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  1. Member Since
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    Jul 27, 2010, 11:38 AM - River Song's book from Doctor Who #1

    Does any one have any good photos of River Song's book outside and inside? and what the size is?
  2. RPF Premium Member Anakin Starkiller's Avatar
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    Jul 27, 2010, 1:36 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #2

    The bbc has a "make your own diary" print out on their website. It's basically just an image of the cover to be used as a paper book cover, but it might help you determine the size and shape.

    -best

    Dan
  3. sebmodio's Avatar
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    Jul 27, 2010, 2:28 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #3

    Anakin Starkiller said: View Post
    The bbc has a "make your own diary" print out on their website. It's basically just an image of the cover to be used as a paper book cover, but it might help you determine the size and shape.

    -best

    Dan
    Here's the print-out Dan mentioned: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho...ust-jacket.pdf
  4. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Jul 27, 2010, 3:18 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #4

    And I'll be starting an interest thread in the junkyard sometime next month for a run of leatherbound River diaries as well, if the printout isn't legit enough for you.
  5. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 30, 2010, 1:13 AM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #5

    Beesa-Pesal said: View Post
    Here's the print-out Dan mentioned: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho...ust-jacket.pdf
    If you look at the image of the cover, I assume it's an accurate scan of the actual prop you can see that bits are cloned in Photoshop on the "top" and "bottom" to make it fit side to side in the PDF.

    It would be nice to know the actual size of the real prop, but I suppose one could work it out pretty close pouring over some of the pictures that are floating around on the web. There's some pics I have in my Dr Who folder on the old hard drive I downloaded I think are from one of the exhibits in England where the actual River Sonic is laying on top of it so if we know the length or any dimension of that prop we could work it out.

    I'm making a 3D slip on cover for one of my sketchbooks at the moment, but I'd fancy making one out of leather from scratch eventually.
    Last edited by elvisgump; Aug 31, 2010 at 10:36 AM.
  6. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 10:18 AM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #6

    I've giving up trying to find out the dimensions of the real prop myself for now. Just about any little storebought journel is close enough.

    Here's a build I just did with the idea of spending zero dollars using stuff from the bins of things I've saved or had left over, the "I shouldn't throw this away I could make something out of it one day."

    I made the raised areas out of old scraps of matte board, the base out of thin cardboard, namely old Triscuit boxes. I used a bit of carpenters glue to adhere the matte-board pieces, some hot glue in other places and a can of old Testor's spray paint to give it the blues. Perhaps not the best paint because more than 12 hours later it's still tacky.

    It took a while to cut all the matte-board pieces and it's not an exacting replica, just scaled around to make it look 'close-enough'.

    This is cutting out, testing for size. The cheapo journal has rounded corner cover and inside pages, not square like River's but, hey, just playing here.


    Triscuit boxes transmuting


    After gluing it all up


    And painted, still tacky, prolly needs another coat, some sanding to make it look really weathered and so on.
  7. Birdie's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 12:30 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #7

    That looks really good!

    I'm making one too at the moment, using vegetable tan leather and Tandy embossing tools, beginning to wish I'd gone your route

    I worked out the size at around 7.5" x 5" based on the exhibition pic of River's sonic sitting on top of the book, and using the CO toy for scaling.
  8. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 12:42 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #8

    That does actually look really good, especially considering there's no leather on it.

    Birdie: Are you sure about that size? That seems pretty big. I would have thought closer to 4.5x6.5 tops by hand scaling.
  9. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 1:50 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #9

    Birdie said: View Post
    That looks really good!

    I'm making one too at the moment, using vegetable tan leather and Tandy embossing tools, beginning to wish I'd gone your route

    I worked out the size at around 7.5" x 5" based on the exhibition pic of River's sonic sitting on top of the book, and using the CO toy for scaling.
    Thanks, it's really crude and the paint was perhaps a mistake because this Testor's model paint stuff either takes forever to cure or just is tacky like this forever. I thought it was dry as it might get because it was like 6 hours later when I crashed out last night. I laid on the back of my closed laptop lid and I had to RRRRIIIIIIPPPPPP it off this morning. So the back has some 'weathering' and I had to take turpentine to the laptop lid.

