Star Trek Tridimensional Chess Set

GamerMechanic81

New Member
The goal, build as near flawless screen accurate prop as possible while avoiding having to buy expensive unobtainum materials such as original Ganine 1494 Classic chess pieces or clear space checkers boards.

Some hunches as follows
1. Space checkers changed from screen accurate clear plastic boards to orange very early in production, but plesentime never changed the molds used for injection molding. So in other words, if I can make a silicone rubber mold and make casts of the small boards in clear resin or polyurethane or something I might stand a chance. Also considering having the boards scanned using a very high precision 3d scanner somehow so that there's a possibility of having them made in clear material other ways.

2. Versions of checkline that have clear connecting tubes are hard to find, but I assume that it's relatively simple to buy acrylic tubing of appropriate size and cut to match the ones in checkline with a reasonable level of precision

3. The base will be something either 3d printable, or something that could be fabricated somehow without much difficulty. I could buy a tubing roller that makes hoops and try running 1/4" square bar stock through it, but I need better measurements of the original. If this was actually a kit bashed globe or astrolabe from the early 1960's I should probably buy one. If anyone has information let me know.

Challenges ahead.
1. Budget
2. I'm not sure what paint to use to tint squares red on the checkline boards.
3. Never cast anything in resin or anything before. Not sure if there will be shrinkage.
4. I live in Chicago, frustratingly far from a screen accurate Tridimensional chess set that can be used for reference.
5. Mitering metal bar stock on hoops so that the angles come out right and the boards end up level is scary.
6 I don't have any measurements of the original, just screen shots of the star fleet technical manual.
7. I can't afford a Ganine 1494 classic set, let alone find one that is for sale. Current 3d printable options are lacking. At the very least I need lots of highly detailed photos of the king, queen, knight, Bishop, rook and pawn so I can make better 3d printable models than what is currently available. I am willing to settle for the Gothic set for now, or maybe the as yet unidentified set from episode 3
 
I am afraid that I have the brain power to play only one dimension of checkers…

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i have a Tridimensional chess set from Star trek packed away in its original box in storage i got it years ago its as close as i am going to get to being screen accurate from the original series i got it from like Franklin mint i believe i paid about $300 for it you might find some help by looking it up on ebay or amazon i have one picture i can share
 

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i have a Tridimensional chess set from Star trek packed away in its original box in storage i got it years ago its as close as i am going to get to being screen accurate from the original series i got it from like Franklin mint i believe i paid about $300 for it you might find some help by looking it up on ebay or amazon i have one picture i can share
I have the same set. It is NOWHERE near screen accurate. I have one as a place holder but to be honest, it's garbage.
 
start here for good photos and measurements of the component boards, courtesy of the late great Greg Schnitzer

Thank you. I had a hard time finding this thread for some reason. It's critical to this project. So far, comparing the pictures of the clear space checkers boards to mine, they look the same, aside from color, so assuming I can cast this out of clear resin or something there's a chance.
 
I have the same set. It is NOWHERE near screen accurate. I have one as a place holder but to be honest, it's garbage.
The noble Collection gets closer, and from 50ft from certain angles it might even be convincing, but they made the mistake of tinting the attack boards, all the boards are flat and smooth, and they just had to add a uss enterprise insignia to the base.
 
I find that the biggest problem is simply the size. It's about 1/3rd too small. If they just made it the correct size I would be thrilled!
 
7. I can't afford a Ganine 1494 classic set, let alone find one that is for sale. Current 3d printable options are lacking. At the very least I need lots of highly detailed photos of the king, queen, knight, Bishop, rook and pawn so I can make better 3d printable models than what is currently available. I am willing to settle for the Gothic set for now, or maybe the as yet unidentified set from episode 3

I assume you've already seen this gallery

Also, if you search for Ganine Classic on Worthpoint there are lots of good photos of pieces from past auctions.
 
