My Portal Room Project|
January 27, 2012
Cave Johnson: Alright, I've been thinking, when life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade!
Cave Johnson: Make life take the lemons back!
Cave Johnson: Get Mad!
Cave Johnson: I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these?
Cave Johnson: Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I'm the man whose gonna burn your house down... with the lemons!
Cave Johnson: I'm gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that'll burn your house down!
There it is… one of the most memorable quotes in the game, and what a perfect little project to add to my portal room. I saw some pictures of these “lemonades” online but don’t know how the guy made them or if they were just rendered in some 3D software program, but for anyone interested, here is how I ended up making mine!
- Fake Lemons
- Inert Grenades (or real ones if you feel fake ones don’t provide enough excitement)
- New cotter pins (Optional)
- New pull rings (Optional)
Creating your Lemonades!
This is a very simple and quick project. Overall it took me about an hour to work on it, not including letting the paint dry overnight.
First, you’re going to need some lemons… While real lemons are authentic, I think we can all agree they wouldn’t last long on display. I made a quick stop into my local arts & crafts store where I found an entire selection of fake plastic food for displays & arrangements. I threw two 1:1 scale realistic looking lemons into my basket for $1.50 each and set off to find some grenade tops to attach to them.
At first I was looking at Airsoft Grenades. They look real, they are 1:1 scale and I thought they would be the easiest thing to use. However around my city, they are priced at around $40 each and that was way more then I wanted to spend for this project, so off to the next most logical place to find grenades… the army surplus store!
At the army surplus I found entire boxes of inert grenades (real ones which have been disabled) for $10 a piece. I managed to talk the owner down to $5 each so I grabbed a couple of the nicest ones I could find and headed home.
My biggest concerns with the real grenades were how to get the tops off without ruining them. Luckily though this was WAY easier then I was anticipating. Apparently grenade tops are just screwed on and come off with pretty much no effort at all. The worn paint and bare metal looks neat, but I wanted these to look like they were developed in a lab and not surplus military equipment. I unscrewed the tops, threw the bodies away, and gave them a fresh coat of paint.
Back to the Lemons
As for the lemons themselves, I didn’t really know what they were made of… I mean I knew they were plastic, but they were also kind of heavy so I thought they were actually solid plastic. My plan was to just drill a hole slightly smaller then the threads on the grenade tops and screw them in just as they came off their original bodies. However, the moment I drilled into the first lemon I found out that it was just a very thin coating of plastic filled with Styrofoam and a metal weight added to the center to give it some mass. With that knowledge, I just used an x-acto knife to cut the hole on the second lemon which only took a few seconds. Both tops still screwed into the lemons easily and held quite well, but for added assurance I put a squirt of “No More Nails” in there, which is just an adhesive calking type of product, I’m sure a little white glue would work just as well.
For the finishing touches, I used my buddies vinyl cutter to create a stencil of the Aperture Laboratories logo and airbrushed that onto the lemon body and replaced the beat up cotter pin and pull ring with a shiny new one I picked up at the hardware store for around $2.
Total cost of project = $8/per “Lemonade”
Click here to go back to the main Portal Room page