News Collection: Wing Commander Props

Prop ID: Bob-o-Matte's Tarot Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

At the end of Wing Commander Prophecy's first act, the tone of the story changes dramatically. We open act two with a CG sequence representing Dallas' funeral and then transition to a the TCS Midway's rec room where Bob-o-Matte is doing a tarot reading for communications officer 2nd Lt. Anderson. The large cards have stunning, unexpected art… were they created for the production or are they a commercially available tarot card?

But first, we're going to answer your big question: who the heck is Bob-o-Matte?! You likely know that Wing Commander III, IV and Prophecy use a 'green screen' system for their computer generated backgrounds (Wing Commander IV and Prophecy use more real sets but still feature many composite shots.) The 'green screen' technology used by the games is a compositing system called Ultimatte. And the people hired to provide and operate this system in the film shoots was a Los Angeles company called BlueScreen LLC run by Bob Kertesz. Mr. Kertesz was apparently a favorite of the film crew and for Wing Commander IV he was tuckerized as BOB-O-MATTE, one of the Banshee pilots shot down at the start of the Peleus series. He's back as a tarot-dealing redshirt in Wing Commander Prophecy (and according to this continuity polaroid is a full Colonel with three distinct campaign ribbons!)

Back to the tarot deck: it is, in fact, a commercially available deck that was especially popular at the time. The deck is called the Rohrig Tarot and it was designed by artist Carl Rohrig in 1991. The designs are ultra modern, mixing imagery like race cars in with more traditional tarot features. Original Rohrig decks like the one seen in Prophecy go for several hundred dollars today but a variety of replica versions are readily available today. For your reference we've tracked down the artwork to all nine cards visible in the game. Warning: some of the card details are not safe for work On the left, from the bottom going up: Princess of Cups, Interference and Prince of Disks (sideways.) On the right: Death, Strength and The Fool, Temperance, The World and Pleasure (sideways.) Just what this tarot reading might read… we'll leave to the experts!

Prop ID: Hawk's Knife Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

We've seen Cobra's Explora and Seether's Dual Shadow… today, we conclude the trilogy with Hawk's knife. Lieutenant Colonel Jacob "Hawk" Manley seems to have picked up a new habit between Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander Prophecy. Like Cobra in Wing Commander III, he repeatedly brandishes a large survival knife in various cutscenes, alternatively sharpening it or using it to threaten Maniac. After his death, Spyder bequeaths the blade to the player. Wing Commander Prophecy's script expressly introduces the tool as a hunting knife: "FEATURE big hunting knife as Hawk enters and walks towards table" Later stage directions repeatedly ask Hawk to sharpen or otherwise focus on the knife.

Hawk is carrying a United Cutlery Bushmaster Survival Knife, the same general type of knife as Cobra in Wing Commander III (and from the same company as Seether's Double Shadow!) The Bushmaster Survival Knife is a 10" stainless steel blade and like the Explora features a survival kit hidden in the hilt which includes sewing needles, band-aids, matches, a surgical blade, magnifier, fish hooks and compass. The sheath (also seen in Prophecy) also features a can opener, sharpening stone, animal snare, snakebite kit and flashlight. The Bushmaster Survival Knife is still manufactured today and is readily available for $25-$50.

Prop ID: Seether's Knife Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Character-defining knives are a theme in the FMV Wing Commander games. We've learned about Cobra's Marto-Brewer Explora from Wing Commander III and now it's time to take a look at Seether's significantly more distinct knife from Wing Commander IV. Depending on your choices, Seether can use his knife twice: during the introduction he will threaten Blair with it if you choose to rescue the man he is roughing up and then he uses it to execute Captain Paulsen after the Lexington is destroyed or crippled. The close-up shot of the knife slitting the Captain's throat was censored in the German release of the game.

Seether's blade is called the Double Shadow. The Double Shadow is a 5 1/2" stainless steel split blade "fantasy knife." It was released in 1991 and created by famed fantasy knife designer Gil Hibben. Seether's knife was almost MORE distinct: instead of a fantasy knife, the script calls for a futuristic one: "a mean looking instrument known as a laser-blade (a curved handle with a lethal thread of light that pulses from one end of the handle to the other)..." This detail was carried over into the Baen books novelization, confusing readers familiar with the game. The Double Shadow was originally concepted by Kit Rae for (but not used in) the movie Total Recall; you can read a very detailed first person account of its creation here.

