TARDIS Keys Anyone?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Organic Mechanic, May 8, 2012.

  1. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    So since getting back to work I've been pretty much MIA. It's hard to plop down in front of the computer after doing nothing BUT for a year and a half after all. :$

    Anyway, back in February I decided to start work on what I hoped would be my first casting project. The three uniquely designed TARDIS keys from Doctor Who.

    Well after about a week of working on carving the masters...I kinda just stopped. I haven't touched them since.

    Today it occurred to me that perhaps if I had an audience it might light a fire under the old rear. So here they are in their current state. All of the rough work is done, and now it's down to refining the shapes and the more intricate details before moving on to finish sanding and my first attempt at mold making and casting.


    L-R: Pertwee-Baker, McCoy, McCoy-McGann

    [​IMG]

    And From The Back...
    [​IMG]

    To make these I started by scaling reference photos and creating printable templates which I then used to cut the bodies out in layers from PVC novelty signs with my trusty scroll saw. The Seal of Rassilon and the inner details on the lower portion of that key (still lots of work to go on these portions) required the use of a craft blade and needle files.

    They are still far from finished, but maybe posting them will motivate me to "getterdun". ;)


    Questions? Comments? Critiques?


    ***Many thanks to to my fellow DW fanatics. Without the collective research and info sharing of groups like this I'd not have made it as far as I have on this project. :thumbsup
     
  2. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    GETTERDUN!

    If you do a run you know I'm in. The only TARDIS key I've got so far is the Yale. :)

    They're looking great!
     
  3. dbalschi

    dbalschi Sr Member

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    Awesome! Been waiting to see your progress since you told me about this!
     
  4. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Thanks guys! So far, I've found the hardest bit is the whole 'Perfectly reproducing the imperfections' thing. :lol
     
  5. Gman666

    Gman666 Well-Known Member

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    I would be interested. Can never have enough keys.

    Thanks!

    Greg
     
  6. karstva

    karstva Well-Known Member

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    If you make these man I am totally in for a set. do it..do it now..doit..doit..now..doit..doitnow!!!now

    Karst
     
  7. Cyber

    Cyber Active Member

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    Looking good so far, the finished articles should look very nice.
    I'd certainly be interested in a set should you ever produce these for sale.
     
  8. Rassilon

    Rassilon Well-Known Member

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    Hey nice work Dude, very fine detail as well. It's the Aussie way to take a day of sick to finish your props, so don't feel bad if you need to.
     
  9. The Black Fox

    The Black Fox New Member

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    Nicely done!
     
  10. mooneye63

    mooneye63 Active Member

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    These are great! :) Nice work. Yes you must carry on!

    Could I ask if you do make these, could you make the holes for the chain a wee bit smaller as this always seem to expand with use.
     
  11. gary

    gary New Member

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    very nice work
     
  12. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Heya folks! Thanks for all of the kind words. No progress shots today, but work does continue on these.

    Mooneye, I know what you mean in regard to chain hole size, and yes, I can reduce them (in fact, a keen eye will note that the Pertwee-Baker hole NEEDS repaired on these) BUT...

    The hole sizes for these were reference scaled just like the rest of the details, and are the minimum size for the chains used on screen. A smaller hole would be less SA, and in the case of the McCoy key, highly impractical as were it any smaller NO chain would fit through it.
     
  13. osric

    osric Member

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    These look fantastic. My Spirit of Light key broke free of its chain a few years ago and I'm finally ready to splurge on a replacement.

    Now we just need someone to make the matching locksets for our Tardis builds :)
     
  14. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Wouldn't be too hard to make it work. Just make a sideways, spring version of the old time lift latches. Something you just pressed into the open position by inserting the key.
     
  15. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    Looking good! In an address to the chain hole, maybe you could move the holes down a little so there's more "meat" around the top of the hole to help reduce breakage? Also depending on your pewter mixture you should be able to make the metal pretty hard and resilient. I'd be interested in an 8th Doctor key for sure though! Possibly the other two as well depending on when you're ready to cast these XD
     
  16. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    You bring up an interesting point. My initial plan for these was to cast them in resin as they are 1:1 sculpts so shrinkage is a concern, and silicone molds are the cheap & easy way to start out in casting buuuuuut...

    Lead free pewter, as it turns out, has a low enough melt point that silicone molds are more than capable of handling it, AND the shrink rate for pieces this small is negligible.

