Debunking Blade Runner Blaster Urban Legends - CLEAR ROD

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by philippes, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I just responded to a fan who emailed us various theories about the Blade Runner blaster. In addressing his questions, I thought the material would be of interest to fans in this forum:

    Many of your observations about the Blade Runner blaster are correct. To clarify, here are a few additional comments:

    1. Buttplate finger indentation--

    This is right. Having handled reproduction grips that are identical in dimension to the original gun, it is very clear that the extended flat buttplate makes the grip way too small for the average hand. Apparently, the "finger/pinky notch" was added to the buttplate to accommodate Harrison Ford's hand.

    2. Fifth LED in magazine bottom--

    There is in fact a fifth LED in the magazine bottom. This was an item that appears to have been added later, since none of the stunt castings show this detail. Also, the LED appears to have broken during filming.

    3. Stunts molded before some modifications to hero--

    You are absolutely correct. The stunt guns indeed appear to have been molded before the hero received additional modifications. Principally, the finger notch (see item no. 1), was a change that only appeared on the hero gun. The fifth LED (see item no. 2) is another example.

    4. Black bottom on butt plate--

    The buttplate is silver. That is absolutely certain. The black illusion is extremely convincing, but false. This has been absolutely confirmed by comparing various sequential press photos that confirm that the black bottom is an illusion caused by shadows.

    5. Laser pointer LED--

    I'm less familiar with the pointer, but it's been heavily debated. It appears that a piece of clear acrylic was probably inserted in the tip of the device, so the reflection seen while the gun is on the floor during the film is the clear acrylic reflecting the gun color below it (see the last paragraph in this section for an explanation of this phenomenon). Due to the lighting, it gives the tip a greenish glow.

    The pointer is not hollow--as the piece has been confirmed to be a slightly modified jeweler's screwdriver--and therefore is unable to house leads to light an LED in the tip. Besides, where on the gun would the power supply be located? One must remember that this prop was made in 1980-81, when a lot of the sophisticated electronics in existence today had not even been invented.

    The green reflection is a common distortion seen throughout Blade Runner. For example, many, many people believed that the stunt guns used in the film had been painted a dull green to distinguish them from the hero gun. A discussion with the property master proved that this theory was wrong. All of the stunt guns were cast in black resin or black hard foam. In conclusion, this proves that due to the lighting of the film, black objects often appeared to be greenish in color.

    6. Gun colors--

    The pistol frame was a brushed stainless steel, which was an option offered on Charter Arms bulldogs of the period. The Steyr parts were high-polished blue (standard finish on all Steyr rifles at the time). The magazine was polished nylon plastic, the material out of which Model SL magazines and trigger housings were made of.

    7. One more thing--

    Only one hero gun was ever produced. This has been confirmed by the property master. Additionally, about 12 or 13 stunt copies were made for the movie, with another few copies given to "friends of the production".

    Phil
     
  2. spinner 44

    spinner 44 Well-Known Member

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    I never had the idea of sharing the obserbations here in the board (I'll do it in the future - promised!).

    Thanks for taking the time to write all the details here and glad to see there's a consensus in many points (I was beggining to get mad with this gun!).

    But I'm still with the LED theory. I'll try to get some stills from the dvd for us to discuss it. About the plate your theory is slogical, the butt plate sometimes looks, black and sometimes grey and sometimes light grey!
     
  3. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The LED in the pointer does not exist. This has been confirmed with people who worked on the prop.

    Furthermore, we've examined several first generation stunt castings. The way in which the laser pointer/jeweler's screwdriver is attached to the gun would not allow for wiring of any kind to an LED in the tip.

    The green glow is a lighting illusion.

    Phil
     
  4. spinner 44

    spinner 44 Well-Known Member

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    I think this LED was never meant to be wired, is just glued there to make it look like some thing.

    It may not be a LED anyway, but if you observe carefully the scene where the blaster falls to the floor, the tip of this pointer is rounded, it has a size that is very similar (if not the same of a 3mm LED).

    About the green reflections theory it is possible of course(I'll recheck the film but I have never had that perception, in fact I've always seen the stunts colored black), but again a have some green LED that have the exact tone as this.

    The sad thing is that we'll never going to know the true about it, I don't think the property master may remember such subtle details.

    Sergio
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Well-Known Member

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    That's some great prop information.

    Thank you
     
  6. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A jeweler's Screwdriver! It's seems obvious now that you mention it.

