Monday, 29 August 2016

Replica Blake's Bounty Hunter Gun from Blakes 7 episode 'Blake'
The story behind this is that Bill Pearson had a day to come up with a gun for Blake to use in the woods that could be fired 3 times without reloading.
The original was based on a Stormtrooper toy rifle with added ema parts.
After months of looking one was obtained on ebay and with the other parts arriving and also obtaining the correct ford grey paint work began one Saturday.
7 hours later this is the result, the stormtrooper blaster was cut up, the back glued to the front and the fins and side buttons made, ema parts attached to the back and top sight, a new top was made from plastic card and 2 extra push buttons were added as in the original for the 3 shots of flashcotton.
Just found another stormtrooper blaster on ebay, and also a supplier of flashwool and flashpaper....
There maybe a working version soon...
After making this in 7 hours, full respect to Bill to thinking it up and making a working version in a day....   
True BBC model unit work...

Replica Federation Rifle from Blakes 7
The iconic blaster used by the Federation.
There are not many of these made using the correct tubing or placement of the details, or with a removable turned aluminium power cell in the back.
Also found a supplier of 'new old' screws that have been in a box in his workshop since the 70's which have the rusty aged look to them.
The tripod leg is also a vintage item and of the same type the BBC used on theirs.

Replica 'Baby Orac' from Gambit.
After seeing the original prop from Blakes 7, it was the next thing I had to make.
The box is laser cut to the dimensions of the original, each tube inside are also the correct length and size to match the original prop.
Inside are 5 bulbs, these are the same flashing type as used on the original one, and wired the same way to make the whole lot flash on and off randomly.
The centre 'Brain' on the original one is also a bulb, but with it being inside the ball, I used the same type but only in led form to save power.
The colour on the tubes has an interesting story.
I was informed of the company the BBC used to get their supplies from in the 70's (I think they still use them today).
I located the shop and phoned to see if they had the French Varnish they used on the tubes.
Luck would have it, back in the 70's before the internet, the easiest way to get the colour chart to match was to paint the varnish on squares of acrylic (2 sets) one was posted to the BBC and the other kept by the company, then when they needed a colour they could phone them and read the colour name off the card with the coloured acrylic stuck to it and the company could match it and post them the correct bottle of varnish.
They still had their colour sheet in a draw, and with it fading over 40 years the same as the original prop has, they scanned and emailed me a copy of their sheet, which then all I had to do was to match the colour to the original prop and order the right colours...  
The colour on my replica is the same as the original one would have looked when made in the 70's

Dr Who 'Key to time Tracer'
The Fourth Dr used this to find the segments of the key to time.
This replica has an aluminium handle with the correct 'buttons' and the 4 different sizes of clear tubing with the outer etched to give the gradient markers.
I could not find a touch button sensitive enough to make the whole of the tube light up when the button was squeezed, but managed to create one from a minute contact button.
Tiny watch batteries were fitted in a custom made holder which slides into the rear via the white end cap.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Replica Blakes 7 Liberator Field Gun with power pack and holster with light and sound.
This took nearly a year of research comparing the acrylic I turned on a 1920's Zyto lathe.
The grip is from a 1970's Black and Decker drill side handle and the rest of the main parts are EMA tubing.
Finding the right 'curly cable' was a bit of a detective job, as the BBC seemed to use GPO curly phone cables, the modern phone cables have a flat edge to them, but the original GPO ones are round all the way.
Once I knew what it was the hunt was on, after a few weeks emailing various places, got a reply from a company who actually had one of the original GPS 'curly cable' machines.
Working with them on the specification, they produced the cable for me to the GPO specifications, even with the correct colour coded inner strands (you can not see them but nice to know they are the same as they were in the 70's).
Locking plugs were the only modification that the BBC prop Guru Mat Irvine did on these props, as the original ones had a lighter coloured holster and a phono plug that kept pulling out, the locking din plugs solved this problem.  The early ones also had a strap over the holster to hold the gun in place when running, these were also removed and the darker holsters were then made as the straps were not used and got in the way.
The circuit I designed plays the firing sound and also the tube lights up with a fading after glow.