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PAST SFX/SIMULATION PROJECTS:
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SKY TV - BRAINIAC

Client:  ITV/Sky TV

Project:  Undertake multiple rocket related science stunts.

This exciting 2+ year long project involved working with the producers of the madcap science show to suggest, develop and execute around twenty different rocket related stunts/experiments over two series.

 

Some of the stunts undertaken included: Hammering in a nail using a rocket-powered hammer, launching a garden shed to over 1000ft altitude, turning off a television with a wire-guided missile, building an ejector-seat from an office chair for dull meetings and flipping a car using rocket motors to enable a quick tyre change.

Some of the rocket stunts we created for the show can be seen in this promotional montage:  HERE

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PERSONAL - COSMOS

Client:  Personal project

Project:  Build a large flying scale model of the 'Large Cosmos' Russian launch vehicle.

This was a personal project to demonstrate high end scale modelling skills and prove that even the most unusually shaped scale rockets could be made to fly safely without active flight control.

The model was built to near full museum quality with even rivet heads added to access panels for maximum accuracy. It stood over 6ft tall when completed, weighed over 8kg at launch and was powered by four 20kg thrust solid fuel rocket motors.

The maiden flight was successful and the rocket flew in a perfect stable trajectory demonstrating that even rockets that have fins considered 'too small' for stable flight without the rocket being actively stabilised CAN be made to fly in a safe and stable manner with correct mass distribution and attention to detail.

GOOGLE CAMPUS LAUNCH

Client: Google (Campus - London)

Project:  Simulate a real rocket launch inside the court-yard of a central London venue during a launch party for the venue.

This project was a challenging and unusual undertaking for Rocket-FX as it didn't allow for any 'real' rocket propulsion to be used.

The client wanted to simulate a large rocket lifting off from inside the enclosed courtyard in the center of a 5-storey building in central London as a culmination to their 'launch party' for the new Google Campus venue in London.

The rocket contained Co2 canisters and bright lights to simulate the exhaust and this, coupled with rocket engine sound effects played through a massive speaker system , oil based smoke effects systems under the launch pad and a custom made high powered electric winch system allowed us to lift the rocket the full height of the courtyard then kill all lighting to make the rocket 'disappear' as it left the venue.

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ROCKET FUEL - 'HOT BLACK'

Client: Rocket Fuel (energy coffee drink)

Project:  Simulate a manned amateur space launch attempt and recovery.

This project was undertaken over a 2-year period and involved the construction of a very large (26ft tall, 4ft diameter) rocket with a manned capsule at the top and featuring multiple on-board and internal cameras.

The rocket was used for a massive online PR campaign and was paraded through central London on the back of an articulated truck then launched from a private launch site in Cambridgeshire simulating a manned space launch attempt, engine failure and landing.

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FIREFLY PROJECT

Client: Firefly Productions - Breaking Point

Project:  Design, build and test a proposed system to intercept incoming RPG's using a kevlar net/parachute towed behind a rocket.

This unique project for the TV show 'Breaking Point' involved the design and construction of an experimental system, proposed by a 3rd party consultant, that was meant to intercept incoming RPG's and prevent them hitting their intended target.

The rocket designed for this was small and machined entirely from aluminium components and was launched using a sabot-system from a tube, towing a large kevlar/steel cable net/parachute.

The system was tested extensively using LAW anti-tank rockets at a military range in Canada and, although unsuccessful at stopping the incoming projectiles, it proved an exciting and scientifically interesting centerpiece for the show.

MODELMAKING WORK
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Ben has been a model-maker and prop-maker for over thirty years. His first work-experience was spending several days working on the miniatures for the TV series 'Red Dwarf' at the BBC Visual Effects Department and subsequently went on to work at Artem Visual Effects and at Pennicott Payne Ltd over the years as well as undertaking numerous personal model-making projects.

In 2009 Ben won the prestigious 'Demon Slayer Sword' as the overall winner of the International Golden Demon awards for miniature modelling and painting.

From tiny miniatures through large spacecraft models to human sized props, Ben's workshop skills cover manufacture of props and models in most materials media and techniques.