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iansrobinson

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iansrobinson last won the day on February 22

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About iansrobinson

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    In the jungles of Skaro
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  1. I've been away from home quite a bit the last few weeks, and only get to do a little work now and then, but in that time I've built up a backlog of little accomplishments – and setbacks. Over the next few days I'll try and write them all up. Eyestalk The man at the hardware store at the bottom of the road took one look at the short thread on my old Dansette leg and immediately found me a few nuts to fit. These I sank into the body of the pivot through the flat face, and secured with epoxy resin. The leg now screws in wonderfully flush to the face. Eyeball next. Having sanded it, I drilled and countersunk a hole through the centre of the face so as to allow the narrow end of the eyestalk to be screwed in on the inside. The hole in the back of the eyeball for the original eyestalk was 1 inch in diameter; the replacement wooden leg is much narrower at this point. To fill the hole and grip the leg, I cut and sanded a couple of pieces of plastic tubing that sit inside one another to form an inner sleeve. I was planning to glue these inside the eyeball, and fill the gap around the outside edge, but I've since decided against fixing them permanently. Wherever possible, I'm attempting to make everything easy to disassemble, just in case... If I modify the dalek in the future to represent a more recent model, I may want to replace the tapered eyestalk with a straight tube, at which point the original hole will come in useful. By placing a 4 inch piece of clear acrylic tube over the leg, and seeing at what point along the leg's length the tube sat nice and snug, I was able to mark the point on the narrower end of the leg that would emerge from the eyeball. Allowing for the height of a single nut, I then calculated how much of the leg I would have to cut off for it to sit against the inside face of the eyeball. I cut the leg, drilled a 4mm diameter hole in the end, and glued a nut over the top. Lastly, I cut black and white sections for the front of the eyeball from 1mm thick plasticard. For the blue disks, I purchased 9 pre-cut from Craig, but they're currently packed away, to avoid them being scuffed. I did briefly try them with the acrylic tube, and they fit perfectly – I don't think there'll be a need to glue them. Dome Lights These were the very first things I made, but after seeing the photos of them attached to the dome, I felt the collars were far too tall. So I sanded then down. Then, borrowing from moviedalek's approach to creating replaceable dome lights, I cut a couple of inner discs from plasticard, and glued a pair of M3 bolts to each so that they can be attached to a bulb holder on the inside of the dome.
  2. Hi Simon. Can't remember if you're going for a tapered or straight eyestalk. I've got a spare wooden 10-inch long tapered Dansette leg I'd be very happy to send you if you're interested. ian
  3. I bought mine from here: https://www.wooden-balls.co.uk/product_info.php/cPath/55/products_id/526 They're made in Germany, but delivery is typically just a few days. There is the downside of the paint becoming scratched - but I guess that just adds to the authenticity... I personally feel that metal balls look too shiny, and out of character, but I guess you could dull them with some fine wire wool.
  4. Hi Simon. Have you considered wooden balls? They're a little pricier than Magic 8 balls, but wonderfully solid. Those shoulders – gun box and collars – look fantastic, by the way. ian
  5. To report back here: With one vote for each, I let the friend whose pillar drill I was using have the deciding say – and he suggested forstner. So I bought a couple of Planet Long Series forstner bits, and drilled out those holes. Drilling all the way through, I splintered the exit holes a little, and a couple of the screws holding the supporting frame together grazed the balls – but nothing a little filler can't fix. Things I'd do differently next time: - Use a pillar drill with sufficient vertical movement to drill a ball in one go. The bits were plenty long enough, but there wasn't enough vertical movement in the drill to descend 4 inches. So halfway through drilling each ball, we had to stop the drill and wind up the base plate. The bit head helped keep everything nearly aligned around a vertical axis, but there was a little lateral movement, resulting in a slight kink in the tunnel. I had to do a lot of hard sanding afterwards inside each hole to allow easy passage for the tubes. - Lots of good bracing. I used an old resin ball joint bracket from my disassembled dalek, with screws in each corner onto a wooden base plate, to hold each ball in position. But there was a lot of vibration, which may have contributed to a not-quite-perfect cut. - I'd consider drilling 9/10ths the way through from one side, and then turning the ball over and cutting in from the other side to avoid any splintering of the exit hole.