I have the same set. It is NOWHERE near screen accurate. I have one as a place holder but to be honest, it's garbage.
if you have the same set as me and have it out on display then you are displaying garbage since you are calling it garbage which i dont thing its garbage and you will find similar sets on ebay some cheaper than what i priced it at and some higher priced than what i priced and from what i can tell from looking on ebay the set i have is the 25th anniversay set that came out in 1994
 
I assume you've already seen this gallery

Also, if you search for Ganine Classic on Worthpoint there are lots of good photos of pieces from past auctions.
I've been downloading as many as I can. Also, I downloaded this file


Obviously though its going to need some editing. It looks like a very very low resolution scan of the knight. All the crisp hard edges have been lost, the eyes and nostrils look almost melted away. It's kind of sad actually.

Also found a listing on eBay that's very odd.

There's holes drilled in all of the rooms that don't show up in any star Trek episode
 
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Also found a listing on eBay that's very odd.

There's holes drilled in all of the rooms that don't show up in any star Trek episode
Yeah, that does look like the right set, but why oh why would someone have drilled those holes?! That particular seller was offering a set a while back as I recall for twice as much, and I tried to work with him on the price, but he wouldn't budge; I ended up finding a nice set ultimately that had the felts replaced.
 
The size matches the description I've run across for the clear boards. Anyone have any tips on making clear resin or acrylic casts of these?
 

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Ive seen some videos on making silicone molds for making ren cast reproductions of car turn signal lenses, and I'm convinced that's the way to go. I'm going to need a pressure pot and maybe some warmer weather so I can mix some of this stuff up in better ventilation.

In the mean time, look what I found on eBay.

It's a first printing of checkline. One of the four boards is damaged, but three of them are ok. I'm definitely going to try to get a mold made of these too. If I ever get a decent scanner, it might also be worth scanning
 
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So, the checkline game came in the mail. 3 out of the 4 boards are too damaged to use without some repair of some kind. One board is nearly good enough to make a casting from.

However it seems the red space checkers boards are either worn or were designed with holes too large to grip the checkline acrylic tubes. I tend to think it's a combination of age and wear since they don't even really grip the tubes that came with space checkers.

Also there's the scale. Did the original TOS board have this much of a size difference between the squares on the attack boards and the squares on the main boards?
 

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I see lots of discussion about the boards - I have the original game they used
I wonder about the base and the support arm.
Does anyone here know? At first I thought it looked like a globe frame and base but then I saw someone comment that it was a cake stand.
But I have also heard it was just thrown together by prop department so...
 
I see lots of discussion about the boards - I have the original game they used
I wonder about the base and the support arm.
Does anyone here know? At first I thought it looked like a globe frame and base but then I saw someone comment that it was a cake stand.
But I have also heard it was just thrown together by prop department so...
Most plausible explanation I have heard is it was a plant stand base. Probably made from pressed mild steel.

The base may be original to the plant stand or taken off a floor lamp.

I am thinking of making one using a jack press and some forms made from wood for the arms and 3D printed filled with resin/plaster for the base.

Did think of trying to make the base by spinning. But pressing seems likely to require rather less skill...
 
Has anyone else been making up plans? I have a model in inventor which I plan to do some test prints from as soon as I replace the printer nozzle. Will make the plans generally available once I complete my build.

The drawings in the Star Fleet Engineering manual are hilariously out of kilter with the screenshots I have. The actual prop base is a lot squatter and the disks have rounded transitions between the layers.

A little detail I am still struggling with is there is a small disk at the end of the supports and I am really not sure how that blends in. Looks to me like it might be welded. Makye just two cuts??

Another detail is the top board is not horizontal, it droops markedly and that is so from the first shot we see it in. I am inclined to think that it was flat when it left the factory and only got bent after one of the many space battles the Enterprise went through.

I am now starting to think the base was a found item and the supports were custom made. The shop would surely be using square tube for various supports and bending to suit various purposes.

Final question is what thickness the supports are. I was thinking 1/2" but that is clearly too thick. I have the right chess set and will try measuring the pieces. The true value is surely 1/4" or 3/8" because the studio wouldn't have had anything else on hand. I suspect it might be 1/4" simply to make it as easy as possible to bend. It was made with the expectation of being a one shot prop.

Original is almost certainly polished mild steel tube. I am tempted to go the stainless route for looks.
 

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