Star Trek - Vulcan Meditation Lamp - Build and Finished

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Alan Castillo

Master Member
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Here's another Star Trek Voyager prop I've always wanted to make.

Tuvok's Vulcan Meditation Lamp, purchased from a Vulcan Master .... who promptly raised the price when he saw that Tuvok was a member of Starfleet. (True story that, as told by Janeway :lol )

This meditation lamp appears in plenty of episodes, and it is this one











The first step was getting the dimensions, and this is the method I used.


From this screencap, I calculated the width of the thinner edge in comparison to the width of the hand and the length of a finger. Got it to be approximately 5cms.





The length was a semi-guesstimate, and I got this by positioning my hands like the above screencap, and placing a ruler across the hands. This I calculated to be roughly 23cms.

With those basic measurements in hand, the rest was easy. The height I calculated from this screencap.





And the side contour came from this one.





So off it goes.


Traced the contour of the lamp from my PC to act as a guide, as well as the view from the top using the measurements. The other scaled details were a matter of proportion.





The medium I chose was balsa wood, as it lends itself to shaping very nicely. Since I didn't have a thick enough piece, I glued one on top of another for the thickness.





Traced the outline of the lamp, as well as the ones for the top and bottom parts.





The top and bottom parts, however, required three 'tiers'.





No lathe :( , but nothing some elbow grease can't handle :lol





And then some more.





Once shaved down to the approximate shape, sandpaper took over :)





Voila. Main Body is ready.





Onto the bottom part ....





... and then the top.





All parts covered with filler.





Screencap trace comparison for guidance.





Stuck bottom and top parts on and filled the gaps with filler.





Made sure main body was totally level.





Drew the Vulcan symbols from the screencaps to transfer to the top.





Sanded, primed and all painted :)













But something was missing.


Muuuuuaaaaahahahahahahahahaha :lol






That's much better now :lol









And on display.







.
.... and a tip - NEVER light a fire in a prop room. I almost learnt the hard way :lol




.
 
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Felgacarb

Well-Known Member
Again, nice work! I may have to go back and watch some of the Voyager I 'missed' to see some of these props...
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
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Thanks Jeff :) :thumbsup

I had looked all over for one that maybe I could modify. The closest I got were metal Far-Eastern incense burners like these


 
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Shylaah

Sr Member
Interesting little piece there. I was gonna say it looked a bit like an Aladdin's lamp! Also, a bit like a miniature mandolin/lute or half a yellow squash slipped over an incense burner!?

Yay for Blasa wood! You did a great job on the lamp. What did you use as filler for the blasa? And is it something you can stain over or does it have to be painted? I'm waffling on what to use on my box. I have some rock hard I was going to try on the inside I've seen recommended on some model plane sites, along with spacklin and other stuffs......I also have some Cabot sanding sealer, but I'm unsure what to use since I want to stain (Minwax Wood Finish) the box and not paint it and don't want to use something that will make the stain all splochy.

Shylaah
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
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Thank you Shylaah :)

For the filler, I used wood filler paste. Usually, it's used to fill in / blend small cracks and so forth on furniture. You can get it in various colours. Your local ironmonger should have it. I like to use that because it hardens like real wood, and you can sand, stain or paint it.
 

Funky

Master Member
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Great job as usual, Alan.
I am now convinced you could make a kick-ass prop out of a petrified turd. :lol
 

Shylaah

Sr Member
Thank you Shylaah :)

For the filler, I used wood filler paste. Usually, it's used to fill in / blend small cracks and so forth on furniture. You can get it in various colours. Your local ironmonger should have it. I like to use that because it hardens like real wood, and you can sand, stain or paint it.
Thanks for the info. I don't want to use something that's gonna require yet another decision--color.... :).......I know I just need to do some experiments to see what will work for what I want, but I just can't seem to get my head out of the fog and get anything going since the holidays, been in a real slump!

And thanks for posting your build, it has been inspirational and at least got me thinking about things again!! :thumbsup

Shylaah
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You're more than welcome Shylaah :)


Great job as usual, Alan.
I am now convinced you could make a kick-ass prop out of a petrified turd. :lol
Hmmm.

OK Armando, I'll see what Jurassic Park prop I can whip up then :lol

Thank you buddy :) thumbsup
 

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Apollo

Legendary Member
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Love it!

I think Tuvok was secretely waiting for a Blonde to appear. ;)
 

norbauer

Active Member
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This is excellent, Alan. Can you provide more info on the burner you used and how you installed it?
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
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This is excellent, Alan.
Thank you.

Can you provide more info on the burner you used and how you installed it?


The burner is simply cut out and shaped from a sheet of brass.

The wick is a slice cut from those garden torch thingies, rolled up and dampened in the same citronella oil I use for the garden torches. Keeps Vulcan mozzies away and smells good too :lol

I just placed it in the hole at the top of the lamp.
 

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norbauer

Active Member
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oh, Tiki torches! Awesome! I'm working on my own build of this right now (a mod of one of those brass Aladdin lamps, which I think is how the original was produced), but figuring out how to make the flame work was the missing link. I was looking at alcohol burners, but those require a cap to be kept on them or the fuel volatilizes away really quickly. Thanks so much for the inspiration to try this. I hope mine comes out as nicely as yours. :)

- - - Updated - - -

PS: Your kal-toh board write-up is amazing too, btw. I might take that project up someday also and try to make one in the "complete" state (though the 3D geometry will probably prove a challenge for me). I love Vulcan cultural artifacts; we see too few of them in Trek, alas.
 
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Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yep, Tiki torches, I just couldn't remember the word :lol

Don't bother trying to find a system that will keep the fuel wet IMO, too complicated. Whenever I want to light it up I just put some drops of oil on the wick, as the citronella oil bottles have a very slim pipette-like nozzle anyway. No danger of the oil spilling all over the place while pouring.

About the Kal-Toh game, I still have the 'rods' to make a complete state one too, I just haven't gotten round to it.

....... 2 and a half years and counting :lol
 

norbauer

Active Member
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Alan Castillo: Did you notice that apparently either two props or two paint jobs were used between episodes? Your version of the graphics is based on image #2 of your post, and has some extra dots that the other versions don't. Do you remember which episode this is from? I am currently working on a vector version in Illustrator (which I'll share when done) and want to try to decide which is the "canonical" version. :)
 
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Alan Castillo

Master Member
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@Alan Castillo: Did you notice that apparently either two props or two paint jobs were used between episodes? Your version of the graphics is based on image #2 of your post, and has some extra dots that the other versions don't. Do you remember which episode this is from? I am currently working on a vector version in Illustrator (which I'll share when done) and want to try to decide which is the "canonical" version. :)
Yep, I did notice at the time, and chose the one that looked best IMO :)

2nd pic is from the Season 4, Episode 2, "The Gift".

HTH :)
 
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norbauer

Active Member
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Ah, cool. Thanks! I'll let you know how my Illustrator experimentation turns out. :)
 

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