Category Archives: R.L. Bleecker

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Museum of Science Fiction (MOSF) to Receive the Master Model Collection of Kurt Kuhn (Kuhn Global)

Presents

The Kuhn Collection

Washington, DC (Mar. 6, 2019) – The model collection of Kurt Kuhn, founder and owner of Modeler’s Miniatures & Magic, will be donated to the Museum of Science Fiction, the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, beginning with a full scale replica of the USS Enterprise from Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This model will be on public display for the first time at the Museum’s annual convention, Escape Velocity, in May 2019 (for images of the collection, please see link below).

“This is the beginning of an amazing museum,” said Kuhn. “It’s the first ever replica of the model used in the shooting of the 1979 film, and after all of the work we’ve put into it, I can’t wait for the world to see it for the first time at Escape Velocity 2019.”

The replica Enterprise measures over eight feet long and four feet wide and features an automated light-up sequence identical to the scene in the film when the ship leaves drydock. The construction of this one-of-a-kind model required over 2,000-man hours and is valued at over $100,000. It will be the first of hundreds of pieces in the Kuhn Collection that will be transferred to the Museum over the next few years.

“We couldn’t be more honored that Mr. Kuhn has entrusted us with his incredible collection of replica models and props,” said Rachel Frederick, Museum Curator. “These master-level reproductions of the most iconic ships and vehicles from some of the most beloved science fiction films and television shows are indistinguishable from the original filming miniatures and truly works of art.”

Kurt Kuhn began model building at an early age and credits the original Star Trek television series for his love of science fiction. He has built, and overseen the construction of hundreds of models and props in his lifetime, many of them studio scale and near identical replicas to what was used on set during filming. These models include Cylon Raiders and Colonial Vipers from Battlestar Galactica, a wide range of Rebel and TIE Fighters from Star Wars, and numerous Star Trek vessels such as the Defiant, Klingon Bird of Prey, and Ferengi Marauder.

Mr. Kuhn has worked with many great industry artists, whom he highly credits for the creation and building of these fantastic miniatures. All of these artists will be named with each piece donated they had worked on for Mr. Kuhn. To name a few, this amazing list includes artists Dan Grumeretz, Marc Elkins, R.L. Bleecker, Mike Salzo, Steve Neisen, Jason Eaton, Rick Sternbach, Randy Cooper, Lasse Henning, Syd Mead, Richard Long, Dana Diana, Nick Sainton Clark, George Takacs, Randy Johnson, Mark Worley, Alfred Wong, Nicholas Sagan, Daniel Beck, and many, many more whose names will be displayed with the pieces they had worked on, or contributed to. The list of all involved is tremendous, and Kurt Kuhn is seeing to it that each of them receive the accolades they are deserving of.

These pieces will eventually be seen by millions of patrons of this amazing Museum, creating great imagination, and enhancing the art form with those people who would then begin to create their own art, or express wanting to have such items. “It shall lead people toward the art form, and increase business for artists who take on Commission works.” said Kuhn.

More information about Mr. Kuhn’s gift and images from the Kuhn collection is available here: https://www.museumofsciencefiction.org/kuhn-collection

About the Museum of Science Fiction

The nonprofit Museum of Science Fiction will be the world’s first comprehensive science fiction museum, covering the history of the genre across the arts and providing a narrative on its relationship to the real world. The Museum will show how science fiction continually inspires individuals, influences cultures, and impacts societies. Also serving as an educational catalyst to expand interest in the science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) areas, the Museum uses tools such as mobile applications and wifi-enabled display objects to engage and entertain. For a full press packet on the Museum of Science Fiction’s vision and other information, please visit: www.museumofsciencefiction.org/presspacket

About Escape Velocity 2019

The Museum of Science Fiction and NASA are partnering to bring Escape Velocity 2019 to Washington, DC. The event is a futuristic world’s fair to promote informal STEAM educational activities within the context of science fiction using the fun of comic cons and fascination of science and engineering festivals. Escape Velocity 2019 seeks to make a measurable positive impact to boost informal learning on the more conceptually challenging academic areas. Escape Velocity’s mission is to attract young people to science, technology, engineering, art, and math by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational, and entertaining science festival in the United States using science fiction as its primary engine. Escape Velocity will achieve orbit on May 24-26, 2019 at the Marriott Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC. For a full press packet on Escape Velocity, please visit: www.escapevelocity.events/press-media

 

 

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Kurt Kuhn

USA


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Buck Rogers – Studio Scale “Traeger’s” Thunderfighter

