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Modelmaking

A collection of images showcasing a small sample of Simon's model making commissions and projects produced throughout his career.

August 2021 marks his 45th year as a professional model maker

AEROSPACE MODELS

Space Shuttle Columbia and Launch Pad

Display for the London Museum of Science And Technology.  Model constructed with the cooperation of Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers and Aspect Modelmaking (Kim Ward)


This model was commissioned as a fully detailed representation of the Space Shuttle Columbia mated to its External Tank (ET) and Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) in launch mode on the Mobile launch platform 'Hard Down' over the flame trench at its Cape Canaveral launch site.


The Orbiter began life as a Monogram 1:72 kit but was extensively modified in order to fully replicate the detailing of the full size vehicle. It is the only 'Off the shelf' element of this display. Reworking of the kit included a new nose section, cockpit interior and windows, OMS (Orbital Manoevering system) engines and Main engines. The surface tile detailing was hand cut into the painted surface useing scalpel guided by acrylic templates.


The ET is turned from 'Tooling Board' with the surface ridged to represent the Thermal foam insulation seen on the prototype. Detailing has been added with cast resin sections and wire to represent the fine pipework with plastic tubing and other details added.


The SRB's are EMA plastic tubing with turned nose and tail sections in Tooling Board and fine styrene overlays to represent surface detailing and paneling.

Portable Flight Simulator system for the MRCA (Tornado) Fighter Bomber.

BA Systems/ Hugh Watson Partnership


Originally built for the Redifon Co this 1:50 scale model was designed to demonstrate a fully portable flight simulator set up used as training for RAF Tornado Pilots. The Central unit contains the actual simulator assembly with the surrounding units containing the various support systems.


The units are constructed from Acrylic and Styrene plastic with etched brass detailing. The Tornado model was supplied by Space Models Ltd.

Satellite Display

BA Systems/ ESA / Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers


Scale 1:10

Ariane IV

BA Systems / ESA / Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers


Scale 1: 12

FILM & TV Models & Miniatures

Utopian People Housing - Shangri-la Towers for Terry Gilliam's  BRAZIL

Handmade Films/ Terry Gilliam/ Scale Model Associates/ David Wightman


Originally commission by BRAZIL Production Designer Norman Garwood and developed from his own design with considerable design input from Simon Atkinson & David Wightman.


The lower sections of the buildings were based on existing derelict buildings in London's dockland's where the location shooting of the 'Buttle' residence took place featuring actor Jonathan Price and various disgruntled residents of 'Shangri -La Towers'.


The model is seen in its original form as an stand alone architectural display outside the 'Actual' complex with a tramp looming over it - although the buildings were re positioned for the initial eye level view from Sam Lowry's (Jonathan Price) POV as he drives up to the buildings. The final shot establishes that the model represents the dream, the matte painted view of the end result showing the nightmare reality

The buildings are constructed from Styrene Plastic with the 'cooling tower' sections vacuum formed in ABS plastic. The windows are applied with reflective tape. The water surface is textured acrylic sheet back sprayed.

The LIPARUS Tanker Exterior and Interior Miniatures for  the James Bond epic -The Spy Who Loved Me

Space Models / United Artists (Middle and bottom pictures show full size set - for ref)


Both the interior model set and detail sections of the 60 foot long model of the Liparus tanker featured extensively in the movie were constructed at Space Model In Feltham, London in 1976/7


Simon was a part of the Space Models team employed to produce the highly detailed miniatures required by SFX director Derek Meddings (Thunderbirds, Stingray, UFO, Superman) Other modelmakers included John Phillips, Gary Dickens, David Seymour & Gerry Anderson veteran Charlie Bryant.


Many of the parts produced were constructed in brass and steel for durability and 'weight' during the destruction sequences where the interior set is seen exploding and the structures (walkways etc) collapsing. Much of the exterior deck detail on the tanker was also machined from brass. The ships cabin structures were built from acrylic sheet and the interior set panelling cast from fibreglass - Unfortunately much of the fine detailing on both exterior and interiors is not seen in the final film. 

Blakes 7 SFX Director Ian Scoones' original sketch concept from which Simon designed and built the LONDON.

The LONDON photographed in 1977 by the BBC (Photograph from the collection of Andy Spencer)

BLAKES 7 - The London Spacecraft

Originally built by Simon for the BBC space drama in 1977 the LONDON featured in the first three episodes of the series and made subsequent appearances in other programmes rederessed to represent different vehicles. The London was the brainchild of BBC SFX director Ian Scoones and Simon's model was based on a concept drawing prepared by Ian in 1976.


In 2019 Simon was reunited with the model at Mat Irvine's smallSpace event and agreed to restore what was then an extremely damaged item. The restoration is documented HERE.

