Blade Runner SUSHI BAR + SLICE OF LIFE making of

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by LukaFilm, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    I will use this thread to document the whole making of my movie: SLICE OF LIFE. So, apart from Sushi bar there will be many other models, props, tests, videos and stuff. Hope you'll like it!

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Hi!

    Im sure most of you are familiar with the "Sushi bar" building. It was just one of randomly put together buildings and used in most of the SFX shots in the movie called Blade Runner. I was fascinated with the shape and look of that building since I discovered it. But why make a replica?

    As it happens, I'm a young filmmaker. Mostly I'm doing music videos and commercials, but every now and then I try to make something for myself. A friend and I are huge fans of science fiction films of the 80's, so he wrote a short SciFi story a couple of years ago, and we decided to make a 20min movie out of it. We've been in preproduction for a couple of months now. Story-wise it is not related to Blade Runner in any way, but we figured - since we need it to be in a dystopian universe anyway why not put some random BR stuff in it, right? Most of the story is set in a deserted gas station high above the city level, and "Sushi bar" fits perfectly to what we imagined. We figure nobody will really know we "borrowed" the building except us fans and it could be a nice hommage to model builders and designers of BR. :)

    I must point out that due to limited reference on the subject this will not be an exact replica, and I will take some liberties whenever needed. :lol

    All of the special effects in the movie will be done with models and miniatures - the old school way! So there will be a couple of ships and flying cars as well, but more on all of that later!

    So let's start the - Sushi bar/gas station build!

    [​IMG]

    Before we actually started building anything I made the 3D model of the building just to figure where the bigger parts generally go, and to help myself with measurements.

    [​IMG]

    All of the measurements are in centimeters. This thing will be around 2 meters high.

    [​IMG]

    One of the most important and recognisable parts of the building is the water bottle at the top of it. There is no way for me to find the type that was used in US around the 80's so we found something similar. Here is my friend sanding the bottle.

    [​IMG]

    I tried to replicate the underside grid as close as I could:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For the lower part of the building we just glued together cardboard tubes, and later we'll dress them with wires and random junk:

    [​IMG]

    The main part of the building has a lot of levels so we cut them from styrofoam, and covered the sides with cardboard:

    [​IMG]

    It's starting to take shape:

    [​IMG]

    The last shot for now is not that glamorous... :) Nothing is glued yet so its not at the angle. We covered the main part of the building with paper-mache technique. Water thinned wood glue + newspapers. It is totally cheap, very hard when it sets, and it gave us an uneven texture that the original had on these parts:

    [​IMG]

    I downloaded all the pictures from Douglas Trumbulls site, and the one I posted at the beginning I scanned from Cinefex. Apart from that I'm working with screencaps from the movie. If anybody has some rare behind the scenes photos apart from Trumbulls site and wants to share them, I would be grateful.. If they even exist.

    I'll post some more photos soon! Hope you like it!

    BYE!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  2. SofaKing01

    SofaKing01 Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Excellent! Very excited to see watch this build!
     
  3. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Also very interested :)
     
  4. mofo77

    mofo77 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    yeah,alway's loved this building.will follow with great interest.looking great so far.
     
  5. moffeaton

    moffeaton Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    SWEET!!
     
  6. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Very good start indeed and very excited to see it coming together.
     
  7. switchjv

    switchjv Jr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    yup.. in for this one!
     
  8. ColHero

    ColHero Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    KOOL - my fav movie of all time, the scenery being a huge factor - will be watching this one!
     
  9. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Great work so far guys, a definite subscribe!! Can't wait to see what you do with this :D
     
  10. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    That's Awesome.

    --Alex
     
  11. RobertMuldoon

    RobertMuldoon Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Subbed!
     
  12. Scott Graham

    Scott Graham Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    That's one of my favorite buildings in the movie. I was always curious about what went into the thing. A water bottle...!!!!
     
  13. CSMacLaren

    CSMacLaren Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Holy mackerel!
     
  14. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Hi guys! I appreciate your interest, it really made me happy!

    We've made some progress on the model. We detailed the underside and the support column with random junk, mostly from old computers. We will use very low-key lighting in the film so that bottom part will be mostly in the shadows.

