Meddings’ Miniature Magic…

Startling in their primitive simplicity yet state of the art for the time, the models pictured above were given as a post-production gift to a lucky fan by the legendary Derek Meddings.
Still in the hands of that same collector more than thirty years later, they are a fine example of the craftsmanship associated with old-school film making. Meddings, (1931-1995) was nothing less than the Godfather of the industry with his work on both Superman: The Movie and Superman II among some of his most accomplished. Elegantly documented in the book ‘Special Effects Superman’ you may be surprised just how many big effects sequences in popular Films & TV he was directly responsible for and the influence he has to this day.
Photographed next to a penny for scale, the Superman flying miniature was most likely production made rather than screen used potentially as a stand-in. The radar dishes, however, come directly from the Eiffel Tower ‘maxiture’ as evidenced by the screengrab (bottom pic, upper right). This was one of the many detailed pieces made to furnish the 75ft tall tower constructed from various metals and shot on the backlot of Pinewood Studios. Legend has it after shooting the model was held in such high regard it was re-located to the Pinewood Gardens, where it was to become a permanent feature. Sadly as it was within the vicinity of the bar, it was destroyed due to a drunken employee’s attempt to climb it, King-Kong style…
My sincere thanks to SuperFan Steve Cambden for the use of his photographs…