Star Trek II:TWOK Communicator Concept


Sr Member
Back when I first saw the film, in the theater, I remember being puzzled by the big clunky communicator Kirk & Savik used to talk to the Enterprise with. I couldn't imagine why they'd have such an ugly boxy looking device. But I was quite young at the time, and convinced myself that the weird clunky boxy thing on the front of the field jackets wasn't a coincidence- They were the same prop. Now, things didn't seem so haphazard. And years later, when TNG actors were talking into their chest badges all the time, it seemed to really make sense.

Then I saw the film once more and was dismayed all over again.

Of course the truth turned out to be Nicholas Meyer wanted clunky props and had intended to have our crew use nearly off-the-shelf walkie-talkies- The wacky project box comms were the best the art and prop departments could do at the last minute when they finally talked him out of it.

Years later, with a better understanding of what happened, I still like my earlier idea better-

So here it is- a (first draft model) ST II combination communicator chest badge:







It's missing some details, but the concept is all there. The big clip on the back would allow you to wear it on the jacket and pull it off for use.

I tried to keep as many of the design elements from the original comm as I could. (Even some I didn't like...)

It might be fun to send the final files to shapeways and get a quick kit made.

It might be more fun to wait until the DST comm comes out (we've all pre-ordered like 12 each, right?) and put their electronics into it...

The obvious downsides are you'd have to carry your band-aids in a jacket pocket. And you no longer have a giant red light on the bottom, outside the communicator to let you know it's on.

So, any thoughts? Totally crazy?
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Well-Known Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

Oh that is sweeeeeeeet. I was thinking at first you slid the regular comm out from the thing but that is still awesome! I would totally be interested!


Sr Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

I've put in the correct dimensions for the band-aid box, and added (or fixed) the remaining details. I've also hollowed out the box and designed in assembly features- mostly this now goes together with #4-40 screws and nuts.

I got a quote from Shapeways, it would be about $90 to 'print' this part in the basic nylon (PA 2200) material- that doesn't sound too bad.

Of course, since we don't have the DST comms yet, if I wanted to put the electronics in this design I'd probably have to do a version 2 later.






Sr Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

Here's what the first prototype is currently looking like-

First on paper:

Then the parts as delivered by Shapeways-


Overall they came out pretty good. The texture is a bit rough and porous, but that's a characteristic of the material, and I knew it going in.

Here's with some rattle-can silver paint applied:

Then, to get a bit fancier, I did some hand painting and put in some electronics.

Actually, I recycled an old blinking freebie button, took out the electronics from it, swapped out it's LED and added a new switch:


The best part of that plan is that it was all re-used parts, so it counts as free!




So, that's how it stands now.

Zombie Killer

Master Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

Wow dude, thats some amazing work. That Shapeways stuff is very cool too and something i need to look into.


Sr Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

You can do these in resin using the print as a master. You can also lose or reduce that nifty granular effect. A technique we use in the toy industry is if you go over the surface with Azbro wax and then smooth it down. I have an upcoming project that will soon be ready and I used this tecnique and it looks wonderful. It takes time but well worth it. Tomorrow I'll post a section so you can see what I'm talking about.
Otherwise what I do with my white prints from Shapeways is to go over them with about 3 coats of primer sanding between each one which really isn't that much of a nuciance unless you have ADD or the patience of a spoiled 5 year old. :p You only have to take into account the paint thickness when drawing your file.

I've made about 5 or 6 custom comms so I can really appreciate this one. Looks great. You should show it off at the TPZ.


Sr Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

Thanks, vorta!

The next time I do a project made out of this nylon, I will definitely be trying SLK's advice on getting the surface smoother...


Sr Member
Gone but not forgotten.
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

Here's mine...

I skinned it with spot putty to smooth it...forget doesn't work very well...
After a couple coats, I primed it, wet sanded and painted it with a Duplicolor car paint silver...and clear coat.

I rigged the lighting and I added a push button between the hinge area...the only place where it would be out of the way.

I also made a metal clip for it using the kit version as a guide.

I love it!
Great job Eric!!!






Sr Member
Re: Star Trek II:TWOK Commicator Concept

Wow, Sporak, that looks great! I love the look with the blue light out of the bottom. The metal clip looks good, too. What kind of metal did you use?
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