Sonic Contest Entry #17 breakdown. Pic Heavy!

Pete SSS

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone,

Here's a breakdown on what went into my sonic screwdriver entry(#17), and what the theory was behind the build.

First off, I have to admit that I've only seen Paul McGann's Doctor in action once, when it aired on TV years ago, and to be perfectly honest, the only thing I remember about it was the look of his costume and the Tardis interior. I'm not sure he ever got out his sonic in this incantation of the Doctor, at least I didn't remember it so I planned to make a Sonic for the eigth Doctor, based on a DE-volved, victorian style, version of the 9 and 10 sonic.

Sorry about the weak WIP photos, I use my phone for these and more often than not they are out of focus!

I started out by rooting through my various parts boxes to find approriatly sized pieces and settled on the smallest diameter section of a cheap little brass telescope to use as the main housing. I then came across this drawer pull in a hardware store and knew that would be my grip. I had planned on a craked glazed ceramic effect, but was very pleased to find the real deal! The other main components were an acrylic test tube, used for the clear extending part, and the hemisphere end was frosted then used for the emitter. The main emitter piece was the top of a "magnet on a stick" tool. It already had the LED and was the perfect diameter.

I then started to mock up the construction, which piece would go where etc, what works what doesn't. Lots of head scratching and design changes

Here's a shot of the design process chaos, you can spot a few nearly complete elements in this shot, but it still needs to fit together!

Below is a shot of the grip section all fixed together, there is a threaded bar running thorough the centre of all of this to hold it in place. The grip then screws onto the main housing (brass) part

Here is the emitter and main body in it's two parts, the acrylic tube slides in and out of the body, leather is wrapped on the inside of the brass tube to make a scratch free, tight fit.

Finished construction, prior to a bit of weathering. The "slider" is taken from the drive tray from an original Xbox i gutted some months back. Various little brass greeblies from the insides of a vintage radio, some vintage brass screw heads, the cover from a broken lighter, a plumbing part and the nozzle from an old garden sprayer and thats about it.

A bit of light weathering. It didn't need much as most of the parts were already vintage and genuinly weathered!
The case was made for a set of old spoons originally, I stripped out the interior then made a new one with some foam and faux silk to house the sonic, a fob watch and a victorian style Tardis key. I couldn't believe how perfect the colour of the box was! A bit of Photoshop for the label and some coffee dregs to blend it into the old box.

Here are the finished shots.

It's been fantastic to join in with this and great to make something to my own design and not referring to screencaps or someone elses drawings and ideas!
It's been a blast, and to win was really the icing on the cake!

Any questions, feel free to ask.


p.s Sorry about the MASSIVE post!


Active Member
Superb to see the details that went into this build. As soon as I saw it I knew that was the winner right there. It amused me as the handle you used as a base I'd seen in my local Homebase, and contemplated picking one up and changing my design ideas to something more steampunk. Likewise to the magnet pickup, which I grabbed from my local Robert Dyas a while back for use at work, and thought about dismantling for the custom SS build. Glad I didn't as anything I made wouldn't have compared to your efforts.


Sr Member
I can't help it...I LOVE this screwdriver! I could see this being pulled out of the Doctors pocket very easily. Fantastic build there mate!


Active Member
A mega congratz to you sir,
Your sonic is very nice, lol after seeing how you made the emitter light up i am kicking myself for not realizing that for my own.


Sr Member
Congratz on the win You did a fantastic job one this. I love the design of the sonic and think it's just awesome you made the box and got everything else to go with it.



Active Member
I have to concur everything about this sonic was stellar. and this build up thread was incredibly insightful. thanks for sharing


New Member
This is fantastically beautiful. Should you ever want to make another, I would be happy to commission one. Congratulations on winning the contest.


Well-Known Member
That’s one EXCELLENT steampunck sonic, and I could very much imagine seeing Paul McGann's using it. The sonic sure fits with Paul McGann's image as the Doctor.

Pete SSS

Well-Known Member
Wow, this is a bit of a blast from the past! Thanks for your comments guys! It was a fun build. Its coming up on 3 years since this contest ended, maybe its time for a new custom sonic contest?


Active Member
Wow, now that is truly beautiful. Great work and I love the Watch & front of the book too. Really complement each other. Say, Isn't it time we had another Sonic screwdriver build. competion? Or have a missed it again?