"The Last Person to Build the Alan Terry Time Machine Model"

by Pete Jacelone July 1 st , 2011

I am very proud to be the to be the first person to build the "Stargazer" Walsh Time Machine model released by Comet Miniatures early in 2010. Perhaps I can now claim the distinction of being the LAST person to build the original 1988 Alan Terry Time Machine model, which as many of you know was the first time machine replica model ever created. I say I am the "last " because, frankly who else would want to build it with the newest Comet model now available, as well as the highly detailed Masterpiece models, not to mention in view of the highly anticipated (rumored) re-release of the Lunar model by Mr. Don Coleman on the horizon. I truly doubt any one else would be interested in building the crude, inaccurate 20-piece butterscotch colored original garage model I just obtained from e-bay. I was the sole bidder of the model and picked it up for modest $25 plus postage. (The model's original release price in 1988 was $69). I first saw the model at a Horror and SciFi convention in the mid 90s. At the time the model's crudeness turned me off. Years later I read an interesting article about the model by Francois O Beaulieu on Don Coleman's site.

After reading the article, I wished I had purchased the model, if for no other reasons for historical purposes. Now, nearly 25 years after its release, it has come my way, and I will attempt a build... I received the package just five days after winning the model on e-bay- haha, I say "win"... but there was no contest since I was the one and only bidder.
I opened the outer box ... From this point on it was like going back in time. Inside was a nicely aged old cardboard box with a stuck on illustrated black and white image of what the completed model should look like along with a list of the tools required to do it. My first impression was the box was quite heavy. It seemed to be classic old "garage" style. The pieces are all a lot heavier than today's resin kits.

Upon opening the box I found each piece carefully wrapped in newspaper. The pieces were all very crudely cast and would require significant sanding and filing to turn them into something buildable. I note they will also require some imagination to turn them into something aesthetically pleasing, as the pieces have very little detail.

The only "decals" present to enhance the model are of the peel and stick on type for the pods. The good thing is, there are not too many parts to deal with. The entire generator with pods is practically one piece. I notice some parts are absent by design, thus the model may require some improvisation. So, I glanced at the illustrated 2 page instruction sheet and embarked on my journey to build the first Time Machine model...


August 1 st 2011
After approximately eight hours of prep time and twelve hours of build time, I have just completed the Alan Terry Time Machine model. It was not completed without some degree of frustration. Mainly due to its inherent lack of detail. But as I sit here looking at the finished model, it does have its own "cool" look, not to mention its unique historical quality. It was undoubtedly designed prior to the existence of detailed plans, or perhaps even before the existence of good quality film grabs or prints of the actual George Pal movie model. Admittedly, compared to the recent Comet Miniature version, it seems very crude. But I like it, and admit it was fun working on it.

I took only a few creative liberties. Firstly, I had to create the crystal lever by hand out of wood and a plastic crystal bead since this piece was missing from the kit. Secondly, to enhance detail, I "borrowed" the transformer base and control panel decals from the Masterpiece Wah Chang model. I used left over date decals, specifically Jan 1, 1900 , from the Comet Miniature model. Otherwise the model is crafted from all of its original pieces including its original "stick on" pod decals with no additional modifications. I have not seen too many of these built up.

 


I wonder how many still exist in collections and if there are many unfinished Alan Terry kits still out there just waiting for someone else to claim to be... "the last person to build it"...
-- Pete Jacelone, August 1 st , 2011 .

 

 

 

 

If you entered this page from other than our main page
and you are not in a frame set (no page directory on the left)

Click Here


The Time Machine Project 1998 Don Coleman
Web Site 1999 Don Coleman
Web site created by Don Coleman
3727 W. Magnolia Blvd. #240
Burbank, CA 91505