This is a retrospective diary for my recently finished Dalek, following from my showcase post.
The build overall took about 5 months, from March to July.
The first* thing we did was to tidy up the fibreglass pieces we got and drill the holes for the push through hemis. We drilled the holes by going half way through with a hole saw from the inside, and then cutting all the way through from the outside. This left a great clean edge with no splinters inside or outside. The hemis were made from 1.5mm HIPS, which we vacuum formed with our own home made vacuum former made from mdf and our kitchen oven. We did have a lot of plastic spheres used for packaging which we were going to use initially, but these turned out to be far too brittle, so we made two formers by filling them with epoxy resin. This gave them an incredibly clean and smooth finish. The resulting hemispheres were incredibly tough - I was able to walk on them without deforming them in any way.
*the actual first thing I had to do was get mum to agree to a second one, which was surprisingly easy considering it would be spending the next few months in the dining room...
(In many of the photos, Ray is using the neck of my other dalek, Syd, in order to give a better impression at the time of how he would look finished.)
We took a trip to the Doctor Who Experience to get some up close reference pics for this build. One thing I noticed was that the gun on one had an audio jack inside between the petals, so this was something I was eager to recreate.
The "exterminator" is glued in place and is recessed into the tube as the petals are really very sharp and I did not want kids pulling it out or getting their fingers cut. It hurts.
The octagons were laser cut by my uncle, and we used aluminium foil tape for the struts and borders.
The plunger arm is in 3 stages, and I wanted the inner tube to be what is used to control and extend the plunger, as usual. (For my other dalek, we replaced this with hose, but this wasn't as effective as I had hoped as it isn't particularly smooth to operate.) I worked out that I could afford about double extension for the arm, at which point the end of the tube just touches the inside of the shoulders when retracted. The middle tube extends to a maximum of 6", with the innermost tube extending from that an extra 12", resulting in 18" extension.
The plunger bearings were made from cork and MDF, which were tidied up and painted dark grey before being recessed by about 8mm so they weren't too visible.
We used the remaining offcuts from the middle stage to make the bulb rings. (Left image is from the Experience)
At this point, we were less than 2 weeks away from our first event.
For the shoulder collars, I used the templates which are downloadable from the forum and transferred these to card. These required a little alteration as there was not much space underneath the gunbox, but having these templates helped enormously! They went on with very little fuss, and there were no misdrilled holes unlike my previous dalek.
(Left image from the Experience) While all the holes on the shoulders were drilled, not all of the holes were drilled on the collars as, once fitted, I found that it was strong enough without them, and so I thought for now they are relatively unnecessary. But this is something I may revisit in future for the sake of accuracy.
The collars were lightly brushed with ultra fine steel wool to minimise reflections when out in public.
While we still have a neck bin to support the dome, we do not attach the mesh and fabric to the outside of the bin; instead we pinned the mesh and the fabric to the inside of the neck cage. This means that there are no gaps between the rings and struts and the mesh.
The mesh was made from 2 waste paper baskets which we ordered from Staples.
The rear half of the eyeball was made from half of a magic 8 ball, while the front was 3D printed using this wonderful file here: http://www.projectdalek.com/index.php?/files/file/150-classic-eyeball/
The pivot was made with two sheets of plastic with foam packed between. The bolt through the pivot actually holds the entire assembly together, so that once removed the rings and eyeball are all adjustable.
We wanted the frosted lens and the blue gel we used to be accessible in case either became unstuck, so instead of filling the join between the two halves, we decided to leave both halves separate, and have them simply held together by six neodymium magnets. These are very strong and can hold the weight of the entire eyestalk, but the front half can be easily removed with a little force and then simply snaps back into place.
This was painted a satin black, to be a sort of mid-point between the glossy eye of one prop, and the matt of the other.
At his first event we discovered that he was a little too close to the ground as he scraped his way round the tank museum, but he has now been raised with a good amount of clearance.
There are many things still to work on with this build; the dome is slightly misaligned, and the eye discs are a little too close together than I would like. Also, for the sake of time and money the shoulders were painted the same blue as the hemis; I rather like it as it is, but I may revisit it in future and paint it a shade or two lighter if I decide it is necessary.
But for now I am happy as I have got a rather nice desktop background out of him
So yes, thanks for reading, If you have any questions or want me to cover something in a bit more detail or want any more progress pics (I have almost a thousand ) I would be more than happy to answer or post some more.
Thanks, Ben M.