If you go down to the vault today… Yesterday, actually.

You know that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark where that bloke is wheeling the crated up Ark into the depths of a vast, top secret, government warehouse?  Well yesterday, I was doing something similar.  Sort of.

Myself, Exterminator and Subcusick all assembled for a bit of a catch up session to bring together certain props as part of our amassing of things.  Whilst we were at it, we used the gathering as an informal show and tell session to showcase our progress on the various things that we’re working on as part of a larger, joint project.  So there was the three of us (the three amigos) standing around doing the usual of pointing and gesticulating at things, wooing and wowing at the various items as they stood so far.

One of the props that we’re working on collectively is the restoration of an Ice Warrior.

Ice Warrior Dad

Despite the grumpy look on the Ice Warrior mask there, I am actually smiling like an idiot under all that rubber…

Anyway, this is, as far as we know, the only surviving duplicate casting of the original prop/costume going in this form, or to put it another way, it’s more complete than any other out there.  We could be wrong here though.

The only piece from this prop that doesn’t come from the genuine source is the head, this is a modified fan sculpt and soon it’ll be modified even more to get it to match the original as closely as possible.  Everything else; the main body, the arms, the claws, the legs and feet are all taken from the original source.  From time to time you do see Ice Warriors turn up on eBay and while the body is an nth generation down the line (warped) casting of this, the arms, legs and head etc are resculpts… and generally they look a bit weird for my money.

Apologies for the lack of imagery of the full piece, it just didn’t occur to anyone to take a snap as we had a very limited time amongst all the other stuff that was going on.

So anyway, for us, this is a bit of an honour to refresh, restore and try to bring back up to its former glory.


Speaking of restoring things…

All of the masks in the above shot will require work of some degree or other.  The two Invasion / Revenge Cybermen heads need a bit of heavy modification, chiefly the position of the eyes and mouth as well as the eye brow ridge thing – that needs reshaping because it blends into the “ear muffs” when ordinarily, it shouldn’t.  Also, the back plate is too wide.  The less said about the chrome Silver Nemesis head, the better – but this too will get treatment of some kind at some stage much further down the line.  I do have an experimental idea for that one, but we shall see what takes my fancy.

As for the Tetrap and the Terraleptil, well those are ancient latex pieces that are really showing their age – to the point that they were headed for the bin.  However, because we want to restore some other latex items, I thought that we could experiment on these to test a process or two before applying it to anything else that has value.

Normally I wouldn’t touch latex items with a barge pole for the sole reason that in time, they perish and crumble to dust, but seeing that these are here and in our possession, then we can at least try to do *something* with them.  It’s not like I’ll lose anything by trying.  The Terraleptil isn’t actually in too bad shape, really.  It’s only the bits that would be trimmed off that are starting to turn bad, but still, I’ll tinker.  The Tetrap though… well… I’ll have a play.

And lastly.

130113_Etheric Beam Locator

Over the years I’ve been collecting or building items that are part of the various Doctors’ hand props – why?  I don’t know really, I just have.

A short while ago, I was at a chap’s house delivering something and on his shelf, I spied this little trinket and knew immediately what it was – well – what it was used as; the Etheric Beam Locator as seen in the two Fourth Doctor adventures; Genesis of the Daleks and then The Talons of Weng Chiang.

Being rather taken by it, I went all “The God Father” on him and made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse.  Actually, he could have easily refused, but thankfully, he didn’t and so here we are.  I just need to give it a bit of a refurb, paint it a deep red and there we have it.

Before anyone asks, no I don’t know what this is, in terms of the found item.  The chap I got it from didn’t know either.  He thinks that it could possibly be part of a piece of scientific equipment, while I suspect that it may be something a little bit more mundane than that, an industrial type of electrical cable converter from a studio set up.  One side has pin connectors, whilst the other side has a single pole.  Anyway, your guess is as good as mine, unless you actually know what this is – if you do, please let me know, I’m all ears!

Right then, I’d best get on. Looks like I’ve got a lot to do then.

UPDATE:  17th of January, 2013
Thanks to commentor, Mark Quested, we now know what the Etheric Beam Locator originally was.

What the EBL actually is

Very well done to him and many, many thanks!

So my guess as to it being a part of a piece of studio hardware wasn’t that far off the mark.  The valve was used in transmission equipment… like the sort you’d find in a TV studio.

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~ by PurpleBlancmange on January 13, 2013.

27 Responses to “If you go down to the vault today… Yesterday, actually.”

  1. cool post! I am curious what do you think of the new console room update? Personally i love it. Getting sick of steam punk versions!

    • Thanks.

      The new console room is fine, I really like parts of it and others I’m not so keen on. My main issue with it is that it looks a little on the cheap side, but I’m glad that it has returned to the more traditional roots.

      Over all, I like it.

      That said, I do wish that if people are going to nick ideas from the Star Wars universe – then don’t make it so blatant. Rear walls, I’m looking at you!

  2. OK now whats wrong with Nemesis head ?,ill give it a home :),
    and as for latex ones thought about making GRP Casts ? ,be mighty nifty and longer lasting
    LOVE the revenge ones tho i see eyes to wide but mouth? i think chin needs to be more pronounced, but missing this bit i got so much to learn i know
    and i spy a blue infamous wall :) keep us posted looks fun

    • The Nemesis head is warped to buggery and is very badly made. It was one of those props that was bought because it looked okay in pictures, but what arrived was a bit poo. I ended up with it so that I could tinker with it.

