The Hand-Painted Scenes of The Original Star Wars Trilogy That Made Us Believe It Was Real

Ralph McQuarrie

Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) used matte paintings to create the Rebel hangar in Return of The Jedi. Models also played apart. But it’s the artwork that stands out. Nowadays, photorealistic CGI is the default technology for special effects, but in the 70s and 80s, background sets in movies were hand-painted.

These matte paintings were created by Chris Evans, Mike Pangrazio, Frank Ordaz, Harrison Ellenshaw, and Ralph McQuarrie.

h/t: flashbak

Chris Evans:

Mike Pangrazio:

Ralph McQuarrie:

Harrison Ellenshaw:

“Matte paintings are fake sets that-most of the times-used to be made with plexiglass and oil paint. The artists used oversized panels to create the necessary detail that the camera needed to fool the audiences when the film was projected over the large surface of the theater screen. The paintings were combined with live action filmed to match the perspective of the painting. If done well, the public would totally buy into the shot.”


Japan’s Ultra Luxurious Shiki-Shima Train

Kyodo News via Getty Images

The new Train Suite Shiki- Shima luxury sleeper train departs the Ueno Station, Tokyo. The train will run bound for Hokkaido, the Tohoku and Koshinetsu regions. JR East plans to offer services similar to luxurious hotels to improve the image of area along the railroad and attract tourists. Tickets for trips departing from this May to March 2018 have already sold out.

The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images

JR East launched its 10-car all-suite sleeper train service Monday with only 17 rooms that can accommodate 34 passengers maximum for a four-day, three-night trip to popular tourist spots in Japan’s northern areas including Kanto, Tohoku and Hokkaido. All the tickets have been sold out until March next year despite its high fare that ranges between 320,000 yen (US$3,360) for a two-day, one night trip and 950,000 yen ($9,980) for a four-day, three-night trip, according to the company.

Yoshitaka Sugawara/Kyodo News via AP Photo

AFP Photo/JIJI Press

AFP Photo/JIJI Press

AFP Photo/JIJI Press

AFP Photo/JIJI Press

AFP Photo/JIJI Press

AFP Photo/JIJI Press

The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images

Kyodo News via Getty Images


This Is A 1987 Lamborghini Countach 5000 QV By Bertone

‘Eye-catching 1980’s opulence’ is perhaps the best way to describe this particular Countach, one that stands out from even the most outlandish of Countaches thanks to its incredible specification. Finished new in white over a white leather interior, the car was further outfitted with much of its interior trim gold-plated, including the steering column, gated gear shifter and gate, instrument cluster, trunk and engine handles, door sills, and even the exterior badging, as well as exhaust pipe tips. Lamborghini has confirmed that this is one of just two Countaches to ever leave the factory equipped as such.

More info: Sotheby’s (h/t: hiconsumption)

Following its completion, the car was delivered new to the United States, where it remained for a number of years before being imported to Japan. It was eventually acquired by its current Dutch owner and sent to Lamborghini Polo Storico for an engine-out restoration. The car was found to be in good condition overall before the work commenced, and it was fully stripped to bare metal and refinished in its original colour combination of white over white, and all of its 14-karat gold trim was refitted. The car, the first Countach to be restored by Polo Storico, is accompanied by a book of restoration photographs, chronicling the work done by Lamborghini Polo Storico, as well as restoration receipts and a certificate from Lamborghini’s Polo Storico department confirming the restoration and authenticity of this rare Countach. According to its owner, the car runs and drives well and is said to shift smoothly, providing a wonderful driving experience.

Arguably the quintessential 1980’s supercar, the Lamborghini Countach became not only a supercar legend, but also the poster child for a generation, combining all the excess and flair that the decade of the 1980s was known for. This particular Countach would fit right in at Miami Beach or in any Lamborghini collection as a wonderful example of one of the marque’s and Marcello Gandini’s most iconic designs, and one restored by the factory itself.


Photographer Captures Stunning Images Of Incredible Solar-Powered Furnace In Uzbekistan

Nowadays, solar energy is finally coming into vogue as technology gets up to speed and it becomes more affordable. However, the USSR were way ahead of the curve when it came to utilizing our nearest star’s massive power.

More info: LiveJournal, VOSTOK (h/t: lazerhorse)

The Soviets set up a mighty impressive invention in Uzbekistan. They powered a huge furnace, capable of melting metal, using nothing but sunbeams. Although it is now out of action, the place still holds a great deal of stark charm. In all, the furnace consists of more than 10,000 huge mirrors.

The following pictures come courtesy of photographer Nikolay Rykov who said: “This project cost some crazy money and was possible to be produced only in the USSR. However, its day-to-day use was almost free – during the day, the temperature inside the furnace is steady 3,000 degrees centigrade!”

