May 14, 2021, 11:04 pm

News:

New, New TardisBuilders!


Chronodyne Generator

Started by galacticprobe, Sep 26, 2015, 07:22 am

Previous topic - Next topic

galacticprobe

Sep 26, 2015, 07:22 am Last Edit: Sep 26, 2015, 07:53 am by galacticprobe
Well, since there are several people trying to build this gadget, and with no reference materials on it yet to go by, I thought I'd jump start the topic with some of the concept art, courtesy of the BBC's 'Doctor Who' web site:

ChronodyneGenerator.jpg
The actual concept art (not always how it ends up at the end of the building process);
ChronodyneGenerator(ConceptArt-Larger).jpg
Same image, slightly enlarged, lightened, and sharpened.

ChronodyneGenerator(Schematic).jpg
And if you really want to impress your friends (and make them think you're really building a working one of these) you could always hang the generator's schematic diagram on the wall - or leave it on your work table or bench.
ChronodyneGenerator(SchematicScreenGrab).jpg
A publicity photo of the Doctor's schematic, scrawled on one of his blackboards inside the TARDIS. (Note the
Spoiler
Series 9 added lit roundels on the TARDIS' wall in the background
[close]
, hence the deduction that it's a publicity photo.)

Chronodyne-generator.jpg
And a screen grab of the generator that Danny Pink drops on the floor as he stumbles in while the Doctor is trying to trap the Blitzer.

These are all I've got at the moment, but this is just the jump start for the reference material. I'll hunt around for larger images and some screen grabs to expand the references. (And anyone wishing to help add to this reference is more than welcome!)

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

davidnagel

Ya know after being reminded about this and seeing that screengrab, I'm sure te main body is the top of a drinks can. The chunky "legs" look like printer cartridges to my eye.
Kind Regards,

David

www.spiffinglyniceguy.co.uk

The14thDr

That second concept art will make it very easy to extrapolate measurements. (A trick I use is to open the image on my computer and zoom in until it's just about 1:1 - in this case the centre bit will be 50mm - and then use a ruler to find out all the other measurements).
These references will come in handy when it comes to completing my model for Pepakura and 3D printing.

And as for the blackboard drawings: great minds think alike! I spent ages last night sketching out my own version of those blueprints. (I don't think my printer could handle printing out a picture like that with a completely black background :P). Soon I'd like to make another 'static' generator with all of the interior workings, wires and circuitry. :)

Does anybody have any ideas on what that black coil is on the side of one of the 'pods'? My guess would be a length of telephone wire that they trimmed down to size, but I could be wrong.

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"

galacticprobe

Sep 27, 2015, 05:34 am #3 Last Edit: Sep 27, 2015, 08:47 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: davidnagel on Sep 26, 2015, 09:24 am
Ya know after being reminded about this and seeing that screengrab, I'm sure te main body is the top of a drinks can. The chunky "legs" look like printer cartridges to my eye.

You know, you've got a point there, David. (It's one of the reason I wish they had more "notes" on that concept art, and hope that more diagrams for this thing exist out there somewhere.) There have been other props whose concept art specified details like that, and some even went into specifics (and in this case, perhaps if those legs were printer ink cartridges, the notes might have mentioned which model cartridge; of course at BBC studios Art Department I'm sure they're not short on empty printer cartridges to choose from, so if by their silhouette someone can ID the model that could be the cartridge used, please shout out).

As for the main body being a drinks can, I think that would be too thin and flimsy: the unfortunate nature of an empty drinks can that's been cut down like that. It would have needed to be reinforced with something on the inside, at least around the straight sides - like using a piece of PVC pipe which would have been perfect. It would also have given the bottom cover something to be attached to, with tiny screws like those used on the TARDIS power crystal prop.

However I think if they went that route they might have used the bottom of the drinks can as on the actual prop there is no opening that one would expect on the top of the can, unless they covered that with something - which is always a possibility. (Again this brings be back to the concept art and those specific notes on what the props is to be made of, like we've seen on some other concept art drawings.) Still, great thoughts all round, David!

Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 26, 2015, 11:24 am
That second concept art will make it very easy to extrapolate measurements. (A trick I use is to open the image on my computer and zoom in until it's just about 1:1 - in this case the centre bit will be 50mm - and then use a ruler to find out all the other measurements).

I see someone has stolen my method of extrapolating some measurements for props! (And it works!)

Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 26, 2015, 11:24 am
These references will come in handy when it comes to completing my model for Pepakura and 3D printing.

I'm still looking for more, crisp, clear, actual prop images (what I call Kingpin-style screen grabs) to add to this reference. So if anyone wants to add some (if they have any), please feel free. (I might even take a peek to see if Kingpin had already captured and posted some of these under a Series 8 "The Caretaker" screen grab post. If so, I'll repost some of them here, giving a link to that thread as well - if he made one that is; I've still to check on that.)

Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 26, 2015, 11:24 am
And as for the blackboard drawings: great minds think alike! I spent ages last night sketching out my own version of those blueprints. (I don't think my printer could handle printing out a picture like that with a completely black background :P).

Just take the image on a jump drive to an 'Office Depot'-type printing place and have them print out an enlarged copy for you. It will be done on a laser printer (no ink to run and the laser toner can handle something like this easily). And a poster-sized printout would cost about $5 in the US, so it's really inexpensive.

Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 26, 2015, 11:24 am
Soon I'd like to make another 'static' generator with all of the interior workings, wires and circuitry. :)

When you do, be sure to take loads of photos during the building process!

Quote from: The14thDr on Sep 26, 2015, 11:24 am
Does anybody have any ideas on what that black coil is on the side of one of the 'pods'? My guess would be a length of telephone wire that they trimmed down to size, but I could be wrong.

And again I fall back to those concept art drawings that had/have more notes on them as to what bits to use on the prop. A note on that wire would be very helpful. A phone wire would be loose and wiggly-wobbly. A length of, say, 16 gauge electrical wiring (with its black insulation still on it) could be coiled around a small tube (or even a large pen) to get that look, and then it could be bent into the shape as seen on the prop, but be stiff and hold its shape as the prop is handled. So an episode re-watch is definitely needed to see how that wire acts when the prop is handled (unless someone already has re-watched the episode, and if so, please join in; the more, the merrier).

Dino.

EDIT: A few things I would like to add since I just had a re-watch of "The Caretaker" (rough night and had to pass the time somehow). First let me say that getting screen grabs of this thing isn't easy! You need really fast fingers, and I just couldn't get a good image of one, and the only really good shot of one is when the Doctor is putting it inside that large electrics panel outside - and then he slams the doors shut. (Kingpin! I need your help, please, since you are much better at getting screen grabs than I obviously am.)

One little detail I did notice when the Doctor and Clara are tossing one around inside the TARDIS, and when the Doctor is brandishing the one that Danny stole - and then dropped while they temporarily banished the Blitzer - is that the "back/bottom" of the genny is all silver - like a metal plate - so that's something I saw, which wasn't noted on that concept art. (Can anyone find some of the concept art anywhere that has some notes to the prop builders on it?)

I also made a count of all the gennies the Doctor placed (or were shown in place) around the school, which I've posted in here: http://tardisbuilders.com/index.php?topic=6300.msg78205;topicseen#msg78205. But for reference's sake:

9 - inside that auditorium where the Doctor lured the Blitzer (all on the backs of chairs);
1 - inside a drain in the courtyard;
1 - inside the electrical box outside the school;
1 - on a cord from a lamp hanging from a school hallway ceiling;
1 - under some sort of alarm-pull (that Danny steals);
1 - inside a hanging plant outside the Caretaker's building (that Danny also steals).

So unless I happened to miss one, that totals 14 gennies that were planted around the school.

(Maybe another set of eyes could count them as well, just to make sure I spotted all the ones that were seen "on screen" being planted, and we can go with that number as a "complete set".)
"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"

davidnagel

Kind Regards,

David

www.spiffinglyniceguy.co.uk

davidnagel

Kind Regards,

David

www.spiffinglyniceguy.co.uk

galacticprobe

Sep 28, 2015, 05:01 am #6 Last Edit: Sep 28, 2015, 05:02 am by galacticprobe
Outstanding screen grabs, David! (And just so everyone knows, if you open David's grabs in a new tab or window you can see them full size; in this thread they're being resized to fit your browser's window, and you can see more detail in the full-size image.)

Thank you for getting and sharing these, David! They're fantastic!

