GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP
BENEATH THE PLANET OF
Here is the photo image
that the customer submitted to Gemini Model Build-Up Studios in order to have
this scene reproduced.
And here is the finished
product, complete with astronauts Skipper and Brent!
More images of this not
very often reproduced classic scene from the POTA movies ...
THE PLANET OF THE APES DIORAMA
GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP
I was recently contacted by a client to create an accurate large scale diorama
depicting the crash site from the opening scenes of Beneath The Planet Of The
Apes. I was supplied with a 10" long pre-painted wood spaceship model and a
publicity still from the film to use as a guide.
The first part of the project was to extend the rear portion of the spaceship
with sheet plastic. After this was applied, it was torn, holed and shredded with
a fiberglass cutting wheel and router bit on a dremel tool. When I was
satisfied with the "damaged" look of the rear section, more plastic were
shredded with the dremel to simulate additional interior sections of the
spaceship which were torn away in the crash.
The next item to be built was the large cone shaped section behind the main
fuselage. The piece was scratch built using a plastic showerhead extended with a
piece of PVC tubing and a couple plumbing fittings. After a couple coats of
black primer, the part was "dressed" with corrugated sheet plastic to achieve
the proper texture. The landing legs were taken from a Polar Lights Lost in
Space Jupiter-2 model. The sides were covered with sheet plastic to cover the
irregularly shaped openings. The piece which resemble a construction crane
was formed from lengths of brass wire and soldered together. These were
connected to the top landing leg by a piece of aluminum tubing. A smaller
exhaust cone made from another plumbing fitting was attached to the inside of
the larger rear cone.
The spaceship model was heavily weathered using paint and pastel chalks. The
added sections were painted flat black and weathered with a combination of
pastel chalks and paints applied with a dry brush and a variety of sponges.
The base started as a piece 12" X 24" piece of plywood. Layers of heat formed styrofoam
were added on top of the wood and a space was cut to accommodate the spaceship.
Once the opening was checked for a proper fit, a mix of white glue and water was
applied to the styrofoam and several different shades of sand were sifted onto
the base. After several applications, the base was set aside to dry for a few
days. When the sand had dried and completely set, the spaceship was attached to
metal rods with a hot glue gun. Sections of wood molding were attached to sides
of the plywood and a nameplate was added.
After the model was placed on the base, I decided it needed some extra items to
complete the overall look. After viewing the movie on DVD, I decided to add a
debris field and some figures. I modified the remaining 2 landing legs from the
Jupiter-2 (as used in the construction of the full sized mock up in Beneath the
Planet Of The Apes) and placed them in position with a hot glue gun. Additional
"crane" pieces were constructed and broken up with a wire cutter. The landing
gear struts were bent and painted and added to the base. Additional pieces of
torn "metal" were painted and added to the base. 2 miniature fire extinguishers
were built using plastic and brass rod. Small pieces of bare metal foil were
placed around the middle after they were painted and these were glued in place
outside the spaceship.
While looking through my boxes of spare parts, I found some extra Lunar Models
Lost in Space figures which were the correct scale for the project. I decided to
add figures of Astronaut Brent and his mortally wounded "Skipper". The John
Robinson figure was painted to represent "Skipper". After the uniform was
painted white and weathered, a small "ANSA" insignia, name tag and American Flag
were hand painted. "Skipper" was then placed in a lying position on a
silver/grey blanket formed from epoxy putty. Don West was transformed into
Astronaut Brent. The figure was cut off at the knees and modified into a
kneeling position with superglue and small bits of epoxy putty. After his beard
was added, the same treatment was given to Brent's uniform.
As a life long Planet of the Apes enthusiast, I was eager to take on this
unusual and challenging project.
A video of this project can be found
For photos of this and other projects,
please see my website:
For questions, comments and inquiries, please contact via Email :
GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP STUDIOS
Questions or comments? Email ANSANAUT