    I'm also wondering about the color of the gun. When building such a chopped up beast of a gun wouldn't the original blue get quite damaged and demand a new paint job?

    IN a missing chapter from Future Noir an interview with with the propmaster and a description of the gun's construction is given.

    In it they mention that it was painted matte black.

    ---
    First, the majority of the Steyr/Mannlicher's barrel was sawn off, down to its bolt-action receiver. Then (most of) a Charter Arms .44 Special Police Bulldog revolver was attached underneath the abbreviated Steyr / Mannlicher mechanism. Next, a new, translucent, amber-colored pistol grip was added to the Bulldog's frame. Now two red LED lights, powered by a small internal battery, were inset on either side of the weapon, just forward of the Steyr/Mannlicher's distinctive twin triggers. Finally, a large, cockable hammer was attached at the rear of the bolt action assembly, the entire gun painted a flat matte black, and the end result took on the appearance of a convincingly formidable sidearm.
    ---

    Is this a bit of misinformation?

    Here's the whole chapter- http://scribble.com/uwi/br/fn/fn-ch8.html

    The interview/article with Terry Lewis is half way down the page.
    Some fun information in there. I's love to see the prototype gun that became a phone.

    Thanks for all the info, Phil!

    Nick
     
  7. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nick,

    Some of what Sammon quotes from Terry Lewis is correct, but not all.

    Interestingly, Mr. Lewis had very little to do with the guns used in the film, and arrived to the production quite late. Art Shippee was the man mainly responsible for getting the weapons made. Art was the person who actually purchased the guns with his FFL (Federal Firearms License) at B&B Guns in North Hollywood. Robby Knott was the pyrotechnics expert who made the exploding rounds and subcontracted an Hispanic fellow by the name of "Frankie" to make the gun.

    The final firearm was a mixture of finishes, but the high-blue of the Steyr was retained.

    I was never able to find Terry Lewis, and I called everywhere, even the union. On the other hand, I spoke extensively with Art Shippee, Robby Knott, Syd Meade, and Stephen Dane.

    Phil
     
  8. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Additionally, I've had a good bit of written correspondence with Jay Abramson, who was the clerk at B&B who sold the actual guns to Art and Robby.

    Furthermore, thanks to Jay, we are now quite sure what grips were used for the blaster. When I post a follow-up article to the one on my website, I'll divulge all of these new details:

    http://home.pressroom.com/philips/bldrunbl.htm

    Phil
     
  9. spinner 44

    spinner 44 Well-Known Member

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    Phil:
    One last thing I'd like to comment about the colour of the frame for the custom grips is that in every close up of the gun (shooting through the wall and blaster falling to floor) its colour look a dark gloss, maybe black or dark metallic grey. In every reproduction I've seen of the gun it is aluminium. Any thoughts on this?

    Sergio
     
  10. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The gripframe was silver on the hero. This has been confirmed. The dark color in the film is a reflection (except on the stunts).

    Extracting prop details from a film is incredibly difficult. Over the years I've had ever more regular opportunities to examine original pieces about which I'd previously prognosticated based on screen captures. In every case, major details I had believed to be true (in biblical proportions), have proven to be false. Consequently, unless I speak to someone who knows, or see the actual prop, getting exact information from a movie is nearly impossible.

    When a prop is not extremely clearly shown on film, my guess is that only about 50%-90% of the piece can be figured out. If the original base parts can be identified on a non-custom piece, the accuracy percentage goes up, of course.

    Phil
     
  11. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nick,

    When it comes to the "phone gun", the story goes like this: Syd Meade created a drawing of a prototype gun. When Ridley Scott accidentally saw it upside-down and said, "What a cool phone" the idea was dropped.

    Phil
     
  12. gorilla_milkman

    gorilla_milkman New Member

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    that's cool info...

    thanks!


    and, on a side note, phil...
    your website kicks some major @#$*%@# *!



    thanks again!




    stephen
    gorillamilkman@mac.com
     
  13. lordobin

    lordobin New Member

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    ok that is the ugliest gun i've seen [​IMG]. it'm glad they didn;t use it though. doesn't have the gritty dirty feel of ridley scotts blade runner.
     
  14. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Grips- Are you saying you've found what they wwere molded off of or did you find real amber grips that already exist.

    Nick
     
  15. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nick,

    The amber grips were molded off existing grips, which were substantially modified for use on the blaster.