    So maybe I'll make two sets of molds. :love
     
  17. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Put me down for pewter then! :D (who am I kidding, I'll probably get both)
     
  18. Rebelscum

    Rebelscum Sr Member

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    Just be sure if you're using smooth-on, you use Mold Max 60 for the pewter mold.
     
  19. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Absolutely invaluable advice, thank you.
     
  20. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    Ohhhh, I didn't know you were thinking of resin originally...still, Pewter! If you do I'll definitely take a pewter 8th Doctor key for sure! Not too many of those around and if you get the right kind and it's tough enough that means I can spare my 800-Trekker key any damage XD
     
  21. mooneye63

    mooneye63 Active Member

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    Re the Holes & chain. There are mini key-ring ringthings that would go thru the holes then the chain goes thru the rings. Saves the chain rubbing on the hole. I think it can be seen on the Baker version where he had that extra long beaded chain in his 1st season. If you add a mini keyring It also allows the TARDIS key to stay at the end of the chain by moving freely & not get stuck on the chain. Does that make sense or did I loose anyone there? (I nearly lost myself in writing this up!)
     
  22. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Makes perfect sense to me. You're suggesting the use of a jump ring so the chain holes would only need to be large enough to accommodate that instead of the whole chain. And it's a good idea. Not only could the holes be shrunk, but it would also prevent the wear caused by the chain repeatedly passing through the hole.
     
  23. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    I dunno Mooneye, as far as I know that's just the metal mushrooming a bit from the chain running through the hole. Pertwee wasn't as rough on the props as Baker was and Bakers key had bent arms on it from being on that long chain XD I usually string mine on a small steel loop regardless to prevent some of that. Still happened on one of my other keys I bought but barely.
     
  24. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Here is a screencap from "Android Invasion" clearly showing a jump ring attaching the key to the chain...
    [​IMG]

    ...which appears, oddly enough, to be a curb chain and not the rolo style chain we're accustomed to with this key.
     
  25. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    No, we're not talking about that jump ring that the chain goes though, we're taking about a ring like an eyelet that lines the hole in the actual key that the chain goes though to prevent wear to the hole in the key.

    They used several different chains before. I usually use curb chain on these myself but at some point I do believe they did use that bead chain but probably stopped because it's too easy to break. XD Pertwee's key used what looks like a 2mm round link chain but went right through the hole in the key with no jump ring. During Bakers second year as the Doctor I do believe he stopped wearing it around his neck because the pictures for the previous year like the Terror of the Zygons and Genesis of the Daleks publicity pictures show the arms on the key bent far out of shape from getting caught on things. But if you look at the pictures purpleblancmange provided on his blog you can see the chain go through the hole at the top of the key with no secondary jump ring: http://purpleblancmange.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/pertwee-versus-baker-tardis-door-key.png
     
  26. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Ahh, OK. I think the device you're describing would be called a ferrule. That's not something I'll likely do TBH.

    In regard to the chains, I was referring to the 2x4mm 'round link' chain you mentioned when I said rolo. My initial plan was to get specific chains for each key, but with this pic it occurs to me that a 2x2.5mm curb chain would serve very well for all three styles, particularly with a jump ring.
     
  27. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    Lol, well that's OK. i was having a hard time remembering what it was called. I thought grommet but that didn't seem right. don't really think it's necessary anyway. XD

    Ohhhh i thought you meant bead chain XD So many different terms. XD I think they use a thin curb chain on the McCoy key anyway. I seem to remember it in that Bohnams..Bhonams? However you spell it auction. And the 8th Doctors key I don't recall if it had a chain but the 800-trekker keys i had seen all seemed to come with a thin curb chain as well so I wouldn't worry about it either. XD The jump ring is always a good idea though. The chain may not be sharp but on resin and pewter it might as well be a saw.
     
  28. greatwazoo42

    greatwazoo42 Sr Member

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    I just stumbled across this thread thanks to Straker. Excellent work and excellent discussion so far!
     
  29. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Update time!!!

    Thanks 'Waz! Now, ***UPDATE TIME!!!***

    I've been working slow & careful, spending lots of time just looking at the reference images and the sculpts. Sort of letting it come together "organically" if you follow. As such, these pics are of the first primer coat.

    Slow and steady wins the race though, right? :lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have decided to reduce the chain hole size...for now at least...they may well end up re-enlarged on the final pieces, we'll see. :thumbsup


    ***EDIT: Ummm...eww? These pics are crappola! Back in 5...
     
  30. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Better pics. :)

    Here we go. Back to the ol' desk for some better detailed shots. :cool

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  31. greatwazoo42

    greatwazoo42 Sr Member

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    BRAVO!!!!
     
