Saturday, 24 July 2010

....snowed under


Sorry for the lack of action around these parts lately. Been very busy getting your orders done. Haven't had time to update properly but I shall be back with some cool shit including a how to pictorial tutorial on how to achieve the screen accurate paint finish (if you are so inclined, but be warned, it is more fragile than a house of cards in a hurricane). Normal service shall be resumed shortly but I shall be Tweeting so feel free to follow me. Adieu for now my online chums.


Friday, 9 July 2010

....but I'm not Tony Stark!


Something made me chuckle today.

It was a review left by a customer this morning and it contained a little amusing vignette alluding to a scene from the Ironman movie that could very easily have been played out between Russ Brown and Neill Gorton:

Russ Brown: Mr Gorton, Sir, we've explored what you've asked of us and it seems as though there's a little hiccup. Actually, um...




Neil Gorton: A hiccup?



Russ Brown: Yes, see to make the sonic make sound... sir, the technology doesn't actually exist. So it...



Neil Gorton: Wait, wait, the technology? [gestures towards a CO toy] Russ, Russ... here is the technology! I've asked you to simply make it smaller.



Russ Brown: Yes, sir, and that's what we're trying to do, but... honestly, it's impossible-



Neil Gorton: [yelling] CT WAS ABLE TO BUILD THIS IN A CAVE! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!



Russ Brown: Well, I'm sorry. I'm not CT.

 
I didn't intend to rake up old ground but this was very amusing and very flattering. Just thought I'd share. Thanks Jonathan!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Extreme Quality Control

Today I shrunk myself and had a walk around the body of the sonic screwdriver in order to examine each and every crackle:

Eleventh for 11....Eleventh Doctor Sonic Screwdriver Update

You will remember back in May I posted confirmation I would make an Eleventh Doctor Sonic:

http://celestialtoystore.blogspot.com/2010/05/eleventh-doctor-sonic.html

You will also recall that my Tweets around that period detailed the headfuck I went through trying to reverse engineer this thing. Up until that point everything I had seen about this prop including it's appearances on chat shows and in public lead me to believe that this prop was in no way replicable as a consumer-grade replica. It simply is not engineered enough and will break at the slightest hint of abuse. I understand that Matt Smith broke this prop countless times through 'flicking' it open. The prop, as I understand it, is just not designed to withstand this kind of continual abuse. On-set, these props have a full time minder: a big chap from the art department whose raison d'etre is to be the custodian of this prop and make running repairs and make sure that the thing is in tip top shape for every take:


Now obviously our replica - in fact, NO replica of this prop by anyone - can be 100% screen accurate in construction and materials to the prop without it coming with the services of the gentleman above. And whilst it may tickle your funny bone to have a chap like that tagging along with spare parts, lube and a real screwdriver everytime you take your 11th sonic for a walk, the novelty will, I assure you, quite quickly wear very thin indeed. Indeed, having seen Season 5 in its entirety, I have come to the disappointing conclusion that this prop is not quite the  high quality piece it first appeared.

Well for the best part of the past three months I have agonised over design of this and I have studied every screenshot and pic of the prop available together with the remarkably good CO toy version and it does appear that this prop has some serious design and construction flaws and that these flaws are not as apparent onscreen due to the existence of multiple props, possibly 2 or 3, that are rotated to give the illusion of a single prop.

The good news is that I have figured out exactly how the prop is constructed, the limitations of the design, the flaws and the precise dimensions, in as much as can be done when there are multiple props that appear to look substatially different from each other. What this means is that I will be totally re-engineering the prop to eliminated or reduce the design flaws, keep the overall dimensions aand proportions screen accurate, yet make a durable consumer grade prop replica that improves on the prop but still retains the same outward aesthetics. Basically, I'm going to make a screen accurate prop only better :-)

A lot of people have often asked the methodology I use to create near perfect replicas from only visual material and the secret is that yes, I do have a secret methodology that draws upon several disciplines underlined with common sense, deduction and logic. There's also a healthy dose of savantism at work too. The truth of the matter is that the method, however powerful, is unimportant and is utter secondary to the end result and QED, will result in some pretty amazing results as you will see. Blueprints have been made, the CAD model is being built and thanks to those of you that have sent in reference material, I am in a position to create what I feel could be the finest replica of its kind. I shall be further working on the design and blueprints over the coming months as there are several things that need to be sourced. I shall be using copper look anodised aluminium, Corian, artificial jade, raw aluminium, brass and leather for my build and will be looking at building my first prototype as soon as I have some spare time, possibly after SDCC in a couple of weeks.


Monday, 5 July 2010

Tennant Sonic Videos Up

I have been bugged, pestered and cajoled and I've finally had a few moments to relent and film some quick and dirty vids of the Tennant sonic for you. Please note that the color is GREY. It looks a bit yellowish as the lights in my office at 2am are fluorescent and very yellow and the white balance on my Nokia does not handle fluorescent light too well. You'll note I have made a small adjustment to the acrylic neck and deliberately made the bore channel sloppy and scratchy with no oil. On camera it now looks identical to the Tennant neck.


Now let me get back to work you bunch of demanding slave drivers.