Star Trek 3D Chess Set - Build, & Finished

Alan Castillo

Master Member
While the chess from Star Trek TOS was seen in a few episodes, the chess set created for Star Trek - The Next Generation, was a permanent fixture in the set deco for the 10 Forward Lounge on the Enterprise.

Even for brief fleeting moments, it can be seen in the vast majority of scenes that were filmed in 10 Forward.

....... plus, I'm currently watching TNG, and wanted to build this one :lol

This is the original prop.


And as it appeared in TNG, (as well as in Sisko's quarters on DS-9) and in the final episode of Enterprise.




The original prop was sold by Christie's in 2006, for $28,800.

This is my $45 version :lol

Waste not, want not (aka pieces of wood from the garage)


Cut, joined and filled.


I tried sanding masked out parts of acrylic plates to get a frosting effect, but it didn't work out :(


So I went the mask and paint way :)

I used a blade and a ruler to cut the protective covering of the acrylic into squares, removed alternate squares, and painted the exposed areas.



Results of paint, with the acrylic rods stuck onto the underside.


And the final replica after putting all the bits together and using a set of glass chess pieces.

Sanded down the frame, painted it and the base silver, stuck the smaller plates to the larger plates, the large plates onto the frame, and placed some chess pieces around.










Last edited:
You did an outstanding job. This is a great prop--looks like it was gratifying to make. I also really like that it's an affordable prop to create--and you showed 'progress' shots. I'll bet you inspire at least a few folk around here to take on a new DIY project.

Nice work. The small chess pieces you chose look good too.
Thanks for the comments ! :)

No Dave, I don't know how. But he does :lol

The most 'expensive' part of the cost was the chess set jediscout :lol
you made it look to easy, with only 6 progress photo's makes it seem like you whipped it up during lunch

looks great though, and i didnt know there was different rules for it, i thought it just had different levels to make it look more confusing, spock always made it look simply though
Thanks again everyone, it's much appreciated :)

rosskow, there's not really much else to it other than what I posted. It may seem easy (and in a way it is), but it is actually a pain in the rear-end to make due to the 'delicacy' involved :lol
Last edited:
Thank you gentlemen :)

YCL, dimensions roughly as follows :

'Large' board - 14 X 14 X 0.4 cms
'Small' board - 7 X 7 X 0.4 cms
Rods - 5.5 cms X 0.8mm diameter.
Base - 17.5 X 15 X 1.5 cms
'Main' Frame - 32 cms tall x 0.8 cms thick
Total Height - 40 cms

Note - It is not 1 : 1.

First I estimated what 'volume' of space I could afford to give it without it looking too bulky in the overall prop room deco. Then I bought the chess pieces, and worked backwards with their dimensions from there, using screen-grabs and proportional calculations.

According to Christie's, the original prop was 25x10x20 inches.
Last edited:
25 inches tall? No wonder my Franklin Mint one I shelled out for back when I had money always felt too small (it's only 13"). Inevitably when playing, someone would reach for a piece in the middle of a large board and knock the small board while trying to squeeze their hand underneath. At least it came with a set of rules, though.

OK, actually it didn't, I complained, they sent the TOS booklet in German! - I'd bought he TNG board- complained, eventually got the right booklet.

BTW I used the exact same mask-and-spray-silver technique (should be able to re-use those boards) together with what looks like the same clear and frosted glass chess set.
That looks great! Very nice job.
Incidentally there was once a clear acrylic plate that fit into the hole in the base, with an insignia "etched" on it. Most of the "etched glass" on the show was also paint on plexiglas, like the windows in the doors leading into Ten-Forward.
That turned out great. I'm actually surprised that there aren't more replicas of these boards out there. I thought it would be a pretty popular prop.
This thread is more than 3 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. This thread hasn't been active in some time. A new post in this thread might not contribute constructively to this discussion after so long.
If you wish to reply despite these issues, check the box below before replying.
Be aware that malicious compliance may result in more severe penalties.