One of the artifacts I've long been planning on featuring in my Caveman Diorama is an H.G. Wells-esque Time Machine (see also Caveman Floodlights ). Over the past few months, I've spent a lot of time trying to work out how to create this model. In fact, I recently invested is a set of 36" x 24" prints of Chris Perrotta's Time Machine drawings, which represent a dimensionally accurate version of the M.G.M. movie prop as it existed in George Pal's 1960 movie, The Time Machine . (You can obtain these drawings by Clicking Here , selecting the "Products" link, and then selecting the "Drawings" option.) Sad to relate, the aforementioned drawings -- which (it has to be said) are very, very tasty -- may simply end up being framed and hung on my office wall. This is because a reader, Fmotta, recently pointed me at this 3D model of the Time Machine on the TurboSquid.com website. OMG, this is soooo cool, but now that I see this little beauty in all its glory, I realize that it's going to be a bit of a bugger something of a little rapscallion to fabricate. Remember that I'm working at 1/32 scale, so a 6' tall man would be 2.25" tall in my diorama. Thus, guestimating the machine as being around 8' long by 3' wide in the real world translates to 3" x 1.125" in our diorama universe. I was talking to my chum Adam Carlson about this yesterday. As you may recall, Adam is something of an enigma -- an aerospace engineer who makes model submarines and a mechanical engineer who designs electronic systems. Adam is an expert at 3D modelling and 3D printing, and we agreed that -- if I do opt for the full-up H.G. Wells Time Machine -- then there's a heck of a lot of detail that has to be squeezed into a very small model. Hmmm, I think I'm going to have to go back to the drawing board on this one. My first thought was to create my own interpretation of the Time Machine. I had always planned on making my version a two- or three-seater anyway, thereby explaining my wife's presence in the diorama (although I don’t know what she's going to say when she finds herself dressed like Raquel Welch in the movie One Million Years BC ). One idea that would be much simpler to construct would be to have a larger, more cylindrical engine mounted vertically, and to have three chairs presented around the engine at 120° to each other as illustrated below (I'm sorry about the blurry quality to this image -- I'm afraid it met a cup of coffee on the way to the scanner): (Source: Max Maxfield / EE Times) In addition to being easier to create, this version provides a lot of space to store cargo between the chairs. We could keep the wooden plinth at the bottom, and we could also mount an H.G.Wells-type umbrella-disk on the top of the engine if we wished. One downside to this approach is the final machine would be quite large. If the plinth were 10' in diameter, this would equate to 3.75" in our diorama, which is a lot bigger than you might expect (it's almost as wide as the pool in the cave. While I was ruminating on this, I had what I consider to be a brainwave (I can’t help myself)-- as opposed to a Time Machine, what about having a Time Portal (think Stargate )? One solution would be to have this portal mounted directly on the floor as illustrated below: (Source: Max Maxfield / EE Times) The great thing about the portal concept is that it can be made to be visually impressive while consuming relatively little of the cave's real estate. Another possibility would be to make the portal appear to float in the air. This could be achieved by having some rocks positioned a little way behind the portal with a hidden support as illustrated below: (Source: Max Maxfield / EE Times) I'm thinking the size of the inner portal (excluding the surrounding "frame") should be around 4' wide by 6'6 tall in the real world, which equates to 1.5" wide by 2.44" tall in the diorama. This would give a diagonal of around 3.75". The reason I mention the diagonal is my next upper-cunning idea, which is to have a small LED or OLED or TFT display forming the portal itself. This means could have something like a Raspberry Pi streaming video to the portal display. The simplest thing would be to have a constant "mirrored ripple" effect going on, like dropping a pebble in a pool of water. But we could enhance this by occasionally switching to short video snippets showing scenes from around the modern world -- like a beach, or mountains, or a jungle. We could also show occasional images of futuristic and/or alien worlds. Ooh! Ooh! I just had another idea (you should see what life's like inside my noggin). What if the portal occasionally opened on a street scene or in an office building or anywhere with people? Whoever was on the other side would stop and point and have an expression of astonishment. In addition to being one of the figures in the diorama, I could have a cameo part in one of these video snippets. So could you! Once I get this up and running, I'll post another blog inviting anyone who is interested to send me an appropriate video snippet for inclusion in the portal. One final consideration relates to the portal's frame. From what material(s) should this be formed? Do we like stone a la the portal in Stargate for example, or would we prefer a futuristic stainless steel look-and-feel. Perhaps the whole thing should be translucent white illuminated from within by a neon glow. Alternatively, how about a dark cherry wood frame inlaid with brass accoutrements (possibly including arcane symbols and esoteric inscriptions) to give a nod to the look-and-feel of the original Time Machine? What do you think -- original time machine vs. my three-chair version vs. time portal? If the latter, do you prefer the floor-standing model or the "floating in air" realization? Do you have any suggestions relating to the type of display I should use for the portal? And how about the scenes that might occasionally appear? As usual, all comments and suggestions will be very gratefully received.