Tuesday 25 September 2018

Picard desktop computer replica from Roddenberry

Roddenberry have revealed the final piece in their Picard desk set of replica prop reproductions; the previously release desk crystal and isolnear circuits set will be joined by Picard's desktop computer.

This is in fact something of an upgrade to the original prop, matching the overall look, and in some cases original techniques used to make it, but switching out some materials to give the new replica a bit more heft and durability. As Roddenberry explain at some length:
Where the originals were thin, hollow fiberglass shells, our re-creations are each individually CNC machined out a solid block of polymer, giving them impressive heft and a low center of gravity, while maintaining tight tolerances between mating parts and precisely replicating the external geometry of the originals. Brass threaded inserts are heat-set into the body to provide repeatable fastening and a fully sealed enclosure, with a custom-machined black anodized aluminum cover plate. A laser-cut felt pattern traces the bottom of the unit, allowing it to rotate and glide smoothly across a desk, just as the original does on screen. Professionally-applied automotive-grade satin paint finishes are used on both the black and tan variants.

Additionally, hours of painstaking hand graphic work go into the creation of each of these replicas. Rather than simply using a printed bitmap transparency, we went back to the traditional TNG art department technique of laying in costly professional Hollywood studio lighting gels behind each individual color in the LCARS graphic, with multiple layers built on top of each other and interacting in complex ways to accurately recreate the characteristic graphical look of the show. Both the Picard and medical variant graphics come from original art department negatives and have been cross-referenced for color-matching against their on-screen appearances. As on all original LCARS displays, a special window material is used to give the appearance of a blank computer screen when the backlight is turned off but crisp and vibrant graphics when the backlight is on. For the accent lines, rather than applying the white Chartpak tape used on the originals (which was known to curl up after just a few weeks of being on the prop), we’ve used sophisticated 3D modeling techniques to create a set of 2D dimensional die patterns that, when applied, perfectly trace the compound curves of the viewer base. This allows us to use premium graphical films used in the sign industry that are specifically optimized for longevity and UV resistance while still retaining the exact look of the originals. Note that all the inherent properties of these accurate manual processes will be present in your replica as they were on the originals, from the slightly wavy quality of the LCARS translite to the hand-applied tape lines.

In addition to the Picard version in black, Roddenberry are also offering a tan edition, with an alternate screen graphic, to match computers seen used by Doctor Crusher and Counsellor Troi.

The replica includes a built in back-light, and sound effects, powered by batteries or USB. It's also super limited edition, just ninety being produced! And to get one of those you're looking at a mere $2499! Roddenberry are expecting to ship the first wave in December this year, with later orders expected to ship into the new year.

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