Thursday, February 6, 2014

Model Making Inspiration

I just learned a new word: "greeble" (pronounced "gree-blee"). The word was coined by the model makers at Industrial Light and Magic, and refers to all the gratuitous detail that you need to add to a model to make it look realistic.

Adam Savage from Mythbusters has been doing videos about movie special effects; this time he talked about making a living as a model maker for movies specializing in "hard models" - spaceships and buildings, as opposed to "soft models" of creatures.

Also worth watching is Adam's twelve hour project to make a box for a Blade Runner pistol as a reminder of how to quickly create realistic and worn props.

Watch both, and I'll bet you'll want to be back building models too!


  1. In one of the recent Tested videos he mentions doing research on something in the past to include in his book on modeling. To me it sounded like a book published some time in the past, but I have not been able to find any information on a Adam Savage book on modeling. Perhaps he's still writing it. I hope so, I have a place on my bookshelf reserved for it. :-)

  2. Good stuff Robert! Thanks for finding this video and posting it. Not surprising that our model-making worlds collide: model railroading and movie special effects. I wonder if Adam Savage has ever wandered into any of the Bay Area model railroad open houses.


    Bill D

  3. Whoops. I commented on the wrong article before. I wanted to say that the Universal Greebly referred to in the vid is a roller bearing journal box cover from a model of a German rail gun. 10 of them are pictured at the middle of the left end of this sprue:

    The actual journal cover is here:

  4. Thanks for the detail - I'll have to check it out again. Those aren't useful details to apply randomly to model trains. I wonder what the Universal Greebly should be for model railroaders - a broken pallet or a repair plate with rivets and bolts, perhaps?