I have been infected by the same rare disease that you have. This letter is in the hope that I might find understanding in my present condition. It all started so subtly. I am a video cameraman by trade and after a period of extended unemployment, I went to work at the local theater. After a week or two they started showing "The Time Machine" by Simon Wells.
I like to build things, so decided to create some kind of a display inside the theater to promote the film. I didn't have much money or time, but what I did have were a lot of wire grid storage cubes. The kind you can whack together to make cubbyhole storage grids. Now, most of the machine is not square, so I needed some other way to attach the panels. And it had to be cheap. Zip ties!
So I started construction. Some 8 hours later I had the basis of a time machine. Over the next 3 to 4 days, I continued to tinker and refine. I would get so excited about different ideas, like what I could use or buy to make it more realistic. Eventually, the movie finished it's run and I had to dismantle my time machine. The patrons all thought it was cool and creative, but lamented that it was not big enough to sit in.
Enter the Internet. I started scanning the sites and soon I had a collection of over 125 photos. Most taken at Comicon 2001 in San Diego last year. I started drawing plans. Then I started shopping for parts. Home Depot. Ace Hardware. Walmart. Pic-n-sav. 99¢ Stores. Soon I had a base with legs, a control unit, rotors and so on.
The project occupied my thoughts day and night. Every night I would be up till midnight working on some aspect of the project. But I was plagued by doubts. "Would it stand up?". "Would I be able to finish it?". And "Who would care?".
I have taken some artistic liberties with the design so that you can't call it a replica. I call it a sculpture, yet strive to add details that make it look more like a "time machine". Some details are only hinted at, some are outright fabrications because I thought it looked good. About this time, I purchased the George Pal/ Rod Taylor DVD. In the segment about restoring the machine, I found the answer to my biggest problem. How to make the rotors turn slowly. BBQ rotisserie motors. They were cheap, small, noisy but they worked.
So after a month of sawing, drilling, painting and shopping, I now have a "working" Time Machine sculpture. I now have a great appreciation for both machines. And especially, Oliver Scholl's incredibly complex design.
to break things up, I got a large cardboard box and painted "TIME
MACHINE" on the side, ah la' Calvin and Hobbs. So now I have 2
machines. Also I keep having the desire to "tinker" with it.
Is that true for you as well? Like the C&W song says "That's my
story, and I'm stickin' to it".
This is my version of the DreamWorks 2002 time machine. As you can see, I have changed some key parts based on what I could buy for cheap or already had. A coat of paint can work wonders, sometimes. The rotors turn in opposite directions and some areas of the machine light up blue.
I had designed a complex pulley system, but after watching "the Journey Back", they had used a rotisserie motor. That proved the best solution.
The cost of appliques for the chair was too high, so I tried other creative means.
The legs and rotor supports are 1/2inch pipe (it would have been better with 3/4inch). But pipe was the major expense plus lots of spray paint.
Finished it stands at 8 feet tall, 8 1/4 feet long and 6 1/2 feet wide. Yes, it comes apart so I can get it out the door.
Where ever possible, I tried to throw in small references to the George Pal machine.
Working on this one gave me a real appreciation
for the original. I have so many plastic parts in it, I jokingly call
it my "Tupperwear Time Machine". Thanks for giving me the chance to
display my work on your site. I hope it inspires others, like you have
inspired me. Thanks,
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Time Machine Project © 1998 Don Coleman
Web Site © 1999 Don Coleman
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