As with all mad scientists’ inventions, it all started off with the search for a brain! I did think about modelling one myself, but managed to source a vinyl anatomy model which was actual size and fitted perfectly into my 170mm diameter glass container. Being hollow, it was also very lightweight. Once assembled, I painted it with acrylics and inks and gave it a silky sheen clear varnished finish. Brass banding and inserts were then applied to act as the connection points for the wires later.
The two copper support columns were cut to lengths to fit into push-fit plumbing fittings screwed into the top of the base unit and for the fitting of brass finials on top. Intersections were added using 15mm to 10mm reducers to act as supports for the audio trumpets. The finials of the supports were made from a pair of candle sticks cut to length and fitted with a brass dome cap hammered from 1.5mm brass sheet. Two more Bakelite terminals were fitted to the front of the lid which will connect the brain to the optical device later. Additional details such as the central connector for wiring to the finials were fitted to the lid including the copper pipe ducting for the lights inside the container.
The base unit was constructed from 18mm x 120mm pine onto which I applied an oak veneer, then stained and waxed to match the other oak parts. The box is edged in brass with decorative brass filigree corners. Two holes were cut into the front panel to accommodate a pair of old Bakelite meters (amperes and voltage). Ceramic and brass carrying handles were also added as this is going to be quite a heavy piece!
As we all know, brains cannot function without an oxygen supply, so I created an auxiliary oxygen pumping unit. I started with a 9v DC stepped gear motor with a high torque ratio. I painted the red plastic cowl a grey iron colour, made and fitted a decorative brass housing and mounted in onto a small wooden base. The rocker bar is raised and lowered by the pushrod run on a stainless steel bearing riveted to a Meccano chain wheel. The central pillar is made from a candlestick and a length of 8mm diameter stock brass rod to which I added a turned decoration. The compression unit is made using two brass candlestick bases, a 110mm length of internally-sprung air ducting hose and an acrylic display dome. The motor is switched on and off using a vintage ceramic and copper knife switch connected to a 9v battery power supply.