Miniatures are scale models used to represent things that aren't there, are too expensive or difficult to film in reality, or which can't be damaged (by fire, flood or explosion) in real life. They've now largely been replaced by (often terrible) CGI but the old ways, the practical art, does seem to be making something of a comeback.
I thought it was about time to post some more so here's another selection, hopefully highlighting occasions where it's not immediately obvious that you're looking at a miniature.
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977, directed by Steven Spielberg)
visual effects supervised by Douglas Trumbull
|Greg Jein works on the roadway for the scene where Richard Dreyfuss looks at his maps
visual effects supervised by Derek Meddings
|Filming Moonraker 5 coming in to dock at the space station
visual effects supervised by Robert & Dennis Skotak
|Building Manhattan island
visual effects supervised by Gene Warren Jr
|Setting up for the truck explosion
visual effects supervised by John Bruno, Steve Johnson (aliens) and Dennis Muren (ILM cgi)
|Building the Deepcore miniature
visual effects supervised by Scott Farrar
|Building a factory to blow it up...
visual effects supervised by Volker Engel, Ray McIntyre Jr., Douglas Smith and Craig Barron
|A perfect example of an invisible effect - model aeroplanes, painted backdrop and great lighting
visual effects supervised by Mark Dornfeld, David Goldberg and John Matakovich
|Setting up the shot where the plane hits the Hard Rock Cafe guitar
visual effects supervised by Dennis Muren (ILM)
|The ILM model unit (supervised by Lorne Peterson) films the freighter crashing into the San Diego dock
visual effects supervised by Rick Baker (creatures and make-up) and Eric Brevig (ILM)
visual effects supervised by Craig Barron, Mark Dornfeld, Richard E. Hollander, Richard Hoover, Pat McClung, Erik Nash, Bruce Nicholson, Hoyt Yeatman and Ariel Velasco-Shaw
|Lining up the shuttles
visual effects supervised by Mat Beck, Gray Marshall, Peter W. Moyer and John Wash
|Blowing up the large scale miniature Dallas federal building
visual effects supervised by Dennis Muren (ILM) and Ian Hunter (New Deal Studios, Inc)
|Working on the church miniature for the first Tripod reveal
visual miniature effects supervised by Steve Begg
|Phew, it was a miniature...
There will be more miniatures posts...