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 Post subject: DIY: $25 Shoulder Lamp
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:02 pm 
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The shoulder lamp is such an iconic part of the USCM kit that I've been feeling kinda naked without one. The absolute best one on the market is the Matsuo fully functional resin reproduction. Sadly, it isn't in my budget at the moment, so I decided to take a stab at making my own.

Here's where it stands right now (note that the angle of the handle looks wonky due to how the lamp was resting on the table):

Attachment:
lamp1.jpg
lamp1.jpg [ 363.11 KiB | Viewed 5424 times ]


The base is part of a McFarlane Toys display stand. I gutted it to make it less heavy. The handle is cobbled together from part of a packing tape dispenser and the sides off the top of a VHS tape rewinder with a lot of two part epoxy and a few coats of black rubber spraypaint. The arm is PVC pipe, the joint from a clip fan, and a piece of a toy gun.

Attachment:
lamp2.jpg
lamp2.jpg [ 339.75 KiB | Viewed 5424 times ]


The "head" is an oddball piece I had in my junk drawer. No idea what it is, but I got it with a bunch of old laptop components. Any ID help?

Attachment:
lamp3.jpg
lamp3.jpg [ 285.2 KiB | Viewed 5424 times ]


An L.L. Bean headlamp will be mounted like this.

Attachment:
lamp4.jpg
lamp4.jpg [ 367.29 KiB | Viewed 5424 times ]


Which gives me this for a light source.

My plan is to scratchbuild the top of the box around the headlamp, and then have it snap in place with a couple of fridge magnets. I should be able to reach up with my left hand, pop the box off to adjust the light (it has both a high and low setting) and then put it back on without too much difficulty.

I'm seeing the need for some reinforcement of the joint where the arm meets the base. I was tipped off to this by Adie1979's thread here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13100

So today I'm going to go to the hardware store and see what I can find to fix this problem right off the bat. I also need to buy a set of four rubber furniture pads to put on the back of the base. Then it will need a coat of OD and some weathering.

So what do folks think?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:34 pm 
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Dude again oustanding work, you really are the master of "garage treasue"

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Captured the look well with a lot of leftover treasures "Outstanding" this kinda brainstorming is likely how they found the right look for the original props!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Hyde wrote:
Dude again outstanding work, you really are the master of "garage treasure"


Cant say better than that - you've certainly got a talent and an eye for fabrication from spare bits mate, nice work! :delta:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:44 pm 
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looking good this looks jsut liek the real deal and its uber cheap if i didnt already ordered a set of lamps from Matsuo, i think i would have made one like u did.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:55 pm 
OORAH TO ASHES
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I doff my cap to you i enjoy seeing all ur builds retro i was wondering how to try make my own lamp and seeing how good this looks im definatly going to give it a try


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:27 pm 
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Thanks guys! I picked up some more bits today (both at the store and at the metal recycling bin at my work), so hopefully I can push on with this. I've got a drop in a few weeks and I'd like to be wearing this if possible!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:09 pm 
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Loving it...

I'm a big fan of the cheap but cool looking prop mentality.

Keep up the good work.

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 Post subject: Re: DIY: $25 Shoulder Lamp
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Definitely going to need to give this a shot. Good find!


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:52 pm 
Hey retro, can you do a bit more detailed tutorial? I definately want to make one of these!!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:54 am 
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Magnus: let me see what I can do!

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 Post subject: Re: DIY: $25 Shoulder Lamp
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:57 am 
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Love the work so far! Hats off!



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:42 am 
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So here's a bit more information on how I've made this thing. Sorry about the poor lighting!

The arm is black PVC attached to the white clip fan joint with two part epoxy. I'm really partial to SteelStik as it dries really hard but mixes evenly and smoothly. I'm reworking the area where it meets the base to reinforce it, but I'll document that in another update.

