Reader and blog contributor, Andy B was telling me he’d always fancied having a go at building a small scale model of the Dalek flying saucer from the film, Daleks - Invasion Earth:2150 AD, and went on to suggest it might be good to do a little follow up piece about the original prop.
Well I certainly think it was a great model and can remember being really impressed by it when I watched the film in the sixties. I don’t recall hearing of different sized models used so I’m making the assumption that there was just the one large studio model that was filmed. If that turns out to be not the case I’d be more than happy to be educated.
I particularly liked the glass screens at each end with the row of lights behind - I thought they gave the model a nice realistic look when it first appeared set against the sky..
The other nice touch were the two illuminated windows which rotated in opposite directions to each other giving that spinning illusion.
From what I can gather the actual model was just under five feet long, and survived the film as can be seen in these two screenshots, above. As the original Saucer crashes into the mine workings, it is then replaced by a pre- weakened stunt double which gets blown to smithereens . The original then went on to have a cameo appearance at the end of the Tigon film, The Body Stealers in 1969.
It even made an appearance on the poster for the film.
I know this isn't the model but it is one of those images that we all remember from the film.
I believe this glass painting of the rear of the Saucer would have been done by artist, Gerald Larn who worked in the special effect department under the direction of Ted Samuels at Shepperton studios. Both the Dalek films were produced by Amicus productions, known for their horror portmanteau films.(Although for contractual reasons the films are credited to Aaru). Special Effects man, Samuels worked on other Amicus films - Dr Terror’s House of Horrors, The Skull and The Psychopath, while artist Larn worked on Amicus’, Tales from the Crypt.
I have a inkling that the original model might still exist. I seem to recall a distant memory seeing BBC special effects man, Mat Irvine with it on some documentary years ago saying he’d bought it at a film auction.
Better get working on that model, Andy!