The definitive source for information on collecting screen-used Star Trek props and costumes

Star Trek Props.com The Internet's premier source for information on collecting Star Trek props and costumes, as well as coverage of all major Star Trek auctions from the famous 2006 Christie's Star Trek auction, through the It's A Wrap Star Trek auctions on eBay and the Propworx Star Trek auctions. Star Trek Props is the best source for information of collecting original, screen-used props & costumes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tash Yar "Yesterday's Enterprise" Costume






Angelo Cifaldi recently added a top notch costume to his collection, the Tasha Yar Yesterday's Enterprise costume.  Here is what Angelo had to say about it:

I got it from John Nichols in August of 2013. I started collecting costumes and props at the Christies Auction in Oct 2006 and continued through Its a Warp on eBay and thereafter to the present. My focus was and is the TNG TV series and the TNG movies. My goal from the beginning was to get costumes and props from every major weekly crew member and major characters from the movies and TV Series. I also wanted items from my favorite TV episodes and my favorite guest characters. Since there were so few Tasha Yar costumes and due to the fact that I focused first on the characters that appeared in all the seasons of TNG or many seasons Tasha Yar only became a focus after I achieved my initial goals. Thus, for about 4 years I have been looking for a Yar. Since John knew my want list he  contacted me when he was looking to sell the costume as he refined his collection. With the addition of Tasha Yar the only other major recurring character I am missing is Miles O'Brien.



Tasha Yar's Alternate Timeline Uniform

Worn by Denise Crosby as Tasha Yar in the iconic Star Trek: TNG season three episode #163 “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” which aired the week of February 19, 1990.  

The Episode:

While on a routine mission, the Enterprise-D discovers a bizarre rift in space, which reveals an unidentified vessel which is revealed to be the Enterprise-C.  Both ships are now on an alternate time line, with Tasha Yar alive, where the Federation is in the midst of a bloody war with the Klingons.  

The Costume:

The modified third season style Starfleet jumpsuit uniform is gold and black with an altered collar and black cuffs with gold piping.  The belt is reflective silver colored vinyl with black vinyl trim with two molded resin gold metallic Starfleet emblem badges.  Replica com badge and rank pips complete the costume. The TNG wardrobe tag reads: “Ep 163 ...Tasha  Denise Crosby  1 military style Starfleet uniform. gold & blk.”  Christie’s 40 Years of Star Trek, Lot 636, Friday, October 6, 2006.



A fine costume from one of TNG's best episodes.  Angelo scored!

Alec

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Kevin Hanson & HMS - Prop Fraud



This is about the FRAUD committed by Kevin Hanson, who runs The Trek Prop Zone  and Michael Moore of  HMS.  Together they have committed fraud and passed off fake props as real ones.  And, when confronted with proof, have avoided owning up to it, proving their intent to defraud.

SUMMARY:

I was sold two replica props as screen used by Kevin Hanson.  He got them from Michael Moore at HMS.  I have not only Ironclad proof that they are fake, but caught Michael Moore in a lie about where he got them from.

Kevin has refused to refund my money.  While I had no made any claims that he intentionally sold me these as fakes, his refusal to refund my money, and his insistence of playing games and defend Mike Moore in spite of the facts has changed my mind.

Most importantly, Michael Moore continues to sell props claiming they are screen used and authenticating props.  Now that he has been caught passing off replicas as real, every transaction he is party to is suspicious.  This is a huge deal for this hobby and you need to be aware of this.

FACTS:

Kevin sold me two Enterprise pistols, a Phase Pistol and an EM 33.   They turned out to be fake (ironclad proof).  Kevin bought them from Michael Moore, of HMS props who claimed they were real and he got them from the propmaster on Enterprise.  Not only are the items not from ISS, the only maker of these Enterprise props, (the Phase Pistol is an HMS replica), but I spoke to the prop master, Craig Binkley at length and he NEVER gave anything to Mike Moore.

Kevin Hanson has refused to ackownledge evidence that just about everyone who knows Star Trek props agrees is ironclad.  Thus I will be taking Kevin to small claims court.


