Sunday, 1 August 2010

Blake's 7 Alien Scout Ship - aka the Flying Hairdryers




So, there i am all fired up with all things B7 as i've got the Comet Liberator, Series 3 box set for me birthday, and a hankering to build something a bit different.
And it don't get much more different than this craft.
Mat Irvine's says on the extras DVD for Series 2 that he made the mistake of showing on Saturday Superstore how he made the ship out of two hairdryers - and has always regretted it.
No need for that, reckon its a lovely, unique design, highly reminiscent of the 70's SF paperback covers of the likes of Foss/Elson etc.
Anyway, i'm watching "Star One", see its brief 1.5 second appearance, and suddenly go "with eBay now i reckon i could have a go at making one".
Really like the idea of building studio scale recreations but usually am put off by the rarity or sheer number of kits used, or not having access to speciality materials or tools.
But figure recreating something made for the infamously low budget Beeb must mean it wouldn't cost TOO much. Right? Er... Keep watching...
First up was to find just what type of hairdryer was used. I'd recently joined up again with "Horizon", the Blake's 7 fan club (which was novel - joined it sometime during the Second Series's first airing and left during the horror of the Fourth) and asked on their very friendly Forum if anyone knew what they were.
First answer back was a company called "Pifco". Searches for them turned up some right old 60's and 70's designs - but nothing like what i was after.
So i typed in "70's retro hairdryer" and pretty quickly found what i was after, as these Morphy Richards are very distinctive with their holey pattern and curvy shape.
It took a while for two to turn up that were the same model number but in the end i got there - one was pretty beat up and cheap, the other was mint in box - and wasn't...
But, i had them.
Stumbling block at this time was that all i had in reference pics was this shot from a contempery interview with Mat in "Starburst" of the unfinished craft minus its domes.
But i cracked on - by cracking open the hairdryers, gutting them and sticking them together. Superglue seemed to work fine but i didn't trust it so filled the gap with P38 for added strength.

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