Talking about Daleks…
Just a quick little posting for today to lighten the mood after the previous entry regarding the sad passing of Mary Tamm. Last Friday, I went over to see Exterminator as I promised to help him out with moving what seemed like a mountain of boxes from his old house that’s about to be sold.
While I was there, we did our usual round of “Pointing and Gesticulating” at things that we’re working on (or have just completed) and in this case, that day’s subject was his TV21 Emperor Dalek build. Now I’ve seen its progression over the last decade and during that time, we’ve had countless discussions about build methodologies as we do on all our projects, but this was the first time that I’d actually seen it finished in the flesh… and boy what a build it is, the pictures really do it no justice what-so-ever!
Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me at the time, but this image taken on the day that it was moved to its new home in a storage facility just a few minutes away from his house, and where I got to see it. We even had a little play with it as I ducked down behind it to puppeteer it around for a little trundle – just so that he could see the fruits of his labour in action for the first time.
From talk of Emperors to talk of Renegades…
Here’s ours, mine of the left, Exterminator’s on the right. Recently I’ve moved mine out of the house and back into the garage. As you can see, I started stripping it down as part of the refurb that it heavily needs, it’s been through the wars and really looks in dire need of an overhaul, but with what I have planned, you may as well call it a rebuild. Effectively I’ll be replacing everything bar the skirt section. Exterminator is doing the same with his, though he just needs to replace the neck and the fender and a couple of the smaller details.
And here’s what he’s done so far. On both of our Daleks, the fender suffers from terrible sagging as the entire weight of the prop presses down on it, forcing it out of shape because there’s no substructure in either of them to give it any strength. Another issue with these fenders is that they are missing the underside, second step and so that needs adding.
We chatted at length about where exactly we thought that the step should be, but one thing was for sure, it’s not where the online plans say that it is – they have it too far back. I estimated that at most, it should be set back by about 19mm (3/4″) – so off he went and made it to that size, but as I looked at it for real in his workshop, I turned to Exterminator and sheepishly said that I still think it’s too far in. Having hunted around the place for a scrap of 6mm MDF, I placed it up against the bottom step and it looked to be in perfect alignment, even checking this against high resolution photographs of the original props that we had confirmed this.
Oh dear, that meant he had some more cladding to do. Sorry old chum. Still, the way I saw it was that it was better to catch this now, rather than later!
Below here is another of those projects that I’ve been meaning to get around to for the last seven years…
When the episode “Dalek” aired back in 2005, I was suitably impressed by the prop that opened up to reveal the inside of the Dalek machine and what enthused me about replicating it was that I pretty much recognised everything used in the build; an old auto cue, Doc Oc arm toys, cable trunking, tubing and various pieces of junk from Bob’s Bits.
It’s just been one of those maybe projects. As the years have passed, I’ve changed my approach to this idea – I’d like to build an “inspired by” piece. Not an identical recreation, but something that looks like it on first glance, but on closer inspection, you realise that it’s different. The first thing I’d change completely is the ludicrous Dalek mutant creature, it looks like an inverted scrotum with several tentacles, an open eye and the vestiges of a face. Had Millennium FX produced the licensed replica from their original moulds like they had planned to, then I’d have gone all out to recreate The Model Unit‘s Dalek prop machine to the letter, but as this never happened, it’s given me the opportunity to get a little creative with the design.
I’m not sure when I’ll get around to doing this, but at least we have the piece that I like the best from the original prop, the Doc Oc arms that you string together and wrap around the insides – Exterminator and I bought up all the stock that we could find all those years ago in 2005 - they just look really funky and alien. What I’d like to do though with this project is to hark back to the interior design that we saw in the 1980s, mixed with the modern iteration, but we shall see in due course.
And on a final note before I go, I finally located a new pocket watch case to replace the other one that I had for the 7th Doctor Pocket Watch build that I did recently. I have high hopes now for that build as this new watch is near identical to the original, but I’ll talk about this in another posting.