Alethiometer Prop Build – His Dark Materials BBC

Alethiometer Prop Build

Having finished watching Series 3 at Christmas time ’22, I remembered just how much I liked the Alethiometer prop from the BBC adaptation of the His Dark Materials book series.

This incarnation of the Alethiometer was brought into existence by Michael van Kesteren. I really like the idea he has of the Alethiometer being a tool, and how he thinks about props and how the devices he designs would be used and even taken apart and cleaned.

In preparation of trying to make one, I internet stalked Michael and the production to try and find all I could about the Alethiometer prop. This allowed me to start piecing together an understanding for the device.

With reference screenshots and other information on hand, I started a new parametric design in Autodesks Fusion 360. When trying to re-create a prop I find that using parameters allows me to adjust my design easily if half way through I find something that lets me know the prop is actually twice as big as I thought.

At the time of writing I’d say I’m about 50% the way through the design. I was unsure of my ability to create the brass case as I’ve almost no work in gbrass before, so I’m currently focussed learning the techniques to create that before moving on to the inernals.


The design in Fusion 360 so far