Mr. Hibben's designs are readily available commercially (a Double Shadow will run you roughly $50 today) but they are also used extensively in film and television when an ornate or alien-looking weapon is called for. Seether's same Double Shadow can be seen everywhere from Time Cop to The Fifth Element to Babylon 5! Here's Praetor Shinzon providing a blood sample using a Double Shadow in Star Trek: Nemesis:

Prop ID: Maniac's Porno Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Who says print is dead? In 2669, Major Todd "Maniac" Marshall, eternal teenager, still has a stash of printed pornography in his locker. When you chat with him in the barracks during the Blackmane series he takes a break from reading an issue of 'Playpen' magazine to tease Blair about flirting with Rachel. Is Playpen something created for Wing Commander III or is it the real 1980s magazine it appears to be? (And if the former is the case, why didn't they use the already-established Playboy parody "Plaything (tm)" from Privateer?)

Long story short: it's not real AND it wasn't created by the prop department. There are often legal issues involved with showing real products on television and in film. Take a close look at any popular sitcom and you'll find that what look like real groceries, magazines, books and posters are actually careful knockoffs that resemble (but are legally distinct from) familiar items. These fake products come from a company called Earl Hays Press, which has been keeping a ready stash of designs capable of suiting any production for over a century. In the case of magazines, productions can choose from a variety of already designed front and back covers and can even add real-looking prefab text if the interior needs to be shown. In Maniac's case, the Playpen he's holding's cover is a combination of the 1994 versions of MM-91 ("Centerfold of the Year Bobbi Brenner Reveals All") and MBA-32, an advertisement for "Nature's Champagne."

Issues of 'Playpen' appear in dozens and dozens of television and film productions from seaQuest DSV to The Partridge Family. In fact, Maniac's exact issue had a highly visible role in a 1998 episode of Friends. Hard to imagine it survived 671 years and made it from New York to the front lines of the Vega Sector! For more information on prop magazines and other items, you can find a catalog of Earl Hays Press' current offerings here which makes for a fascinating study!

Prop ID: Vaquero's Guitar Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

When Colonel Blair is first introduced to 2nd Lt. Mitchell "Vaquero" Lopez in the Orsini series of Wing Commander III, Vaquero is strumming a guitar and explains that guitars are an important part of his history: "But my family, they made guitars for many generations. I’ve got one that’s almost two hundred years old. The sound just keeps getting richer... Someday I’m going to open a cantina and bring in the best to play that guitar. A place for old fighter jocks like you and me."

There's just one thing odd about this: while Vaquero may have a guitar that dates back to the middle of the 25th century stored safely at home the one he's happily playing in the lounge is over seven hundred years old! The guitar used as a prop in the game is a Gibson SG Junior Cherry from the 1960s. The Gibson SG Junior is a solid-bodied electric guitar intended as a lower cost alternative to the Gibson SG. If you're musically inclined, vintage guitars of the same make and model are still available on the secondary market today for several thousand dollars. (As for Vaquero's specific guitar, it was returned to his family by Captain Eisen.) The prop team don't seem to have made any changes to the original guitar; in fact, Vaquero's scenes seem to be framed to avoid showing the head.

Prop ID: Cobra's Knife Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

This is the first in a series of updates identifying props used in Wing Commander's various live action productions. Movie productions typically use a range of props: some (like Kilrathi masks and laser rifles) are fabricated specially for an individual shoot, some (like whirring computer consoles and background decorations) are rented from companies that build generic props that can be adapted to different productions and then reused and sometimes 'real world' items can be used.

The latter is the case today. In Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, 1st Lt. Laurel "Cobra' Buckley fastidiously sharpens an ugly utility knife, apparently a symbol of the psychological damage she has previously suffered as a Kilrathi prisoner of war. Interestingly, Cobra's knife is not specified in the Wing Commander III shooting script and thus is never mentioned in the game's adaptation (like most novelizations, the Heart of the Tiger book is based on the game' screenplay rather than a completed production.) This suggests that the decision to give her a knife was likely made later.

So what is Cobra's knife? She is sharpening Marto-Brewer Explora (or Explorer) knife that dates back to the early 1980s. The Explora is a multi-use "survival" knife which includes both a multi-faceted blade and a variety of tools for survival situations. The knife was designed by true-life Venezuelan explorer Charles Brewer-Carías who has led more than 200 expeditions into the unknown. The handle of the knife is hollow and contains a variety of survival supplies, including a compass, flint and matches for starting a fire, sutures and more. Various external attachments can be added, all with an eye towards survival situations rather than specifically fighting or hunting. It's exactly the sort of knife you would want if you ejected over a hostile planet! You can read more about the Explora here.