    Phil
     
  16. TheLivingForce

    TheLivingForce New Member

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    Philipes,

    Thanks for taking the time to explain all of these extraordinary details, some I never realized before. [​IMG]

    Jhyphen,

    What a piece to have. It looks to me in some ways very foreign to the look of Bladerunner, but still a very appealing concept. Thanks for sharing that pistol [​IMG]

    Best,
    -Neal
     
  17. SFPROPS

    SFPROPS Well-Known Member

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    Isn't the one shown the one that Syd Mead himself owns?
     
  18. morganthirteen

    morganthirteen Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    SF, That's the master. Syd owns a copy that was presented to him on his last birthday by another member here who lives on the west coast.

    While I personally wouldn't call it "ugly" I would agree that it would not have fit in visually with the rest of the film. It's just a tad too futuristic.
     
  19. Matsuo

    Matsuo Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey Great post. Thanks everyone who contributed!

    Phil great site..its one of the first I ever visited when I became "internet aware" I'd call it infinately inspirational.

    JH of course as a member of the "old guard' I have always admired(envied) your collection.

    And Shawn what can I say You da man...to see the way you create prototypes from wood is deffinately something to behold.BTW do you need an apprentice?..[​IMG]

    Heres something I have always been a bit currious about.
    I was wondering about the "hypothetical" aspects of the weapon. As far as the technical back story of the book/film goes.
    I regards to the kind of ammo it used, the projectiles it shot and the supposed method of operation.
    Is it simply a mere projectile weapon or is it some kinda pulse/blaster thing or is at a combination of both...(Charged particle)?

    Currious.

    Matt
     
  20. morganthirteen

    morganthirteen Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks, Matt.

    When I get home I'll look up the e-mail from Mr. Mead that broke down all the particulars of the concept pistol and how it was supposed to work in the film. It was incredible.
     
  21. lordobin

    lordobin New Member

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    OK so not "ugly" [​IMG]. but yeah it doesn't fit with the rest of the design of BR. now yeah if they had used the earlier design concepts, then sure.
     
  22. racprops

    racprops Sr Member

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    I am a little late to this party, but here is my 2 cents worth:
    Sorry if the bold looks like shouting, I just tried to make reading my commits stand out and this was all I could do.
    <html>

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    </head>

    <body>


    1. <li class="MsoNormal" style="mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">Buttplate
      finger indentation--



      This is right. Having handled reproduction grips that are
      identical in dimension to the original gun, it is very clear that the
      extended flat buttplate makes the grip way too small for the average hand.
      Apparently, the "finger/pinky notch" was added to the buttplate to
      accommodate Harrison Ford's hand.<br style="mso-special-character:
      line-break">
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in">yes"> RAC: I believe this was only seen in the Bradbury building
    when Deckard hunts Pris, funny but it seems to be gone again gone when you see
    the close up along the wall and when Deckard drops the gun fleeing Batty.
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in"> yes"> I wish I could get a shooting schedule, I bet the Bradbury
    building shoot, which is an exterior filming was one of the last ones done, and
    by them Harrison had complained about the buttplate and so they fixed it, but
    too late for the rest of the filmÂ…and the chase, a risky shoot with two main
    actors and one big stunt of three glass windows, I would bet that also was
    filmed near the end, just in case someone got hurt.
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in">And because the filming of
    BattyÂ’s chase of Deckard was done on the lot, in the studio, this was done
    before the Bradbury building filming, thus the gun is the earlier version before
    the hunt for Pris. That is my idea of why the gun changes.
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in">

    2. Fifth LED in magazine bottom--



    There is in fact a fifth LED in the magazine bottom. This was
    an item that appears to have been added later, since none of the stunt castings
    show this detail. Also, the LED appears to have broken during filming. <o[​IMG]>
    </o[​IMG]>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in"> RAC:
    This is only seen in the hunt for Zora, these is NO indicator of it in the gun
    against the wall and NONE in the stunt props, nor the slow lowering of the gun
    when Deckard returns home and finds Rachel in his bed, in these shots IF there
    was a led of lens to hold the led, it would protrude and be seen in profileÂ…
    and it is not in these shots nor not in most stills.




    3. Stunts molded before some modifications to hero--



    You are absolutely correct. The stunt guns indeed appear to
    have been molded before the hero received additional modifications. Principally,
    the finger notch (see item no. 1), was a change that only appeared on the hero
    gun. The fifth LED (see item no. 2) is another example.



