Mick Imrie – Supercar Take Two

Mick Imrie created a detailed Supercar 3D model in Cinema4D back in 1998-1999 and this has been used as the basis for many ports to other 3D modelling tools, game platforms, flight and space simulators and virtual worlds platforms since then. See http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/supercar-3d.html.

Mick has now begun the creation of a new Supercar model taking on board experience gained. As previously, the reference point is the puppet-scale studio model. [There also was a mid-sized model and a smaller “flight” model details of which differed from the puppet-scale model.]

Mick is posting about the new model on the EagleTransporter British SciFi web site.

Fan Produced Model

Supercar was created by A.P. Film Studios in association with ITC (now ITC Studios). Supercar 3D Model by Mick Imrie with technical assistance from Austin Tate. Original Supercar designed by Reg Hill of A.P. Films. This is fan produced material to promote the shows of Gerry Anderson and provided for your enjoyment, and should not be used for any commercial purpose.

Model Improvements

The new model accounts for some of the following inputs:

  1. Availability of higher quality visual reference material published over the years and higher definition TV screen captures from the TV series. Mick has been able to use these to provide corelated reference images to better inform the modelling shapes.
  2. The main hull shape has been refined using the detailed screen captures and normalising them. This led to the shape changing in ways consistent with Phil Rae’s 1990 revision of his Supercar blueprints. Wing position, nose shape and front light pod size and position also altered. Retro jet length was shortened.[Phil Rae produced a Supercar blueprint for a centrespread in Fanderson’s SIG no. 3 in Autumn 1981 and revised it in 1983 for a set of A3 Gerry Anderson vehicle blueprints. In a personal communication to Austin Tate on 18th August 1990 he offered further revisions as an amalgamation of the three studio models (Puppet scale, Bill James’s 3ft. version and the smaller “flight” model).
  3. Improved accuracy of the wing slot on the fuselage.
  4. Improved modelling shape of the side cooling vanes and the red fairings above and below them which slope rather than sit horizontally.
  5. Improved understanding of the colour and shininess of some parts and trim on the Supercar from improved colour reference material. E.g. the puppet-scale model hull piping is pale brass rather than chrome.
  6. Improvements to the texturing of the model to allow for simpler use on other platforms.
  7. Detailed research by Mick to identify original parts and instruments used in the construction of the puppet-scale model. He is documenting this material on a new web site to help other modellers. See ‘deconGA’ (deconstructing Gerry Anderson).
  8. Improvements to the Supercar dashboard using screen grabs of the human hand scale dashboard. However, this dashboard often had replacement instruments and switches to accommodate the story lines and cannot be reconciled to a single consistent model.
  9. Design to allow for a simpler texture based dashboard, as well as a detailed 3D modelled version to support different delivery platforms.
  10. Significant reductions in polygon count for the hull, fuselage piping and other complex curved elements of the design.
  11. Use of curve based modelling (NURBs) where useful but ability to export as polygons for those platforms needing this.
  12. Canopy structure, size of holes in rear support improved and added small block on rear support to support the canopy top.
  13. Cockpit interior details for the interior sides, front bench seat, rear seats and pipework in the rear corners was made using better reference images.
  14. Compatibility with Supercar Schematics Details (PDF) where feasible.
  15. An “add-on pack” for accessories such as Clear-Vu mounted gun and fairing, magnetic grabs, nose drill attachment, canopy mounted searchlight, etc. Possibly also in including the lab blast shield, Dr. Beaker’s lab console and remote console.

Initial Plans as at 18-Feb-2021

Initial Model as at 23-Feb-2021

Model and Initial Texturing as at 1-Mar-2021

Model as at 11-Mar-2021

Model as at 24-Mar-2021

Fin Remodelling as at 27-Mar-2021

Model as at 1-Apr-2021 – No Fooling

3D Printed Model as at 5-Oct-2023

A simplified version of the model prepared for 3D printing by Mick Imrie. The images are without post processing apart from gluing, though the majority of the model prints as one piece. The hull is about 7 inches long (same a Product Enterprise Supercar). This is all Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM 3D Printing).

