ccording to the gospel of Tony Alleyne
, the best way to get through dark times is to simply build your way out. After losing his job and going through a divorce, the now 57-year-old Alleyne of Leicestershire, England spent nine years transforming his home into an exact replica of the interior of "Star Trek's" Enterprise
"It was an accidental sort of therapy," Tony says. "Back in the early 90s, I had no wife, no job and was depressed, staring down two roads. One road was to end it all and the other was to occupy myself. A friend of mine found a technical manual that people who worked on "Star Trek" used to build props. I told him, 'We'll have a go at building this.'"
have to see it to believe it....
With no carpentry experience, Alleyne started simple, with the goal of turning one room into a replica of the transporter station in "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
Thinking the project would only last a few months, Alleyne started studying the show, then adding smaller details, like paneling, before tackling larger scale work.
"I was staying up until the early hours of the morning and totally enjoying every minute of it," Alleyne recounts. "I studied the show to get the scale and color right. It had to be absolutely perfect."
The Transporter Console itself took almost two years to finish. Complete with fader lights that respond to touch, stand-alone computer units that emulate the ship's navigational systems and of course a replica of Chief Miles O'Brien's transporter -- a creation Alleyne says took three months alone to construct --the console also includes its own cooling system to keep the sci-fi facade operating smoothly.
"When people come visit, they always want to be transported," explains Alleyne. "I added in sound effects to give it the right feel."
Once the console was in place, A
lleyne was out of his depression. It seemed logical to just keep going. Over the next six years, he added a brig designed after the one featured in "Star Trek: Voyager,"
a galley where guests can chomp sci-fi snacks, and even a space age bathroom. Over the past eight years, Alleyne has invested eight years, more than $10,000 and countless man-hours into making his geeky dream home a reality.
Today, he says that guys and hardcore Trekkies appreciate his creation, but women usually are still a little hesitant.
"A lot of women come in and aren't happy with the fact that there's no sunlight, there's no view," Alleyne reports. "Fellows seem to be OK with it, but there aren't many people who say that they could live here. For me, it works just perfect."
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