Major turning point for the project

Warning, big news ! Read carefully to understand what is happening.

We have acquired a complete Stargate™ section ! We recuperated each part separately to be able to reproduce them and finally recreate “the most accurate Stargate™ in the world”

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It’s a blessing and also a curse. We are thrilled to finally have had it with us for one or two weeks. It’s a nice gift for EMG.

But to really understand everything, we have to go back to the very beginning of the project.

Six years ago there were very few pictures of the Stargate™ as we know it today. Few people had taken the time to get a proper image of it and there were no existing sources apart from the series and the few rare promotional pictures.

Two years later, after extensive research, auctions were held. All the props from the franchise were sold piece by piece, from scripts to technical team caps, all the props and the set, etc… At this auction we aquired the Backpanel as you know it. We told ourselves that it wouldn’t be too difficult to reproduce the other parts from this one, but it would take time and effort.

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We can ask ourselves a first question. Why didn’t we buy a complete Stargate™ section in order to reproduce it ? We have a few answers :

  1. It was more interesting to work for hours, replicating other pieces and discovering a passion, an art and also learning different molding, casting, painting techniques etc…
  1. The backpanel was obviously cheaper than a full segment. Still expensive, but cheaper than the average 4500$ for a full segment. Adding company fees, shipping, custom taxes, the price gets quite high.

So we started working on our piece almost a year later because of many incidents that happened along the way.

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In a space of two years we have created many very accurate 3D models, using the measurements of our pieces and the images that we could find on the MGM and Propworx websites. The later organized the auctions and created a magazine with beautiful photographs of the pieces that allowed us and many other fans to create real and 3D replicas that et more and more accurate.

From the beginning of our work we intended on contacting as many people as possible to find the buyers of the other segments and possibly have them lend us these pieces or a copy of them in order get as many parts as possible.

Some answered us, others didn’t. Surpisingly we never found the people who bought the 9 complete sections. Yet some people had pieces and probably got them from others buyers, who knows… The fact is we managed to retrieve some copies from originals this way, especially with our English contact Andy whom we gratefully thank.

The masters (pieces on which we make the molds) created from our work are now almost completed. We began to mold the Backpanel and the other pieces will follow. So far working on this project has made us happy. We also experienced many difficulties that made us struggle but above all we have learned, we have had fun, we have proudly achieved very beautiful objects and we’ve met wonderful people. We have also lost sight of other wonderful people from lack of time because we were too busy with this project. That’s what happens when you take part in an important project, you have to make sacrifices.

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One month ago, one of our contacts informed us that someone was ready to sell his entire Stargate™ segment ! We waited 4 years for it, it had to happen one month before the moldings… Even better, another contact informed me that another person would be willing to sell his complete Stargate™ section ! Yes, two at the same time ! After 4 years they showed up only two days difference. You wouldn’t believe me if I told you that we just found trace of a third segment…

After further discussion it seemed that, in fact, one of the sellers had only parts of the complete segment. The glyphtrack, a complete chevron and the outer ring are missing. The other seller requested 9’000$ for a section that he bought but he never opened the package (which is a complete section according to the article number sold at the time by Propworx). This seller eventually agreed to lower his price to 6’000$, which is almost the price he had paid for the segment the first time, including shipping and taxes.

Let’s go back a week when I asked you your opinion on this segment. Was it a good idea to buy it or not ? We got several opinions on the subject. Here they are listed, positive and negative with the answers we gave.

— Buy it if it’s not too expensive !

So yes, these kinds of things are always expensive but I doubt that you could buy a complete SG segment today, anywhere in the world, without spending more than 6’000$. It’s a good price.

— Don’t miss this opportunity!

Indeed it is highly unlikely to find an untouched complete segment in good condition. It’s an opportunity to show the segment to fans at exhibitions and geek/SF events. For us, it is also a chance to compare our reproduction work with the original parts, which sounds wonderful.

— It’s an added value.

Not necessarily. From the perspective of the public, who would later rent the Stargate™, it’s better to rent the exact copy of the SG, may it be for a convention, a fanfilm or a wedding. From the public’s point of view, however, some may lose interest in the project, thinking it loses a little bit of the « do it yourself » feeling.

— It is not the same if you mold from originals, it isn’t a construction work made by fans anymore, it’s just a copy.

Yes, it’s true. It is basically copying pieces that were renovated for the occasion, but it doesn’t mean it hasn’t been an intense reproduction work done by passionate people. We simply replace a piece by another practically identical one.

