Saurian Brandy Bottles


#1

in regards to TOS era Saurian Brandy bottle replicas, I recently acquired one of the quarter-gallon light amber bottles and have been trying to get info together to make my replica as accurate as possible. I found some discussion here and there on TFW and TPZ (and rpf and others…) where there’s a lot of disjointed info, but nothing definitive in one place, so I thought I’d try and consolidate everything in one thread.

Label Removal
My first step was to get the bottle prepped for the transformation, so I soaked all the labels as well as possible with a sponge in the hope that they’d saturate and come loose on their own. Unfortunately, the only label that really worked well on is the liquor control label that ran up the neck and onto the wooden cap. That came off pretty clean. The other labels, being ~50 years old and stuck to glass, came off better with some careful scraping with a blade.

Cleaning
I cleaned the outer bottle and leather with a mild soap and water solution and dried it immediately, I partially filled the inside with a solution of blue Dawn and hot water, shook it for a bit, then rinsed with room temp water and a bit of white vinegar to disinfect and remove soap residue. Then let the whole thing dry upside down for a couple of days while I researched paint.

Paint
I found some discussion at tpz about a Dunn Edwards shade called “Macao Orange”, and that search led me back here, to the Paint Codes thread. There was some discussion between DigiGal and others, so I reached out to her and she shared a pic of the Benjamin Moore equivalent, which she has since shared in the Paint Codes thread as well.

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It looked like a pretty solid match to the screen grabs I had been collecting, so I ordered up a quart in eggshell at my local dealer.

I used a fairly fine brush and applied evenly over a course of days. I wound up doing three coats before I was satisfied with the look. I painted everything that wasn’t glass, brass, steel, or cork. That included the rawhide tether.

That Extra Vertical Stripe
Then there was the question of what that added, painted vertical stripe on the glass was made of, the one that covers the large, raised George Dickel text. I pored over a bunch of screengrabs, and finally this one (from “Journey To Babel”) gave me the answer I was looking for (I think):

I had initially thought that they had glued a strip of leather meant to resemble the covering on the bottle. That extra vertical stripe looked like it was stitched, or embossed. But if you blow it up and look closely, it’s just the raised text on the bottle poking through. So that stripe is something very thin. I took some comparative measurements and determined that the stripe is about 1" wide. My conclusion was that this is 1" masking tape, or something really similar. So I went with masking tape. I added that strip, and another strip on either side, then painted away.and immediately removed the two masking strips.

The Glossy Sheen
The only thing remaining was the gloss that the screen-used bottles seemed to have. They had a very high sheen that the eggshell wasn’t replicating, but having worked with semigloss and gloss paints with a brush before, I knew they could be tricky to get right with a brush without leaving marks. So I added a glossy coat of Rustoleum clear lacquer. I understand that very fine steel wool may have achieved the same look. Has anyone had luck with that?

I’m pretty pleased with the end result. The color seems right, it has the same “looks kinda reddish sometimes, looks kinda brownish sometimes depending on the light or lack thereof” qualities that the screen-used ones have:

(Please click, I apparently uploaded a giant image, sorry)

I’d love some feedback, good or bad. Is there anything known about the originals that I may have missed that would be helpful to others going forward?


#2

I think it looks excellent.
The only problem I have is (Not with yours) it is perfect.
But the paint used on the series doesn’t look like it does on screen.
The paint is too pail in person.
The lighting is what gives it the Orange color.
I want to paint mine to what it looks like on screen.
So I have to find a paint that matches that color.

Mike


#3

Terrific job!

I went through a similar effort a year or so ago – although I ordered up the Macao Orange paint as a custom spray paint mix. That made it much easier to apply. I decided to add a leather strip, because I didn’t want the raised letters to show through. And I decided to paint the rusty metal parts with gold paint, to approximate the original finish.

I also painted new rawhide strip for the cap, and replaced the cork on one of my bottles.

My project – including a history of the bottle and Dickel itself – is on TPZ:

http://www.trekpropzone.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=16619&hl=brandy%20lamp&st=0

Here’s a pic of one of my finished bottles:

I also have restored several of the lamp kits that were sold for (presumably empty) Dickel bottles. No telling how much I paid for this custom lamp shade, which features the same swirly material used in the transporter room. A shade company in San Francisco made this beautiful lamp shade.


#4

I understand, that’s a tough one to nail down. The color of the bottles looks so different on the show depending on whether it’s under low light, colored light, bright light, or in shadow. It’s fascinated me for many years. I think this shade is very close, if not exact to what they used.


#5

I agree, re: the pale Macao Orange is the right shade. Painting it red makes it too saturated, in my opinion.


#6

That’s great stuff, Dave. Yours looks fantastic, love the lighting in that pic. Thanks for the thread info, I somehow missed that one.


#7

You’re welcome. Unlike the newer (better) software running FleetWorkshop, searching on TPZ can be buggy and frustrating.


#8

And yes, those are screen-used TOS Tribbles that are munching away under the lamp!


