Alleged Screen Used Hero TOS Phaser up for auction

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Gregatron

Sr Member
HeroComm also noted that the plexi sight window in the P2 does not look aged and yellowed like the plexi on the Jein. And I notice that the auction piece’s plexi has a crack, which seems unlikely, given that it’s a small piece recessed into the fiberglass body. Such a crack would most likely have been sustained when the two halves of the P2 shell were separated.

The side of the Jein’s P2 forehead tower cracked and broke off when accidentally dropped, but the plexi was fine. How could the auction piece’s plexi get cracked without any damage to the fiberglass P2 shell surrounding it?
 

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JW Foust

Active Member
HeroComm has had a very close connection with the TPZ since the before Alpha was first discovered so it makes sense that they would post there. Another thing is it is supposed to be private and non-members can't see the posts which means for Heritage to hear about what they were doing means a member there ratted them out.
HC never stated where the lawsuit threat came from. Heritage was never mentioned in regards to that.
 

MULDER

New Member
HeroComm also noted that the plexi sight window in the P2 does not look aged and yellowed like the plexi on the Jein. And I notice that the auction piece’s plexi has a crack, which seems unlikely, given that it’s a small piece recessed into the fiberglass body. Such a crack would most likely have been sustained when the two halves of the P2 shell were separated.

The side of the Jein’s P2 forehead tower cracked and broke off when accidentally dropped, but the plexi was fine. How could the auction piece’s plexi get cracked without any damage to the fiberglass P2 shell surrounding it?
I noticed that the top of the tower is angled down and the aluminum piece on top of if looks a lot newer and cleaner the the one on GJs.
 

JMSupp

Active Member
One thing that stands out to me is the angle of the battery pack appears to be way off. This could be due to any number of reasons, camera angle, etc, individual fitting, etc.

It also looks like there are grind marks on the inside of the new P2 shell from a rotary tool. It may not mean anything, but I don't see any evidence of that sort of work on any other phaser. With all the publicly available info out there, and the accurate parts dimensions, paint colors, etc, all known, there is a high likelihood fakery.

More telling, is connection to Wah Chang. If there was a few hundred grand to be made on a fake, this is the way I'd expect it to go. By invoking Chang, any discrepancies between the Jein Phaser and this one could be attributed to whatever repairs Chang made.

Frankly, this appears too good to be true. I'd like it to be right, but there are so many questions I'd need answers to in order to be completely comfortable with it.

As it stands, there are a few possibilities:
It's right as rain, all original.

Original, but not seen on screen. Could it be a 5th phaser that was never delivered? Made during the original run of 4 practicals and not used for some reason?

Parts of the phaser are real, and parts are fake. The P1 could be fake, and the P1 is real, that sort of thing.

Fake. A very skilled fake made by someone with a lot of skill and knowledge isn't completely impossible.

The worst one, and I think the most unlikely, is the P1, P2, and Jein Phaser are all fakes, with the P2s made by the same hand.
 

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Gregatron

Sr Member
The thing which makes comparisons tricky is that these were hand-crafted props, with all of the wonkiness and inconsistency you’d expect from that. Just look at the construction variations on the communicators (shell thickness/Kydex pull sharpness, antenna soldering/hinge angles, etc.).

All we really have to go on are the specific shapes/dimensions of the molded fiberglass shells (which can vary depending on how they’re sanded) and construction details/techniques.

Also, the colors look a little off, compared to the Jein, but that could easily be handwaved by saying that the auction piece was repainted, at some point.
 

JMSupp

Active Member
Having not one, but two phasers show up from out of the woodwork, from two different sources is interesting. As far as I'm aware, neither has even been suspected to exist by the Prop community. Add to that neither one has been shown to be screen matched.

If we take HeroComm as accurate, (I generally do) and that there were only 4 practical phasers of each type, these two are not accounted for. That's concerning to me.
 

WinstonWolf359

Sr Member
The thing which makes comparisons tricky is that these were hand-crafted props, with all of the wonkiness and inconsistency you’d expect from that. Just look at the construction variations on the communicators (shell thickness/Kydex pull sharpness, antenna soldering/hinge angles, etc.).

All we really have to go on are the specific shapes/dimensions of the molded fiberglass shells (which can vary depending on how they’re sanded) and construction details/techniques.

Also, the colors look a little off, compared to the Jein, but that could easily be handwaved by saying that the auction piece was repainted, at some point.

I think the paint color is worth discussing a little more, in spite of the possibility "it could have been repainted by Wah Chang."