— It’s all your hard work wasted

No ! The work that has been done isn’t made useless because of it. It taught us, allowed us to make mistakes but it is was also a testimony of all the motivation we put into this project throughout the years. We didn’t choose to buy an entire section only to have the opportunity to achieve something so complicated. We spent 100 hours on the outer ring and its thousands of part. I am not sad about not molding it because it’s beautiful on it’s and I’m very proud of it.

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— It’s too expensive and we didn’t donate to the association for that.

Yes it’s very expensive, especially if you take into account postage and taxes. I almost regret not having bought it 4 years ago. However, it is an added value and there are several possible ways to profit from this segment. As for donations, do not worry, all of the money spent on the SG is from my personal account. And the few donations we had the pleasure of receiving from people who have often become friends are stored in our account and won’t be used for silly things. But yes it’s expensive, so to avoid getting bankrupt and starting this professional life without anything I will try to find external funds. Feel free to provide us with information to get financial support. Please notice that compared to the total Stargate™ budget it isn’t an enormous expense.

— It may be in bad condition.

It will be checked by Propworks and they will tell us if it is in good condition and take photos.

— It will slow you down in your work.

Not really, we requested that they send us by express postage only the pieces we haven’t got yet, so to save money and time. Everything should happen between this month and the next. There are many pieces to make and we have plenty of masters here to work on, whilst we wait for the others.

— You are going to have copyright problems.

May it be a replica of the original or not we can always have copyright problems. However, under American Law, we are relatively well protected because we are a non-profit oranization, we can’t make money by renting the Stargate™, we can only profit from it then achieve other things with the benefits, if there are any. In addition to that, a Stargate™ at a convention is a reminder of the franchise. It can only be a good way to advertise the studios who still hold the rights of the franchise and for Emmerich, (who directed the first film and plans on making a reboot and likes our project). Moreover, we tried to contact the creator’s studio but only managed to reach his secretary. She replied, so he must be aware of the project and never indicated being against it. All in all, the rights belong to MGM.

There we are. It was a difficult decision to make, it was a bit above the budget that we had planned but the EMG will have their own ninth of the Stargate™, this show of our childhood…

I hope everything was understandable. Feel free to ask any question you want. We will try to answer them in the best way possible.

So we begin the end of the adventure ! Please continue to follow us and you may discover our Stargate™ near your home this summer !

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Open letter to major events, Stargate™ builders and general public

This post is following our Annual General Meeting which you’ll be able to read the report soon.

We decided not to remain silent in reaction to some events and to clearly give our opinion so that no-one think the EMG completely morally passiv.

Anyone is free to express himself after reading the following and respecting each other.

Thank you.

*The whole team of the Children of MacGyver*

Continue reading

Stargate™ Auctions from Legends Memorabilia

Hello Stargate™ Fan !

Legends Memorabilia, the first Stargate™ official prop seller is on the road again !!

They will launch new Stargate™ auction very soon, so stay tuned and don’t miss your chance to collect props from the show we all love !
So please, help to spread the word by sharing and announce this auctions 😀
Thanks to everyone !

http://www.stargateprops.com/auction/xcAuction.asp

PROPS

Talk about differences: why the Stargate™ of the series ?

“Is there any reason you chose to recreate the Stargate™ of the series rather than the movie’s ?”

That’s a very good question, asked by some on Twitter. So I will answer here and take this opportunity to talk about the differences we find between each model of Stargate™.

The (well thougt out) excuse:

It’s technical.
As regards the movie’s Stargate™, each chevron is engaged, except the main chevron which is juste there to choose the symbol to enter. That’s why a pneumatic system was chosen by the technicians who worked on the first SG. We notice also that the chevrons’ moving is more violent in the movie.
Moving parts of the chevron: front crysal, back crystal (which rises), front V (which goes down).
The chevrons in the movie certainly don’t light, there is so indeed less to do about, but on the other hand it’s more difficult to create a complex mechanical system than a simple electrical system. In our case, only the V and front crystal must move. Besides, the symbols are engraved in the first opus, and from the very beginning of the SG-1 series, they are raised, that means, more simple to make.

The true reason:

It’s of course sentimental.
THE Stargate™ for me has always been the one that’s in the first series. I grew up with and so it makes sense to me to start with it. Also you, if you’re here, it’s because you spent at least 10 years with this model. It’s a part of your daily life (week and/or weekend). Remember !

So, what are these small differences that we don’t see at first glance ? Here a list which should be exhaustive:

Comparison table:

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If you have found other differences between the doors, don’t hesitate to tell us ! We could have missed something.

