Adam Savage Examines the Mother Ship Model from Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

While Adam Savage was visiting the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, this familiar object caught his eye. Made by many of his old friends at Industrial Light and Magic, the Mother Ship from Close Encounters hosts a number of in-jokes, including an R2-D2 and a U.S. mailbox. See why Adam calls this model one of the “masterpieces of practical special effects.”

Comments (3)

3 thoughts on “Adam Savage Examines the Mother Ship Model from Close Encounters of the Third Kind!

  1. Adam is a true gentleman. When he asked the model lit up and they said no, clearly there is an array of many wires snaked up into the model in the wide shot. But he didn’t press, I like that about him.

  2. When filming the model had a cold water cooling system because all the halogen and neon tube lighting would generate so much heat it might catch on fire, or at least melt down, without it.

    I believe the model maker’s names are spelled out in Morse code in the tiny drilled holes for light in the tubes.

  3. >When filming the model had a cold water cooling system because all the halogen and neon tube lighting would generate so much heat it might catch on fire, or at least melt down, without it.

    This makes me realize what a boon the modern era of (relatively) cool-running LEDs and EL-wire must be for model makers!

    Also: not knowing where the lights actually come from, would it be difficult to ‘re-plumb’ the lighting to convert it to something LED-based?

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