Modding a Steampunk Sonic screwdriver
While I've gotten pretty comfortable with modding weapons, (and am getting progressively stranger about it) my first ones were fairly straightforward. After getting my feet wet with a pair of Nerf guns, I moved onto a trio of the Doctor's “weapon” of choice. Think Geek put out a set of mix and match-able sonic screwdrivers a few years ago. It had 3 basic bodies that separated into 4 parts each. They also all had a switch built in at the same point and there was a single insert the would light up and make the sounds when you hit the button.
It was a great set for my purpose since the changing Doctors and the flexibility of the fandom meant there weren't many limits on what I could do with them and having the 3 sets also let me explore some riskier options since there was a built in safety net. As it turned out, I did come out with 3 successful and complete modded screwdrivers but they had very different feels.
The first, and most complex to do was “pure” Steampunk. A number of vintage and antique watch bits were used as well as mother-of-pearl button. I cut antique, salvaged ivory piano key pieces to cover parts of the main grip. That section was especially difficult since the first few attempts at painting it didn't work and had to be scraped off. In the end, I think it worked, partially because the genuine patina of the ivory sells the rest of the aging around them.
The middle was mostly just dressed up a bit. First it was painted brown to match the grip. There was a semi-transparent green panel with Gallifreyan symbols that would light up, so it had to be kept and it was protected during the painting. It was surrounded with a raised plastic edge that was cut off and replaced with an antique watch case.
A salvaged watch band was wrapped around behind it. (and rebuilding the band to that exact length was brutal but at least it looked good)There were also a number of fake gears sticking out on this part and they were cut off and covered with small, detailed metal panels that I pulled off of watch bands.
Both end pieces were heavily cut and changed. The bottom got a large, faceted crystal and more metal watch band bits to finish it off. Both the crystal and the band were wired down and together so they would stable and solid. Glue only might have held for display only, but I wanted it to be able to be worn as part of a costume. The top was done from the 11th Doctors screwdriver but the prongs were cut back, capped with more metal panels and a large green stone bead was set in. (It was probably chalcedony and translucent enough to pass the light from the insert) I also gilded accents and antiqued the whole thing so was nicely aged.
The finished thing doesn't match and existing Doctor or Companion but would make a great accessory for a Steampunk character.