Air Force One Original Filming Miniature and Building Display
This is the screen-used Escape from New York filming miniature of Air Force One visible in the film’s opening hijack sequence. This impressive miniature is constructed of resin, hand-painted and detailed with Great Seal of the U.S., American flag and other decals and is outfitted with internal fiber optics that illuminated the starboard side of the aircraft’s passenger windows, wings and vertical stabilizer. The bottom of the fuselage has a threaded hole for the armature attachment and it measures 29 in. long with a 23 in. wingspan. It can be display with three miniature New York City special effects buildings, measuring 5 in. x 4 in. x 4 in., from Plissken’s glider flight as well as small shelf and mounting rod.
The Air Force One model was built by James Cameron who was at the time a special effects artist with roger Corman's New World Pictures. The model of the plan was only finished on one side. It had three mounting points, front, rear and bottom midsection. Also has three connectors for electricity to power the lights.
The New York City special effects buildings were used when in the movie Snake (Kurt Russel) pilots the glider into the city. In that scene there are three screens on his control panel displaying wireframe animations of the landing target on the World Trade Center and surrounding buildings. What appears on those screens was not computer-generated. Carpenter wanted high-tech computer graphics which were very expensive at the time, even for such a simple animation. To get the animation he wanted, the effects crew filmed the miniature model set of New York City they used for other scenes under black light with reflective tape placed along every edge of the model buildings. Only the tape is visible and appears to be a 3D wireframe animation.