Half a Time Machine

By François O. Beaulieu

Have you ever dreamed of owning a full-size replica of the Time Machine even though you knew that, at most, you only had enough space for half of one ? That was the dilemma facing Florida sci-fi memorabilia collector Greg Cochrane. He wanted to add a large replica of the Time Machine from the classic George Pal movie to his collection but was seriously running out of space !

Enter Vince Winskunas - well known for his miniature and model work. Greg already owned one of Vince's miniature Time Machine models and thought maybe Vince would have a solution for him. Vince had been making models of the Time Machine for several years now and was always up to a new challenge. But, so far, the size range of his models hovered between three and six inches. True, Vince had started out with a build-up of the 1:6 Masterpiece Models kit, but he had a marked preference for smaller models that were closer in size to the miniature appearing in the movie. However, it so happened that, for a while now, Vince had been pondering the building of a much larger model: a half-scale replica of The Time Machine... That was the answer Greg was looking for !

After some discussion on the characteristics the model should have, they agreed to move ahead with the project. Vince's new venture of a very large-scale model would require rethinking his design strategy from scratch. Clearly, he could not make the components out of cast resin but would have to build the parts out of wood, metal and pvc. Due to budget constraints, the wood used would be mostly plywood and there could be little possibility of real brass as Vince often used on his small models. Brass would mostly have to be - as it was in the original movie prop - imitation: painted metal and pvc tubing. As to the functionality, it would be limited to the lamps lighting.

The project was initiated in the fall of 2010 and it took nearly two years for Vince to complete the model - quite a departure from his usual two month delay for his small models. Much of this time was spent looking for the right parts, redesigning components in view of their much larger size and looking for the right materials and components. In the end, Vince had to make one major compromise. He could not find a ready-made dish that was large enough. Of course, he could have had one made to the correct size, but the funds for this project did not allow for expensive custom parts. So he had to contend with a ready-made one of slightly smaller size. But once the transformation was complete, the size difference is hardly noticeable.

In spite of the limited budget, Vince's talent and ingenuity shone through in that the final item ended up looking like a museum piece and is thus the first half scale Time Machine model ever built.

For those who would like more information on Vince's models, visit his website


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The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
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