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Wednesday
Nov012017

BLADE RUNNER VOIGHT KAMPFF MACHINE

BLADE RUNNER VOIGHT KAMPFF MACHINE

BLADERUNNER was such an inspiration to me and was one of the films that encouraged me to become an artist.  After all these years I finally decided to tackle a lifesize replica of the Voight Kampff machine seen throughout the film.  Welcome to my VK project page!!

The kit is being broken down into the following components:

  • The main body (fiberglass casting)
  • The dual monitors (fiberglass cast is separated to allow for easier electronics installation.
  • set of 4 vacuformed bellows
  • baffle mount plate
  • dual monitors mount plate
  • 3 front buttons (milky white transluscent to allow for LEDs)
  • the swing arm base
  • 2 pullies
  • eye piece (4 parts)
  • eye piece mount
  • lens (transparent laser cut acrylic)
  • detail plates for the swing arm (set of 2)
  • Voight Kampff plaque (top of monitor) (laser cut acrylic)
  • VK insignia relief for the face
  • set of 3 clear cast transparent light bars (for optional LED effects)

**optional extra charge* transparencies and clear laser cut acrylic monitor screens for backlighting effects.

The main body and mini monitor assembly will be matrix molded and cast in hand lamintated  fibeglass shells - meaning the castings will be STRONG, evenly-thin castings to allow easier access to lighting/electronics. To access the interior of the main body, just cut out a 7X7 square at the bottom of the main body to access the interior for lighting purposes.  There is room enough to stall LED screens and an actuator to articulate the baffles.

 


email me if you'd like to be put on a wait list for a casting of this reproduction. impervium@hotmail.com

The Voight Kampff machine was needed to work on Monday, the first day of filming, so the prop makers brought it to Mr Scott, Mr Paull and the prop master on the Friday before to see it work. As it turned out, no one was happy. This team was dismissed and Mike Fink and his team was brought in to work through the weekend to create the VK you see in the movie. A new approach was tried and Mr Scott seemed to accept the new model. The bellows was made of a series of flatish vacuum formed vents that would rise and fall. This version was far more delicate and "intrusive" than the early one. The boom was finer than the one Syd had in his sketch. 
On the front (the side Dekard sees) I put the VK logo plate. Just to the right of that is the TV screen, and sitting flat on top of that is the plate that says Voight Kampff (seen only if you are hovering right above the TV). 
The script said the words Voight Kampff was finely etched so I found a modern German looking font (caps only) that was photo etched on a mag plate. 
I offer all this to reward your efforts at trying to make this challenging prop. Not an easy thing to do. But have faith! It CAN be done!

 

 

 HOW IT WAS MADE:

I started by studying all the reference photos of the original prop I could possibly find online.  From there, I started developing blueprints using CAD software.  I designed and created the EAGLE 5 this same way.

 

 

The vectors evolved until I had left and right profiles, top and bottom drafts, and vectors for individual components.  I think of a 3D part and then imagine it flattened out into flat planes to be able to produce models using this technique.

 

 

A few days of development and I was ready for the next stage.

Time to start laser cutting cardboard and mdf! I do this at my local Maker Space.

Rough assembly beginning to take form.  I am not bothering butting edges up properly.  I'm going for a quick and dirty build so I can start analyzing shapes. 


This was the point at which I starting realizing the base of my VK machine needed to be less rectangular, by a good 2" at least (width-wise). I also needed to shrink it uniformly to about 380mm.  This version was scaled at 430mm.

I used everything to build this rough study model from cardboard and clay to bondo and styrene.  I took notes on changes I needed to make to my blueprints directly onto the model and took copious notes.

 

 

 

I took the study model as far as it needed to go. Not bad for two days of work. Now it's time to hit the computer for ROUND 2 of modifying my vectors with all the improvements that became obvious so far.

In addition to modifying my blueprints (I made several dozen improvements),  I rescaled the depth of the machine and reduced the entire unit to 400mm wide after printing several versions on paper.

 

 Here's a small example of how I approach a 3D shape in 2D.  This is the eyepiece. Notice how I explode the levels so that they can be reassembled into the proper shapes from flat laser cut acrylic, styrene and mdf.

 

  

 

 MAKING THE HERO MASTER PATTERNS:

I'm ready to laser cut the hero patterns with the knowledge I acquired from the throw-away model.  Here we go............

 Here's one of 4 full sheets of MDF and acrylic needed for the VK machine.

 

 Developing the insets on the faceplate:  During my drafting stage,  I engineered recessed cutaways that will later be filled by separately cast components - primarily clear cast parts to allow for lighting features.

 

 

 

 Blocking out the major shapes:

 

 

Here's the small monitors beginning assembly:

 

Blocking out the rear of the unit:

 

The sharp angles will soon be rounded over.  By building the machine in real life (as opposed to drafting it digitally), I am learning it has a strong aesthetic of 'curviness'.  Those sharp 90 degree angles are going to be softened up and angled in the coming days..

 

More development of the back section.

 

 

Styrene was added to start introducing slopes.  I've begun applying fillers and am gearing up to start sanding.  Dust,  here we come.

 

Eyepiece development begins...


 

 

 

 

 

 First piece ready for casting.  I'm making an rtv mold to cast onyx positive bucks for vacuforming 4 shells.

 

 

 

 

KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR UPDATES:::::