Replica Props and Stories on how I made them

Here is a showcase of some of the items I have made from scratch either for myself or on commission.
As far as possible all the parts are as close, if not exactly the same as the original.
Each item takes time to research and obtain the correct parts.    The button on the full size Orac took a year to win the kit it came from on ebay, and one of the buttons on the Farnsworth is no longer made and took a while to get one I won in Australia to arrive.Enjoy,
I will try and put information up about each one, as most have a story behind them.

Blakes 7
Federation Rifle

This iconic blaster is mainly made from plastic tubing with a vintage compact tripod leg as the butt support. 2 different kit parts used for the detail on the side and the friedland bell push makes an appearance.
The stock is shaped 1/2 inch black acrylic, and shaped side panels.
An addition is the power cell that slides in the rear, this is turned 2 section aluminum with the marbled ball in the end, with a dome and short length of tubing and a antique ring on the end.
These did vary in shape over time as they were repaired when broken, so the tips of the butt varied and the tip of the hand grip was another weak point.

Dr Who
Key to Time Tracer

Tom Baker era, this is mainly a square aluminum handle with 4 acrylic tubes with a red acrylic rod in the center, etched markings and a ringed end.
The original one lit up, and so does this one, via a hand made micro switch on one of the yellow buttons, this makes the contact with the penny batteries in the handle to power a high power led which lights up the tube.   The batteries are replaceable by sliding out the white cap on the end.
Tricky to make as everything is small and clear.

Blakes 7
Chase Craft

Fun project to make, as these are to the same scale as the comet miniature Liberator kit.
All made from plastic tubes, with clear red domes and fine wire probes.
The rear engine shape was achieved with milliput and fine sand paper to get the shape, the engine stripes took ages as all masked off and then painted on. 
Each solar panel contains 10 individual parts.

Blakes 7
Communicators in various forms

3 different varieties of the same thing, the black one was used by Travis, the all silver one appeared in Gambit and then was later re used in S4 with the addition of tape and a silver strip on the back for a remote key to a hatch.
Notice the friedland bell push again, which is a simple circuit to illuminate the red light when pushed.


Blakes 7
Liberator field gun

A lot of research went into this one, the cost to get the turned acrylic done was so expensive that I ended up getting a 1920's Zyto lathe, restoring it and then working out how to turn acrylic, all went well and after a couple of goes and comparing my work to an original, finally after about 6 months had it spot on.
The next challenge was the handle, which is from a 1970's Black and Decker Drill, again this took a while to find the right kind on Ebay, it was in a job lot of old sanders and drills, so ended up with all that as well just to get one handle.
The curly cable plugs are locking domino plugs, which you can still get, but the sockets have not got the locking hole on them, they needed machining out to make the plugs lock in place (as they do on the original S2 ones).
Curly cable, this is where it gets interesting.
The original ones were round and made for the GPO back in the 70's, the new curly phone cables are flat on the inside, and have more wires inside than the old gpo ones.  Months of detective work and finally manage to track down the only working old GPO curly cable machine, it is now in private hands producing custom cables for telephone restorers, so they can make them exactly the same as the old GPO ones, even down to the colour of the wires inside.
This on, when you press the button (notice again the friedland bell push) the tube lights up using a high power LED and makes the correct blast sound.
Not happy with the LED going on and off, a circuit was put in the unit to fade it out once the button is released, which then looks like it is cooling down after being fired.
Sound is inside the battery box, again this is amplified using a tiny circuit.


Blakes 7
Mini Orac from Gambit

Interesting story with this one, after seeing the original (there is only one original one and it will never be sold, so every one you see for sale is a replica). I had to have one.
Many photos were taken of the original and then spent time working out how it flashed and the circuit for it, as it has to flash...
More time was spent on getting the tube size right and in the correct positions, getting the box laser cut and locating the correct bulbs and wires and then came the tube colours.
Remember that the original was made in the late 70's, luckily the owner of the original one had the name of the company that the BBC used to get some of their supplies from, and a quick search on google found the company was still trading at the same place in London.
I enquired about the colouring and they still make it, and how lucky is this? they had in a draw the sample sheet they did back in the 70's.   It was well before email and the best way to get the colours right was to paint them onto squares of acrylic and post them to customers (like the modern colour charts), then the customer could look and phone or write to them requesting the colours they wanted.   They still had their one in a draw, which they scanned and emailed to me, the colours on the acrylic had faded (you would not get that these days with the printed colour charts) which meant that the colours on the original prop also had faded in time, this was an unexpected bonus as it meant that my replica would be exactly the same colours as the original when it was first made.
Power is from the switched battery box.

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