Chig- Day 3!!!!
Welcome to my new page, detailing the creation of my new Museum/Art project: 'The Museum of Classic Science-Fiction'!
Please note: the museum is not open yet! This page is to document the creation of a new permanent science-fiction museum in the north-east of England. I hope to open in about a year, (although I suspect it will be about a year and a half, as I’m the creative designer, builder and everything else in between!). The museum will be situated in Allendale Town- an extremely picturesque village in the North Pennines. Visitors to the museum will be able to find lovely coffee shops and amenities on hand, as well as stunning walks. The idea for the museum stemmed from my lifelong fascination with science-fiction. It tells the story of a young boy who dreamt of travelling to other planets- but didn’t quite make it. Instead, he had a lot of fun watching, reading, collecting, drawing, making and dreaming. From a handful of action figures and comics and staying up very late to catch old B&W movies with his Dad, this interest never waned. The museum sets out to tell a brief history of science-fiction from H.G.Wells to the current day through my experience of the genre. It will of course be biased to those movies, comics and ideas that have most affected me personally. The story will be told with many original, screen-used props and costumes, production items, animation cels and published artwork. This journey highlights the landmark worlds of Wells, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Wars’, whilst also exploring key genre themes, such as robotics and dystopia. I will also be producing original, unique artwork for the museum. Keep checking back to the page to see the museum (and its inhabitants!) begin to develop over the next year or so…the countdown has begun… Neil Cole: Artist & Curator- 2015
Chig- Day 3!!!!
Next LOCKDOWN project...for reopening... Day 2: Hellish struggle to get undersuit on.
..paint flaking everywhere...but now all sealed. Next battle to get armour sections on.
..but progress good! Some light damage to the fibreglass on the chest...so will sculpt these back in. A lot more to go on yet...wonderful costume. Anyone still wondering what this is, it's an original 'Chig' alien trooper from 'Space Above and Beyond'...a small screen attempt to do a 'Starship Troopers'!!!! I'll add a screen pic below! 😊😊😊😊😊😊
Next LOCKDOWN project...for reopening... Day 1: Usual mannequin antics as cars and dog walkers pass. Mannequin assembled and bolted together. First part of new exhibit fixed on. Coats of resin built up on flaking paint...gradually creating new smooth surface again. May respray...but black and green mottling looking actually rather nice. Armour to cover most of this anyway! Standby for more!!!!😊😊😊😊😊😊
Greetings! Thought it was about time I gave some 'progress reports' on the 'Museum in Lockdown'...I've been ever so busy! We are getting ready for a wonderful re-opening of the museum....which is going to be very special....it will include the unveiling of the new Allendalek Mk 2 (all metal version!) by a star from classic Doctor Who!
But that is not all... I am working tirelessly at changing existing displays to make space for some incredible new exhibits...and working on said new pieces at the same time! I can promise you a very much improved 'Museum of Classic Sci-Fi' with new exhibits in virtually every section!
In the meantime....here's a little job I've been on with this week.... creating more space with some existing exhibits....making room for some new! Silly how much time doing something quite straightforward actually takes! This all involved....building a bespoke wooden stand (basically a box)....trim feet stand on POTA Gorilla...raise up Leonov flight-suit and place with Gorilla....create new plaque stands....insert new lighting....and voila(!) ready for new pieces....!!!
Thank you for everyone's continued support and more (interesting!) bits coming very soon!
And today in lockdown....
I am both incredibly proud and excited to have been recently included in TELOS Publishing's new 'Doctor Who' book: 'Doctor Who Exhibitions'. A short video to extend a heartfelt thank you to both author Bedwyr Gullidge and publisher David J. Howe- it means more than you know to have been included!
Good evening everyone…
PROJECT NEXUS - Episode 1
About seven - eight years ago, just before I embarked upon the personal odyssey of creating ‘The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi’, I was busily writing ideas for graphic novels and short SF stories. In short,, ever since I was a child, I dreamt of writing and drawing comics. I wondered (in my forties) if actually somehow fulfilling the dream of drawing for a professional comic (no matter how big or small!!!) was just a crazy pipe-dream or even the slimmest possibility. Anyway….I started to just enjoy coming up with a few ideas and getting my technique back up to scratch (it had been a long time since I had tried this type of artwork).
Ultimately, within a year of all this drawing, Lisa and I got the opportunity to move into the wonderful, old and seriously run-down ‘Osborne House’...and in many ways, the even crazier dream of opening an independent Sc-Fi/Doctor Who history museum seemed a remote possibility. If I managed (somehow) to create a museum….once open...I could sit and write and draw my graphic novel anyway!!!