  6. Here's a summary of some of the things I've done over the last few weeks. First, I dry assembled the gun, using a plastic Christmas decoration filled with foam as a temporary ball joint. The goal here was to work out whether I preferred the rods and collar butted up against the ball joint, or the tip of the gun. I think I've decided I'll actually situate them halfway between, with a few millimeters of barrel between the rear collar and ball, and an equal amount between the front collar and the tip of the barrel. My preference is to leave the barrel and rods unpainted, so I rubbed them down with fine wire wool and rubbing compound. Hopefully this will complement whatever silver I end up spraying the collars and ball – if not, I'll spray the whole thing. I enquired on another thread as to whether to use a flat spade bit or a forstner bit to drill out the wooden balls I have for the gun and arm ball joints. With one vote for each, I let the friend whose pillar drill I was using have the deciding say – and he suggested forstner. So I bought a couple of Planet Long Series forstner bits, and today drilled out those holes. I used one of the old resin inner brackets to help brace the balls. Drilling all the way through, I splintered the exit holes a little, and a couple of the screws holding the frame together grazed the balls – but nothing a little filler can't fix. I was unhappy with the original eye stalk, but liked the eyeball itself, which was another solid resin piece. So I took a saw to the thing: With the eyeball separated from the shaft, I've started to rub it down. I bought an old Dansette wooden leg, and experimented with 32mm diameter acrylic: as I reported elsewhere, 4mm thick acrylic fits nicely around the leg, whereas 3mm thick acrylic is too loose. And finally, I started on the eye pivot, using 1 x 18mm and 2 x 6mm MDF. Lots of sealer and sanding. The plan here is to drill a 15mm diameter hole in the flat face, and sink and glue a couple of nuts so that the Dansette leg can be screwed in.
  7. I found that using 32mm OD acrylic tube with a Dansette leg, I needed 4mm thick tubing, not 3mm. 4mm thick walls ensure the tube sits snug around the leg 4.5 inches from the eye pivot, as per the Mk 1 plans. Here are 2 photos, the first showing 3mm thick tubing, the second 4mm thick tubing. As you can see, the 3mm thick acrylic is loose around the leg at the 4.5 inch mark.
  8. I sometimes think that the early shots show a base that is slightly angled inwards – I'd be tempted to keep as is. With regard to reducing the shine: how about lightly rubbing it with fine wet-n-dry or wire wool? ian
  9. I've got these two 4" beechwood wooden balls for ball joints: What should I use to drill out the 1" and 1.5" diameter holes: a flat spade bit or a forstner bit? Thanks for any help you can offer. ian
  10. Quick question: what would people here recommend for cutting arm holes from 4" solid beechwood balls – 1" and 1.5" flat bits or forstner bits?
  11. Bit of a delayed response, but thank you Simon for the detailed images and measurements. Very useful, and very interesting in their own right. I'm convinced more than ever that I would like to reproduce the wooden gun boxes of the early Shawcraft props, but I'm going to delay a little – it feels like a warm weather project. What I have been doing over the last week or so is making the firing mechanism. I'd started this some time before Christmas, but wasn't happy with the leaves or the wooden inserts, which I'd cut from dowel. Cleaning up the leaves, and cutting a sixth one (I originally planned on having five till Simon pointed out the early props had six), I though I'd push ahead, but knowing that I'm rarely satisfied, and will likely want to tinker in the future, decided to make a mechanism that can be easily disassembled. Here's what I came up with: The bushes are made from cotton reels and short lengths of white overflow pipe. The head has a nut glued to it, thereby allowing the leaf section to be replaced. The leaf core is made from the cutdown nozzle from an old tube of sealant, with a smaller cotton reel glued inside to accept the aluminium rod, and a bolt to attach it to the first cotton reel. This is the test assembly: And here's what it looks like in the gun barrel: By sitting the ball quite a bit forwards (when retracted the leaves just lightly grip the ball), I think it will give the round tip effect you see in some of the early photos, where with the firing mechanism retracted you really only see the ball sitting at the mouth of the barrel (the aluminium rod still needs to be trimmed, and the ball painted, of course) :
  12. Simon – thank you very much for your reply. Those pictures are extremely helpful, not only for this particular discussion, but more generally, in illustrating the difference between Mk1 and movie-style gun boxes. I'd seen moviedalek's modifications, and your interest in them, but hadn't been able to find a more detailed description of what you'd done with your build. (I've seen your build diaries, but had your detailed these changes before?) I had pondered the cut-then-fibreglass option, but for some reason the prospect of applying gelcoat to the inside of plasticard, as moviedalek had done, put me off – I've never done any fibreglassing before. But perhaps it's not so difficult. A couple of questions: Can you remember the approx dimensions of the front faces of your modified boxes? You say "The PDF plans are way oversized, especially for a movie shoulder section." Do you mean the Mk1 dimensions are oversized versus the real wooden boxes? Or that the movie dimensions are oversized versus real movie-style shoulders? Or that trying to transpose accurate Mk1 dimensions onto a 13" tall set of movie shoulders will result in something that is oversized? Thank you again for your reply - very much appreciated.
