ALIEN Nostromo Maquette Model

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by aliensarchive, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. aliensarchive

    aliensarchive Well-Known Member

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    I've been collecting all the reference I can for this model. Would appreciate it if anybody here knows of any other pictures of this model out there. It is currently owned by Planet Hollywood so it may have been on display somewhere.

    http://home.comcast.net/~aliensarchive/ali...momaquette.htm
     
  2. saintg

    saintg Well-Known Member

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    AHH, my eyes.. That thing is horrible.. Good luck with that though.
    George :p
     
  3. aliensarchive

    aliensarchive Well-Known Member

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  4. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    That is so far-off its not even close....horrible...
     
  5. Ham Salad

    Ham Salad Well-Known Member

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    It's not 'far off', it's a 'concept model'. Haven't you seen some of the early concept models for STAR WARS? They don't look much like what ended up on screen. By comparison, this one is pretty close to what they ended up doing.
     
  6. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

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    I like it, and IF it is the movie concept mock up, even better, its still very Nostromo "based" and i agree, slating it would be like slating the Colin Cantwell X wing for instance, which IMO, is super sexy!
    Good luck with the build, i love the 'stromo!

    lee
     
  7. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    but it doesnt look like the Martin bower or Ron Cobb concepts It is interesting, the problem is, It combined a rough concept shape Cobb made with Bowers far later and far more utilitarian version seen in the final studio miniatures. If you want to see a concept alien, try getting peoples reaction to this....Ron Cobbs Original alien... This is hilarious
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  8. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    Actually that is pretty interesting history. Very cool display you made!
     
  9. Howard

    Howard Sr Member

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  10. Laser Brain

    Laser Brain Sr Member

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    Bill and Martin worked together and were business partners at one stage. I've worked with Bill a few times over the last couple of years. I'll ask him if he has any old photos lying around when I'm next at Shepperton.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2009
  11. JD1

    JD1 Well-Known Member

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    I met Bill once in 1995, and this model actually came up in conversation. He said it was in a shoebox under his bed for ages until his girlfriend at the time asked him for one of his models, and it was all he had to give her.

    I've never come across any account that specifies exactly who made it. The majority of miniatures on Alien were collaborative efforts, so it could have been started and finished by different people.

    Bill was on the show before Martin, as Martin was committed to a 'Dan Dare' feature which fell through. Bill mentioned in his talk at the 1995 Worldcon in Glasgow that he was on Alien for almost exactly a year.

    Phil was only on the show for the last three months, so I'd be pretty certain he had nothing to do with this maquette.
     
  12. Howard

    Howard Sr Member

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    Very interesting thread. Thanks for the info JD1!
    I'll be keeping an eye on this as I love all the models built by these guys.
     
  13. Newbie Doobie

    Newbie Doobie Well-Known Member

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    :lol:lol:lol:lol:lol:lol This thing is SAD!!!! NOTHING at all like the Nostromo of the movie!!!
     
  14. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Lay off. It's a few inches long, and would have been thrown together in a few hours. Strictly a concept model. Sheesh. (edit: banned...d'oh)

    JD1, were you at the slideshow Bill gave? I was there too, had a few drinks with him later. Great guy.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  15. JD1

    JD1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes I was! Excellent talk! Remember when he mentioned the stuff they used on Space Precinct, that you brushed onto soft plastics so they'd take to superglue? You could spot all the modelmakers in the room, coz we all sat up and leaned forward! :lol

    I wangled an invite to lunch at Shepperton Studios with Alan Marques, Bill, and Steve Begg, and it was there that Bill mentioned the maquette. He also had a story from Outland, similar to the 'Woolworths lampshades made into generator towers' anecdote. I asked him about the Cinefex article which says a moonbase model he made at design school made it onto the Io refinery as detail, and he said it was just a Moonbase Alpha clone, but there was another interesting shortcut taken. They were working out of the workshop at Martin Bower's home, and they received the art-department drawings for a particular structure, and it would've taken half the morning to knock up the basic shape out of wood. Martin said "follow me," so they walk around the house and there's this cat-box that looks remarkably similar to the drawing...