Some sources (if ever you don’t believe what I say): 

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Here the famous bar which is only seen on the movie’s gate. She’s put between the wings of the front and back chevrons.

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The back of the gate doesn’t switch on, it’s post-production in SGU and only for this series. We also see the sheet which replaces the bars we saw earlier (this detail exists only on the main chevron in SG1).

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The two crystals rise.

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A new version of the inter-chevrons bars. What a talent ! This is the same which is on the internal opposite side of the gate.

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Bonus:
SGU’s gate is activated via a touch-screen system with stylus. A smartphone ?

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Summary Tables : Projects Progress

The following tables give a concrete idea of ​​the project’s evolution.

Of course, you’re welcome to bring us your help, we need it !
It’s possible to give us advices, make suggestions and give your opinion on what has been made so far.

If you’re not good in technical fields, we are looking for source images, for the collar for example, but especially for the glyphs at the moment.

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Support from Colin Cunningham

We got the opportunity to meet Colin Cunningham during the “Migennes Collector” event, the 1st and 2nd March 2014.

Here it is for his support 😀

Colin Cunningham Pages :
Official Website : http://www.colincunningham.com/
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/ColinCunninghamFans
Imdb : http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0192271/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/CunninghamColin
Wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Cunningham
Youtube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/yellowcrowfilms

Chevron 1.0 done !

Yipee ! I finally found the time to complete our first chevron’s model. So I can write here a full article about its creation and the different techniques we used.

I’m going also to talk about the V.2.0, especially because it served as test and as embellishment for our stand. 😉

After some moral problems in obtaining our first chevron – we had first to re-create the chevron or find an original – I started working on a forex model:

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Then we decided to make an exchange with our contact in England, Andy. We made him a Backpanel, in exchange, we got a portion of the front panel (original copy), a chevron (V original copy center and made by Andy himself) and its flanges (copy of original).

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After some putty and sanding, I was ready to make the mold.

Step 1: Prepare the model by sticking it against the table, make a plasticine seal around it to avoid leakages towards the chevron’s underside, spray the table with a release agent in order to prevent the glass table from breaking, because of a suction effect (the resin suction effect on the glass is unforgiving). Then build a LEGOS wall !

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Then a few layers of silicone.

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Then widen the LEGOS wall and cut the silicone edge in order to create “teeth” which will fit into the resin shell (the “teeth” form is the same used by the artists who worked for the series).

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And a few layers of resin and fiber glass mat.

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Wooden slats are added to the resin to avoid its distortion because it is polyester.

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And demoulding.

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Trust my memory, everything went well, I took the time to make one more layer of silicone without additive, on the thixotropic layer in order to have a smooth surface which can better fit the hull resin.

Consider the use of a release agent or some silicone on your LEGOS before moving on to the resin to avoid having to buy new ones.

Henceforth we have a mold, now it is time to test it.

This time, I used a release agent despite our silicone with inherent mould-release properties, this avoids attacking the mold. We could also directly use some paint which merge into the resin, but the chevron is transparent, so it is rather difficult to be accurate with this kind of shape.

I color a first layer of resin which solidifies.

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I pour another layer, transparent this time, which allows me to save some dye (which is very expensive). In normal circumstances, this should have worked, but I guess the first layer was too thin and creeped into the second layer. That made ​​some unwanted volumes. Let’s go to sand.

Note that we used backing molds based on what was done for SG1, thereby obtaining a transparent shape, hollow but reinforced.

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When sanding, I turned the chevron over and it exploded into three pieces.

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A stroke of resin to connect everything.

A stroke of tape (it takes hours).

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Adhesion layer in order to hold well the paint.

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A primer layer in dark gray.

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And then, I had to find a way to create gray light effects like on the original model. I had a little bit of stress at this moment, wondering if I could find a convincing solution, I thought that using a crumpled paper or a plastic bag or a cloth would work, but we couldn’t get the arched lines. I wanted to finish this chevron on the same day, so I made ​​use of everything that came into my hands until I found the right object.

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When removing the tape, the chevron broke again. So I used a contact adhesive and re-casted some resin at the back to make it sturdier.

And presto, a few LEDs to light everything. We’ll use of course a diffusion filter in order to have a less dotted light. That will not even be a strip like this which will serve as final lighting. But at least, it’s classy and brings us credibility.

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Someone told me that the contrast between the grays was too high, so I rubbed the chevron with some black and it’s now definitely finished.

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So what ? Are you still not convinced by our MacGyverism? 😉
So take the time to watch the demoulding video … late at night … on a motorway rest area … just before to get back on the road to Toulon.

*Video coming soon*