Our client needed to find real retro TV’s to show promotional videos, but, as they are no longer in production, finding five second hand ones all of the same make was proving impossible. So they asked us if we could help. The retro television sets were going to be displayed at the White City House reception in the BBC Television Centre. The retro TV's needed to be able to incorporate modern day LED monitors to display promotional videos.
Prop process images
First of all we drew the TV's to get client approval. We made the carcass using MDF and bought knobs and dials to finish the look. We made the screen using our vacuum forming machine; we made the initial form using MDF which we shaped by hand sanding. On to this we sprayed a polyester resin and sanded this to a gloss finish.
We then made a mould and cast another out in fibreglass to use as our former; had we used the MDF former, the pressure of the machine bearing down on the MDF would have revealed any obvious joins. Using a clear PetG plastic we formed the screens and fitted to the MDF TV.
A wood grain paint effect gave the right look, but looked way too neat so we bashed them up a bit to look old and battered (this was by far the most fun part) The dials and knobs were screwed on and we printed the lettering directly on to the painted TV’s.
Once the LED displays were hidden within our TV’s, the overall look was great. The vacuum formed plastic screens and the battered paint effect finish all worked together to make really authentic looking 1970s style TV’s.