    Bill says they didn't even clean it out! Just clad it in plastic and detailed it! :lol
     
  16. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Did somebody say Nostromo? :cool

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes, I know, you're talking about the "maquette" of the Nostromo, and not the "real" Nostromo... :rolleyes

    Well I got this... the sketch seems to resemble your maquette more than the final design. This is labeled "Surveyor", so perhaps that was the name of the ship at that time (it was also called Snark and Leviathan at various times)

    [​IMG]

    And the last of my pics in the previous post, shows a yellow Nostromo... it also seems less detailed. Apparently at some point the Nostromo tug became MORE greeble-rific, while the refinery barge that it towed, became LESS ornate. I think. :confused

    - k
     
  18. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    Cool Pics, the original yellow with the softer detail before the large lower front 3-thruster module was installed GREAT FIND!
     
  19. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Oh god! I'd utterly forgotten that, ha ha! IIRC there was more than one bit where a few of us did that, but I can't recall what prompted it the other times. It was a really good talk and deserved a bigger venue.

    Half yer luck! :cool

    [ quote]Martin said "follow me," so they walk around the house and there's this cat-box that looks remarkably similar to the drawing...Bill says they didn't even clean it out! Just clad it in plastic and detailed it! :lol[/quote]

    Ha ha! Love those sorts of war stories. Ta!

    Phase pistol, thanks for the yellow-Nostromo pic, had mislaid my copy, tried to find it last night and couldn't. Appreciated!!

    Cheers,
    Martyn
     
  20. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    Great pic of the yellow Nostromo, Karl !!!

    If you don't mind telling us, where did you find it ???
    :love

    Fred
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  21. alienscollection.com

    alienscollection.com Master Member

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    A cool CG rendering has just hit the web:

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Oooooh! Antartica Control, I wonder? Or the Outer Veil refinery?

    Nice, nice, thanks!
     
  23. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    I think this awesome pic comes from jtparker WEYLAN YUTANI site...

    Fred
     
  24. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if I could only get time to finish the site..I will probably need to hire people to do it!:lol:lol:lol:lol:lol

    Actually its Solomon Shipyards, complete with sandy beaches, fully serviced repair platforms, and convenient reactor-waste disposal facility
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  25. Jet Beetle

    Jet Beetle Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Wow - that pic is fantastic! It really takes you to a place the movie never did.
     
  26. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Oh, sweet...out of the Solomons. What's the URL?
     
  27. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    Actually it is a site I registered a few months back, I started it, and got really busy doing these nostromo kits, I plan to do coffee mugs, beer cans anything Weylan-yutani that anyone wants to link or sell their props...kind of a community deal, Nostromo models of different sizes, its kind of a parody site regarding the original Alien, but it will be like a shopping cart deal. I will end up probably hiring out somebody to actually finish it for me..I just dont have the time for html coding :unsure:unsure I worked with this guy to do the Nostromo boxes, The pic of the Platform is another guys digital art

    www.weyland-yutani-inc.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  28. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks!

    More than likely it's a grab off of the Quadrilogy extras. Something from my files. :cool



     
  29. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    I MUST go back to those DVDs !!! Thanks again, Karl !
    :cool

    jtparker, your Weylan Yutani site is a GREAT IDEA !!!
    :love

    Fred
     
  30. jtparker

    jtparker Well-Known Member

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    Well, frosty Weylan yutani aspen beer will be a great product to sell, as well as the coffee mugs after a night of getting *
     
  31. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    Still at work on yours !
    :love

    Fred
     
  32. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    A piece of cyberspace related to the genesis of the Nostromo and again the words 'Foss' and 'Chris' are nowhere to be seen!

    Someone above mentioned the gap between Cobb's concepts and the utilitarian look of the final Nostromo. Well, the missing element is Chris Foss, co-designer of spacecraft on the film along with Cobb.

    Cobb so often gets all the credit for this design. But the basic configuration of this thing - especially the hull core - comes from an early pen sketch Chris Foss did for the movie (see 1st pic), while the top module with the big intakes seen on the finished model was taken verbatim from another early Foss ink sketch (see 2nd pic). Also, the huge rectiform box engines with flaps are a Foss trademark and are to be seen all over his designs for Alien - actually, one of the closest of these forms to the final Nostromo engines is to be seen in a sketch of an alien structure (dropped from the script) on the planet (pic 3).

    The Cobb sketches shown above are the first I've ever seen that bear any resemblance to the final Nostromo, and appear to be an attempt to absorb the above Foss elements into one of his own earlier concepts, probably at the behest of Scott. Yet Scott rejected the top section seen in the 2nd sketch above and the maquette, and just went back to Foss and added that upper module wholesale.