    This is a slip cover which means I could slip it off and put it on another like size journal. If this hadn't worked, I could have saved the journal with a slip on.



    It makes me feel like I'm right there, in the TARDIS...


    But the thing I though might be nice is if I can make another variation that I could use with paperback books which always take a beating when I tote 'em round to have something to read away from home. I used to have generic hard cover style one that I bought that had elastic on the spline so it could expand depending on how thick the paperback was. Stephen King and Tom Clancy books killed it being so thick. If I could find some wide enough elastic I think I might make a River version. I'll make the 'emboss' much thinner though next time. I'm thinking about looking at Hobby Lobby to see if I can find some sort of leather texture papering to cover/emboss over these things to make it very, very cheap.

    As to a more authentic River journal, I think I want to scale one around a store bound art journal, see if I can find some kip leather like Risu mentioned in his INT thread.

    He's possibly starting a run with real leather that is more awesomely authentic so be sure to check those out.
  10. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 1:59 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #10

    Risu said: View Post
    That does actually look really good, especially considering there's no leather on it.

    Birdie: Are you sure about that size? That seems pretty big. I would have thought closer to 4.5x6.5 tops by hand scaling.
    Thanks. Risu. After looking at yours when I was halfway through cutting all those squares I felt wow, I really am still in training wheels.

    As to the size, you can see my pic with a CO sonic on top which is in the ballpark of the River Sonic. Mine was scaled around to 7" tall by 5" wide just because that's what fit the cheap journal I was slip-covering it to. Seems close-ish to the prop to me. My journal isn't as thick looking, but might be if I soaked the pages to distress them the way the prop was done.

    Oh if I had a dime for every time I've dunked a sketchbook. They are magnetic to water so be careful folks.
  11. Birdie's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 2:03 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #11

    Risu said: View Post
    That does actually look really good, especially considering there's no leather on it.

    Birdie: Are you sure about that size? That seems pretty big. I would have thought closer to 4.5x6.5 tops by hand scaling.
    Sorry, my metric's crap. Based off the CO River sonic (17.5cm) I'd go with 17.8cm x 12cm, give or take a few mm.
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  12. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 2:08 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #12

    Yea, if that River sonic length is accurate, that sounds just about right. Maybe even 7.25" tall.
  13. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 2:32 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #13

    Birdie said: View Post
    Sorry, my metric's crap. Based off the CO River sonic (17.5cm) I'd go with 17.8cm x 12cm, give or take a few mm.
    One thing to consider is THAT is the "Forests of the Dead" prop. I'm pretty sure the journal River carries in season 5 is a whole new prop. That end on shot of it on the Library railing is much more aged than the ends of the prop she has in season 5.

    I thought I would side-by-side mine and the prop:


    Close?

    Risu I'm concerned that your prototype has too many pages because if it was ever swelled to wrinkle the pages the thick amount of pages would mushroom the thing so that it could never be pressed back as flat as the 'aged' props.

    I think it will be a nice touch is Moffat decides when he ends the whole River Song arc of the show that the Doctor will give her the journal as a pristine blank book, possible as a wedding present.
    Last edited by elvisgump; Aug 31, 2010 at 2:54 PM. Reason: Fix pictures
  14. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 3:19 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #14

    You also have to take into account the number of pages you'd have to rip out to make the book accurate.
  15. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 3:35 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #15

    Risu said: View Post
    You also have to take into account the number of pages you'd have to rip out to make the book accurate.
    That's true. I have like a half-a-zillion journals and sketchbooks that have seen some abuse. Somewhere here there's one from college that took a total unentend bath and it's swollen like the prop. If I can find it I'll take a pic for comparison. It's almost exactly the size of the River book if memory serves.

    Just eyeballing it I think your prototype may be about a 1/4 to 1/3 too many pages to end up like that shot from "Forests of the Dead" when aged so that's a lotta ripped out pages.

    Of course the only way to be sure is test some signatures to destruction via water and see how it goes. Did you bind signatures into a book or just work over a bought journal?

