John Long 2005.

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Although I'm not 100% sure of the authenticity of the piece I examined, it was still very interesting and, frankly, a pretty darned believable looking prop. So, have I totally changed my mind about the existence of vinyl covered Tricorders? No, but it's always exciting to see previously unknown pieces surface and have something new to think about and investigate further.

John Long
5/1/06

Several weeks ago I was called in on a job to do some restoration on some really cool historical models. While I was there I had the opportunity to see a piece that caused me to revisit the notion that some Star Trek Original Series Tricorders may have been covered with black leatherette to simulate the leather-grain texture of the Wah Chang "Kydex" Tricorder props.
I mentioned in the article I authored about the Original Series Tricorder for Star Trek Communicator magazine two main reasons why I didn't believe that any leatherette Tricorders existed. First, it would not be practical to spend the amount of time and money it would take to use this method when it would be quicker and easier to simply create any necessary replacement props using the original method of vacuum-forming them out of Kydex or laying them up in fiberglass. Second, one of the people I interviewed for the article worked on the show and only remembered fiberglass Tricorders being used in the third season of Trek (the season in which some fans claim that the "leather" Tricorders were seen.)