 BLAKES 7 - The Liberator

The original model built by Gary Dickens, David Seymour , John Phillips and Simon Atkinson from the original concept drawing designed by Roger Murray Leach. Space Models/BBCTV (Photograph courtesy of Mat Irvine)

This model was constructed from fibreglass moulds cast from Jellutong turned masters and EMA Tubing. The front sections of the outriggers were brass with soldered detailing. The rear 'Engine' section was moulded perspex with applied tape detailing. 


The original Liberator model (or the remains of) is in the collection of Mat Irvine. Two of the brass weapons assemblies were removed and formed the basis of a replica which appears from time to time on sale.

London Underground Train

1:32 scale (Gauge 1) two London Underground cars built with interchangeable ends for an animated sequence filmed by London Transport as part of their advertising campaign to promote the extension of the Piccadilly line from Hounslow to Heathrow Airport in 1977.


Model built by Simon Atkinson and his mentor Charlie Bryant - formerly a modelmaker at Gerry Anderson's Century 21 films.

A Fall of Moondust

Concept model built in 1975 based on the novel by Arthur.C.Clarke featuring the moon cruiser 'SELENE'

STAR WARS: Millennium Falcon

Classic Cinema Group Display 1980.

Although not up to today's exacting replicas it should be understood that this model was produced from minimal photographic references only as drawings could be not accessed at the time - unlike the wealth of information available to today's model makers.


The model was commissioned by the Classic Cinema group to accompany the release of The Empire Strikes back in selected West Country cinemas and was built in 3 weeks without blueprints.

STAR WARS: X Wing Fighter

Hybrid Star Wars X Wing Fighter - based on original artwork by Ralph McQuarrie and filming miniature. 1978

Thunderbird 1

Thunderbird 1 - Turned Lime wood, Acrylic and brass construction. 1983

Maritime

Royal Navy Frigate

Ozturk Modelmakers


Scale 1:100

Museum Models & Displays

CORRIS RAILWAY STATION REDEVELOPMENT

Corris Railway Company / City of Glasgow College


Model organised as a live client project by Simon Atkinson in his capacity as course organiser and lecturer on the City of Glasgow College's HND Modelmaking For The Creative Industries Course.


This involved the design and construction of a fully detailed architectural/landscape model with a 2nd year student group of 13. Overseen by Simon the students were allocated specific tasks in small teams to design and produce the various elements of the model. The student team: David Black, Carrie Sharpe, Liam Hayler, Julia Nichols, Stuart Thomson, Jonathan McKinlay, Jack Mulholland, Robbie McCorkell, Christine Sutcliffe, John Miller, Paula McKinney, Liam Conlin & Iain Wyllie.


The model is now on display at the Corris Railway Museum and is in use as a demonstration of their intent to build a substantial station on the site of the original which was demolished when the line originally closed in the 1940's. This major redevelopment includes the building of a new doctors surgery relocated from it's original position on the old trackbed.


The buildings were constructed from 2mm cast acrylic sheet with laser cut stone embossing etched into the surface - as were all of the retaining walls and other structures. The Station canopy is laser cut and constructed from 1mm acrylic. Track is PECO and planting and trees 4D Modelshop.


All of the talented students involved in the project graduated from the course in 2014 and are now working in different areas of the professional Modelmaking industry.


More details of this course can be found via the links page on this website.


Scale 1:43  

York Minster Undercroft Display

National Trust/ Robin Wade Partnership/ Scale Model Associates -David Wightman


Model commissioned to demonstrate the extensive underpinning required to stabilize the main tower of York Minster - constructed from Lime wood and clear acrylic this model can still be viewed in the undercroft of the Minster today. The model features a model of the model (stay with us here..) positioned below the tower in the position of the model display itself giving viewers an impression of the great size of the structure above them while touring the undercroft area.


Scale 1:50      

The Archbishops Palace - Maidstone, Kent

Part sectional display model. Robin Wade Partnership/ Scale Model Associates - David Wightman


This extensively detailed and illuminated model was commissioned to demonstrate the techniques and structures used to renovate the palace during an two year rebuilding operation in which the ancient stonework was integrated with modern steelwork to tie the various elements of the building safely together.


Simon designed the model and the complex sectioning of the key structural elements.


Scale 1:25

KATSURA PALACE & GARDENS

Scottish National Museum / AD Modelmaking


AD Modelmakers, run by Michael Dunk, are specialists in the production of museum models and displays. This model was commissioned by the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh and continues to be displayed there today in the Japanese Gallery.


Scale 1:75

Abergynolwyn Station - Talyllyn Railway

1:20 Scale Talyllyn Railway.


Model built from acrylic sheet scored to represent slate slab walling with ABS plastic detailing (window frames, canopy valance board, poster boards) Columns EMA tubing, posters are scaled down photocopies of full size. 