    [​IMG]

    The upper part of the model can be separated from the support column for easier handling and filming.

    [​IMG]

    I had just enough spraypaint to finish the underside.

    [​IMG]

    And here are two parts together again.

    [​IMG]

    And since we were very excited we just had to make a small test with flashlights! :lol Although it isn't nearly finished, I think it looks promising!

    [​IMG]

    I photographed it in layers - I lit different parts of the building for each photo, and pointed the flashlight directly in camera to simulate the lights. I composited it in photoshop. I'll do the film the same way -with many different passes- with the help of motion control. So it kinda is similar to the way they shot those miniatures all those years ago. Here is a step by step:

    [​IMG]

    Ok, I hope you like it. Today we'll detail the upper side of the building. It will be in many close-ups so we'll take our time with it :)

    Bye!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  15. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    That's really cool. Love the stuff you're using.
     
  16. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Looking very good...and more smoke:D I know, I know, it was just a test. Are you going to try to reproduce the smog on those shots?
     
  17. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Thanks! :)
    Sure there'll be lots of smoke and fog, it wouldn't look as good without it. We'll get a smoke machine when time comes, maby even for the next test.
     
  18. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    When you're done, you need to hang Moffeaton's blimp above it.
     
  19. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Oh, God!!! I followed (lurked) his Blimp build thread for years, even before I was a member! It would be mindblowing to see it above my sushi bar.. :) One can dream though... :lol

    OK! Updates!
    Today I tried to recreate the small "gas station".

    [​IMG]

    Of course, since I'm working from a bad resolution photos, I only copied the main shape and made the rest of it up. It is not finished yet, Ill put some more details, and put the "gas tank" on the roof.

    [​IMG]

    Here is another angle. I used mostly computer parts and some kitbashing from tank kits.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, a friend made the ladder and safety frame for it (google says its called cat ladder??). It leads to the top of the billboard that is not yet attached here. I'm totally sure there was no ladder on the real model but I wanted something interesting in that part so we improvised.. :$ Most of it will be hidden behind the billboard, anyway..

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see where the billboard will go:

    [​IMG]

    And, traditionally, a quick christmas-lights-test-composit for the end of the post :). (The gas pump will never be this close to the camera in the film) Its amazing how much the lighting matters. You can get away with anything with good lighting. (Which comforts me :lol)

    [​IMG]

    That's it for now.. Another couple of days of detailing, and then paint.. I'll post when I have something new.
    Thanks for looking and commenting!

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  20. androidandy

    androidandy Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Very cool! I always loved this hidden gem in the film.

    andy
     
  21. Rats

    Rats Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Loving this thread. The lighting really sells it. Beautiful!
     
  22. jasonw2112

    jasonw2112 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Very nice build! Everything seems to work!
     
  23. Snow Builder

    Snow Builder Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    My all-time favorite movie and you've pulled a great set-piece to replicate. Beautiful work so far. Subscribed!
     
  24. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Yes! Circuit boards, old computer innards and the likes are always a endless source of greeblies. That lighting is indeed a big plus for the general ambiance:cool
     
  25. propcollector

    propcollector Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    This is cool!!!
     
  26. Gphalen

    Gphalen Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    jeez I can`t even remember this. it`s been so long since I watched BR. I`ll have to dig it out and watch it this weekend.
     
  27. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Your mock-up lighting shots are beautiful.


    -MJ
     
  28. Kyuzo

    Kyuzo Active Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Really nice!
     
  29. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Yo!

    In the past few days I had some other work to do so there wasn't much time for Sushi bar. I focused only on -gas pump- part of the building and wanted to fully paint it to set the look for rest of the building. Here is the process.

    Here is how it looked before the primer. I've put some more junk under the roof, and a gas tank on the roof:

    [​IMG]

    Here it is primed:

    [​IMG]

    Then it was on to dark wash, rust, some color here and there.. The usual weathering stuff... The building is mostly monochrome and grey, so there is no point in painting it too much. Also, I'm sure anything I do at this phase will probably not show on film because of the low key lighting.

    [​IMG]

    I found some old price tags I printed on adhesive paper some time ago and I decided I could use parts of them to add some signs to gas pump.

