Produced at Thames Television in 1979 starring Tommy Steele as Quincy and Roy Kinnear as the spinning top.
10ft high robot
The robot was actually over 10 ft. high with an actor inside.
Andrew vacuum formed all the components from silver ABS, chemically welded together to create a robust character that simulated a clockwork toy.
Rocking and rolling without actually falling over.
Quite mennacing if you`re only a small toy in the toyshop.
Pneumatic giant hand.
Andrew created the robot`s hand to an even larger scale, in fact the full size of Tommy Steele.
It was operated with compressed air and a pneumatic actuator to close the fingers.
With Quincy firmly in the grips of the robot, Tommy Steele played the part well.
Very successful film prop….
The clockwork robot was real success lasting to the end of the production without a hitch.
Not so successful prop.
The Lego had to be human size as the toys were really human actors.
Andrew created giant Lego with the idea of connecting it just like real Lego. He built heavy Reaction Injection moulds with the use of the lifting gear and gantry in the workshop at Shepperton Studios.
The giant Lego pieces looked the part and indeed on the build up, all looked ok, quite a reasonable structure built as a bridge, and very realistic.
However, what Andrew did not realise, was that all the cast were to dance over the bridge. Imminent structural failing occurred and Andrew`s solution was to reinforce the bridge with welded steel tube structure.
Alas Thames Television and the unions, demanded that only a qualified union welder was allowed to perform the task and Andrew was not that person, even though he had built 52 of the Bullock cars he designed.
It got worse……..
The union welder was ok with steel, but did not appreciate the fuel energy encapsulated in the Polyurethane Lego blocks. The fire that was bound to follow, luckily was extinguished by the union fire crew employed by Thames Television to deal with such situations.
Andrew was now losing his credibility.
It got even worse….
`Quincy`s Quest` was a live show, going out on Christmas day 1979 and so all props had to be on set in a working condition - definitely no second chance.
The even larger mouldings for the Lego flooring had proved to be a bit of a challenge to make.
Although Andrew had the facility of the overhead gantry in the workshop, which had previously been used for lifting giant marine diesel engines which were used for generating electricity for the studios, the weight and size of these moulds proved difficult to clamp tight.
The internal pressure generated in the moulds was about 400 tons and so the slightest leak in a seal would result in hot molten plastic ejecting like Vesuvius and thus coating the ceiling of the workshop with a skin of insulation and of course any unfortunate workers in the near vicinity.
A quick change of tactics caused Andrew to abandon the moulding process and quickly make thousands of individual round Lego locking pieces to glue onto wooden boards. They would then have to be painted in yellow & green to match real Lego.
It was the day before Christmas and the deadline was near and so Andrew mustered everyone he could convince to help, even calling on his old friend Trevor Baylis, (clockwork radio inventor) to come out and work a 24 hour shift on Christmas eve.
Andrew`s idea was to paint the giant lego floor with Polyester fibreglass resin. It should cure quickly to a hard resilient surface and could be pigmented to any colour.
On a cold winter’s night, this did not happen - it would not cure and remained a sticky mess even when presented on set.
Complaints from the actors were rife as their shoes parted from their feet, especially noticeable in the dance sequences.
Andrew did not attend the shoot that day and waited for the Christmas holidays for it all to blow over…..or at least let the paint dry, In the hope that the show was a spectacular success and everyone would forget the cock- ups.