Updated: March 23, 2009
PLANET OF THE APES SPACESHIP CRASHSITE DIORAMA
BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES DIORAMA
BY: GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP STUDIOS
I was recently contacted by a client to create a crash
site diorama from Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. I
was supplied with a 10" wood spaceship model and a
photograph 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
moto tool. When I was satisfied with the "damaged"
look of the rear section, more sheets of plastic were
shredded with the dremel to simulate more interior
sections of the ship which were torn away and damaged
in the wreck.
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 some
corrugated plastic sheet 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
pieces which resemble construction cranes were scratch built
using lengths of thin brass wire 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 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 carved 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
colors 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 constructions 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 of the parts
after they were painted and these were glued in place
outside the spaceship.
While looking through my many boxes of spare parts, I found
some extra Lunar Models Lost in Space figures. 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, 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 made 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.
VALUE OF PROJECT: $500.00
For photos of this and other projects, please see my website:
For questions, comments and inquiries, please contact:
GEMINI MODEL BUILD-UP STUDIOS