Would you like your own version of Cobra's knife? The Explora is no longer manufactured but it is readily available on the secondary market. At press time, slightly used examples seem to go for between $250 and $350. But can you really put a price on keeping your family safe from the Kilrathi?

Pearson's Pretty Prop Pics Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Howard Day sent us some nifty Wing Commander movie prop pictures "from a super pack of Bill Pearson's work on many many different movies." Anyone interested in Checking out Bill's vast array of work can check out his portfolio website here.


This first set of images is probably the most interesting of the bunch. This is a very nice look at a Tiger Claw medkit. When the Tiger Claw makes the jump to the Ulysses Corridor, Angel is thrown against a bulkhead. We see her put her hand to her head and when she removes it there's a patch of blood on her forehead. In the theatrical cut, that's about all you will see. However, a number of shots were trimmed from this scene where Blair goes around the corner and gets a medkit - the one shown in these images - and takes out a tool to attempt to mend Angel's wounds. You can see it in action below courtesy of a few screenshots from the Movie workprint.

Next up is your standard Confed Marine helmet and gear.

A typical Pilot's helmet. This one doesn't seem to have a pilot's name on it.

And finally we have some sort of scanner that Angel is holding as she works on her Rapier when Blair approaches to talk to her about Maniac.

Saving a Dragon! Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Way back in 1998, I was invited to take a tour of Origin Systems. I was a senior in High School, and was visiting Austin to tour the University of Texas… of course, what I really cared about was Wing Commander (and that hasn’t changed much!) Our WCNews.com PR contact, Mike “Boomer” McCoy, arranged for me to get a tour and to have lunch with the team. This was shortly after Wing Commander Prophecy Gold had shipped and the team was working on design concepts (little did I know, mere days before my visit their proposal for a co-op multiplayer game called Wing Commander Strike Team had been cancelled).


I won’t bore anyone with details of that tour (I’ve probably told that story enough times!) but I will mention that part of the tour involved a walk down to Origin’s basement. Stored downstairs were a number of arcade machines and a pile of seemingly random Origin props (a ruined Thrakhath head, some Crusader bits and bobs, old flight suits and the like.) The largest of these was what seemed to be the wall of a spaceship or a space station: a big wooden section with a window in the center.

At the time, I assumed it was a set piece from one of the Crusader games. It made logical sense to me: those were shot in Austin rather than Los Angeles, so it was far more likely that a wall segment had survived. And besides, it didn’t really look like anything I remember from Wing Commander!


Two years passed. In 2000, my (then new) friend Joe Garrity had his own tour of Origin… where he snapped his photo next to the same wall segment. After his visit, he sent me the picture with the question: what is this from? His tour guide had told him it was from Wing Commander, though he’d also assumed it was a Crusader prop. He had watched through all the Crusader videos (I’m sorry) and hadn’t come across anything like it. Was it a WC prop, or something totally unrelated?


I put my thinking cap on and ran through Wing Commander IV in my head. It felt like a Wing prop, but the windows and the exposed superstructure didn’t match anything in the game I could recall. And then in a flash of what I will maintain is brilliance, I figured it out: it wasn’t a WALL at all… it was the inside top of a Lance (Dragon) fighter! It was from the scene where Pliers reaches up into the ship and discovers the flashpak. What was hanging on the wall at Origin was actually the bottom of a spaceship, looking down! I was suddenly jealous I didn’t get a picture with it… although Joe thought I was a genius for realizing what it was! (Scroll to 2:10)

Origin closed in 2004, and I think we all assumed it was thrown out along with anything else they didn’t want to ship to California (after all, what use could anyone have for a giant wooden spaceship hull slat?)


Flash forward another decade. I get a notification on my phone that there’s a new post to the exOrigin Facebook group (sorry, invite only.) There it is: a photo of the same set piece! It turns out a former employee had rescued it from being thrown out and had been using it to hold an entertainment center in the ensuing years. Now, he said, it had to go. Anyone who could haul it away was welcome too it.


I immediately replied that if he couldn’t find a home for it in Austin, I’d gladly have it shipped somewhere. That was beyond my financial means (it’s a really big prop!) but I figured I could work it out somehow. Maybe Chris would want it for the office! A conversation on the exOrigin user group ensued and several solutions were offered… including one person who said they wanted it for their charity haunted house. I figured I wouldn’t stand in the way of it going to charity, so didn’t follow up.

