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Little Shop Newsletter - Issue 002

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Josh Martin

21 Jul 2023

An update on Classic Tools and Invisibility Keys and a look at our Lalla Tools and our new laser cutter!


Hello everyone!

Welcome back to the weekly newsletter! Thanks for all the positive responses to last weeks issue! We've got a lot to talk about this week, with an update on our classic tools as well as an interview with Matthew on what making the classics is like. We also have an in depth look at our brand new Lalla Tool. A look at our new toy, the laser cutter. A look at the Night of the Doctor screwdriver we made for Paul McGann, and finally an update on our invisibility keys.

Production Update: Classic Tools

Its with great pride that we can announce that the work and assembly on the first two batches of Classic Screwdrivers is complete. Were currently working on finalising the packaging, and the custom art work from Jem. Once thats done they will be heading out across the world!

Heading up the assembly of these beautiful replicas is Matthew Woodhouse, we asked him a few questions!

Out of all the classic tools, which is the most rewarding to put together?

"I think the Pertwee 2 is the most rewarding to put together, the tape detailing takes a lot of time to apply but when you put that final detail on it all just comes together! The weathered Baker tool is also a really fun one to make because each one is slightly different and has its own character." 

You're a big fan of the classic series, which is your favourite classic tool?

"That's such a difficult question! They each have their own details that I love (and others that I find a nuisance to assemble), but when it comes down to it I always end up going back to the Baker tool, there's something so simple and alien about it. I feel like the way the black domed part pokes up and the emitter section can extend slightly makes it quite an interesting little prop."

What does a day making classic tools look like? What is that process like?

"It usually takes me a couple of weeks to assemble a batch of classic tools. I start by making a list of how many of each style I need to make, and then I lay out all the parts on my workbench (and there are a LOT of parts). Once I've got all the parts I start to assemble the innards, which involves quite a lot of filing, cutting and threading. Before assembling the main body of the tools I paint in the three black grooves and apply the tape to each of the Pertwees, the tape tends to take quite a while, but once you get into the flow of it time flies by. Then I assemble the main bodies. I usually leave all the emitter assemblies until last, as they are the fiddly bit. Each style of emitter is quite a different process, for example, our Pertwee 3, Baker and Davison props all have a magnet on the back of the emitter section, so they involve a little more processing. But once the emitters are on it's basically just a case of final assembly and making any necessary fixes."

This is your first screwdriver run at Little Shop Props, if you could be involved in another one, which would it be?

"The classic props are something i've always wanted to be involved in a run of, but I think the other run I'd love to have a go at are the Smith props, I grew up in that era of the show so that screwdriver design is really ingrained in my memory, Id also love to work on the Capaldi props, as I think that's a really fantastic design."

New Look!

Introducing, our Lalla Tool Prop Replica!

Made using newly acquired photos of the original prop, we are proud to announce this gorgeous replication. With this updated look at the original prop, we've been able to add in details that havent been seen on any other replica yet.

This replica will come with a display stand, as well as a presentation tin, and a stunning piece of artwork from Jem.

James, who has worked on previous releases of this screwdriver had this to say!

"It was a joy getting to revisit this design as I’d originally worked on the Rubbertoe Replicas run of these back in 2017/2018 where I’d researched, designed and made the 2 prototypes used during the product’s development. One of which was actually used for the product images.

I’d originally received a single photo of the original filming prop, which was the first time a photo of the original had entered the prop making circles. At the time however I was around 18 years old and didn’t have much access to CAD designing softwares, so the plans were made in a little more of an analogue fashion which led to a few details being slightly off. 

With the revisited design we went in armed with some additional photos of the original prop and refined the details further to match everything up as best we could.

Don’t be too disheartened if you have one of the previous versions of the prop as that design has since been used in Big Finish Promotional materials and Doctor Who: Time Fracture the immersive theatre show. But for those completionists out there this will fill that role."

They are available to order from our webstore now!

New Machine!

Last week we finally had our Laser Cutter delivered!

With this we aim to improve our packaging, and offer a wider aray of products. James is leading the charge in operating and supervising the laser cutter and all products it will be used for.

The Laser Cutter will be used for foam to line our presentation tins, as well as many exciting other projects we have going on!

A Screwdriver... But probably not the one you were expecting!

On Tuesday James and Dan had the exciting opportunity to go to a photoshoot in London, to hand off a brand new screwdriver.

Just as we were finishing up work on HG4's "Finger Food" short film, the lovely Steven Ricks Tailoring approached us on behalf of Ken Deep from L.I. Who 60 to make this prop.

Steven was in the process of making a 'Night of the Doctor' style costume for Paul at the time for the Event which is taking place later this year. He'd asked if we were up for making a Screwdriver to accompany the outfit.

James took the lead on this, hand machining this full metal, extending prop to present to Paul at the photoshoot. Dan provided technical drawings to James who along with the help and guidance of Terry Poole machined and assembled the Screwdriver. Alongside this W.F. Ikhasi from Archive & Future lended a hand by machining the brass locking section for us.

This has been a huge effort from James, who pulled essentially back to back all nighters to get this done, and I think you will agree that it was well worth the effort!

James also took all the photos at the shoot!

People will be able to get photos with Paul in full costume at L.I. Who 60, tickets are available now:

Production Update: Invisibility Keys

After a series of unfortunate delays. The Invisibility Keys are nearly ready to go out. We've faced incorrect keys being sent to us three times, pushing the dispatch date back more and more, but after a long time in the making, we're nearly ready to dispatch them all, with some already having been sent out this week.

Thank you everyone for your patience with these delays.

Next Issue:

A look at our Modern Staser as well as a word from Josh Howe, who is in charge of their construction. An Update on our Custom Inspired 14th Screwdrivers, and an interview with Jem Ward, who leads our graphics department!

Josh Martin

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