Miniature Sets in Films

Fascinating it is to me, is the way that films are made and put together – whether that means Locations, Sets, Matte Painting or any other of the many techniques used to provide us cinemagoers with the realistic entertainment we love.

From the very first films that were made, ways have been found to enhance these with the special effects mentioned above – also trick shots, aerial shots, and a host of others – and over the years these have become more and more sophisticated although not always better.

The use of Models or Miniatures in films is as old as the hills and still remains an important aspect of film making.


Above: The model of the Manderley  from the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film ‘Rebecca’. Apparently the model was so large it occupied an entire sound stage.   It was enhanced with matte paintings for sky and scenery for all of the exterior shots.

A Place Of One's Own 1945

Above: Someone arranging a Miniature from ‘A Place of One’s Own’ 1945 Starring James Mason, Barbara Mullen and with Ernest Thesiger

Lord of the Rings

Above: The Lord of the Rings from much later – but  these models are still used – and very much part of film making


Above: Derek Meddings preparing a scene from ‘Goldeneye’ 1995.   Sadly Derek died later in 1995 actually before  the film was released later that year. He did work on a lot of  James Bond Films – and many others too. He also Directed one or two films and acted in one I believe – not a Bond film though.

War of the Worlds 1953 Gene Barry

Back to the Fifties ABOVE for The War of the Worlds which starred Gene Barry. I liked this fim






posted by Movieman in Uncategorized and have Comments (3)

3 Responses to “Miniature Sets in Films”

  1. Alan Keeling says:

    Miniature models in feature films reminds me of a 1955 episode of ITV Playhouse entitled Quay South, which was a small harbour on the south coast. This filmed play was made by High Definition Films at Highbury Studios and featured a miniature model of Quay South harbour in the plays’ opening titles.

    • Movieman says:

      Alan, Many Thanks again for your comment. I was not familiar at all with the TV programme you mentioned but it looks interesting. Also your previous comments about the Walt Disney Film ‘Rob Roy The Highland Rogue’ was, I always thought, an attempt to capitalise on the success of The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men – but it somehow did not fare anywhere near as well – and although good was not in my opinion anywhere near as good a film.
      The filming and colour was as usual very good – one thing though which I wrote about on this Blog a while ago, concerned James Robertson Justice who was in both films – and to my mind in Rob Roy, he had the worst attempt at a Scottish accent that I have heard – even though he claimed to be born in Scotland – which he wasn’t. If you look back and are interested I have done a feature on James Robertson Justice which gives details of his claims – in my view a fantasist. Neil

      • Alan Keeling says:

        Hi Neil, Thanks for the reply, I’ll certainly have a look at your feature on James Robertson Justice. A couple of his later TV appearances were in 1970, firstly in a TV commercial for Cracker Barrel cheeses and in a 1970 episode of the US series, The Name of the Game, the episode Mr Justice guested in was filmed in England.

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