A Time Machine Masterpiece

By François O. Beaulieu

When Masterpiece Models first announced their 1:6 Time Machine kit some years ago, they had ambitious plans. They were going to offer a motorized version with an internal mechanism such as had only been seen so far in the illusive Granite City Model briefly produced in the early nineties. But when they finally started producing the kit, they realized the add-ons necessary for such an internal mechanism might prove too complex, so they eventually settled for a simple shaft towards the back holding a friction wheel next to the edge of the dish.

Many of the fans were disappointed with this simpler approach that - although many concede was the only practical approach with very small models - was not the best option with a model the size of the Masterpiece Models kit.

Around 2005, one talented model builder by the name of Troy Enlow decided to try and customize his kit the way Masterpiece Models had originally intended. Troy's intricate modifications were documented in a previous article.

His model was completed in the fall of 2005. Early in 2006, he entered it in a contest and won first prize. Collectors soon took notice and begged him to sell his model. After some coaxing, he decided to put it on eBay. There were many bids and soon the model was on its way to its lucky new owner.

But things didn't go quite as planned. Sending such a large and fragile model through the postal service was a risk and, as bad luck would have it, the model was severely damaged in transit. In the end, Troy had to take back the model and refund the auction winner. Even though he left the damaged model as is for a while, Troy eventually found the courage to repair it and ended up offering it as a gift to a dear friend for his birthday.

Up until recently, nobody else had attempted to make such a sophisticated build-up. However, early in 2011, another gifted enthusiast by the name of Alan Haskell decided to have a go at it.

Alan had been building models since the age of six and had specialized over some years now in complex models and dioramas. Furthermore, he had a special fondness for 19th century sci-fi and had made over a dozen Nautilus models ranging in size from two inches and three quarters up to sixty-six inches ! So it was just natural that he would want sooner or later to tackle the Time Machine.

Alan's inspiration for his model however came not from Troy but from David Goldberg, an acquaintance of his who only two years ago started on another masterful rebuilding of the Masterpiece kit. See RPF Thread

Alan had seen David's posts on RPF and was impressed by the amount of detailing that he was putting into his work but slightly disappointed that David was planning to make his build-up of the Time Machine as a static model. Even though Alan had never seen Troy's model, he also wanted his to come alive and to take it a step further with an internal drive. In so doing, he unknowingly followed in Troy's steps. He would make his model fully functional as Troy did, but with all the extra details that he had seen David put into his.

Alan started on his project in April 2011 and completed it only two months later. He took another month to create a diorama for it.



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