Fringe Shapeshifter's Box Prop

box used by the shapeshifting agents from a parallel Earth in the Fringe TV series

Another of my favourite shows is Fringe. I thought about props from this show and an episode involving shapeshifters provided me with one that I thought would be easy to make as it is mostly made of "found parts". After all it's just a box with a couple of things added. I thought the hardest parts to make would be the retractable flat cable and the end parts with the spikes. Here's picture of it.

Fringe box

In reality, nothing is ever as it seems. The cable was easy to find in fact and is a retractable network cable. The little "cover" is made for keeping dust and weather out of keyswitches and I thought I had one in a box. It seems I used that years ago and the search for more of them proved very difficult. The switch underneath it is just a miniature metal toggle switch.

USB cable switchcover toggle switch

The box on the other hand was hard to find. It turned out to be the clear box that the US power adapter for an iPod came in. The search for this thing occupied many hours of my time. It has a small window in its lid and to me it appeared to be a presentation box that one might get with a watch or cigarette lighter (or something). Seems that was just a bit of the clear that was masked during painting to make a window. Whie looking for that box, I ended up using the clear plastic box that an MP3 player came in and cut it down to size. I taped off the area that would be the clear window and painted the rest of the box black. This box is a practice run.

clear box

For this version I chose to make the spiked "fittings" on the ends of the cable from plastic as I had no suitable metal on hand. I'll paint it to look like aluminium.

spiked fitting

Miscellaneous items to be used inside the box are a couple of bright blue LEDS to illuminate the window when the switch is thrown, and a battery and holder, and of course some hookup wire.

I would like to make another better quality version of this. I have the correct box and I will make the spiked "fittings" on the cable from metal next time.

More when I can get back to writing this.

Last modified: 8th October 2011