... Moiré & Bezel Ring

The moiré assembly is composed of the bezel ring(s) and the pattern insert.  For certain, in the three surviving dummies (Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta) and in every other dummy we have a good close-up of the pattern insert is glued from the back into a ring cut from an aluminum tube that has been lathed down to size with an inside lip to capture the insert:

In the Alpha hero, we see a completely different two-ring assembly.  From our every ability to discern, the moiré pattern transparency sits atop a slim inner ring (which is glued in contact with the shell) and is held captive by an outer ring that sleeves over the inner.  The bottom rotating pattern card is snuggled just under the transparency:

Moiré Bezel Ring

To reproduce all rings (except for Delta), obtain a 1.25" diameter aluminum tube (not pipe) with today a starting wall thickness of 0.125."  The outside surface is maintained (except for the slightest 0.005" cleaning) - only the inside surface got machined down.  From there, however, they all differ significantly as shown in a cross-section lineup below, all to the same scale:

 

The number below the name is our certainty of the details and dimensions we have of each, "10" being rock solid assured and "1" being a total guess.  Alpha, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon and Zeta have been measured in person or by ultra-sharp up-close photos.  The others are determined by screen caps of various clarity - with an initial assumption that they have the same 1.245" outer diameter as those that are actually measured.  In Theta, Iota and Kappa, the best photos available hint of one large side groove each, so the other smaller grooves shown are suspected given the large one's location.  Beta's best close-up in Day of the Dove roughly confirms overall dimensions to be like Alpha's and shows hints of two possible grooves.  For Eta, we have absolutely no information whatsoever on its side grooves.

Delta's has been measured digitally from museum close-ups (since we can perfectly match up the known pattern that fits into it) to be a bit larger - with a 1.27" outer diameter.  It shows no signs of outside surface cleaning; this looks to be raw pipe.  This larger size is nominally within manufacturing tolerances for a 1-1/4" tube, but since it is so different from the others, it could also be from different pipe stock or cut earlier (as parts for a preliminary model) or later (as a replacement for a previously lost piece).

You can obtain dimensions for accurately machining these from The Plans page.

Moiré Pattern

All of the original patterns in the ten comms came from only two sources, both of which are exceedingly hard finds today:

1) Alpha and Beta heroes used the #4 radial moiré card & transparency from the Edmund Scientific "Educator's and Designer's Moiré Series (A)-Deluxe Kit," items No. 70,719 and 60,464 (their "Student's and Experimenter's Moiré Kit" / "Experimenter's Moiré Kit - Standard," items No. 70,718 and 60,462, is identical but with much thinner transparency stock).  Seeing one up for sale is a terribly uncommon event.

1a)  Eta used the #18 logarithmic spiral card from the similar Edmund Scientific "Educator's and Designer's Moiré Series (B) -Deluxe Kit," item No. 70,790).  Incredibly rare.

2) Six comms used images clipped from the cover, pages and inserts of the 32-page booklet "The Science of Moiré Patterns" by Gerald Oster.  The 1964 edition has all; the 1965 and 1966 editions are missing the wavy image on the cover that sourced the patterns for Delta and Iota.  These show up from odd time to time via eBay or on-line vintage book stores:

                                   Alibris             Title keyword: moire   Author keyword: oster
                                   Amazon          keywords: oster moire
                                   Biblio              Author keyword: oster   Title keyword: moire
                                   eBay               keywords: oster moire

Kappa had its "spider" moiré cut from another loose page advertising insert that came with the 1964 book (and printed on the same matte paper stock).  It is an exact duplicate image of page 74 in the 1965 and 1966 Edmund Scientific catalogs (>> at right), but with a few superficial differences.  These '64 book ad inserts are today a scarcity amongst an already rare book, but the smaller catalogs, whose "spider" pattern is nearly identical, can be found often and inexpensively enough on eBay using the keywords edmund scientific catalog.

