Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

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cpltony16
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Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by cpltony16 »

Given that my father taped Star Fleet off the TV back in 82, I was able to enjoy the show over and over growing up.

Fast forward 40 years and my love of props has led me back down the path of Star Fleet once more.
I never thought I'd have the source material to be able to do a decent job.
But given we now have the DVD release, the 2022 exhibit catalog, and the technology to create and print in 3D....what's stopping us???

One thing I've found in my recent research trying to build a screen accurate PPA is that they had more than one model on set.
The 2022 exhibit PPA is actually a small recreation (the art director took the original home, was it ever located?) and not as accurate as i'd have liked.

So using existing prints as a base, an ENORMOUS amount of screen captures, and a little artistic license matching both on-screen models into one...here is my work in progress.
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Plenty more still to do. Including weathering, additional pieces and of course electronics.
Some of the HD captures are really helping with the eye piece as that's got some depth to it, as do the under-ear pieces.
I'm penciling in where he needs to be beat up and his seams 'enhanced' right now.
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Given the lighting and the standard definition of the show, it's tough to see how the paintwork is around his arms at times.
But thankfully the remastered pilot shows PP-'Adamski' without his arms and a clear representation of what we've got to work with.
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When I say they had more than one model on screen, I found this switch in one scene that was quite noticeable when specifically looking for PPA material.
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The yellow pieces at the base of the top dome (his 'cheeks' I'd say) usually give it away (the 2022 exhibit PPA showed this also as the dome is too high).

But it is interesting to see the damage PPA has as the series continues. The score across one of his 'ears' and what appear to be 'bags under his eyes' in the form of metal stains around his eye piece.

Not many know the show and can appreciate this, so wanted to share it with those who hopefully would.

Any and all ideas are welcome to get this big guy to screen accuracy.
I've got some circuitry for a voice box and have pulled about 78 individual clips from the show onto it.
Overkill, but better too much than not enough.

Would love to know some of your favorite PPA lines so I can make sure I don't forget them.
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Crash
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by Crash »

Hi Tony,
These are some great images of a great-looking project!
Welcome to the forum,

This is some great research around the building of the model. I always find things like this fascinating.

Would you let us know when you get to the next stage, or when he's completed and let us see the finished article?

Would you mind as well if I added this info into the xbomber.co.uk site as well to make it more easily browsable/findable?

I have to confess that my colleague: Dan from the Star Fleet facebook group sent me images of your project, but for reasons of work and health, I wasn't able to update the front page of the site yet with the info.
Dream big and bold and daring.
cpltony16
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2024 3:54 am

Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by cpltony16 »

Hey Crash,
I did wonder how intertwined the SF groups were online so glad Dan shared them.
I hope your health improves (work also) ;)

Thank you for the kind words.
I'm no expert at prop making, but I've done enough to know this is what I wanted to attempt.
...and this one being about 6-7 inches in diameter, it's a REALLY good size for cosplay as well.
I'm not sure of the exact size of Sayabu's PPA, but the 2022 exhibit repro is only about 4.5 inches (120mm).
Unless she is a very small person, I'm not sure those are the same. But I could be wrong.

Of course you're absolutely free to share these images as needed.
My goal is to not only have a screen accurate PPA, but to share the resources used so anyone else can do the same.
Mainly measurements, materials, and full 360 images.

Expect updates as time gets on and of course the finished product in all its glory.
This is of course just version 1. I've a VERY enthusiastc friend talking of servos and motors and all manner of upgrades for a possible version 2.
My wife has spoken of having two sets of voice boxes, one with the Japanese audio. Not sure if a shrieking PP-Adamski is what I want but....we'll see.

His antenna aren't on yet as I've been trying to source plyable metal pieces so they wiggle, but aren't too rigid.
I've settled (right now) on a mini drain snake but I know it needs small tubing for the wires of the yellow rings to fasten.
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The struggle however is the eye piece because, of course we can just use colored plastic, but looking at the remastered PP-Adamski shots we can see it's got a lot of depth to it.
It has stuff within it or behind it that....I'm just not sure how to reproduce right now.
Do we try dyed clear resin over 3 the lights and a scuplted backdrop?
Those aren't LED's (which I think would be far too bright), so we either have to tone those down quite a bit of find something suitable that was around in the early 80s.
Then of course wire it up to the voice box so they light up as he talks.