Dolgoch Station - Talyllyn Rai​lway​

1:15 Scale Talyllyn Railway.

Model built from Foamex sheet scored to represent slate slab walling with Styrene plastic detailing . Posters are scaled down reproductions based on actual posters from the 1970 period of the model.

Architectural & Landscape

RWE TOWER

Ingenhoven Architects/ Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers


Probably one of the most detailed architectural models ever produced resulted in three sections of the tower being produced - The base levels including landscaping, The mid section with services, the top 6 floors and roof areas. Each office level featured full illumination with fibre optics fed to each lighting unit to simulate fluorescent light strips through the service towers.


The window units featured silk screen printed glazing frames and etched brass window blinds. All offices were detailed with furniture.


Simon employed as one of the supervising model makers on this immense project that employed 9+ model makers for almost a year.


Scale 1:50


The image left is a photo montage using the three model elements with non modeled floors inserted digitally.

GLOUCESTER DOCKS

Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


An extensive model of proposed redevelopments to the Gloucester Docks area. Main wharf buildings in full detail with etched brass detailing to bridges, canopy structures and fences.


Scale 1:200

GLENSANDA GRANITE QUARRY

Foster Yeoman Ltd / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


A detailed landscape model of the expensive quarry facility under development by Foster Yeoman to extract and crush granite from the hillside near Fort William in Scotland.


Scale 1:1000

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:50

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:100

Apartments, Residential & Shopping Centres : Western Australia.  

Various Architects Perth: Western Australia.

Retail and residential redevelpment : Bath, England.

Scale 1:100 Scale Model Associates/ David Wightman

Low-E House.

Portable modular housing unit designed by Architect & Designer Richard Horden

Sheffield Crown Court

Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

INTERIOR DESIGN

Red Rooster Restaurant proposal

Piper & Associates / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


Scale 1:33

MOTORSPORT

Williams F1 Car - 1:2 scale.

Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers

Modelmaking team: ,Mike Harvey ,Simon Atkinson, Trevor Parsons, Sandy Copeman.

PENSKE Indycar

Penske Racing / Aspect Modelmakers 1:8 Scale.


One of a series of models produced by Aspect Modelmaking (Kim Ward & Stuart Jones) in the 1990's.


The model making team for this car - Simon Atkinson, Howard Parker & Mark Smith.

RAILWAY MODELS

Talyllyn Railway : DOUGLAS. 1:15 Scale

Talyllyn Railway 1:15 scale Coaches 9 & 10

Ffestiniog Railway 'Taliesin' and Diorama

1:12 Scale


An ongoing project modelling one of the famous narrow gauge railway's double ended Fairlie locomotives. Model is static.

Class 52 'Western' Locomotive with extensive weathering.

JUST LIKE THE REAL THING Railway models

Just Like The Real Thing / Pete Waterman


Between 2003 and 2008 Simon worked for record producer Pete Waterman producing hyper detailed master models for his range of 7mm scale model railway locomotives and rolling stock.


In addition Simon produced showcase models of each locomotive during this period - some of which are featured here. The Just like The Real Thing range has been acclaimed as the most accurate and detailed reproductions of the many and varied types of British locomotives.


Scale 1:43 - 7mm/ 0 Gauge.

PRODUCT / PROTOTYPE

'BUNNY TIME' Children's Alarm Clock

Julian Renton Design / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

A working prototype featuring full mechanism for lifting ears and opening eyes as alarm activated.

Vacuum formed ABS casing with Acrylic and Tooling Board detailing.

Scale :Full Size

TRACTOR CONSOLE

Folio Design / County Tractors/ Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


A styling prototype installed in an existing tractor for a trade show at Earls Court. In an entertaining post script to this project - this tractor was subsequently sold in error following the show to a farmer who only discovered this to be a mockup when he tried to operate the tractor on his farm!


MDF, Fibreglass and Chemi-Wood construction.


Scale :Full Size

'NOMIX ' Garden Spray System

Nomix / Folio Design / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


A styling prototype featuring removable liquid container and backpack.


Vacuum formed ABS casing with Tooling Board (Chemi-Wood) detailing.


Scale :Full Size

GARDEN CHAIR PROTOTYPE

Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


As if there weren't enough different garden chairs available on the planet already this full size protoype was ordered for a trade show a week later!


Construction: Fibreglass from moulds taken from MDF, Plywood and Acrylic master.


Scale : Full size

Military

Armoured Riot Control Vehicle 1:10 Scale

Armoured Riot Control Vehicle

Designed and developed by a UK company for export but subsequently denied export license as it was thoroughly unpleasant. model constructed from ABS sheet featuring full interior detail, opening doors and steering mechanism for front wheels.


Scale 1: 20

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