:
 

R5D4

Active Member
On the actual original map in the movie there are lots of white cloud like misting or markings. They look like streaks. Look at the bottom right next to the snake like lines. They are all over the map. You should definitely follow the map that came with the DVD. I found it on Google image. This is it.
 

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merlinb

Member
I also have this photo in high res. Not from the dvd, but the actual photo they used.
Wow I would definitely LOVE to see that!


On the actual original map in the movie there are lots of white cloud like misting or markings
I believe the white misting is not part of the print, it is weathering where the canvas has been rubbed with sandpaper or whatever to reveal the white beneath. The DVD map never actually appears on screen, and it looks to me like the contrast has been digitally enhanced compared with the hero map which is not so 'neon blue'.
 
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R5D4

Active Member
Wow I would definitely LOVE to see that!



I believe the white misting is not part of the print, it is weathering where the canvas has been rubbed with sandpaper or whatever to reveal the white beneath. The DVD map never actually appears on screen, and it looks to me like the contrast has been digitally enhanced compared with the hero map which is not so 'neon blue'.
No it’s all there. Click on this picture and zoom in. You can see it all in this screen still.
 

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