Here’s an exclusive first look at Hero Collector’s ‘Battlestar Galactica: Designing Spaceships’

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These talented folks at Hero Collector – the same people who make all of those amazing sci-fi spaceship models – have launched a brand new “Battlestar Galactica” collection that focuses only on the concept artwork used to create the incredible spaceship. seen in both the original and the reimagined series.

Available to pre-order now for $ 34.95 on Amazon, “Battlestar Galactica: Designing Spaceships” delves deep behind the scenes of two generations of the classic sci-fi series and tells how visual effects pioneers created the iconic spaceship for the show Universal Pictures original “Battlestar Galactica” in 1978 and how a digital revolution saw these designs interpreted for Ronald D. Moore’s reimagined series in 2003. You can also pre-order it directly from Hero Collector here for $ 20.99 £ (around $ 29 USD) and save £ 7 off her normal £ 27.99 price.

This book contains 202 pages of incredible artwork, including original designs by Eric Chu, Andrew Probert, and Ralph McQuarrie. The amazing illustrations are accompanied by design information and interviews with many responsible people. Needless to say, the author of the book, Mark Wright, is a huge “Battlestar Galactica” fan.

“Growing up I was a sucker for everything with spaceships and ray cannons and the Galactica, the original Galactica series, is one of the best spaceships ever. Oh yeah, I put it on. up there with the Enterprise, the Liberator from “Blake’s 7” and the transporter Eagle from “Space: 1999” – they’re all up there, “he told Space.com.

Some of the finest concept art ever seen comes from ideas from sci-fi movies; all you have to do is watch the work of Syd mead and Rob Cobb, the legendary artists behind many, if not most, of the iconic production designs seen in “Blade Runner”, “Alien” and “Aliens”, “Robot Jox”, “Back to the Future” and many more. other films. And now, for the first time ever, the artwork associated with “Battlestar Galactica” has been collected and released for fans of the series to enjoy.

“From McQuarrie’s design of the original Galactica and its Cylon counterparts to the more modern digitally rendered equivalents, we’ve discovered the stories behind their creation, inside and out. And we’ve tried to be as expansive as possible, although unfortunately there are inevitably omissions where concept art and CG renderings have been lost over the years and rapidly changing TV production schedules, ”Wright said.

Related: Real astronaut dishes on ‘Battlestar Galactica’

Launch tubes and suspension bays were an iconic part of “Battlestar Galactica” from the start. (Image credit: Hero Collector)

Unfortunately, so many of these great artists are no longer with us. McQuarrie passed away in March 2012, Mead in September 2019, and Cobb in September 2020. With the evolution of technology, that means this method of production design is something we will see a lot less in the future. For example, the book also contains drawings from the previous excellent mini-series “Blood & Chrome”. It is all good before the events of the series reimagined, during the very first Cylons War and focuses on a young Viper pilot named Lieutenant William Adama, callsign Husker, (played by Luke Pasqualino). It only lasts 90 minutes in total and first aired on the web in 2012. However, since it was budgeted considerably less than the 2004 four-season show, improv was necessary and CGI was able to do so. been used much more widely.

It also meant that the production design, which required upstream engineering of both the Colonial Viper Mk II and the Cylon Raider – from the 2004 show – in order to produce earlier incarnations, was done entirely by computer.

“There weren’t any details because all the groundwork had been done on the reimagined series by the time they got to ‘Blood & Chrome’ and so this chapter is a little different in the book. Thank goodness Doug Drexler [computer graphics supervisor] who was there in the field working on this show and was able to give us some feedback on these ships. I would say this is more of a commentary chapter because it was produced in such a different way than the reimagined series. This leap in digital visual effects techniques at this point is immense, ”said Wright.

For Ron Moore’s reimagining, the designers had to think about what the successor to the original Viper might look like. (Image credit: Hero Collector)

As well as featuring stunning artwork and never-before-seen illustrations, Wright spoke and interviewed some of the talented minds who worked on “Battlestar Galactica,” including Jose Perez, Pierre Drolet, Ray Lai, and Richard Livingston.

“In the production of this book, we received invaluable insight from the concept artists and screenwriters, CG supervisors, digital model makers and art directors who brought these ships to the screen,” Wright said. .

One of his favorite chapters is the one that covers the Blackbird. This was a totally new idea for the existing BSG universe and the story of its creation is told in the epic episode “Flight of the Phoenix” (S02, E09). Frustrated with the dwindling number of Vipers available due to casualties, combat damage, and wear and tear, Chief Tyrol (Aaron Douglas) begins building a new hunter from scratch. At first his idea is laughed at, but as the struggle of everyday life on the Galactica continues, many see the project as a creative outlet, providing purpose and something positive to distract their minds from the gloom of their situation.

The Colonial Fleet shipyards were mentioned in the two-part miniseries as having been destroyed in the Cylon attack. (Image credit: Hero Collector)

However, the already limited supply of spare parts forces imaginative solutions to be implemented and once the airframe is finished Tyrol wonders where he will find enough metal to make the skin of the plane. That is, until Lieutenant Agathon (Tahmoh Penikett) suggests using a carbon composite instead, a material that is not yet uncommon on board the Battlestar. This is how the very first “Colonial Stealth Fighter” is built in one of the best episodes of “Battlestar Galactica”.

“Oh yeah, I love this chapter,” Wright laughs. “I love it because the Blackbird was, basically, created by the art department, rather than the effects team. It was built physically, from scratch rather than being designed first. loves that there are a lot of little sketches, showing different parts of its construction that were drawn as we went. And that we were able to cover that in so much detail in the book, it’s great. “

“Battlestar Galactica: Designing Spaceships” is available for pre-order now for $ 34.95 on Amazon. You can also pre-order it directly from Hero Collector here for £ 20.99 (approx. $ 29 USD) and save £ 7 off the regular price of £ 27.99.

All four seasons of “Battlestar Galactica” 2004 are available on Amazon Prime for $ 1.99 per episode or $ 24.99 per season. The New York Comic Con panel “Battlestar Galactica Retrospective” with Edward James Olmos (Cmdr. Adama) and Mary McDonnell (President Laura Roslin) live, in person, can be found here.

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