Special Request Page

The Movie Communicators.

By Richard A. Coyle


This is a special page where contributors can ask for prop information. 

To have a special request filled you must submit an article.

I am covering the movie communicators  as a request for Ron Daniels. Look for  his article: 

Reversing the Neutron Flow - How I came to own a Sonic Screwdriver

By: Ron J Daniels, Jr.

 in the next issue.

From Star Trek Three

These were shot on the set without flash and came out fairly well. This is the Com with the lid closed.

This is a shot of the Com with the lid open. The two LEDs were a green triangle and a rectangle glued together. The rectangle was actually a two color LED with only the red side used in this prop. It also was a clear lens LED and thus, when turned off, shows no color. When this prop was turned on it blinked back and forth, from red to green. It was turned on and off with a small switch located on the right side just below the center belt line near the top. You can just see a hint of the switch. There are two small Allen head screws to allow removing the hollow back for battery replacement. There also seems to be a third hole, which may have been a missed drilling.

The grill on the ST3 com was made up of six elements. First was the slotted grill, which was then bent. To mount it to the hinge which was two brass tubes, one glued or cast inside the main body and an inner, longer tube was free to turn within the larger tube. To the ends of the inner, longer tube they soldered to triangle bars that also was soldered to the grill. To close the open holes they then soldered two round Allen head screws. 



On Star Trek 5, Greg Jein, then doing many of the props, asked me to supply grills and several of my reproductions of the ST3 Coms. 

He then redressed the center section and asked us to cast up about six.  Then came a trickier request: William Shatner wanted the grills to light up!

I replaced the viewscreen-like area with a clear Plexiglas, with would then project a beam of light upward. To insure the grill would be well lit we came up with a small bracket that caught the grill on its back swing and helped hold it at the best angle for the light beam to hit it. It took two number 45 lamps and a remote battery system to achieve this effect.

Shatner then complained about the remote battery design. We replied, sorry, but you wanted a 32nd century effect with 20th century hard ware. It was the best we can do.

Of note is that, in my reproduction of the grill, I simplified the grill. It now was a one piece design and was mounted to the body by running two Allen head screws through holes in the grill and right into the body.

The side plates on the one ST 5 shown was done by Mr. Bob Rokes who wanted to add the "extra right touch"

Most of the rest were my plain "old" one part grill.



Star Trek 6

Greg Jein again was doing the props and they simply reused the non-working (Dummy) versions from ST5  for this film.



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