A week or so went by and I awoke to another update: it had not been claimed and was going to be thrown away at 5 PM today if it couldn’t find a new home! I knew I had to save it, but I had no idea how. I no longer lived in Austin and couldn’t just go and get it. Luckily, I knew a Star Citizen backer with a truck in town. After a crazed morning of trying to contact him while in the weekly Star Citizen Leads meeting (at one point missing a question about ship specs the UK guys were asking me!) I arranged to have him pick it up. An hour later, it was in the back of his truck (where it barely fit.)


He took it out to the CIG office in Bee Cave, where half the team stopped what they were doing and helped carry it up the stairs. It now sits in reception.


Ship butt PRESERVED!

WCMovie Rapier at Paintball Field Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Here's a cool find by Klavs. One of the movie Rapier props is now part of the Bricket Wood paintball arena in Hertfordshire, just north of Greater London. It plays a central role in the Launch Pad game mode, in which the defending team must try and launch their space ship while the attacking team bears down on them. This could well be the Rapier that was being auctioned off by a prop seller from Scotland back in 2005. The eBay listing is long gone, but the initial bidding price was £500. In this promotional video from 2012, the ship has a nice black and red paint job, while in this older video from 2009 it has a much more weathered look.

Wing Commander Music Kickstarter Enters Final Week Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

It's been another productive week for George Oldziey's mission to produce a Wing Commander album with a live orchestra. An impressive $20,000 has now been pledged toward the cause. However, the funding drive is now in its final seven days, and another $15,000 must be contributed or no funds will be paid out and the album won't move forward! A lot of people wait until the end of a fund raiser to donate, however, so we're all hopeful that your generous pledges are still on the way.


In order to spur some big numbers, two very exclusive $3,000 tiers have been added. The first offers up an authentic Kilrathi rifle used in the opening sequence of Wing Commander 3. It's from the personal collection of Ben Bandit (LOAF) Lesnick, who doesn't give up priceless Wing Commander memorabilia lightly! But this is a worthy cause, and the rifle will surely find a loving home. The second $3,000 item is a rare leather jacket given only to the development team at Origin who made Wing Commander 3. This one was given to George in 1994. Finally, the $5,000 option to sit in the booth during recording and choose some of the music that will be produced has been lowered to $3,000.

Hello everyone!

I'm Ben Lesnick, Community Manager and Designer on Chris Roberts' Star Citizen. Many of you know I initially became involved in Star Citizen's campaign because I ran the Wing Commander community at WCNews.com for over fifteen years. Star Citizen is full steam ahead right now, but the Wing Commander universe will always be my first love... and I'm incredibly excited to hear the Wing Commander III, IV, and Prophecy the way it was meant to be heard. George Oldziey's project is, to my mind, the most pure use of crowd funding possible: he's not funding a product to sell, he's doing this so that we can hear music that wouldn't otherwise exist. When you think about it, that's pretty cool!

To that end, I'd like to do whatever I can to make it a reality. I'm kicking in one of the star pieces from my personal Wing Commander collection as a big ticket item to try and make this recording session happen: a Kilrathi rifle prop used in Wing Commander III. Watch closely during the introduction or any of the other Kilrathi court scenes and you can see it in the background! It's a really cool prop weapon made of wood and plastic, and looks great on a shelf. It's one of the few physical items made for the Wing Commander III shoot, and it has decorated my office for years (my wife will be very happy to see it go!)

Now get out there and pledge; I want to hear this music!

Greetings all! First of all, I want to truly thank EVERYONE for their great support so far. You've all been amazing! I've noticed several people increasing their pledges over the last few days. That is truly inspiring and humbling for me!

We are approaching our final week of pledging. For those of you who may be new to Kickstarter, basically if you don't reach your goal the project does not get funded. So I'm hoping that we can meet the target number in the next 7 days so that we can have AT LEAST 15 minutes of fully orchestral Wing Commander music! It's been my dream since I wrote the first notes for Wing Commander III!

But even if we don't get there, I'll always remember the tremendous support from all of you.

Always,

George

You Have New Orders Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

In the tradition of last year's selection of Wing Commander posters, here's something you can print at home: a copy of Blair's orders prop from the Wing Commander movie! It's interesting that some (but not all or even most) of the Wing Commander movie material considers him to be a Confederation Marine.

Our Glasses Are Always Half Full Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

One Wing Commander prop I always craved were the glasses we see being used in the TCS Victory and TCS Lexington's Rec Rooms. After Wing Commander IV, I remember being in 8th grade and writing a letter to the Origin offices asking about getting one of these glasses. I never did hear back from them, but today I can take the word of Pix that they are nice glasses.

I always thought these looked like blue plastic in the game but it is real glass and a lot better looking in real life than I was expecting. I vaguely recall there being plenty of them on the bar set but I’ve no idea if any have survived outside of those 3.

