eFX Star Trek Prop Prototypes for 2011: Tricorder Mark VII TR-580, EM-33 Pistol, Laser Pistol & Communicator and TOS Type 1 Phaser
The spy photos of the TNG Mark VII TR-580 Tricorder reveals the prop-maker's appreciation for nostalgia. Observe the tricorder's casing. The glossed over light dull gray is reminiscent of the screen used prop on many TNG episodes. The prop has really curvy corners; staying true to form. The 80's creation was said to be a box of flickering lights, but I believe I speak for most Trekkers when I say, who cares? For one, this design was one serious attempt to imagine a future hand-held multi-purpose scanner.
A first look at the fully-deployed TR-580. The LCARS display is true to it's screen-used prop having more blue and reds compared to the yellows and orange in Star Trek Voyager and Star Trek Deep Space 9 (DS9).
The sensor array hints that this would be the version set after the 3rd season of TNG, with sweeping LEDs and the lower assembly...
... as opposed to the earlier version; Mark VI TR-580 which incorporates a small hand-held sensor at the bottom of the unit.
Following behind the tricorder is the Star Trek Enterprise EM-33 Pistol, a pre-cursor to the newer Phase Pistol which you will see Captain Archer brandishing in many episodes of Enterprise. The latter was introduced circa 2151. According to canon sources, one of the disadvantages of the EM-33 was the need to compensate for particle drift, making the transition to the next generation, point-and-shoot phased pulse weapons difficult for some Starfleet personnel.
Next, the TOS Laser Pistol and communicator set. These were seen in the episode "The Cage". Crude but effective. The laser pistol was introduced circa 2250s but this seem to contradict the Enterprise timeline during which the Phase Pistol had been around since 2151. It makes little sense that Starfleet would issue lesser-yield handheld weapons.
Then, a little teaser for the TOS die-hard fans. A prototype cast of the Type I Phaser is shown here. This hand-held weapon was normally seen incorporated into the the Type II Phaser circa 2260. I've always personally liked this one, equipped with a targeting sight and is always considered a "back-up" weapon for Starfleet personnel.
If eFX is consistent, these things will be announced on their website a pre-orders and fans could lock in one with a payment of a small deposit and the balance upon completion of the prop. Usually, eFX limits these things to no more than 1,000 units in a run, possibly less.
If eFX is planning to replicate all the tricorders in range...well, let's just say it'll be a long way to go...