Simon Atkinson Modelmaking 

A collection of images showcasing a small sample of Simon's model making commissions and projects produced throughout his career.

August 2019 marks his 43rd year as a professional model maker



Space Shuttle Columbia and Launch Pad 

Display for the London Museum of Science And Technology. 

This model was commissioned as a fully detailed representation of the Space Shuttle Columbia mated to its External Tank (ET) and Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB) in launch mode on the Mobile launch platform 'Hard Down' over the flame trench at its Cape Canaveral launch site.

The Orbiter began life as a Monogram 1:72 kit but was extensively modified in order to fully replicate the detailing of the full size vehicle. It is the only 'Off the shelf' element of this display. Reworking of the kit included a new nose section, cockpit interior and windows, OMS (Orbital Manoevering system) engines and Main engines. The surface tile detailing was hand cut into the painted surface useing scalpel guided by acrylic templates.

The ET is turned from 'Tooling Board' with the surface ridged to represent the Thermal foam insulation seen on the prototype. Detailing has been added with cast resin sections and wire to represent the fine pipework with plastic tubing and other details added.

The SRB's are EMA plastic tubing with turned nose and tail sections in Tooling Board and fine styrene overlays to represent surface detailing and paneling.

NASA kindly supplied extensive blueprints of the MLP - over 50 sheets of detailed drawings from which the platform, Tail Service Masts and supports were constructed in Acrylic and Styrene. The walkway flooring and handrails were brass etched components purpose made for the project.

The Model is currently (2016) in store at The London Science Museum, but  is intended for permanent display once the proposed refurbishment of the Space Gallery is completed. 


Portable Flight Simulator system for the MRCA (Tornado) Fighter Bomber.      

BA Systems/ Hugh Watson Partnership

Originally built for the Redifon Co this 1:50 scale model was designed to demonstrate a fully portable flight simulator set up used as training for RAF Tornado Pilots. The Central unit contains the actual simulator assembly with the surrounding units containing the various support systems.

The units are constructed from Acrylic and Styrene plastic with etched brass detailing. The Tornado model was supplied by Space Models Ltd. 

Satellite Display     

BA Systems/ ESA / Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers

Scale 1:10

FILM & TV Models & Miniatures


Utopian People Housing - Shangri-la Towers for Terry Gilliam's BRAZIL      

Handmade Films/ Terry Gilliam/ Scale Model Associates/ David Wightman

Originally commission by BRAZIL Production Designer Norman Garwood and developed from his own design with considerable design input from Simon Atkinson & David Wightman.

The lower sections of the buildings were based on existing derelict buildings in London's dockland's where the location shooting of the 'Buttle' residence took place featuring actor Jonathan Price and various disgruntled residents of 'Shangri -La Towers'.

The model is seen in its original form as an stand alone architectural display outside the 'Actual' complex with a tramp looming over it - although the buildings were re positioned for the initial eye level view from  Sam Lowry's (Jonathan Price) POV as he drives up to the buildings. The final shot establishes that the model represents the dream, the matte painted view of the end result showing the nightmare reality


The buildings are constructed from Styrene Plastic with the 'cooling tower' sections vacuum formed in ABS plastic. The windows are applied with reflective tape. The water surface is textured acrylic sheet back sprayed.



The LIPARUS Tanker Exterior and Interior Miniatures for The Spy Who Loved Me 

Space Models / United Artists (Middle and bottom pictures show full size set - for ref) 

Both the interior model set and detail sections of the 60 foot long model of the Liparus tanker featured extensively in the movie were constructed at Space Model In Feltham, London in 1976/7

Simon was a part of the Space Models team employed to produce the highly detailed miniatures required by SFX director Derek Meddings (Thunderbirds, Stingray, UFO, Superman) Other modelmakers included John Phillips, Gary Dickens, David Seymour & Gerry Anderson veteran Charlie Bryant.

Many of the parts produced were constructed in brass and steel for durability and 'weight' during the destruction sequences where the interior set is seen exploding and the structures (walkways etc) collapsing. Much of the exterior deck detail on the tanker was also machined from brass. The ships cabin structures were built from acrylic sheet and the interior set panelling cast from fibreglass - Unfortunately much of the fine detailing on both exterior and interiors is not seen in the final film. 


