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Badass Replicas From SERENITY & GALACTICA! Abrams' Enterprise! SG-1 Death Glider! Merrick Exalts Quantum Mechanix Coolness!!

Please NOTE that many images in this article are EMBIGGENABLE!!!

Merrick here...
…with a few words about Quantum Mechanix (webiste HERE), a thoroughly Geektastic organization whose products you may well have encountered even though you might not recognize the name of the company which produced them. Originally, this article began as a review of QMx's recently released replica of the Death Glider from STARGATE SG-1 (seen below). But as I moved further into researching the Glider, and QMx as a whole, the mission evolved and possibilities changed. As a result, this piece ended up being more of a general overview - more details about some of the items mentioned below, and how they were produced, will (hopefully) come at a later date. I first learned about QMx back in the days of Ron Moore's BATTLESTAR GALACTICA - when they released a "How To Spot A Cylon" poster which got some nice coverage 'round The Net. That poster's edition is now "closed" - i.e. you can't get it anymore. However, other BATTLESTAR art is still available for the time being, including THIS print of The First Cylon War…
…(a repro of an image that appears in Adama's quarters on the show), and THIS set of Colonial propaganda posters (click "view gallery" to the right side of the image to see them all). Quantum Mechanix recently generated a "house edition" Blackbird from the series - the stealthy, home-made super-fighter built by Galactica's crew in Season 2. Here's a look a their work - I don't believe this has been seen elsewhere, yet.
This was an extremely limited "Artisan" run (40 pieces or so?) - although QMx is considering releasing a retail version at some point down the line. If you'd like to be notified about Blackbird's pre-order availability, send an e-mail to THIS ADDRESS. They do take customer interest quite seriously - so if you dig this Blackbird, be sure to let 'em know. It'll help push them towards actually releasing one for us.
The FIREFLY fans in my life went into disquieting convulsions when looking upon "Serenity: The Big Damn Replica", which QMx introduced last October (a prototype of this model was previewed at last year's San Diego Comic Con). The miniature is touted as "The First and Only Studio Scale, Film-Quality Replica of the Firefly-Class Transport, Serenity", and runs a hefty $2,495. This price point, however, hasn't dissuaded hardcore Whedonites and FIREFLY loyalists. Due to high demand and the resulting backlog, your receipt of the item could take up to three months. Why so costly? Many reasons. First and foremost, this is not a mass produced model. It's it painstakingly created and made-to-order. The ship is built from over 250 parts (consisting of resin, aluminum, acrylic, and brass) and over 70 distinct paints are used, all applied by hand. John Eblan, formerly a Senior Model Maker at ILM, assembles every Serenity alongside his team. QMx's replica draws from CGI files used to realize FX for the SERENITY film (HERE), and the boat's hand sculpted components took a year to prepare. Any Serenity will start as little more than a bunch of parts like this…
But when you get it? It looks something like this…
You can learn more about the built-to-order Serenity replica HERE, where you can also see an embedded video of the replica in action (moving lights!). If you don't happen to have $2,495 sitting around (I don't!), QMx offers an eLayaway plan for the replica which allows you to reserve your copy while paying it off over time. Beautiful work . This "made to order" approach will soon be significant to STAR TREK fans - more on this below. Other Serenity themed merch includes the gorgeous "Atlas of The Verse" (HERE), a Serenity Blueprints Reference Pack (HERE), the Serenity Blue Sun Grain Alcohol T-shirt (HERE), and THIS "Define Interesting" T-shirt. QMX's first wardrobe replica went on sale Monday, and can be found HERE. It's Jayne's "Troublemaker" shirt, which looks pretty awesome (although I'm partial to that Blue Sun shirt myself). That Serenity ship… I'm not the world's most ardent supporter of FIREFLY (although I enjoyed the feature film quite a bit), but I love that replica a lot. A whole lot. Which is good, because QMx has another spaceship coming up which many of us may dig even more…
Above, I mentioned that a "built-to-order" structure would ultimately be important to STAR TREK fans. Here's why: if you you're like me, and hopelessly hooked on the adrenalized grandeur of Abrams' TREK movie, you might be interested in "The Enterprise Project" (details and video HERE).
our team of model designers worked feverishly to craft an intricate, screen-accurate 34-inch-long sculpture of the legendary Enterprise, taken directly from the Enterprise 3-D effects files created by Industrial Light & Magic for the film. [EDIT] The QMx version of the model is an exact replica of the Enterprise as seen in the movies, with lighting, decaling and even the Aztec paint pattern taken from orthoscopic renders of the ship and other high-resolution reference supplied by Bad Robot. [EDIT] This replica was created specifically and exclusively for Bad Robot Productions and Paramount Pictures to support the global Star Trek launch event.
Okay, so the clipping above makes this amazing Enterprise replica sound like a publicity motivated one-off that'll never be available to the masses. Which…is partially, but not entirely, correct. QMx is currently working to refine their model in anticipation of a retail release. Two versions will be made available - a fancy-schmancy issuance similar to the Serenity seen above, as well as a smaller, more traditionally scaled piece. Here's an exclusive glimpse of the fancy version - which, like Serenity, will be made to order.
Magnificent work, no? That thing makes my man parts tingle somethin' fierce. QMx's plunge into the Abrams' TREK verse recently began with the announcement of THESE STAR TREK badge replicas (the Starfleet arrowhead logo/department insignia seen on the characters' uniform shirts) - and will continue through (and hopefully beyond) the development of Enterprise, whose progress and development we're hoping to track over the coming year.
Which brings us back to the STARGATE SG-1 merch which gave rise to this piece. The first word which springs to mind about the Goa'uld Death Glider is - 'solid'. It's not particularly heavy, nor is it a flimsy "toy." This is a highly detailed replica, based on aircraft appearing in the series (which themselves were modified from the 1994 Roland Emmerich film) . The sculpting is meticulous. In the images below, check out the conduits/circuitry/etc. throughout the craft's black bands - and the pilot occupants' armor detail, which is clearly distinguishable through the cockpit canopy.
As you can see in the photos, the Glider comes with (and can mount on) a heavy diorama base which features a teeny Stargate and one of those Stargate dialer podium things (DHDs I believe they're called - Dial Home Devices). The mounting mechanism does allow the Glider to wobble on its stand a bit, but seems to be engineered to keep the replica nicely airborne without too much stress. I.e. if you place this product on your desk, or some place frequently bumped or trafficked, it doesn't seem like the aircraft is going to fall off too easily. This is nice, and recommended for fans of SG-1, or as a gift for someone who is. At $99, the Goa'uld Death Glider is a limited edition (1,500 pieces) and compliments QMx's super groovy, similarly scaled F-302 Strategic Fighter/Interceptor (HERE). The Glider itself is available HERE. As mentioned at the top of the article, I'm hoping we'll have soon more insight into the design and creation of QMx replicas and products. We've yet to work out all the details, but a more intense focus on how they do what they do, the making of their replicas, etc. could be pretty nifty. It's fascinating stuff, and QMx is doing some of the finest work of this type at the moment. So stay tuned...
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