Saturday, June 10, 2017

Sandcrawler


The similarity between the dwarf minions from Phantasm, and the Jawas from Star Wars was entirely coincidence, but it should be noted that both Don Coscarelli and George Lucas drew inspiration from Frank Herbert's Dune for their respective films.

Coscarelli makes several references to Dune in Phantasm, while early iterations of Star Wars were more noticeably influenced by Dune than the final version.

One of the references to Dune that remained in Star Wars was the Sandcrawler. However, the design by Ralph McQuarrie is completely different from the similarly named vehicle from Dune, and was modeled in part after NASA's Crawler-transporter vehicles.

Kenner made a radio-controlled version of the Sandcrawler to go along with its 3¾" action figures, which sells for a fortune nowadays. A subsequent Hasbro version without the radio-control features was given an exclusive re-release around 2004, and sells for a smaller fortune.


I have one of these later versions, which measures 16" long, and 8" high. It scales out to about 1/100 scale if we go by the commonly given dimensions for the Sandcrawler.


However, the Hasbro Sandcrawler doesn't look far off of 1/72 scale when compared to the appearance of the full-scale model that was used for filming.





One of the projects that I hope to accomplish someday is to build an interior, add an opening front ramp, and install lighting in this model.



Saturday, May 13, 2017

Thierry la Fronde


Thierry la Fronde was a popular French TV show from the early 60s which I am only aware of due to the existence of a rare set of 1/72 figures representing characters from the show. The set was produced by an unknown manufacturer, and rumor has it that the figures were commissioned by collectors who were fans of the series.

English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms,
you sons of a silly person!

I was able to obtain a small lot of these figures recently, but unfortunately it did not include a figure of the Black Prince.



The poses are not particularly exciting, but these toys are pretty difficult to find in my experience.

If anyone has a Black Prince figure they can trade or sell, please contact me.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures

I visited Harvard University over Spring Break and found an interesting display of weapons and armor at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, which runs through 2017.


Armor from Kiribati in Micronesia with a porcupinefish helmet.

Front

Back


Tlingit armor from the Pacific Northwest.

Ring mail fashioned with Chinese coins


War helmet representing totemic killer whale


Pictures of other pieces of armor in the collection.

Spanish breastplate

Moro armor from Mindanao

Yi armor from Western China

Ifugao shield from Luzon (left)
Papuan shield (right)

Shields from Papua New Guinea

Spanish shield (Adaga) from Mexico (top left)
Pueblo shield from New Mexico (lower left)
Kayan shield (Kliau) from Borneo (right)

Indian shield (top)
Persian shield (middle)
Ethiopian shield (bottom)

African shields

Pictures of various weapons in the collection.

Maces

Clubs

Clubs

More clubs

Spear throwers

Axes and daggers

Swords and daggers

More bladed weapons

There is also an online exhibition which features some of the weapons and armor on display and additional items in the collection.

The final picture is of a small scale model (not quite 1/72) of the main temple at Tenayuca that is on display with the museum's collection of Mesoamerican artifacts.