    Yours is just awesome, but so pristine with that fresh from the little bookshop on Ursa Minor Beta. I can't wait to see what it would look like with some really enthusiastic weathering. I'm imagining like in that movie "To Live and Die in LA" where he counterfeiter puts his stuff in a dryer full of nickels or some such and just tumbles it.
  16. Birdie's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 3:36 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #16

    The prop at the Cardiff exhibition disappeared around the same time as S5 went into production, though everything else from 'Silence' remained, so I'm guessing they at least used it for reference.
  17. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 3:44 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #17

    Birdie said: View Post
    The prop at the Cardiff exhibition disappeared around the same time as S5 went into production, though everything else from 'Silence' remained, so I'm guessing they at least used it for reference.
    I really, really wish that the folks who make the Confidential shows would do more stuff on the prop builders and the process. I'm kind of amazed that for each episode there wouldn't be say two or three copies of a prop like the journal if for no other reason than one got mislaid on the day of filming.

    Having made a few journals from scratch in my time I had to learn how to sew signatures out of books. I'd have loved to see who made that prop make it or even know who they were. It would be a kick to email them our various efforts. I wonder if the prop maker realizes how much it's loved?

    But the prop should get 'younger' and less aged as we go back in time with River. If they don't conclude this in a few years though Alex Kingston maybe dramatically older looking instead of younger. I wonder if they'll cast a younger actress at some point to play her closer to Matt's age?

    But one day I really want to see the Doctor say, "Oh a little shop. I love a little shop!" and go in a buy that journal for her that looks pristine like Risu's.
  18. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 5:33 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #18

    It's definitely not the same prop in series 5, the covers are constructed differently. I think they refined their process, the original might have been quickly thrown together. That being said, they did a really good job of matching it to the original. I could make the books either way, but I think I actually like the original with the ridiculously thick poorly aligned covers better.

    EDIT: Updated my interest thread with some new info.

    Also, my book does have too many pages, but the spine is the real way to tell how many signatures a new book should have. If I were to take 1/3 of the pages out, the spine would be way too big for the book. However, my book is only 4.5 by 6.5 inches, when increased to the proper size it'll look relatively thinner.
    Last edited by Risu; Aug 31, 2010 at 5:43 PM.
  19. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 6:28 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #19

    Risu said: View Post
    It's definitely not the same prop in series 5, the covers are constructed differently. I think they refined their process, the original might have been quickly thrown together. That being said, they did a really good job of matching it to the original. I could make the books either way, but I think I actually like the original with the ridiculously thick poorly aligned covers better.

    EDIT: Updated my interest thread with some new info.

    Also, my book does have too many pages, but the spine is the real way to tell how many signatures a new book should have. If I were to take 1/3 of the pages out, the spine would be way too big for the book. However, my book is only 4.5 by 6.5 inches, when increased to the proper size it'll look relatively thinner.
    I think you're right about the amount, which means River (natch the prop maker) took out a lot of pages. I suspect the soaked aged effect prolly made it swell too much. Looks like the prop maker also did a beautiful job of taking sepia ink very deluted and browned the edges of the pages to 'age' them. It really is a realistic falling apart mess.

    My spine is as close as I could match it to width of the prop though the book inside has about I'd guess 1/5 too few pages as it was slim, Moleskin knockoff style journal. The inside of the slip-on pouches for the neo-Moleskin's covers to slip in bulks it up, sadly though it's page corners are round. Since it's just a sketchbook for projects I won't age it deliberately.

    Did you take any progress pictures of yours for a blow by blow of what you did? I'm curious about the burnish process for the indentions. Originally I was looking high and low for a few days for my wood burner tool to burn the indents in. The wood burner is MIA so I punted and went with the cutting.

    One of the things I did to make a 'template' of sorts is take the BBC PDF and trace it in Adobe Illustrator and stroked the lines until they were width-wise correct for the indentions on the picture. If anyone wants a copy I can email it or perhaps see if I can't just ZIP and post a link. Because the lines are stroked it can be scaled and squashed to adjust to different sized book covers.