As anyone that has ever tried painting a phaser to look like the original props knows, those colors have been impossibly hard to match 100%.
Some of the best attempts have looked great when viewed alone, but any replica placed next to an authentic phaser prop falls just a little short. Especially the handle. While the both the P-I and P-II colors don't quite match GJ's phaser, the handle color's significant difference stands out to me most because it has been (by far) the most difficult paint to copy.
 

JMSupp

Active Member
Gregatron, agreed completely. I'm not a Phaser expert, there are probably several dozen people more qualified then me. But there are a lot of little things that don't sit right with it, or the story.

The hand made nature of props makes them challenging to authenticate, which is part of the fun. With that being the case, the provenance becomes even more important.

Then there is always the standard of proof. The general public tends to have a much more... Flexible understanding of what is acceptable as proof. That usually includes the eventual buyer!

For most people, the fact that it looks right, and the story sounds good is good enough. The Star Trek community may have a different option, the Prop replica community night have another, etc... More importantly, there doesn't really need to be a consensus of option for it to be deemed "authentic" by the buyer, either.

If this board, and others, didn't exist, I think most people wouldn't even be questioning it.

At this point, I think the physical attributes are all within the realm of possibility. Not matching the 4 screen matched exemplars is a bit of a ding, but not a killer yet. The story, well, to me, that needs a lot more examination. Not enough about that is clear for me to form an opinion.
 

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Gregatron

Sr Member
Having not one, but two phasers show up from out of the woodwork, from two different sources is interesting. As far as I'm aware, neither has even been suspected to exist by the Prop community. Add to that neither one has been shown to be screen matched.

If we take HeroComm as accurate, (I generally do) and that there were only 4 practical phasers of each type, these two are not accounted for. That's concerning to me.

Based on this scan of a production memo posted by feek61 at TOSGraphics, and reposted by HeroComm…

AD2094AC-BC68-4BA4-8B23-FCBBD2DACB9E.jpeg


This definitely gives us a total of four hero props (as well as four extra handles and four extra power pack pack parts to make the abandoned, never-seen “phaser 3”, which was sort of a more compact phaser rifle), which neatly matches up with extensive screencap studies.

These four heroes were built as black-and-whites, then given to Wah Chang to rework and repaint.

So, a paper trail indicating the construction of four heroes. Screencaps indicating the existence of four heroes. And an auction piece whose details do not match any of those screencaps.
 
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Gregatron

Sr Member
I think the paint color is worth discussing a little more, in spite of the possibility "it could have been repainted by Wah Chang."

As anyone that has ever tried painting a phaser to look like the original props knows, those colors have been impossibly hard to match 100%.
Some of the best attempts have looked great when viewed alone, but any replica placed next to an authentic phaser prop falls just a little short. Especially the handle. While the both the P-I and P-II colors don't quite match GJ's phaser, the handle color's significant difference stands out to me most because it has been (by far) the most difficult paint to copy.

Yep. The difference in color stood out to me when I first saw the photos.
 

Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

*****************​

What is a fake vs. a forgery

The definition of a "fake" is a work that is a copy, a replica or misattributed work.

So, what is a forgery?

A forgery is a work that is intentionally meant to deceive.

*****************​

Just copied this from google. It's about art, but I thought it might still apply.

By these definitions, even if our analysis says it's a FAKE, that is casting no dispersions on the seller, if he did not KNOW it was a fake. An accusation of Forgery is what you don't want to do without proof.
 
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JMSupp

Active Member

*****************​

What is a fake vs. a forgery

The definition of a "fake" is a work that is a copy, a replica or misattributed work.

So, what is a forgery?

A forgery is a work that is intentionally meant to deceive.

*****************​

Just copied this from google. It's about art, but I thought it might still apply.

By these definitions, even if our analysis says it's a FAKE, that is casting no dispersions on the seller, if he did not KNOW it was a fake. An accusation of Forgery is what you don't want to do without proof.
I’m of the opinion that unless it can be proved otherwise, that the seller, nor the auction house has any intent to commit fraud, not just in this case, but most cases. That’s why I don’t use the term forgery or fraud, unless there is evidence to support that. Even then, I tend to shy away from accusations, that's someone else's job.
 

Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, as I said earlier, life is a learning process. This whole conversation has been useful. In the end. Knowing the difference between saying something is a fake (replica) and that a person might not be intentionally presenting it as a fake, is a lesson that I did not know at the beginning of this conversation. Lesson learned. :)
 

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JMSupp

Active Member
According to feek61’s memo, there were only 4 practical or hero P1 and P2 phasers. HeroComm has done an outstanding job of documenting and screen matching 4 phasers. No more, no less. That’s pretty solid backing for the Feek61 memo. So it follows that any authentic Phaser must be one of the 4.