    4. Black bottom on butt plate--



    The butt plate is silver. That is absolutely certain. The
    black illusion is extremely convincing, but false. This has been absolutely
    confirmed by comparing various sequential press photos that confirm that the
    black bottom is an illusion caused by shadows. <o[​IMG]>
    </o[​IMG]>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in"> RAC:
    I have not seen any picture where the bottom of the Butt plate was not all
    black, a shadow should have made a partial covering of the butt plate, showing
    some silver, but IF it means I no longer have to do those bloody two tone butt
    plate paint jobs, BY all means it was all silver. (Or polished aluminum)
    <font size="4">

    </font>

    5. Laser pointer LED--



    I'm less familiar with the pointer, but it's been heavily
    debated. It appears that a piece of clear acrylic was probably inserted in the
    tip of the device, so the reflection seen while the gun is on the floor during
    the film is the clear acrylic reflecting the gun color below it (see the last
    paragraph in this section for an explanation of this phenomenon). Due to the
    lighting, it gives the tip a greenish glow.



    The pointer is not hollow--as the piece has been confirmed to
    be a slightly modified jeweler's screwdriver--and therefore is unable to house
    leads to light an LED in the tip. Besides, where on the gun would the power
    supply be located? One must remember that this prop was made in 1980-81, when a
    lot of the sophisticated electronics in existence today had not even been
    invented.



    The green reflection is a common distortion seen throughout
    Blade Runner. For example, many, many people believed that the stunt guns used
    in the film had been painted a dull green to distinguish them from the hero gun.
    A discussion with the property master proved that this theory was wrong. All of
    the stunt guns were cast in black resin or black hard foam. In conclusion, this
    proves that due to the lighting of the film, black objects often appeared to be
    greenish in color. <o[​IMG]>
    </o[​IMG]>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in"> RAC:
    In my laser disk copy of the DirectorÂ’s Version, in the first chase of Zora,
    the film shows the gun with a very dark Olive Drab color, I was sure the firing
    stunt gun was Olive Drab color, it was not until I saw (looked again..)<span style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 
    that darn near everything was Olive Drab in that part of the film that I
    could see how colored the film was. Someone said that is an effect of darkling
    day film into night with a process in the film lab that causes the greening of
    the film..
    </span>



    6. Gun colors--



    The pistol frame was a brushed stainless steel, which was an
    option offered on Charter Arms bulldogs of the period. The Steyr parts were
    high-polished blue (standard finish on all Steyr rifles at the time). The
    magazine was polished nylon plastic, the material out of which Model SL
    magazines and trigger housings were made of. <o[​IMG]>
    </o[​IMG]>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in">RAC: with
    the Amber grips, either Epoxy castings, or colored Fiberglass resin or amber
    tortoise shell gripsÂ…




    7. One more thing--



    Only one hero gun was ever produced. This has been confirmed
    by the property master. Additionally, about 12 or 13 stunt copies were made for
    the movie, with another few copies given to "friends of the
    production".



    Phil<o[​IMG]>
    </o[​IMG]>
    </p>
    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-left:.25in"><font size="4"> </font>RACprops</p>

    </body>


    <script language="JavaScript">
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  23. lordobin

    lordobin New Member

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    well now all that's left is for kovach to join the discussion. [​IMG]

    so why did they add the 5th led to the bottom of the magazine? if it's there at all. just thematic effect?
     
  24. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This should put the buttplate issue to rest:

    <center>[​IMG]
    High light, heavy shadow

    [​IMG]
    High light, heavy shadow

    [​IMG]
    Low light, no shadow</center>
     
  25. lordobin

    lordobin New Member

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    so the light reflecting off the bottom throws a black spot on the film.

    cool pics phil.
     
  26. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great Photos!

    I'm not sure how conclusive they are though.

    It looks like the third photo the lightness could simply a reflection off the flat surface. When I take it into photoshop I can still see a hazy area inside the edges of the buttplate despite the reflection.

    [​IMG]

    Also when looking at the photos 1 and 2 That silver rim around the edge of the black is to thick to be a rim highlight. It also doesn't react to light correctly if the plate was all one color.

    Photo two has a a shodow falling onto the right side of the buttplate while the left side is a lighter. THe center of the buttplate is simply the dark shade and isn't represtative of this lighting.

    I'm not convinced either way yet but I'd like to have a conclusive answer.

    Do you have better resolution photos of these three photos. THat would be really helpful.

    Nick
     
  27. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I found these-

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure. That is just too wierd. Totally on the fence.

