Ed Miarecki, the long time prop creator for Star Trek, was hired by Greg Jein to make resin versions of the Star Trek 5 Assault Phaser for Star Trek VI. These versions were painted exactly like the STV versions, but were resin, whereas the Greg Jein had made fiberglass heroes and rubber stunts for ST V. Those all had metal baseplates. The ST VI version Ed supplied had metal baseplates added to his by Greg.
According to Ed, he made 12 of them initially, and within days they requested he make 12 more as those had disappeared from the set! So there are a good number of these around. However, this post deals with the subsequent castings Ed has done.
Ed still can make you a ST VI Assault Phaser out of the original molds if you like. They are beautiful pieces. But Ed doesn’t paint versions that were not made for the production like the ones he delivered to the set. First of all, that paint is a pain in the butt and includes a printers ink which is a carcinogen. That is what gave the production versions that metallic look to the black paint. For all subsequent versions Ed made, including ones he gave to the Star Trek and ILM staffs he was friends with, Ed paints in a two tone Metallic grey/black. The difference is obvious and can be seen here.
While not as desirable as a production made version, this is as close as you will get to one. While the Master Replicas and Roddenberry versions are both awesome, they are not 100% accurate because of what they were cast from.
Thanks to Ed for spending a lot of time telling me about his time on Star Trek. He is a great guy and a true hero to us prop collectors.