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Matt's Replica Crich-Style Police Box

Started by matt sanders, Aug 03, 2014, 10:41 pm

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matt sanders

Quote from: Mark on Jan 11, 2015, 06:15 pm
Anyway, enough of bulb talk - Sign me up for one if you make a batch, however I want a discount for having to look at your bum while holding the ladder Matt! lol  :P

Some people would pay good money to look at my bum!

And oops - it seems I caused some confusion by posting my last comment as an UPDATE, when it was just a continuation of the ongoing COMMENT discussion(!)

Yes, as Mark says, the wooden box that contains the phone has a glass top surface, so presumably light from the police box's main hanging bulb would go into the phone box, and illuminate the phone panel, along with the windows and lintel signs...


Jan 12, 2015, 03:50 am #76 Last Edit: Jan 12, 2015, 06:42 am by hb88banzai
One bulb to rule them all, and in the darkness light them...


Sorry, couldn't resist.    

Interestingly, the window in the top of the telephone cupboard predates the phone door sign. It was originally put there to provide illumination for the telephone so it could be seen at night through the then clear glass phone door panel, as well as so you could read the instructions at the back of the phone cupboard and the number plate above. It would appear that when they decided to replace the clear glass with the translucent "Pull to Open" screen printed signs beginning late 1937 that the old arrangement still provided enough light to adequately illuminate the new sign.

Here's a part of the Trench plans showing this, noting that (as discussed elsewhere) these plans, being early working drawings for the Mark 3's, must actually date from late 1934 to early 1935, over two years before the "Pull to Open" phone door signs began to be used --


And the sectional detail from elsewhere on the plan sheet --


BTW - from what I've been able to find out so far, that small third light on the left back pillar used as a "repeater" for the top beacon's signal lamp only came into use beginning about 1934-1935, during the development of the Met version of the Ericsson system (and its competitor). Before that the only indicator of an incoming call for someone actually inside the Box at the time was the candlestick telephone's bell set. This light also served as a test lamp to verify the system was operating correctly when the signal test button (located just below the cabin lamp switch) was pressed.


Mar 09, 2015, 04:57 am #77 Last Edit: Mar 09, 2015, 04:59 am by galacticprobe
Okay, just a quick note to everyone because I do not want to see this thread get locked (or worse):

We don't do "runs" on this Forum: (near the bottom).

Should someone wish to ask a member to help them in fashioning a replica (or a part thereof), such as a casting, carving, etc., please do it via PM. This thread has too much helpful info in it with regards to making moulds and casting replicas that it's almost a tutorial, and having it locked so no one can ever post to it again (no more questions, comments, or advice ever to be had) would be a terrible thing.

In the past we have had members help other members out with such things, but it's always been done via PM, or e-mail once PM contact is firmly established.

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

matt sanders

Right - well it seems the weather's due to perk up a bit this week, so I'm determined to make some progress with my Police Box!

(If I say it here, then maybe I'll actually do it...!)

Next stage - the Corner Columns...


Apr 05, 2015, 05:01 am #79 Last Edit: Apr 05, 2015, 05:06 am by galacticprobe
I have to hand it to you, Matt: the only reason I've ever had any affinity for the Met Box proper is because (and I know this is in its own bubble universe) it's the version of a TARDIS that most resembles the one from the two Peter Cushing films. (And yes; I loved those films and have the 3-disc box set: "Dr. Who and the Daleks"; "Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.", and "Dalekmania".)

That said, the work you're putting into your Met Box (Crich) replica has given me more of an appreciation of the Met Box as an actual Police Box: what the parts of it actually look like, how it's assembled (the moving parts, since most of the structure was cast concrete), the lighting, interior "furniture", etc. So I for one am looking forward to...
Quote from: matt sanders on Apr 04, 2015, 11:43 am
Next stage - the Corner Columns...

Keep up that outstanding work you're doing (not to mention those "nads of steel" you've got for casting moulds directly from the actual Crich Box!).

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

matt sanders

OK - I'm back in action!

Last summer, I started making the mould-box for the Corner Columns, which required some accurate plywood cutting and fixing...

