Studio Scale Tyrell Pyramid

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DenVSS

New Member
Ok folks. Firstly apologies for not posting here awhile. Plagued with ill heath( kidney stones) recently and it’s thrown me right off balance. So I‘ll be back posting more regularly on this again soon Including a more complete buttress.

In what I call a chance discovery, a few weeks ago I found what what I thought was impossible.... the photoetch used on a lot of the original castings/ master patterns. It’s not made anymore and yes, “rarer than hens teeth”. its used on the patterns for the top of the Pyramid and the two you can see in the photo. Its also used on the close up Elevator ( on the ends).
I also discovered some of the tinier model pieces as well and these I can confirm we’re on all on the original patterns including the main face of the Pyramid. So I now have 90% of the parts identified.
The small antennae which some will have noticed from before are for the top of the buttresses. These have been made from scrap pieces of left-over photoetch. They’re not accurate in a sense of being exact but they look the part and the original model makers may have used to same technique. And they‘re all different, no two alike. View attachment 1461480


View attachment 1461481 View attachment 1461482
Impressive project. Looking forward to see this build when it’s done. Do you happen to know if there is a layout of the building and all of the brass panels or dI’d you do all of the R&D yourself?
 

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Searun

Active Member
Pyramidrep,
Always enjoy your posts on the Tyrell Pyramid, an incredible piece of art. Sci-fi movie artists & professional model builders have tremendous creative talent. Never get tired of watching that scene in Blade Runner. Reminds me of the many red eye flight return trips into NYC landing at
JFK and Laguardia with all the city lights.

Hunting for the right detail is part of the enjoyment, although sometimes the passion goes off the scale “going down the rabbit hole.“ I would venture to say your build is likely to be of higher quality than the original. Sorry to hear about medical issues, understand that only too well.
 

Pyramidrep

Active Member
DenVSS,
Thanks for the kind comments. Everything that had been posted here is the result of a lot of research some of it going back 5 years. I collected anything I could find over the years and it was only when Bill George very generously posted his behind the scenes images of the model shop that I thought it might be possible to reconstruct it. Of course it’s never that simple and you soon realise that there is a lot of detail and construction methods to be resolved. So no, there are no layouts that can easily be had other than ones you can do yourself. I have to constantly update and tweak my work as I resolve each area. And you have to really look and resolve it millimetre by milimetre. There no other way. The saving grace here is that as compared to say building a studio scale millenium falcon , there are not that many model parts / kits to identify. But some of the parts are really, really off the charts. I got lucky from watching an old BBC art documentary and saw something it the background that lead me on a search in a completely new direction. To say I was “elated” when I found the stuff after years of searching is an understatement.

I took a break from it recently because I’m “up to my tonsils” with other work . But that has helped as well to have fresh eyes. I finally got the detail in the channels on the main facade resolved last week. All the tiny model parts identified. Just have to build it next week.
Still working on the buttresses which I’m keeping under wraps at the moment until I get the lighting resolved. I didn’t have to use solder since after getting advice from a craft metalwork school not to use it , I got confirmation from one of the original model makers that the etch was simply glued in place. That was a huge relief and a lot easier.

My only regret here is that I am seem to be on my own into doing serious research on the Pyramid as say compared to groups that have worked on some of the great iconic Star Wars model props.
9062FBA7-96D4-4251-925E-D6B65CAF3248.jpeg

Some of you will notice that the reference images of the strip come from the close up insert model in New York .I was given a very good archive of images from a very kind individual through Facebook. There was just about enough information to resolve the strip detail. I still plan on going to New York next year to see it in person and to photograph it thoroughly.
 
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Pyramidrep

Active Member
Pyramidrep,
Always enjoy your posts on the Tyrell Pyramid, an incredible piece of art. Sci-fi movie artists & professional model builders have tremendous creative talent. Never get tired of watching that scene in Blade Runner. Reminds me of the many red eye flight return trips into NYC landing at
JFK and Laguardia with all the city lights.

Hunting for the right detail is part of the enjoyment, although sometimes the passion goes off the scale “going down the rabbit hole.“ I would venture to say your build is likely to be of higher quality than the original. Sorry to hear about medical issues, understand that only too well.
Searun,
Always delighted to see your comments here. I’ m only a kid compared to your 75 years. I had a few health issues this year and yes, I suddenly realise I am getting old, as indeed everyone faces.

And you are very right that the hunt for the right detail parts is part of the enjoyment, however challenging it can be. I was told recently that the original model was never intended to last beyond the filming window and it was accepted that it would be trashed after the filming wrapped.
 

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joberg

Master Member
DenVSS,
Thank for the kind comments. Everything that had been posted here is the result of a lot of research some of it going back 5 years. I collected anything I could find over the years and it was only when Bill George very generously posted his behind the scenes images of the model shop that I thought it might be possible to reconstruct it. Of course it’s never that simple and you soon realise that there is a lot of detail and construction methods to be resolved. So no, there are no layouts that can easily be had other than ones you can do yourself. I have to constantly update and tweak my work as I resolve each area. And you have to really look and resolve it millimetre by milimetre. There no other way. The saving grace here is that as compared to say building a studio scale millenium falcon , there are not that many model parts / kits to identify. But some of the parts are really, really off the charts. I got lucky from watching an old BBC art documentary and saw something it the background that lead me on a search in a completely new direction. To say I was “elated” when I found the stuff after years of searching is an understatement.

