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1975 Ship Models - Visible for 1st time

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Hello everyone. My name is Colin Cantwell. I conceptualized and modeled the ships for the first Star Wars film. At the behest of fans, I am letting these four decade old photos see the light of day. Most were taken in my backyard in 1975 after kitbashing the pre-production models for the the X-Wing, TIE, Death Star, and others.
Image of Y-Wing Model
Kitbashing is a method of model building that myself and a few others pioneered in the early 70’s. Essentially, you take pieces from cannibalized model kits (cars, planes, trains, etc…) as well as shapes from around the office and house. Look closely and you will see pill bottle engines and Easter egg fuel tanks.
Image of X-Wing Model
Most of these ships would be used with only minor modification. The exception is the Falcon, which was scrapped at the last moment due to its similarity to the recently released “Eagle” from Space 1999. My Sand Crawler design would also be replaced by Ralph’s. All of these designs are original, although I did work closely with Ralph in the early days of the project (what a genius!).
I hope you enjoy them. If you would like to learn more, follow me on social media or take a look at my Reddit “AMA’s”. You can also see higher resolution photos and descriptions on my website http://www.cantwellcollection.com/models.html
More Models

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Welcome, sir! Your models have enthralled me since I was a kid. 😃

I think you’re the first person who’s actually worked on any of the films to grace our forum.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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The original Falcon design is so much better than the Eagle.

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Welcome ! I first saw your work in the book From Concept To Screen To Collectible by Steve Sansweet . Still have and treasure it and it was wonderful to see your models there as well. I especially like how your Star Destroyer really has the feel of a naval aircraft carrier .There is also a really neat concept of a landspeeder in that book . In the pictures above , the x-wing looks very sleek and reminds me a bit of a formula 1 race car . Is the Skyhopper model the same one Luke plays with in the film ?

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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Wow! Welcome to the forum Colin and thank you for sharing these with us. Pretty amazing to see the original concept models for Star Wars '77 and having the chance to discuss them with their very creator.

Regarding the original Falcon, am I correct in assuming that it was still used in a re-purposed and heavily modified state as the Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner (or for inspiration at the very least)? They both have a very similar basic shape and overall design is all, with the exception of the front bridge area and the rear engine area having tripled in size:

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Wow! I don’t have much to say except, I’m a huge fan of your work!

Gone fishing

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Valheru_84 said:

Wow! Welcome to the forum Colin and thank you for sharing these with us. Pretty amazing to see the original concept models for Star Wars '77 and having the chance to discuss them with their very creator.

Regarding the original Falcon, am I correct in assuming that it was still used in a re-purposed and heavily modified state as the Tantive IV Rebel Blockade Runner (or for inspiration at the very least)? They both have a very similar basic shape and overall design is all, with the exception of the front bridge area and the rear engine area having tripled in size:

It did indeed become the Blockade Runner. Somewhere I’ve seen an old BTS photo where the Tantive miniature was still being finished, sporting the Falcon style cockpit and deflector dish.
You can’t really see the cockpit from this angle, but you can see the Falcon’s dish.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Ah nice! It’s very interesting to find out the evolution of how many things came to be and see what their original conception was.

I wonder if that’s a modified engine stand they’re using there to hold the model in the photo above 😛

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Mr. Cantwell! Thanks for stopping by to chat with us!

I don’t know if this would ever interest you, but I think it would be really cool to see a video of you sharing your kitbashing process, maybe you and an assistant could try to build one of the ships from your CoreFires novel that you recently published. It would be a great way to share your experience with future model makers, and also promote your book.

Adam Savage, who did some model work for the prequels, has done kitbashing videos a number of times on his YouTube channel that provide a good example of the process. I think people would love to see something like this!

Also guys, Mr. Cantwell has a pretty solid Instagram if any of you are on there.

Thanks for your contributions in inspiring the imagination of children (and adults) for the past 40 years! It wouldn’t be the same without your creativity.

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I am remiss in that I forgot to say thank you for sharing these earlier . The link you provided was not working for me earlier but now that I have tried it again , I can see that the skyhopper model was indeed the one Luke played with at the beginning of the film. I also love that Ralph Mcquarrie used your Y-Wing in his production paintings and now we know the source of the acronym for the Tie Fighter ( twin ion engine ).It is amazing to me that we can still learn new things about the original film over 40 years later. Thank you sir , you are an inspiration !

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

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Very cool images! Thank you for posting these, and for influencing the movies we love so much!

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Possibly worth noting, given the nature of his website and the way he’s only posting little, skewed thumbnails, that this is essentially an advertisement.

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It is an honour to “meet” one of the original design artists, you have my eternal gratitude for the work you have done that has helped to bring so many people together. Thank you.

I can answer almost all questions anyone might have about the Sith from Star Wars Legends, and please do PM me for the bd25 DEED(Despecalised Editions), as I have this version, though I can’t answer technical questions about them. Auntie Derry/Rumpelstiltskin.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Though wise men at their end know dark is right, They
Do not go gentle into that good night. “Star Wars is a buffet, enjoy the stuff you want, and leave the rest.” - SilverWook
Feel the love.

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timdiggerm said:

Possibly worth noting, given the nature of his website and the way he’s only posting little, skewed thumbnails, that this is essentially an advertisement.

The thought crossed my mind, and someone also pointed out to me in a PM that several other SW forums got the exact same post. But we got a nice thread out of it, and we need more of those around here. Never look a gift Taun Taun in the mouth. 😃

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

timdiggerm said:

Possibly worth noting, given the nature of his website and the way he’s only posting little, skewed thumbnails, that this is essentially an advertisement.

The thought crossed my mind, and someone also pointed out to me in a PM that several other SW forums got the exact same post. But we got a nice thread out of it, and we need more of those around here. Never look a gift Taun Taun in the mouth. 😃

Probably is but I’m cool with that. I’ve never got a look at these early models. To see pictures of them in 1975 is awesome. The early falcon model amazes me because of how iconic the ship today.

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It’s a cool design. What I find interesting is there are versions of the Ralph McQuarrie paintings featuring what eventually became the Tantive, but the portfolio released after the film only features the Falcon we know.




Was Lucas quietly revising the history of the film even then?

Hindsight being 20/20, I think they worried too much about a resemblance to Space 1999’s Eagle transporter, as that is at least a kissing cousin of the Moonbus in 2001.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:
Was Lucas quietly revising the history of the film even then?

If I’m not mistaken, he was having McQuarrie redo the paintings so they could all see how the shots would look with the new Falcon design.

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timdiggerm said:

SilverWook said:
Was Lucas quietly revising the history of the film even then?

If I’m not mistaken, he was having McQuarrie redo the paintings so they could all see how the shots would look with the new Falcon design.

Makes sense. I wish the originals had been included in the McQuarrie portfolio at the time. Thanks for the explanation! 😃

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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SilverWook said:

timdiggerm said:

SilverWook said:
Was Lucas quietly revising the history of the film even then?

If I’m not mistaken, he was having McQuarrie redo the paintings so they could all see how the shots would look with the new Falcon design.

Makes sense. I wish the originals had been included in the McQuarrie portfolio at the time. Thanks for the explanation! 😃

I think it’s covered in Rinzler’s Making Of