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3 Dark Eyes Sonic Screwdriver Replicas

Started by the doctor who2, Feb 18, 2020, 10:31 pm

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the doctor who2

In November 2018 I was commissioned to make a Sonic Screwdriver, but not just any Sonic Screwdriver. Paul McCann's Eighth Doctor Dark Eyes Sonic. It was a chance commission after a chat with a friend at a Comic Con in Birmingham. He'd found out that I make the odd prop as a hobby, he asked if this was something I could make for him, I instantly said yes. In April 2019 after the completion of other commissions I started putting my mind to the Sonics, not realising it would be 7 months till I'd finally hand it over.

I would have liked to have documented this as I was going but unfortunately I had to keep this a secret as it was a present for an artist within the Doctor Who community, it was important for me to try and keep this a secret and for who it would end up being for.

The original brief I set myself and agreed with the client was to make it as accurate as possible and that it wouldn't have any working lighting and sound. This was to originally cut down on costs and the build time.

Now that the 3 Sonics are out there in the public domain and with agreement from the client and recipient that they are both happy for me to showcase this here along with any final photos and the build process. Here is a breakdown and walk-through for each day of how I constructed not 1, not 2 but 3 Dark Eyes Sonic Screwdrivers.

For the days I have detailed they will be posted every 2 to 3 days, basically like a proper build diary. If you have any questions do post them and I'll answer where I can.
"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

Feb 18, 2020, 10:36 pm #1 Last Edit: Feb 23, 2020, 01:58 pm by the doctor who2
28 April 2019

Due to the nature of this sonic it was very difficult trying to find any reference images or dimensions of the actual prop seeing as this is privately owned by Paul McGann himself, this forum had a lot of very useful images which I instantly started working on. Thanks to everyone who has ever contributed to any photos or details regarding this prop, without you this would have made designing and making this prop extremely difficult.
I started making a very rough Google SketchUP model which I would use as a size reference for the finished prop and as a guide to make a detailed model.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

klamath

I absolutely love this sonic so good luck! I'll be following with great interest.

the doctor who2

Feb 21, 2020, 08:57 pm #3 Last Edit: Feb 21, 2020, 08:58 pm by the doctor who2
Quote from: klamath on Feb 19, 2020, 03:54 am
I absolutely love this sonic so good luck! I'll be following with great interest.


Its one of my all time favourite Sonics! It'll be a bit slow while i start drawing the plans up but it'll get very interesting when i start constructing them.
"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

Feb 21, 2020, 09:02 pm #4 Last Edit: Feb 23, 2020, 02:00 pm by the doctor who2
10 May 2019

After a while I had a size I was satisfied with, printed a basic 2D plan to check the sizes and checking against all the reference images available, I made 4 different sizes of mock-up to try out what size worked best. The below images show only the one that best fit the sizes and ratios from the reference images.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

warmcanofcoke

Feb 22, 2020, 10:55 pm #5 Last Edit: Feb 22, 2020, 10:57 pm by warmcanofcoke
http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=2971.0

QuoteImages that have been watermarked or labeled with a specific owner are not permitted: such a watermark is a direct indicator that the image is not freely copyable, and such images will not be accepted on the forum - even if watermarked by the forum member.


Hey man great start on a build diary.
why doesn't the Guide mention them? - Oh, it's not very accurate.
Oh? - I'm researching the new edition.

the doctor who2

Quote from: warmcanofcoke on Feb 22, 2020, 10:55 pm
http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=2971.0

QuoteImages that have been watermarked or labeled with a specific owner are not permitted: such a watermark is a direct indicator that the image is not freely copyable, and such images will not be accepted on the forum - even if watermarked by the forum member.


Hey man great start on a build diary.


Hi thank you. Apologies, i'll change the images and make sure it doesn't happen again.
Been a while since i posted anything here :)
"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

13 May 2019

Once I was happy with the overall length I got started making a detailed 3D model, the colours on the model each indicate a size of tubing and any further detailing. My intention was to make the entire thing from plastic, this is mostly due to the fact I have no workshop, only my desk in the Living Room. For ease of construction I had no choice but go down the ASA Plastic tubing route.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

16 May 2019

Progressing through the whole model including the wooden detailing, screws, nuts and bolts. Basically making a completely accurate 3D I could make into 2D schematic plans. Lots of fine detail was needed for the 'fins' surrounding the omitter, this of course would be pieces I would make a mould and cast for, making it easier to get large amounts of duplicates.

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Once the final model was finished I set to work creating all the masterplans showing all the vital elements all to 1:1 scale.

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Final checks were made with reference to existing photos and even other fan made props.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

Feb 26, 2020, 06:55 pm #9 Last Edit: Feb 26, 2020, 06:59 pm by the doctor who2
19 May 2019


With the SketchUP model finished complete with colour co-ordinated details with all the sizes and positions ready to be translated into a 3D model, here is the full set SketchUP model and the final plans.

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Seeing as I can animate the 3D model I thought I'd be missing a trick if I didn't have a mess around making a 3D model video showing the full scale of the Sonic, I've added the video below.



"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

2 June 2019

This was the easy part completed, now onto purchasing all the required materials and to get started.
My go to shop for anything plastic tubing, strip and sheet related had everything I needed straight off their website. With all the basic materials purchased I was now ready to start measuring up and making 3 Sonics.

The first stage was to cut all the lengths down to size for the main body of the Sonic, all these were made using ASA plastic tubing which are the perfect size to slot within each other, this in itself would make the body very rigid but also allows me easily reduce the size and thickness from a larger body to a smaller omitter.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

Its been a little while since I updated this dairy, determined to get through it and show you the finished products!

7 July 2019

As well as all the larger lengths I started to cut down and shape the various rings and collars that are needed in all the various tube widths.
Everything here was hand cut, referenced back to the original plans and sanded to a smooth finish. Barely any power tools were used as I wanted control over everything. If there was any slight imperfection I wasn't happy with I would cut another piece, I had to stick with keeping the highest possible standard.

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One of the more interesting pieces to craft was the collar that has 3 'vent' recesses, again everything except a Dremel was cut and sanded by hand. All 3 do have their own 'personality' but doing anything by hand will cause variations in the final shape and size.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

the doctor who2

16 July 2019

After all the larger collars were completed I started on the smaller more fiddly pieces. On all 3 Sonics there are 5 curved profile rings, I did explore using 'O' rings or washers but found these would leave an uncomfortable join which could potentially fail over time or would need extensive filling to make a smooth profile. Instead I decided on the more time consuming option of cutting all the rings from a single piece of tubing and using my electric drill with a specially made attachment to hold the plastic whilst I would turn on the drill and sanding, creating the curved detailing.

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"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01

Volpone

I love that you're working with hand tools and an old-school miter box. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

the doctor who2

Quote from: Volpone on Sep 17, 2020, 03:16 amI love that you're working with hand tools and an old-school miter box. 

This was very much an old school build, the only power tool I used on the whole thing was my drills.
"There's no point being GROWN UP if you can't be CHILDISH sometimes!"

The Fourth Doctor - Robot, S12 E01