The first Star Wars miniature?

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Mysta2

Active Member
I've seen (pictures of) the screen used Tantive IV from ANH that looks to be about 3-4 feet long. But I've also seen a much smaller one that also claims to be screen used that I think was used in the wide shots and is possibly the very first miniature on screen in ANH (the prop that started it all). Can anyone tell me anything about this model? Can anyone identify the kit that this machine gun and those hatches or any other details might be from (for scale reference)?
If I was to reproduce a screen prop this would be the halo prop for me, it's just the right size, and it's literally the very first Star Wars prop.
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Or is it a later prop from a different movie? Maybe in some of the fleet shots or something? Obviously this one is designed to only be filmed from the rear... which is what was leading me to believe it might be for that very first shot.
 
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nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, there were two miniatures (technically not props) of the Blockade Runner. There was the enormous one that started out as the Millennium Falcon, and got repurposed later. And then there was a small metal one that was used for the very opening sequence.

This second one had to be built because the ship motion was done by sticking the model on a stand and moving the camera. The big model was so large that they didn't have a studio large enough to handle the very opening shot of the ship blasting off into the distance. So they made the small one. It was metal so it wouldn't melt from the heat of the lamps used to portray the engines, and wasn't that detailed.

The metal small Blockade Runner is indeed the first miniature to appear on-screen in the film, and was auctioned off not that long ago. Modelmaker extraordinaire Jason Eaton (moffeaton) has made a replica of it.

 

SciFiMuseum

Sr Member
Here are a few photos of the 4 foot shooting model at a exhibit in Seattle...the smaller model was sold as lot 1543 in the Profiles in History auction 72 on October 1, 2015 and was 16 inches long and its engines lit up. Hope that helped a bit.-Chris and Judi




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Mysta2

Active Member
Wow. Thank you for the info Chris and Judi
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I let my friend know that they mounted it upside down. He said that was how the client requested it because the top side was missing a lot of parts. It was of course built knowing it would be filmed from the underside.
 

star-art

Sr Member
The big Runner was just over 6 feet long. (I know because I recreated it for Disneyland and Disney World.) :)

The little one was indeed the first miniature seen on screen, but not the "first Star Wars model" which implies it was the first to be built for the film. The little Runner actually would have been one of the last models built. That's because the decision was made well into production to redesign the "Pirate Ship" and turn it into the "hamburger ship," re-purposing the original miniature and turning that one into Princess Leia's ship. I remember Lorne Peterson saying they had to build the big 5-foot Falcon miniature in a very short period of time.
 

Bjorn

Active Member
I was not aware of this smaller model until I saw Jasons (Moffeaton) series of videos on the subject. It's very cool.

It certainly has the distinction of being the first model to appear. I was under the impression that the first models that had usable shots completed were either the Death Star turbo laser or the Escape Pod. I would suspect that other models had been shot prior but simply were not up to scratch with what came afterwards.

It would be great to have a timeline for the construction of the models as it would possibly help with ID'ing all the kit donors.

Thank you for the info and pics from the auction!
 

robn1

Master Member
The launch of the escape pod was the first shot made at ILM, so those models were at least among the first made.
 

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