The First Phasers Page 5

The handle of this model this was painted white. At first this seems a little odd to have the handle stand out with an eye catching and contrasting color compared to the rest of the phaser which was mainly black.

Click for Larger Image There does seem to be a reason for it, however, because later in the series they do show these handles as detachable power packs and some of the hero models even had removable handles, so they had planned to show this feature as needed.

And this did fit into the plot of the story of episode #52 "The Omega Glory" where Mr. Spock shows Cpt. Kirk depleted phaser power packs. These were made to look just like the handles.

There were two styles and five color schemes for these handles. The two styles were the first and second season model which were the same but for using three colors and a third season version that was shaped differently and again three colors.

Click for Larger Image This is a list of the color combos seen in the classic shows: first were the black and whites, then the black and blue/grays, followed by the dark grays and gray models, a gray, gray and black models, a gray, gray, gray and finally, a black, gray and black. This color nomenclature is identifying phaser vintage based on their "coats of many colors" referring respectively to the handle, the main body and the phaser one, to use the second example. By this system, the Black and White would be listed as: white, black, black, as in white handle, black main body, and black Phaser one. In later issues, I will to do articles on all of these models and include pictures.

Click for Larger Image The white handles were a basic compressed oval shape, rounded ends with a flat center section. The flat center section had two side plates side by side traversing the length of the handle, stopping just about 3/8" short of the bottom. On the working hero models, this bottom 3/8s was where the end cap was located, removable to change the batteries. The handle on the working models were actually the real power packs as they put the batteries for the functional tip light in these handles.

 This end cap was a bit overdone for there was a small cover held on by two small screws. With the cover removed, underneath was a nut that they had cut a slot in for a blade screwdriver to turn to loosen. Maybe a socket wrench would not have fit. When loosened, this nut would remain trapped within the cap but would allow the end cap to be removed to allow the removal and changing of the batteries. Trapping this nut was done by having a hole too small for the nut to fall out of but big enough for the screw driver to reach through.

This effort and cleverness was not carried through to the system to make these handles removable. They settled on using a simple old two prong twist locking electrical extension cord plug and socket. This was so "household" and everyday familiar that I am sure it is why we never see anyone unlock and change the power pack. Having attempted to make this feature myself, I understand how difficult this simple trick is. Nothing I found would work either.

Click for Larger Image Next moving rearward and up behind the phaser one but still on the left side of the main pistol body, there is the little brass rod that sticks out from the side. When I first watched the shows, I remembered Captain Kirk telling the crew to lock the phasers on stun and for a long time believed that was what this button was for, to lock the setting knob into place.

In the real world, it was the lock release for the removable phaser one. The non-working, non-removable models simply had a cast phaser one glued into the pistol body and dummy brass rods which were inoperative.

On top at the rear we find the pistol setting knob. On the black and white pistol, these were all simply different-sized aluminum rods glued into the bodies, nothing more. The better knobs did not show up until the later models.

 The final detail to describe is the rear radiator section. On the black and white models there was a little detailing that consisted of cutting six or more lines cut or molded into the side, back and around to the other side. On the true wood model, they were deep straight cuts but on the fiberglass model, they were ribbed like sections that were not even painted.

-- End The First Phasers

Next-The Phaser Ones used with the Black and White Phaser.

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