Miniatua’s tiny handcrafted replicas of vintage computers

Under the moniker Miniatua, Montreal designer Nicolas Temese makes hyperrealistic scale replicas of vintage computers, real and fictional, in stunning detail with animated displays and period-accurate LED lights.

His latest project is a scratch-built 1:12 model of David Lightman’s bedroom from 1983’s WarGames, complete with IMSAI 8080 microcomputer, 8″ inch floppies, Epson RF 80 FT dot matrix printer, JVC model HR-3300 VHS VCR, and 1960s Naugahyde Steelcase Armless chair, among dozens of other smaller props.

Detailed diorama of David Lightman's bedroom from WarGames with desk, chairs, shelves, and various miniature props, with a hand reaching into frame holding a printout
Macro photo of artist's hand holding miniature IMSAI microcomputer, open with exposed boards, fan, and chips

The bedroom diorama follows an earlier WarGames project commissioned by a private collector to recreate the WOPR computer from the film, also in 1:12 scale, with 960 blinking lights that mimic the patterns from the movie. You can see it in action in a video on his site.

The surface mount LEDS being square, a front plate with 3D printed “bulbs” that replicate the movie lights were put in front of the custom PCBs to give it’s unique look. The light pattern can be changed using the “DEFCON” button found at the back of the model, cycling through “idle”, “playing thermonuclear war” and “hacking the nuke code”.

Miniature replica of WOPR, the war mainframe computer from WarGames, with artist's hand holding a tiny operations manual
Close-up of WOPR replica with blinking lights and sign reading "WOPR: War Operations Plan Response"

Previously, Miniatua created a limited-edition run of IBM 5150 miniatures to celebrate its 40th anniversary, complete with a functioning TFT screen that cycles through period-accurate videos of Zork, Jumpman, Microsoft’s Multiplan, DONKEY.BAS. IBM even granted permission to use the logo!

Miniature IBM 5150 PC computer, keyboard, and monitor reading "IBM" on a wooden display stand, with artist's hand reaching into frame holding a tiny floppy disk

You can see all the details, including the monitor in action from one of the 40 miniatures sold, in LGR’s detailed video about the project.

Miniatua recreated several other vintage computers, including the IBM 704 from 1954, the Hewlett-Packard HP264x from 1974, and for its 60th anniversary, the IBM 1401, which was donated to the Computer History Museum, where it’s now on display.

If you want to follow along, Nicolas Temese posts progress photos of his stunning work on Instagram and Mastodon, with a small selection of videos on his YouTube channel.

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