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Volpone's TARDIS build...

Started by Volpone, Nov 18, 2011, 10:44 pm

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Volpone

When I was 21-ish, I bought a midnight blue '63 Pontiac Grand Prix.  She was magnificent.  She was also too much car for a 21 year old to maintain and I eventually had to get rid of her, but before that I did a partial engine rebuild with a crazy old mechanic.  Unknown to us, there was a hairline crack in the timing belt cover, so I spent the better part of the week coming to the guy's garage, putting her together, getting her about halfway full of coolant before the coolant started leaking from the timing belt cover and taking her all apart again. 

Went out and cut the top signs.  The ones that weren't heavily reinforced worked very nicely.  Ironically the one over the door is the worst one.  At some point I'm going to need to go in from inside with a circle saw and cut out the bottom edge of a 2x4.  For now I've got to pop the phone door off to attach my false hinges and I've got two more windows to cut and I'm ready to paint. 

I should be out looking for ways to make money but the weather is nice, I'm so close to being done, and there's that guy who's planning to propose in my backyard at the TARDIS in June and holy crap, it's the middle of May already. 

******

I initially designed the thing to be a watertight storage shed.  I failed horribly at that and eventually moved anything susceptible to moisture out of it and then put some bits of plastic sheeting over everything else.  One of the benefits of having false windows and signs that weren't lit was that the interior was a very clean white box.  It got a neat effect when I glued paper plate "roundels" all over inside.  Of course it gradually got yucky inside but I digress.  The point is, the windows and top signs (and to a lesser degree the phone door) let in light to help keep the inside dry.  I beefed up the vent engineered into the signal light, and even the top signs are designed to help with ventilation.  I'm hoping I've made successful improvements to the design.  But I've compromised the TARDIS-y interior.  Now it looks like a shed.  Or the inside of a police box.  But I think I have a solution.  One that works on a number of levels. 

I plan to pick up a cheap shower curtain or two.  They're transparent enough to allow my lantern to light the windows and such but opaque enough to help hide the windows (and help hide my stuff when it is piled inside it so you can't see shapes through the windows).  They'll also provide a moisture barrier between the walls and my stuff (but, I'm hoping, still allow for good ventilation).  I plan to take a frozen pizza cardboard (or some other circle) and use that to spray paint the faint hint of roundels onto the curtain.  I think it will work very well.  I guess we'll see. 
"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.

Volpone

Blue is evil and Fate is cruel.  I got two sides painted yesterday.  The first brush stroke made me think I'd made a horrible, horrible mistake, going from the 1963 color.  But as the paintjob from my childhood started to *ahem* materialize, it literally gave me goosebumps.  'Nuff said on that.  A picture is worth a thousand words. 

This morning I should have gone to sleep when I got home from work and finished walking the dog, but it was warm and dry enough to paint and we'd been supposed to get rain today (at the start of the week).  Rather than tempt fate, I decided to bang it out.  Yesterday the paint held out amazingly well and I'd started to think I'd make it on my existing paint.  But either I'd been too generous on the third side or it was eating up more paint because, with 2 panels left to go on the last side, I ran out.  The can was literally dry and the brush wasn't much better.  So I grabbed the lid and headed down to the store to do a color match.  Of course the one thing that had faded on the label was the paint code.  And he said the sample splotch was too small to pull a good computer match off of so he pointed me to the samples. 

Too tired for that kind of thinking, I went home and grabbed a couple chunks off the remodel--some unweathered scrap window trim, the wood from behind the old phone panel, and some random piece of scrap.  After spending 10 minutes walking my dog around the nearby field before coming in to find the computer had been unable to make a match.  The guy showed me his best guess while I looked up Oxford blue on my phone and picked what I thought was the best match.  It was the same color the paint guy had picked so I mixed up a quart.  Once it was dry it wasn't a very good match but it would be good enough.  I monkeyed a bit with it too when I got home.  Here's the results: 
20140515_113228.jpg
20140515_113110.jpg
Now I've just got to do some weathering. 
"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.

galacticprobe

May 16, 2014, 07:29 am #107 Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 07:29 am by galacticprobe
She's looking pretty darned great! I can just imagine how much better she'll be with her weathering.