#9

Good job!

I used goo gone for label removal, it too didn’t work so great on the 50+ year old label adhesive. A single edged razor blade and patient scraping was necessary in addition to the goo gone.

My metal buckles were rusty, so they were scraped clean and brushed with a metallic gold paint that spruced them right up.


#10

I find that a bit tribbling, because I’m jealous.


#11

Looking very forward to seeing both! I tried Goo Gone, too, and Ronsonol lighter fluid. Neither was penetrating those petrified labels :unamused:


#12

Beautiful work on that bottle!

Steve


#13

That turned out fantastic!!


#14

Thanks, Steve and Patrick, I appreciate the kind words!


#15

Sharing this …
It’s not Macao Orange… it’s something available in L.A, (Culver City) at the time and everywhere now… ( imho)
Look up the paint chart…

Angelus Shoe Polish was not even a dream when the young Greek immigrant, Paul T. Angelos, arrived at Ellis Island. Making his way to Chicago, Paul shined shoes and saved enough money to go to Los Angeles. After arriving in Los Angeles penniless, he secured a job at a large shine stand. Paul saved enough money to open his own shine stand. Through hard work and long hours, he was able to send money for his brothers, George and Louie, to join him. Soon there were 14 employees and three shine stands; Sixth Street – opposite the Hayward Grill, Fifth Street – opposite the Alexandria Hotel, and one next door to The Pantages Theater. After being crowned, “King of the Bootblacks”, Paul was able to make the return trip to Greece to marry his sweetheart. Many years later, Paul would tell his grandchildren what an experience it was to return to Greece on the Ocean Liner, Mauritania First Class, which was the same ship that brought him Steerage to American years before. How fortunate his family was to be able to come to this country where freedom, success, and happiness were possible through honesty and hard work.

Arriving back in Los Angeles with his bride, the decision was made to start making a few items to use on their shine stands. Soon, other bootblacks started wondering what the Angelos boys were using on their shine stands and started asking where they could buy some. The demand for Angelus products started to grow until the poor kitchen stove could not keep up with demand. A small shop was then opened on Winston Street. The brothers, cousins, and brother-in-laws, all split time between their shine stands and their new manufacturing plant. It was not long before the plant demanded full time attention. The decision was made to sell the shine stands and devote all their energies into making shoe polish. Some of the family worked in the plant while others took to the road where they covered the country with their sample cases. When necessary, they rolled up their shirt sleeves and worked in the repair shops or shined shoes to demonstrate the quality of the Angelus products. In 1917, the Angelus trademark was registered. In 1924, a new five-story plant was built on Maple Avenue in Los Angeles. In the early 1930’s, Paul’s son George joined the family business on a full time basis. Demand continued to grown for the Angelus products throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s.

At the end of World War II in 1947, with most of the principles of the business reaching well into retirement age, a decision was made to sell the business. The Angelos “boys” retained the building so the new owner of Angelus, moved to the former Santa Cola bottling plant in Culver City California. Many changes were made to Angelus, sadly none for the good. The new owners felt that more money should be made and why use the expensive ingredients in the shoe polish. As a result, a good business with a reputation for unmatched quality and service was brought down to almost nothing.

In 1953, Paul and his son George bought back Angelus Shoe Polish. They went to what they knew best – honesty, quality, and hard work. Any merchandise that was defective was taken back and refunds or new product delivered. Sid Solomon, their salesman would question Paul, “You cannot take back this much merchandise, especially products that you did not even make!” Paul’s reply, “It has our name on it and we will make it good. It matters little who actually made it!” As a young boy, my first job at Angelus was working beside my father and grandfather washing out hundreds of thousands of bottles of returned merchandise. We were the only plant employees. Finally after mastering the art of bottle scrubbing, I graduated to packing and mixing. The only equipment we had in those days was the cooling tunnel for paste polish, one old noisy cream mixer, a few tanks, and wooden paddles for mixing. Filling the product was done with a hose and funnel. Capping was done by blistered hands. Slowly but surely the demand for Angelus grew again. Soon additional machines were bought and employees hired. Angelus remained in Culver City for 59+ years before moving to a larger facility in Santa Fe Springs, California.


#16

Not sure how that story about shoe shining business relates to the Dickel Bottle and the coloring for the leather pieces thereof.

Are you saying Angelus Shoe Polish is somehow part of the original production of the Saurian Brandy TOS prop?


#17

I think it implies that one of their shoe polishes was used to change the color of the leather. Makes sense, if it works on leather shoes why not use it on the bottle leather.

It’s tough reading posts that say such and such is the wrong color but then don’t share what actually is the right color.

Evidently the Macao Orange color that was widely touted as being the right color is wrong. If a color Angelus Shoe Polish was used for the leather please share which one?

Edit to remove photos @Mr.Atoz added color and potential product below, thanks.


#18

Angelus makes shoe polish shoe dye shoe paint… Substitute the word shoe for leather.


#19

Color is Brick


#20


I believe this is the closest to the product which “may” have been used.