The LONDON (Photograph from the collection of Andy Spencer)

Blakes 7 SFX Director Ian Scoones' original sketch concept from which Simon designed and built the LONDON.

The LONDON photographed in 1977 by the BBC (Photograph from the collection of Andy Spencer)

Simon has recently completed an extensive restororation of the LONDON spacecraft miniature

follow the restoration HERE



The Liberator spacecraft from BBC TV's BLAKES 7

The original model built by Gary Dickens, David Seymour , John Phillips and Simon Atkinson. Space Models/BBCTV (Photograph courtesy of Mat Irvine)

This model was constructed from fibreglass moulds cast from Jellutong turned masters. The front sections of the outriggers were brass with soldered detailing. The rear 'Engine' section was moulded perspex with applied tape detailing. 




Classic Cinema Group Display 1980. 

Although not up to today's exacting replicas it should be understood that this model was produced from image references only as drawings could be accessed at the time. 


Hybrid Star Wars X Wing Fighter - based on original artwork by Ralph McQuarrie and filming miniature. 1978


Thunderbird 1 - Turned Lime wood, Acrylic and  brass construction. 1983



 Royal Navy Frigate 

Ozturk Modelmakers

Scale 1:100

Museum Models & Displays


Corris Railway Company / City of Glasgow College

Model organised as a live client project by Simon Atkinson in his capacity as course organiser and lecturer on the City of Glasgow College's HND Modelmaking For The Creative Industries Course.

This involved the design and construction of a fully detailed architectural/landscape model with a 2nd year student group of 13. Overseen by Simon the students were allocated specific tasks in small teams to design and produce the various elements of the model. The student team: David Black, Carrie Sharpe, Liam Hayler, Julia Nichols, Stuart Thomson, Jonathan McKinlay, Jack Mulholland, Robbie McCorkell, Christine Sutcliffe, John Miller, Paula McKinney, Liam Conlin & Iain Wyllie.

The model is now on display at the Corris Railway Museum and is in use as a demonstration of their intent to build a substantial station on the site of the original which was demolished when the line originally closed in the 1940's. This major redevelopment includes the building of a new doctors surgery relocated from it's original position on the old trackbed.

The buildings were constructed from 2mm cast acrylic sheet with laser cut stone embossing etched into the surface - as were all of the retaining walls and other structures. The Station canopy is laser cut and constructed from 1mm acrylic. Track is PECO and planting and trees 4D Modelshop.

All of the talented students involved in the project graduated from the course in 2014 and are now working in different areas of the professional Modelmaking industry.

More details of this course can be found via the links page on this website. 

Scale 1:43  



 National Trust/ Robin Wade Partnership/ Scale Model Associates -David Wightman 

Model commissioned to demonstrate the extensive underpinning required to stabilize the main tower of York Minster - constructed from Lime wood and clear acrylic this model can still be viewed in the undercroft of the Minster today. The model features a model of the model (stay with us here..) positioned below the tower in the position of the model display itself giving viewers an impression of the great size of the structure above them while touring the undercroft area.

Scale 1:50                      




Part sectional display model. Robin Wade Partnership/ Scale Model Associates - David Wightman

This extensively detailed and illuminated model was commissioned to demonstrate the techniques and structures used to renovate the palace during an two year rebuilding operation in which the ancient stonework was integrated with modern steelwork to tie the various elements of the building safely together.

Simon designed the model and the complex sectioning of the key structural elements.

Scale 1:25



Scottish National Museum / AD Modelmaking 

AD Modelmakers, run by Michael Dunk, are specialists in the production of museum models and displays. This model was commissioned by the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh and continues to be displayed there today in the Japanese Gallery.

Scale 1:75



1:20 Scale Talyllyn Railway.

Model built from acrylic sheet scored to represent slate slab walling with ABS plastic detailing (window frames, canopy valance board, poster boards) Columns EMA tubing, posters are scaled down photocopies of full size. 