Check out the full story over at Pix's Origin Adventures.

The CIC produced their own glasses a few years back as well. So I wasn't the only one who desired to raise a glass for the Confederation!

Dual Use Sci-Fi Machine Gun Spotted Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Red Baron has found another weapon used in both Wing Commander and another science fiction universe. This time it's an actual firearm configured in the same manner, rather than a reused prop, that shows up in both Prophecy and Star Trek First Contact. The Baron has pointed out some of the similarities and differences that make the design distinctive and snapped two shots of the gun in use. It's always intriguing to see things like this used in multiple series. You can find some older WC4 / Enterprise crossovers here.

Both Wing Commander Prophecy and Star Trek: First Contact feature a Calico M951 submachinegun with helical magazine. That gun isn't especially rare in movies, but I've only ever seen it two times with a Bushnell holosight mounted on top - that was Prophecy and Star Trek: First Contact. The sight and addons really appear similar.

However, thanks to the hi-res DVD cutscenes, I could see that the Prophecy gun has its foregrip mounted backwards (movie armourers enjoy doing stuff like that), plus it doesn't even appear to have a Calico scopemount (like you see it in First Contact). Instead, it looks like the Bushnell sight is attached directly to the magazine for whatever reason.

Also, the Wing Commander: Prophecy armourer was Terence Morgan, and I couldn't find any Star Trek references in his portfolio.

Happy Birthday from Movie Bits Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

I recently purchased a pair of Wing Commander posts from Movie Bits and their man in charge, David, was kind enough to note the WCNews in my sigature. He offered send me the set of photographs he had take of Wing Commander movie props that had passed through his hands over the years to share with interested Wing Commander fans. Check it out!

WC vs. History: The Ring's the Thing Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Fans of the Wing Commander movie may remember that Paladin proves his loyalty to the Tiger's Claw crew early on by showing a ring given to him by Admiral Tolwyn. Captain Sansky explains that the "ring has been in Tolwyn's family for sixteen generations and any man who carries it has the admiral's full confidence!"

While we only catch a glimpse of Tolwyn's ring a few times during the film, you can get a pretty good idea of what the prop used in the movie actually looks like in the next batch of screenshots from the HD version of the movie. For those keeping track you can catch a glipse of it, first, when Paladin gives it to Sansky, then when it's on Sansky's desk immediately after Manaic and Rosie's stunt on the flight deck, and then Sansky is wearing it during the Tiger Claw's jump into the Ulysses Corridor and a little later during the Claw's ambush.

So--what is that ring? The novelization, based on the shooting script, explains:

Between his fingers rested a gold class ring, its surfaces worn, its emerald dull. Sansky held it to the holograph's light and read the inscription: Annapolis Naval Academy, 1941.

... and now that we know that, whe can rightly ask the big question: what does a 1941 United State Naval Academy ring really look like? Take a look! The stone here is a sapphire instead of an emerald (that detail doesn't exist in the script at all--it was added by Peter Telep):

The Fine Line Between Trash and Treasure Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

This is a sad tale -- with a happy ending. Some months ago Kotaku ran an update about our Wing Commander I blueprint scans. This prompted an anonymous EA employee to respond in the comments page that his division had just thrown out boxes of old Origin games and shipped other material away. He included some photos:

Prince Thrakhath himself, plus his helmet and armor! Unwanted and abandoned? Possibly thrown out? We were heartbroken -- he belongs in a museum. We rushed into action -- contacts at EA tried to find out what had happened, friends in the industry listened to us crying and so forth. No luck... until, a month later the props surfaced again at EA Mythic in Virginia. The helmet appeared here, in a short cell phone camera video documenting the development of Warhammer Online. We've since confirmed that a large amount of EA's archived Origin material was shipped to Mythic... and that it's all safe and being cared for by people who appreciate its importance! Whew.

Auction: Diamonds on the Backs of Her Shoes Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Veteran Wing Commander artist Sean Murphy, designer of the TCS Midway and others, has come across another interesting memento... and he's put it up on the auction block for Wing Commander fans. It's a Diamondback Squadron sticker, as made for the Wing Commander Prophecy film shoot! Sean says: "During the film shoot of Wing Commander: Prophecy, stickers were made of the various squadron insignia; these were stuck on the generic helmets the actors wore to individualize them, show what squadron they were in. It's about 3 and a half inches long by 2 and a half wide; it's nice and stiff, and has never been peeled off the backing." Wing Commander game props of any sort are very rare... so grab it while you can! Plus, lets face it: Sean's a great guy who's always looking out for us -- he deserves your money as much as you deserve a Wing Commander sticker! You can bid here.