Alec



EVIDENCE PHASE PISTOL IS A REPLICA


According to Craig Binkley, the prop master for Enterprise:

  1. ISS was the ONLY vendor for the Phase Pistol and EM33.  In fact ISS did 99% of the props.
  1. Craig NEVER gave Mike Moore any props.

This Phase Pistol is a recast clearly and has aspects that closely match the Rod.com kit, (produced by HMS).  The tells are numerous and the evidence is undeniable.


EVIDENCE

The most obvious tell is the pour spout (or air vent) on the inside of the Phase Pistol.  This was NOT done in the original mold created to produce the screen used props at ISS. However this same pour spout (or air vent) can be seen on the Rod.com kit (produced by HMS). This is a clear tell that the prop in question did not come form the original ISS production molds. ISS (P9) vs Kevin recast (P10), which is identical to Rod.com (P11) 

P9 ISS
P10 Kevin Recast

P11 Rod.com
The obvious drooping line in the mid section is also something that matches none of the screen used props but does match the Rod.com kit (produced By HMS). ISS (P1) (P2) (P3) (P4), VS Kevin recast (P5) (P6) (P7) (P8), which is identical to Rod.com kit (P30) (P31).

P1 ISS


P2 ISS
P3 ISS
P4 ISS

P5 Kevin Recast
P6 Kevin Recast
P7 Kevin Recast

P8 Kevin Recast
The Phase Pistol is painted the wrong colors (P12) which is identical to Rod.com kit (P30), (P31).  These are the colors recommended in the Rod.com Phase Pistol kit instructions (P32).  These are NOT the colors that ISS painted the Phase Pistols and which were used on the show. See screen used prop (P20).

P12 Kevin Recast

P30 Rod.com
P31 Rod.com
 
P20 Screen Used Phase Pistol


P32 Rod.com Phase Pistol Instructions

The round portion on the bottom of the Phase pistol is painted a different color. This is wrong.  On screen used pieces it is the same as the body (P20).  This piece being painted the highlight color was also done for the Rod.com kits (produced by HMS). (P30) (P31) and is noted in Rod.com Phase Pistol kit instructions (P32).

 
Also visible on the HMS site:

http://www.hms-studi...hase_Pistol.jpg

HMS of course made the Rod.com kit.


There are other facts showing it is a mere recast:

The Phase Pistol is shorter due to it being recast from an ISS version (P13) (P14).

The Phase Pistol is cast in grey resin.  The ISS Phase Pistols were cast in a white resin (P9) (P10).

The nozzle is a separate piece as on the Rod.com kit.  On the ISS non-hero version it is part of the main body of the gun.

1/16th inch thick acrylic was used by ISS for the inserts.  This gun uses 1/8th inch thick acrylic.

The vents where the acrylic goes are too wide.  They are much narrower on the ISS version.

Tape was used in the recasting to cover holes on the inside of the cowl.  This happens when recasting.  The tape is clearly seen visible having now left its impression in the casting. (P15)


P13
P14
P15

SUMMARY

The only other place that used these colors, painted the bottom piece dark rather than light, made the drooping inset line, and had a pour spout inside the main body is on the HMS Phase Pistol Kit made for Rod.com.  This is a HMS replica, similar to a HMS Rod.com kit and there is no way to deny that.



EM 33

This is not an ISS version.  No other vendor created these.  This is a replica.


CONCLUSION

Craig Binkley, the prop master has said that he never gave Michael Moore any props as Moore claims.

The Phase Pistol is an HMS replica.  It was not in existence when Michael Moore claimed he was given it by the prop Master.

The EM 33 is clearly a replica as well.  And based on Mike's claims of the Phase Pistol, his claims on the EM 33 are not credible.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Star Trek II TWOK Ceti Eel Concept Art


At the last Profiles in History auction, lot # 682 was a set of Ceti Eel Concept Art.  It was an interesting collection and worth a look.

The Ceti Eel on screen



 
 The patent drawings for the Ceti Eel.  Yes!  They are patented!




