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♦ STAR TREK FRANZ JOSEPH / STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL PHASER – Comparing a replica of the Technical Manual phaser design to TOS on-screen prop replicas.
FRANZ JOSEPH’s STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL PHASER
BACKGROUND: ORIGIN: Star Trek – STARFLEET TECHNICAL MANUAL (paperback ). RELEASE DATE: 1st Ed. 1975, 25th Anniversary Ed. 1991 PRODUCTION Co.: Ballentine Books. RELEASED BY: N/A. IMDB RATING: N/A ALTERNATE TITLES: N/A. WRITER/AUTHOR: Franz Joseph. DIRECTOR : N/A. CINEMATOGRAPHER: N/A. STARS: N/A. PRODUCTION NOTES: N/A. PLOT SUMMARY: The ‘Technical Manual’ is formatted as a Star Fleet official document, presenting ‘classified information’ about Star Fleet technologies, uniforms, alien races, starships, weapons, etc. COMMENTS: A very interesting array of information. Heavily illustrated, mostly in full page black & white ‘schematics’ form. An excellent collectible text for any true Trekker.
THE MODEL: KIT BY: Unknown (Garage Kit?) SCALE: 1/1 MATERIAL: Cast resin & machined aluminum. FEATURES / COMMENTS: The kit matches the illustrations in the Star Fleet Tech Manual pretty closely. Overall, the casting is fair, but I’ve seen better. I had to use a Dremel grinding head and routing bits to carve out the space I needed for the twin triggers in the pistol grip and also the electronics bay in the P-II body. Some details, like the heat fins, are ‘soft’ (not crisply rendered) which made painting a bit difficult. The Phaser-I unit is very basic and lacks any front-end (beam emitter) details. Except for the two working trigger buttons / switches that I added, the entire model is ‘static’ – it has no movable parts. The Phaser-I is removable, but only because I needed to be able to access the battery pack I installed in the P-II body (the P-I was supposed to be glued in place, but fits snuggle enough that glue wasn’t necessary). Because the Phaser-I in this kit wasn’t intended to be removable, there are no beam emitter details on the front of the P-I unit. Overall, assembly was quick and simple. Even adding the electronics was not difficult. Compared to the TOS on-screen props, this model and the Tech Manual illustrations represent a ‘mid-grade’ version of the Type-II phaser (the lack of moving parts and the molded-on heat fins keep this from being a ‘hero grade’ replica). The finished ‘replica’ is a great addition to my TOS phasers collection as it represents a concept version of the phaser that was never actually used on the show, but which must have certainly provided the foundations / inspiration for the final shape and detailing of the phaser props that did get used on-screen. ADDED FEATURES: I added a working trigger pad with two triggers, as in the Tech Manual, and light & sound electronics for ‘phaser beams’ and corresponding sounds. My trigger set-up differs from the Tech Manual design – the design indicates there’s a trigger and a safety lock on top of the pistol grip; my two buttons are both triggers and each activates a different phaser sound effect. Of course, I also added a sound-board, speaker, and bright blue LED for the ‘phaser beam’. The model kit for this phaser did NOT include any electron aspirator detailing, or a trigger bar for the Phaser-I. I cut a piece of ‘waffle pattern’ peel-n-stick metallizer tape and pressed it into place to create the electron aspirator. The trigger on the Phaser-I is a thick piece of black styrene plastic, cut and sanded to shape, then glued onto the top of the P-I, just behind the aspirator grid.
The YouTube video compares this phaser to replicas of the on-screen props…
Left side view.
Right side view
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