Well, This Sukhois Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Phoenix has a correction to our Ghost Recon story.

Hey guys, just wanted to lend a little suggestion to the news about the junkyard contents. Those forward fuselages do not appear to be from MiG-21 aircraft. The cockpits are well too far forward, the canopies too bulbous, and the air inlets not tapering enough toward the forward opening. Also, the variable-position cone inserted in the intake is not the proper shape; it's too blunt and curvy, and doesn't fit the intake properly, to be from a standard MiG-21.

My guess, without pulling out references from my library, are that they may be from Su-22 Fitters attack aircraft.

http://www.hunterteam.com/sukoi-22-M4_tech_specs.htm

The moral is simple: when you slice the front off of a Cold War-era jet to use as a prop, people will always get confused. From left to right: a striped SU-22 Trainer, the Ghost Recon junkyard fighters and the original Wing Commander movie Lightning cockpits when they arrived in Luxembourg.

Prop Store Showcase Soon In The UK Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

The Prop Store of London will be showcasing some of its collection at the Memorabilia Show at the Birmingham Nation Exhibition Center on Saturday, November 26, and Sunday, November 27. The convention itself will be host to a wide variety of fantasy and science fiction events, and a number of celebrities will also be on hand for autographs and panels. Ticket pricing information is available here.
Please stop by to see our display of props and costumes and meet the Prop Store team if you can. If you would like us to bring anything along for you to look at please just drop us a line.
They have a variety of Wing Commander merchandise in stock, so local attendees might want to ask them about taking a closer look. Unfortunately, it seems that the $400 Limited Edition Kilrathi Marquettes are sold out.

Fortunately, MovieBits still has a red flight suit in stock for Wing Commander fans without.

Say Hi To Your Own Rapier Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Just last week we were talking about renting a battle-hardened CF-117B Rapier for £2000.00. Today we have an absolute steal compared to that. A film prop reseller in the UK is currently listing a Rapier I for only £500 on eBay. It would need to be picked up from Edinburgh, Scottland by July 1. Unfortunately shipping might end up costing much more than the unit itself, but if you had the room, it'd be worth it. Any CIC reader who ends up with this modified P1 Lightning can count on some fanatical visitors in the near future.

Thanks to Vorsuc for spotting this one.

Real Wing Commander Props Are A Click Away Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Out of all our Merchandise, we get the most questions about flight suits. We're now working on coming up with a new batch of Prophecy-style suits for people to order, but some people might be interested in getting the real thing. A very small number of screen-worn suits are in circulation for Wing Commander fanatics to add to their collections. Because of the limited nature of these items, most of the units left around are from the Wing Commander Movie and exist in various prop houses around Europe.

The Propstore of London has several types of flight deck jumpsuits and vests. They sell blue duty uniforms and crew jackets for a reasonable price as well. Movie Bits has a variety of technicians' tops, jumpsuits and a full red flightsuit. They stock a marine backpack as well. Rare Props also has a couple technicians' gear. Costume Junkie is where you can find a Movie naval officers' uniform, though not for cheap. And if you need a Rapier, Weird and Wonderful is the place. They have two F-117Bs in stock with rentals beginning at £2000.00. Word is that they'd probably be willing to sell one for £8000.00.

All Dressed Up And Ready To go Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

I really like flight suits, but sometimes you're in the mood for something a bit more casual. The light duty movie outfit is a simple two-piece set done in strong blues with a CSS Tiger Claw patch. The top is a padded sweater and the pants are of a thick material with bungie cord and zipper fasteners. There is a button flap on the back. This one is a screen-worn prop from the Wing Commander movie, but we're thinking about the idea of making a light duty Prophecy style outfit with spare materials from flight suit construction.

Bring Me The Head Of... Wing Commander Auctions Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Wing Commander artist Mark Vearrier is back with a third set of Wing Commander auctions - including the head of the Kilrathi Emperor! Here are the details:

WCP Team Shirt: It's the shirt made famous by Captain Johnny! These awesome shirts were given out to members of the Wing Commander Prophecy development team. They feature the 'jumping Vampire' image on the front and the Prophecy logo on the back.: (6 Days Left, Currently $5)

WC4 Monitor Frame: Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum was nice enough to give me one of these once... and I hadn't ever seen one before or since! These were given out to promote Wing Commander IV back in 1996, and they feature all of the commands (no more asking how to cloak!). My only complaint is that it's too small to fit on my Wing Commander machine's 21" monitor - but it's a darned cool piece of memorabelia!: (6 Days Left, Currently $2)