IMG_1261.JPGIMG_1262.jpgIMG_4809 2.jpegIMG_8778 2.jpeg

matt sanders

As mentioned in previous posts, I'm casting my components in fibreglass, which means making moulds from plywood, constructing all the details in reverse.

(Of course, as the original police boxes were cast in concrete, the moulds that I'm making will be quite similar to those used by the original builders, 80 years ago...)

In this image, I'm adding wooden mouldings in the corners, to create the "quadrant" detail.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find a quarter-round moulding with the correct dimensions, but I did at least find some L-shaped mouldings of the right size, and I'll have to add the curved part by hand...


Having done all the timber, I'm applying Jesmonite Resin, to give (a reverse version of) the desired concrete texture...

IMG_7558 3.jpeg

This will be the top of the column, where the highest part steps in slightly.

As the weather has been so good, I could have easily textured the whole mould this weekend - but unfortunately I ran out of the resin and powder, and the Easter holiday means the next delivery isn't until Wednesday - so hopefully I'll have more updates then.

Still - gives me a chance to draw up the mould components for the Lintel-Sign Ring-Beam...  ;-)


Apr 07, 2015, 05:11 am #82 Last Edit: Apr 07, 2015, 05:11 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: matt sanders on Apr 06, 2015, 07:12 pm
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a quarter-round moulding with the correct dimensions, but I did at least find some L-shaped mouldings of the right size, and I'll have to add the curved part by hand...

I don't know. Looking at the texturing you've done so far on that one corner post, I would say that corner looks pretty well like it's got the right amount of "quarter-round" to it just as it is. Could you possibly do a small test of the mould to see how the corner will come out once you've paid in the fiberglas? (If your mould is designed to be reusable, that is; a good coating of cooking spray should help things release easily enough.) From what I can see so far, I don't think you'll have to do any additional work on those corners to give them that quarter-round look. And your texturing is amazing!

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

matt sanders

Yes - the "quarter-round" has been added in the final image, by painting in more Jesmonite resin, and pulling a curved plastic former along it.  So yes - that's the end result.

The previous photo shows the L-shaped wooden moulding that is underneath, before the resin is added.


I'm in awe of the level of detail and accuracy going into this project. And amused that the handful of people in the world who will appreciate it mostly post here. That said I bet Adam Savage from Mythbusters would like it. He does some pretty accurate replica builds.
"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.

matt sanders

Whilst waiting for more resin to arrive, I started to prep the plastic pipes that will go inside my fibreglass columns, to add strength...

The pipes I bought are 3m long, but I only need 2.2m, so have to saw off the end.  Handy hint: To get a cutting line that gives a perfectly square end, wrap a sheet of paper around the pipe, and draw a line along the edge...


To hold the Police Box together, I'll be bolting the Lintel-Sign Ring-Beam down to the tops of the columns, so need to have some M12 Nuts fixed to the top of the pipes...


matt sanders

Finally, my Jesmonite Resin arrived this afternoon - so back to the column-mould...

Here's the plastic former, that i'm dragging along the corners, to give the quarter-round...


Here's the top end.  As I'm also making the interior of the box accurate to a real police box, one corner of each column will have a 45-degree bevel...


Adding lumpy resin, to cast a pitted "concrete" texture...


This is how far I got today. 


Will hopefully finish the mould tomorrow, and cast the first column before the weekend...


So thrilled to see you doing this.  For (literally) years I have imagined casting a box using this method and I'm desperate to see how you get on.   Your techniques all look fantastic and the texture is outstanding.   Everything you attempt on this project just blows my mind a little further...


Apr 09, 2015, 03:15 pm #88 Last Edit: Apr 09, 2015, 03:17 pm by galacticprobe
Such meticulous attention to detail! Even just the moulds have that concrete look to them. I can't wait to see how the castings come out. And just curious, but what kind of pipe is that you're using for structural support? (It looks like terra-cotta; or is it just PVC that has that terra-cotta look?)

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

matt sanders

Hi Dino - it's standard plastic drainage pipe - they just make it that colour.

Thanks for all the comments, guys.  It helps me get past the splinters and grazed knuckles!  The Jesmonite resin that I'm using for the texture is very strong, but the sharp bits hurt, if you brush your hand past too quick!