Lot # 682

Archive of Ken Ralston “Ceti Eel” concept sketches and related production materials from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. (Paramount, 1982) 

A comprehensive 22-piece collection of concept art and correspondence related to the “Ceti Eel” from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, including: a series of (15) Ken Ralston (5 time Academy Award-winner for visual FX) full color concept sketches in artist pen and ink on 6 x 14 in. paper for a variety of “Ceti Eels” (1) typed letter signed by Ken Ralston, on Lucasfilm stationery, accompanied by (2) hand-drawn illustrations of the “Ceti Eel” practical effect mechanics. (1) copied inter-communication memo from producer Robert Sallin to crew with (1) Xeroxed copy of an illustration showing a “Ceti Eel” dropping out of “Chekov’s” ear, and, (2) polaroid photos of the practical “Ceti Eel” embedded in a latex ear. All materials in production-used, good condition. From the collection of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan producer Robert Sallin who created the concept of the “Ceti Eel”, directed the creation of these sketches and ultimately chose the final version of the Eel that appears in the film. Accompanied with a signed LOA.
 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Matthew J.Yuricich - Star Trek Matte Artist



The Matte Shot Blog posted a great article on Matte painter Matthew Yuricich who is a legend in Hollywood.  The whole article is worth a read, but Yuricich's matte paintings for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, are of course of special interest.

From Star Trek: The Motion Picture:






You can check out all of Matthew Yuricich's matte paintings for so many famous Sci Fi movies at:

http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

Alec

 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Herman Zimmerman Tribute Video

Herman Zimmerman is a legend in Star Trek circles as the production designer throughout TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise.

He was recently honored at the Art Directors Guild Awards and you should watch this video if you are a Star Trek fan!


And it includes appearences by our friends Doug Drexler and Denise and Mike Okuda.

Alec

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tribble For Sale at Propstore



The easiest iconic Star Trek prop to get is a screen used Tribble from the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations".  And Prop Store has one up now for $ 795.  A bit higher than I would pay for this, but not unreasonable.  I think this is a $ 5-600 prop because there are so damn many of them.  

I got mine directly from the set photographer who sold his with a nice Letter of Authenticity.  This one will come with a Prop Store COA.  I do not know the provenance of this item, but I suggest you call Prop Store if you are interested.  They are nice folk who will answer your questions.

You can find the item here.

Alec


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Original Enterprise Model Turns 49!

L-R: Richard C. Datin, Jr. Mel Keys, Vernon Sion

49 years ago today, on December 29th, 1964,  the original filming model of the U.S.S. Enterprise was delivered to the Howard Anderson Company. There, it would be used as the centerpiece for optical effects scenes to be included in the pilot episode of what was hoped to be a new television series, Star Trek.

Model maker Richard C. Datin, Jr. oversaw the efforts of model makers Mel Keys, Vernon Sion, and Volmer Jensen in constructing the 11-foot model from a 1-foot prototype Datin himself built. 

The prototype and the larger model were based on the design created by legendary Star Trek production artist Walter M. “Matt” Jefferies.

Datin would later modify the model prior to its use during the filming of the original series’ first pilot, “The Cage", alter it again for the second pilot, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” and then again once the show sold to NBC and filming began on the series’ first season.

The model was donated to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in 1974.  Originally, it hung in one of the first-level galleries, where it remained until the mid-late 1980s. 

The Starship Enterprise during its third Smithsonian restoration, December, 1991. 

After the restoration, the Enterprise was displayed as part of a Star Trek exhibit in the mid 1990's. It is currently on display in the lower level of the museum’s main gift store.



The museum also maintains a blog, with two articles detailing the museum’s restoration of the model.  They are both short and worth a read.



The also Smithsonian maintains an information page about the model’s history.

Much thanks to Dayton Ward, writer of Star Trek: That Which Divides and Star Trek: From History’s Shadow for posting this information on his blog.  Please check out his books, which are throw backs to the Star Trek novels of the 80's/early 90's.

