... The Kappa Dummy

This page is an accumulation of our various studies and essential screencaps of this not-yet-found communicator.

Here's our guess as to what this prop might look like today:

Kappa's Jewels

We'll start with the easy one - the right jewel.  Observe how while the comm is being opened by the Yang woman at the end of The Omega Glory...

... the large dark green rhinestone's top suface flashes yellow, then a side facet shines cyan - telltale signs of an AB stone.  There's also Kappa's multiple appearances in The Enterprise Incident while Scotty is installing the stolen cloaking device:

That final flash of light blue from an otherwise green gem confirms the right rhinestone is a 20ss Emerald AB, like what's been commonly seen in many of the other comms.

The middle jewel, however, is more problematic.  It doesn't behave at all like the 8-sided rhinestone to its side.  No facets brighten up as the prop is being moved about.  Instead the red stays at a sedate glow until held at just the right angle where a bright inner-refracted highlight comes out.  If that's all we had, it'd still be a mystery.  Wonderfully, there's also the undated (presumably 3rd season) film clip from Lincoln Enterprises (courtesy of John Kious).  Note how the rounded center stone compares to a regular faceted rhinestone of the same diameter:

There's also a cap from Who Mourns for Adonais that verifies this tall center gem:

What's there on Kappa is not a faceted rhinestone but a "cabochon," a generic term for a smooth-surface gem.  A cabochon can be any shape; square, oval, round, or in this case a "bullette" (or "bullet"), and based on the Lincoln clip, it appears to be 3mm in diameter and about that tall.  At first blush, this might seem an inexplicable item, but there is a sensible lead as to its true source... in Wah's two tricorders, built a month after he did the communicators, he used intact Art Deco cabochon wristwatch winder crowns (and in fact one of them was red!):

Since Kappa's bare cabochon is mounted directly atop an Aurora hub, Wah must have excised the gem (a ruby or garnet) out from its metal base (easy to do) and simply glued it down on the comm:

For your replica, first try "garnet watch crown" on eBay, and maybe you'll get lucky, albiet likely for a price (the below is selling for almost $30 a pop):

Or if close is close enough, try on Etsy "garnet 3mm cabochons" or"bullets":

Lastly, the left jewel, or more accurately the lack of a left jewel, seems to have been purposefully done by Wah.  He was clearly running out of stones, as per the (desperate) use here of a watch crown cabochon.  No hint of a left gem is seen even in the earliest screencaps of Kappa's control well - below in The Man Trap and Tomorrow is Yesterday:

Nor is there in any image of this prop evidence of glue on the left hub's top.  He looks to have run out of time and stock and just kept that one blank.




Top Choice

Other Possibilities

never installled

3mm red cabochon

20ss Emerald AB

20ss Blue Zircon AB

Kappa's Moiré Pattern

Wah cut out the Pattern #4 "spider" image from a matte-paper, loose-sheet advertising insert (a reprinting of a combined page 38 and 74 from the Edmund Scientific catalog) that came with the "Experimenter's Moiré Kit with Booklet (Stock No. 70718)" - and put it into this prop:

This sourcing determination was not an immediate slam-dunk, as the exact same spider image was also printed at the identical scale in Edmund's 1965 catalog on Page 74...

... only the catalog is on glossy paper instead of matte, so the ink is blacker and the image crisper:

While this extra darkness does perhaps match a bit better the look of Kappa's moiré pattern as seen in its two best appearances - the 3rd Season outtake photo and "The Omega Glory" ending close-up - a few inking imperfections found only in the matte paper advertising insert correspond nicely with some light blotches in that 3rd Season outtake, making the ad insert (and not the 1965 catalog) the likely source for this communicator's moiré pattern:

Adding support to this call is the simple fact that every other static pattern Wah put in his dummy comms came from the same moiré book and kit the ad insert was also in.  On a separate note, a second vintage advertising insert we have has some of the ink imperfections curiously in different places, so how lucky that a fully-correct version of the actual source material found its way to our researchers.

Another unique aspect of this paper insert is an orange-ish glue stain seen in the close-ups:

This glue is figured to have been introduced not by Wah but from a studio mid-2nd season repair, where sometime prior to the filming of "Who Mourns for Adonais?" the insert was pushed into the bezel ring on the right side:

More information on Kappa's moiré pattern can be found on our A Moiré Story page.  And a high-resolution print-ready scan of the original source material can be found here.

Kappa's Bezel Ring Grooves

These pictures seem to say there's two grooves, with the top one being slightly bigger than the bottom:

Kappa's Mic Grill

This one almost tricked us, but luck again smiled.

In its best appearance, in the 3rd Season outtake, as you can see above the mic grill is very washed out, with just the holes showing.  And note how some are distinctly darker - and they form a regular pattern, strongly suggesting one particular location on the mesh material.  But jacking the darkness and contrast way up allowed other faint, maybe-there details to emerge, possibly suggesting a completely different spot.  Fortunately the mic grill makes another appearance, at the end of "The Omega Glory."  There observe how highlights off certain diamond peaks start showing up first at the bottom (at the top in the image, since the prop is inverted), then move up (down here) as it's tilted more toward the light and camera.  That is strange behavior.  So did our first location when mocked up behave this way?  Not at all.  But the second one did in spades:

Hence our pick.

Kappa's Midwheel Midplate

We get a single look, in The Man Trap, at this comm's aluminum strip between the hinge wheels, terribly exposed and about to fall out.  This sighting supports our belief that Wah installed this part in all ten communicators, but obviously many were not glued in well and went quickly missing.

Kappa's Screws

The front two are definitely slotted brass oval head, and the rear ones are likely the same:


Essential Screencaps

Note in the cap above what might be a ding (red arrow) in the midplate from some prior impact.  These spots are also seen in a cap from "Day of the Dove" below.


Note above at the red arrow the broken solder on the bent antenna wire out of the right hinge wheel.


Plus here's the aforementioned late season outtake image that's discussed more on our Vintage and Current Pics page:

(980 x 1682)

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