    And as for the yellow and black... the guy spent the whole 70s painting ships in yellow and black checks and stripes... (Scott must surely have seen the potential to emphasize the industrial character of the Nostromo by having the livery evoke the warning/hazard markings of some bleak piece of contemporary industrial machinery, but seems to have been compelled to go Gothic instead.)

    Ok, Foss rant over.

    But just to get properly on topic - that maquette is wonderful. Tempted to do one myself. Good luck with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  33. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    I don't entirely agree. Not whether Foss elements made it into the final designs, but more the utilitarian look deriving from his work - I recall hearing or reading that the models initially did resemble the smoother Cobb look very closely and the 'yellow' pics do bear that out. So I think Scott and the modelmakers get most of the credit for the final hyper-detailed widgety look.

    I'm a huge Foss fan though. It's really a * shame that with several bites at the cherry (Jodorowsky's Dune, Superman, Alien), nothing overtly Fossian ever made it onto the big screen. I have a half-finished sculpt of his Dune pirate ship around here somewhere...
     
  34. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    Always nice to meet a Foss fan. I was taking 'utilitarian' to mean not so much the greeblie crustification, of which there's never very much on a Foss ship, but rather the box forms, 'intakes', flaps etc. I'd agree that the final model surface is all Scott, Bower, Pearson et al. But I would say the yellow Nostromo surface looks more Foss than Cobb, since there seems to have been some vague attempt even to recreate the Foss 'dotting' as well as bits of check paint scheme...

    Please... finish the sculpt of that Dune ship! Guess it's out of the bounds of the whole forum, but I'd love to see it. Any chance of pm-ing a photo over?
     
  35. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Likewise. :)

    You could say the box forms etc bear some Foss stamps, but - to my eye - they've very much been 'packaged' by Cobb (of whom I'm also a giant raving nerdy fan.) I don't really mourn the yellow Nostromo; it needed to visibly dirty at a greater distance to really work, for me. Some big black checkerboards would have settled the Foss question nicely, and looked good to boot. ;)

    It could go in the General modelling section I guess. It's about 45cm long. Unfortunately it's not the 'good' cast. In fact it's barely a cast at all, it's more of a smashed eggshell. I did two casts out of raw plaster moulds, in Bondo - no glassing, no nothing. First one came out fine, but was given to a friend (who has lost it). Second one stuck to the plaster - as a result of overoptimism from the ease of demoulding the first one, I didn't grease it properly.

    Lovely ship though, I will definitely have to give the project another go. I'll see if I can dig up the pieces and take a pic or two. One half of the hull is more or less useable, though rough as guts. The other may need a complete redo. The engine pods are still in the plaster jackets, it's going to take a palaeontologist's approach to get those out! :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  36. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    I love Chris Foss' work a lot (at least, the paintings from his book 20TH CENTURY FOSS) but I can understand why Ron Cobb finalized the ship design...

    Foss' visions of the ship were too fantastic, to weird, Scott needed something more believable, more "NASA / WW2 bomber" to oppose it to Giger's twisted creations...

    Foss' designs for Jodorowsky's DUNE were just fine, they matched more the intentions of this project than Scott's ALIEN imho...

    My 2 cents...

    Fred
     
  37. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A little Foss from my files. :cool

    I like Foss' stuff for its imaginative, totally unexpected design and coloration. Cobb's stuff is lots more "real world" and familiar, but Foss' wild colors and extreme shapes look like no craft man ever built.

    These days when I see "The Fifth Element", I think some of his designs might have been at home there.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Nobody paints pink and yellow spaceships quite ilke Chris Foss. :lol

    [​IMG]

    As fanciful as some of his stuff is, a lot of his spaceships have an eerie plausibility to them. Covered with alien writing, outlined hatches, plating, hull markings, recessed windows, thruster engine bells and so on.

    Foss fans should pick up his artbook 21st CENTURY FOSS, from Paper Tiger.

    [​IMG]

    A lot of his ALIEN work is reprinted in THE BOOK OF ALIEN.

    Earlier in the Seventies, Foss put his stamp on SPACE 1999 with a bit of preproduction concept art. I have only ever seen this tiny sample.

    [​IMG]


    - k
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  38. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    I dunno, though. There are a lot of very gritty workaday space-truck designs for Alien in the Scanlon and Gross book, many of them clearly deriving from Foss' love of real-world marine vessels, tankers and so on.