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

superrichi1a

Again what Dino said :D Looking absolutely unbelievable! Weathering I imagine will make it look even much more so, and with that it should be pretty easy to hide the colour mismatch, even though like you say it's already hard to spot ;)
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Volpone

Today I finished(?) the exterior.  I lost light as I was wrapping up so I may need to do some touch-up tomorrow.  We'll see. 

I had to go back and paint the caulk around the signs and touch up the window frames.  I'd been painting with the big brush and didn't want to waste any paint so I skipped them.  As I was doing that I decided I really liked the new color so I did some more work on the front.  Then when I came out to weather I decided I didn't like it so much so I scrubbed it a bit before deciding to just go ahead with the weathering. 

I was pretty content with the rag work but less so with the spray wash.  In spite of clogging 2 old spray bottle nozzles, the spatter didn't seem dark enough.  We'll see tomorrow.  I also need to weather the window panes too but didn't want to do that while the paint was wet.  But the good news is that I was home at the right time to capture a couple twilight shots without needing to get out the big camera.  Kind of hard to see, but the top signs and the phone panel are lit up:
20140516_204150.jpg
20140516_204205.jpg
"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.

superrichi1a

That is SERIOUSLY cool, the windows set it off perfectly!
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Volpone

OK. The "finished" photo is pre-weathering, but I've kept the weathering fairly subtle.  Here she is at commissioning, as she was prior to renovation, after renovation, and mid-renovation with the 1963 paintjob:
TARDISbeforeafter.jpg
"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.

galacticprobe

May 18, 2014, 05:29 am #112 Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 05:29 am by galacticprobe
Well, to avoiding repeating a post: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=5391.msg63112#msg63112.

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

DoctorWho8

You wouldn't even have known that was the same box.
Bill "the Doctor" Rudloff

superrichi1a

That transformation is literally scary, congratulations on a groundbreaking build and renovation :) Everytime I see an update for this thread I think
"Right I'm not going to post another information-devoid awe-inspired ramble" but every time I see the pictures I'm moved to do so anyway, sorry 'bout 'dat :P
How does the lamp look? Has that been changed in any way? (I don't recall ever seeing close ups of that, but I could be wrong and can't check because my phone's connection here is too slow :-\).
Isn't it how ironic that we have to think of solutions out of the box, in order to build our boxes a lot of the time?

Volpone

Yeah, it's funny.  I loved the old TARDIS.  She did everything I planned on her doing (looked enough like a TARDIS that people recognized it while keeping cost and complexity down), but now I've got the remodel done the old girl looks so crude.  Well, I still love her.  And she's still there--just with a major makeover. 

The other funny thing is that the dimensions weren't incredibly off initially, but it is amazing what a couple inches here and there does to throw everything else out of whack.  Then I thought "well, it just isn't weathered enough" or "the paint just isn't the right shade."  If anything, it was way too weathered and the paint was just fine.  Now that I've got the proportions right it all comes together. 

I'll try to add some wrap up pictures.  I didn't go whole hog and put in clear windows  for the "T," I did sand the crackle down as much as I could (if you aren't careful you can sand right through it and still not get it smooth).  But I did dirty down and shade the "T."  On the windows where I salvaged the old "glass" it isn't that impressive, but on the new "glass" it is just amazing.  I've also got photos that show how I added ventilation under the top signs.  And while we haven't had weeks of constant rain since the renovation, it has been wet today and there's no sign of water intrusion (fingers crossed). 

