Outland Shuttle Build

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Hot4Darmat, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Following the design work discussed over in the designer's thread, I decided to post a few images of my test build here. The Outland Shuttle is one of the coolest, ugliest, pure function-looking designs from the "Alien-esque" period of Bower's days as a science fiction model builder for the studios. I saw the images from his website of the beastie up close and clear and had to have it. The glimpses you get in the movie are brief and murky at best. Here's what the studio model really looked like (from Mr. Bower's site):

    Attached Files:

  2. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    I won't claim my paper model version will come anything close to that, but I'll provide the base from which individual modellers can panelize and greebly to their heart's content. Here are some shots of my first few parts. It all starts in the middle.

    Attached Files:

  3. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Then the upper hull section gets built...then repeat for the other end. Repetition will be a big part of this build, as there are at least two, often four, of everything. You'll see what I mean when the landing gear and thruster arms are built. The main hull starts to take shape. The textures are still rough, and in many cases, placeholders to see how it hangs together.

    Attached Files:

  4. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    I had started this earlier, but the scale I chose first was smaller. I quickly realized that once I got into building the more finicky little bits on the landing gear, I would be going crazy with frustration, so I started again making the whole thing 50% bigger. Here's a comparison that shows the two side by side.

    I like larger scale models anyway, so I'm happy this thing will end up being a fairly imposing beast.

    Attached Files:

  5. Gixergs

    Gixergs Well-Known Member

    Great!! been looking forward to this I shall be watching avidly.
  6. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I look forward to seeing the build completed; it should be a great model.

    The Outland shuttle always struck me as a stout utilitarian design, but I never liked the engines. Then again, who am I to critique a Martin Bower design? The guy is one of the Kings of SciFi Vehicles. I loved the detail on the landing gear.

    I remember the shuttle actually had a name, but it was Italian. The translation was "My Sons," but it sounded better in Italian.
  7. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member


    Wow another bit of trivia for this movie I never knew...could you tell me what that Italian shuttle name was? ...or any other fluff, or point me to where you found that info?
  8. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    This is good.... very good.

  9. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    I had wanted to say the name was "Fellei Miei" or something like that -- keep in mind it's been a couple of decades since I read the article in which it was mentioned and I don't speak Italian anyway -- but when I run "my sons" through an English-Italian translator, it spits out i miei figli and I can't recall if that was the name or not.

    Stick "i miei figli" and "outland" into Google and you get a bunch of hits for websites that aren't in English but I don't see anything that seems connected to the movie. I didn't spend a long time looking through them, though.

    If my feeble memory serves, I think I read the thing about the shuttle's name in an article in Starlog magazine, but like I said, it would've been around the time the movie came out, which was 1981, according to IMDB. I do recall the article had at least a couple of photos of the construction of the ship, but they are photos that appear on Mr. Bowers' website. I recall there was at least one overall shot showing people working on the model with the top off, then there was the photo of a modelmaker applying glue to one of the landing legs.

    I suppose someone could e-mail Mr. Bowers and ask him the name....
  10. jaffro

    jaffro Long term member

    I've been looking forward to seeing a build of this since I first saw the design thread.

    Looking good so far, can't wait to see more.
  11. Gearz

    Gearz Member

    Great match with textures Duncan! definitely capturing that industrial quality look, nicely.:thumb::thumb:
  12. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Thanks dhanners. Being the packrat that I am, I'll go through all my Starlog magazines from that era...I kept them all for the several years I subscribed....maybe I'll find more stuff about Outland there, too. I doubt Mr. Bower would know of the final name given the shuttle...he built the model, but didn't write the story or the fluff relating to it...but I'll ask.

    Progress report: The body is coming along nicely. End pieces are on and one of the side landing gear pieces is on. I need to go back to the mesh and do a little redesign work for that part as it was a bear to assemble. A number of greeble boxes are also on. Next step (tonight) start work on the fiddly bits I've been avoiding: the landing gear. I'll post more pics soon.
  13. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    I asked Mr. Bower about the shuttle's name, and this was the reply:

    "Hi Duncan,

    I’ve never heard of the Shuttle having a name?? The only thing it did get likened to was when Peter Hyams said he wanted something that looked like a flying version of the “ Statton Island Ferry”!"

    So I guess there we have it. It may have gotten a name, but likely it would've been done by a writer or someone else...not the builder of the model anyway.
  14. armorbimbo

    armorbimbo Member

    It's really cool when guys like that are 'approachable' and will answer questions...

    Can't wait to see further progress on this.
  15. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Agreed. He's been a complete gentleman and responded very kindly to my queries.

    He said in one early reply when I thanked him for getting back to me, that he never forgot how much it meant to him, when he was an aspiring model builder that one of his modelling idols, the late great Derek Meddings replied to a letter of his with words of encouragement and advice.

    What goes around comes around...keep feeding those positive vibrations in the world.
  16. Jaybats

    Jaybats Member

    That's true; I truly admire that he's from a generation of true masters of model-craft, when they worked with real materials, designed with pencil and paper, and did everything completely with just their head and hands. When I visited his site last year, I made it a point to thank him for all the childhood memories since I grew up with his work in Space 1999 and various films. I was delighted when he replied with his appreciation for the note.
  17. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    Maybe this was the issue of the magazine I saw....
    Starlog Store: Starlog 47

    And I concur that some of the best modelers (both card and plastic) are also very generous with their time and help. There is a notable exception or two, but I think most of them remember how things were when they were starting out, and they want to pass along what they've learned.
  18. dhanners

    dhanners Member

    The more I think about it, it's entirely possible the article I saw might've been in Cinefex magazine. I honestly can't remember. If so, here's the issue:
    Cinefex 4 - Altered States / Outland

    They say the magazine is sold out but that B&W photocopies are available. I'm thinking it (along with the Starlog) would be a good investment when designing a model of the shuttle. For 17 bucks ($7 for the Cinefex article and $10 for the back issue of Starlog) you'd probably get a lot of research bang for the buck, especially with the former....
  19. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Believe it or not, I think I have that Cinefex issue, too squirreled away somewhere. Now whether I'll be able to actually find it again or not is another matter. It may take me so much time and aggravation searching it'll end up being cheaper to just order them, but this pack rat thing verges on being a disorder (just ask my wife about my many boxes of "scratchbuilding modelling" parts...a.k.a. junk). Now I know what I'm looking for, I'm on a mission.

    Thanks so much for the help with these ideas.
  20. Hot4Darmat

    Hot4Darmat Member

    Here are a couple of shots of one of the end pieces being assembled.

    Attached Files:

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