This is a design worth drooling over. The standard studio scale Thunderfighter design was added to (by the model makers of Buck Rogers) in order to make what was considered to be an earlier version of the advanced Thunderfighter that were flown on screen by the Earth Directorate in Buck Rogers. This one was flown by Colonel Traeger. Often referred to as the “Happy Birthday Buck” fighter model, this is the world’s first known accurate replica ever produced of this model. We have seen many attempted before this that look quite amazing, but none that actually replicate it all… like artist Dan Gurmeretz did on this replica. Utilizing the damaged model of the studio scale Thunderfighter (SEEN HERE) that R.L. Bleecker built years ago (from a generational kit that was sold to me by Steve Neisen), we thought it best to use it for this design. The original Thunderfighter replica that R.L. Bleecker had built was badly in need of repair after being loaned to be shown, and shipped around with a company that would soon release the studio scale Thunderfighter replica. With that model ready to go, Dan set off with the additions needed to make it a true replica. It turned out beautifully.


ABOVE: Kurt Kuhn with the Studio Scale Traeger Thunderfighter Replica

Model Information

Current Owner:Kurt Kuhn of Kuhn Global, Inc.

Build Artist:Dan Grumeretz of Grumeretz, LLC

Kit Offered By:NICE-N Model Designs

~Hours Vested to Final Display:  250

Total Vested Cost: $1,600 USD

Current Estimated Value: $2,000 USD

Current Appraised Value: $?? USD


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Pre-Peace Rendevous

During the building of Battlestar’s Atlantia, Galactica, and Pacifica, artist Dan Grumeretz took a few photos, one of which I used to create the Composite you see below. The Vipers are actually R.L. Bleecker builds from my own Collection and Blue Screen photos. If you look very closely, you will see three of those Vipers landing on Atlantia…. with two coming in further back. They nearly look like dots, don’t they? Also, much closer we see a set of three off the port side of Galactica, with two even more close toward Galactica’s aft area. I felt adding these elements gave it a more realistic feel.

Kurt Kuhn
Kuhn Global Inc.
Modeler’s Miniatures & Magic

 

Original photo…

IMG_0812

 


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“Hot Dog Piloting” – Composite Art by Kurt Kuhn (Kuhn Global)

Being that the best experienced Colonial Pilots are spread thin these days, Captain Apollo rarely gets to share the skies with his best friend… Lt. Starbuck. Such was one of these days. A colony-type planet had been detected a few light years in front of the fleet and needed to have some recon done…. their names were first on the flight roster. Detecting no hostile presence, the two friends shoot for the deck of the planet to discover most of it covered with water. Alone, with beautiful skies above, deep blue oceans below…. and a whole world of freedom waiting to hear the screaming of Viper engines for the first time….. Apollo looks over at Starbuck… who just nods, and waves his hand as if to say “after you” while placing his cigar back in his mouth…. their hot dog piloting was about to begin.

Continuing as the second “atmospheric flight” composite collection piece suggested for me to do by master artist Ben Lim, while using my Blue Screen photos of the fantastic studio Viper builds done by R.L. Bleecker from the hyper accurate MSLZ22 Model kits, and using a few elements from various sources… I was able to create this scene as I viewed it in my head. What I found especially challenging was getting the reflections correct both on the Vipers themselves… as with the water beneath them. The angle of the sun made it very difficult to determine what was to be seen.

KG_RLB_MSLZ22_HOTDOGS-003B2016


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ESB Sketchbook Inspired – Imperial Cutter INTRACTIBLE

About a decade ago, I tasked artist R.L. Bleecker with building this piece. It would be a larger version of a small model he scratch built while in a shop we had running at that time. This model design was inspired by the Joe Johnston and Nilo Rodis-Jamero’s 1980 released book…”The Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook”, and it was of the initial sketch for the Super Star Destroyer EXECUTOR. Being a Veteran of the United States Navy himself, Robert had classified what he built as a “Cutter”… an Imperial Cutter. When I saw what he had created in that smaller model, and he confirmed where his inspiration came from (as I recognized it as well), it was clear a larger version must be built…. and so he did. This one we would name the Imperial Cutter INTRACTIBLE. This model actually has parts used (the engine bells) that are from a real U.S. military aircraft. Robert used many recognizable items for the communications and jamming equipment on top of the model. This model represents what practical use may have been of this type of vessel in the Empire’s Imperial Fleet. As a back story, we developed this: Measuring slightly less long than the 752 meter ACCLAIMATOR Star Destroyer Class, the new 686 meter PERSISTANT Class Imperial Cutter INTRACTIBLE is the second version of this new Imperial weapon. This makes this vessel, if it were real, to be just over 1/3 the full length of the basic Imperial Star Destroyers we know (ie Devastator and Avenger). The model itself is 27 inches long which bring this piece to the 1:1000 scale exactly. Robert did a magnificent job creating this piece.

