First Project: The AE-35 Unit! Advice appreciated

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Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Does anyone have any further thoughts on the casing? If it was custom, then presumably the props in Space 1999 were in fact leftovers from 2001. I do have some screen captures that show the bottom.
 

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macropod80

Active Member
They look so similar it's unlikely to be coincidence, so if not originals they're deliberate copies. We know there were at least three - together in the overhead locker - and presumably not all fully detailed heroes with interior. Having been squinting at the screws on the ends, I notice there are none in this shot:
1999 backend.jpg
So, might this be one of the dummies from the locker?
Doctor Who; Space 1999; UFO; Moon Zero Two...just what Kubrick was afraid of, well into the 70s!
 

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The prop in your image above has the same truncated conical connectors, silver plate and lower and side screw holes and feet as the 2001 unit. Seems unlikeley they would go to this length to copy it.

bowman.jpg


plate.jpg


A different cap shows the upper and lower screw holes and connectors that look more like the standard Sperry Gyro ones.

connect.jpg


Either a different prop, or they swapped out the endplate for some reason.

The bottom of the unit, showing the 'feet'.

bottom.jpg
 

joberg

Master Member
The prop in your image above has the same truncated conical connectors, silver plate and lower and side screw holes and feet as the 2001 unit. Seems unlikeley they would go to this length to copy it.

View attachment 1383913

View attachment 1383930

A different cap shows the upper and lower screw holes and connectors that look more like the standard Sperry Gyro ones.

View attachment 1383931

Either a different prop, or they swapped out the endplate for some reason.

The bottom of the unit, showing the 'feet'.

View attachment 1383932
Intersting indeed!! From where I stand, I can see the same screw holes near the connectors and also the rear knob at the upper right hand side of the pic...probably left-overs from those units in the corridor of Discovery. Don't forget, they used those food packets, from the Aries-1B, in another space movie not long after 2001.
 

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macropod80

Active Member
View attachment 1383930

A different cap shows the upper and lower screw holes and connectors that look more like the standard Sperry Gyro ones.

View attachment 1383931

Either a different prop, or they swapped out the endplate for some reason.
Your first posting of this pic wasn't as clear on my screen, but in these ones all the screws and/or holes are clearly visible. So I'd say yes, this is clearly one of the props from 2001. You can even see signs of wear to the edges of the paint from all the handling over time. And since they had several to work with, it was no big deal to swap the connectors on one so they could actually plug into them.
We also now have a much sharper view of the turned-aluminium detail added around the Sperry's original Plessey 12-pin plugs!
 

joberg

Master Member
It's to note, also, that the bottom slides are painted black on the Space 1999 one instead of their natural aluminium self.:unsure:
 

macropod80

Active Member
Looks likeit may be either black rubber strips or tape along the 'feet'.

View attachment 1386843
Yes, something extra stuck on.
But this is a great shot, presenting to the camera a fairly undistorted profile for measuring the knob cross-section; handle height & diameter; height of the back-end connectors and some screw/hole positions - all relative to the overall length.
In fact ironically we're getting a better look at this thing's outside from Space 1999 than from it's original appearance in 2001!
Birdie, is there a sharp view of the front for nailing the exact length of the handle relative to box height? I'm getting it at maybe 4.5 inches center to center, which is a nice round number, but a bugger to find in this metric world. (96mm seems standard, and may be close enough, but looks perhaps a bit short?)
 
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joberg

Master Member
Yes, something extra stuck on.
But this is a great shot, presenting to the camera a fairly undistorted profile for measuring the knob cross-section; handle height & diameter; height of the back-end connectors and some screw/hole positions - all relative to the overall length.
In fact ironically we're getting a better look at this thing's outside from Space 1999 than from it's original appearance in 2001!
Birdie, is there a sharp view of the front for nailing the exact length of the handle relative to box height? I'm getting it at maybe 4.5 inches center to center, which is a nice round number, but a bugger to find in this metric world. (96mm seems standard, and may be close enough, but looks perhaps a bit short?)
Yep, that's why Kubrick was against the filming of that series in the first place. Deep down, he knew that the U.K. studios had some left-over 2001 props in their dept. and, as we clearly see here, the slapped an orange paint on the black finish (see the aluminium edge and the sloppy orange finish), True, we're seeing many more details of that iconic prop, including the knobs and the handle. I hope there's more screen cap coming out soon! Great research and collaboration you guys (y) (y)
 

