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POLICE BOX

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DIRTYING SIGNS AND WINDOWS

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I've recently decided that it would be nice to texture and weather my police box to make it look a bit more "realistic". At the same time I've made a few other adjustments to make it look more like a police box and less like the TV props.

The first job with the windows was to get the old "glass" out. I originally used patterned lighting diffuser for the windows, and glued it in with clear bathroom adhesive. This stuff dries clear to a rubbery consistency, and was fairly easy to remove with a palette knife (although I broke all but one of the acrylic panes - no great loss a $5 for a 2'x4' diffuser). I then had to scrape the remainder off the window frames so the new panes would fit properly.

Following some recommendations from PurpleBlancmange on the Tardis Rebuilders site, I mixed up some artists acrylic paint from a tube with some Isoproyl Alcohol in a squirt bottle and applied this to some new hammered-look glass.

The mixture worked pretty well on the hammered glass, but I found flat black spray paint worked well on the acrylic flat glass, so I used both for a more interesting effect.

I made the non-hammered acrylic 'glass' opaque by sanding it on the inside with an orbital sander and 100-grit paper. This allows the glass to be opaque, but still shiny on the outside, which has a better look. If you buy opaque acrylic sheet it tends to be roughed up on both sides, so doesn't have that nice glassy shine.


NEW LINTEL SIGNS

I decided to change the sign lintels to look a bit more 'classic' in design. I realised that because the ends of the sign boxes I have slide out for lamp maintenance, that I could build new end-caps to get the different look.


old end-cap


new end-cap

The new end-caps are built up from several layers of MDF - the backmost fitting into the slot which holds the sign, and the front one chamfered to match the chamfer on the edge of the sign box.

I've kept the old end-caps and signs, so I could revert the box to its Season 18 appearance if desired.


NEW LAMP
I managed to source a fresnel lens as part of a ship's anchor lamp. When this arrived, I made a new cap to go over the top, as the previous one was not terribly attractive.

The larger top disk is cut from MDF using a router - much like making a dalek neck ring. The smaller dome is from a battery operated closet light and is held in place by the paint (!).

I reused the black-painted brass rod from the old cap.


NEW HANDLES AND PHONE DOOR
I also found some nice black drawer pulls, which I think look rather better than the silvery things I had before. I also picked up a brass night-latch.


old...


new...

I sprayed flat black paint over the handles and then grey primer paint over the top of that to give the handles a 'used' look. To weather the brass night-latch, I first cleaned it with alcohol, then rubbed it down with steel wool (actually I put the steel wool on the bench and rubbed the lock onto it to stop fragments getting into the lock cylinder), then sprayed it with the same paint solution I have for the windows (with the key in). Thanks to Banzai and TimeGirl on the TardisRebuilders for advice on how to do this.

I never really liked the door sign, and since it's glued in, I had to make a new door.


first the frame


acrylic sheet laid across it


here's the completed door 
with a temporary graphic


i

The door is made by routering a strip of wood at two different depths, one for the 'glass' (I used acrylic sheet again) and one for the hardboard back, which is glued in place. A paper print-out of the sign graphic is sandwiched between the glass and hardboard. This is pretty much how I made the old one.

The acrylic glass here was treated in the same way as the windows and sign lintels.

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