Supercar 3D Print Model as at 5-Oct-2023

Canopy Structure

Mick has put quite a bit of work into getting the canopy structure to better reflect the Supercar puppet-scale studio model. This includes adding the small canopy top piece support block on the rear framework, and making the holes in that part more accurate.

Cockpit Interior

Hidem BandingDetails of the cockpit interior are to be improved. The front bench seat piping, trim on the top of the back (based on “Hidem Banding”) and the seat base shaping and upholstery buttons are all to be improved.

Dashboard Details and Instruments

Mick found that many of the instruments used appear to come from the cockpit of the Gloster Meteor NF12.

My own notes on the dash and the instruments that appear is in this diagram.

Supercar Dash – Work in Progress – Font Swiss921BT – 20-May-2021 – Mick Imrie

Supercar Dash – Work in Progress – 10-Jun-2021 – Mick Imrie

Model Complexity

The new Supercar model is designed to be less complex than the previous 1998/1999 version which had a high polygon complexity (measured in vertices and triangles). The 1998/1999 model complexity was approximately (see this blog post for initial mesh upload experiments):

Vertices: 500,000
Triangles: 250,000

The new 2021 model has complexity approximately:

Triangles: TBD

Supercar Colours and Fonts

Mick Imrie made these notes back in 1999/2000 for the original 3D model…

    The font used for the Cinema 4D Supercar model was a TrueType font supplied with Corel Draw called SWISS911 XCm BT (free download). This was selected primarily on the basis of the ‘S’ shape. The logo is obviously all in capitals, the ‘S’ is 118 point size and the rest of the characters are 78 point.

    On the subject of colours, Austin and I spent some time trying to get the colours as good as we could given the vagaries of colour photography. What we came up with are as follows (all given as RGB values):

         Red bodywork:           255,0,0
         Light blue:             204,255,255
         Yellow:                 255,255,0
         Off-white/grey bodywork:     254,250,230

Piping noted as likely a light brass colour on 3-Mar-2021. Perhaps “Gold Tone” Brass such as in this example [Local Copy of Image][RGB: 236,236,186].

Shane Pickering has more closely studied the font, letter shape (the “A” is rounded at the top) and shape of the lines at each side of the logo. The following logo is traced off a close-up of the studio model and normalised (original and Photoshop .psd version here).

Shane Pickering has also been studying the Supercar colours as part of his work on a detailed technical cutaway for Supercar. He has been assisted by a friend who is a classic car restorer. For the “off-white bodywork” colour using reference colour photos, such as the Suter’s Store Windows Display, he has suggested we “aim for a middle range light grey with perhaps a little brown in it”. A light grey with a hint of beige perhaps from the “Palomino” colour range used on General Motors’ Cadillacs and Pontiacs in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

I am exploring the 1960 General Motors Pontiac Palomino Beige with RGB: 236,236,230 which seems to look a bit like the colour in some of the scans of the Supercar LP cover image. I also tried RGB: 230,230,224 and RGB: 224,224,218 but maybe they are a bit too dark.

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2 Responses to Mick Imrie – Supercar Take Two

  1. bat says:

    Shane Pickering wrote on 19-Apr-2021:

    A SUPERCAR Logo (Supercar Logo 2C.jpg and Supercar Logo 2C-300.psd) traced off a close-up of the studio model & normalised is in http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/SC-MODEL/SP/ which also has PNG white on transparent versions.

    A SUPERCAR font can be obtained from working “Anderson Fonts” made by Steve Ferrere. They are free for non-commercial use and most font sites have them. e.g. “Anderson Supercar”. http://luc.devroye.org/fonts-46920.html

  2. bat says:

    Richard Shirres also has done extensive work on profiling the form and shape of Supercar. Earlier he created profile contours of the Mike Mercury puppet head in 2000. See http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~bat/GA/SC-MODEL/SHIRRES/

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