Attachment:
lamparm.jpg
lamparm.jpg [ 442.26 KiB | Viewed 5273 times ]


So here's a breakdown of parts. Note that I've now added the rubber feet and painted the base! The VHS tape rewinder had a nice curve at the top, but honestly a pair of wooden paint stirrers would work just as well for the sides. My original plan for the handle was to use the grip from a spray bottle, so that would be an option too. I cut some corners by using closed cell foam to gap-fill along the righthand side, but the end result isn't as smooth as I thought it would be so I may go back and give it a coat of SteelStik and then respray it with the rubber.

Attachment:
lampparts.jpg
lampparts.jpg [ 442.52 KiB | Viewed 5273 times ]


The back is a work in progress, but I have used a chunk of a plastic document holder riveted to the McFarlane base to get the correct angle. I will build up around it to finish it off, but this is the part that will be bolted to my armour.


Attachment:
lampback.jpg
lampback.jpg [ 350.74 KiB | Viewed 5273 times ]

lampparts.jpg
lampparts.jpg [ 442.52 KiB | Viewed 5273 times ]


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 2:08 pm 
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So here is my (as yet untested) solution:

Attachment:
armfix1.jpg
armfix1.jpg [ 328.02 KiB | Viewed 5267 times ]


Attachment:
armfix2.jpg
armfix2.jpg [ 331 KiB | Viewed 5267 times ]


I trimmed the fan piece (which is square) until I could fit it inside this spare bicycle piece (which is round). I will then epoxy the fan part into the correct position, locking it in place. The original screw from the fan will be tightened (holding both it and the lefthand portion of the handle in place), but then a second screw will be put through the smaller hole of the bicycle part. I'll probably reinforce the inside of the base wall as well.

I may have the black cable from the lamp "plug" in where the second screw is going to go, to make this thing look like it serves a purpose.

Since I have the PVC part detatched, I think I will shorten it a touch. Looking at the photo on Harry's site leads me to believe my arm is too long:

http://www.harryharris.com/slamp.htm

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 3:39 pm 
Bro, I am awed lol. I'm now in the process of finding components to make mine...I'm going to use a headband flashlight from Ebay for my light source, and I may end up making my own little housing for it from polystyrene sheets. Any suggestions for a main base, since I can't find any of the McFarlane toy bases?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:22 pm 
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If you look at the photo on Harry's page (or the pictures of Matsuo's lamp like on Charlie's uniform build) you'll see that my base isn't exactly spot on anyway. It just has enough of the feel to satisfy me. Someone on here actually constructed one out of wood that was very accurate, but I can't find the thread now.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:09 pm 
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Magnus: Try searching for 'McFarlane Spawn Display case'
The base is from one of the display cases that were available on their own as well as having figures inside.

Notable figures included inside one would be the quite rare Freddy vs Jason set :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:34 pm 
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lampcover.jpg
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Rain gutter as lamp cover! Looks like Bess Brown too!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:38 am 
Nice...I may try making the base out of wood. Retro, the lamp housing reminds me of some kind of projector shroud, like from an old school overhead projector.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 1:01 am 
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The wooden build with detailed instructions!

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6916&hilit=lamp+wood

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:02 am 
Ohhhhh that is stellar. Thanks Retro!!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:48 am 
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There you go inspiring me again Retro! Dude, you gotta let me do an avatar for you as payback. lol

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:06 pm 
MODEL 120-A2
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Looking great man. How are you planning to mount it on the armor?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:41 pm 
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Major Gunn: PM inbound.

Sgt. Kitten: I'm thinking of drilling straight through my armour and attaching it with nuts and bolts. It wouldn't be hard to make a section of the base accessible for tightening/removing the nuts. I know for transporting I'll probably want to be able to take this thing off, but I really don't want it to *fall* off when I'm trooping.

Etiquette question: do folks turn their lamps on when roaming the halls at conventions or does this piss off the "Free Hugs" kiddies? I don't want to accidentally be shining my light in someone's eyes halfway across a a convention hall...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:26 pm 
MODEL 120-A2
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I would turn it off just so it doesn't mess up photos

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