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joberg

Master Member

macropod80

Active Member
Really looking like a 4-inch handle:
side2.jpg but I've got the overall case height a bit off - a tad too much below the handle at the bottom:
side.jpg

Not having an actual gyro to work with, I was trying to nut out the general arrangement around a rough block based on that drawing found by abitofcredit (some great research there - well found!)
Then it occurred to me, while waiting for other people to make some progress, I could make a mockup sans interior from a box with a couple of 3D-printed parts stuck on. So it got more detailed. And I'm getting less certain about the details. All that alumium at the bottom needs adjusting and the back's not quite right yet:
backend.jpg Just can't get those rails underneath to look right. Don't know what standard aluminium thicknesses were in 60's UK. I've used 3/8", which is about today's 10mm, but 5/32"/8mm might work better?
Those two knobs definitely aren't the ones that came on the gyro (that recessed face reminds me of chrome-plated plastic ones on 70's electronics).
And the handle's bend radius is bigger (and smoother) than stuff in the local hardware or evilbay. Might have to try hand-bending some rod? Or it occurs they were using a lot of surplus aviation gear, so maybe that's worth exploring:
Screenshot 2020-12-31 110828.jpg This is modern army, but you get the idea.
 

macropod80

Active Member
Additional dump of information to keep my source material in one place.

Good idea to think of including the test-probe! (And that's a great site too - Death Star firing lever!)
Happily I see Evilbay's full of Tektronix probes, but even 'vintage' ones don't seem to have the same corrugation/ribs on the handle:
probe handle.jpg
vintagenew.jpg

They're wider and flatter with sharper edges than the rounded ones in the film. Maybe you'll have to hunt down a very old one!
 

Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I found some images of this - Sperry Anolog & Digital Simulator that has similar handles. Probably more modern than our Gyro, but illustrates what macropod80 mentions in his post about the handle.

sim1.jpg


sim2.jpg


Finding a match for the exact Gyro with the narrower 'struts' is proving a challenge. There are many variations of the Type B, and most of the Ebay auctions don't show the internals. I think we can reasonably sure assume that it will have 'DO NOT JAR HANDLE LIKE EGGS' printed on the side of the case :)

 

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Birdie

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
There are four or five correct ones on Evilbay right now - you're not looking hard enough! :D

Good idea to think of including the test-probe! (And that's a great site too - Death Star firing lever!)
Happily I see Evilbay's full of Tektronix probes, but even 'vintage' ones don't seem to have the same corrugation/ribs on the handle:
View attachment 1397108 View attachment 1397109
They're wider and flatter with sharper edges than the rounded ones in the film. Maybe you'll have to hunt down a very old one!
 

macropod80

Active Member
There are four or five correct ones on Evilbay right now - you're not looking hard enough! :D
Balls.
Failing a chunk of vintage electrical equipment to dismantle, I reckon whatever they found may well have had handles made by the century-old Hammond company: Chassis Handles (1427 Series) Still doing them in imperial sizes!
For the lettering, custom rub-downs are exorbitantly expensive, but has anyone tried this stuff: DecalProFX | Dry transfer decals in 8 min ? It looks very promising, for a lot of projects.
 
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joberg

Master Member
Balls.
Failing a chunk of vintage electrical equipment to dismantle, I reckon whatever they found may well have had handles made by the century-old Hammond company: Chassis Handles (1427 Series) Still doing them in imperial sizes!
For the lettering, custom rub-downs are exorbitantly expensive, but has anyone tried this stuff: DecalProFX | Dry transfer decals in 8 min ? It looks very promising, for a lot of projects.
Or the metal shop made these from straight rods and bent them to size;):unsure:
 

joberg

Master Member
For anyone interested; there's a pic on the 2001 archive's on Flickr (under Getty Images) that shows in the second pic, right hand side, Stanley looking at a mock-up of the Discovery antenna unit model and at the back of the table, there is the AE-35 unit without its top and markingso_O
 

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