Apparently, the powers that be weren’t particularly keen on Nikolay taking pictures of the defunct behemoth. He was asked to delete the photos as he left the area, but somehow they survived.


Polish Stalkers Turned The Lights On In Pripyat, 31 Years After Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Pripyat is a radioactive ghost town just outside Chernobyl, the site of the infamous nuclear disaster in 1986. Deep within the Exclusion Zone, the city has been permanently evacuated. Because of the contamination, officially you can’t live there, although 200 or so defiant oldster locals still do. They just kept on going back to their houses until the officials gave up.

More info: Facebook, Twitter (h/t: extremetech)

Disaster junkies and radioactivity enthusiasts flock from all over the world to make their nuclear pilgrimage to Chernobyl. There’s a shuttle from Kiev, frequent official tours, even a hotel you can stay overnight in.

The group tags itself “Naprowmieniowani.” The expedition, and its associated photoset, have been making their way rapidly through Russian-language social media.

“We wanted to prove that if Soviet technology doesn’t fail instantly, it’ll last forever,” they declared.


Innovative Umbrella That Keeps Your Camera Dry When Shooting In The Rain

Nubrella is a hands-free, non-invertible umbrella and weather protector, conveniently worn backpack-style. After putting on the 3-pound Nubrella like a backpack, the canopy flips over your head and locks in place. Built using waterproof nylon, aluminum rods, and glass-filled plastic, the canopy is designed to withstand 40mph winds without flipping inside out.

More info: Nubrella, Facebook (h/t: petapixel, boredpanda)

Nubrella solves this century-old behavior with a breakthrough superior hands-free solution for today’s technology-driven society.


An Apple-Inspired Concept Smart Home Hub That Looks And Feels Like A Cat

Smart home solutions are no longer a novelty in these deeply digital times—South Korea-based design studio AMONG has created a creative concept of a smart home controller that looks and feels like a cat.

More info: Behance (h/t: designtaxi)

Designed to help combat the growing social problem of loneliness, the ‘Apple Cat’ is an imaginary Apple product that functions as both a high tech home assistant and a virtual companion.

Shaped like a sitting black cat, the face of the cat serves as a display screen on which you can perform various tasks, such as select music, check the weather, control home appliances and read messages—it can also project realistic feline features that moves, turning the device into a life-like digital pet.


Underclothes That Display The 4th Amendment When X-Rayed By TSA

4th Amendment Wear is a series of underclothes that have the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution printed on them with metallic ink that so that it will show up when worn through a TSA X-Ray machine.

More info: 4th Amendment Wear (h/t: laughingsquid)

The clothes are designed as a silent protest against the new reality of being searched to the point where we’re basically naked. We don’t intend for this to be anything more than a thought-provoking way to fuel the debate about safety vs. civil liberties. If we sell a few items, great. But the main intention is to open more dialogue. It’s more of a conceptual piece than anything else.


The 1949, The Kurtis Sport Car, One Of 16 Produced

It’s Kurtis Sport Car serial number KB003, the actual car that appeared on the cover of the very first edition of the Motor Trend magazine way back in 1949, in a photo taken by Motor Trend founder Robert E. Petersen. More than 62 years ago, this car helped launch the storied automotive media brand.

h/t: motortrend

The Kurtis Sport Car was a product of the astonishing explosion of automotive creativity that occurred in California after World War II. After enduring a grinding depression and a grueling war, Americans were ready to celebrate as the booming economy provided jobs and prosperity. They’d had enough of cars for hard times — the somber and sensible Depression-era sedans and coupes they’d nursed through the war years on old tires and rationed gas. California was where the party started. And Frank Kurtis, the son of a Croatian blacksmith, was at its epicenter.

The Kurtis’s combination of easy, American V-8 muscle and European-style chassis tuning must have seemed sensational back in 1949. Frank Kurtis had demonstrated a compelling formula for an all-American sports car: The Kurtis Sport Car was well-engineered, well-detailed, and well-built.


One Of About 50 Fiat 599 Ferves Rangers Still Around!

Manufactured between 1967 and 1971. Approximately ten of 50 survivors are in the United States. Made by Turin-based coachbuilder Ferves (acronym of Ferrari Veicoli Speciali), where mechanical components borrowed from various models – Fiat 500F, 600D, 850, Autobianchi Primula – were assembled. This charming 4-seater flaunted four-wheel drive and “Cargo” work versions; some have described it as a small-size SUV or mini jeep… and yet today it is one of some collectors’ biggest dreams.

More info: Sotheby’s (h/t: messynessychic)