My HAL 9000 Panel Build


Hi all, I'm starting a HAL 9000 panel build. Thanks to the many great threads posted here and others I've convinced myself it was possible to build a convincing replica. I just picked up a Nikkor fish eye 8mm f8 Lens and a Moebius kit (mostly for size and inspiration). Since I'm a newbie to this genre I hope you'll excuse a dumb question from time to time.

So where to begin. First off I'm convinced to get the consistent fitment seen on screen of the HAL 9000 panel would require a outside perimeter lip. As seen on Peter Jackson's prototype. As I have zero street creds in this new genre I'd like to enlist some help. I see that Adam Savage chimes in from time to time and I'm sure people in the industry do to. Rather than guess might there be a way to convenes Peter to have one of his people to do a forensic analysis of his panel. Lots of pictures and measurements. A guy can dream can't he. After all this is why we're all here, right? Any ideas on how to use the very cool view finder lens?

Second if some of the great pictures are to believed it looks to have a chamfer along the top edge. What the angle is, is something I have to work out. To look correct it would have to go around the entire perimeter.


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Quite the project; 3Dsf has made one that's very close to the original one (including a real Nikkor). There's a long thread on the subject (your research button is your friend). Adam Johnson's book "2001 - The Lost Science" is also a must: it has all the measurement you'll need for your project.
Hello, and welcome!

Yes, it's now possible to make a pretty decent replica of a HAL 9000 faceplate. I've done so for the Kubrick Exhibition, using all the information that's come to light over the past decade or so. There are a few key points where we're missing specific pieces of information, mostly related to the depth of the faceplate (relative to the surface it's mounted into), but we're almost there.


I've written up my research on the topic:

I'd be cautious about using the Moebius kit for anything, since it's inaccurate in many respects except for the overall XY dimensions. Likewise previous replicas, which were made prior to the data sources we have now. The piece Peter Jackson now owns is, in my opinion, most likely a production-made prototype and thus an invaluable resource, but it does not have the correct proportions for any of the film-used faceplates and has a replacement grille that doesn't match the originals.

As for the viewfinder, I've never seen anything in the film that looks like it used one of those. I guess you could machine a new enclosure for it and make a wall-mounted lens for a Picturephone from the Space Station V set or something, but that would be sort of pointless. A shame, since as you say it's a pretty nifty looking thing!
Thanks so much for your comments, I'll need many more from people like you. Reading your posts and others is what made me decide to do this project. I have a varied background from tool and die maker to electro/mechanical engineer.

Sad no one at the time really understood the importance HAL would play in the movie. It seems the book you mentioned they want a small fountain for. I also see some evidence it was reprinted but so far no luck. As this may be the only prop I ever make is the book still necessary? With all the research everyone has done I see making the prop as doable and now with AI and Deep Fake HAL's voice will become much more usable.

What are the changes of contacting either Adam or Peter to see if we can get a better look at Peter's prototype?

Now days it's hard to think almost all of the set material went to scrapyards. I know from my car hobby a Ford GT-40 was sent to a landfill in L. A. because Shelby didn't want to pay the import duty, very sad.
Using the WayBackMachine site I see where a signed copy of the reprinted book was for sale at for $79.00 as late as April of 2023. The site seem to no longer exist. Anyone know where I can get a copy? Is there a PDF I can buy?

Using the WayBackMachine site I see where a signed copy of the reprinted book was for sale at for $79.00 as late as April of 2023. The site seem to no longer exist. Anyone know where I can get a copy? Is there a PDF I can buy?

I believe there’s at least one copy on ebay at approx the ajamodels pricing (y)
Looks like volume 1 is out of print. Which is a shame, since Adam created a great compendium of
stuff. But, no, if you're just doing a HAL you wouldn't need it given the information that's out there.
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