Well, here we are….The museum became a reality (despite some crazy opposition). Having a big sort out over the last few weeks….I cam across my first rough attempt at plotting and sketching out a graphic novel. I must add: the artwork you see here ARE ROUGHS!!!! Drawn in biro direct to A4 without pencils (basically to speed up the story telling and layout process)…..the traditional pencils/inking/lettering and possibly colouring could be done on A3 once the story was mapped.
Anyway….I thought a few of you might like to see some of this little story I begun….warts and all. The art ranges from rough to EXTREMELY rough thumbnails in places….and was NEVER INTENDED TO BE SEEN!!!! But...since we are in lockdown, I thought I could do a weekly serial using my biro roughs! Very much the way I used to read 2000AD as a child….and loved it! You will notice annotations, scribbled out bits, wonky figures...and every other manner of errors...this really was just getting down images and chunks of story and dialogue that were in my head! If you want to see the second episode let me know!!! You will notice that the third image is a two page spread....a lot of biro!!!!! I must be mad!!!!
Stay safe everyone!!!
Doctor Who display upgrade example....(or what I get up to in isolation)....
Good evening fellow sci-fi hounds!!! Today I have been exhausted...I mean really whapped out. I managed to do my daily dose of home schooling with my little people and then admitted defeat and collapsed.
This is probably all because I have been working like a madman on the museum (on top of home schooling, family things and online school resource making). I have really been trying to view lockdown as a chance to have some time I would otherwise never have been afforded. So....week 1 in isolation I pieced together the Necromonger from 'Chronicles of Riddick' and in week 2 I begun the first of several exhibit/display upgrades in the 'Doctor Who' area. I thought a few of you might find the process interesting....if not I don't blame you!!!😂😂😂
So...I wanted to put in a new exhibit- Peter Davison's space suit chest and backpack units from 1983's 'Enlightenment' (made by the late, great Richard Gregory and Imagineering). In order to do this seemingly simple procedure I thought I'd keep a visual record to show all the steps I have to go through!!!
Bottom line- after identifying a suitable space (I really try to keep the exhibits in chronological order...but limitations of space sometimes prevent this) first thing I have to do is remove the large sheet(s) of safety glass to work in the display area! Then....pull everything out...remeasure....and...I'll let the pictures do the talking!!!
For those Who fanatics (like myself) looking at this- the display incorporates the following small pieces (into an area of one of the original fireplaces I restored): 'Castrovalva' (Andrew Skilleter's master pencil line drawing of Anthony Ainley's 'Master' for the VHS cover), 'Four to Doomsday' (Adric's space boot), 'Earthshock' (an Earth Trooper rifle and production made helmet...made at the time, but not used on screen...used later in Red Dwarf), 'Snakedance' (Manussan Punch puppet head and Guard gloves & arm armour) and 'Enlightenment' (Peter Davison's space suit backpack).
Basically....a lot of work re-positioning everything to add in the new piece and overall, produce a much more effective display....a few more lights to add in yet....but otherwise done!
Greetings everyone as we near the midnight hour....just thought I'd share a short radio interview with Tom Campbell of Radio Newcastle today. I can't thank the station enough for their continued support over the last year and half- just amazing!
Just to say- part of the interview was edited (obviously for length). The intention of said interview was very much to discuss how people have been using lockdown in a positive way...and whilst I have been making full use of some of the time- I fully appreciate that for a great many, this has been extremely difficult.
Whilst I have been able to invest time working on some new displays and exhibits- I have also been home schooling my two children (both autistic) so that my wife can continue her CBT therapy (mental health work) so vital at the moment. Also...I have been producing on-line lessons and activities for the pupils at the school where I teach.
So....in short- I do hope people are coping as well as possible at the moment. I know some of my museum friends have suffered the virus and I take this opportunity to wish every best wish for a safe recovery. Let's stay safe and take care of each other. All our love and good wishes from the museum❤️❤️🙂 https://youtu.be/Fpq1u5xRVu0
With the museum in lockdown and temporarily closed, Radio Newcastle contacted me to see how things were going....as they had heard I was using the time to pe...
Morning all....another day in the pandemic saga I'd read about as a child so many times in the works of the likes of SF author John Wyndham and watching Terry Nation's (astonishingly pre-watershed!) 'Survivors' in the 70's...
Well...last week I contributed to an article in 'The Daily Star' (another something I never thought I'd hear myself say) about the museum!!! To that end I needed to produce some photos for it (clearly sending a photographer was NOT essential!!)...so looked through my archive for a few shots....and (as we are not open at the moment) thought I'd share them here with you this morning. The pics show developments in the museum (for those keen watchers out there) and it's actually rather nice to reflect on the 6 years putting this little place together!