3)  Theta had a pattern formed from two sample prismatic sheets attached to a loose page advertising insert within the "Experimenter's Moiré Kit with Booklet (Stock No. 70718)" titled "Multi-Lensed Thermoplastic Sheeting."  So sadly rare that ours may be the last surviving pristine samples in the world.

If you don't have the time to wait months or years for exactly what you need to come up for sale, plus the big bucks usually needed to win the bid, we provide each moiré pattern in a high-resolution image scanned or created directly from the original materials.

The pattern circles for the dummy comms were cut from the moiré book's pages to around 1.09" in diameter, with most (Epsilon so far is a lone inexplicable exception) scribed by Wah with a compass circle cutter.

Print your own moiré images:

The below images are links to the full-sized files, most saved at 1200 dpi, and cropped to fit under the bezel's lip.  On each where it is necessary you will find the word "TOP" in tiny print to indicate the proper orientation.  The hero Pattern #4s have the necessary offset built in.

Unfortunately, even though the four files for the Pattern #4 immediately below are exact mathematical reproductions and will look beautiful when enlarged on your screen, your printer, even if a pro-grade laser or inkjet on the best papers, cannot faithfully print those narrowing lines right at the center.  They tend to both smudge and darken around the black dot, even at 1200 (or 2400) dpi printer settings.  While there is nothing we can do about improving the output of your printer, we have created a special file that you can bring to a local commercial printer, provided they have the proper machinery, to produce a perfectly sharp HD version.  See the link below on the subject:

> > > The Details - PRINT A HIGH DEFINITION HERO PATTERN #4  < < < <

Instructions for the below downloadable images:
When you click on an image below, a larger version of it will fill your screen.  A right click on it and "Save Picture As..." on your hard drive.   Then print on the appropriate stock with your printer set on its maximum setting.

ALPHA
hero
 
Bottom layer, to be printed on white Kromokote cardstock.
 
Top layer, printed on 0.020" transparency.
The white dot with the "X" marks the spot where your compass cutter point should land.
The grey "X" within the black center dot marks the spot where your compass point should land. Note the "TOP" orientation mark.
BETA
hero
 
Bottom layer, to be printed on white Kromokote cardstock.
 
Top layer, printed on 0.020" transparency.

The grey "X" within the black center dot marks the spot where your compass cutter point should land.

The grey "X" within the black center dot marks the spot where your compass point should land. Note the "TOP" orientation mark.
PATTERN #4
 
This sharp, blank Pattern #4 - the very one we've based all our work on - is here in case you want to play with it on your own.
 
GAMMA  

To be printed on 0.004" thick matte cream-white paper.

Note that the center X marks the middle of the exposed moiré pattern, which is a teeny tiny bit to the right of where Wah located his compass cutter point.

DELTA  

To be printed on 0.012" matte white cardstock.

Note that the center X marks the spot in the moiré pattern where Wah located his compass cutter point.

EPSILON  

To be printed on 0.004" matte cream-white paper.

There is no compass cutter hole in this prop's moiré pattern, so Wah must have used sissors.

ZETA  

To be printed on 0.004" matte cream-white paper, original orientation not certain.

Note that the center X marks the spot in the moiré pattern where Wah located his compass cutter point.

ETA  
To be printed on glossy white Kromokote cardstock.
IOTA  

To be printed on 0.012" matte white cardstock.

Note that the center X marks the middle of the exposed moiré pattern as best as we can determine it.

THETA
 
This item you'll have to buy.  The 0.009" thick clear plastic sheets of tiny parabolic lenses that Wah stacked are no longer available, but the same manufacturer Rowlux still makes a similar product called "Clear Colorless Moiré Illusion Film," item #PC-13-001, that has the two layers pre-positioned for larger-scale surfaces.  You can get this through retail distributors ePlastic and CanalPlastics.  We then have a tutorial on how to re-create the original single-sided sheets with this modern product.
KAPPA  

To be printed on 0.004" matte cream-white paper.

Note that the center X marks the middle of the exposed moiré pattern.

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