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SWTNZ Transport Review - Cloud-Car, Behind The Scenes Of..|
The Bespin Motors Storm IV twin-pod cloud car is an atmospheric vehicle that
employs both ion and repulsor-lift engines, cloud cars employ the dual engine
system to achieve incredible speeds and low orbital flight ceilings. Their twin
cabins are pressurized with the pilot sitting in the port pod and the gunner
sitting in the starboard one.
The Cloud Car models seen in The Empire Strikes Back were miniatures
photographed using motion control, the limitations of blue screen required
ILM to take extra care when filming and inserting the vehicles into the Bespin
skies. The usual method used to composite ships against black space wasn't
sufficient causing the cloud cars to appear heavily outlined. Instead, the
models were filmed in multiple passes to allow atmospheric distortion
appropriate for the scene. When the Special Edition of Empire Strikes Back
was released a computer-generated cloud car was used to improve on the
the former technique, it is much easier to add a ship to black space than
over blue and cloudy skylines..
Click To Enlarge
In 1980 Kenner produced the best toy version of the Cloud Car (Above)
It measures 26cm in length and 12cm high when the landing gear is down.
Its amazing deep orange color makes it stand out against any background
and looks amazing amongst a large collection. The two cockpit widows are
on a hinge that when fully opened can be removed entirely, these are
easily lost and often turn up for sale with them missing. Don't be put off
by the color, these are one of the best toy vehicles out there..
Click To Enlarge
Above, Action fleet released versions of the cloud car back in the 90's
and Lego have created a rather nifty looking ship (Below), there was
also a smaller vintage die-cast version made by Kenner..
SWTNZ Transport Review - Speeder-Bike, Behind The Scenes Of..|
Speeder bikes are essentially Repulsor-Lifts that are designed to carry one or two
people and can attain speeds in excess of 500 kilometers per hour. The Imperial
Aratech 74-Z speeder bike is controled via directional steering vanes attached to
front outriggers, they use shoulder level handle bars to control elevation, direction
and a pair of pivoting pedals to adjust the acceleration. In Front of the saddle is a
panel of switches that control communications, vital systems and a single laser
cannon mounted right below the bikes frame.
From the Lucas conceptual art team came a pile of drawings that depicted various
ideas for a "Rocket Powered Scooter", artist "Nilo Rodis Jamero" envisioned the
speeder bike as square shaped transport with large engines in the rear with
controlling foot pedals. Ralph McQuarrie's idea's favored more fanciful designs
such as spaceship like fins with large clear windscreen's, much like the Naboo
concept art created by Doug Chiang's team for "The Phantom Menace". The final
designs were created as full sized props and filmed on location at a forest reserve,
the footage was then mixed in a studio against a blue-screen (Images Above)
and detailed miniatures were also used fitted with articulated puppets.
Above, a full scale bike on display at the "Magic of Myth" Powerhouse Museum
and 10 various speeder bikes including a modern Playskool "Jedi Force"
speeder bike and another by Lego, (Click To Enlarge)
Above, Kenner's 1983 Speeder Bike, (Click To Enlarge)
Kenner's 1983 Speeder Bike was among the first set of toys released along with
the Y-Wing for "Return of the Jedi" and unlike most boxed toys, the Speeder Bike
was packaged inside a plastic tray instead of the typical cardboard inserts. Although
they are not hard to find, some of the smaller pieces are often missing..
Above, More variations of the Speeder Bike, Stass Allie's Barc Speeder,
Anakin and Count Dooku's Speeder bikes from "Attack of the Clones", plus
an expanded universe design. Also the Huffy, Ride-On Speeder Bike,
(Click To Enlarge)
SWTNZ Transport Review - Landspeeder, Behind the Scenes of..|
Landspeeders hover upon an antigravity field and have three out-board
thrusters for control, if you live on tatooine you can pick up a second
hand X-34 for around 2,400 credits and this is exactly the same type Luke
Skywalker used about the desert plains.
Above, prop makers hard at work building the X-34 for ANH..
The full size landspeeder prop was a functioning car with wheels tucked
beneath its frame. Hiding those wheels and making it look as if this speeder
could really float was a challenge for production crew.
To hide the wheels from the view of the camera, shots of the speeder were
made behind rocks and scenery. In a few instances the speeder was mounted
onto a lateral crane that suspended the speeder with the appropriate bounce
when Luke climbed in and out. For long shots, the speeder was fitted with a
mirrored skirt that reflected the sand beneath it, then the use of grease
smeared across the camera lens created a blur effect for the antigravity field.
But Lucas was never satisfied with the addition of blurs and shadows, so for
the special edition of A New Hope, the use of digital manipulation was used to
erase the old mirror effects and wheels.
There are many different Landspeeder toys to be found, above we have a two
more examples, a rare Japanese Takara speeder kit made from wood and the
very familiar POTF Landspeeder..
Above, Kenners original boxed Landdspeeder and the collectors series. (Click)
Above, Three more vintage designed boxes, Two from Spain & Toltoys. (Click)
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