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'Orient Express' Lab Scanner 3D Build

Started by The14thDr, Sep 27, 2018, 02:16 pm

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Sep 27, 2018, 02:16 pm Last Edit: Sep 28, 2018, 07:32 am by The14thDr

One of the many things I love about Series 8 is the abundance of cool-looking props and gadgets, and the futuristic lab scanners on board the Orient Express were just one of many! We already have a reference topic for this gadget - which I plan on updating with higher quality screenshots (see here: - so I think we have enough material for me to create a reasonably accurate model. As with my, the plan is to adapt the finished prop so that it can be built using Pepakura.

One of the great things I noticed is that the concept art matches the built prop almost perfectly, so I was able to scale these plans to full size and extrapolate all of the measurements I needed. I decided to begin with the top half of the scanner because all those sharp edges and geometric shapes seemed like a much easier starting point than the curved handle. I modelled just the front half before duplicating it, mirroring the second version and joining the two parts together.

I then added the 8-sided "scanner head" to the front:

I look forward to working on this prop, thanks for looking! :)

-- 14th
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Sep 28, 2018, 08:06 am #1 Last Edit: Sep 28, 2018, 04:32 pm by The14thDr
With the majority of the scanner's top portion modelled, I decided to move onto the curved handle. Beginning with a very large rectangle, I cut out two even larger circles to give me the basic shape. (This followed a lot of trail and error in which I drew countless circles over the concept art until the curves matched up.)

I repeated this process to recreate the handle's chamfered edge - only this time using a bevelled cylinder. Next, I added and removed piece of the handle as necessary to make it as accurate as possible to the original prop: including the recess near the top and the raised white section along the outer edge. As with the top of the scanner, I modelled just one half before duplicating and mirroring it to produce a symmetrical shape.

Finally for today, I aligned the two parts of the scanner together and used the top portion to cut out the angle in the top of the handle that will allow the two parts to sit flush against one another when assembled.
"Would you like a jelly baby?"


Sep 28, 2018, 06:35 pm #2 Last Edit: Sep 29, 2018, 04:03 pm by The14thDr
To complete the top half of the scanner, I added the housing for the LED readout as well as the tiny trigger.

I then modelled what is described on the concept art as a switch for the LEDs (but looks more like the hammer on a pistol). I was only able to get one decent screenshot of the switch from the episode, but I'm happy with how this particular piece turned out. After reviewing the reference pictures, I realised that the top of the handle's "recessed chunk" should be flat, rather than curved like the rest of the handle, so I levelled that off before adding the switch.

Finally, I cut the bottom of the handle to the correct shape and added the white block (which I imagine would be made removable to allow access to the batteries and electronics inside the scanner.)

Overall I'm really happy with how this turned out. The next step is to unfold this for Pepakura so that I can build it with cardboard. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts! :D
"Would you like a jelly baby?"

Davros Skaro

You've done a great job on this, looks really good, the only thing I would suggest is the trigger would be about 1/4 " wide or so, just like on a real gun or it would be too awkward to operate. You can get limit switches on eBay or electronic shops that have extended levers that look like this that would work well. Hope this helps.



Duly noted, thanks for pointing that out Davros Skaro. Luckily, I’m still about halfway through making my final adjustments to the model, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to update the trigger (I think the current version is 5mm - 0.2” - wide, so I wasn’t too far off in my guesstimates ;D)

Thanks again for your help. :)
"Would you like a jelly baby?"