Secret Pictures from the Batcave: Make your Magic One of a Kind!

Recently I found myself in a top secret design facility. Actually, I was in the workshop of a serious prop builder in Van Nuys. This is the kind of guy that can, and does, build Klingon spaceships. Not fan model kits either. He builds the real props for the real shows. When he makes the Enterprise, he really makes the Enterprise.

While we were waiting for my new &#*@!? to come out of the oven, he showed me some priceless antiques on loan to him for the purposes of making collector’s replicas. Here they are!

This is a communicator from the original Star Trek series. I learned that the owner of this piece recently turned down 100,000 dollars for it. Got to love the millionaire Trekkers!

Notice the wild blinking lights and gizmos on this special tricorder prop from The Next Generation series (blechhhh!). Again, this one was actually used a bunch in the show.

My builder genius, who we’ll call Q, informed me that virtually all the weird props we see on screen are hollow plastic shells with no lights or insides, like the communicator in the first photo. The prop department makes just one fully rigged model for each type of prop, so they can use it for the occasional close-up. Movie folks call this fully tricked out model The Hero. Unlike the communicator, The Hero was heavy in my hands. I’m sure it was because off all the dilithium inside.

Your Turn

Think carefully – How happy are you with your store bought props? Let me know. I think we may find an area here where many of us have similar experiences. I’ll read all your comments pronto!


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