Universe Map: This is a rolled version of the Wing Commander Universe map - no more creases through your sectors and quadrants! The inclusion of the entire universe map in Prophecy was one of the coolest pack-ins Origin ever did - I'll choose it over Ultima 8's pentagram coin any day!: (6 Days Left, Currently $10)

Wing Commander CCG Cards: The CCG remains one of my favorite tie-ins. Back in 1995 companies were rushing to release card game versions of every possible license... and Wing Commander fit the bill perfectly. If you're coming to Dragon*Con, you'll need your own Wing Commander CCG deck -- we'll make sure this single release outlives all of those other "popular" games (like SimCity: The Card Game)!: (6 Days Left, Currently $2)

WC4 and Prop Shirt: Wing Commander IV plus a TCS Lexington shirt. You can use the game to betray the shirt! (6 Days Left, Currently $5)

WC3 with Team Shirt: Here's a copy of Wing Commander III with a very cool team shirt -- I've actually never seen the back logo before. Amazing! (6 Days Left, Currently $5)

WCP with Prop Shirt: Need Prophecy? Sure, everyone does... and this one comes with a red 'TCS Midway' shirt, as seen in the game! That's a fair sight better than our CIC versions (which were just red shirts). (6 Days Left, Currently $5)

WCIV and WCP Patches (1): These patches were given to members of the Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander Prophecy teams (respectively). They're certainly rare items (the only patch I've seen less of is the Kilrathi Saga dev team patch)! (6 Days Left, Currently $10)

WC Blueprints: Three of the blueprints from the original Wing Commander - great for finishing off an incomplete copy. You can tell they're from the original release, as later versions of Wing Commander came with only two sheets of blueprints. (6 Days Left, Currently $2)

WCIV and WCP Patches (2): See above - this set includes an alternate design of the Wing Commander IV patch. (6 Days Left, Currently $10)

WC3 Premiere and Prop Shirt: Wing Commander 3 Premiere Edition plus one of the blue 'TCS Victory' shirts from Wing Commander III! Very cool! (6 Days Left, Currently $10)

Privateer: This is the original release of Privateer - check out those purple labelled diskettes! Privateer was the last disk-only Wing Commander game, and I certainly have fond memories of the install process. (6 Days Left, Currently $2)

Privateer 2: If you're from outside North America, you probably aren't familiar with this design - the European version of Privateer 2 (the first edition released) came in a package with a big eye! Privateer 2 was the first Wing Commander game released in a 'modern' box. The cover lifts open to reveal... things about Privateer 2. (6 Days Left, Currently $2)

Kilrathi Emperor's Staff: No, it's not Melek... it's the top portion of the staff the Emperor holds in Wing Commander III! Worth a look, even if you're not bidding -- I don't think there's ever been a closeup picture of it before. (6 Days Left, Currently $49)

Kilrathi Emperor Head: This is the big finale - the Emperor's head! This is an absolutely amazing piece of Wing Commander history... I certainly hope someone out there will have a good home in which to preserve this artifact. (6 Days Left, Currently $99)

He's got a few other non-Wing Commander titles (including the rare Crusader Collection)... you can check them out here. Good luck on your bids!

Origin Auction Update Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Mark Vearrier (WC3, WC4, WCP, WCSO - and the man who gave us these very cool images) is back with some even cooler Wing Commander auctions! Here's the details:

Prophecy Hero's Medal: This is the prop medal awarded to Lt. Casey at the end of Wing Commander Prophecy. It don't believe it's ever given a name in the game, but it's certainly styled after the American Medal of Honor (and therefore may be the modern equivalent of the 'Pewter Planet' medal of honor given out at the end of the original Wing Commander). (9.99, 4 Days Left)

Prophecy Medal & Ribbon: This is the prop medal given to Casey roughly half way through Prophecy. It's referred to in the FMV as the "Confederation Flying Cross". These medal auctions are very cool - they're probably the only examples of these props ever created, and they certainly look amazing. (9.99, 4 Days Left

Large Confed Patch: Love the Confed 'Unified Space Command' logo? Well, then, you'll want an EVEN BIGGER version! This is the large patch that could been seen on Casey and Maestro's duffle bags in the introductory video sequences of Prophecy. (9.99, 4 Days Left)

Prophecy Squadron Patches: This is a set of the 'squadron' logo patches used in Prophecy (Diamondbacks, Black Widows and Wolfpack). These patches seem fairly rare - I've only ever seen a lot of them appear once before! (The only rarer patches are, I believe, the Kilrathi Saga dev team and the WC3 'Unified Forces' logo). (9.99, 4 Days Left)

