How to be a Sole Survivor Part One

At long last, my how-to for my image Sole Survivor.

Before I start, you can find the original image here on my blog.

Starting at the beginning, what influenced this image? Some of this is covered within the original post, however for those that haven’t read it; just before creating this image I had seen the new James Cameron film Avatar (and by this point I doubt there are not many who haven’t) seeing Sigourney Weaver again in Sci-Fi reminded me of how great she was in the Alien Films.

This on my mind and a few other things inspired the idea for this image. However I didn’t just want to do an Alien image, I wanted to do something else based around the idea of that final scene, hense the name of the image, Sole Survivor.



So I had my setting, but what to do with it?

I remembered seeing a model kit of the Ripley character on a blog ages ago, and do you think I can find it again! So I apologise to the maker and should you read this, I will give you full credit, just drop me an email, all my searches keep turning up ones with her in a powerlifter, which is clearly not this one. Moving on, the gist of the model was Ripley clambering out (could be in?) of her spacesuit roughly if my memory of the kit is right, in a similar pose to the one in my image.

From this point on the rest of the influences fell into place, some more random than others.



Starting with the helmet, this is based shape wise loosely on the one worn by Spock in the first Star Trek film , there is also a little bit of 2001 in there too, mostly the colour which matches the suit. The suit was inspired not only by 2001, yet also the new Doctor Who, he wears these really cool space suits that are deep red or bright orange in one or two episodes which I love.

Next is the background, this is (as close as I can get it) a copy of the interior of the lifeboat from the Nostromo space craft from the movie Alien. The same apples to the girl, I have tried to get her as close as I can to Sigourney Weaver’s character Ripley, I must admit I still struggle with some likenesses, I feel I was pretty close with this one.

The next thing I’m pointing out is the wristwatch. It’s a Casio calculator watch, (very retro) I love them, I don’t actually own one, I always have wanted one, maybe that is my obsession with them. I remember having a watch that was a video game with a dinosaur eating eggs on it, but never a calculator. Keep an eye out for them in my art and writing, you can never be sure where they will pop-up, and they will pop up I can assure you.

The final area I want to draw your attention to is the set of numbers displayed on the computer-machine-thingy-me-bob and the doo-hicky attached to the girls leg. Starting with the doo-hicky, this is inspired once more by 2001, sort-of, if I remember correctly they had some similar kit on the chest of their spacesuits, I just made it smaller and stuck it on her leg. Next is the numbers on the displays. The longer numbers (1-804-26) came from the film Alien and is the registration number of the Nostromo spacecraft.I just spaced them out a bit with some hyphens; they should just be read 180426.

The number 66?

That is my Star Wars reference (I try to work them in where I can). I was about halfway through reading the Star Wars EU (Expanded Universe) novel of, The Force Unleashed (great book by the way, and game too) around the time as adding the finishing touches to the background. The registration number of the Nostromo was a no brainer, but a cool two digit number? Then sixty-six popped into my head as the main character in the book, Starkiller, referenced it to Order Sixty-Six which for those who arn't Star Wars fans it is the order given to the Clone Troopers should the Jedi turn traitors and need wiping out. Or if you are a power hungry Sith and need the Jedi out of the way, what works for you.

That is it for where the idea came from, my follow up post to this one will be the how I did it.

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