July 11, 2009
One reason I think Battlestar Galactica will stand the test of time as a television classic is Ron Moore and his writers weren’t afraid to shake up the status quo with plot twists that were truly “game changers.” The first such move was the One Year Later sequence at the end of the Second Season finale “Lay Down Your Burdens.”
Naysayers thought it was a trick or an alternate reality or a dream sequence. In fact, it was an example of the large brass cajones of BSG’s writing staff. Some changes to our cast of characters were drastic—Mrs. Kara Anders (or should that be Mr. Samuel T. Thrace? Hmm…), “Fat Lee” Adama, President Gaius Baltar, Cally Henderson-Tyrol, Lt. Anastasia Adama. Others were more subtle—a mustached Bill Adama, schoolmarm Laura Roslin, and a one-eyed Saul Tigh.
The brilliance of the New Caprica story arc, however, is it placed our heroes in the position where some become suicide bombers under Baltar’s Vichy government. This salient commentary on real-world issues did not go unnoticed. “Occupation” / “Precipice” received Emmy and Writers Guild nominations for writing; “Exodus, Part II” was nominated for directing and sound editing Emmys and won the Emmy Award for outstanding special visual effects in a series.
One of the signature VFX shots on New Caprica was based on David MacLean’s concept art for the grounded ragtag fleet. This oversized pencil sketch (11” x 34”) is a stunning piece of work and will soon be available on eBay
“So say we all.”
July 1, 2009
Seriously. You know you want to.
Well, you’re in luck because next week, we’re going to auction art for Viper Mk VII cockpit concept and full-size cockpit panels. (Can I get a “So say we all”?) An enterprising fan could snap these puppies up and start construction ASAP.
It’s no secret the art department tweaked aspects of Battlestar Galactica‘s design as the seasons progressed. For example, you’ve probably noticed differences between the Miniseries helmets and the 2.5 versions, as well as the clamshell blasters and FN-5.7 pistols.
You may not have noticed, however, the interior Viper Mk VII cockpit was redesigned starting with the Second Season episode “Scar.”
And the artwork for these cockpit panels are GI-NORMOUS!!! The largest pair are 2 feet by 6.8 feet apiece.
Translation: make sure there’s enough room in your garage ‘cause you’re gonna need it.
“So say we all!”
June 29, 2009
Ok, so I know the title says it all, but I’m going to keep going anyway. These storyboards are cool because 1. I say so. 2. They are done in pencil, and are one of a kind! 3. I frakking say so, did I say that yet? 4. These storyboards are of Anders setting up a makeshift explosive detonator in an underground carpark, just waiting for unsuspecting Cylons to walk in.
There are nine pages of this set of storyboards (There are more storyboards in the ebay auction, and a few more in the store, go look!!) and I’m going to describe a few for you guys, just incase looking at the pictures isnt cool enough. So on page two we have a very intense looking pencil Anders setting this detonator line to a battery, and then running like hell to cover. Thankfully, incase you cant tell that from the picture, there is a small caption of “Anders sets bomb” to let you know. Those artists were smart!
Moving on we have Anders doing sneeky eye through a car window as a Cylon walks through the carpark. We again have awesome narration by the Artists with, “Centurion moves behind car” written below the picture. The Centurion then moves from behind the car and looks around, Oh crap, he sees the bomb! He walks his CGI self over to the bomb and leans down to inspect the fuse.
The Cylon, being all advanced and everything, takes time to note the almost burned out cigarette…right before it blows him straight to Cylon hell. I will give a half point back to him though, he was distracted by the bomb that would almost certainly kill him by Anders cocking his gun, which would probably dent his armor (or you know, make it dirty, scratches!) and not harm him at all. That Cylon superbrain was really slacking that day. Look at this guy, he’s going for the terminator look, and then..
May 20, 2009
Do you guys remember the Stealth Star? It was the ill fated stealth Viper that Bulldog piloted before being captured by the Cylons in the Season Three episode “Hero.” Considering the Stealth Star was a completely “one-off” Viper design the production didn’t want to invest much time or money into creating a cockpit specifically for Bulldog to be seen in for such a brief scene. Set Dec cleverly redressed the interior filming cockpit used for the Mark II and VII for use as the Stealth Star cockpit. But wait, it gets even better. We have discovered in our treasure trove of production blueprints the plans that specify how the filming cockpit was to be modified to become the Stealth Star.
