Chekov's medical scanner from Star Trek VI


By way of introducing and welcoming our distinguished new member, Richard Coyle @racprops, I thought I would mention one of my favorite props he built for the TOS movies: the medical scanner Chekov uses to scan Klingon blood left on the transporter pad in STVI.

It looks like the original was made partly out of a hollow cylindrical body that was put on a mill in an indexer and then those lines made with a ball-nose end mill.

But what about that clear part at the end? Was it a found item of some kind?

And how did you make the conical bit at the other end? I don’t think I’ve ever seen stock plastic sold tapered like that. Was this something you machined to a taper on the lathe?

I can’t want to learn more about this one. :slight_smile:

How can I help?

Ouch…Prop making can be a collaborating job.

There are some I did all by myself and others I only did a part of.

This is a case of only a part of this I had a hand in.

Ready for this??

I only made the rings for the slides.

I machined old classic communicator moray’ rings down to make them thin. I had to cut a set soft jaws on my lathe to hold them and then faced them off.

This was a body from the film before this where it was a Doctor McCoy medical scanner. That one I rigged up motor drive and the color bars inside the cover.


Haha. Understood.

Whatever that clear part is shall remain a puzzle for a while longer then, I guess. Anybody else have any guesses as to what it might be?


That is a really cool piece. I have a solid train replica I can post pics of later this evening. On mine the tip is clear resin, although my casting has lots and lots of bubbles.


I believe it is a Medical thingy, from some kind of respirator…



Interesting. Yes, it looks like a moisture trap used in a respiration line or an inhaler chamber. I’ll start poking around Google image search to see if I can turn anything up.


I would love to see photos! It might be possible to 3D print the nozzle, polish it up, and then cast it clear. But I’ll keep looking for a found item that could be used. It is very reminiscent of an airlock used in home brewing, or some kind of water trap chamber used in a medical device. It couldn’t me a moisture trap used in compressed air tool lines or car suspension due to the fact that it’s such thin-walled plastic. The psi would have to be very low—something like a CPAP device.





I’ve always wanted one of these, only ever seen a handful of them in anyone’s collections. And thanks for sharing those pics, Aaron! The clear tip on yours looks like it may have been cast in resin.

The reason I say that is that the air bubbles present are usually the product of casting something not under pressure, like in a pressure pot or vacuum chamber. That’d be my guess, anyway.

Other than that, it’s a very well done, pristine display piece. Would love to eventually be able to add one to my own collection.


Bubbles indeed.

Fascinating. It looks like whoever made this had access to one of whatever the original part was and then cast it. Are you still in contact with whoever made it? Maybe he or she knows what that part was. :smile:


I can “clear” up some of the mystery. I made that replica from castings I got from a friend of mine. The clear part is cast from the correct device which is part of a medical disposable but is long gone. Although there are still disposables that serve the same function, they are not the same shape and unusable. Aaron, I’ll try to get a better one at the next opportunity but I don’t have the right equipment to cast clear parts reliably. I do have some Crystal Clear 202 but it’s likely too old already and spoiled by moisture.

EDIT: On second look, I don’t think I made that one but I did make a few and yours is from the same molds that I used.


If guys want help, I’m happy to offer it. I have a pressure chamber and some brand new Crystal Clear 202 sitting right here next to me. I’m going to use it to cast lenses for my holo-imager, but I’ll never be able to use all of it. :slight_smile:

Do you remember what function the original disposable served? Maybe I can still try to track down an old one somewhere.


It’s a respiratory nebulizer device if I remember correctly. I’ve worked in hospitals for decades and this stuff changes almost yearly. It might be a Bard product, or an Airlife product, or an Ispiron product, etc. I’ll look for a current version tomorrow.

Here’s my replica. I did make the decals.








Here’s a replica with the correct clear part.


This is the one Richard was referring to.



These are the ones I made so I didn’t make Aaron’s but there are only three other people who could have and I’m pretty sure who it is.



To be honest, I don’t remember who made it. I vaguely recall it was someone on the TPZ.


Pretty sure it was gbaldi but it could also have been docholl. We get together at times.


Very nice prop build Scott. Never seen this before.

Steve P


I am one of the lucky ones who owns one of Scotts!


Yeah, Scott’s are way prettier!



I would love to know anything else you could tell us, Scott, about how these were made. I find the conical part interesting from a machining standpoint.

I spent an hour last night looking at nebulizer cups. :blush: Alas, to no avail.