WC4 Costume Patches: These are the famous faction patches used in Wing Commander IV's massive film shoot. They marked the Terran Confederation, Black Lance and Border Worlds uniforms. There are a number of these sets out there... but there are also a lot of copies comissioned by clubs and web sites - so make sure your WC4 patches are real by buying straight from the source! (9.99, 4 Days Left)

WC3 Movie Poster: Here's one we haven't seen recently - a Wing Commander III movie-style poster. These are very high quality posters which were given out on a limited basis to people who pre-ordered Wing Commander III way back when. Since collectors went for the 'Premiere Edition' and regular people didn't care about a poster, they're few and far between. Signed by Chris Roberts and Mark Hamill! (9.99, 4 Days Left)

WC4 Movie Poster: The less I say about a Wing Commander IV poster the better. Spend as much money as possible on this! Only twenty WC4 posters were made available to the public, as part of a contest back in 1996. Plus, it's signed by Chris Roberts and Mark Hamill. How cool is that? (9.99, 4 Days Left)

WC Guides & Mouse Pad: A collection of official guides (WC1/2, WC3 and WC4) plus a rarely seen Wing Commander Prophecy mousepad! (9.99, 4 Days Left)

So, get out there and spend some money! Mark Vearrier is also selling two other Origin-related items: a Chris Roberts-signed Bad Blood Print and a lot of signed Ultima Stuff (including an Ultima VII - the game that features a cameo by Wing Commander II's Bloodfang fighter). You can see all the auctions at once here.

Wing Commander Auctions: Stickers and Cards Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Here's your chance to own the same Wing Commander memorabilia that belonged to the pros: Sean Murphy will be auctioning off several Wing Commander items collected during his tenure with Origin! First up are three squadron stickers used on the set of Prophecy (one Wolfpack and two Black Widow) - which you can find here (starting bid $10). These are the same stickers that were used to personalize Prophecy's 'black face' helmet props during the many VDU sequences. The second auction is for a mess of WC:CCG cards, including a starter, two boosters and some loose singles... bid here (starting bid $20).

Sean is a graphic artist who worked Wing Commanders IV, Prophecy and Secret Ops - he's also the namesake for WCSO's Murphy-class destroyers. He's also a really nice guy - I can personally vouch for the fact that he deserves your money! He plans on putting several more items up for bid, including an always-desirable copy of Kilrathi Saga!

Helm-Et? I Just Met It! Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Captain Johnny, greatest of all men, is selling helmets! He's put up for auction two screen-used Wing Commander flight helmet props. Bid away your hard-earned quatloos on Hobbes' Wing Commander 3 helmet and a Wolfpack Squadron Prophecy helmet. Remember, Prophecy Advance will be six times as fun if you're wearing an actual Prophecy helmet!1

1 - Well, that's not actually true. The WCP helmets have black plastic inserts, preventing you from seeing out... which, mathematically, would make Prophecy Advance only .42 times as fun.

If You've Got the Money, Honey, They've Got the Cats Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

The Prop Store of London, a website which frequently offers up screen-used Wing Commander movie outfits and props, has produced an interesting piece of Wing Commander merchandise. They've used the original moldings to produce a run of 28" tall "Limited Edition Kilrathi Marquettes". They're pretty neat looking -- but they're pricey... they cost a whopping $320 each, and the run is limited to only five pieces. Still, worth it if you loved the look of the Kilrathi in the movie (you know who you are, Bob Johnson of Bloomington, IN). (You can see the original model here on the left, in a picture from Digital Anvil's old offices. The larger costume can be found here.)

Movie Prop For Sale Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Someone had a Marine gun from the Wing Commander movie up for auction. Apparently the $1,000 US minimum was overly ambitious: it didn't receive any bids.

The item has since been relisted and can be yours for a paltry $500 US.

Do You Like My Hat? Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

No, I do not like your hat. Actually, helmets don't come any cooler -- this one belongs to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum (story). He stopped by stately Lesnick Manor some time ago to let me take some pictures of his Wing Commander pilots helmet (+3 defense)... the cable on the front is a real audio cable -- but it doesn't actually connect to anything.

Now That's a Hat Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

History was made on Sunday night, when the highest price for a Wing Commander auction ever was paid. Joe and Paula Garrity of the Origin Museum paid $725 for a helmet prop used in the Wing Commander movie. Joe, who's incredibly lucky to have a girlfriend who understands him, beat the previous record (set by himself) of $499 for a movie-used flight suit. See the auction details here.

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