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

The14thDr

May 29, 2016, 04:15 pm #7 Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 04:24 pm by The14thDr
The more I look at the photos of this prop, the more I think davidnagel could be right about the bodies of the gennies being made from drinks cans. The second image makes it look like they used the top of a drinks can (the slight lip at the top is a dead giveaway ;)) - that is of course if they even used a drinks can, all we have to go on in pure conjecture.
ChronodyneGenerator.jpg

Also, a quick Google search gives the diameter of an aluminium can at slightly larger than 2" (the concept art gives the diameter of the centre of the gennies as 50mm, but the Beeb's prop department has been known to deviate from the concept art on more than one occasion, so maybe they did use a drinks can as the closest substitute to the 50 millimetres they were given)?

Also, I did a bit of searching, but I haven't been able to find a printer cartridge that matches the 'pods' on the sides of the generators.

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"

galacticprobe

May 29, 2016, 10:30 pm #8 Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 10:49 pm by galacticprobe
It could very well be a drinks can. And we all know by now that Concept Art is the "as intended" design, which isn't always how the "as built" versions turn out. If the concept art says "50 mm" for the diameter (which is 1.99 inches), then using a readily available drinks can of just over 2 inches (or little more than 51 mm) in diameter, I don't think the props people would care about that "give or take a millimeter or two". (It does make one wonder how they finished off the cut end of the can so no one cut their fingers on the sharp edge.) The bottom was most likely a wood disc, easily cut to size with a hole saw, and sanded to fit as needed.

The wider of the copper wire bundles could be running over the can's opening to hide it, and all of the wire bundles then go through holes punched just off-center. The LED "slots" are clever; if you look closely at the image with the green LEDs lit, you'll see they're closest to the center. Then if you look at the image with a good view of the slots with the red LEDs lit, you'll see they're a little farther out. This could mean that the slot covers are clear, and both the red and green LEDs sit side by side and all it would take is a flip of a hidden switch to change their color.

As for the "arms" being printer ink cartridges... I can't find a match either. Maybe they used something else - something scratch-built as that greeble? Or maybe those were older cartridges that were lying about in a catch-all bin? (I'll keep looking, just like I keep looking for that elusive connector for the silver "arms" on the Atom accelerator.)

I hope some of this is helpful.

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

The14thDr

May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm #9 Last Edit: Sep 09, 2018, 12:31 pm by The14thDr
Exactly my thoughts RE: the drinks cans. And a lot of craft shops do sell wooden discs in a variety of diameters, so that would be a cheap and easy way to plug the hole in the base of the generators. Also, the bases of the "gennies" are silver in the episode, so maybe the Props Department stuck a thin magnetic material to the wooden disc? This would make sense, as it would allow the Doctor to easily attach the generator to the bottom of the fire alam -- the concept art does specify a "mag-clamping version". Thoughts?? ???

Looking back over the screenshots that Dino posted, I am 100% sure that a thin circle was glued over the top of the drinks can to cover up the hole (my guess would be thin MDF or even aluminium).

Finally, the "arms" also have LEDs in them, so that means that there would have to be holes in the sides of the generators where the arms meet to allow the LEDs to shine through, unless each of the arms had a separate LED wired up inside it? As for what the arms are actually made from, anyone's guess is as good as mine.

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"

galacticprobe

May 31, 2016, 04:06 am #10 Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 04:23 am by galacticprobe
Quote from: The14thDr on May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm
Exactly my thoughts RE: the drinks cans. And a lot of craft shops do sell wooden discs in a variety of diameters, so that would be a cheap and easy way to plug the hole in the base of the generators.

They also come in a variety of thicknesses, which would make for room to put in the LEDs and the battery (and switch).

Quote from: The14thDr on May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm
Also, the bases of the gennies are silver in the episode, so maybe the Props Department stuck a thin magnetic material to the wooden disc?

I was thinking about that. It could be just a thin disc of sheet metal (most likely tin: silver, easy to find and cut, and magnetic).

Quote from: The14thDr on May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm
This would make sense, as it would allow the Doctor to easily attach the generator to the bottom of the fire alam -- the concept art does specify a "mag-clamping version". Thoughts?? ???

What they could have done is taken a couple of small "rare earth" magnet discs, which are very strong, and drilled out little depressions in the wooden disc that makes the bottom (and adds structural integrity to the prop). Then with a little glue, pressed the rare earth magnets into the depressions so the magnets were flush with the wood surface. After that, all they'd need to do was place the sheet metal disc against the magnets and those strong magnets would hold it in place like there's no tomorrow. The tin disc would transfer the magnetism better than aluminium, and would be strong enough to hold the genny to any metal surface the Doctor needed to stick one to (like the fire alarm box, or the wall of the drain), yet by using small rare earth magnets it would still be easy for Danny to pull one off.