    Nick
     
  28. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nick,

    These press photos were all taken in sequence. The blaster was not switched during the shoot.

    Look at how strongly the light is hitting the base of the buttplate in the first photo on the left in your post (see the flare?). That's what's causing the shadow to be cast.

    The third photo in my original post clearly shows very low and poor lighting. In that image, there's no black on the base. Obviously, the base is silver.

    Trust me, the base is silver.

    Phil
     
  29. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, I have to agree.

    How about this-

    This * bottle is everywhere except in my collection.

    [​IMG]

    What the hell is it?

    note- the second photo is a little squashed so it doesn't look right.

    Nick
     
  30. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    We've been looking for the "Tsing Tao" bottle for quite some time--still no luck.

    Although we've spoken to the main set dresser, she doesn't remember from where they got this bottle.

    Phil
     
  31. Darth Bill

    Darth Bill Well-Known Member

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    </SPAN><TABLE BORDER=0 ALIGN=CENTER WIDTH=85%><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    philippes wrote:
    <HR></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS=$row_color>
    Nick,

    These press photos were all taken in sequence. The blaster was not switched during the shoot.

    Look at how strongly the light is hitting the base of the buttplate in the first photo on the left in your post (see the flare?). That's what's causing the shadow to be cast.

    The third photo in my original post clearly shows very low and poor lighting. In that image, there's no black on the base. Obviously, the base is silver.

    Trust me, the base is silver.

    Phil

    </TD></TR><TR><TD><HR></TD></TR></TABLE><SPAN CLASS=$row_color>


    Ummm, Phil...??

    Sorry, but... no.

    To try to explain colouring as "shadows" you have to ask yourself about where the shadow is coming from.
    From our perspective (looking at the photo), the light source is coming from the right.

    Note that in the first photo, the buttplate is turned away from the light source. The light is hitting the amber grips, producing the reflective flare but the light's not coming close to the buttplate. We can make out the silver 'ring' around the grip and the screws on the bottom.....

    Note that in the second photo, the light source is coming nowhere near the gun. It's below the banister. With no direct lighting on the gun, the ambient lighting around Ford shows off plenty of detail on the gun. Once again, you can make out the screws and the ring around the grip....

    Now the third photo kills your "shadow" theory altogether because you can see (or "not see", as the case turns out) the full effect that shadows cause.
    Ford's left arm is lifted up and leaned against the post, subsequently turning his hips and lifting the gun up enough for it to catch the light....

    See what "shadows" really do??

    The only detail you can catch is the buttplate.
    Note that you can't see any of the rest of the gun. No detailing on the grips, no nothing....
    Nothing but the buttplate.

    Yet, going back to the first and second photos, like I explained earlier, you can see the screws on the bottom of the buttplate, a detail that would've been washed out if it was a shadow. Which it isn't.


    Trust me, the base is black.




    Russ
     
  32. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If I may put forward a humble hypothesis:

    Perhaps it's gloss black paint?


    -SSB
     
  33. Serafino

    Serafino Sr Member

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    I agree for the most part with Darth Bill's reasoning and evaluation of the photos. Note also that the photos were either exposed or 'printed' at different levels, probably because of differing amounts of fill lighting being used, giving more or less prevalence to the lighting coming from our right. Compare the column to get a reading on this.

    Also, there is plenty of light on the bottom of the plate in pic #1--the same light that is illuminating the shirt on our left.

    Pic #2 is very bright overall, the gun is in shadow relative to the light on our right, but there is plenty of fill light in that area as you can see all the detail around it, and the scratched and worn black paint-looking material on the bottom of the plate.

    Pic #3 is very dark, which explains why the bright highlight on the bottom of the plate has burned out just about everything. As DB says that highlight is because the bottom of the plate is now catching the very strong light from our right. Note the position of the highlights on the coat button for further evidence that the plate bottom is oriented to catch a highlight from that light. It's not just lit, it's acting like a reflector which is why, again as DB points out, everything is burned out.
     
  34. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Okay, here's another photo:

    <center>[​IMG]</center>

    Convinced now, or do I have to bring out the big guns?

    Phil
     
  35. Serafino

    Serafino Sr Member

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    Phil, you're threatening us with a good time. [​IMG]

    Bring on as much as you can stand. [​IMG]
     
  36. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    And another version:

    <center>[​IMG]</center>

    Do I need to pull out my entire still collection? The base is silver!

