Jane Starr, Galaxy Defender!

Classic sci-fi comic book bad-ass, Jane Starr, defended the Galaxy with her robot sidekick, Mr. Goodwin, and an awesome ray gun, the FLP-44m. This is 1:4 scale model made of metal and wood and plastic. An illustration from the original box is mounted on the face of the metal display stand.

Jane Starr comics and toys are exceeding rare, and this is the only example of this model I have found anywhere. Priceless to a Jane Starr collector (worth about $175 to anyone else)!

This piece will be on display at Argyle Fine Art in Halifax, NS as part of the Preshrunk 2021 Art Show.

This is a virtual 3D model version.


The Gravimetric Quantum Field Disruptor built by Ecktrol Manufacturing Co. in Ohio, USA. The “Model A” was only produced from September of 1948 to April of 1949 before it was recalled due to a dangerous fault within the induction stabilizer coils. All known examples of the Model A were dismantled. In June of 1949 the GQFD was re-issued as the “Model B.”

Ecktrol Manufacturing was one of only a handful of companies with clearance to produce ray-based devices after the world-wide treaty of 1929 that halted the production of weaponized field manipulators.

Officially these new devices, designated “class 2” were built for “scientific research and industrial applications.” Due to some rather glaring loopholes in the WFM Treaty, however, it became a simple matter of applying for a special RBD (ray-based device) permit, allowing for even members of the general public (provided they had deep enough pockets) to own one. Because of the expense of purchasing and maintaining an RBD, they were often bought by small groups and enthusiast clubs that proliferated across North America and Europe.

The 1970’s brought new regulations and tightening of restrictions, essentially ending legal access to functioning RBDs for private citizens and organizations.

Clipping from Poston Chronicle (Poston, Ariz.), January 15, 1943
Parts list for the EM-GQFD
3D rendered turntable video.

Finally Finished. (maybe)

It was a strange and busy time here when my daughter suddenly had to stay home and attend school on-line back in early March. We live in a part of the world that has had no new covid-19 outbreaks for months, so my daughter has been back at school since September. My wife and I can both work from home. So many people have far greater challenges these days and we are keenly aware of how lucky we are.

With time to spend tinkering in the workshop again, I have made significant progress on a ray gun I started woking on years ago. I finally settled on what pieces to use and worked out how to make them fit together. I found some of the details for this one especially enjoyable to work on, such as the power supply label, and a metal switch plate that i fabricated myself from a large steel washer. Making custom metal parts is not something I normally do. It was very satisfying.

Custom Switch Plate.
Custom Label.
Label in situ.
Tiny dial for tuning the forward sensor.

I often make virtual 3D models of my completed ray guns, and this one is no exception. I spent more time trying to make this virtual version’s materials look accurate, not just the shapes and dimensions.

Virtual 3D version

I’m often not entirely certain when a piece is finished, but at this time I don’t see much I would want to add or alter. I do need to construct a stand for it, and I’m also working on some printed material to accompany the piece, specifically a manufacturer’s parts catalogue.

I hope to have the real piece available for sale at Argyle Fine Art (Halifax, Nova Scotia) soon!

TS-8445 at ARTsPLACE Gallery

To The Moon and Back will be showing from June 23 to July 21, 2019, at ARTsPLACE in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. This is a group show featuring myself along with artists Rhonda Barret, Ted Lind, Geoff Butler, Don Pentz, Rion Microys, Martha Little, Sharon Kennedy, Bonnie Baker, Ray Mackie, Julia Redgrave, Lauren Soloy, Eva McCauley, Amy Rubin Flett, and Sally O’Grady. There will also be space memorabilia on display.

I’ll be showing a few pieces along with a new found object ray gun, TS-8445, a.k.a “SIOUX”. This piece was a long time in the making, but I finally found the right parts to finish it. I was especially surprised how quickly I found parts to make the perfect disply stand for this piece!

Update: This piece sold at the show opening.

3D render wit boring textures.


Not every piece is a hit or finds a home. This was the (perhaps predictable) case with “KA-74 Stand Mounted Ray Gun Canon”. It’s not that people didn’t like it, but this thing was big and ugly and few people would have a place to put it. I built it for my first show of rockets, robots, and ray guns and never really expected it would be sold. In fact there was a tag on it that read, “No returns due to spousal disapproval.”

So what to do with a beast like this? Well, as it had so many parts that are still useful I eventually dismantled it. It’s been re-rejunkenated. Some of the parts have already been used in other creations. In truth many pieces meet this fate, but luckily most of them never left the shop.

A “Smash” Hit

This Ray Gun almost didn’t get made. The first attempt had a smaller glass dome that turned very cloudy inside as the epoxy I used to secure it off-gassed inside. It was very difficult to get the dome off, but after a long and frustrating struggle I did managed to remove and clean the glass.

Then I dropped it and the dome was broken. I was tempted to give up on the piece, but soon I found another glass dome that was a few inches longer. I rebuilt the emitter assembly to better fit the longer glass and this time I used a different epoxy that I tested under glass first. In the end it turned out better than the original design. I built a simple wooden stand and the piece sold almost immediately. I’m glad I stuck with it!

Ray gun with wooden stand.
Pew pew!
Back View
Back/top view.
Earlier version of Ray Gun before the glass was broken.
The ill-fated first version.