Well, now that my Naiskos project is basically done, the time has come to take on something perhaps equally ambitious: the Voyager desktop viewer. Thankfully, some of the work has been done in the form of a kit (more on that later), but first some prefatory info. I'll try to share all the random tidbits I've gathered from various sources and then I'll start a series of posts on how I intend to build mine.
I am working on making two versions
The base is an APC power manager:
Christies reports the dimensions to have been 12.5 x 11.5 x 11.5. From various things @hms has said at the TPZ and elsewhere, here are some other tidbits I have:
- Plant-ons were 1/8" black acrylic (and presumably the screen was the same in smoke-colored acrylic)
- Something like 1.5" to 3" were removed from the back of the APC power manager to get the right depth
- The sickbay color was custom mixed and is described as a "blue/gray"
Here are some photos from Mike's photostream on Flickr.
Before I was fortunate enough to get a kit, I asked Mike a bit about how the base of the monitor was made. I speculated that it might have been machined using a ball-nose end mill. He pointed out that it could also have been something so simple as a dowel with mold release on it pressed into Bondo.
Andreas of TrekProps.de has an amazingly detailed build thread with an excellent result. I plan to do a few things differently from him, but in general this is some of the best prop build-up documentation I've ever seen on the web. You should totally check it out. Here is his final result:
My main complaint about that one is the color isn't really one that is familiar to me from the show, though the paint job looks great!
With the help of @zredthunder, I have been able to get a Pantone match for the Janeway desktop viewer. We know via studio sources that the viewer was repainted to this color around the time Seven came on board due to water damaging various parts of the set around that time. It was painted using the same paint as the conference room table. Since zredthunder has the privilege of access to the table, I sent him with my Pantone CAPSURE colorimeter and a Pantone book to find the best possible match. He came up with 2265C by visual comparison with the fan deck (which in my opinion is often more reliable), and the scanner came up with 357 (which is close, but darker). The closest RGB match is 36, 49, 32, which on most monitors is going to be pretty much worthless, but here it is anyway:
For the Sickbay version using the studio auction photo, Photoshop tends to say Panetone 5425 for most samples using a 5px x 5px sample area.
Reflecting my general preference for slightly lighter colors, I may use 5435 instead.
A lot of the work is going to be in re-working the APC base into the right configuration. I have three power bases at the moment, and I am actually thinking of experimenting with them until I get one that feels perfect and then molding it to make the other. As Andreas shows, there is a fair amount of work to get the base hollow, the right size, and ready to accept electronics. It might be nice only to have to do this once.
The plant-ons are easy. I'll just laser cut those on the laser cutter (I'll share the cut files in a subsequent post) and then I'll round them over on the router table using a template routing technique and a roundover bit with a bearing. Here is an example of the template routing techinque:
The one questionable part is the power button, the bottom-most plant-on. There are scenes where the actor hits this and it turns on the viewer, and it appears to be an actual physical switch.
So, unlike the other plant-ons (which are, aptly, simply planted on the surface), this appears to be a thicker piece of acrylic with a hole that goes all the way through the base. I am concerned about how to make this hole so it looks nice and not hand made. If I were @Buddahaid, I could just go it freehand and make it look perfect, but since I don't have CNC precison when working with my hands, I'm trying to figure out the best approach. I might actually put it in the CNC mill with an o-flute (plastic milling bit) and try to cut out the pattern. The trouble is the rounded face and angle combined with a very non-rigid work piece makes fixturing very difficult, so I'll have to see if I can rig something up.
Many other issues will arise along the way no doubt, but this is a start.