  32. Terrasolo

    Terrasolo Sr Member

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    They're looking * good Organic, very nice work.
     
  33. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Hey, thanks so much guys! I really appreciate the kind words of support!

    Three day weekend for me. w00t! I plan to finish sculpting these, so watch this space for a last chance suggestions update by Monday. Then I'll be ordering molding /casting materials & chains etc.

    I really want to get these right, so if y'all see something I'm clearly dropping the ball on, PLEASE speak up. ;)
     
  34. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy...

    I've got a gaping hole in my collection the shape of these TARDIS keys...
     
  35. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    Looks great to me. I'm really excited by the 800-TREKKEr TVM key. Nobody has touched that just yet in terms of replication.
     
  36. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    It's funny, because the TVM Key is the one I find least interesting of the three. I understand entirely though as if I'd known about about the Mooncrest Models keys before I began this, I'd probably not even have bothered with the project. :facepalm

    Glad I didn't however, because I'm really enjoying making these, and I'm exceedingly happy with how they're turning out. :thumbsup
     
  37. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    *UPDATE: Finished Sculpts*

    :thumbsup

    Oh yeah! Sculpting is DONE! :cool :thumbsup

    Here are the pics, complete with the best reference pics of the originals I could find. (If they are your pics, thank you, and I will gladly remove them upon request.)

    Please be brutally honest. :$

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I know the difference between pics since my first post seems subtle, but there is a WORLD of difference to me. Now I just have to wait on supplies for the next steps.
     
  38. greatwazoo42

    greatwazoo42 Sr Member

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  39. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Now this is brutality I can handle. XD
     
  40. protokev DMD

    protokev DMD Sr Member

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    Awesome! I'll shall watch this carefully
     
  41. ashden

    ashden New Member

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    I love what you've got going so far. Subscribing to this thread!
     
  42. greatwazoo42

    greatwazoo42 Sr Member

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    LOLZ! I'll endeavour to keep it up then. Should I start with the meat tenderizer hammer or the cheese grater?
     
  43. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Sweet! I'll try not to let y'all down. ;)

    LOL, dork.

    Tell you what, I just looked back at my first attempt at a TARDIS Key HERE, and boy are these an improvement! :thumbsup
     
  44. greatwazoo42

    greatwazoo42 Sr Member

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    That's for sure. You just keep getting better and better at this.
     
  45. SanctumMenice

    SanctumMenice New Member

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    thats cool! I'm a big doctor who fan, so this is my woodstock!
     
  46. phez

    phez Sr Member

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    That is just awesome!!!
     
  47. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    Not bad. The Pertwee isn't quite as crisp on the patterns but looks pretty good. The McCoy is nice and smooth in the seal and that look very good. I love the TVM key. You've rounded some details on the neck off but that's not a complaint as you've gotten the others correct. You even got the lines on the constellations matched well. Very good! Now if you can really cast these in lead free pewter I'll probably take one of each. XD I could always use more XD
     
  48. Michael Bergeron

    Michael Bergeron Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They look great to me!
     
  49. Organic Mechanic

    Organic Mechanic Sr Member

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    Wow, thank you for the very objective review. :thumbsup Let's see if I can address a couple comments.

    Re: The Pertwee Key.

    If you're referring to the outer edges of the details looking softer I could sharpen them easily (it's only the result of hand-sanding), but I hate to lose detail height. If you mean the over-all shape of the details...erm...those are tells man. :lol

    Re: McCoy Key.

    Ahh man! You have no idea how happy I am to hear that. That thing was a BEAR! :lol

    Re: McGann Key.

    Well spotted. I guess I got carried away on the idealizing with this one. But after trying to match all of the sloppy cuts on the Pertwee it's not hard to see why.

    Re: Pulling them off in pewter.

    Keep your fingers crossed. I'll be ordering casting supplies in the next couple weeks, and I plan on getting extras to allow for a practice round. :thumbsup

    Freakin' Awesome!
     
  50. Straker

    Straker Well-Known Member

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    On the Pertwee key, yeah I was just concerned with
    the pattern detail edges looking a bit soft and casting softening them further but on a second look...I don't think it'll matter.


    Lol, well the McCoy key certainly looks good. The seal looks a lot like the resin key seal so yeah you're good there.


    The TVM key. Yeah I don't think it's a problem though. I honestly think it sets yours apart from the 800-TREKKER key in that it doesn't look like it was cast from one which would have been the easy route to take I think.


    Awesome. If it works out I'll take one of each for my collection. ^_^
     

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