Tomorrow Never Dies 1997

Uniformly excellent miniature work on display here supervised by John Richardson. The model workshop was supervised by Brian Smithies and Rick Thomson with miniature photography by Paul Wilson.

Along with a miniature stealth ship and a modern outline frigate at the climax, the opening of the film features some shots of miniature mayhem featuring a missile launcher and the odd truck or two. There is also a shot of a model Jet exploding.

Filming Stealth

This is an example of miniatures done right, totally believable and realistic, faultless execution from the construction to the photography.

Again information is scant, this film didn’t even get a mention in Cinefex which is a shame.

I would really like to know more about the models and the filming.


Against All Flags 1952

The technicolour is turned up to eleven particularly in the matte painted shots which also suffer from some very apparent bounce in the ocean plate.

It’s also interesting to note that traveling mattes have replaced what used to have been more commonly rear screen projection composites in the shots of the pirates looking at the miniature ship action. Unfortunately there are very obvious matte lines around the actors.

Errol Flynn broke his ankle 5 days short of completing the shoot. The ship set from this film (and possibly the miniatures) were used to shoot another film “Yankee Buccaneer” during a period of 5 months before resuming shooting on Against All Flags.

AgainstAllFlags00001 AgainstAllFlags00002 AgainstAllFlags00005 AgainstAllFlags00007 AgainstAllFlags00008 AgainstAllFlags00009 AgainstAllFlags00010 AgainstAllFlags00011 AgainstAllFlags00012 AgainstAllFlags00013 AgainstAllFlags00014 AgainstAllFlags00016 AgainstAllFlags00018 AgainstAllFlags00021 AgainstAllFlags00022 AgainstAllFlags00023 AgainstAllFlags00024 AgainstAllFlags00025 AgainstAllFlags00026 AgainstAllFlags00027 AgainstAllFlags00028 AgainstAllFlags00029 AgainstAllFlags00030 AgainstAllFlags00032 AgainstAllFlags00035 AgainstAllFlags00037 AgainstAllFlags00039 AgainstAllFlags00041 AgainstAllFlags00042 AgainstAllFlags00043 AgainstAllFlags00044 AgainstAllFlags00045 AgainstAllFlags00047 AgainstAllFlags00048


Fitzcarraldo 1982

Despite the director Werner Herzog maintaining that everything in the film was shot for real there are a couple of model ship shots in the film and they are very well done.

There must have been a miniature river rapids set built along with the scale model of the steamship.

Unfortunately there is no credits for the miniature sequence.

fitzcarraldo00014 fitzcarraldo00001 fitzcarraldo00002 fitzcarraldo00003 fitzcarraldo00005 fitzcarraldo00008 fitzcarraldo00009 fitzcarraldo00010 fitzcarraldo00013UPDATE 27 June 2015

Berton Pierce who made the wonderfull documentary about the legendary modelmakers of blockbuster movies “A Sense of Scale” contacted me through the comments section. He has a couple of photographs he took at an exibition in Germany that featured the miniature ship from Fitzcarraldo and here they are below. The first one is a behind the scenes photograph of the miniature shoot that was displayed alongside the model at the exhibition. Although it is a bit blurry it does show the scale of the model with people in the scene.

Fitzcarralldo_BertonPierce_exhibition1 Fitzcarraldo_BertonPierce_Exhibition2Berton’s documentary can be purchased from the link below and I thoroughly recommend it. He has produced a valuable record of a now dying art and even more than that, he has made an entertaining film that is chock full of my heroes talking about the subject I love…miniatures.

Sense Of Scale DVD

The Guns of Navarone 1961

This film won an Oscar for visual effects for its miniatures supervisor Bill Warrington and rightly so as it has a terrific model Greek fishing boat in a storm sequence as well as climaxing with an explosive  model destruction sequence concerning the guns of the title. There is also a miniature Lancaster aircraft crash sequence at the start of the movie, a mostly full size German patrol boat explosion is augmented with some close ups on a miniature version which then sinks. A British destroyer coming through the water thrown up by near misses from the guns also make an appearance in miniature form in a couple of cuts. The full size gun cave set is pretty impressive as well.

Wally Veevers supervised the Optical effects with Bob Cuff responsible for a number of matte paintings sprinkled throughout.

Projected miniature ocean effects also provide the backdrop for the cliff climbing scenes. The Actors are actually lying horizontally on the rock set piece constructed on the floor of the studio with a rear projection screen vertically behind them.

GunsNavarone00001 GunsNavarone00002 GunsNavarone00003 GunsNavarone00004 GunsNavarone00005 GunsNavarone00006 GunsNavarone00011 GunsNavarone00012 GunsNavarone00013 GunsNavarone00014 GunsNavarone00015 GunsNavarone00016 GunsNavarone00017 GunsNavarone00018 GunsNavarone00019 GunsNavarone00023 GunsNavarone00025 GunsNavarone00026 GunsNavarone00027 GunsNavarone00031 GunsNavarone00033 GunsNavarone00035 GunsNavarone00038 GunsNavarone00039 GunsNavarone00040 GunsNavarone00042 GunsNavarone00046 GunsNavarone00047 GunsNavarone00048 GunsNavarone00049 GunsNavarone00050 GunsNavarone00051 GunsNavarone00054 GunsNavarone00055 GunsNavarone00058 GunsNavarone00059 GunsNavarone00062 GunsNavarone00064 GunsNavarone00066 GunsNavarone00067 GunsNavarone00068 GunsNavarone00069 GunsNavarone00071 GunsNavarone00072 GunsNavarone00073 GunsNavarone00075 GunsNavarone00076 GunsNavarone00077 GunsNavarone00078 GunsNavarone00079 GunsNavarone00080 GunsNavarone00081 GunsNavarone00082 GunsNavarone00083 GunsNavarone00084 GunsNavarone00085 GunsNavarone00086 GunsNavarone00087 GunsNavarone00088 GunsNavarone00090 GunsNavarone00091 GunsNavarone00092 GunsNavarone00093 GunsNavarone00094 GunsNavarone00095 GunsNavarone00096 GunsNavarone00097 GunsNavarone00098 GunsNavarone00100 GunsNavarone00101 GunsNavarone00102 GunsNavarone00103 GunsNavarone00105 GunsNavarone00106 GunsNavarone00108 GunsNavarone00109 GunsNavarone00110 GunsNavarone00111