…The Empire Strikes Back Sketchbook and Sketch that inspired this build…

Model Information

Current Owner: Kurt Kuhn of Kuhn Global, Inc.

Scratch Build Artist: Robert L. Bleecker

~Hours Vested to Final Display:  400

Total Vested Cost: $12,500 USD

Current Estimated Value: $15,000 USD

Current Appraised Value: $16,000 USD

… and my Blue Screen Photos of the Intractible…

 


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Blue 7 Studio Scale (1/24) X-Wing

This beautiful piece was built from a cast kit that has original lineage back to the PYRO Models used in 1977’s STAR WARS. Cast obtained from Scott Alexander of Atomic City Models, this piece originally began life as a closed wing version of RED Leader, painted by Scott Alexander himself. I had not seen any closed wing X-Wings made before this time… though there may have been some somewhere. Sadly, Red Leader had a bit of an accident, and then was sent to artist R.L. Bleecker to re-build. Robert took this closed wing X-Wing and made it amazing as he changed the red stripes to blue… just as the original models began life as. We had yet to see anything past Red 6 in wing identification, so Robert came up with what you see here… a solid block to indicate up to 6, plus a single strip to make it Blue 7. Again, nobody had done anything past Red 6 at that time, which made this highly unique. Then there was the fact he made the stripes blue… which again nobody had been doing at that time. Soon after we found some photos of the Red 12 studio model, and it’s markings. Robert also made the R2 unit have a clear dome, with a Pilot at it’s stick that could possibly be Lando Calrissian? It is for you to decide!

Fantastic work all the way around. It was a blast to photograph back then (2008). Never the less… this stands on it’s own as a great display.

I would like to thank both Scott Alexander and Robert Bleecker for their excellence in bringing this to life. Especially R.L. Bleecker for his great imaginative skills.

Above: Kurt Kuhn with the Studio Scale BLUE 7 X-Wing

 

Model Information

Current Owner: Kurt Kuhn of Kuhn Global, Inc.

Build Artist: Re-Build by R.L. Bleecker

Cast Offered By: Atomic City Models

~Hours Vested to Final Display:  250

Total Vested Cost: $1,000 USD

Current Estimated Value: $2,000 USD

Current Appraised Value: $2,000 USD

 


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1/2 Studio Scale (22 Inch) SS Botany Bay

This beauty was patterned by Film Writer & Producer, artist Scott Alexander. Through his banner of Atomic City Models, Scott (also known as Captain Cardboard), made this a kit for all to enjoy! I had to have one being that I had just acquired TWO 1/2 studio scale USS Enterprise kits from artist Steve Neill, and this would be the perfect companion to one of them. I gave this project to artist R.L. Bleecker, and he made it come alive. Painting it as having panels, Robert made this piece resemble the digital model utilized in the HD re-make of Star Trek the Original Series for Blu-Ray viewers. What a beautiful piece this is!


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1:24 (15.25 Inch) Cylon Raider “SCAR” built by R.L. Bleecker

Killed many times in battle, then re-animated again… and again, SCAR the Cylon Raider was one of the oldest Raiders in Battlestar Galactica – The New Series. He was an ACE at shooting down Colonial Pilots until he was eventually killed outside the realm of a re-animation ship.

This fantastic JT Graphics model kit (Patterned by the artist Kip Hart of Howling Wold Models) was one of the first released, and it was built by artist R.L. Bleecker whom captured the essence of SCAR with every mark…including what he was named for… the major scar across his face.

Modeler Magic 2018 Gallery Appraisal of $1,500

ENJOY!!


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Studio Scale Cylon Raiders – “Pyro” and “Hero” Comparison

These two Raiders are beautiful. Both built by R.L. Bleecker, look closely and you will see the differences. I photographed them side by side for all to view for themselves.

2008-02-08_KG_TOS-RAIDER-V1-V2-001AB2016The photo above I did replicating two of the Raiders as we viewed flipping over during their classic attack scenes.

 


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Studio Scale “Hero” Cylon Raider

I had shown the studio scale Cylon Raider “Pyro” version that had become a kit soon after Jim Key and Mark Dickson had released it. This one shown here today was patterned by artist Mike Salzo to be more like the “Hero” model that we viewed in the series and film. There are differences that you will view in another post placing them side by side.
Artist R.L. Bleecker was again behind how this piece turned out. He did wonderful work.

This piece has a 2016 Modeler Magic appraised value of $2,500 USD

2008-02-08_KG_TOS-RAIDER-V2-022AB2016Kuhn Global “Hero” Cylon Raider Blue Screen Photos by Kurt Kuhn