    [​IMG]

    And here is the finished gas pump:

    [​IMG]

    Again, I did just a quick lighting test. The pump will probably have 2 LEDs under the roof - one on each side.

    [​IMG]

    I bought two dozens of red and white LEDs and I hope I'll install them to the building today or tomorrow..

    Hope you like the progress! New updates coming soon!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  30. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Looking great! Still! Using stickers like that is a great approach!

    --Alex
     
  31. thorst

    thorst Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    The contrast of the shadows and bright LEDs together with the rust paint really make this look like real! Great work!
     
  32. ColHero

    ColHero Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Fantastic!
     
  33. SofaKing01

    SofaKing01 Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    That is gorgeous!
     
  34. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Don't dismiss totally the washes and the used look...it might help with the final look...that pump is looking very good (and clever use of tags):cool
     
  35. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    THANKS! I'm glad you like it guys! :)

    Joberg, I'll definitely weather the whole building! It's the most fun part :), but it's funny how I thought that maybe I even went over the top with that gas pump part and it actually hardly even shows when lit! So I guess it should be dirtied a lot to look good on camera!

    ok, UPDATES! Yesterday was so exciting!!! We did first serious test with LEDs, lights, and even fog!!! Everything was very rushed since we all have our day jobs that don't leave much time for escapades to a parallel dystopian universes, but we enjoyed it and managed to make a couple of good shots.

    First, here is the building primed and sprayed with light gray color.

    [​IMG]

    This photo is actually unnecessary since it is similar to the one above, but it shows some lighting equipment so.. I don't know.. :)

    [​IMG]

    OK, now the real deal. We actually had the programmable slider and did each take as a timelapse. 9 minutes of photographing gave us a 10 second clip. I did not have the time to composite the video yet but here is a small making of that shot. Couple of different phases give the final look:

    [​IMG]

    The "stars" in the above example were made with a crappy star filter that changes any bright source to a star. This one produces only four rays per light, and it looks christmassy which sucks. But, here are some different tests we made without star filter - just with different lenses. Left one is 20mm lens and right is some zoom lens.

    [​IMG]

    You can get the star this way if you close the aperture all the way (we had around f18-f22), and then increase exposure time a lot until you get the properly exposed picture again. For this tests I think I exposed it for 20-25 seconds. It's totally cool and gives that magic touch! :)

    Of course, in the future we'll put some more random buildings in the background so it'll feel more like a city. For now it's just a lonely building. Here are some more shots for your viewing pleasure: :lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well, here it is! As you can imagine, it was soooo awesome to be in a smokey room with all this little lights turned on! I can't wait to work on this again! Of course, I'll keep you posted as soon as I make some progress!

    Thanks for viewing and commenting! Cheers!:cheers
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  36. SofaKing01

    SofaKing01 Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    That's the money shot! Brilliant!
     
  37. thorst

    thorst Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    I really like this project, makes me want to do something similar!

    Can you explain why it is not possible to do the pictures and the film in one turn only? I don't fully understand why there are so many steps needed with extra lighting... no offence, I'm just unknowing when it comes to such effects.

    Best regards,
    Thorsten
     
  38. Haystack Hair

    Haystack Hair Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    sweet holey cheesus
     
  39. Buch

    Buch Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Beautiful! So cool! DO MORE!!!
     
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  40. joberg

    joberg Master Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    That's it, Tech Noir here you come:cool Now, you're right about the grime, it has to be somewhat exaggerated to show on camera. Now, where are the vehicules and the clients:D
     
  41. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Thank you all! :)

    No problem at all Thorsten, I'm happy to explain it. It is possible to do complete composit in just one pass only, however it is a practice to do it in separate passes because then you have more control in post-production. For example, I decide there is too much fog, and I just lower the opacity of the fog layer.. Or, if the lights don't glow bright enough, I double that layer and they are twice as bright.. It is the same in CGI, they always render in many passes to have more control when compositing. I must admit, this is my first time shooting models, and I'm figuring this out as I go, so there is much more tests to be done before we shoot anything "for real"! :)
     
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  42. thorst

    thorst Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Thank you very much for the explanation, makes sense. And that motion control technique is accurate enough such that no extra alignment is needed? Sorry for the OT, but this is just too fascinating not to ask.

