Torchwood Hand in Jar replica help (please!)

Redd Summers

New Member
Hey all!

I'm a complete newbie to making things and I might be jumping right off into the deep end with this but I figured I might as well get the best information I possibly can before even starting. I would LOVE to recreate the iconic "Hand in the Jar" from Torchwood/Doctor Who to go with my Capt. Jack Harkness cosplay but I'm not entirely sure where to begin. I DO NOT want to strap an aquarium on my back so I want to make the replica with the illusion of water and thought about maybe that Acrylic Water stuff people put in the bottom of flower arrangements that resembles water but is solid but I'm really not sure if there's a better solution out there. I have the hand already and it measures 8.5 inches long and 4.5 inches wide at its widest point. I'm looking to make the hexagonal-shaped case but I've no clue where to even begin let alone how to make it look like the pictures. ANY and all advice would be appreciated!!

Thanks in advance! ! <3
Redd

handinjar1.gif
handinjar2.jpg
handinjar3.jpg
 

13doctorwho

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If you find the right size and shape plastic aquarium you can build a wooden frame around it (for the black sections). I have used the clear resin for flower arrangements as "water" in props and it works pretty well. The best part is that if you get any trapped air bubbles it will add to the effect (in this case). I agree with you, real water is a headache to deal with in props.
 

division 6

Master Member
Short of finding a small aquarium or extruded acrylic tubing it's probably going to be tough.
You need a special heating rod set up for bending the acrylic.

I worked 7 years at a shop that made aquariums including hexagon and octagon.
They even made Capt Picards ready room 24" & 36" bubble tanks. (before I worked there)
I think we may have also made the ones on the DS9 promenade.
 

propmaster2000

Sr Member
Have you figured out what the dimensions will be?
On the acrylic tank itself, since you don't really see if it has flat sides (seams), it would be better to use a cylinder style tank (tube),
and mount it in a case that has the 6 flat sides to resemble the picture.
.
As mentioned earlier, Clear Hair gel has suspended bubbles, but there are quit a few of them.
If you go the fake water route, maybe you could push a tube down in to the "solid water" and blow small to medium size bubbles
where you want them before it hardens?
.
To keep the hand floating in the center of the tank, use a transparent rod to hold the hand off the base.
Put LED strip lights on either side of the viewing window to illuminate the hand and make the case out of MDF or particle board, seal and paint black.

Do you plan to make this portable?

Let us know how you progress. :)
.
 

Redd Summers

New Member
Have you figured out what the dimensions will be?
On the acrylic tank itself, since you don't really see if it has flat sides (seams), it would be better to use a cylinder style tank (tube),
and mount it in a case that has the 6 flat sides to resemble the picture.
.
As mentioned earlier, Clear Hair gel has suspended bubbles, but there are quit a few of them.
If you go the fake water route, maybe you could push a tube down in to the "solid water" and blow small to medium size bubbles
where you want them before it hardens?
.
To keep the hand floating in the center of the tank, use a transparent rod to hold the hand off the base.
Put LED strip lights on either side of the viewing window to illuminate the hand and make the case out of MDF or particle board, seal and paint black.

Do you plan to make this portable?

Let us know how you progress. :)
.
Hi there!

I was thinking exactly that, actually. I don't need an actual aquarium tank since I don't want it to actually have real water in it so I was planning on using something cylindrical to get that effect but just "covering over" the ends with the black part of the hexagonal box. I hadn't thought about hair gel but I would think it wouldn't harden fully. Or would it? I have seen tricks like inserting a straw into hardening acrylic water and gently making air bubbles in it but I haven't tried it myself to see how well it works. I just didn't know if that was the best way to get a watery look without using real water.

I'll take your advice on the transparent rod to hold the hand in a "floating" position--are those rods made of glass or plastic? I just don't feel comfortable having anything potentially breakable in this project :)

I have a little experience working with e-wire lights and such so I think that will be the easiest part for me to get but I've never made anything out of MDF or particle board at all. Is MDF easily able to cut with regular tools or does it need something specific to shape it? And, yes, I do plan on making this portable. Once done I'm going to put some industrial strength velcro on the back so I can mount it inside an opened backpack to carry on my back. That way I can also hide the lighting bases if need be lol.

Thanks again and I look forward to showing the progress!
 

Redd Summers

New Member
If you find the right size and shape plastic aquarium you can build a wooden frame around it (for the black sections). I have used the clear resin for flower arrangements as "water" in props and it works pretty well. The best part is that if you get any trapped air bubbles it will add to the effect (in this case). I agree with you, real water is a headache to deal with in props.
Glad you've got experience with the Acrylic Water! How "hard" does it set up? Like is it the consistency of a really thick gel with still a little wobble or is it like clear concrete once it's hardened where I won't be able to adjust anything once it's set? Thanks for the ideas on the plastic shape aquarium--I'm not so fussed about that aspect as I'm not planning on having actual water in it but it might help cut down the need to worry about a shaped container that's flimsy--I'll keep it in mind :)

Thanks again!
 

Redd Summers

New Member
Short of finding a small aquarium or extruded acrylic tubing it's probably going to be tough.
You need a special heating rod set up for bending the acrylic.

I worked 7 years at a shop that made aquariums including hexagon and octagon.
They even made Capt Picards ready room 24" & 36" bubble tanks. (before I worked there)
I think we may have also made the ones on the DS9 promenade.
That's awesome--I wish I had trade experience in ANY capacity but the only thing I ever have done is helped my dad build our porch (and, even then, it was strictly him pointing out and telling me EVERYTHING lol). I'm not worried about shaping acrylic itself--my plan is to just go with something cylindrical (hopefully on the tough plastic side of things since I don't want anything breakable) that's pre-made and base the black part of the prop around that. Thanks for the heads up about the hair gel, though!
 

13doctorwho

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The water like resin is rock hard when fully cured. The upside is the embedded object won't move or bounce around. THe down side is it is solid as a rock, and if you mess up you can't get the prop out with out destroying it. I recommend mounting the hand on a small acrylic rod. That will hold it in place while the resin cures making it look like it's floating. The rod will be practically invisible embedded in the resin.
 

division 6

Master Member
If you go with an acrylic cylinder make sure to get cast.
Extruded has a wavy surface and will crack and shatter if you fill it with resin.
 
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