Original Phaser Rifle Prop Found!

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by ZapBrannigan, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The phaser rifle from WNM is going up for auction. See the March 12, 2013 entry at My Star Trek Scrapbook:

    http://mystartrekscrapbook.blogspot.com/

    And if you aren't familiar with that site, it's got a whole history of other good entries. Clear some time for it. :techman:

    The actual auction he links to is here:

    http://tinyurl.com/ccyrwpq
     
  2. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I wonder if it is still holding any charge after all these years...
     
  3. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    I'm very interested to see what this finally sells for. Damn, I wish I had hoards of cash lying around!
     
  4. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Commodore Commodore

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    You are not kidding! Who would not want the most one of a kind hand prop in ST history!

    Thankfully, its lone appearance was not a throwaway, but part of an effective scene in one of the series' greatest episodes.
     
  5. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Based upon those photos, it's in immaculate condition.
     
  6. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, the condition is damn impressive. The custom case makes it really boss.

    I've the other ST auction stuff couple years ago when Paramount cleaned house. For some reason, this one item blows them all away, at least for me. Why?
     
  7. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    So where has it been all this time? I seriously doubt that this is the original. After reading about the guy that scammed a lot of people building fake "original" communicators, even with "letters of authenticity" this smells of something similar. The pictures shown don't look like a 45+ year old prop, it looks fairly new.
     
  8. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Captain Captain

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    Houston, we have a problem...
    And the sticker on it looks awful modern to me. "M-94A" with a serial number?
     
  9. SchwEnt

    SchwEnt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A fake, phony, fraud?? Have we been tooken??
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The article says it's been kept in storage in its case since after the pilot, which is why it was never reused. So it would still be in pretty good condition. But the close-up photos show that it still has a lot of scratches, probably from shooting.


    Why does that number seem modern? If you're thinking it's by analogy with the M16 rifle, that was adopted by the USAF in 1962.

    It's not a sticker, anyway; it looks to me like a metal plate, and it and the font seem consistent with the period. The materials look period-consistent too, including the repurposed parts -- the sight on top is a standard telescoping TV/radio antenna, and the lights on the right side look like Christmas-tree bulbs, maybe. And the color and texture of the body looks consistent with '60s materials to me.


    Anyway, it's an interesting prop design. I like the three color-coded chambers, which apparently can be rotated into place to switch settings. I guess the colored squares on the back are meant to be buttons for selecting the settings, but I seem to remember seeing Kirk rotate the chambers manually at one point.
     
  11. Gep Malakai

    Gep Malakai Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was initially quite skeptical of this find for the same reasons as MarsWeeps, but after doing some reading around, amazingly, those very scratches helped authenticate it. They match damage visible on the prop in promotional photos with Shatner from all the way back in the '60s. Cool!
     
  12. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    I take it to be completely authentic. A hoaxer who built a replica would say "I acquired it from a collector who wishes to remain anonymous." This is meant to imply that a studio prop man stole it and sold it to the current owner. A lot of communicator fakes were shopped with that story.

    But this guy selling the phaser rifle is right upfront about his own name and that he himself built it and lent it to the show. And he has papers and vintage photos of himself as a younger man demonstrating the prop.
     
  13. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    From a thread a while back...the history of the prop is sketched in.

     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Transicator?" Sounds like that might've been a working name for a translator/communicator unit.

    I'm confused... the comments say that Klamer's company built the rifle, but the 4/22 memo says they didn't.
     
  15. feek61

    feek61 Captain Captain

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    I have no doubt that this is the real deal; not a fake.

    Roddenberry above was talking about the series as the pilot episode was filmed in July of 1965. Apparently a deal was proposed for Klamer to do the props for the show once it went into production but it didn't happen because Klamer was undependable.
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Which suggests that they did have plans to make a different phaser rifle prop for the series proper, but never got around to it.
     
  17. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The prop department was located in Tholian space, and the rifle was caught in interphase. The episode "The Tholian Web" is a cover up of what really happened when Kirk went after his favorite gun.
     
  18. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Commodore Commodore

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    The Desilu prop department might as well have been in Tholian hands, considering the anecdote in INSIDE STAR TREK (Solow, Justman). They took too long to make anything, charged a fortune, and when they finally produced a phaser pistol, Roddenberry examined it and said, "This is uh, uh... unacceptable."
     
  19. MarsWeeps

    MarsWeeps Fleet Captain Premium Member

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    I'm also confused, according to the quote above, Klamer did not build the phaser rifle. So, who did?
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^See the response to my post. The 4/22 memo was talking about the potential series version of the phaser rifle, not the pilot version.