It's like the move Clue, there are a couple ways this could have happened, and the Phaser could be an authentic hero.

I’ll talk about the P1 first, and only in regards to the timeline. No attempt is being made to account for it's appeareance. According to the HA description, the P1 was acquired by a member of the production crew after filming completed on a second season episode in 1967. Assignment Earth, which has 2 screen matched phasers, the Finny/TMOST and the Nona, was filmed in early 1968. Supposedly, the P1 left the set before that, so the only documented P1 left is the P1 Four, Lenore.

In order for the HA P1 to be authentic, and screen used, it must be Lenore, so how to explain the appearance? After Lenore’s appearances in Episode 1x12 “The Conscience of the King” and being used in Episode 1x13 “The Galileo Seven”, the ruby watch crown was removed, it was painted with a heavy hand, and Velcro was added. This would have to happen after the original Chang refit, and before it disappeared from set sometime in Season 2. Then it disappears for 50 years, from mind and memory, only to be reunited with a P2. The only part of this story that troubles me is the chain of custody from the set to the auction house, and why it shows up now. That, in all honesty, is not a big deal, if everything checks out.

So if the HA P1 is Lenore, the TV appearance timeline seems to check out. The only rub is explaining the alteration of appearance from how it appeared on screen, and screen matching it. The possibility of it going back to Chang's shop for repair along with the P2 before Chang left seems to work out, or it could have been repaired/repainted by someone else. I don't know enough to make any determination there. It's subsequent lack of appearances later in the series makes sense if a crewmember absconded with it.

I’ll need to do some more research on the P2, as I’m even less familiar with that those.
 

Trekfan

New Member
Just my two cents: I think the burden of proof is on the seller. Let us know more about the history of the phaser, and let more people examine it.

In all fairness, I do not think it has to be like the GJ phaser in every single way for it to be genuine (there is enough variation in the communicators. as can be seen on the HC site, even though they are very similar, and made by (essentially) one person). The phaser production story is murky, to say the least, and we do not know exactly who made the hero P2s. Was is one person? A team of people? If made by a group of people, that would allow for more variation in the finished product. HC says they may have been made by the prop shop at Desilu, but even that is a guess.

I would love it if this turned out to be real, but until the seller comes forward with some meaningful proof and in light of all the concerns about this piece, we have to assume it is not.

PS-Yes I know I am listed as a new member here, and that new members in this thread have gotten flamed. My account here is years old but I mostly post over at TPZ.

I actually joined the rpf in2009.
 
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Jintosh

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just my two cents: I think the burden of proof is on the seller. Let us know more about the history of the phaser, and let more people examine it.

In all fairness, I do not think it has to be like the GJ phaser in every single way for it to be genuine (there is enough variation in the communicators. as can be seen on the HC site, even though they are very similar, and made by (essentially) one person). The phaser production story is murky, to say the least, and we do not know exactly who made the hero P2s. Was is one person? A team of people? If made by a group of people, that would allow for more variation in the finished product. HC says they may have been made by the prop shop at Desilu, but even that is a guess.

I would love it if this turned out to be real, but until the seller comes forward with some meaningful proof and in light of all the concerns about this piece, we have to assume it is not.

PS-Yes I know I am listed as a new member here, and that new members in this thread have gotten flamed. My account here is years old but I mostly post over at TPZ.

You're speaking common sense. So, that is absolutely to your credit. If a seller produces an unknown Picasso and wants $100,000,000 for it, they should not get it just because they say it's real. The burden of proof is absolutely on the seller. And the higher the potential dollar amount, the MORE proof must be required. Some people don't get that. The amount of proof necessary for a $100 item is different than the amount of proof necessary for a $100,000 item. That's just the way it is.
 

Gregatron

Sr Member
You're speaking common sense. So, that is absolutely to your credit. If a seller produces an unknown Picasso and wants $100,000,000 for it, they should not get it just because they say it's real. The burden of proof is absolutely on the seller. And the higher the potential dollar amount, the MORE proof must be required. Some people don't get that. The amount of proof necessary for a $100 item is different than the amount of proof necessary for a $100,000 item. That's just the way it is.

Does anyone really want to see some poor (or rich, as the case may be…) collector get duped into buying a forgery? It would be no fun for them if the piece was later proven to be a fraud, thus leaving them stuck with a very expensive item that they’d never, ever be able to recoup the cost of.
 

Lightning

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Not matching the 4 screen matched exemplars is a bit of a ding, but not a killer yet.

Here's my thought, we know there are 4 documented hero phasers, and not all of them are accounted for, so if you were going to do a forgery, why would you make a 5th unknown hero rather than trying to match details off one of the lost heroes and say it's that one?
 

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