The Doomsday Machine

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JiminSTLouis

Sr Member
Can you enlarge this image and print it out on clear plastic? It could then be back lit.

star-trek-the-original-series-season-two-remastered-edition-20080811041504115.jpg
 

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Jarvis B

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I made one quite a few years ago from foam and Spackle to scale with the Micro Machines Star Trek toys of the day.
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Photo01172325_1.jpg
 

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Jarvis B

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'll get some new pics soon to get a better idea of what it looks like ,
When I built it I started by carving the base shape in ridged foam that is a little denser than dry floral foam and wrapped it with plaster bandage . I used foam board strips hot glued to it for the raised detail and covered everything with wall Spackle sanded it and sealed it with acrylic paint .
 

MustangGTR1

Well-Known Member
It was suppose to have engines on the back and alot more detail. Someone needs to build what they should have used not what they did use
 

robn1

Master Member
I don't know what Spinrad had in mind, but I like the design they used. It looks like a whale, perfect for the analogy of Decker as Ahab. And certainly alien looking.
 

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darendoc

New Member
I did a lot of examination of the episode when I was working on my "proof of concept" Doomsday Machine VFX re-do...
The closest I can come to explaining what the filming model is...
Yes, some kind of wire armature to support the thing. They only shot it from one side... it does move in one shot... so it was something that existed in three dimensions...

Over the wire, it looks like heavy, gaffer's strength aluminum foil used for blocking light on the set... this is wrapped around the armature, and forms the major sections... it is unpainted and still reflects light.

THEN...

it looks to me as if another item from the gaffer/lighting kit is used... some blue gel plastic material... the kind used to change the color temperature of lights. it seems to me that this is wrapped over the outside of the foil. If you look closely at the stills, you can see the faint outlines of what looks to be adhesive tape just holding it together. The gel plastic is then folded over the lip of the maw in sections and secured inside... where the foil is bare.

It seems that there is a light source inside... it is possible they built this assembly over an existing studio light... maybe a small fresnel light to provide the illumination from within. It would also explain why they used foil and wire... heat resistant, as was the lighting gel.

As to the lighting effect seen in the show... I believe this was a bit of trickery as well. They projected the moire pattern behind a still of the miniature, with the light source cut out... so the moire would appear on the inside of the "doughnut" shape... but still revealing the foil reflecting the studio light.

What do you guys think? It would also explain the somewhat transparent property of the model in the side shot, as we are seeing through the gel material, and where the foil doesn't cover, we see the opposite side of the maw.

That's my two cents.

drd
 

CessnaDriver

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That is a very interesting theory on the transparency observed.

It would be fun to see what a build with that method would look like.


Funny how there is just no detailed information about how it was built by anyone
who worked on the show.
 

Commander Max

Sr Member
I don't think those guys cared about documenting very much.
It's a real shame but that was the attitude in those days.

I thought the transparency issues were part of the composting.
I agree with CD, your take is interesting, and makes a lot sense.
If it was made around a stage light that thing could have been huge.
Nor would it have cost very much to make.

Could it have been made out of the same material the sets(caves, etc.) were made with?
 

darendoc

New Member
Yes, the heavy duty foil used on the cave sets was the same material used by the lighting dept...

I don't think it was a question of not wanting to document it... I think it was just a question of speed. They had to get this thing built fast... and probably did it in less than a day, I'm thinking.

Not all set lights are huge... it could have been built around a "mini-mole" which is only about 7 inches diameter... judging by what looks like adhesive tape on the surface, that scale would make it maybe 3-4 feet long... that would be about right to fit a mini.
 

darendoc

New Member
Ok... I went a bit nuts, and did some documentation on this...

Frame Grabs from the Blu-Ray... and Annotations at 3 in the morning.
View attachment 43965
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What do you guys think? I think it coulda worked that way... Whatever it is, it definitely isn't a windsock dipped in cement. lol

Looking at it again at this high resolution, it's possible that some of the "cladding" around the foil is Wax Paper, it has that kinda look when it's crinkled and turns opaque... Or it definitely coulda been regular "diffusion" gel, which is slightly milky.

Someone build one of these.
 

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feek61

Sr Member
Your evidence is very convincing. The cement covered windsock didn't seem plausable but it was the only thing I have ever read about the actual miniature. I do think you may be right. Now, who's going to build one?
 
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Proper

Well-Known Member
What do you guys think? I think it coulda worked that way... Whatever it is, it definitely isn't a windsock dipped in cement. lol

Looking at it again at this high resolution, it's possible that some of the "cladding" around the foil is Wax Paper, it has that kinda look when it's crinkled and turns opaque... Or it definitely coulda been regular "diffusion" gel, which is slightly milky.

Actually, materials do strange things when combined in certain ways. Whatever it looks like we simply don't know. To me, it very well could be a windsock dipped in cement. I have no reason to disbelieve the author of the book that indicates that it's a wind sock dipped in cement. And don't forget that after the cement bath that concoction was embellished and reworked to make it look less like a wind sock dipped in cement. Try dipping a wind sock in cement and fooling around with it; you just might be surprised...
 
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Commander Max

Sr Member
I had to watch that episode last night after your post.
I'm not 100% convinced of the transparency on the prop(who knows).
But everything else is right on, even the asteroids at the beginning of the episode is the same foil.

I didn't get a screen grab of it, but there is a shot of it with what clearly looks like a light shining out of it. It was long before the destruction sequence.

I don't buy the windsock either, that would have taken to much time. I'm sure the thing was thrown together in no time. With what was laying around.

But one thing I have learned is not to take these guys who made this stuff at their word. It was just a job to them, and considering how fast this stuff was done, memories may not be as clear.
 

CessnaDriver

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Well they created a unique strange looking surface to be sure.
My interest in this model is more then it has been in years thanks to this thread.

I did some screen grabs years ago, like three from when it turns, and just rocked them back and forth in a image viewer. I was pretty sure of transparancy at least around the mouth, as it pivoted you could see through it. It seemed a physical property and not some FX element.
 

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