The art of miniature model making for Television and Films has quickly given way to more cost effective CGI effects. There was a time in Hollywood when miniature models were the status quo for creating illusions. The art of miniature model making takes skill and a high level of artistry with attention to detail. That’s why this month the auctions of TV and Movie memorabilia are of high importance to those that collect these insanely cool props.
6) “Alien Resurrection” ship – Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 74
Profiles in History Catalog Description – “The Betty” model made from castings of original film model from Alien: Resurrection. (TCF 1997) This intricately detailed, and part-for-part identically matched model to the screen-used motion-control miniature created from extra castings of the original ship used in the film. This studio scale model was painstakingly matched to the original using extra fiberglass and epoxy castings that were made when the original was created. Features fully detailed flight deck complete with instrument panels and seats. This model was built, pained and detailed at the Academy Award-winning New Deal Studios (formerly Hunter/Gratzner Industries). Estimate $60,000 – $80,000.
5) “Moon” Lunar Model – Prop Store Live Auction
Prop Store Live Auction Catalog Description – A model miniature Sarang lunar rover from Moon. This model was one of four model rovers built for the film,used by Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) during mining operations at the Lunar Industries He-3 refinery on the moon. This model miniature, built by model maker Bill Pearson to 1:12 scale, is made of styrenewith wood and styrene wheels and was designed to be pulled by wire for movement. Estimate £5,000-7,000.
4) “Batman Returns” Batmissle – Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 74
Profiles in History Catalog Description – This unique and highly detailed Batmissile miniature is constructed of fiberglass body with plastic and metal details on a metal chassis. Measuring approx. 58 in. long, the model was used in creating the high-octane action sequence in which the Batmobile transforms into a slimmer version by shedding is fenders and realigning its wheels to fit through a narrow alley and shake off pursuing police cars. This miniature was hung vertically from a steel rod and the loosely attached fenders were then pulled away with filament to give the convincing illusion of the pieces being jettisoned. Estimate $15,000 – $20,000.
3) “Armageddon” Space Shuttle – Prop Store Live Auction
Prop Store Live Auction Catalog Description – A model miniature of the shuttle Independence from Michael Bay’s Armageddon. This miniature was used for the X-71 shuttle Independence for the sequences in the hangar, on the launchpad, for the shuttle’s lift off and for space flight sequences. The model was designed to be suspended by scaffolding from multiple points with mounts built into the sides, the rocket engines and underside. The mounts are covered with body panels when not in use. The piece is presented on a custom made, wheeled base that uses the shuttle’s engine mounting. Estimate £20,000-30,000.
2) “Star Trek” Starship Model – Prop Store Live Auction
Prop Store Live Auction Catalog Description – A Federation Ambassador-class starship model miniature from the sci-fi television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, later redressed and reused in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. For The Next Generation, the model served as both the USS Zhukov in the fourth season episode “Data’s Day”, and the USS Excalibur in the fifth season episode “Redemption II”. It was later redressed and used again as the USS Yamaguchi in the Deep Space Nine episode “Emissary”. Estimate £40,000-60,000.
1) ”Star Wars” Rebel Blockade Runner – Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 74
Profiles in History Catalog Description – In the opening sequence of the first Star Wars Episode IV “A New Hope”, the Rebel Blockade Runner, the ship carrying Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2, enters into frame and is pursued by the massive Imperial Star Destroyer. This one-of-a-kind 16-inch miniature was built to provide the illusion of the spacecraft receding into the distance due to the limited length of the Dykstraflex track (the first digital motion control camera system ever put into use). The prominent feature of the ship is the series of eleven engine nacelles mounted at the rear, each fitted with an aviation incandescent lamp to provide the desired “ignition” effect. Built to withstand the resulting heat generated from the lamps, the Blockade Runner is crafted of aluminum and painted gray with red accents. Estimate $200,000 – $300,000.