Semi Project – MP18 Hanging Display Unit

Semi Project – It begins
March 28, 2023
Semi Project – MP03 Rolling Control Unit
May 8, 2023

The Modern Props Hanging Ceiling Mounted Device/Overhead Analyzer was crafted in 1981 for the John Carpenter film Escape from New York. Four units were manufactured, each bearing slightly distinct appearances, overseen by the renowned Hollywood prop designer John Zabrucky. Over the years, these units made appearances in numerous TV shows and movies from the early 80s and 90s, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and Robocop 3. It was also used for a
Francis Ford Coppola short called Captain EO that was featured at EPCOT in Disney World from 1986 until 1997.

Coincidentally, the Modern Props business had ceased operations a few months prior to my initiation of this project, rendering their entire website inaccessible for research. At that time, I had not considered checking Facebook to see if their page was still active, a realization that only dawned on me after I had completed the modeling. Finding comprehensive references displaying the unit from all the necessary angles posed a challenge. After a couple of days and perhaps my ninth or tenth viewing of the entire first two seasons, I managed to gather enough information to form a rough idea. However, the design of the unit's back remains a mystery, compelling me to exercise creativity unless better references come to my attention. September 2023 spoiler, I discovered an excellent HD 360-degree video of the unit on their Facebook page from 2016. My initial assumptions about numerous details were inaccurate, necessitating a complete redesign from the ground up.

Currently, the unit has been designed as a single, solid piece. However, I plan to revisit the design and offer two versions—either solid or hollow, prepped for lights or other electronics you may wish to integrate. Both versions will include a clear front panel. In line with the authentic unit, it will feature a wiring channel running through the hanging pole. The front decals have been designed using a three-sheet application that will give the appearance of being off when not illuminated.


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