p. 23

FF: Did you build all the miniatures?

Saunders: Yes, I did.

FF: The miniatures seem a lot different from anything that's ever been done before. What kind of materials did you use to create the Cygnus, the Palomino and the probe?

Saunders: We used soft brass because we knew that ultimately these miniatures had to break up. As they went into the black hole, everything had to bend and destruct and look right. We decided on using soft brass rather than plastics because plastics have a memory and if you bend something, it wants to creep back to its original position.

FF: It looks like you might have used tiny CO2 canisters on the Cygnus.

Saunders: No, every piece on the Cygnus was machined in the machine shop. There were a dozen model makers working on the models for nine months, so it was an immense project. At times we felt that we were never going to finish.

FF: What kind of punishment did the miniatures have to withstand?

Saunders: When the explosions took place, they took place on the quarter-inch scale sections of the Cygnus. We never did any explosions on the sixteenth scale model because, photographically, it wouldn't look right. So, every time we did an explosion, it would have to be done on a bigger scale and then superimposed on the film of the sixteenth scale model.