The lamp.  The lamp, the lamp...  The first two iterations were DOA.  When I made my initial buy I just got a low-voltage landscape light.  I decided that was so off that I returned it.  Then I picked up a cheap bird feeder and never put that on.  The lamp in the first picture is the $3.95 "jam jar" lamp glass from Lowe's, spraypainted white inside.  Then I picked up this fence capital.  It was designed to go on top of a 4x4.  slightly pointy top with a moulding around it.  I pried the moulding off and stuck that to the roof.  Set the glass inside it and stuck the top part on top of that.  Put the dowels down inside it with...hot glue? 

Eventually I bought a fairly large solar landscape light.  I also bought a $1.50 blue plastic plate from Wal*Mart.  I cut a hole in the center for the LED and glued the plate to the bottom of the top part of the landscape light (while throwing away the rest) and put that on top of everything. 

Initially I didn't have a vent hole in the roof but after reading somewhere that the lamp on the Glasgow boxes doubled as a vent that made sense so I bored out a vent hole under the lamp glass.  I think it was of limited effectiveness, but I was on the right track and as a side benefit it added a tiny amount of light to the otherwise dark interior (since I didn't have actual windows). 

Then I found some reasonably priced Fresnell shaped lantern chimneys at Vermont Lantern Company (they were on closeout, so I don't know if there are any left).  This, combined with the water damage that kept resurfacing, was the excuse to do this renovation.  So I wound up widening the little 2" hole out to around 5".  Then I framed up a bigger wood base.  Luckily my existing cap was big enough to be perfect for the new glass.  I rummaged around Home Depot's galvanized ductwork and found a wall plate and a collar that were the right size.  I snipped the corners out of the plate and then hammered it to shape to fit over my base.  then the collar got fastened to the plate with copious amounts of caulk.  The glass chimney rested on top of that.  The plan for the cap was to stick my dowels to it with foam adhesive tape and then glue magnets to the bottoms of the dowels to hold everything together, but this was too wobbly so I grabbed an old paint mixing stick that was laying around, cut it lengthwise, and then cut it so the cap could rest on the top of the glass while still leaving a gap for ventilation.  Even having done this myself, I don't know that I could have figured it out from that explanation, so I'll try to get a picture of that too. 

One of the problems with my cheap "Fresnell" is that it isn't a lens, just glass shaped kind of like a Fresnell.  I may spray it with something like hairspray to fog/frost the glass just a little bit.  I've also considered sticking a ping-pong ball in it (Safeway has glow-in-the-dark ones that I think could be cool) or even just an old lightbulb.  I've also thought about filling the inside with silicone gel (not the whole thing, just enough to make a hollow cylinder inside) But the current setup is rickety enough that I don't want to take the cover off and wind up having to try and fix it so I'm leaving well enough alone for now. 
"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.

Volpone

Rained like a bugger today. Defeated my waterproofing.  :( I'll fight this another time. For now, a weathered picture:20140518_193943.jpg
"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.

galacticprobe

May 19, 2014, 05:14 am #117 Last Edit: May 19, 2014, 05:15 am by galacticprobe
Again, just to save everyone's neck ;):

20140518_193943.jpg

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

Volpone

The blasted cell phone does it.  If I upload from the laptop they come out right, but the phone doesn't do the orientation right.  I should have done the other picture too.  Well, maybe later. 
"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.

galacticprobe

May 20, 2014, 03:49 pm #119 Last Edit: May 20, 2014, 03:50 pm by galacticprobe
Smart phone not so smart? ;) (At least that's what my son says about his smart phone.) Sounds like it would be best to transfer the photos from the phone to the laptop, check their orientation (and adjust as needed) and then post pics from the laptop. It's how my son does it when he posts photos somewhere, and he says it gives him a chance to adjust the photo's sharpness if it's a bit blurry, or lighten it up if it's too dark, etc., etc.

Right now the Old Girl has the look of the late Hartnell/early Troughton stories, and she's looking mighty fine!

Dino.
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"