I took a break from it recently because I’m “up to my tonsils” with other work . But that has helped as well to have fresh eyes. I finally got the detail in the channels on the main facade resolved last week. All the tiny model parts identified. Just have to build it next week.
Still working on the buttresses which I’m keeping under wraps at the moment until I get the lighting resolved. I didn’t have to use solder since after getting advice from a craft metalwork school not to use it , I got confirmation from one of the original model makers that the etch was simply glued in place. That was a huge relief and a lot easier.

My only regret here is that I am seem to be on my own into doing serious research on the Pyramid as say compared to groups that have worked on some of the great iconic Star Wars model props.
View attachment 1495798
Some of you will notice that the reference images of the strip come from the close up insert model in New York .I was given a very good archive of images from a very kind individual through Facebook. There was just about enough information to resolve the strip detail. I still plan on going to New York next year to see it in person and to photograph it thoroughly.
It seems that to try to contact the right people who worked on the production and are ready to disclose the details you need is very difficult (apart from a few exceptions...you know who you are;))Copyright/IP issue seems to be the main obstacle to this type of research. Hopefully, you'll find the answers you're looking for(y)
 

Pyramidrep

Active Member
It seems that to try to contact the right people who worked on the production and are ready to disclose the details you need is very difficult (apart from a few exceptions...you know who you are;))Copyright/IP issue seems to be the main obstacle to this type of research. Hopefully, you'll find the answers you're looking for(y)
I completely agree with you, joberg. Its very difficult to get any response but thats quite understandable. So I follow the threads of evidence that I can find on the existing material that’s publicly available and decipher using the same techniques that a lot of the great modellers on the forum here have used over the years ( including yourself).


I was at the Museum of Moving Image recently and it was not on display.

Craig
Craig,
Thanks for that. I better make sure it’s on display before I arrange the flight. I got images directly from the museum in July when the Museum was reopened after lifting of Covid restrictions. From what I can see, the model while it’s very intact, it’s not in very good condition. There are parts & some of the resin castings are missing. Other parts are badly warped. It could do with some comprehensive restoration.
 

Krats

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I better make sure it’s on display before I arrange the flight...
If you have a special area of interest it's often worth contacting a museum directly to arrange viewings of specific artefacts. The curators are usually hugely enthusastic about the items in their care and happy to assist serious research.
 

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Searun

Active Member
If you have a special area of interest it's often worth contacting a museum directly to arrange viewings of specific artefacts. The curators are usually hugely enthusastic about the items in their care and happy to assist serious research.
Great input Krats. Your observation of “working the people angle” can open closed doors. This forum has some clever folks.
 

DenVSS

New Member
DenVSS,
Thanks for the kind comments. Everything that had been posted here is the result of a lot of research some of it going back 5 years. I collected anything I could find over the years and it was only when Bill George very generously posted his behind the scenes images of the model shop that I thought it might be possible to reconstruct it. Of course it’s never that simple and you soon realise that there is a lot of detail and construction methods to be resolved. So no, there are no layouts that can easily be had other than ones you can do yourself. I have to constantly update and tweak my work as I resolve each area. And you have to really look and resolve it millimetre by milimetre. There no other way. The saving grace here is that as compared to say building a studio scale millenium falcon , there are not that many model parts / kits to identify. But some of the parts are really, really off the charts. I got lucky from watching an old BBC art documentary and saw something it the background that lead me on a search in a completely new direction. To say I was “elated” when I found the stuff after years of searching is an understatement.

I took a break from it recently because I’m “up to my tonsils” with other work . But that has helped as well to have fresh eyes. I finally got the detail in the channels on the main facade resolved last week. All the tiny model parts identified. Just have to build it next week.
Still working on the buttresses which I’m keeping under wraps at the moment until I get the lighting resolved. I didn’t have to use solder since after getting advice from a craft metalwork school not to use it , I got confirmation from one of the original model makers that the etch was simply glued in place. That was a huge relief and a lot easier.

My only regret here is that I am seem to be on my own into doing serious research on the Pyramid as say compared to groups that have worked on some of the great iconic Star Wars model props.
View attachment 1495798
Some of you will notice that the reference images of the strip come from the close up insert model in New York .I was given a very good archive of images from a very kind individual through Facebook. There was just about enough information to resolve the strip detail. I still plan on going to New York next year to see it in person and to photograph it thoroughly.
Is that exactly what makes these kind of projects so incredibly valuable? It is such an iconic prop piece and now it is being made again I with tons of research and Original material is so hard to come bye. Imagine you pulling this one off completely. A most Honorable job as far as I’m concerned. hats off to you sir
is there any way of you sharing the reference material do you have gathered?
 

