Star Trek Strange New Worlds SNW Communicator Moire Pattern


Sr Member
Trying to get an exact match on the moire pattern shown on the communicator prop that was recently on display with phaser and tricorder from Strange New Worlds. I figured that, like the spider-moire pattern seen on Spock's bridge station and the hero communicator prop, it was a 2-piece moire, B&W paper version on bottom with clear transparency version on top.

The SNW moire in comm appears to be the pinwheel moire pattern, but when I copied the same pattern onto clear and put them together, it did not create the same effect. See photos below...if you look REALLY close at the side view on one photo, it seems like there is a second pinwheel pattern but with MUCH THINNER lines.

Yes, I realize this is picking nits, but if anybody has figured out exactly what patterns were used to create the pattern seen on actual prop, please let me know. Thanks.


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Sr Member
A replica maker on facebook had this to say:

The SNW moire is a digital animation on a nano ipod that is inside the shell. The images used on the Chicago display was just a flat backing design inserted to give the prop some life. Like a photo.

I still wonder if this pattern can be recreated with a 2-piece moire?


New Member
I put a Nano in mine… looks great. Got the animation from a group member on FB. Added magnets to be able to get to the Nano. I’m told they use magnet on the show props and they do indeed use the 7th Gen iPod Nano inside. Starting paint soon. Awaiting a metal moire ring, buttons and midplate. Possibly a metal antenna grill as well


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This Paramount video details SNW’s props and confirms their use of iPod Nanos for graphics in both the communicator and tricorder.

The “iPod” solution is fine for filming purposes, but requires the units to be disassembled to be activated and doesn’t support sound FX. I know there are at least a couple of folks working on creating OLED graphics and sound cards for the SNW comm that could be activated via a Reed switch (i.e. the OLED screen would display both the moiré and indicator lights when the antenna/lid is opened like you’d expect). Unsure if anyone is working on this custom OLED solution for the SNW tricorder build. Regardless, the “custom board” route is the “Holy Grail” solution for those SNW props that feature dynamic graphics. The iPad Nano route looks great, but doesn’t really work for those (like me) who want to be able to flip open a prop from their display shelf and see it activate with lights and sound.

Hopefully there’s an OLED+sound option available for purchase soon.



Active Member
These will be some extensive (and expensive). features for the SNW communicators and tricorders but certainly amazing! I’m sure upscale printed phaser kits will begin to pop up soon with full flip-up sight functionality + electronics. Maybe they’re already out there in the wild ~

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