Debunking Blade Runner Blaster Urban Legends - CLEAR ROD

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Lord Abaddon

Sr Member
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.

brbutt.jpg
 

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philippes

Sr Member
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
 

Lord Abaddon

Sr Member
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.
icon_biggrin.gif
 

spinner 44

Well-Known Member
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!
icon_eek.gif
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
 

terryr

Sr Member
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?
 

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nick daring

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
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
laser1.jpg


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

LP-2
laser2.jpg


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
laser3.jpg


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
 

Scott

New Member
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.
 

Serafino

Sr Member
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.
 

spinner 44

Well-Known Member
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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philippes

Sr Member
Never trust what you see on film--it's always misleading.

We have had access to actual screen-used stunt castings, and the tip of the "laser pointer" is square. Look closely at the screen captures in the previous posts and you'll notice that there are no sharp edges on the gun. The graininess of the film is causing the clear acrylic tip to look like a rounded LED. It is not. Trust me all ye skeptical ones.

Phil
 

Dymerski

Sr Member
My opinion it is black. There is absolutly a black plate insert in the butt. You can see the silver around this plate. If it were a lighting issue the entire butt would be in one of the colors...not the two tones (silver around black plate)
My opinion
Dean
 

philippes

Sr Member
Scott,

Nice example of what a reflective surface will do under even relatively low light.


Everyone,

Even though the buttplate of the hero blaster in Blade Runner was probably satin-finished, it will still cause reflections very similar to a chromed finish under very bright lights. As a matter of fact, the shadow cast will be rather flat...hey, like the black buttplate shadow in the press stills above...

Phil
 

philippes

Sr Member
Dean,

The silver ring around the base is a bevel. It's reflecting light differently than the vertical sides and slightly concave buttplate base.

The stunt blasters that have been examined show no insert into the buttplate. It's one solid piece of aluminum.

Am I going to have to call Ridley Scott and ask him to pull out the blaster to photograph? Will that settle everything once and for all? Wait a minute, where's my Rolodex...

Phil
 

spinner 44

Well-Known Member
So it Ridley Scott who has the blaster? Dammit!

Phil, as you know stunts (you have seen them How I wish I HAD!) and hero had a different butt plate, so this argument

Phil, to have that photos would be TOO good to be true(and I believe you could do it if you wanted to, but getting him on the phone that would be hardest...). After all what do he wants the blaster for? I'm sure he can hardly even remember he made Blade runner...
icon_biggrin.gif



Sergio
 

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philippes

Sr Member
Actually, if Ridley has the blaster, I'm quite certain he won't want the British authorities to know about it. He would clearly be in violation of the complete gun ban in the UK.

Based on my understanding of British gun laws, the blaster should have been turned in for destruction.

Phil
 

begsby

Well-Known Member
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Based on my understanding of British gun laws, the blaster should have been turned in for destruction.

Phil

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No possible exceptions made due to historical value?
 

begsby

Well-Known Member
Phil,

I'm not completely familiar with the law. When did it come into effect? I ask because if it was recent you'd think the bureaucracy might be pushed aside due to Ridley's now considerable celebrity status.
 

philippes

Sr Member
Any Brit will remember the Dunblane Massacre. That's what led to a total ban on guns in the UK. Since then, overall gun crime has risen 35%.

But there's no need to get into a gun-control discussion here.

I will say one thing: Gun control is imposed by countries that don't trust their citizenry. The right to own a firearm is an implicit and symbolic act of trust by the government. Gun control is a condescending form of regulation that assumes that the people of a country are guilty before being proven innocent. It also implies that a government is insecure about its potential accountability to its citizens.

Phil
 

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