    Phil
     
  37. Serafino

    Serafino Sr Member

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    The bottom of the plate does look to be the same color as the trigger guard in those pics.
     
  38. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice picture.

    I've always wondered about the pen in his pocket. THat probably the best picture I've seen of it.

    AH but even more elusive is the official Deckard Coffee Pot as seen in that picture. Nothing helps hunting skin jobs like a steaming cup o' joe. It almost makes the broken fingers bearable!

    Edit- Oh yeah, Feel free to show off your photo collection. Got anything really cool and/or wierd?

    Nick
     
  39. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    Yeah, Philippes, pull out the Sean Young Pics. I want to check the details.

    Deckard must be an android. No human could dress that ugly.
     
  40. Lighthammer72

    Lighthammer72 New Member

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    Speaking of those first two pics, why does Harrison look like somebody's about to light a firecracker and the photographer won't let him break the pose to cover his ears?

    As for the buttplate color, if the plate isn't attached to the frame(don't know much about this particular gun, so pardon my ignorance) except for those screws then is it possible that more than one plate was used? That would explain the difference in appearance between shoots. Maybe one got damaged, or it was decided that a different color scheme looked better after the gun was built. If they cut a groove in the thing after they'd been shooting for a while, then it isn't too much of a stretch to think they might have changed the color on one part. And again, I'm not well versed in BR props so if this seems ridiculous to anybody please restrain your laughter.
     
  41. Lord Abaddon

    Lord Abaddon Sr Member

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    Phil, Darth Bill and RAC are good friends so I hate to take sides...but I'm with RAC and Bill on this one. Here is my own quick and dirty experiment with my C&S...you can see how a high gloss black, when hit right, is washed out completely and nearly matches the silver frame in look, which when it side long shows the black "graininess" seen in Phil's shots.

    [​IMG]
     
  42. philippes

    philippes Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the black and white photos I posted above, the base clearly matches the sides. Since we know the sides are silver, the base must be silver too.

    No matter what anyone else believes, I'm leaving my C&S firing blaster buttplate silver--just as Craig Kovach made it. Who, by the way, agrees with me.

    Until I started doing research into the blaster, no one believed me when I said a revolver was inside the prop. Of course, the Charter Arms Bulldog being used in the prop is now canon.

    It's only a matter of time before the skeptics come around...

    Phil
     
  43. Lord Abaddon

    Lord Abaddon Sr Member

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    Actually to me it looks more like a seperate plate that was attached to the bottom within a ringed edge more than just a painted area of the bottom. That crisp, smooth edge just looks too much like an inserted piece.

    But...I'll leave mine black and while I trust Phil completely even the best of the best have been wrong from time-to-time. [​IMG]
     
  44. spinner 44

    spinner 44 Well-Known Member

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    Darth Bill, Serafino and Lord Abbadon-your photos are the best possible argument here- I'm with you. Phil I had some of these photos too and I had to confess here that the photo of Deckard in its kitchen was the only giving me headaches about this, but again this may be because light coming from the left is reflecting in the butt plate, making it the same tone as the rest of the butt plate.

    So when light strikes directly in this surface it makes it look as if it was the rest of the piece.

    I'll stick with gloss black with silver ring until I see a better evidence.

    Phil, thanks so much for sharing these photos with us![​IMG] Thinking of all your Blade runner material makes me just jealous.

    I thought it would be good that every one in the forum had access to the email I originally sent to Phil and Richard to discuss details about the blaster and that originated, in some form, this post. Please, if you can take the time to check with your DVD the details I comment, I'd love to hear what do you think about it guys.


    Looking for a confirmation of my arguments at the details of the blaster , IÂ’ve been looking again my DVD of Blade Runner for the 50th time and through frame by frame watching IÂ’m getting more and more confident about my ideas on the details on the gun.

    The main conclusion I have arrived to thought my photo references, film seeing and your photos is that the casting of the hero gun used for making the stunt copies was done before they started shooting the scenes, before they finished detailing the hero prop. In all the scenes in the movie were I identify the hero gun (mainly because it has the LEDs turned on) I can see the fifth hole for the LED, its washer and the modification of the butt plate (you have a detailed analysis later on scene by scene), plus a different colour scheme than the one used on dummies.