    And as I said, if you stick the 3 elements together from the 3 sketches I posted above you've got a good 65% of the final Nostromo right there. Especially that upper module...
     
  39. phase pistol

    phase pistol Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here is some of Cobb's early concept work for Nostromo, then called Snark, Leviathan, Surveyor and probably other things as well.



    [​IMG]

    Snark was my favorite design, partly because I saw the sketch printed in Cinefantastique magazine, months before the film came out, and fell in love with that giant dish antenna. :lol :love

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Likely it was felt the large dish made the ship seem too small. :unsure

    But the same overall scheme seems to be in use here.... these designs share a common theme.

    [​IMG]
     
  40. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    Phase Pistol...Yeah, not only can no one paint pink and yellow ships like Foss, no one else can dream in quite such powerfully convincing architechtonics. In terms of hallucinagenic, hypnotic form, Giger is his only peer. It's no wonder that, like Giger, his vision has spilled out of the sphere of commercial fantasy illustration into contemporary art circle respectability.

    Cobb's great too but he's something different, more of a real world engineer. But Foss, like Giger, touches some deeper nerve somewhere. Something in the unconscious. Somehow, he gives expression to man's primordial aspiration for limitless vertical ascendancy or something, heh, heh. Ask Jodorowosky, he'll explain it better...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  41. Howard

    Howard Sr Member

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    I've always loved the 'Leviathan' design from The Book of Alien - and planned many years ago to build a replica - I never got around to it.
     
  42. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    That, or start going off on a weird tangent merging space travel with reproductive biology... :)
     
  43. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    If you did it, and it was good, and you moulded it, I'd buy a copy. :)
     
  44. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    Υοu mean the yellow Foss one described as platypus-looking? Or the Cobb one? Sad story about the Foss: apparently that drawing was put up for auction recently and only got around 1000 pound. And it's a huge piece, about 3 feet across. Which makes me feel a bit sorry for the man. Not least because ,at the same time, self-styled contemporary art 'genius' Glen Brown gets 50 times that for making large copies of Foss's works and passing them off as some sort of Roy Liechtensteinian cultural mirror, which of course gets lapped up by dealers and galleries.... Also, the forum at his website closed down for lack of interest, so whenever I see him left out of designing the Nostromo, my heart aches and I have to wade in, my black and yellow striped banner flying in the wind....


    (Incidentally, if anyone has that making of Alien documentary, would it be possible to make a screen grab of that photo of Foss and Cobb standing in their Alien office, surrounded by drawings? Don't have the disc, and am desparate to see that picture again...)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  45. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    It's all connected, man. It's all connected...
     
  46. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    Foss' yellow Nostromo design was inspired by one of his own designs for Jodorowsky's DUNE project... (it was first intended as a navigators' guild ship, IIRC)

    Fred
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  47. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Sr Member

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    The "Guild Merchant Ship" Foss originally conceived for DUNE subsequently appeared, in slightly revised form, as the "Leviathan" for ALIEN (one rendering of which featured a bright yellow hull).

    Foss also contributed a bright yellow "Spice Container" ship design to DUNE, along with my personal fave; the yellow and black striped "Pirate Ship."
     
  48. Howard

    Howard Sr Member

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    Sorry Colin, I should have been more specific - the Cobb design.
    As for Foss, I have a collection of Asimov paperbacks from the 80s with Foss artwork on the covers. I do love his work, and have a rare poster of his around here somewhere...
     
  49. SKIN JOB 66

    SKIN JOB 66 Well-Known Member

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    Same here, LOVE this "fish ship" too... I was truly amazed the first time I saw it !!! (still am nowadays)

    BTW, here is a cool link on the story behind Jodorowsky's DUNE project and how it influenced STAR WARS & ALIEN (sorry, french text only) :

    http://www.toutlecine.com/film/arti...tieme-passager-dune-emportee-par-le-vent.html

    And for those who don't read french... Well, scroll down to the bottom of the page and go to "les photos du projet", it's a link to some Moebius & Foss concept artwork for this film !

    Fred
     
  50. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    It's a corker, that ship. So glad it's not only me and Colin Droidmilk who are crazy for it!

    I dug up the wreckage of my old sculpt the other day to take a couple of pics for CD. It's in a terrible state unfortunately. Restart time! Bigger and better!!
    Martyn
     

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