Customized RB Replicas Sonic Screwdriver

Straker

Sr Member
Hey there folks, I wanted to share with those of us that purchased the Russ Brown group run Sonic Screwdrivers some info on some custom detailing I did on my Tom Baker Sonic Screwdriver.

Here we have a shot of my sonic over all and for the most part I kept it original.

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Basic detailing was using some steel wool to polish up the casing and really give it a nice bright look like chrome. another was adding a small stainless steel washer to the join between the red halo ring and the black bullet that connects to the core. I did that because I really like that little glint of silver there. I had seen some other replicas with this and I just really liked the look.

Now, the more interesting change was in the black portion of the emitter bullet. A lot of us know that a magnet seems to have been used in that part for the screen used prop like this:

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...and indeed a 12.5 mm Alnico magnet not only looks like the part but it also fits onto Russ' sonic quite well, however many of us that tried that found the magnet to be a tad too short. Well,I have a fix for that and it didn't take me too long either.

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As you can see on the far left is a standard Alnico button magnet in the 12.5 mm range. It's Powder coated in red and as we can all see by the above picture of Tom holding his sonic, it looks like what they used, however it doesn't stand out very much and looks a bit stubby. The second item is my fixed magnet, and next to it is the recreation Russ made for his sonics. Now Russ did a great job in recreating this but for many of us, we want a real magnet. So what I did was take the magnet recreation Russ made, cut off the back end of it at roughly the half inch mark from the flat end, and then use a file to flatten and remove the cut marks from where I cut it off. I recommend using a fiberglass cut of wheel on a Dremel for this. Cuts aluminum like butter! After than I soaked the magnet in acetone to get the powder coat off and once the powder coat was removed, I used gorilla glue to secure the magnet to the cut off aluminum piece we made earlier. Once this was done I used the glue to cover the seam where i glued it and let it dry, then sanded it so you couldn't see the seam, and painted the magnet with Krylon black texture paint. Nice thing about this is that it really covers any rough sanding you may have and matches the finish of the paint Russ uses on the black parts pretty well. Lastly, I noticed that with this new set up, there is a small shelf inside the new emitter head, enough to counter sink the screw in there. So I took the screw Russ provided and put in in my trusty Dremel and proceeded to grind the head diameter of the screw down till it fit inside the head without touching the paint. A few shots of red paint to the head of the screw later and you get a matching red screw to match the red powder coated ring. If you have the anodized version, don't worry, you can polish the screw up and leave it silver if you like. I believe it is stainless anyway so it shouldn't rust.

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And there you have it! An alnico button magnet that is almost as long as the recreation Russ made for your Sonic Screwdriver!

EDIT: I totally forgot something that will help you all in regards to the scratching that can happen when you move your activation sleeve up and down and into the grip. It usually happens where the three grooves are cut in and can sometimes ruin a nice piece. Take either some electricians tape or some shrink tubing that is smaller than the 3/4 inch size. Remove your activation sleeve from the sonic, and below the grip line by say 1/8th inch below, wrap the activation sleeve. With the shrink tubing you will only need one layer, but with the new models you will need two even layers of the black electricians tape. When you're done it should look like this:

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I used black electricians tape and trimmed the excess off just past the bottom of the sleeve because believe it or not, if you leave any on there the spring will snag it and make the operation a lot less smooth XD nice thing is you can also put some three in one oil on either tape or shrink tubing to make sure you have a nice smooth action when you use it.


As a bonus, I thought I would tell you where I found a penlight that can pass as a great Patrick Troughton era Sonic Screwdriver.

http://www.findingking.com/p-36031-gem-grading-penlight.aspx

This pen is listed as being silver but it actually comes in black. No biggie since a good acetone bath will take the paint right off the casing and nice thing is, tis thing can be completely taken apart so no need to worry about leaving the bulb in it. Once that's done you can buff the casing with steel wool and viola! A pen light worthy of the 1967 - 1969 seasons of Doctor Who.

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I have to say that I never seen any pictures of the 2nd Doctor sonic screwdriver alone. I always sen it in his hand so I have NO idea what the butt end looks like so this may be as close as it gets. I also chose to leave off the pocket clip since well, that just serves to make this look MORE like a pen light. Great thing is that this penlight is like, $10.00 USD including shipping so it's a GREAT budget model for us fans that want to have a complete set of Sonics.

Hope you all enjoyed my little presentation.

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DANG IT!!!!

If I had never seen the penlight I could have been ok with only having the 10th Sonic. Now I can have a representation of all the sonics. Thanks my bank account now hates you....

Seriously, good job on the modification, and nice find on the penlight. I guess I am going to order one now.
 
That's fantastic stuff! Well done all around!

I think I need to go polish a few of the sonics in my collection now...

ThanksWazoo! ^_^ The magnet trick really is pretty easy and I really can't tell it was a glue together job. XD I love the look it adds as well. Next, I just need to try making a 3/4 inch ring for the halo.

DANG IT!!!!