    Please have in mind that the version that I’m trying to nail is the Hero gun. The only access I have to a stunt copy reference is the photos on your site ,a photo B/W photo in the Blade Runner Portfolio by Blue Dolphin Enterprises that shows Ford in the Sebastian’s apartment holding a stunt copy were is clear the butt plate is flat (as you know they switched between the hero and stunt depending on the scene, so I guess this photo was taken preparing the moment were Priss kicks Deckard- Poor guy!) and the “Hand through wall” sequence of the film. I’m sure you had one stunt in your hands (LUCKY YOU!) so my guess is that you know the details of the stunt version VERY well.

    The stunt gun differs (at least in the photos from the cast that you have in your website) in some details from the hero: the “laser pointer” hasn’t got the LED in front of it, the rear part of it ends flat and not in a semi sphere as in the hero, the holes for the LED switch and a bit further up than the one in the hero (see reference below), the butt plate differs- its hasn’t got the indent for the finger, the profile should follow the pistol grip back curve and have the flatt black plate framed by a silvey ring on the low pat of it.

    Now I’ve had made a commentary of my observations scene by scene, and put aside them the time that was on my DVD reader from Blade Runner- The director’s cut- to make them more esily identificable (this may vary, as someone told me that NTSC editions are a bit longer than PAL ones). I have skipped the “Deckard chases and shoots Zhora” because there’s never a mid shot or close up of the gun, we just see the fifth LED on so it’s clear it’s there. TV: Sony 28”-LS35, dvd: Pionner 444, Gold plated Euroconector with oxigen free cables. TV settings using THX Optimiser.

    1. Deckard chases Batty. Extreme close-up of the front of the blaster 91:55. You can clearly see the profile of the washer on the ammo casingÂ’ lower piece. Because its viewed from the left side you see only a flat rectagle, but with the piece in hand and comparing it to the shot the place of this relief matches exactly the bird mark, were it should be. Plus the holes for the light stich should be 2mm down (on the copy I have) and the hole that is on the left seems to be covered with a transparent drop of Silicone? Resin? This drop appears too on the close up of the gun falling to the floor (maybe to protect the switch from water?).

    2. Batty gives the blaster back. 92:24. Mid shot but front lighted. Butt plate: the indent for the small finger is there, the back of the piece follows the curve of the grip frame. Paint scheme: the cilynder retainer of the Bulldog is aluminium as the rest of the BulldogÂ’s frame (I know you have this corrected in Series 3), plus the grip frame is clearly gloss black or a gloss dark metallic grey.

    3. Deckard gets the weapon back (other side of the wall). Close up of gun 92:29. Butt plate: the bed for the small finger is definitely there and the shape of the back follows the curve. The flat ring for the fifth LED is not very well seen here. Paint scheme: the colour of the grip is very clearly a gloss dark (black or grey).

    4. Deckard shoots back. 92:32. Profiled back against the light from the shoot you can see the profile of the washer! Again I put my piece in front of the TV and it matches places with the bird mark!

    5. Blaster falls to the floor. 94:52. One of my favourites for reference. After the fist bounce of the gun therÂ’s a still (you have to go frame by frame till you get it) that shows the gun as seeing from below. ThereÂ’s a black dot on the ammo casing (the rest is grey because of scene light)just where the bird mark should be, my guess here? The hole for the fifth LED. Butt plate: thereÂ’s definitely a silvery ring around the flat black surface (yes flat black) in the the low flat side. Plus the gripÂ’s frame has a gloss black look to me.
    The gun rests in the floor. The light condition goes here from medium to poor. As the light goes off you can clearly see that the “Laser pointer” has the head of a green LED, no transparent –I have some 3mm ones I bought in the eighties and they have that pale green hue-, plus I’ve just seen that in the back of the pointer it seems to be another green LED that has been cutted in half and its rounded head is glued to the back of the “laser pointer” (someone metioned this theory in a forum a time ago and I never believed it till now). There doesn’t seem to be any green light in the scene, so the colours can’t be because of set lighting, so green should be its colour.
    On the colour scheme in this shot its very clear that Steyr receiver and gun are clearer than the ammo clip box and the side drum cover. Form this shot and some of the others I firmly believe they had different coulurs, one should be a satin medium-dark steel and the other a gloss black.

    6. Deckard returns home. 105:55. Just when he lowers the gun to move the blanket you can see: The bed for the small finger in butt plate and the profile of the flat ring on the ammo clip. TherÂ’s very clear here too that the cocking arm and the received have a lighter colour and a less reflective surface than the ammo box and the side covers for the drum, plus again the grip frame is gloss dark colour, not alu.

