Author Topic: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s  (Read 262 times)

[RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« on: September 20, 2018, 01:22:16 pm »
Hey

I'm hoping somebody can assist us in identifying something which may be a vintage video game console. It was used extensively as a prop/set dressing in James Cameron's "Aliens" in 1986.

Some background information to consider:

- The movie was filmed in 1985-1986 in the UK.
- Set dressers had access to reject mouldings from a local plastic injection moulding facility which assisted in manufacturing various home electronics such as televisions of several brands.
- This "object" appears several times throughout the film with variations of orientation, paint/markings and other "dressings" added/removed.
- We've found that the rough approximate dimensions appear to be 40cm wide by 30cm deep. It features vent slats on the "front", divided into two groups of 17 slats on either side of what appears to be a cartridge/floppy disk slot in the center. The rightmost "group" of 17 slats is offset higher on the top of the console than the leftmost group. On one of the 30cm sides, there are 40 vent slats, but none on the opposite side.
- It has an angled front side.
- The cartridge/floppy slot can accept a "card" roughly 1.69" wide. (In the film, a plexiglass "business card" is inserted/removed, and in another scene a flat and wide ribbon cable is seen inserted/protruding from the slot)

Attached is a jpeg file of several instances where this item is visible in the film. These are direct rips from the bluray copy of the film as well as behind-the-scenes images from the time of filming. These are the best images we have at the moment.



Your help is appreciated! Thank you!

pizzasafari

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2018, 01:36:30 pm »


Are we gonna end up on a milk carton if we answer this?

(I kid)



tripredacus

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2018, 10:09:28 am »
I'd have to agree with what the users of the Alienlegacy forum say. It is more than likely to be the back of a television set rather than some video game console. However, there is the possibility it is an part for automative or industrial equipment, in that case it may be extremely difficult to find.

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2018, 12:47:25 pm »
I'd have to agree with what the users of the Alienlegacy forum say. It is more than likely to be the back of a television set rather than some video game console. However, there is the possibility it is an part for automative or industrial equipment, in that case it may be extremely difficult to find.

Yeah, this thing as eluded us over there for many years now since a few of us started scrutinizing the sets.

I've been floating the idea around that it does sort of look like a rear of a TV, but like an early "flat screen", especially in the "Sulaco" pillar image, as it appears that the "thing" on top of the "deck" has a groove where a power cord might go. Problem is I can't find any 1980s flat screens that match. We've identified several Ferguson brand CRT television backs used elsewhere in the film. We've never found any remotely close to this yet.

It was also stated the set dressers had access to airline scrap. I even tried looking at airline PTVs (personal televisions) but again nothing.

I decided to try looking at it as a possible game console due to the size and the center "slot". I even tried looking at cassette players. We know they used several Adman Grandstand Firefox F7 mini arcades in one set. I spent the better part of yesterday furiously searching Adman consoles. I feel like it's getting so close.

Another theory is it's part of a PC case, like the deck of a Commodore or similar, but again, I have yet to find anything that matches. I believe the "slot" is a huge key to finding it. If we knew what it actually was, either a slot for a disk/cartridge or a handle of some sort...

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2018, 11:31:25 pm »
Probably an experimental government or engineering computer, could be any countries government really.
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Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 04:12:46 pm »
You should know that many of props, especially back then, were kit-bashed. Meaning, they would take whole bunch of components from different objects and bash them together to make something new.

What I'm saying is that the computer featured in the film can possibly be made up of several electronics.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 04:23:56 pm by badATchaos »

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 04:19:06 pm »
You should know that a load of props, especially back then, were kit-bashed. Meaning, they would take whole bunch of components from different objects and bash them together to make something new.

What I'm saying is that the computer featured in the film can possibly be made up of several electronics.

Yep, extremely aware of that haha. I've actually identified about 95% of the giant Medlab desk/consoles.

This part appears multiple times, in slight "kit-bashed" variations however there are points which remain the same, which I've listed above.

Thanks for the effort of saying, just the same!

rayne315

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2018, 04:33:20 pm »
If it were to be a bit of gaming hardware kit-bashed then I feel there are a few people who might be able to tell you here. TheFlea is one who has a very extensive collection of very rare systems. he is generally on 1-2 times a week and usually just posts in the collection pickups thread. if I were you I would wait a few days to see if he posts here and if not try PMing him.

now onto the pictures. I know you have it pretty well highlighted but is it possible to put the pics in a larger format and possibly reorganized. I had too look at if for probably 10 minutes to fully comprehend what I was looking at and what you were specifically asking about.

EDIT:

Personally to me it looks like either the bottom section to a hardline phone (office phone), fax machine bottom, or maybe an electric typewriter bottom.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 04:44:12 pm by rayne315 »
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Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 05:23:22 pm »
If it were to be a bit of gaming hardware kit-bashed then I feel there are a few people who might be able to tell you here. TheFlea is one who has a very extensive collection of very rare systems. he is generally on 1-2 times a week and usually just posts in the collection pickups thread. if I were you I would wait a few days to see if he posts here and if not try PMing him.

now onto the pictures. I know you have it pretty well highlighted but is it possible to put the pics in a larger format and possibly reorganized. I had too look at if for probably 10 minutes to fully comprehend what I was looking at and what you were specifically asking about.

EDIT:

Personally to me it looks like either the bottom section to a hardline phone (office phone), fax machine bottom, or maybe an electric typewriter bottom.

Apologies for the somewhat confusing collage. After years of staring at these images, I can see exactly what I'm looking at as far as details go, enough that I can pick it out of a blurry and darkened screen capture, but for fresh eyes, it can probably be overwhelming to decipher.

I've isolated the best images from the collage so hoping they'll preview closer to their actual resolution/dimensions. I've hastily crossed out bits we have identified on one image.

Vidcom Close Up 1 by Melissa K, on Flickr

Medlab-Sulaco Deck by Melissa K, on Flickr

Atmosphere Processor Lift Deck by Melissa K, on Flickr

tripredacus

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 10:29:53 am »
Do you have an approximate width of the part?

Re: [RESEARCH] Identifying "possible" game console circa: 70s/80s
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2018, 11:00:46 am »
Do you have an approximate width of the part?

Thanks for moving this to a more appropriate area!

Yes, as seen in the original post:

Quote
- We've found that the rough approximate dimensions appear to be 40cm wide by 30cm deep. It features vent slats on the "front", divided into two groups of 17 slats on either side of what appears to be a cartridge/floppy disk slot in the center. The rightmost "group" of 17 slats is offset higher on the top of the console than the leftmost group. On one of the 30cm sides, there are 40 vent slats, but none on the opposite side.