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How Red Dwarf X Films The Model Ships

We live in a time where computer-generated trickery forms the vast majority of onscreen special effects, especially when we’re talking about science fiction. That said, some people still prefer to take the old school approach. That usually means a mixture of CGI and practical effects, but models and the like give these shots a concrete, tactile feel that straight CG doesn’t always have.

Never known as frontrunner in special effects technology, Red Dwarf is largely sticking with using models in lieu of digital effects. I still haven’t been able watch the new series, Red Dwarf X (I’ve never wanted to live in the UK quite as much as I do right now), but these new pictures give you a good look at what goes into creating and filming these replicas.

All of the usual suspects are present and accounted for. Of course there’s Red Dwarf; you couldn’t have a show called Red Dwarf without a ship called Red Dwarf, could you? Blue Midget and Starbug are also prominently featured in this collection.

The first few photos show the effects designers and model builders working on the pieces. We may be talking about miniatures, but these mock-ups are still pretty good sized, and full of minute detail.

You can see that detail at work in these two more finished shots, complete with backgrounds. The wires are still clearly visible in the Starbug picture.

And here are some glimpses at the actual filming process. It shows how they set the cameras and models, how they light the miniatures to give the impression of being much larger, and some of the tricks of their particular trade.

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