    Looking for other references IÂ’ve found the Spanish one-sheet poster I have were it show Deckard holding its gun (yes it is a photo montage on 2 different ones, the one of the gun is taken from a b&w still of Deckard in the Bradbury building) that shows too the fifth LED hole on the clip.

    Besides the details I have come too to a colour scheme for the gun: Medium-dark metal (steel) not too polished for all Steyr parts except ammo casing and clip and for gun tube, Gloss black for ammo box, clip, drum covers, laser pointer and grip frame (custom made, maybe the Bulldog frame that is inside is parkerised as the rest of Bulldog parts), aluminium for all Bulldog parts, polished metal (darker than plain alu) for trigger guard, triggers and butt plate and flat black for butt plateÂ’s flat part looking down.


    Sergio
     
  45. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    Well, I vote silver. I have some experience with metal and it looks silver to me.

    From the point of view of the movie, why paint it black? Some guy spent a lot of time filing and sanding that chunk of aluminium, so why would he cover it up? Reflections on the lens? They don't seem worried about that in general.
    If it is an add on cap it would cover the bolt holes.

    I've seen some publicity stills, like the ones on bootleg soundtracks, where ford is posing with the gun. It looks silver there.(some of the stills are reversed, making him look left handed.)

    Did you notice there is a depression between the 2 bolt holes?
     
  46. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is turning out to be a great discussion! Don't get so defensive, Phil. This is fun stuff!

    Back to Point/Counterpoint.

    Here's the three best photos in my collection for the Laser pointer. I've included enlargements of the "LED" tip in question.

    LP-1
    [​IMG]

    The whole scene is dominated by blue lighting. Can't tell but the roundness of the tip is aparant.

    LP-2
    [​IMG]

    A dark photo indeed but still has some clues. This scene is predominately dark redish in color when sampling colors in photoshop. The LED spot comes to be a dark green. Hmmm...

    LP-3
    [​IMG]

    In this shot the lighting is predominately blue. THe LED is very green. Also you get to see the rear section that Sergio is talking about! I never noticed this before! I can't tell what is back there but it's definately something!

    Nick
     
  47. Scott

    Scott New Member

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    About the whole butt plate... I haven't studied Blade Runner or anything (haven't even seen it, actually), but I've been keeping track of this thread for future reference and noticed something in another thread. Check out the comparison pictures of the MR saber and the Anakin saber here. No, this is not off-topic.

    http://rpf.prop-planet.com/viewtopic.php?topic=40367&forum=1

    Notice how the shroud on the MR saber appears almost black due to lighting? The very same thing could have happened to the butt of the Blade Runner gun, and when you have black and white photos, it's going to look very black on film under the right lighting, just like the shroud on the MR saber.

    Just a thought.
     
  48. Serafino

    Serafino Sr Member

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    This would only be a valid point if the butt plate was highly polished like the Anakin emitter, which looks dark because it is reflecting dark areas which surround it.

    The generally uniform color of the other parts of the butt plate would argue against this possibility, as it seems unlikely that if the whole thing were highly-polished the surrounding ring and other areas would have such an even look to them--they would be reflecting the surrounding tones instead, i.e. all sorts of colors from the jacket, the shirt, etc.

    Most importantly though, the dark area wouldn't look the same color in the top two photos, because in the top one the 'darkness' would have to be a result of reflecting the shirt color, and in the 2nd photo it would have to be reflecting the jacket.
     
  49. Scott

    Scott New Member

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    The edges could simply be worn/weathered, either artificially or during filming.
     
  50. spinner 44

    spinner 44 Well-Known Member

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    Nick, many thanks for taking the time to do the screen caps. I hopè I can do some myself this eastern.

    LP-3 is the one image that made me convince myself that it was definitely a green LED. On the DVD the image is a bit more sharp so the profile and the forms are more clearly seen. And I can even see what looks to be the metal pieces inside it (that's what made thought of a LED and not an acrylic rod). And again I think this LED was never meant to be wired, just put there to give more details to the gun mechanism. Also there you can see that Steyr receiver and gun barrel have a lighter and warmer tone that the ammo box). Humbrol Metalcote Polished steel matches that color quite well for me.

    Richard, on LP-1 toy can see quite clearly the profile of the washer that surrounds the fifth red LED hole, it is on top of "lighting" in the text below the pic. I think the LED went down before the Zhora's chase and that's why we never see it again, just the washer and the hole is there.

    Sergio
     

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