    Once I got the size right, I printed it out and spray-sticked it and let that dry so I could transfer the pattern with a bit of scoring to the cut matte-board and then cut away numbering the bits.

    After I glued it all down I took a small cone Dremel sander bit and eased all the edges down. I might do that a little slower next time because in my rush I chewed into the Triscuit box layer and that burring left a lot of rough spots.

    Eventually I'm going to sand this and rough it up and see if I can't make it a little less uniform and give it some character.
  20. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 6:37 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #20

    I didn't take any pictures while making the book, but I also didn't make the TARDIS imprint properly, I just carved it into the leather. The way I'll be making the run, which I believe is the same way the original was made, is just a mix of wet molding and leather hi-lite, no burnishing needed, although a tiny bit might happen in the process if the leather dries out too much before I finish. I think to make the process of making book boards easier I might make a mold of the ones I make for my book and pour resin copies for all the other books.
  21. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Aug 31, 2010, 10:05 PM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #21

    Risu said: View Post
    I didn't take any pictures while making the book, but I also didn't make the TARDIS imprint properly, I just carved it into the leather. The way I'll be making the run, which I believe is the same way the original was made, is just a mix of wet molding and leather hi-lite, no burnishing needed, although a tiny bit might happen in the process if the leather dries out too much before I finish. I think to make the process of making book boards easier I might make a mold of the ones I make for my book and pour resin copies for all the other books.
    Well, when you make the next batch, pictures would definitely be useful to people that want to try their own hands at making their own, especially in different sizes.

    Doing a little research, I think River's journal falls into the size referred to as DuoDecimo (12mo) – a book size approximately 5“ x 7 ¼”

    Looking at the bit in "Silence In the Library" were River is reading off times they met there's a really good angle to see the Signatures (page groups) as the torn Spine sags away where the Endsheets join with the Pastedown shows.


    Basically all that's holding the covers together as the Joints are the parts that are torn. I tried wetting and bending the under parts of the cover boards to simulate the indented Joint area but that didn't work so well on mine. It really can't be done with a slipcover as the Spine and Joints are all that hold a slip cover together. I suppose I could make a really tough part to the Joints behind the Spine and trim the ends to make it partly like the prop though.

    Thought I'd make this graphic to show the parts I'm talking about as I understand they are named. I'm not a professional bookbinder, I only play one at home.
  22. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Sep 1, 2010, 12:26 AM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #22

    That used to be one of my best reference images, until Birdie's shots of the book on display showed up. Those really shed some light on the details of the book, that's for sure.

    Yea, the "hinge" is pretty much the only thing holding the book together, it's pretty well distressed.
  23. elvisgump's Avatar
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    Sep 1, 2010, 12:43 AM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #23

    Risu said: View Post
    That used to be one of my best reference images, until Birdie's shots of the book on display showed up. Those really shed some light on the details of the book, that's for sure.

    Yea, the "hinge" is pretty much the only thing holding the book together, it's pretty well distressed.
    Well you know, this is a problem that probably has a solution. To achieve a functional, yet badly damaged looking replica, perhaps one could hide say a 2/3 tall really strong backing under the leather where the fabric and leather are distressed away, splitting the exposed 1/3 to 1/6 top and bottom. I wonder if there's a thin rip-stop or flexible Kevlar fabric that could reinforce the joint? Could be they use something like that in the current prop, though I think it's more likely the original prop was just ordinary binding that was distressed.

    Anyway, since you live closer to civilization where something like that might be sourced I throw it out there as an idea.
  24. RPF Premium Member Risu's Avatar
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    Sep 1, 2010, 12:59 AM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #24

    It could be done, but I don't think it's necessary. The spine isn't really an integral part of the book, it pretty much just decorative.
  25. Birdie's Avatar
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    Sep 1, 2010, 3:07 AM - re: River Song's book from Doctor Who #25

    Risu said: View Post
    It could be done, but I don't think it's necessary. The spine isn't really an integral part of the book, it pretty much just decorative.
    Agreed. My 'prototype' (read crappy, oversized first attempt ) has all the weathering, splits etc, and still holds together with the basic binding.

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