Apr 20, 2021, 06:21 am


New, New TardisBuilders!

Color of the "Police Public Call Box" sign

Started by Bob's your Uncle, Apr 17, 2016, 06:21 pm

Previous topic - Next topic


Quote from: meantimebob on Apr 19, 2016, 01:12 am
I'd just like to add that paint fades over time when exposed to the sunlight. My box is a lot paler now than when it first went up in the garden 15 years ago and is badly in need of another paint job. It looks as pale as the one in the Genevieve photo. Does anyone know how often the Met boxes were repainted, if at all?
I don't know how often the met boxes were repainted, but I seem to be constantly attacking mine with a brush on nearly an annual basis...:(


Looking at some of the photos / crich and the Mk5 that are still around I think them defaulting back to bare concrete   is a bigger problem for the police box.


Now I remember what I was going to say.  Of course being shot in black & white, the fact that the original prop had black and white POLICE BOX signs instead of blue and white was academic at the time.  But having had black and white signs and switching to the more accurate blue and white ones, I have to admit black and white works better.  The higher contrast looks better and is easier to see.  That said, I ain't changing mine any time soon.  I'm going for a more accurate 1963 prop.  I'm stuck with the dimensions of the 1963 prop (unless I want to spend a lot of time, energy, and money), but I'll be adding the blue window pane, among other things. 
"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.


Quote from: volpone on Apr 19, 2016, 04:17 am
1) 15 years?! I'm in awe.  Mine is at around 6--with a fairly major refit 2 years ago and it is quite knackered.  I shudder to think what it will look like in 9 more years, even with the most diligent upkeep.  

Well it's 98% fibreglass. The lantern surround was wood and that needs replacing this year. The rest is fine.

tony farrell

Apr 20, 2016, 11:04 am #19 Last Edit: Apr 20, 2016, 11:54 am by Tony Farrell
Quote from: hb88banzai on Apr 19, 2016, 07:59 am
Genevieve has always been a provisional example, but I think enough supporting evidence now exists from many sources and time periods to estimate that it is pretty accurate, despite it being Technicolor. Just means the colour timer did his or her job well (discounting the reds, of course, which were always overblown with Technicolor).

I don't usually contribute to the Met Box section of the forum - I normally sit back and enjoy reading the excellently researched history of the Police Boxes, seeing their locations then and now and the various changes in design and colour-schemes down the years.

As regards using Genevieve as a source for colour reference, the problem isn't so much that the film is skewed towards the red end of the spectrum, it's the fact that it is second generation copy i.e., it's drawn from a second negative:

In the pre-digital age, films destined for cinematic release were (almost universally) taken from a 'working negative' rather than the 'master' negative. That is to say the master negative was used to create the film (i.e., editing, etc) and it is from this edited/finished film which a second negative was then created. It is this second negative which was then used to produce the film copies which were sent to the cinemas for showing.  

So, we're effectively seeing a second generation copy of the original (people may remember that the latest restoration of Dalek Invasion of Earth 2150AD was taken from the master negative rather than the second-generation negative and, as such, is a much higher quality with much more saturated colours than previous restored versions). It is very rare for films to be restored from their master negatives, most DVDs are taken from the working (second) negative.

The second 'problem' is that John Gregson and Dinah Sheridan are wearing make-up, so any comparison to 'assumed' skin tones needs to be treated with caution. It's far better to use peoples' hands as a source for judging skin tones as make-up is rarely applied to parts of the body other than the face (the obvious exception being make-up required for special effects).

There's nothing that we can do to get round the fact we're seeing a second generation copy, but we can slightly compensate for the skewed colours based on the flesh tones of the actors' hands (using Photoshop, the red content has been reduced in the right-hand picture by 5% only):


So, even though we're seeing a second-generation copy of the original film (and it was obviously photographed on what was quite a dull day) the 'Genevieve' Police Box is still appears to be remarkably close to the real-life mid-blue identified by HB (and others) as being in use post WW2.

Apologies for interrupting this interesting thread.