Aaah, a secret obsession of mine....
Unfortunately there are very few photos of the machine and there is no making of book that I'm aware of; only the cinefex article, which doesn't reveal a lot about the machine other than that it was built by Peter Chesney and was made mostly from found parts.
I was only able to identify one of them: the little b/w monitor is a Sony DXF-50 viewfinder.
Unfortunately though there are certain parts which I'm completely unable to identify and I'm not even referring to all those circuit boards but to simple things such as the camera mounted next to the viewfinder.
And there is not a single shot of the back of the machine.
As a child I built several horribly inaccurate versions of the machine, a miniature and a full scale one that couldn't move or stand up as it does in the movie. I only had a single black and white photo and my memory as reference...
Years later, when I found the cinefex issue (# 41) I found out who built it and after some research I got in contact with Peter Chesney and surprisingly he actually wrote back! :confused
Here's the reply I got:
Well you are the first on this subject. I had one fan who was after a Freddy glove from Nightmare on elm st who wrote every year for 8 years.
Anyway I designed and built the shrink gun and the Ant on the first movie. The ant went to Disney world and the gun went into Disney storage and was dug out for the second movie Honey; I blew up the Baby. Same gun just remounted in a slide out tray for the van. As far as I know its now back into Disney storage (mysterious place).
The gun had a unique feature in the chain actuated parallelogram... I was very proud of it at the time. The stand up gave it alot of personality.
You can see the big black gear motor in front down low driving a chain directly to the gun base. The chain gears were fixed to the link arms and extra idler to get the load transfered to the top gear.
This picture was in my computer so its easy to send. It was taken in my old shop in Burbank (note the nose piece of the bigger hanging enlarging gun in construction behind the van door).
On the left side I remember using the black aluminum cased, red laser (not visible in this photo) that I had built for a machine gun used on Osterman's Weekend (my first film as a coordinator.) The red discs on the nose piece were ceramic capacitors we had found at a surplus electronics place. The back was open - just the back of link gears and the back to the top plate parts.No real drawing existed it was strictly build something gun-like out of things that make sense... not designed by the Art department.
Like the braided hose wrapped around the gun is real liquid nitrogen stainless hose (that we added for the supper conductor magnet idea) which we pumpped real LN2 through. It screamed alot until it cooled down and started to frost over... waited every take.
Hope this helps.
Might have other pictures in boxes but am busy with additional photography on Eagle Eye for the next few weeks.
What are you building & in what scale. You're a propmaker? where? Not 8 now I presume. Story...?
Image Engineering Inc.
I can see if I can upload the photo he sent me back then, if anyone's interested.
Maybe someone here knows Mr. Chesney or maybe he is a member himself.
And maybe we can turn this into a research thread :love