The Sphinx that Jack built
by Francois O. Beaulieu

Although many fans have attempted to recreate the Time Machine as it appears in the George Pal movie, there have been very few attempts to depict other subject matter appearing in the film.

Surely, one of the most interesting structures in this beloved classic is the Sphinx, which (as in the original Wells novel) the Time Traveller first encounters on his arrival in 802701. George Pal had originally sketched his own version of the Sphinx - an admitedly primitive drawing that Wah Chang extrapolated upon to create the marvelous version we have come to know.

Probably one of the reasons this subject has seldom been attempted is that a diorama of this scene - when matched to a model Time Machine - makes for an enormous display.

There has been a precedent however - many years ago - when prop maker Mike Minor built such a diorama complete with miniature Time Machine. I am aware of another attempt a few years ago, a project which was eventually abandoned due to its impractical size.

However, animation artist Jack Polito found a way around this problem by replacing the Time Machine model with a tiny photo of same placed within the Sphinx. Because of this, he was able to make a diorama of the Sphinx that measures no more than nine inches wide by nine inches high !

His model is made of resin and hand-painted. It even features the Morlock sirens as well as trees and bushes on either side. Only the front of the Sphinx is depicted, making the depth barely six and a half inches.

Jack's one-of-a-kind model is being offered on eBay this week.




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