QMx 1:6 scale TARDIS model – Coming soon. Possibly.
As you can see, it’s their prototype model from the “Artisan Range” that they have, which basically means high quality pieces with a price point to match.
Do you know, I can’t quite think where they got the idea from for a range of high end models at that scale… oh yes I can, me.
I’d mentioned to their previous “Design Director” (whilst working on the Sonic prototype) that there was quite a substantial market for such pieces and that over the years, I’d witnessed many people ask about how to build TARDISes, Daleks and Cybermen etc at 1:6 scale or the fact of why no-one had thus far taken up the mantle of making such things under the auspices of an official BBC license. In fact I’d had several conversations with many folk regarding just that last point alone. So, having mentioned the idea, I was then asked to make a list of potential product ideas for that scale, you know, popular characters and proppy things. Anyway, it seems as if the idea struck a chord and so here we are.
First impressions? Well, it’s very nice, but I do have two major concerns about it.
That initial concern is this. Will it actually ever make it to market, or is this just another piece of vaporware that they have become rather famous for over the last few years? I’ve always felt that QMx announced things far too early, then either got into problems or had issues with the concept during the R&D process and subsequently had to shelve the whole notion after multiple delays and numerous broken promises. Why not keep quiet about it until you’re actually ready, then announce it? Makes more sense to me.
My second issue, and perhaps the major concern that I have with what I’m seeing here is this, quoted from their blurb – in relation to the photographs of the prototype (above)…
Our screen-accurate Artisan replica will open to reveal a special inside view: a lit image of the actual TARDIS set interior provided to us by the BBC.
Nothing special there really because Character Options already have the “door opening to reveal the interior” angle covered with their high street priced toy. No. It’s the underlined bit where my attention is drawn to. If you are going to make bold claims of accuracy, then make damned sure what you’re making is actually accurate because people will spot your mistakes and moan, trust me, I’ve been in this game too long. Not just that, but as this will be part of the artisan range, it will no doubt be heavy on the wallet to boot, so it’d better be “perfect” to justify that cost.
So far, judging from these pictures, they have a long way to go. What they’ve managed to build at this stage is a sort of hybrid TARDIS, neither one thing, nor the other. Yeah it’s blue, box shaped, has windows, Police Box signage and a light on top, but that doesn’t really cover it, does it? If anything, its shape sort of owes more to the Eccleston/Tennant TARDIS prop, while the colouring and add-on details are that of Matt Smith’s. So to claim accuracy and an artisan price tag, I think they’d better come up with something a little better than this or simply play down the pricing because what we really have here is almost a Character Options TARDIS toy design that’s a little over twice the size.
I honestly don’t want to pick this thing apart as really, it’s not fair at this stage, but with respect, there’s nothing accurate about it other than the colour. One thing that I would also draw attention to is the way they have made the door – too much light bleed, but that can be easily sorted.
My advice? Not that they’d really want it or even ask, is this; go back to the start, decide on which version of the prop that you want to produce and do it properly – or ask someone who knows a bit about it to make it for you. The tooling master at that scale CAN be done, with all the proper details (that are missed off on the prototype here) so really there is no excuse to get this so badly wrong as demonstrated thus far.
I’m sure that if any folk from QMx do read this posting, they may take what I’ve said to heart – don’t, it’s not an attack, I’m just pointing a few things out. I really do want you to make the best product that you can, I’m all for it, just don’t get too cocky at too early a stage, it seriously doesn’t look good and gives you no credit whatsoever.
If you want to get it right, go and measure the actual BBC prop – don’t rely on second hand drawings or other people’s suggestions of what they believe is correct (especially if they’ve never been anywhere near the tv props), just go to the source material or if you can’t do that, ask someone who has. Am I asking for the job? No, before you ask.
Final words then. Well, it’s early days yet, so hopefully QMx will cut the mustard and provide potential customers with a truly mind blowing replica. I have every faith and confidence that they can step up to the mark and take this on… but please, just finish what you start, we’re still all waiting for those Sonics that you mentioned a year or so ago.