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Klamath's Modified Twelfth Doctor Sonic

Started by klamath, Oct 26, 2019, 07:21 am

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I hope one day to make my own metal sonic completely from scratch but at the moment my skills and resources are limited. This diary will chronicle my attempt to customise my Character Options Twelfth Doctor sonic screwdriver. I first got the screwdriver on its first run even though I'm not as big a fan of it as I am the Doctor who wielded it. I attempted a slight paint job a couple of years ago (as you can see below) but now I want to make it a bit different and a bit more personal.


You'll see what I'm trying to do as I go but for now I'll do my best to describe what I want the final product to look like, section by section.

I think the current handle is too long and awkward so I am planning to remove the arches and the base right up to tube proper. I will then wrap the handle in leather (probably black) with some kind of metal 'pommel' on the base, like a sword. I lifted this image from an online sword merchant to give you an idea.


Switch section:
I am thinking to repaint the body in black. The slider and claws will be a painted brassy like the 'brass' rings existant on the sonic. If I can I might even put on actual brass.

My least favourite part of this sonic. I have a vague idea of sliding on some sort of clear plastic tubing, perhaps coloured. On the middle of this will be fixed a brass ring. For effect, coloured coiled wired will be soldered from the brass ring to a brass ring at the bottom of the emitter section. I haven't decided what to do about the tip. Leave it open? Cap it with something? I had a notion of popping a sort of crystal on there like the Dark Eyes sonic although that may make the emitter even longer.

As you can all see, my ideas are sketchy at best. Because I am rubbish at using things like SketchUp or even the humble pencil I can only visualise everything in my mind. Will the colours go well together? Could it end up a gangly mess? Will I have to glue metal to plastic, plastic to leather?

The only practical thing I have done is take some measurements.


I welcome any and all comments from the TB hive mind. Updates as and when. Allons-y!


I've been procrastinating far too much on this. Today I finally did something and removed the struts on the handle. Having cut through them flush to the disc base I found that the struts are not attached to the handle but are loose and have been snapped into the handle. Gently twisting them removed them without damage to the handle. I then sanded down the leftover stumps, even though I'm hoping to cut of the handle below that point. I want to slide over the existing handle a metal torch handle to give it a bit of heft. Over the emitter I am looking to fit a plastic cover like the time rotors of old. At the moment I'm looking online for 25mm plastic tubing. I'm unsure what to do about the tip of the emitter. I'd love to have a crystal like Eighth's Dark Eyes sonic but that might make the sonic about two-thirds emitter and I'm looking to shorten the sonic overall. About the emitter tube I want to fit a red metal ring like the one that adorned Fourth's sonic. 88882271-D7A1-467D-9D65-5CBEE0FDB73C.jpeg4B139FAA-87CF-4EC3-8F9D-9770FA9F8F78.jpeg88C5A25D-BC99-40C3-85A8-F0D9E9D31B8E.jpeg


Feb 26, 2020, 12:14 am #2 Last Edit: Feb 26, 2020, 04:46 am by klamath
I downloaded Sketchup and have been muddling my way through it this week. I found a Sketchup model of the original sonic screwdriver and have been tinkering with it to try and make a model of what I'd like the finished version to look like. I'm about as good at using Sketchup as I am juggling elephants so redesign is rather simplistic.

I've made the below model. Under the wooden grip is a layer of leather wrap like I stated in my first post. At the base, held in by grooves cut into the wood, should be a brass disk. The bronze areas on the slider and emitter I imagine to be self-adhesive brass foil. If that proves impractical then I'll resort to paint. The red ring is a throwback to Four and Five's sonic. That will hopefully be a metal ring painted. I need to give serious thought about the practicalities of attaching plastic to metal, wood to leather and so on.

The pictures are versions with and without a Perspex sheath (I'm sorry I cannot find a better word). I'm now leaning towards forgoing said sheath. I'd like the black midsection to be coloured by something hard-wearing.