If I had never seen the penlight I could have been ok with only having the 10th Sonic. Now I can have a representation of all the sonics. Thanks my bank account now hates you....

Seriously, good job on the modification, and nice find on the penlight. I guess I am going to order one now.

Thank you! I'm glad the mod can help some folks with some of the info on my mod. ^_^

For the price it's an excellent representation of the 2nd Docs sonic. XD And hey, it could be worse, it could cost a lot more XD

Sweet sonic satisfaction. :thumbsup


Thanks Phase. ^_^
 
Cheapest option to get that penlight to the UK is $47 - DAMN!

Great work finding it - it's close enough for me - I know we don't see the end of Troughtons sonic ever (as far as I know) but Hartnell does use a penlight in The Edge of Destruction and I did wonder if it might be the same one?
 
Where did you get the Alnico button magnet?

Ace Hardware. You can also order them off their web site too. I only found two in the stores and ordered another four from their online website.

Cheapest option to get that penlight to the UK is $47 - DAMN!

Great work finding it - it's close enough for me - I know we don't see the end of Troughtons sonic ever (as far as I know) but Hartnell does use a penlight in The Edge of Destruction and I did wonder if it might be the same one?


$47...from THEIR website? o_O DANG! That's ridiculous! You could have someone here in the states buy one and mail it to you for less then that.

That is interesting. i seem to remember the pen light demonstration, but I don't remember it making any sound. I'll have to rewatch the ending of Edge of Destruction and have another look.
 
What's Alnico's web address?

lol, ummm...I actually have no idea XD I tried searching around but I kept getting sites in the UK that specialize in wholesale and shipping to the US was WAY too much, so I just went to Ace Hardware to get it. http://www.acehardware.com/product/...&kw=magnet&origkw=magnet&searchId=46691606344 Probably the best way and if you have a store in your area they will ship your items right to the store for free though shipping within the USA is actually pretty low anyway. You'll want the half inch of course.
 
That is interesting. i seem to remember the pen light demonstration, but I don't remember it making any sound. I'll have to rewatch the ending of Edge of Destruction and have another look.

It's silent - It is "just" a penlight, but when i saw it I did wonder if it was the same prop they uised for the screwdriver later. My memory tells me it was a more elaborate affair... I must also rewatch at some point.

($47 was just for shipping - I'm ordering one and having iot sent to a USA address... and I'll also be polishing up my RR sonic, damn fine job you did there...)
 
It's silent - It is "just" a penlight, but when i saw it I did wonder if it was the same prop they uised for the screwdriver later. My memory tells me it was a more elaborate affair... I must also rewatch at some point.

($47 was just for shipping - I'm ordering one and having it sent to a USA address... and I'll also be polishing up my RR sonic, damn fine job you did there...)

That's an interesting theory. I wonder if they did. Only thing is I usually see Troughton working the pen with two hands, and when I looked it seemed he was doing it so his thumb can push the button in the back. If you look at the War Games you can get a better look at how he's holding it. Of course this could have been done to make it LOOK more elaborate then a pen light XD

Yeah, good idea to have that shipped from someone in the US. That shipping is...yikes! You know, I believe they have an eBay account too. Hang on a mo...http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230435011520 there we go. Maybe they will have more realistic shipping charges if you go through their auction listing.

Thanks! ^_^ I really like how it turned out. I actually recommend using either Scotch Brite or a Brillo pad. They have polishing and cleaning agents already in them and it really looks great. Just remember to go with the direction of the machine marks, like a spinning direction otherwise it will show...a lot XD And it will look bad.
 
Fantastic!

You do not by any chance have a spare magnet do you? No Ace Hardwares in Canada and I would love to upgrade my sonic.
 
Fantastic!

You do not by any chance have a spare magnet do you? No Ace Hardwares in Canada and I would love to upgrade my sonic.

Thanks! Actually yeah, i do have a couple spares. I bought a few to experiment with. I'll be going to the post office on tuesday so if you wanna send me your info to pay pal me I can send you one of them. I paid like five bucks, can't imagine the magnet costing too much to send so, should we call it $8.00? Can't cost any more than that. ^_^;
 
Just added some info on another piece of customization to keep the activation sleeve from scratching. Neat little trick. ;-)
 
Quick grab of some still shows that WH penlight was sadly different from Troughtons. Tho it was used to help repair the tardis so perhaps this was the inspiration?

penlight.jpg
 
Quick grab of some still shows that WH penlight was sadly different from Troughtons. Tho it was used to help repair the tardis so perhaps this was the inspiration?

penlight.jpg

Wow...the good old days. I wonder how those episodes would look digitally cleaned up and in Blu-Ray...


Well, that's still a neat pen light XD Much more elaborate though XD

As for the digital cleaning and Blu-Ray...I never understood putting old shows on HD. They were never filmed in high enough resolution so even with a good digital make over I don't think it will look too much better. XD Not that I'm a fan of the whole Blu-Ray HD thing anyway. I think it robs films of their cinematic feel.
 
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