Rare earth magnets aren't very expensive at all, especially the smaller ones. You can find them on the net in all sizes from roughly your little finger's nail in diameter and about 1/8th inch thick, to ones the size of hockey pucks! (Beware of those larger ones; they will take your fingers off!) But the smaller ones about the size of a US dime would be perfect for a prop like this.

Quote from: The14thDr on May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm
Looking back over the screenshots that Dino posted, I am 100% sure that a thin circle was glued over the top of the drinks can to cover up the hole (my guess would be thin MDF or even aluminium).

I don't think MDF: a little too thin for that. My guess would be one of those thinner wooden discs from a craft store (for a replica; the props guys could have made their own). Or, it could have been another piece of thin sheet metal, and looking at those really close-ups of the prop and seeing how thin the slots are where the LEDs show through, I'm leaning more towards the sheet metal, and here where there is no need for anything magnetic, that metal could very well be aluminium. Still, this part is just guesswork.

Quote from: The14thDr on May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm
Finally, the "arms" also have LEDs in them, so that means that there would have to be holes in the sides of the generators where the arms meet to allow the LEDs to shine through, unless each of the arms had a separate LED wired up inside it?

Looking at the screen grabs again, I think the arms have their own LEDs. Each arm is offset from the top LED slot by 30 degrees, so those top LEDs wouldn't shine so brightly through the sides of the arms. Unfortunately none of the "RED" LED grabs show the arms' LEDs so I can't remember if those LEDs also went red when the sync was broken, or if only the top LEDs turned red and those in the arms went out. (Does anyone have better screen grabs of the gennies from the side when their lights are red?)

Quote from: The14thDr on May 30, 2016, 05:23 pm
As for what the arms are actually made from, anyone's guess is as good as mine.

That makes two of is, 14th! They could even have been vac-formed from a master since there were so many used. (Something like at least 10 gennies in that one shot where they're in a circle of chairs?)

I hope some of my babbling helps.

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

The14thDr

Jun 11, 2016, 07:36 pm #11 Last Edit: Jun 11, 2016, 07:40 pm by The14thDr
Does anyone have any ideas on the colour of this prop?

From this photo, it looks like a darkened silver, with some slight weathering applied (some areas look a bit darker than others).
vlcsnap-2015-09-27-17h06m13s121_kindlephoto-9643706.jpg

If one were to use a drinks can for a replica, would it be possible to somehow sand the graphics off the can in order to apply the weathering? ???

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"

galacticprobe

Jun 12, 2016, 06:57 am #12 Last Edit: Jun 12, 2016, 06:57 am by galacticprobe
That top is definitely a dull silver with some dark smudges on it, mostly under the copper wiring. The rest of the main body looks to be about the same color. As for removing the graphics from the can, there are several ways.

One would be a very fine sand paper. That would also rough up the metal a bit so paint would have a better hold. Another way would be to try one of those "Mister Clean Magic Erasers" on it. You'd be surprised at what those things can do! (In both cases, just as when you go to cut the can, be careful not to apply too much pressure that you permanently dent or deform the can.)

Another way of trying to remove the graphics would be to try using some brass or silver polish, or even some car polishing compound (or maybe even some car wax). All of those are mild abrasives and have some sort of alcohol/petroleum-based liquid in them to keep them moist (if using the paste version), or to help suspend the abrasive in the liquid form when you shake up the bottle before using it. Any one of those should remove the graphics and also leave a slightly rough finish on the can to help paint get a hold on it.

I hope this helps.

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

The14thDr

Jun 12, 2016, 02:23 pm #13 Last Edit: Jun 12, 2016, 02:26 pm by The14thDr
Thanks for the advice Dino. I've started my new replica with this method.

In the fourth and fifth images that davidnagel posted above, the Doctor is attaching one of the generators to a wire hanging from the ceiling. Any ideas on how they achieved this?
The concept art shows a "wire clipping version", and that gennie appears to have something on the back of it that attaches to the wire. Thoughts??

Kind regards, The14thDr :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"

13drwho

With all this research already done by the community I may have to 3D model this for printing. I love how everyone shares their research here. Great information!