Pyramidrep

Active Member
Is that exactly what makes these kind of projects so incredibly valuable? It is such an iconic prop piece and now it is being made again I with tons of research and Original material is so hard to come bye. Imagine you pulling this one off completely. A most Honorable job as far as I’m concerned. hats off to you sir
is there any way of you sharing the reference material do you have gathered?
I have been asked this a few times by visitors to the studio here and through Facebook. I think 80% of the material I use is available online or through books/ magazines also available online. As mentioned Bill George’s images are important and they are freely available.(imgur). Cinefex 9 and cinefantastique are also important. You can find those on eBay or there may be pdfs available to download( (check Propsummit.). The archive of images on the close up section in New York were given to me on the condition that they would not be shared. I have a small amount of other material that was given on the same condition. Really what’s important is that you have to spend enormous amount of time analysing and manipulating the available images through photoshop and CAD. A lot of the other threads of the forum show the techniques . I certainly learned a lot reading them over the years.
As regards the drawings that I have been drafting, 3d models, unfortunately no, I can’t share those. And I have been asked several times in particular about the etch drawings for the buttresses. I realise that there are valuable if someone wants to produce replicas for sale. But I have no interest in making money from it even though the project it’s probably going to cost well in excess of €10,000. Some of leftover etch will be given away as gifts to the folks that have helped me.
I‘ m a team of one. doing a project that probably more suited to a bigger group . And to tell the truth, I never believed I get this far developed. It’s not an easy build.

I hope that I am pointing the way with this thread so that folks might want to follow.
I shared formation here that has taken quite a while to figure out and will continue to do so until the finish.
 

Searun

Active Member
Pyramidrep,
Was waiting, and must say, well said: ”Rangers Point The Way.” That you have done with generous explanation in your thread with the formula provided.
 
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DenVSS

New Member
I have been asked this a few times by visitors to the studio here and through Facebook. I think 80% of the material I use is available online or through books/ magazines also available online. As mentioned Bill George’s images are important and they are freely available.(imgur). Cinefex 9 and cinefantastique are also important. You can find those on eBay or there may be pdfs available to download( (check Propsummit.). The archive of images on the close up section in New York were given to me on the condition that they would not be shared. I have a small amount of other material that was given on the same condition. Really what’s important is that you have to spend enormous amount of time analysing and manipulating the available images through photoshop and CAD. A lot of the other threads of the forum show the techniques . I certainly learned a lot reading them over the years.
As regards the drawings that I have been drafting, 3d models, unfortunately no, I can’t share those. And I have been asked several times in particular about the etch drawings for the buttresses. I realise that there are valuable if someone wants to produce replicas for sale. But I have no interest in making money from it even though the project it’s probably going to cost well in excess of €10,000. Some of leftover etch will be given away as gifts to the folks that have helped me.
I‘ m a team of one. doing a project that probably more suited to a bigger group . And to tell the truth, I never believed I get this far developed. It’s not an easy build.

I hope that I am pointing the way with this thread so that folks might want to follow.
I shared formation here that has taken quite a while to figure out and will continue to do so until the finish.
OK thanks. I will check out your suggested links and I respect your choice to not share the material you have been asked not to. Good luck on the project. I will keep my eyes open on the progress
 

Pyramidrep

Active Member
Thank you again, Joberg.


That’s actually one of the master patterns that was built for the Hades ( Industrial) landcape ( the front section) and foam polystyrene casting were made of this . Isnt it quite unbelievable how abstract the model builders could be when conceiving that landscape/ model.?. They knew how little detail the camera and viewers would only perceive in the opening scenes. It also shows how economical the production was in using everything to keep within a tight budget.

The great thing is that includes chopped up parts of the Pyramid castings. Some small sections of the front facade is there, small sections of the roof and a small piece of the terrace. There is also some addition model parts glued to the surface from one of the model kits that was used to build the background flying vehicles.
A few more patterns were also sold at auction a few years ago but the don’t have quite as much bits of the Pyramid on them.

Yeah, you can tell I studied that a lot when I started research.
 

Pyramidrep

Active Member
Well, when you`re obsessed with a project, your first duty is to get as much info/pics/blueprint as you can. By doing so, you're becoming some kind of an expert on the subject;)(y)(y)
Professor in Nerdology ( that‘s my made up word for it).. Though I’m sure there are others here on the forum that know more than I do about the subject.

Been looking at that Close Up Section again, looking for a clue to the elusive parts I can’t identify yet. Found 2 more kits I hadn’t looked at before and waiting on them to be delivered. Though I don’t think they’ll have the missing parts on the other build.
This drawing for the Close Up section will be 90% done within the next few weeks. If I can draw it, it means I can understand it and how it was made. I have most of the kit parts identified on this already. Although I didn’t intend to do any major work on it this year, it just happened as a consequence of the unidentified parts on the other. The search still goes on.

70C875DA-0B6A-48E5-A90C-8C41720E3585.jpeg
12A8FC4C-9693-419D-8130-D8D2B922614C.jpeg
 

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