Alec


 

Friday, December 20, 2013

TOS Tunics at Profiles - Authenticity and Ethics




Let me start out by saying that I believe the Scotty and Sulu Tunics at tomorrow's Profiles auction are what is claimed.  There is a good deal of circumstantial evidence, even though there is no screen matching.  This is not absolute proof (which is what screen matching is), but the Burden of Proof has been met.  But because one blogger has taken to shouting out his doubts, some people are asking me what I think.  So here it is, all laid out.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT

I am not an expert on TOS costumes.  In fact I never hold myself out as an expert on Star Trek.  I write a lot about it.  I have handled a ton of the stuff.  But that doesn't make me an expert.  But I know who all the experts are, and when people come to me, I go to those experts.  

I have owned three, including the Kirk tunic sold last year by Profiles and have handled more than most people. I have researched them more than any other blogger save Gerald Gurian, and I know every top expert on TOS costumes. I spoke to


TOS COSTUME EXPERTS

Here are the TOS Costume experts I know of.

Rob Klein (probably the # 1 expert on TOS costumes and owner of a large collection)
Gerald Gurian
James Cawley
Roger Romage

There are collectors such as Owen Riley who is very well educated on the subject, and of course Greg Jein has the biggest collection of TOS costumes, but frankly he doesn't hold himself out as an expert and doesn't authenticate anything.


THE TUNICS ARE MOST LIKELY WHAT PROFILES CLAIMS

Now, of those experts listed above. Both Rob Klein and Gerald Gurian think the Sulu and Scotty are what Profiles claims.  In fact, Rob has inside knowledge that Profiles has relied on to authenticate the costumes.  Profiles has sold literally dozens of these costumes and they believe they are the costumes of those characters.  And I inspected the costumes and went over them with Brian Chanes and they have all the markings that Profiles claims they do.  And after talking with Rob, Gerald and Brian, I believe these costumes are what they claim.  I also talked witH james Cawley, who said that the size ofthe Sulu was definitive as Takei was tiny, a 34-36.


CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Now, it is circumstantial evidence for sure.  There is sadly no screen match.  And I have told Brian that in the future he should give me and the team a chance to screen match them for him.  

But circumstantial evidence is enough to get a murder conviction, so it is certainly enough here.  Assuming you meet the burden of proof.


THE EVIDENCE - SULU

SULU BRAID -  The Sulu has the correct Lieutenant stripe braid marks left in it.  This doesn't mean that it is Sulu's of course.  

SULU PANTS - The Sulu Tunic came on the same hanger as the Sulu pants out of the studio.  Something you would know if you knew to talk to the guys who found these tunics at the studio.  And as anyone who bid in the It's A Wrap auctions knows, character items were always kept together. 

SIZE - The Sulu tunic is TINY.  George was a 34-36 and this tunic matches.  This is definitive according to Cawley.  And I concur with the logic. 


THE EVIDENCE - SCOTTY
 
SCOTTY BRAID - The Scotty tunic has Lt. Commanders braid marks which makes it certainly Scotty's.  I am only aware of one other instance where someone wore a red tunic with this braid, and that was most logically an actor using Scotty's tunic. The production was cheap and didn't use braid it didn't have to and reused costumes constantly. 

SIZE - The Scotty tunic matches the size for Scotty.  This is not proof, but simply helps add to the circumstantial case. 


BOTH tunics are from one of the premier collectors of TOS and he was the first owner of these out of the studio.  The provenance is solid (though it doesn't determine if they are what is claimed, only that they are authentic TOS costumes)


DON HILLENBRAND

One blogger, Don Hillenbrand has attacked these tunics. Don is the same blogger who:

1) Attacked the TOS Kirk tunic last year despite absolute screen matching and authentication by every major TOS expert in the country.

2)    Attacked the TOS Phaser earlier this year depite a 100% screen match.

And why does he attack items?  Because he doesn't like the seller.  He hates me, so he attacks my Kirk Tunic, He hates Gerald, so he attacks Gerald's Phaser, and he hates Profiles, so he attacks them.  

There is no place for personal vendettas in prop authentication.  Authentication is a scientific process.  It is an emotionless one.  I was the last person to actually believe the TOS Kirk tunic was really Shatner's, until I saw the screen match.

And Don hasn't spoken to ONE expert on TOS costumes.  He thinks he is an absolute expert, so he doesn't do any research with the people who have handled these costumes for decades.


