James Bond SFX legend dubbed ‘Real Q’ for creating famous gadgets passes away

Devastated family and friends of a James Bond special effects technician dubbed the ‘The Real Q’, have raised more than £25,000 after he died earlier this year.

Nick Finlayson, 63, worked on 10 Bond films including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, The Living Daylights, A View To A Kill and GoldenEye, helping to create some of the most iconic special effects moments in movie history.

These included Bond’s X ray shades in The World Is Not Enough, “Dentonite” Explosive Toothpaste in License To Kill, a whistling keychain in The Living Daylights, 007's life-saving grapple gun used in the GoldenEye pre-titles sequence and the Omega Seamaster gadget bursting watch.

Nick was also responsible for pimping up 007’s Ericsson JB988 mobile phone to include electric stun prods, fingerprint scanner, and remote control pad.

The phone was then used to control Pierce Brosnan’s BMW 750i in Tomorrow Never Dies  – a car which Nick helped rig up before kitting out the Bond-driven Vanquish and Zao-piloted XKR in Die Another Day.


News of Nick’s death in January at the age of 63, was reported on 007 fansites at the start of the year and a GoFundMe page was set up to help raise money for Nick’s wife, Cici. Bafta also paid tribute to Nick.

You can donate here.

It is not known how Nick died but the fundraising page said he “was not ready to retire when he was cruelly taken from us”.

It was reported that only a few members of the James Bond production team have worked on as many films as Nick.


Chris Corbould, who worked with Finlayson on all of his 10 Bond films, said: “The film industry has lost one of the true gentlemen in Nick Finlayson. His infectious laugh and beaming smile brightened everybody’s day no matter what else was going on.

"I worked alongside Nick over many, many years where his ingenuity and expertise created many of the greatest moments in Special Effects history whether it be James Bond, Batman or Lara Croft.

"I feel privileged to have known and worked with Nick but his legacy will live on through the many technicians he has mentored over the years.”


Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson said, “He first worked with me on A View To  A Kill and together we completed two more Bond films and at least seven other films, including Aliens and the last two of the Harry Potter series.

"A very clever and talented technician he was an important and valued member of my team. He deservedly earned himself the title of ‘The Real Q’ building many of the iconic Bond gadgets.

"He had a great sense of humour and he would often devote his time helping and mentoring younger members of the Effects department.


"He will be sorely missed by all those who knew him and worked with him.”

Friends paid tribute on the GoFundMe tribute page with one describing Nick as a "legend".

The tribute page read: “We are remembering our dear friend and colleague Nick Finlayson who sadly passed away in January this year.

“Nick was involved in Special Effects for many years. His work helped create some of the most iconic special effects moments in movie history. Nick’s work on the Bond Films earned himself the title of ‘The Real Q’ building many of the iconic Bond gadgets.    


“He was a kind caring man who always had time to mentor others and listen to their problems and offer help.  As soon as you met him he became one of your favourite people. He radiated kindness and love.

“Nick was not ready to retire when he was cruelly taken from us. The money raised by this fund will go directly to his loving wife Cici. Nick will be sorely missed by us all.”

Nick, who honed his craft on Gerry Anderson’s Terrahawks in the 1980s, had credits on more than 40 film and television productions from 1980 to the present.

Other movies he had worked on included The Dark Knight and  Edge of Tomorrow. Most recently Nick had worked on 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'.

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