Red Dwarf season 8 gantry prop refurb


Sr Member
HI Folks.
Ive been fortunate enough to have the job of refurbishing this original Red Dwarf prop. It comes from season 8 and is featured in all the episodes opening sequence and a fair few other shots during the episodes.
After some comprehensive cleaning up (it had sat in some shed for 30 years as far as i could tell) i checked it over for parts and paint colours.
The majority of the detailing on the surface is some kind of racking system for electronics or something like that with many little locking tabs and cut outs. Most are missing, so first job was to replicate these and replace the ones which i could see were missing. I looked for tell tale glue marks and paint edges to try and diagnose which part went where.
some major assemblies are missing though, so i needed to get some decent images to really see what was going on. On the dvd there is some detail shown but the real game changer which solidified my thoughts on most of the details, was a shout out to the studio scale modellers group on facebook. I was so grateful to receive a reply from Steve Howarth, one of the model makers who created the props for the series. He informed me that John Wellar was the model maker responsible for this particular part of the set (landing bay 2) and as such he (Steve) had only minimal images of it. His pictures are the first two in this post.
Ive scoured the prop like Sherlock from all different angles checking details, and im happy to say i found the original Renault Magnum 1/24 truck donor kit and other needed EMA catalogue parts to make a pretty good reconstruction.
One major bug bear were the spacers used on the piping. I checked everywhere for these to no avail. So it was out with the silicone and in with the resin casts.

Im trying to keep as much of the original prop untouched and blend any new additions to that, rather than a complete paint refresh, so it will still show the signs of age, bash marks and some smaller damage, but the overall structure should be close to the original.
So heres some of the shots i have as reference, some better than others thanks to Steve Howarth, who captured a tantalising glimpse in the corner of the first image. If you look closely you can see the Aliens powerloader grab hands, a telescopic platform with rams, hand rails and other bits. On the bottom it shows the same plastic trays used on the surfaces, stacked up with the vertical tubes terminating on top, more pipes and cut down handrail type bits. This image above the others told me what i was looking at in the other shots. This gave me the tools to visualise it in a more complete way and then work from that
RD 1.jpeg

The three images below are taken from the dvd (on my phone for this post). One major area these showed was just above the large opening on the right hand side.There appears to be some kind of round shape under the grab hands After much scratching of the old head i deduced that a large winch would be just right in that position and perfectly in context. Reinforced in other shots by what seemed to be a cable draped onto the platform above it. So i went with that concept. Next is to build it all in cad, laser cut it all and get it on there.


Theres a ton of scratch building to be done on this, but for now i have this short vid showing the first clean up and detail checking.

Ill post the next vid on here soon. Hope you guys like it.


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