Also looking closely at the DVD screenshots I've taken, I've found that the dome/top white paintwork for PPA appears smoother than the lower piece.
It actually looks like they cut out the eye piece, then just traced around that for his 'belly' section.
But the top looks smoother with some gloss, whereas the bottom section looks matte and hand brushed.
It could just be the lighting hitting the top far more often than the lower, but when he's upside down on the floor it still looks that way.
So you'll find my lower section is hand brushed in a matte whereas the top is sprayed with semi-gloss over a smoothed out hand brush.
Like I said....screen accurate ;)

More to come, I could ramble on for ages.
cpltony16
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by cpltony16 »

I typed out this whole thing about the antenna maybe being one single piece of wire painted two colors, but the more I look the more you can see it's separate pieces.

The black sleeve with the yellow wire being bent into a ring and fed back into the sleeve.
I guess on the repro it just looks sloppy to me lol.
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PPA on-screen you can of course see it's a separate wire and sleeve.
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PP-Adamski almost looks smooth (one piece), but I think that's just the angle here.
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I was trying out the two options using an old USB cable, which the thickness appears to work fine for this scale.
Not for the ring (that's much too thin), but for the antenna 'stalk'
The thicker one piece is the mini drain snake.
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felice
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by felice »

Awesome work! :D
cpltony16
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by cpltony16 »

So some genius on here decided to waste their time upscaling the show to 720P *GULP*
So after battling MEGA.NZ to get the entire 13+GB zip file....here we go!!
Holw cow, this is amazing work!! Taking a lot of the guess work out of what we've got going on.
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Thanks to this mammoth effort (great work once again) we can see it's a single wire wrapped into a loop and stuck back into the sleeve tightly.
The 2022 repro is indeed accurate (just not as tightly sleeves), so that answers that question.
The drain snake I think is a little too thick to get that crisp curve from the stalk into the loop...but I'll keep trying to figure out what will work.
Maybe sculpt the loop and stalk itself, and then simply sleeve it to the drain snake.
cpltony16
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by cpltony16 »

Next hurdle I'm going to have to figure out is the eye piece.

Thanks (once again) to the HD upscale, we can see this is clearly something with a lot of depth and detail.
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I can only assume this is a kit bash (parts of different model kits they'd aready used, thrown together to build it)
Therefore I have no freakin' clue whatsoever what it's made from.

So what options are we left with?
1. We draw it, print it, and apply it as a backdrop to a clear piece of perspex. (Cheating!!!)
2. We sculpt the piece and mold it in resin. (Overkill??)
3. We draw the piece as best we can and 3D print it. (Interesting!!!)
Being married to a graphic artist helps :)

But for the lights themselves....we have to think back to the 80s.
What did they have then for lighting up PCBs?
Thankfully the red LED was invented in 1962, so we can assume they simply used those.
But they appear to be very small LEDs and we know they don't light up the eye piece entirely.
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So resisters in the circuit and the smallest (square or rectangular?) LEDs we can probably find
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Crash
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by Crash »

This project keeps turning up all sorts of interesting details.
Someone went to some trouble to add all those gubbins inside a model that wasn't often shown that close-up.

If you have a way of 3d modelling an approximation of it in blender or somewhere and 3d-printing it.
I don't see that it has to be that accurate - just give a similar impression of pipes and tubes and cylinders - it looks a fair bit different from each angle anyway.
Dream big and bold and daring.
cpltony16
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by cpltony16 »

With the help of fans and their work that's been posted here...oh yeah we're coming up with all sorts.

I've an old JVC camcorder that's no longer working.
I'm going to cannibalize the thing and use what I can from the mechanism to build this backdrop out.
I think we can all agree that accuracy at this point is to make it look as best we can. No one but those with the actual piece (and close ups to prove it) will dare to question us!!! Mwahahahaaaaa!!
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Crash
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Re: Screen Accurate Large Scale PPA

Post by Crash »

That sounds awesome.
The composition of the eye looks different to me in every shot, so trying to make it authentic without the original to examine in person seems impossible.

I love vintage technology. I have a particular love for Palm handhelds.
For quite a while last year, I used a Palm Treo 680, which was the last GSM one that they did, as my main phone.
That was before I tried out Sailfish, which is a pretty good alternative to the big tech "choices".
Dream big and bold and daring.
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