"Dispatch war rocket Ajax to bring back his body!"
I've had these photos in my files for a while now, and unfortunately, cannot recall where I found them. But in celebration of Flash Gordon's 30th Anniversary, I thought it was time to share these pix of the flick's funky, retro-rockets with all of you Space: 1970 readers.
Designed and built (or at least supervised) by the great Martin Bower, who also designed spaceships for Space: 1999, Into Infinity, Alien and Outland, these vessels really capture the romanticized, decadent technology of Mongo. I've always especially loved the classic lines of Ming's "War Rocket Ajax" (top two photos).
When I first saw the movie I was struck by the striking miniature effects, so different from most sci-fi fantasy films of the era, which generally aped Star Wars' functional, "lived-in" ship design. It was also cool to see these models flying against those swirling, multicolored skies of Mongo instead of the usual starfields.