A LETTER FROM PROFILES
 
After reading Don's relentless attacks on his blog, Profiles reached out with this email:


Both the George Takei and James Doohan costumes were part of a long-term collection from an individual who had top access to obtain the best of the best.  As you know from books like Bob Justman and Herb Solow's book, Inside Star Trek, the show was a low-budget series and Desilu was notorious for being cheap.  The production did not create numerous back up costumes, nor were stuntman tunics made.  If a stunt was required, they would use the actor's tunic for the stunt and then return it to the wardrobe rack.  If the crew visited a space station, they did not make 20 new tunics for the background.  Unless a tunic was completely destroyed, the production used every shirt they had available to get the sequences shot. Once a tunic received too much wear after repeated cleanings, the production would relegate old hero wardrobe to background crew members. We have handled many Original Series tunics in the past exhibiting studio repair to small tears indicating their desire to keep them in service as long as possible. Needless to say, today's production practices towards wardrobe are completely different.

The great majority of season one and season two tunics did not have the actor or characters labeled.  A testament to this was the Spock tunic we sold in December, 2012 that was won by the consignor in a 1968 "Star Trek Design a Costume Contest".  This tunic, complete with original braiding and insignia, came with a signed letter from Leonard Nimoy and a signed letter by costumer Bill Theiss, both referring to the recipient winning his "Spock tunic".  This Spock tunic has no interior label, yet remains the best documented Star Trek tunic in existence.  As stated in the catalog descriptions, both the Doohan and Takei tunics exhibit markings of the braiding indicative of their respective ranks. This, in conjunction with the general build of the actor, is the method of identifying the officer's tunics (unless you are lucky enough to screen match a signature marking on a particular garment).

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and holiday season.

Sincerely,

Brian Chanes
Profiles in History


Now certainly, Profiles didn't have to explain themselves to someone who didn't even bother to do any research, but they did.  And there rationale is solid.

 
CONCLUSION

I have been very critical of Profiles in the past.  And still there are items that they have been fooled on.  So I always do my own work.  But on these two, I feel very certain that they are what is claimed.  I have talked to the experts, and they feel the tunics are what Profiles claims they are.  

There is no 100% certainty.  The Burden of Proof has been met, but without a proper screen match, you can't be absolutely sure.  So the question is are you, the bidder, OK with the level of confidence the experts have.  If you are, go for it!  If not, let someone else win it.



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Klingon Rifle on Screen Used



Screen Used has a Klingon Rifle for sale.  At $ 4,999 this is a pretty fair deal.  These are incredibly rare and I was lucky to get one from It's a Wrap.

Made for Star Trek III, these were basically disruptor pistols with an added "stock".  The pistol was an entirely new design from the "Death STing" used in The Motion Picture.  This design was used through Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager.  The only change being the tip, which was constantly breaking, resulting in the "beak nose" version.

You can see it on Screen Used's website.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Star Trek Archive - Identifying Props



Over the last two years I have been able to help CBS with their Star Trek archive.  First, flying to ST. Louis and Orlando and cataloging the props & costumes at the Star Trek exhibition, then by housing and cataloging the props from the Las Vegas Star Trek Experience museum exhibit. 

Now CBS has a great young lady named Holly who is in charge of the cataloging everything and she is doing an amazing job.  The other day she sent me these photos and asked me to identify this prop.

Of course I sent it off to Jorg Hillebrand in Germany.  As many of you know, Jorg is simply the best at identifying props from Star Trek.  He has a near photographic memory and is the go to guy when you need to get a screen cap of a prop or costume.

So Jorg came up with this:



Jorg wrote to me:

I can tell you that the small device was originally made for Geordi's interface suit in "Interface". The prop was modified after this, though, and I seem to remember having seen it in a later episode, can't place it at the moment though.


Holly then sent me this image from the CBS inventory.  So supposedly, according to this doc, it was used as Soren's communicator in Generations.  Jorg is still looking, but I didn;t find it in Trekcore.

But this is the type of thing that is fun about this hobby.

Alec