RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Okay, the past few days took me down a rabbit hole...
I have been working for a few years on my Functional Pip-Boy 3000 Mk IV (From Fallout 4) build. Once I start getting physical parts, I will probably make a few videos. And so I should have some Fallout appropriate attire right?
I don't really want to do another Vault Suit. And since I am an engineer who is pretending I am working at RobCo Industries, so how about doing a Scientist lab coat!
Okay, I am really just wimping out as this seemed like a dirt easy costume to put together. And so I go and dig up images of the Vault-Tec Scientist lab coat. That is when I see it: Part of the costume is an old-school Dosimeter. So I just had to go about designing my own. Yes, I hope to make it functional.
The gauge on the in-game texture is obviously taken from a real geiger counter panel meter. So I re-made the gauge artwork in CorelDraw.
I opened up the model in NifScope and took screenshots of each side of the prop. I bring these into SolidEdge and use them as reference when building the 3D model. I also look carefully at the normal map to see the actual artist original intent, rather than just take the low-polygon model at face value.
Now I have to decide how big is this thing? I determined it using two methods: Measuring my own shoulder width, and comparing that to the lab coat. And comparing the toggle switch to a real-world toggle switch.
That makes the Dosimeter just 85mm square. The rad gauge glass is just 28mm in diameter. This thing is, well, pocket sized.
As I like to use real-world materials whenever possible, I set out to find off-the-shelf components I could use.
The tube on the side will be made from an aluminum tube, with steel end caps. The switch is a real toggle switch, with a metal dress cap. All the screws are steel, and the gauge will have actual glass. (Thank you dirt cheap camera UV filters)
The hard part is the moving gauge. No one makes a 28mm panel meter. You can get down to about 45mm for a Vu meter, but then they are 2 inches deep or more. So instead I am making my own meter. I added in the tiny air core motor which I will be using in the Pip-Boy. Even then it barely fits inside. The plan is to make the tiny needle using metal acid etching, or perhaps laser-cutting carbon fiber.
The hardest component to find was actually the pocket clip. You see these clips all the time on all sort of things, but they actually are not very easy to purchase. I needed a clip which was 1.5" wide. Well most belt clips are just 1" wide. I then scoured around for wide money clips, most of these are also 1" wide. I finally found a 1.5" wide money clip on Amazon.
/Edit: The Amazon seller has hiked the price of the clip I linked to previously by 350%, I found it cheaper here
The image below is a rendering!
The image above is a rendering!
Here is the result of two days or work. A beautiful rendering of an object I hope to make real someday. I may even use it as an excuse to prototype the geiger counter circuit I plan on putting into the Pip-Boy.
There are still some things to add, like batteries, and the actual electronic design. It may be worth adding a light to illuminate the meter. I also want to find a plastic or aluminum perforated mesh, as the mesh shown is made from steel and would be quite heavy. (~0.08" holes with 0.125" spacing if anyone want to help find some) (/Edit: Duh, I have a laser cutter...I was up too late last night)
For now it will sit in 3D CAD, waiting for the rest of the costume to come together.