Friday, January 31, 2014

The Secret Space Base Podcast Episode 7 Is Here And It's A Real Ramblefest!

     Greetings all! Here is Episode 7 of our podcast.  It was originally intended to be our last episode of 2013, but life happened and plans changed.  We have no format or guest for this episode.  It's just Tim and I rambling about our first year of podcasting, the good and bad that happened over the last year.  The passing of Ray Harryhausen, Marvel's Agents of Shield, yada yada yada.  I assure you that neither Tim nor I are drunk or chemically impaired in any way during this recording.  You can, however; make a drinking game based on how many times I use the word absolutely during the show.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mystery Spaceship Quiz Answer!

    It seems that our mystery ship appeared in a series of ads for the 1978 Ford Fairmont Futura Automobile.  In retrospect; this was unfair to my UK readers and friends.  For that I most certainly apologize.  I have no idea how nice or popular the Futura was for the time, but the ship is quite nice.  Given its apparent small size and overall structure; it's very likely a surface to orbit personnel craft.  One of the ads I'm posting here displays the ship's portside profile revealing a cluster of engine bells at the rear. This rules out FTL or even typical sublight propulsion.  She must use solid rocket fuel given the flame spewing VTOL engines employed at the end of the commercial; a real gas guzzler from the look of it.  She looks to me like a craft from the same manufacturer as the Icarus from the original Planet of the Apes film series.
      Below I've post the two print ads that I'm aware of as well as the television advert.  As for the clue I gave yesterday, I'd like to explain it.  When I was a kid there was an old joke about the Ford Motor Company.  Ford stands for Found On Roadside Dead.  That or Fix Or Repair Daily.  Old jokes to be sure.  Thanks for all the great comments.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mystery Spaceship Quiz!

     This cool spacecraft was used in the 1978 television and print ad campaigns for a product that couldn't be further removed from space travel.  Not only did the commercial featuring this craft air during primetime television; I used to see  it on a huge billboard every time my family took a drive into Downey, California.  Think you recognize or remember it?  Leave your comments and at this time tomorrow I'll give you the answer and post the commercial it featured in.

Hint:  This craft certainly wouldn't be found on the roadside dead, but the product it advertised might be despite its futuristic name.

Toy Hunter Season Three Kicks Off Tonight!

   Well, I've been waiting very patiently for tonight!  It's the beginning of Season 3 of Travel Channel's great series Toy Hunter!  My regular readers know that one of my great loves in life is collecting toys.  Space and Scifi toys specifically.  It should therefore come as no surprise that I LOVE Toy Hunter.  The series follows Jordan Hembrough who scours the country (lately the entire world) looking for rare and exciting toys to sell at major conventions.  His enthusiasm for locating rare and amazing toys is unparalleled.  If you like seeing cool toys and collectibles; this show is for you.  I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Jordan at the Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle last March.  He's every bit as nice in reality as he apears on the show.  Paul Woods over at the Project Sword Moonbase Central Blog met him a few months back at a convention in the UK.  That Con will appear in an episode this season.  Check your local listings on Travel Channel and tune in tonight!

My awesome meeting with Jordan at Emerald City Comic Con 2013!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Project Sword Moonbase Blog Is On Our Podcast And They Just Reached A Million Hits!

    First off, let me congratulate the crew of the Project Sword Moonbase Central Blog for reaching 1 million hits!  Excellent job my friends. Second, back in December I recorded a podcast with the Moonbase crew that should have been posted Dec 31st.  It was intended to be the first segment in a two-part end of  the  year special that I had planned with my regular co host Tim Bergeron.  Computer issues on my end and Tim recovering from surgery meant delays that we are just now overcoming.
     Below is the complete Project Sword Moonbase Podcast Special.  I was fortunate to be able to chat with all three members of the Moonbase crew (Paul Woods, Bill Bulloch, and Mike Burrows) and we had a great time.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Remembering X-Bomber!

     I'm a big fan of the Japanese scifi marionation series X-Bomber; known in English speaking countries as Starfleet.  Created by legendary manga artist and animation producer Go Nagai; X-bomber combined elements of Star Wars and Gerry Anderson's classic supermarionation shows to create a truly unique TV space opera.  The show featured amazing space battles, bizarre aliens, and even a giant combiner robot.  Great stuff!  Although the 26 episode series was produced in 1980; I think it still looks great today.  I found a featurette on Youtube where Go Nagai is interviewed about the show's history and groundwork.  Gerry Anderson himself is also featured.  Enjoy!

Meddings on My Mind!

    It's no secret that I'm  a huge fan of visual effects and especially miniature effects.  As we move forward into a world dominated by digital effects and CGI; I grow more fond of the films and television shows that relied  on practical effects and miniatures.  One the greatest miniature effects artists in the business was Derek Meddings. 
     In my opinion his work deserves every bit as much credit as Ray Harryhausen, Willis O'brien, and Eiji Tsuburaya.  His effects work was crucial to the success of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation shows of the 60's.  Although his amazing resume includes numerous classic James Bond films, and the Superman films; it's his Supermarionation work that I love most of all.  Not only did he bring cinema quality miniature effects to the small screen; he also brought an amazing sense of design to the shows he helped realize.  That's what I want to focus on here.
       Below are a sampling of the amazing sketches created by Derek Meddings that helped bring Thunderbirds, Captain  Scarlet, and UFO to life.  I firmly believe these shows simply would not have been possible without Meddings' incredible skill and imagaination.  Enjoy!

Derek Meddings preparing a miniature Fireflash airliner for filming on Thunderbirds

Meddings original design sketch for the Fireflash airliner
Meddings original design sketches for Thunderbird 2
The final design for Thunderbird 2
Original concept sketch for the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle that featured in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
Concept sketch of the amazing Jetcar from Joe 90
Concept sketch of the SHADO Lunar Interceptor from UFO.  The design notes are really interesting as well
Concept sketch for SHADO's Skydiver submarine from UFO
Concept sketch of the EUROSEC rocket from the film Doppelganger aka Journey to the Far Side of the Sun
Concept design for futuristic jeep that featured in both Doppelganger and UFO.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Computer Issues

   I apologize for the gap in postings between Christmas and now.  Severe computer issues toppled my little world.  That has been resolved and we'll be adding regular posts again next week.  Thank you for your patience.