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Ray Gun Suitcase - Dingbat
July 11th, 2012
01:38 pm

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Ray Gun Suitcase
A finished pair of polished suitcases

The baggage allowance on EasyZeppelin gets ever lower and lower, so I needed some lightweight luggage. These are two 'demob suitcases', refurbished and Dieselpunked.

As acquired, with original green paint

They were originally made at the end of World War II, for issue to demobilised servicemen. They're made from old Spitfires, literally. At the end of the war there was a great shortage of all materials, except for military scrap. Aircraft in particular were an easy source of metal, as their aluminium could be recycled with relatively little effort, compared to steel. This is just one of the reasons why Land Rovers were built of aluminium, rather than steel sheet.

These were quite possibly made by Dowty in Cheltenham, or a similar maker. At the end of the war, they found themselves with an empty order book, but lots of experience in light alloy construction.

Halfway polished

They're made of thin aluminium sheet, with the ends riveted. Originally painted green, with a couple of green stripes around the middle, I recreated these stripes with the polishing.

Polishing was easy, although the usual tedious task. I used an angle grinder with a paint stripping wheel to strip the paint, then a drill with a nylon abrasive bristle flap wheel to polish it. Afterwards a coat of wax.

Next job is a pair of ex-mil map cases. These are much harder, as they're far better painted. Two coats, with a chromate-looking undercoat, so it's tenacious stuff and the dust is a bit nasty too.

Current Location: Shed
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(6 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:jarkman
Date:July 11th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
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Very handsome. I like the stripes.

It's a shame that the same technology was never applied to the trilby.
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From:r_is_for_rachel
Date:July 11th, 2012 09:49 pm (UTC)
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very lovely but slightly smelly!
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From:sarah_mum
Date:July 12th, 2012 11:44 am (UTC)
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... but that's enough about the menfolk.

The luggage looks very fine and shiney.
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From:misterpotes
Date:July 12th, 2012 08:42 am (UTC)
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Love the cases Andy. Where do I order mine ;-)
James.
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From:pyoor_excuse
Date:July 12th, 2012 10:18 am (UTC)
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They look gorgeous :) I'm very impressed...
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From:cybermule
Date:July 14th, 2012 09:09 pm (UTC)
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Nice :)
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