Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fuel Barge More Details

It would appear that the hatches on the Fuel Barge were intended to slide up. Even though a full sized section of the fuel tank was built on stage with this hatch the hatch was not made practical. On screen the glowing push buttons for the fuel capacity could be seen, but little else.

It's amazing how much detail goes into the production of a single episode of any television show and still never finds its way to the screen.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Fuel Barge Detail

The Fuel Barge miniature used in the Lost in Space episodes "Wild Adventure" and "The Haunted Lighthouse" were missing in a small detail. This hatch was actually built as a full sized section of the tank for an actor to interact with. The fuel gauge is in the upper righthand corner and two hooks are provided for safety tethers to attach.

A great deal of design work was added to this hatch that barely shows in the episode.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fuel Barge Bottom

This is an interesting view of the Fuel Barge--it's the bottom view. Comparing this view with the top view it becomes evident that there are three repeats of the number and pattern around each tank. 

This model was a challenge in SketchUp because of the patterns. Trying to wrap lettering and patterns around the tank would have been difficult and created an unnecessarily large model in terms of size. This model is only 5.6MB. That's because the patterns were drawn flat in another model and then images were pasted onto the tanks. The tank circumference had to be calculated to plan the pattern. One side of each tank has a small hatch (not included in the production miniature) that had to be properly positioned.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fuel Barge Top

A site visitor asked about the paint pattern on the Fuel Barge. On screen the third fuel tank, "C-10," is very difficult to see--not just for the letters but the colors too.

I had the good fortune to research original drawings from the television series in order to prepare this SketchUp model. Honestly, I don't remember if these are the colors that were called out on the drawings, or if they are the closest match to what was seen on screen. Possibly it's a little of both. 

I've also added a little detail that wasn't on the miniature--a hatch on each tank. But more about that later.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wild Adventure

As the eternal Lost in Space fan I can't help but return to the show on occasion to marvel at the wonderful and ever present spacecrafts. This is (fictionally) an American design as opposed to the many alien spacecraft that were seen. It was first seen as a fuel barge in the second season episode "Wild Adventure." Later the same ship would become a weather station in the third season entry "The Haunted Lighthouse."

As a fuel barge the design makes some sense with its three large fuel tanks surrounding a central docking ring. But when depicted as a weather station the eternal problem of an interior too big for the exterior plagued the episode. The supports connecting the tanks to the central docking ring are too small to allow for personnel access. That means that only one of the tank areas could possibly be used as living quarters. Using the Jupiter 2 upper deck for scale means that the stations livable area would be smaller than the upper deck as well as long and narrow. Of course that's not how it was depicted on the show.

But who cares? The episode was entertaining anyway.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Bedroom of the Future

This SketchUp model add a little furniture to the master bedroom of the future in the House of the Future. Much of the interior furnishing came from top designers of the era. George Nelson, Ray and Charles Eames, and Herman Miller contributed all but a few custom pieces. In the bedroom the bed and dresser were custom designed.

For this SketchUp model everything is sized based upon my estimates. Still I've managed to fit a queen sized bed into the room.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

House of the Future Aerial

The best part about designing in SketchUp is the ability to view your models from any angle. It's great to be able to have a helicopter shot of the House of the Future. From this view you can see the rolling terrain that surrounds the house. The gardens were just as important to this home as the plastic house itself. A little known fact is that a carport was actually located under the children's wing (closest to the bottom of this view). That means that the driveway was just off from Matterhorn Road. Perhaps the house address was: 1 Matterhorn Road, Disneyland, CA

The path to the left led up to the front stairway and entrance to the house. Guests would exit from the back stairway into the back yard. A fence, not shown in this model, separated the two areas.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Comfort in the Home of the 21st Century

I was really worried that my furniture might not be as comfortable as it was stylish. Was I ever wrong. The furniture is not only comfortable—it is very comfortable. The chairs and daybed all make one sit up straight and still feel comfortable doing it. It’s hard to slouch on this furniture and that is so much better for ones back and posture.

The throw pillows on the sofa and the coconut chair are from Anna’s Linens. The cushion on the fiberglass armchair is from (gasp) Kmart! I couldn’t manage to find just what I wanted anywhere else. They came in blue and an orange red. I bought six of each so that I can mix and match them into the dining room too. The fiberglass chairs are comfortable, but a cushion provides a nice accent with just a bit more comfort.

Rounding out the comfort of the room is the art on the walls. All of the pictures are from my collection and all depict my favorite things from the mid-century. Many of them depict my favorite futuristic things from the mid-century.