Of note the plans specify to “Paint all Mk 7 blue surfaces to black.” The actual filming cockpit is still in this paint configuration as all of the interior surfaces are still in flat black paint. Other items to note is that all of the screen graphics and cockpit lighting were to be changed to red/orange to give it that “classic” military stealth bomber cockpit feel. The final item was to “Turn off all lights + switches on all existing consoles.” This helped add to the stealthy feel of the cockpit. Here is the filming cockpit as it would be shown in Mk VII livery.
Look for this fantastic piece of art in next weeks eBay “Airlock Auction.”
Good Hunting Nuggets!
April 20, 2009
As I was helping prepare items for this week’s eBay auction, I came across concept art for a Viper Mark VII cockpit interior that blew my mind. It’s an Ivana Vasak original pencil sketch on vellum and very cool. After raving about it to my co-workers, I noticed four additional drawings by Ken Rabehl that didn’t have item numbers. Steve then informed me that all five were a set. I nearly fell out of my chair.
I’ve been collecting animation art for nearly 20 years, plus the women in my family are visual artists, so I have a pretty good eye and consider myself somewhat of an aficionado. Here are some of the great things about collecting production art:
1) You can frame and display it at home or in your office;
2) Its value generally appreciates with age; and
3) It’s frakking awesome!
March 4, 2009
Up on eBay this week are two concepts for the Vintage officers uniform, as briefly seen in the flashback scenes from the DVD movie “Razor.” As you can see, there are two styles online, as designed by Costume Designer Glenne Campbell and done by artist Terry Pitts. These are one-of-a-kind watercolor sketches, the first being inspired by the look of the officers from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica television series, and the second more in style with a US Air Force uniform.
January 17, 2009
We have finally been able to post scans of every piece of production art and set plans. Many of the production art lots have multiple pieces, and you can now see every one of those pages online at auctionnetwork.com. We posted the 11″x17″ scans this past week, and now all the oversize lots, specifically lots # 1-10, which are all larger than 11″ x 17″ have had scans of every piece posted.
Good luck to everyone in today’s auction!
January 16, 2009
For those of you who want to find something inexpensive in the live auction, you need look no further than the 90 or so lots production art. We realize that many of the people can’t afford to walk away with an Arrow of Apollo, or the Iconic Six Red Dress, or even a Raptor, so the economical choice from this auction is going to be—in our own opinion, of course—the production art. A majority of lots consist of multiple pages of production art, such as the obsolete set drawings over four seasons, or the Colonial pistols.
Many of these are beautiful pieces in their own right, with intricate detailing by production artists such as Ken Rabehl (the artist who did the very sought after “Cylon War” painting in Adama’s Quarters) and original pieces that will likely never be seen again. Or wouldn’t have been seen at all, were there not an auction!
One good suggestion we have is that a group of friends can pool their money to buy a lot, and share the sketches between themselves (or divide them up accordingly.) Then they can have someone who is the designated bidder who will bid on the lot.
If you’re not going to be at the auction, and can’t see the actual art in person in Pasadena, we have made it extremely easy for you to peruse our selection of production art. Simply go to Auction Network’s website, sign up (you’ll need a valid credit card) and get together with your friends (or BSG loving family) and see what you can do to snag a piece of Battlestar history.
November 18, 2008
In the construction of the various large-scale or complicated sets for the series, the art department for the production created various foam core models as a visual aid for how a set would appear visually.
One such model is that of the Demetrius, the sewage recycling ship Admiral William Adama gives to Kara Thrace (who believes to be able to feel the way to Earth) in order to search for the fabled thirteenth colony.
This foam core model, which will be auctioned off in our first auction, measures 24″ x 16″ x 5.5″.
And here are some pictures of the final product.
October 18, 2008
In the war room during the Battle for the Tylium Asteroid in Season 1‘s “The Hand of God“, the large light box contains a star map for System J23R7. Not only does it sport a mandala-like item—which, coincidentally has no bearing on Starbuck‘s whole “destiny” thing, since that was essentially concocted for “The Eye of Jupiter“, “Rapture” and “Maelstrom“—but it’s also big: 54″ by 48″.
Here’s the actual artwork for this item in crisp, clear detail.