      The face of the other style of head is fine, it’s the position of the eyes… the size is identical to the originals, it’s just that they’re slightly too far apart.

  3. Nice stuff. I know you don’t normally like messing with Latex props but have you guys ever considered making duplicates of the latex masks and casting them in silicon? At the very least they would last as a display piece and I can’t imagine that it would be TOO hard to match the original colors in silicone.

    • Yeah, silicone is something that we’ve considered as it’s far more durable than latex. The only issue is the cost.

      That said, we will look into it a bit further down the line as it’s not something that I’ve really done before – it’s not my area, but it’s certainly worth investigating, that’s for sure. :)

  4. Heh, small world. We used that storage for some of my brother’s furniture as he moved back to the local area.

    Some very nice pieces in your collection.

  5. I didnt think the new console room looked cheap LOL but then you are the expert in these matters.
    I thought the time rotor was cool and I like that it had buttons and normal space/time vehicle controls as opposed to old typewriters and BELLS.. Now I would have been happy with Roundels like the Old Series for the walls, no need to copy Star Wars. Roundels would be cheap but look awesome.
    Unfortunately they didnt explain the reason for the change other than giving the subtle appearance that a great time had passed since the departure of the Ponds so I guess the Doctor got Bored and changed up the Destop sorta speak.
    I see the Ol Box itself had a bit of weathering on it to make it look aged however some photos from previews for Season 7b and the box looks brand new. Maybe it was a bad shot but I did like the idea that it was New in the 11th hour and progressively is aging. Anyhow, looking forward to the Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS episode, finally maybe we can explore more of this wonderful machine without having it look like a boiler room and swimming pool at the local high school. Reference to Invasion of Time… on a side note… watching that episode if I saw Tom Baker walk down the same staircase again to give the illusion that he was going deeper into the TARDIS I would probably pluck my fingernails for entertainment.

    • It’s difficult to explain the cheap feel to it, but I can see it… not that I’m complaining, even Mr. Pickwoad himself has admitted that it’s a cheap build. All I can say is that at least it’s not Star Gate SG1, new Battlestar Gallactica or Warehouse 13 cheap. I saw a little bit of those three shows a while ago (on the net) and I seriously thought they were fan films for a while there. The sets looked like they were made from cardboard!

      I think a lot of folk are missing the point as to the heavy weathering as seen in the Christmas episode. The TARDIS has been sat, motionless, for a very long time up there in the clouds, it’s bound to get a bit of filth, grime and bird poo on it. From the brief images I’ve seen from the rest of the season, it’s back to being spotlessly clean again.

      Still, a bit of weathering wouldn’t go amiss.

  6. i like weathering ,and agree with cheap set,looks small to
    bring on journey into the TARDIS feeling im gona be dissapointed tho

    • Sorry, I know nothing of the upcoming season (as always) though I do see the odd photo in the net press from time to time. Are you saying there’s another episode set entirely in the TARDIS then?

      If so, then colour me interested.

      And by that I mean interested in the sense of looking forward to seeing it, but not being given plot details in advance. :)

  7. If you find out what the grey gadget is, please let us all know! I have been keeping an eye out for one of those.

    • If and when I ever find out, I’ll be sure to post about it – you mark my words!

      It was purely chance that I came into this.

      • Just been surfing the web and I wonder if it is some sort of rotary torque device; I found some slightly similar devices, but sadly not exactly the same.

      • Well it’s worth investigating. What I can tell you is that there are no moving parts on this one, it looks more like something that is electrical, as I said in the blog, a converter / coupler of some description to bridge one kind of cable fixing to another.

        When I start work on it, I’ll open it up, but from what I’ve seen thus far – there doesn’t appear to be anything inside of it.

  8. BINGO!!!…


    It appears to be a high-power transmitting tube.

  9. A pity that the grey paint hid the manufacturer’s logo on the one posted, as things would’ve been made a lot easier without it. Still, a nice conclusion with the part identified. :)

    • Yeah, I thought that which is why I carefully removed the grey paint with acetone yesterday. Not much to report – it’s deep red under all that, but there is no marking whatsoever underneath. It looks as if it’s been had a go at in the past, but there is no indication of any text, other than the stuff cast in – which doesn’t give any info at all as it refers to the packaging that it originally came in!

      I’m just doing a bit of repair work as I type.

      I can multi-task. :)

  10. I just ordered one of those Klystron’s off eBay. Not the VA22A mentioned above but a VA-220E which is apparently almost exactly the same externally. I got lucky though. It’s still original besides being a bit roughed up. I may have to paint it but for $15 USD it’s not a bad deal I think.

    • Congratulations, it seems that my little trade has spawned loads of people to go out and get one.

      The original was a VA 220c, but they’re all pretty much the same with minor differences.

      • Well I’ve been looking for one for some time but I just couldn’t find one. I was reminded when Mark posted in the RPF about it to go and have a look on eBay. I really got lucky though. I did not expect to find one in a model style I wanted. So far as I can tell from the pictures it’s pretty much just like the one used in the show but I’ll also be needing to paint it I think.

        Of an interesting note, just looking over the other styles of Klystron’s I noticed some of them would make interesting pocket gadgets regardless.

  11. Here is an update I have posted to the RPF forum…


    …And on Gallifrey Base…


    …And on DW Cosplay…


    …And TARDIS builders…


  12. That silver Nemesis Cyberman helmet makes me drool.

    • Not if you saw it up close it wouldn’t. Distorted and warped to hell and back. There’s been a black “Sewer Guard” version on eBay recently – same crappy pull… must be duff moulds.

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