Architectural & Landscape



Ingenhoven Architects/ Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers 

Probably one of the most detailed architectural models ever produced resulted in three sections of the tower being produced  - The base levels including landscaping, The mid section with services, the top 6 floors and roof areas. Each office level featured full illumination with fibre optics fed to each lighting unit to simulate fluorescent light strips through the service towers. The window units featured silk screen printed glazing frames and etched brass window blinds. All offices were detailed with furniture.

Simon employed as supervising modelmaker on this project that employed 9 modelmakers for almost a year.

Scale 1:50


Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

An extensive model of proposed redevelopments to the Gloucester Docks area. Main wharf buildings in full detail with etched brass detailing to bridges, canopy structures and fences.

Scale 1:200


Foster Yeoman Ltd / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

A detailed landscape model of the expensive quarry facility under development by Foster Yeoman to extract and crush granite from the hillside near Fort William in Scotland.

Scale 1:1000

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:50

Scale 1:100

Scale 1:100

Apartments, Residential & Shopping Centres : Western Australia.  

Various Architects Perth: Western Australia.

Retail and residential redevelpment : Bath, England.  

Scale 1:100 Scale Model Associates/ David Wightman

 Low-E House. 

Portable modular housing unit designed by Architect & Designer Richard Horden

Sheffield Crown Court 

Scale Model Associates / David Wightman


Red Rooster Restaurant proposal

Piper & Associates / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

Scale 1:33


Williams F1 Car - Half size.  

Amalgam Modelmakers & Designers

Modelmaking team: Simon Atkinson, Trevor Parsons, Sandy Copeman,Mike Harvey


PENSKE Indycar 

Penske Racing / Aspect Modelmakers 1:8 Scale. 

One of a series of models produced by Aspect Modelmaking (Kim Ward & Stuart Jones) in the 1990's. The modelmaking team for this car - Simon Atkinson, Howard Parker & Mark Smith.


Talyllyn Railway : DOUGLAS. 1:15 Scale

Talyllyn Railway 1:15 scale Coaches 9 & 10

Ffestiniog Railway 'Taliesin' and Diorama  

1:12 Scale

An ongoing project modelling one of the famous narrow gauge railway's double ended Fairlie locomotives. Model is static.

Class 52 'Western' Locomotive with extensive weathering.


Just Like The Real Thing / Pete Waterman

Between 2003 and 2008 Simon worked for record producer Pete Waterman producing hyper detailed master models for his range of 7mm scale model railway locomotives and rolling stock.

In addition Simon produced showcase models of each locomotive during this period - some of which are featured here. The Just like The Real Thing range has been acclaimed as the most accurate and detailed reproductions of the many and varied types of British locomotives. 

Scale 1:43 - 7mm/ 0 Gauge.


'BUNNY TIME' Children's Alarm Clock

Julian Renton Design / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

A working prototype featuring full mechanism for lifting ears and opening eyes as alarm activated.

Vacuum formed ABS casing with Acrylic and Tooling Board detailing.

Scale :Full Size


Folio Design / County Tractors/ Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

A styling prototype installed in an existing tractor for a trade show at Earls Court. In an entertaining post script to this project - this tractor was subsequently sold in error following the show to a farmer who only discovered this to be a mockup when he tried to operate the tractor on his farm!

MDF, Fibreglass and Chemi-Wood construction.

Scale :Full Size

Full Size

'NOMIX ' Garden Spray System

Nomix / Folio Design / Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

A styling prototype featuring removable liquid container and backpack.

Vacuum formed ABS casing with Tooling Board (Chemi-Wood) detailing.

Scale :Full Size



Scale Model Associates / David Wightman

As if there weren't enough different garden chairs available on the planet already this full size protoype was ordered for a trade show a week later!

Construction: Fibreglass from moulds taken from MDF, Plywood and Acrylic master.

Scale : Full size


Armoured Riot Control Vehicle 1:10 Scale

Armoured Riot Control Vehicle 

Designed and developed by a UK company for export but subsequently denied export license as it was thoroughly unpleasant.  model constructed from ABS sheet featuring full interior detail, opening doors and steering mechanism for front wheels. 

Scale 1: 20