  13. Not a lot of building, but quite a bit of disassembling. Over the Christmas period I cut the eyestalk from the dome and removed the two screws use to attach the dome lights (before and after): I cut the wheels from the top of the neck bin (before and after): And I removed the filler from the insides of the gun and arm boxes (before and after): I did do one small piece of building: new struts for the neck: For the neck, I plan to fill and sand the rings, and then reassemble the rings and struts using the fibreglass neck bin as an alignment guide. If there's sufficient gap between the neck bin and the rings, I'll probably attach mesh to the bin, and attach a plywood top with wheels over the existing return. If, however, it's a tight fit, I may choose to cut the top and bottom returns from the neck bin, and remove a narrow vertical portion of the bin, and then fibreglass in new wooden returns with a slightly reduced diameter. The shoulders are still a puzzle. They're obviously movie-style shoulders (13" tall), and as I mentioned previously, the arm and gun holes are different sizes. To address the arm holes, I think I have 3 options: Fibreglass the existing holes and cut new ones. Cut away the face of each box, and replace with a wooden face. Cut the boxes out entirely, and replace with a wooden box. I'm inclined towards 3 – building a new wooden gun box. From the plans, the faces of the movie-style gun boxes are a little smaller than the original wooden boxes. A quick test with some card shows that if I create new boxes to the original dimensions (i.e. a little wider and a little taller than the faces of the movie-style boxes), the extra height is just enough so that the downwards sloping sides meet the wall of the shoulders just a little below where the flat top of the movie-style boxes project out. If I were to create wooden boxes with taller sides and a near flattened top, I think I can get away without having to do too much filling. Not quite screen accurate, but given the variations in the originals, perhaps a passable interpretation: Oh, and I've sourced a couple of solid wooden 4" wooden balls from here: https://www.wooden-balls.co.uk/. Not cheap, but very solid:
  14. And... I've separated the neck from the shoulders. I ran a thin blade between the seams, and with a lot of cracking and popping the two came apart. This then gave me the opportunity to remove the neck rings from the bin. Looking at the rings and the struts, I see they too are made from resin. The struts have a wood grain in them, and one of them is even bent outwards at the bottom: Reassembled, the dalek now looks in a sorrier state than ever, but that seems to be a real prerequisite for bringing it back up to scratch. It's interesting being presented with a combination of someone else's design choices and build practices, and the overall wear and tear of the years.
  15. Thanks for the suggestions. #2 is something to look at longer term. I'm assuming the alls are the same size – they've both been cast in resin – but now you ask, it's definitely worth my checking. #1 – the chips in the dome – is the tip of a more interesting challenge. I'd prefer to have a single dome-and-neck unit, but instead, at the moment, the neck cage, which is fibreglass, is attached to the shoulders. The eye pivot is attached to the inside of the dome, and the wooden ring inside the dome, which would normally balance the dome on the rollers on the top of the neck cage, has parted from the fibreglass walls of the dome and sits partly loose higher up in the dome, butting against the bottom of the eye pivot. The eye itself is very heavy, with the overall result that the dome tends to sit low on the neck cage, leaning forwards with the weight of the eye, and knocking against the top of the struts. So – to make it worthwhile making cosmetic repairs to the dome, I think I need to overhaul the neck and dome: Cut the eye pivot away from the dome. Separate the neck from the shoulders. Replace the crooked and broken rollers on the top of the neck bin. Create a new mount for the dome and the eye.
  • Recent Status Updates

    • chris harper

      Saturday spent fixing first bit of 6mm bendy mdf to my shoulder frame, I had a couple of clamps but a friend lent me about 8 and needed every one. My son in law loaned me his multi tool which cut like a dream, however, he needs it for work so had to give it back so went to Wickes and bought one for £25, a bit cheaper than his top of the range model but it still does a great job. Have fibre glassed my dome plug after waxing the he'll out of it, fingers crossed it will come off ok.
       
      · 1 reply
    • chris harper

      My dalek will have a name, talking to my friend about old films, and we talked about the  Eiger Sanction, and came up with the name Hemlock, so now my half finished skirt, nearly fully sanded dome plug and shoulder frame has a name...Hemlock
       
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      Hello! I joined a few days ago and I'm trying to see how this site works
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    • project one

      Waiting for hemispheres.
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