INTRODUCTION: This project is for documenting a TOS Communicator replica build that unifies TOS Communicator bezel area visual functions found within the regular production episodes.
CONSTRAINTS: Insofar as non-functional but visual differences between TOS Communicators such as perhaps having on-command changing of rhinestone sizings and colors, there is no way at present to accomplish such a unifying feat, all else being equal. This would limit project options but at the same time help to define the end-state. The Communicator prop builder will definitely face the challenge of mimicking Wah Chang’s legendary ability to work with microscopic sizes, fuse engineering grade mechanical designs with his highly gifted artisanship, and overcome extreme vertical and horizontal clearance issues in oftentimes ill-defined, but functional specifications.
How can a TOS replica Communicator be enhanced without violating the spirit of TOS propmaking? There are new capabilities available that would allow for unique contributions to TOS Communicator prop replication attempts and make sense. This project is unique in that it will attempt to maintain full replica specifications in every way – except – to leverage a microscopic high-resolution visual animation display capability to the moiré and bezel component area of a TOS Communicator. A default animated moiré pattern decision should eliminate bringing into question a faithful prop replication in this project design.
END-STATE #1: Defined as having a full replica TOS Communicator that can alternate an animated moiré pattern between “Friday’s Child” and “Day of the Dove”.
END-STATE #2: Defined as having a full replica TOS Communicator that can alternate between all known static moiré patterns.
I am going with end-state #1 but the risk factor involved in this project is to go ahead and initiate prop building activities before testing and establishing what the most reliable method of alternating animated moiré patterns is.
DEFAULT PATTERNS: The default animated moiré pattern is to be from the “Friday’s Child” episode. The decided upon way to alternate the animation to a warning moiré pattern type is to depress the tiny knob next to the speaker grille since Kirk did this out of view of the Klingon commander in the “Day of the Dove” episode. The default static moiré pattern for defined end-state#2 would be from “The Omega Glory”.
On hand already, some of the materials I will be working with are genuine Swarovski AB treated crystals (all are 16ss, Olivine, Hyacinth, Crystal, and Light Amethyst), the actual Aurora raised-rim Oldsmobile wheel hubs (still in their blister cards), and the correctly textured light gold speaker grill material – all ready to go. The Light Amethyst AB Swarovski crystals are the right color but are not #2000 series and therefore not 8-faceted and am attempting to replace it. The Swarovski Hyacinth I have in both straight Hyacinth and Hyacinth AB and attempting to research this open question between the two at the moment.
At the moment I’m still looking around for the genuine Kydex haircell shells, grille, midplate, control panel, and a correctly grooved bezel ring assembly, have deemed the alternating animated moiré patterns feasible and studying the electronics options and dimensions problem.