The Model Shop Part 1: Star Dwellers sculpture by Grant Louden + interview (with Dan McPharlin)

Grant Louden 'The Star_Dwellers' Interviewed By Dan McPharlin

Welcome to Sci-Fi-O-Rama 2014.

Here we begin with a totally exclusive feature courtesy of both Grant Louden & Dan McPharlin.

So without ado lets hand over the controls to Dan…

Guest post by Dan McPharlin

And now for something a little bit different. Sci-Fi-O-Rama doesn’t normally feature 3D work, but Kieran has kindly handed me the keys and let me loose on his blog to write this guest post on a subject that is very dear to my heart; Sci-Fi model making.

Ever since I first saw that monolithic Star Destroyer swoop majestically into frame in the opening minutes of Star Wars it’s a subject I’ve been fascinated by. While CGI has, unfortunately, all but rendered the model-maker’s craft obsolete in the movies, there are still a handful of talented artists out there burning the torch for this fantastic art form…

It’s rare to come across a piece of art that really moves me. This odyssey of distortion does just that.

Unnerving, strangely touching and certainly one of the most spellbinding and hallucinatory 5 minutes of music video your ever likely to see. This is but a taster of Luke Wyatt’s ‘Sad Stonewash’ (a Video Mulch) a 40-minute sojourn into the abyss of VHS.

“Video Mulch” is Wyatt’s trademark form of extreme analogue Video Processing, created using a combo of outdated analogue and digital tools.

Wyatt describes the process as thus:

“I select a video to appropriate based on its mood resonance or compositional zing. My VCR gets beat up with a size 13 docksider until it makes errors and the VHS tape spits upon itself. While digitizing the video I induce the computer to make mistakes by not telling it the truth about the data it is ingesting. I isolate the mistakes I like best, outline them, and send them back to my VCR, resuming the docksider attack, repeating this process until things attain an anti-sheen, losing any crisp edge as if they had always belonged together. I then arrange the images in an order that must appear equally

'Nightmare Blue' Art by Justin Todd 1975

A varied selection of retro SF and Fantasy book art. Sci-Fi-O-Rama was pretty much built upon the back of posting forgotten book and games art, so with a renaissance in blog activity what better than to revisit the archives and excerpt another sampler.

What’s fascinating with each of these examples is that though they might not always fully hit the mark there’s always something of interest or worthy of reference. This then might be a style of colouring, a technique in rendering, the choice and application of a typeface, or even something as obscure as the design of a motif. In short, even the most subtle fragment of detailing can flick a creative switch, it’s all about your own imagination. That isn’t, however, to say that every Sci-Fi book cover has merit – au contraire – they most certainly do not. But that’s what we’re here for, to filter and serve only the very finest…

In putting this (abridged) selection together we’re go revisit several of the artists featured at Sci-Fi-O-Rama before, people who defined and shaped the genre such as

Heinz Edelmann - Lord Of The Rings

‘Lord of the Rings’ (German Book Cover) – 1970

Sci-Fi-O-Rama is proud to present a selection of ‘far out’ imagery sequestered from the fantastically titled ‘Electrical Banana’ Psychedelic art book – and yes that title is indeed derived from a reference to a certain type of sex toy.

This article was originally planned as a feature on 60’s Psychedelic Music Posters by artists such as Bonnie MacleanVictor Moscoso and Wes Wilson and you may well have spotted samples appearing in the Sci-Fi Overflow. Upon searching for an appropriate book to feature I came across Electrical Banana and a selection of artists I was less familiar with so I thought I’d give it punt. Here’s the blurb:

Electrical Banana is the first definitive examination of the international language of psychedelia, focusing on the most important practitioners in their respective fields with a deft combination of hundreds of unseen images and exclusive interviews and essays, Electrical Banana aims to revise the common perception of psychedelic art, showing it to be more innovative, compelling, and revolutionary than was ever thought before.

The artists include: Marijke Kroger, a Dutch artist responsible for dressing the

TAMIYA – 1980s Buggy Box Art

Tamiya Logo

First and foremost I set up Sci-Fi-O-Rama as a design and illustration inspiration blog, and though it’s bursting at the seams with Sci-Fi and geek related articles this really is just a flavouring.  What I’m getting at is; whilst this Tamiya post might be one of the less Sci-Fi tainted (there’s no glowing spacecraft here) it does, however, contain plenty of top-notch retro Japanese graphic art spun back fro my favourite decade, the 1980’s.

As is customary with a subject I don’t pertain to with overarching knowledge I’ll issue a quick disclaimer; I’m not an RC car aficionado nor Dirt Buggy enthusiast so we are really only skimming the surface here. What I do have though are vivid memories of these Tamiya models and the craze they stirred remember the craze they stirred through the mid to late 80’s.

Before I start I’d like to point out that it’s entirely possible that all the below renderings are the work of one (highly talented) illustrator. That person I believe is Yoshiyuki Takani, but at the moment I cannot confirm. If anyone knows more please drop me a line.

Right then, to give the

Silence Televison - Back To The Future II

Lets start 2013 with something of a round up. A quick reality check, refresh, and splash of Eau de toilette. 

What we have here then is a brief sampler straight from the Sci-Fi-O-Rama barometer, a long awaited update on a selection of the finest, past featured contemporary artists.


Silence Televison

We begin this post sandwiched between the wonderful work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known in design circles as Silence Televsion. Heading the article is a simply stunning metallic screenprint celebrating Robert Zemeckis’s 1989 blockbusting sequel ‘Back to the Future II’, a recent commission for Mondo, whom we have of course interviewed before, In fact Mondo is a common theme here as you’ll see…

The Mondo Screenprint alas is long since sold out, though I imagine as with other Mondo material they’ll circulate occasionally in eBay (set up a watched search).  What I particularly love about this DeLorean DMC-12 rendering, aside from the typical hyper detail is of course the angle, admittedly it’s a while since I last saw the film, but I can’t remember ever seeing a shot of the car at this viewpoint,

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