As I mentioned previously, a positive from having some extra time has been that I've been able to pull out many of the large sheets of safety glass to have a big re-think and update of many of the museum displays. I'm foraging up the chimney later today (yes really) to insert a cover to stop muck slowly falling down it....as I'm adding a great new piece into the Fifth Doctor small props exhibit (from 'Doctor Who' seasons 19 and 20). Just one of a range of new exhibits to help celebrate the time when we can reopen.
In the meantime...let's all stay safe, be kind and look out for each other. Sending lot's of love and good thoughts from us all at the Museum of Classic Sci-Fi in Northumberland!🙂❤️❤️❤️
Good morning everyone! Hope you are all staying safe and mentally holding it together!!! At house Cole we are into a routine now...Lisa is a CBT specialist (mental health) and as such is (as you can imagine) inundated at the moment....meaning I'm drawing on all my two and half decades of teaching experience to homeschool our two children so Lisa can keep working. I have two wonderful little people who are autistic (and entirely different from one another)...so adjusting teaching for them is both a challenge but also a privilege. After a little homeschooling....it's exercise time!!! Buzz (my youngest) is hyper-active....so its a two hour walk over the fields!!!! Luckily we live in a remote area so social distancing is NOT an issue😂!!!
Which then takes me to...the museum! Everyday (as much for my own mental health!!!!😂😂😂) I have been slowly performing a long overdue, overhaul of the museum...taking things out to put new exhibits in. I have been working on three biggish projects over the last couple of weeks....and thought I'd share one of them with you in this post...
As you may have guessed from my first 'Underrated Gems of SF' posting....I have been piecing together a beautiful 'Necromonger Captain' costume that appeared in both 'The Chronicles of Riddick' (2004) and then again (having been distressed) in 'Riddick: Rule the Dark' (2013). The Necromonger costume is one of the finest in the museum collection in terms of the quality of construction...it is quite mind blowing to think of the hours of work that went into creating so many of these highly complex and beautifully rendered armoured suits.
The photos show the process of putting the costume in stages onto a mannequin...not absolutely straightforward!!! The mannequin had to be screwed together and reinforced to support the weight of the costume (VERY HEAVY). Then...many pieces were either constructed from thick rubber or (as in the cowl) thinner rubber. I made the decision that as the costume was in excellent condition....but potentially open to perishing, for the long haul I would add protective coats of preservative to all the rubber components to ensure it longevity. This is always a tricky decision, as the more effective preservatives (basically resins) do effect the surface 'finish'....which in this instance was a masterclass in how to make rubber look like rusted metal....one of the best examples of this I have ever seen! Despite that...I think (following some matt laquers) that the costume looks damn good...and will be extremely robust.
Next step....sculpt a suitably menacing face to place inside the helmet and add that to the display. Can't wait to start the face!!!! Going to give it 'undead' style eyes to enhance the idea of the Necromonger existing somewhere between living and death....
Right will be back soon to show you another piece I've been slogging away at!!! In the meantime....stay safe and let's all continue to pull together to fight this virus!!!! Sending all positive thoughts and love from The Museum of Classic Sc-Fi ❤️❤️❤️
Museum of Classic Sci-Fi creator/curator discusses his 'guilty pleasures' of sci-fi in a series of short videos....beginning with 2004's 'The Chronicles of Riddick'.
Good morning everyone! Apologies for the silence...but I have been busily working on a short video for the first of my 'Underrated Gems of Sci-Fi' talking points...so we can have an online natter about our SF guilty pleasures, but...suffered one software problem after another😨😨😨😨...sooooo frustrating!!!!! Anyway that will be with you soon- in the meantime, my talented Brother-in-law David Powell sent me his latest work on the Allendalek Mark 2😊😊😊😊...so this cheered me up considerably and I thought museum friends should see his progress! Looking forward to the time that we can have a double celebration...re-opening the museum and unveiling the Allendalek Mk 2!!!! Stay safe everyone...will speak again very soon!😊😊😊
Exciting new exhibit for when we open! From 'Doctor Who' art- legend Colin Howard. This is the original, screen-used TARDIS console hand painted artwork from last year's animated recreation of the 2nd Doctor clsssic "The Macra Terror".
Greetings all. Well...we are apparently living in a John Wyndham novel for the forseeable future...
As most regular followers of this page and the museum probably know, beyond my curations and restorations in Allendale, I teach Art four days a week in a local school. I'm presently self isolating and looking after my two children...and now being their teacher...which is both strange and really nice at the same time.