Over the daybed is a signed limited edition print of the Disneyland monorails for the 1959 Tomorrowland expansion. In the dining room is a signed limited edition cel of "The Jetsons" representing the title sequence of the 1962 television series. Over the Nelson cigar lamp (from Modernica) is a photograph of Herman and Lily from "The Munsters." The shot was taken during their TV Guide photo shoot in 1964 but wasn't used. Over the fiberglass armchair are John and Maureen Robinson from "Lost in Space" in an enlargement of their TV Guide cover for 1965. And finally, over the swag leg desk is a cel (hand painted by a Hanna Barbera artist) of Samantha from "Bewitched" in the title sequence originally created in 1964.

The colors just naturally go with the rest of the room since it’s all from the same era. This is the promise that “The Jetsons” gave me when I was young: I would live into the 21st century in the comfort of a futuristic home. What do you know? I made it.

P.S. I've got links to all of these retailers both here and at the bottom of the page. Start shopping and make your dreams come true.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

More News From the 21st Century

Here is another view of my new Home of the 21st Century. This view shows off the swag leg desk and the back of the coconut chair. These items came from France and Son in New York. They are considered to be reproductions since Herman Miller sells licensed versions. But furniture is a utilitarian item and as such does not generally qualify for patent or copyright protection. The best part for me was that the coconut chair came in orange wool. Herman Miller only offers black leather. While most of my furniture was made in the USA alas, these two pieces came from China.

The low credenza next to the desk is also from Modernica. It is almost a one-of-a-kind (a near match is in the dining area). Modernica had just started offering these Case Study Units with a spray booth painted finish. A different style was on display in the store window. I took it to a new level by adding the fiberglass sliding doors and then mixing and matching one ocean (blue) and one mustard (gold) door. Not only is the look very mid-century, but the colors just happen to be the colors from vintage Disneyland stationary.

Above the credenza is a metal wall sculpture. That is the only new wall art in the room. It came from Bed Bath and Beyond and it was on the discount rack. It seems that here in the 21st Century boomerang metal sculptures aren’t so popular. All the better for me. Now mine has become more rare.

Oh, and yes, for those of you with a sharp eye, that is a Jim Beam Jeannie bottle on the desk. Just another little mid-century touch in the 21st Century.

P.S. I've got links to all of these retailers both here and at the bottom of the page. Start shopping and make your dreams come true.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Home of the 21st Century

It’s not often that I get a chance to art direct for myself, but relocation back to the greater Los Angeles area made it happen. This is my new apartment filled with new furniture. I’d been living like a nomad for the past several years, staying in hotels mostly, so I’d rid myself of all of my old furnishing.

When it was time to start over my first thought was Danish modern. It is modern, but still somewhat traditional. I didn’t want to go too far out. Problem was I couldn’t find any entire suites of matching furniture. I’d find a sofa that was nice, but no coffee or side tables that matched.

Then I went back to the old Monsanto house of the future for inspiration. The 1957 interior furnishing were light and airy and still classically modern. A few pieces were easily identifiable such as the George Nelson coconut chair and swag leg desk as well as the Eames fiberglass chairs with the Eiffel tower base. But what to do about a sofa?

I really liked the look of the low custom designed sofa from the House of the Future, but I never expected to find such a thing. Then I came upon Modernica and found almost everything that I needed made in a Los Angeles factory. They had a daybed that closely resembled the House of the Future sofa, but it was more practical for my purposes because it could double as a bed for houseguests (no more heavy sofa beds for me). The best part was that they had a number of matching pieces for a lamp table and a coffee table. They even had a whole bedroom suite.

As if this weren’t enough, they also had the molded fiberglass chairs. It was a one-stop shop.

Well almost. I had to shop around for a few other pieces that they didn’t make. The dining room table in the picture came from Jules Seltzer and it’s called a Setu table made by Herman Miller.

The rugs come from At Home in the Valley and the style is called Hudson 2666f, not an easy one to find. The rugs are made in the USA and they are perfect for my Home of the 21st Century.

P.S. I've got links to all of these retailers both here and at the bottom of the page. Start shopping and make your dreams come true.

Friday, April 3, 2015

More House of the Future

Here's an exterior view for the House of the Future. I posted a similar view before but this time I've added some topography. Planting comes next although I can't say when that might happen. Again, the model was created entirely in SketchUp. That's no easy task when rolling slopes are involved.