If you’re interested in hand-made replicas of famous film props, take a look at this amazing Blade Runner inspired chess set.
I’m very fond of the movie Blade Runner, which I will hesitantly admit is actually better than the story upon which it was based. The story, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, isn’t lacking in any way – in fact, any sci-fi fan should read it right now! However, the movie is just so much more badass; when you have Harrison Ford paired with androids in a bleak, film noir style dystopian LA, you can’t really go wrong.
The game of chess features prominently in the last part of the film, though I don’t recall seeing much of the actual board because the scene is very dimly lit; the board is, however, definitely backlit and the pieces are shaped like various birds, just like this remake shows.
I think quite a bit of the board was made from the artist’s imagination, which is just amazing if you take one look at all the minute details that went into every corner of this set. From the various textures used on each tier of the table, to the paint job that makes the table look old and worn, there’s an unending amount of features to marvel at. The board has a very sci-fi feeling to it, but tends more toward the gritty steampunk side rather than a gleaming and shiny future.
Not only did Rick Ross – the creator of the Blade Runner chess set – carve out every beautiful clay figurine by hand, but he even made a themed packaging crate to store the pieces! While I’m pretty sure this was pure invention, it looks like it could be an authentic movie prop.
This set is pretty unique only because replica chess sets are fairly uncommon. Chess games played on unique boards rarely featured on the silver screen or in any sort of popular media – I can’t think of any besides the chess game from the first Harry Potter movie. However, there have been quite a number of chess sets made after popular franchises, especially ones with large casts. For example, there’s the Star Wars chess set, where the light and dark side face off, and also the Kingdom Hearts set with the game’s heroes fighting the heartless.