The food trays in "2001: A Space Odyssey"

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Markus

Well-Known Member
In "2001: A Space Odyssey", food is recurring theme. Some have even claimed that the whole movie is about food (like here and here), as every important event is preceded by a scene involving food, from the very first scene of the apes, to the last scene of Dave Bowman dining with silverware. Food is also served on the Discovery shuttle, before they find the monolith on the moon, and at the beginning of the "Jupiter Mission" sequence.
Food-page001.jpg

The whole topic came to my attention when following the recent build threads here at therpf.com of the two food trays: The white one (used on the Discovery shuttle) and the blue one (used on the Aries-1B) by joberg (trays and inserts) and squidman (beautiful graphics work). I really liked these builds, and I wanted those too. At that time, I was busy building my Dewey drone, but (as usual) that did not prevent me from planning the next project. My goal is certainly not to surpass the beautiful results from joberg and squidman. So, lower your expectations :D - I just want to have my own trays, and I'm fine with 95% accuracy.
 

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Markus

Well-Known Member
I am starting with the blue Aries-1B tray.
As a starting point, here are a few (cropped) BluRay captures of the tray from different sides.

The side view shows the shape of the white inserts.
b1.jpg

The top view shows the horizontal proportions
b2.jpg

And the front views show
- how much the white inserts stick out
- the shape of the handles
- and that the original tray was slightly bent (I don't think that I will reproduce that...)
b3.jpg


b4.jpg


b5.jpg


In the previous food-tray threads it was argued that the printed graphics on the white inserts are 4"x4".
That makes sense, and I will use this as a basis.
From the side view, I conclude that the angled piece sticks out another inch to the front, so each insert occupies a space of 4"x5". That makes the inner area of the tray 16" x 10".
The sides of the tray (handles) are about 3/4 of the size of the inserts, so I make these 3" - and I pick 1 1/2" for the height.
(... actually, I confess, these dimensions were all copied from joberg's build :) - but I just wanted to show that I checked them and they are consistent with the screen captures.)
The height of the vertical pieces on both sides is less than half of the total height, so I make these 5/8".
From the front view, I estimate the height by which the white inserts stick out to be about 1/2". Together with the height of the tray, this defines the height of the inserts.
 

Markus

Well-Known Member
The original trays were likely produced by vacu-forming. If you can't do that, it seems natural to build them from styrene (like joberg did). However, I have never done that before. But I have had much success working with 3/16" plywood and a laser cutter. Although 3/16" plywood is a little thicker that the original material, this will likely not be (too much) visible in the final result.

So, here we go: cutting,
20210111_172127.jpg

gluing,
20210112_105638.jpg
20210112_120345.jpg

and some spackling and sanding.
20210215_133119.jpg
 

joberg

Master Member
Looking Marcus! The packets are much more complicated than we thought; I took the "lazy" way of doing them: respecting the angle at the front and the general "protruding" at the sides. As for the "bending" of the tray; since they were vacu-formed, it was easy for the actors to bend the tray while walking with it.;)
 

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Markus

Well-Known Member
Painting
Recently, I had very good experience with Valspar paints and a foam brush.
I picked the "Peek-A-Boo" blue which looks good to me (and it is quoted as #3370AC, and thus close to the PanAm blue with #2767AD ).
PeekABoo-blue.jpg

And then, starting with the first steps ...
20210215_133707.jpg
20210217_203809.jpg

... to the final result with a few layers of paint.
20210401_172612.jpg
 

Markus

Well-Known Member
Looking good markus, btw the color for the Panam blue is: RGB - R:39 - G:103 - B:173 ;)
Right, that's what I said - kind of... :)
I'm not sure why I quoted this in hex #2767AD, which, in decimal, equals R:39, G:103, B:173.
My Peek-a-boo blue has R:51, G:112, B:172. So, the blue is perfect, but it has a little more R and G.
 
Last edited:

joberg

Master Member
Right, that's what I said - kind of... :)
I'm not sure why I quoted this in hex #2767AD, which, in decimal, equals R:39, G:103, B:173.
My Peek-a-boo blue has R:51, G:112, B:172. So, the blue is perfect, but it has a little more R and G.
Yes and you`ll have to make sure the Panam label on the right hand side will contain the same RGB ;)
 

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Markus

Well-Known Member
There is a Pan Am history website that might have some information or logos that could be used if that one does not work right.
Could you maybe post the link?
I just notice that the logo in the movie looks slightly different. The lines are thinner and the letter don't touch each other.
(... and I was so happy that I found the logo as a png file with transparency ... :()
PanAmLogo.jpg
 

jlckansas

New Member
Here is a link to the Pan Am historical site:


Also the Airline History museum in Kansas City:


TY
 

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Markus

Well-Known Member
I went ahead and created an Illustrator vector file for you with the old design:

View attachment 1447654
Wow! Thank you so much - that's extremely helpful.
I already went ahead and installed the "PanAm font": PanAm Font | dafont.com. And I planned to add space between the individual letters. But then, it was the new version of the font for which the "serifs" (if you can call them that) are rounded and not triangular as in the old logo (here is a nice comparison from which the following image is taken).
1618611458048.png

Then, I could have added the triangles by hand ... but I still would have to deal with the lines which are too wide ...
Just curious (it's always nice to learn new tricks): how did you do the font in your logo? Did you draw the letters by hand, or did you have access to the old font?
So, again: thanks a lot!!! I really appreciate your help.
 

Markus

Well-Known Member
Next are the inserts, the food boxes.
I designed their shapes in "scribus" and printed them on 110lb (199 g/m^2) cardstock.
20210402_135924.jpg
20210402_154022.jpg

The graphics will later be printed on 4"x6" glossy photo paper. The second image above shows a draft version of the cheese wedge glued to one of the boxes, for test purposes (colors and shapes are still wrong). For the straws, I use clear tubing: 3" pieces with an outer diameter of 1/4", plus 1/2" pieces with an inner diameter of 1/4" (btw: I had a very hard time trying to slide the latter over the former, until I had the idea of using a drop of cooking oil).
20210407_230838.jpg

And this is how everything looks together - so far.
20210407_231538.jpg
 

joberg

Master Member
Great work Markus...you really went all-out with those boxes! They're exactly like the ones in the movie (y) (I might replace mine with this exact design in the future). Yes, I could've tell you that same trick I used to fit the small tube over the big one. Oil of any kind will do...
Eager to see your next update:) Btw, I fail to see the second hole to put the straw into the box itself.
 

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