tn_sonic_driverSince I’m a big fan of engineering tools that are used by LaForge, O’Brien or Torres to repair the ship, I’m always looking for adequate reference material to extract some useful information.

Because of this, “Star Trek: Captain’s Chair” is a true treasure chest for me as well as probably for many other prop enthusiasts. This software enables you to not only move freely on the main bridges of the Enterprises 1701, 1701-D, 1701-E, the Defiant and Voyager, but also to look at all of the control panels, use them (!) and have a look at several props that are lying around. There are 360° panorama views of above mentioned rooms and all of the props so that you can look at them from all angles.

In this manner, I found the Sonic Driver lying on the rear work table on the Defiant’s bridge next to a hand phaser, a phaser rifle, several PADDs and some more tools:



I’ve always liked the look of this tool: A Simple, symmetric shape and a very high-tech appearance intensified by glossy metal.

To keep that look, I decided to do a replica of this prop entirely from metal. Aluminum was the logical choice for that since it is relatively soft and easy to work with. The first step was to have a look at the Quicktime VR file and to study the side view of this prop. Next, I translated this information into an illustration showing the outlines of the general shape with all its details. Then I added some colors to the drawing and supplemented it with “virtual greeblies”. Finally, I rendered a 3D view of the prop to evaluate its overall appearance.


When I was satisfied with the result, I took this data to a local machinist who converted the template into a real metal body and turned it from aluminium with great precision.

To finish it off, I then applied some carefully cut grip tape and some golden paint to the tip.

And this is how the end result looks like:


Being made from solid aluminium, the prop has a nice weight to it…


…and is cool to the touch…


…just as a real heavy duty tool should feel!

Note the picture subtitle in “Captain’s Chair”: “Measure tetryon particle flux fields”. I’m sure I’ll find such a field somewhere around the house… 😉

Note: I made a silicone rubber mold from this prop to cast resin copies of the original. Here is a link to a tutorial on how to turn one of those castings into a prop.

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