Fallout Nuka-Cola Quantum display

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Nexus 6

New Member
I have some experience making Fallout replicas and costumes with a friend,Christmas was coming up and I didn't have any good ideas...
Since he's a huge Fallout fan naturally making some props / display pieces came to mind.

I started with research into Nuka-cola Quantum pieces that other people had made. LEDs were a given, but I didn't see this as something he would
ever need to carry around and didn't like the look of many others that use a small base to sit the bottle on top of, so I opted for a display piece featuring
a glowing bottle and whatever Falloutyness I could throw in.

I started like most others, with a glass Coke bottle.
I used acetone to remove the painted on label, sanded the outside of the bottle and even semi-gently rolled it down my driveway.
The Quantum label I swiped from a Google image search... Wish I could credit the creator, but I was trying to complete this quickly.
I attached the labels with matte Mod Podge, once dry put two more thin coats over the top as sealer.

Knowing that this would need to glow, I scoured sources for UV LEDs and settled on some 1W 3V LEDs from China on eBay.
Picked up a small SPST toggle switch and 9V battery holders from RadioShack... Should've ordered online.

Now where to mount the switch and batteries, etc...

I came up with the idea of adding a Mentats tin to house the switch and battery. I found a great candidate at Michael's craft store by the register
usually used for gift cards for less than a dollar. No raised areas like an Altoid's box, and the paint sanded off easily.
I wanted it down to bare metal for weathering the final paint job.
The box lower I painted with cheap green spray paint from Walmart, the lid with Liquitex "cadmium yellow deep hue 5" artist spray paint.
The label was again swiped from an image search and printed to the lid measurements I needed. I used the same matte Mod Podge to attach it.
The edges were then sanded for weathering and lightly went over most of it with a light grit so it looks well-travelled.
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Then the 3 LEDs were soldered together in series (to be powered by 9v), the switch hole and a hole for the battery holder wires drilled inside the Mentats box. Once all in place I connected the LEDs to the switch and battery wiring with 3 or 4 inches of wire. I hot glued the back of the hole for the battery holder.
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I brainstormed and sketched out arrangements and ideas and settled on a concept, I needed some sort of container or base.
Scoured my garage and found the lower half of a cigar box that would be excellent.... To hold the concrete. Yep.

I arranged my components and various parts from my scrap heap to get an idea of what should go where.
My Quantum bottle would need to be elevated so I chose a spray paint cap as I could cut the bottom for the desired lean angle
as well as it making a great place to attach the LEDs.
I eyeballed it and sliced the bottom edge of the lid, just happened to look like I wanted. Hot glued it in the box where I thought the bottle should be.
As I wanted the Mentats to be towards the front of the box overhanging the lip a bit I cut a scrap of PVC as a riser sort of thing and glued it in as well.
Thinking there was a lot of squareness to this box that wouldn't be present in a scrap heap I took my angle grinder to a few corners and sides, making them
slope downward to give it a less boxy look.
Continuing with that mentality I cut up some scrap EVA foam to make "steps" on the sides as well as fill in some empty space on the inside of the box
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Grabbing another spray can cap I made some supports for the base of the bottle and hot
glued them in place.
Angled the top of the PVC support tube for the Mentats box (I never got any good shots
of that piece). Hot glued that in place.
Took my trusty cutting wheel to a bit of rusty Rebar and glued that in.
Hacked off a section of metal conduit that I thought fit with the theme... Not glued yet.
What did get glued was a piece of aluminum foil to the paint cap, followed by a little glob of
hot glue for the LEDs. Then the wiring... Wanted it to be generally waterproof.
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The bottle was hot glued in and everything tested... Nearing the point of no return.
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It all lit up nicely so I prepared a folding table in my driveway, covered it in plastic and got ready to
do something stupid. Got some Quik-Crete from Lowes and a plastic bucket, put on some vinyl gloves and grabbed a piece of that rebar as a stir stick.
I used painters tape over & around the lid of the Mentats box so it would still open, a sandwich bag over the Quantum bottle and rebar piece to avoid concrete from getting absolutely everywhere.
I began mixing small amounts of concrete (about a cup at a time) with a bit of water until it was the consistency I wanted.
First I filled around the base of the Mentats and the rest of the inside of the box, then the steps around the sides. I made my mix a little thick and used it like a thin clay.
I mixed a little more and fleshed out the blob and built up around the bottle base. Don't want any of the box or foam showing anywhere.
At this point I jabbed the conduit under the buried edge of the Mentats and crammed the lower front portion in the concrete step, adding a little more on top.
Not content with leaving well enough alone I stuck some brass from my rifle in the wet concrete. Felt it fit the Fallout vibe and was pleased with the results.
Here it is wet and outside...
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I let let that dry for a while. A long while.
It was rather cold out but not below freezing, but it was still taking it's sweet time so I brought it in the house for another long while.
I haven't mentioned that I procrastinate and this friend of mine that this would eventually belong to was scheduled to arrive only hours after I mixed the concrete.
I used this time to add some dirt and smudges to the Mentats and bottle with acrylic browns and some black, dabbing it on then wiping with a paper towel.
He came by, hung out for a bit, we all went out to eat and I decided we'd deal with this thing later.
By the time we got back I'm not certain that it was 100% dry but it was good enough.
Here's the finished product, he loved it and I was happy that it didn't fall apart (or kill me in the process):
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