    Looking forward to every bit of progress!
     
  43. Albertese

    Albertese Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Yeah, I'm curious about the technicalities here also. Are you using film or digital? If digital, what compositing software are you using?

    --Alex
     
  44. Lee S

    Lee S Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    This is great stuff!!
     
  45. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Well, in those days they had huge machines that could record movement precisely. I read that for Blade runner their rig had 8-axis of movement. I imagine those rigs were so heavy that it probably was quite precise. We, however, have only a short 1-meter slider that is run by a servo motor, and you can control only speed and direction. Not quite high tech. :) These test were made with Canon 7D, and it is a great solution for this type of work. Resolution of the photos can be even higher than 5000x3500 pixels which is more than you need since full HD video is only 1920x1080. As far as I understand, that kind of photo has even more resolution than 35mm film.

    So the question was how do the passes align? That was exactly the question I needed to answer with that last test. I use Magic lantern software on Canon and it allows me to make timelapses automatically. I just set the intervalometer (time of taking each photo), run the camera and run the slider. It makes the whole thing itself from then on. Then we return it to starting position, change the lighting, and do another run. Since we start the process manually every time, there of course is a little misalignment of a couple of frames. But that is very easy to fix when you are doing the composit. You just shift the clips couple of frames left or right untill they match. I am compositing it all in Adobe After effects.

    If anybody has any questions feel free to ask, and I'll answer to the best of my knowledge. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  46. thorst

    thorst Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Thanks for the comprehensive answer! :thumbsup
     
  47. Jedi Dade

    Jedi Dade Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    I always love that transformation that happens on the first coat of primer :):thumbsup

    Jedi Dade
     
  48. christrom

    christrom Well-Known Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!!!!! I love architecture and this is absolutely beautiful. 10/10!
     
  49. Isnochys79

    Isnochys79 New Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Superb ! I love this project
     
  50. LukaFilm

    LukaFilm Sr Member

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    Re: Blade Runner SUSHI BAR building - the build

    Hello fellow RPFers!

    I kinda stopped working on Sushi bar these days and started some other models that need to be done for the movie! I would like to post every progress I make on the movie so I thought I'll slightly rename this thread and use it for the whole process, nut just Sushi bar. That would be more practical than separate it all into different threads. I hope you'll still bear with me even though we'll digress from the Blade runner area. The movie will be called "Slice of life" so ill just put that into the thread name.

    First a postcard! :) One of advantages of living in Croatia is that Italy is very near. A couple of days ago me and some friends of mine made a one-day trip to Venice. And, of course, what could be more important than visiting st. Barnaba church???

    [​IMG]

    It's carnival in Venice these days so there's like 14 million people in the streets. Here's another behind the scenes photo where I'm shamelessly eating home made potato salad and meat with the legendary location in the background. Hey, Venice is a cruelly expensive city.. :lol

    [​IMG]

    okay, back to the film.. So, one of the most prominent models in the movie will be a car that the main protagonist drives.. ..well, flies actually. I love the car design of the 80's. The -not so aerodynamic- hard lines. So that will be the direction I'll take.. It shouldn't be a clean and beautiful spinner type of vehicle, but rather an old, well used but loved piece of junk. There is a FANTASTIC sketch from Sid Mead that he made for blade runner, and I'll reference it loosely..

    [​IMG]

    First I started the chassis. The car will be mostly made of wood and plastic. Those big boxes on each side are actually primitive suspension mechanisms I invented :lol. I want the car to feel heavy, so when it lands it should sink a little. So I made it heavier with some metal sheets.

    [​IMG]

    I took the tires from an old model car and reworked them a little:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the underside.. I'm' using random junk of course, there's many parts of an old typewriter in there.

    [​IMG]

    Next step was to make a crude paper body, just to figure the proportions.. It does look deloreanish in that photo..

    [​IMG]

    And here's what I made so far.. The body is made from plastic, I bondoed the seams and now I'm sanding it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The car will have many blinking LEDs of course, and I hope it'll look good in the heavy atmosphere...

    I'm off to the workshop, I'll post new progress soon!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017

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