Hi Folks. I recently completed a simple conversion of my Wand Company communicator into a more accurate, yet idealized version.
To make them look more like Kydex, I carefully used 3000 grit sandpaper to lower the ridges to a more accurate-looking level. Then I rubbed the crap out of them on my knee while wearing sweatpants. To make sure that I didn’t overdue it, I carefully and constantly looked at pics of the real Alpha.
As seen on someone else’s post, I used sandpaper to flatten the plastic jewels and then placed genuine and more accurate Swarovski jewels on the tops. The change was immediate and looks so much better. The lights still shine underneath after removing the silver backing to the jewels.
Since I did not feel comfortable enough to remove the control hubs, control panel and speaker grill, I simply trimmed a piece of more accurate grill and placed it within the opening on top of the od grill. It immediately looks a lot better.
Since I was not comfortable enough to actually replace them with more accurate ones, I used a sharp black paint pen to simply color the inside. I think it make them look more accurate.
After trimming a piece of Velcro to conveniently hide the writing on the back, I applied it using a contact cement with that old-looking amber/light brown hue to it.
I then removed the original black screws and replaced them with the more accurate screws. Along with the Velcro and glue seepage, it looks pretty darn good.
After the lid started to actually fade, and until I have the nerve to replace it with a more-accurate brass lid, I initially brushed it with a light coat of a mixture of brown and yellowish water color. It looked ok, but then I decided to apply a few coats of brass Swellegant Brass Metal Coating. The color is fantastic and gets darker after every coat. The only thing I’m not crazy about is the abundance of brush strokes. I’m thinking about striping this off and then applying a coat of brass spraypaint for the smooth look. I just may wait and replace it with an actual brass lid.
To keep it as an idealized Alpha, I kept all the electronics intact. Once I make a few adjustments, I’ll complete a gutted Gamma conversion.
I also applied a light coat of contact cement around the top shell to give it that Chang look.