Originally I wanted to attach a metal handle to the base but I can't think how to securely attach it to the existing base so this is probably the design I'll lean towards. I want to keep the existing base so I can access the batteries and I haven't the tools or skill to recreate the locking mechanism inside. sonic1.jpgsonic2.jpg


Aug 19, 2020, 12:51 am #3 Last Edit: Aug 19, 2020, 12:54 am by klamath
It's been a while. I7m very glad, like the rest of us, that TB is back up. In the hiatus I have been working intermittently on my sonic. Firstly I decided not to add a wooden handle simply because I did not think I had the skill to craft and attach it properly. I'm pretty cack-handed.

The claws are gone and the area filed down. For the emitter, my local DIY superstore happened to sell strips of brass the exact width of the blue areas. Brass is quite malleable but easy to scratch. It took a few attempts to measure, cut and file down eight brass strips to superglue. The pictures are a little out of date - I have now put on all eight brass strips. I might give it a little buff with Brasso but I quite like the rough surface it has now.

The handle I decided to make out of an aluminium pocket torch which I found in a local 100 yen shop (like poundshops in the UK but so much better). Strike of luck again as these are not only cheap but the exact dimensions I had in mind. After removing the gubbins to leave a nice tube, I first tried to affix the torch handle to the existing cut-down plastic handle by packing the gap with epoxy putty. It didn't set and ruined both the torch handle and the original handle.

After a while, I had the idea of gluing the screw-on ring (it was a ring after I removed the button) to the sonic and having the handle unscrew so I could still get to the battery compartment. This meant removing the top screw on the battery compartment. I gave the handle a simple leather wrap handle and all was well until the superglue gave in under my handling. I am now searching for a nice strong epoxy superglue that bonds plastic to aluminium.

As for the central section, I'm at a loss as to what to do. I might leave it as it is for now.

As per the SketchUp picture, I still want to have a red ring. Once again, 100 yen aluminium torches come in all sorts of colours including red. I used a pipe-cutter to cut a ring but I'm stuck on how to attach it. More pictures to come.No message is associated with this attachment.No message is associated with this attachment.


You know, I like that better than the original!


A small update. I got some better epoxy glue and reattached the new handle. I plumped for the screw cap from the red torch I cannibalised for the red ring (not yet attached) to give the handle a splash of colour.

Perhaps I mentioned this in a previous update but I'd be happy to leave it as it is for now. If one were to look closely at the emitter they'd see a lot of rough edges, like the ends of the brass strips I intended to be hidden and the sanded-down ribs. Perhaps when inspiration strikes I'll do some more tinkering. The roughness gives it a bit of charm, anyway.IMG_5523.jpg

Cardinal Hordriss

I love this!

It's really spooky though - I've been working on a custom for a while using the Capaldi sonic as a starting point. I only come back to it occasionally. I'll have to finish it and post.

I like your use of the torch, I think I'll copy that lol.
I speak to you from the final days of Gallifrey. I am the past you have forgotten. You are the future I will not live to see...

Cardinal Hordriss

I speak to you from the final days of Gallifrey. I am the past you have forgotten. You are the future I will not live to see...


Another hiatus on working on the sonic but I've have an idea inspired by Cardinal Hordriss' lovely work.

Could someone in the know tell me: would the sonic still function if I remove the top half of the emitter?

Cardinal Hordriss

Quote from: klamath on Oct 12, 2020, 07:31 amAnother hiatus on working on the sonic but I've have an idea inspired by Cardinal Hordriss' lovely work.

Could someone in the know tell me: would the sonic still function if I remove the top half of the emitter?

Yes. The electronics etc. stop below the emitter so you can do what you like with that whole section.
I speak to you from the final days of Gallifrey. I am the past you have forgotten. You are the future I will not live to see...


Back again. A lot and very little has been done. In summary:
  • I removed the top half of the emitter and capped it
  • I nearly completely filed down the bases for the side claws

What I am hoping to do next is more involving.

I am stealing the idea from the Dark Eyes sonic of wooden parts running down the side. There will be two on the sides going from roughly handle to emitter base, and one on the back just covering the body between the hoops. The question is whether to use screws to actually affix it on or file/cut them down (a big ask with my limited equipment) and rely on the magic of superglue.

The final touches will a big red button on the slider and two antennae of sort cut down from 100-yen keyrings which will stick out of the top of the wood pieces and passed the emitter. the final question is covering the above join at the base of the emitter with a metal ring (that might use really screws). I had an idea of using tealight covers but they are far too thin.