In terms of the museum I generally treat what life throws at me these days as a challenge and (cliched I know) try and find the positives. Well...not having to open every few days is giving me the opportunity to take out all the large panes of glass on the display and plan and implement big changes to the exhibits....that was proving hard to do with the aforementioned opening times. I have new (and I think pretty exciting!) exhibits to go into the museum and I would appear now to have some time to strip out parts of the museum (as it has been for a good year now) and make some changes.
Whilst I mess about with strange creatures and mull SF in the museum quietly to myself... I just keep being reminded of the nine-year old me reading 'The Day of the Triffids'...and memories of the BBC's 'Survivors'...very surreal indeed. I'm pleased that I was able to add to the strange atmosphere descending on our little village by working on the museum's 'Skitter' ...from the american apocalyptic SF series 'Falling Skies'...he seemed to raise a few smiles from the occasional walker passing by.... Stay safe everyone and look after each other- all our love and positive thoughts from The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi💗
Neil Cole's Adventures in Science Fiction: Museum of Sci-fi's cover photo
Hello all! In light of the current climate and government advice, we feel it is only correct to close the museum for the duration of the Corona crisis, to do our part to help stop any spread of the virus.What I suggest instead is that (especially if you have only really watched 'new Who') you dig into the wonderful world of classic Doctor Who from the comfort of your armchairs!!! This will prepare you fully to visit the museum and appreciate the classic era exhibits once we re-open! I will be working hard to update the displays and make the museum even better for then!
In the meantime....as many people following this page will know, I have been busily restoring the giant slug 'Mestor' from the 1984 Doctor Who story 'The Twin Dilemma'. One repair I was able to do was replace one of Mestor's arms (that had been on display for decades....and deteriorated) with another screen used arm in much better condition. A real piece of good fortune! I had some pieces of the removed arm leftover - and thought fans might like a chance to own a small piece of the giant slug for themselves. As I had done with a piece of the red Terileptil for the museum Kickstarter, I thought I would frame the small pieces of Mestor skin and offer them via the museum. However! Matt Doe of 'The Reliquary' already has a range of surviving original prop fragments (including many from classic era Doctor Who) and does a really tremendous job in presenting them to the highest quality.
So....it seemed an absolute no-brainer to work with Matt to create an new Reliquary/Museum of Classic Sci-Fi mini-prop display. Half the money comes to the museum- which really does help me keep the lights on and dehumidifiers running!!! I can assure you that the segment you receive has come direct from myself- and that it simply could not have been reinstated back into the Mestor costume. When I restore one of these wonderful old props it is paramount that the original material is respected and not lost. Occasionally, the rubber becomes hardened and cannot be put back- and in this case an entire new arm was able to replace the perished one. The skin segment you receive will be from the severely perished version that was unable to be kept as one. Also rest assured- the piece was 100% from the screen-used suit and was also on public display for several decades from 1984 to 2009. If you'd like to purchase one of the very limited Mestor skin segments - the link is below! https://www.movie-reliquary.com/product-page/doctor-who-mestor-gastropod-skin-segment?fbclid=IwAR1DFdM3sMUEGH4YbpIWsD_VS2in0_Cjq66IDDc_gMGIo-P0V5CXAd-rb5w
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Please note: the museum is NOW OPEN!!! This page is to document the creation of a new permanent science-fiction museum in the north-east of England. I hope to open in about a year, (although I suspect it will be about a year and a half, as I’m the creative designer, builder and everything else in between!). The museum will be situated in Allendale Town- an extremely picturesque village in the North Pennines. Visitors to the museum will be able to find lovely coffee shops and amenities on hand, as well as stunning walks. The idea for the museum stemmed from my lifelong fascination with science-fiction. It tells the story of a young boy who dreamt of travelling to other planets- but didn’t quite make it. Instead, he had a lot of fun watching, reading, collecting, drawing, making and dreaming. From a handful of action figures and comics and staying up very late to catch old B&W movies with his Dad, this interest never waned. The museum sets out to tell a brief history of science-fiction from H.G.Wells to the current day through my experience of the genre. It will of course be biased to those movies, comics and ideas that have most affected me personally. The story will be told with many original, screen-used props and costumes, production items, animation cels and published artwork. This journey highlights the landmark worlds of Wells, ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Wars’, whilst also exploring key genre themes, such as robotics and dystopia. I will also be producing original, unique artwork for the museum. Keep checking back to the page to see the museum (and its inhabitants!) begin to develop over the next year or so…the countdown has begun… Neil Cole: Artist & Curator- 2015